Social Media: Business vs Personal Use – By Diana Stone

In this blog, I will talk about some key differences between social media use for business, professional and casual user. Having had some experience in all three, I hope I can offer a little bit of advice.

Firstly, just to get it out of the way – whichever social media platform you’re using for personal reasons, it’s always good to have a grasp of your privacy settings. Twitter and Instagram don’t quite allow you to edit the privacy settings on every single post, but Facebook does. I’ve previously used it to hide a selection of posts from co-workers and managers on my friends list (hi, ex-colleague if you’re reading this!). While most of my status updates are only seen by friends, I will make certain posts public, for example, if I’ve posted a new track on Soundcloud or YouTube and I want it to be heard by as many people as possible. However, the main difference I find between casual and professional use is that you probably won’t have specific milestones to accomplish and you’re likely to be using it for leisure and socialising purposes…or maybe I’m wrong?

But let’s say, you’ve decided to set up a social media page for your business and/or self-promotion – where do you start? While I do believe there are some distinctions between using social media as a self-employed professional and maintaining online presence for a business, here are some key tips to consider…

 

  1. Make a social media marketing plan

Just like any other goal your business is trying to achieve you need to make your social media presence just as important. Don’t leave it off the agenda just because of its more relaxed approach – this will result in being inconsistent with your content, which in turn will make you miss out on benefits of social media marketing. Don’t focus solely on likes and retweets. Pay attention to leads generated, increased website traffic, conversion rate and more. There’s an excellent guide on Hootsuite to help you get started. Click here. (https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-create-a-social-media-marketing-plan/) 

 

  1. Understand the differences between each social media platform

Don’t instantly set up an account on every single platform ever if you’re not going to be able to manage them all. Find out which social media platforms you could use most effectively, and focus on them. It’s also a good idea to tailor your activity to each platform – for example, if you’ve posted a video on YouTube, don’t just share it on your Facebook page – upload the video directly to Facebook, as that way it’s likely to get seen and clicked on by more people. While it’s useful to schedule your social media posts to make sure you stay on top of it, I’ve personally found that it’s a good idea to keep an eye on Twitter in particular and try to jump on some trending topics as well, providing they’re appropriate for your business. You could also do the same on Facebook and other platforms to make sure your posts are relevant. Attempt to differentiate your content slightly across different platforms and try different types of posts to see how your audience responds to them.

 

  1. Show your personality…but not too much of it

By which I mean – express your views, but keep in mind that you’re a business and your demographic might consist of people that disagree with you. This is where the difference between a professional and business is probably the biggest – from personal experience, I think you can afford to be a little more controversial or outspoken as a sole professional, whereas when you’re posting on behalf of a business, you may want to remain impartial a little more. I will sometimes get involved in conversations on Twitter, for example, and I might debate on certain topics, however, I’ll make sure to do it as respectfully as possible and you wouldn’t see me post anything along the lines of ‘mean tweets’:
Although I share a lot of my personality on social media, I’d still like to be seen as a professional when people come across my social media accounts.

 

  1. Use hashtags effectively

Don’t jump on every single trending topic – it’s going to make you look tacky at best or attract some backlash at worst. Another good suggestion is to make sure your brand hashtags are appropriate for your business and audience. Check out these 10 social media fails on what not to do. (http://keyhole.co/blog/10-trend-campaign-hashtag-fails-by-big-brands-lessons/) It’s also a good idea to come up with relevant, unbranded hashtags for your business and to cater hashtags appropriately to the social media platform. For example, Instagram hashtags often describe the post, whereas Twitter hashtags are more often relevant to the topic of the conversation. Additionally, don’t go overboard by hashtagging every word or making your hashtags too long. Keep it relevant and on topic.  

 

  1. Observe your demographic via social media

Most social media platforms are designed to pretty much tell you how to use them – so there are no excuses for not having an online presence. Even if you’re completely new to social media marketing, there are tools within your social accounts to help you make the most out of it. Facebook, for example, has awesome, detailed stats that help you get to know your audience, so you can tailor posts to your existing followers or attract more diversity. They also tell you when most of your audience is online to assist with scheduling posts and give you an overview on the type of content that performs best. If you’re interested in website conversions, set up an analytics account to help you run promotions on your products and attract more traffic to your website. But you don’t even need that straightaway to start growing your online following – simply listen to your audience, be engaging and use the features in each social media platform to help you improve your online presence.

 

  1. Be copyright infringement proof

One of the worst things that can happen to you as you’re just starting out is being slapped with a copyright lawsuit. It happens to YouTubers all the time, even if their video would qualify as ‘fair use’ and the sad reality is that it can be critical for creatives with smaller following and limited resources. If you’re looking for copyright-free music, check out No Copyright Sounds (http://nocopyrightsounds.co.uk/info/). All you need to do is credit the artist and provide a link to their work in your video description, which is a nice way for creative people to help each other. Image-wise, Adobe Stock is great for stock-free images and vectors as well as videos, but if you don’t have the funds to pay for their membership, there are plenty other free sites to use. Check them out in this article: (https://blog.hootsuite.com/20-free-stock-photo-sites-social-media-images/). If you’re unsure of anything else, make sure to research it just to cover yourself.

 

Final thoughts…

The final takeaway is to think of your social media marketing as any other business strategy – it’s an important asset for you to attract a bigger audience, increase sales, generate new leads and more! Therefore, always keep in mind that your online presence is a reflection of yourself or your business and make sure to use all the tools at your disposal to up your social media game. Today, we’re lucky to have access to so many resources, and there is no excuse not to promote yourself online. Whatever you think you don’t know, you can learn by research and trial and error!

