The Tremendous 10 (best podcasts of the moment)

Tremendous 10The ten best podcasts of the moment for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Unless you are a) an infant, b) an alien, or c) an infant alien, you will no doubt be so obsessed with listening to podcasts that you barely have time to eat before new episodes of Hamish & Andy, The Moth and *insert preference here* demand your attention.

Yeah, we hear you.

With literally thousands of new podcasts from around the world being lobbed onto iTunes every week, on topics as diverse as foodie culture, cultured foodies, travelling without shoes, political satire (isn’t all politics satirical?), psychology and social media strategy to name but a few, the choice is endless. It’s like the world’s biggest kitchen, chock full of delicious morsels, all waiting to be hoovered up by your ears!

Alas, not everything in this kitchen lives up to expectation. There’s the odd can of Dairy Whip masquerading as King Island Double Cream to contend with. And we all know that’s not good for anyone’s health! With so much choice, is it possible to bypass the canned crap and go straight to quality content that is relevant to you and your business?

It sure is!

Scootalicious has been prowling the podwaves on your behalf and we’ve come up with the Tremendous 10 to help you sort the fluff from the rough and turn all that aural stimulation into mental penetration.

(Note: By the very nature of the Scootalicious blog it should be no surprise that we’ve chosen podcasts aimed at entrepreneurs, small business owners, arty types and wunderkinds!)

So, without further ado, we give you the TREMENDOUS 10.

 

# 1. Reputation Revolution

Presented by:   Trevor Young 
Main focus:        Personal branding and thought leadership
Streams from:  Melbourne

Clearly we love this guy because he’s number one on our list! Here’s why. Trevor is a self-described “PR warrior on the frontline of the communications revolution” and it’s clear he loves what he does. His interviews with industry leaders and influencers around the world are packed with valuable insights and practical strategies to help professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their sphere of influence. If you want to be a go-to person in your industry, a thriving small business operator, or an entrepreneur whose thought leadership credentials attract as much publicity as your enterprise, you’d better crack on and subscribe to Reputation Revolution. We also highly recommend Trevor’s previous podcast, The Connected Brand, which delves into content marketing and social media strategy, and despite the odd sound quality issue, is a terrific listen.

#2. Chat 10 Looks 3 

Presented by:    Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb
Main focus:        Books, TV, movies, politics, food, amusing anecdotes and witticisms, and plenty more
Streams from:  Sydney

For viewers of ABC TV, this duo need no introduction. For the non-initiated, Leigh Sales presents the hard-hitting current affairs program, 7.30 (and is also handy with a piano and a show tunes songbook), while Annabel Crabb (who appears to have no musical acuity whatsoever) pops up on so many of Aunty’s programs it’s hard to pin her down to just one. She also writes frequently for Fairfax. Needless to say, these acclaimed journalists and firm friends have swags of stories to tell and by jove they do an amusing job of it on Chat 10 Looks 3. Not only will you laugh out loud frequently, you’ll also say “well I never” quite a lot, and will glean some great material to regale friends with at your next dinner party!

#3. Small Business Big Marketing

Presented by:    Timbo Reid
Main focus:        Just what the name says
Streams from:  Melbourne

Timbo Reid is not only a champion marketer, he’s also a champion podcaster. With nearly 250 episodes under his belt he’s been honing his craft since way back in 2009 when most people thought podcasts were a type of pea. Timbo has achieved massive global recognition since then and his podcast now represents one of the most insightful and comprehensive online resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Calling himself Timbo, not Tim, is a big clue that he’s a happy guy, and his delivery is infectiously upbeat – just try being in a bad mood after one of his shows! In addition, his voluminous knowledge of marketing and ability to attract quality people onto the show, make Small Business Big Marketing a must-subscribe podcast for anyone involved in running a business.

#4. Online Marketing Made Easy

Presented by:    Amy Porterfield
Main focus:        Social media strategy with an emphasis on Facebook marketing
Streams from:  USA

Amy is a legend in the social media community and co-authored the book ‘Facebook Marketing for Dummies’. Her podcasts offer practical tips to help small businesses and entrepreneurs grow without spending a fortune. YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and others all get the Amy treatment and you’ll soon see why so many social media marketers and  business owners recommend this podcast.

#5. Brand Newsroom

Produced by:     Lush Digital Media
Main focus:        Content marketing and brand journalism
Streams from:  Perth, WA

At around 20 minutes long, Brand Newsroom podcasts are not only packed with great commentary about innovations and trends in brand journalism and content marketing, but are the perfect length to slot in when driving to meetings, commuting to work or walking the dog. Produced in Perth, there is nothing colloquial about Brand Newsroom. It has a distinctly global flavour as the panel – from Australia, the UK and the US – discuss issues of the day that affect how businesses communicate with their audiences.

