10 noteworthy posts from November


Apologies for the slight delay in getting my monthly good reads roundup online – last week was essentially a write-off thanks to me acquiring a pole-axing cold, but I’m fighting git again now!

November was a busy month – lots of looming deadlines, a bustling campus and speaking gigs at not one, not two but three conferences…phew! And, in between all that, finding the time to stay up to date with some reading too.

Below are my ten favourite pieces from last month. As always, please do take the time to read them in full, as they’re all great.

Oh, and before you ask, the guinea pigs are fine and enjoying their newly festive cage!

Right, on with the good reading…

1. Social strategy in four (easy?) steps by Joseph Field, Social Media @ Hallam blog

First off, if you’ve not yet explored the wonderful resource that is the Social Media @ Hallam blog, then sort yourself out and give it a try. My friend Joe and his team do some great work and their blog is a really effective way of sharing what they’re up to. This post on strategy is a great example – I’ve been thinking a lot about strategy myself recently, so found this post most helpful.

Key quote:

Until now, I’ve argued that we don’t need a social media strategy – we have a communications strategy which directs our approach to all of our comms, and social media is a set of tools we use as part of that. That’s still true. We don’t need an over-arching social media strategy. But we do need to know exactly what we use Facebook for, what we use Twitter for and what we use Instagram for.

Read the full article

2. 5 Things to Include in Your Brand’s Content Guidelines by Mike Brown, Marketo Blog

Having multiple authors chip in with content and still have the result sounding like they are part of the same brand or voice is certainly a challenge, so I really like the idea of creating content guidelines for your organisation. This post from Mike Brown is a fantastic place to start writing those guidelines.

Key quote:

You shouldn’t make any assumptions. No matter how straightforward a task might seem to you—whether it’s pulling weeds or writing a whitepaper—there’s a good chance it’ll be done incorrectly without some basic guidelines. It’s easier than
ever to create content. The real challenge for marketers now is getting content to scale while remaining consistent in terms of tone, voice, and objective, regardless of the contributor.

Read the full article

3. How do I find time to create content? 25 Ideas! by Mark Schaefer, {grow}

Mark Schaefer’s blog posts are a constant source of great inspiration, and this list of 25 ideas to find the time to make all that content you need to make is a real gem. Whether it’s finding your routine, learning to say no or even drinking a beer (no, really!), there is plenty to try out here.

Key quote:

Successful bloggers, YouTubers, and podcasters have the same number of hours in a day as you. Everybody has the same time to create content, but not everybody makes it a priority. The real question isn’t having the time, it’s whether you
have the tenacity and drive to do it … and keep doing it.

Read the full article

4. 4 Ways to Tweak Twitter to Optimize Success by Eric Stoller, Inside Higher Ed

My friend Eric tends to make every one of these monthly lists, purely because he writes really great pieces. November was no different, and Eric’s four suggestions to get your University’s Twitter up to speed are most helpful. From getting verified and opening up your DMs, to providing support and humanising your messages, Eric offers a very solid argument.

Key quote:

One of the best aspects of Twitter is that they continue to come up with ways to improve engagement. Top-level university Twitter accounts are conduits for all sorts of institutional communication and these new additions/tools add opportunities for stronger connections.

Read the full article

5. The Future of Social Media (And How to Prepare For It): The State of Social Media 2016 Report by Ash Read, Buffer Blog

If you’re looking for the most productive way to spend your next coffee break, this in-depth dip into Buffer’s State of Social Media 2016 report is where you need to head. From big takeaways to objectives and challenges for 2017 it has the lot – all delivered with tonnes of stats!

Key quote:

Facebook is the leading platform for marketers with 93% saying their business is actively using it. Twitter was close behind with 89% of respondents saying they use the platform for their business.

Read the full article

6. ‘I felt like Morse tapping his first code’ – the man who invented the podcast by Nell Frizzell, the Guardian

Regular followers of my posts will know how much I LOVE podcasting – I run my own show and listen to loads on a weekly basis. So, this interview with the inventor of the podcast was a fascinating read for me. Also, I’m convinced that podcasts have a very bright future, so it doesn’t do any harm brushing up on their journey so far.

Key quote:

It is fundamentally egalitarian but also incredibly expressive. The human voice is loaded with signals we can’t even begin to map. It’s very intimate, revealing. We think there’s a logic to making audio of this human music, but we also have the mission to keep that voice public.

Read the full article

7. CONTENT TIPS: Six laws for content that works on the web… Ooo! Aaah! Wow! OMG! And I didn’t know that! by Dan Slee

Another writer who regular appears on these lists of mine is the ace Dan Slee, who managed to blog every single day in November (nice work Dan!). There were many of his posts last month that I could have included here, but this one about the type of content that really works for the web was my favourite, and I’m pretty sure you’ll like it too.

Key quote:

Every day we read, write, be amazed, shout, laugh at and share content online. We do it after we wake-up, go to work, get to work and get home from work. The we do once we’ve kicked our shoes off. Research would say we see 285 pieces of content every day. I’d say when I’ve got time on my hands it’s a lot more. As communicators we are every day trying to compete with content that is shouting more loudly. Nobody is waiting for your press release. Or your video.

Read the full article

8. Instagram Student Takeovers by Abby Meyer, The Social Cube

As well as strategy, another thing I’ve been thinking about a lot of late is Instagram students takeovers. This piece on the social cube is short but oh, so useful if you’re considering running your own takeover any time soon.

Key quote:

Instagram student takeovers are a great way to showcase a day in the life of a student at your university. I started Instagram Takeovers at UNMC on a weekly basis about a month ago, and they’ve been going very well so far. The mission is to show the world what a day in the life of a UNMC student looks like.

Read the full article

9. 5 Things I Learnt as a Designer at LEGO by Jonathan Bree, Medium

This article is a little bit different to the other nine on my list, but is so, so worth it. Jonathan really articulately transfers things he has learnt as a designer at LEGO into the wider marketing world, resulting in an inspirational piece – including the idea of building play into everything you do. Nice.

Key quote:

The user’s path to completing a goal within the product should never be impeded by pointless fluff, but there are always novel ways to accomplish a task or fun elements can be embedded into the experience. This is a key part of the LEGO philosophy; embed little surprising moments of play into everything. Although perhaps this isn’t surprising for a toy company. However, this approach is now being applied in markets where it wouldn’t have in the past.

Read the full article

10. Delete yourself from the internet by pressing this button by Juan Buis, The Next Web

Has all this web stuff got too much? Want to escape completely and delete yourself from the online world? You’re in luck!

Key quote:

If you’re getting tired of social media and internet-induced stress in general, it’s the quickest way to get back to a state of tranquility — and to be honest, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

Read the full article

That’s it for my November good reads. Got anything I’ve not included that you really enjoyed reading last month? Let me in the comments!

**Don’t forget, I’d love you to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and connect with me on LinkedIn too.


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