Panopto: A helpful resource or class inconvenience. By Eryk Gadomski

Prior to 2015 the recordings of lectures for student use was virtually unknown. Students either took their own notes manually, (and maybe typed them up on their Remington) or, if they were absent, were without.  The initiative to attend lectures was therefore strong. The arrival in the last five years of recorded lectures altered all this. Founded in 2007 by William Guttman, William Scherlis, Brad Winney, and Eric Burns, Panopto became the lecture recording software for all universities across the UK. Prestigious universities and companies like Oxford, Newcastle, Yale, Stanford, IBM, Genentech and HSBC are all subscribers. This software is only 10 years old, but it still causes controversy and leaves a bad taste in lecturers’ mouths as though it were made yesterday. When I asked students at the University of Derby to describe Panopto, one word consistently arose – helpful. Panopto has many functions such as video recording, video management, live streaming, quizzing and analytics (Panopto, 2017). All these functions are available at the click of a button. However, are these functions really being used in the day-to-day world?

The main reason that some lecturers will not record their lectures is that they are concerned about attendance, and thus the performance of the class. This could have significant implications for the university itself. However, research into students’ views on lecture recordings provided evidence that live lecture capture did not affect the grades or attendance of students (Bollmeier et al, 2010). Furthermore, students did find the system useful, and would like an increase in lecture recordings on their courses.

In some cases, there will be a small number of individuals who do not attend lectures but engage with the lecture recordings (Chester et al, 2011). However, the main reason for some students engaging with the recordings rather than attending lectures. For example, another possible reason for this is the individual’s mental health. Recently, a YouGov survey revealed that one in four students has reported a mental health illness (Aronin & Smith, 2016). Students who struggle with social interactions or homesickness during their time at the university (Page, 2014) might find it easier to stay at home and still engage with the course content like everyone else. Thus, the debate over whether students will become lazy, and not attend lectures if they are recorded, has more depth and complexity than has ever been previously appreciated. Another piece of research, this time into student perception and academic performance, found a difference in usage of lecture recording between high-achieving and low-achieving students. The high-achieving students fast-forwarded to the sections they wanted to revisit, whereas the low-achieving students listened to the whole recording several times (Owston et al, 2011). Nevertheless, the same study found that lecture recordings were highly regarded by most students, as they offered flexibility as to whether or not to attend classes. 

Personally, as an undergraduate, I do use Panopto to verify my lecture notes and for revision. Furthermore, as some lectures speak very quickly, I value being able to turn to the recordings in my own time to supplements my incomplete notes. This is particularly important in longer, three- and four-hour lectures, when concentration flags.

Overall, lecture recording offers students a variety of options, the most favourably of which is use as a preferred revision resource. Panopto contributes to a positive student experience and thus satisfaction in the degree programme (Larkin, 2010). Sadly, it the potential to be abused, as Panopto offers the chance of lecture flexibility, which could encourage lower student attendance. Although not yet documented by peer reviewed research, Panopto has the potential to be a positive tool in managing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The research to date indicates that students regard lecture recordings either positively or neutrally; but, in the end, the choice as to whether to record lectures will lie with the lecturers themselves.

How to use Microsoft Office 365 at the University of Derby by Cristina Simion

Might be hard to be a new student, but the University of Derby created the UDo platform in order to make our journey easier.

Not sure how to access your account? Google UDo, go to the website and introduce your account details.

The platform provides all the information a student need for their degree- from information about course, personal tutor, fees, timetable, to all the modules materials, and moreover, unlimited access to all the tools Office 365 offers. For accessing it, click on Inbox.

Use it online or download the tools on your computer for free.

The most used tool available is the email, which you, as a student, have been given at the beginning of your first year. That is the place where you keep in touch with your teachers, as well as other services of the university, such as the library or the careers hub.

 

Not so many students are aware of the One Drive Space available for free while studying at the University. Click on OneDrive tool to use it for storing private documents or for sharing projects with your teachers or colleagues. You have the possibility to do group projects and see all the changes that have been made in a document.

You have probably already used before these next three tools, but Office 365 offers you all of them on an online platform, so you do not have to worry about spending time downloading and installing them. The online versions have the same features so you can easily do your projects.

You can choose to save the documents created online, as well as saving a copy on your computer.

 

 

 

 

As a student, managing time can be quite tricky, with all the work you have to do for your classes, the deadlines coming, and maybe on top of you have a job as well. One Note can be your personalised calendar and notebook. Add in all of your notes, tutorials, deadlines, and you can easily have an online agenda which can be accessed from a computer or even your phone.

If you need help understanding how to use this tool, here is a website offering tutorials on each of the available options within One Note:  http://onenoteforteachers.com/en-US/students/ .

 

Fancy blogging? Own a public website or just use it as a platform for your team work. The Share Point is your intranet in your pocket.  You can access internal sites, documents and other information from everywhere, and it is an app available even on your mobile device.

 

Created for those passionate about blogging and publishing, Sway is a tool which helps you to express ideas more interactive. It offers you multiple templates to start with and produce professional designs using any materials you might have, from text, to images and videos, maps and even more. If you need a bit of help in order to start, it has tutorials integrated.

If you want to discover all the tools Office 365 offers, click on its logo and you have the possibility to access them.

If you need help with using any of the available tools, go to https://support.office.com/en-us/office-training-center  and get the help you need in a second.

For video tutorials, you can access https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Office-365-basics-video-training-396b8d9e-e118-42d0-8a0d-87d1f2f055fb .