#6. The Bugle

Presented by:    John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman
Main focus:        Satirical social and political commentary, cricket (it’s funny side – yes, it has one!), general mirth and pop culture
Streams from:  London (Andy’s home) and New York (John’s home)

Anyone who has seen John Oliver’s sardonic rants on Last Week Tonight or The Daily Show will know they are in for a feast of satirical high-wit and mockery on this podcast. As for sidekick Andy Zaltzman, a relative stranger in these parts prior to touring Australia with his show Satirist for Hire in March 2015, he is not only the funniest big hair guy in the business, but also the most unlikely cricket fan. Check out his blog The Confectionery Stall where he clean bowls the game with more satirical spin than Warney during one of his 7-wicket hauls! Oliver and Zaltzman are a knockout tag-team and you can expect plenty of high notes and very little B-flat from this bugle!

#7. Background Briefing

Presented by:    ABC Radio National
Main focus:        Investigative journalism, current affairs and political issues of the day
Streams from:  Canberra and Sydney

High quality investigations of issues affecting Australians, including politics, terrorism, domestic violence, science and technology, sport, health and everything in between. Shows are recorded weekly by various ABC journalists with an emphasis on unbiased reportage of a wide range of issues and hot topics. If you want the facts, sans political spin and obfuscation, you want Background Briefing.

#8. The Weekly Hour

Presented by:    Various 
Main focus
:         Satirical political and social commentary brimming with youthful exuberance
Streams from:   Melbourne

A witty and insightful deconstruction of all things #auspol, with plenty of tongues in cheeks being wagged at public figures of all political stripes. You’ll laugh, cry, wince and groan in equal measure…and that’s just in the first 5 minutes! The joie de vivre of youth bounces off the speakers of this podcast like a bus-load of uni students dressed up for O week. And what could be better than being made to feel young again!

#9. The Moth Podcast

Presented by:    Various
Main focus:        True stories, unscripted, up close and personal
Streams from:  New York

The Guardian says, “it’s brilliant and quietly addictive”, while The Wall Street Journal calls it, “New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket”. Lofty praise indeed, and with good reason. The Moth Radio Show launched in 1997 with one aim – to immerse New Yorkers in the art of storytelling by broadcasting real people, telling true stories, unscripted. The show’s runaway success has brought the avant-garde to the masses. The Moth Podcast offers bite-sized chunks of the radio show so those of us in far-flung lands can savour a little piece of The Big Apple any old time we like.

#10. Vinyl Soul

Presented by:    Aiden Grant
Main focus:        Music, musicians, chat
Streams from:  Adelaide, SA

Here’s one for the music buffs. Presenter Aiden G works on commercial radio in Adelaide but don’t let that deter you. His musical tastes are as broad as commercial radio is narrow, and he dedicates the fledgling Vinyl Soul podcast to “the soundtrack of our lives”. Although still a pup with only 6 episodes under its vinyl-coated belt, the inclusion of Morgan Bain, front man for 90s alternative rockers Everclear, in episode 4, was all this writer needed to include Vinyl Soul in the Tremendous 10.

3 easy ways to listen and subscribe to podcasts:

1. Open iTunes on your desktop or mobile device, select podcasts and subscribe straight from there
2. Get the Podcast App from the App Store or Google Play
3. Click on the links provided above to visit individual podcast websites

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So 2015, what you got for us?

Here we are, three weeks into January already and I’m wondering how the festive season flew by so quickly. For most of us, fabulous summer holidays at the beach are but a distant memory. Perhaps, like me, you’ve stubbornly resisted the urge to wash the sand off your thongs in a vain attempt to deny reality, but on the whole, it’s all work work work.

Bugger! Never mind though, Scoot has been hovercrafting over that other tropical paradise – known as the web – on your behalf and has compiled this list of really cool social media and content marketing tips and trends to help skyrocket your business in 2015. No need to thank us, just share the article instead. And of course give us a shout if you need a hand with any of it. There’s a good poppet!

  1. Two words … video baby!

    Video is now the most shared medium on social media. ReelSEO reported that in 2014 there were 75% more videos uploaded to Facebook than in 2013. If that doesn’t impress you, this will. Facebook users watch a staggering 1 billion videos every day, 65% of them on mobile devices. According to IT giant Cisco, video will account for 70% of all internet traffic by 2017. Clearly then, if you’re not using video as part of your digital content offering, you are dudding yourself out of a vast bucket of potential followers, advocates and customers.

    Don’t panic. We’re not talking epics like Ben Hur. Short and sweet is definitely best. 15 seconds on Instagram, 6 seconds on Vine or up to a couple of minutes on other channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and Twitter. By all means make longer films, but if you want people to actually watch them you’ll need to put the effort into creating a slick and engaging production. Lights, camera, action!

  2. Pictures paint a thousand words.

    You’ve never heard that before, right? Well, cliché or not, a great photo will beat a great essay every time. Which isn’t to say don’t write and share essays and other wordy content, but be sure to include an eye-catching image or two to entice readers. Even Twitter’s truncated format responds to a bit of photo love, with posts containing an image statistically more likely to be retweeted than those without. Yes, you do sacrifice around 20 of your 140 characters by adding an image, but wouldn’t you rather your posts were shared? In a nutshell, society has become steadfastly image-driven, so make it easy on yourself and give the people what they want.

  3. Be as smart as your Smartphone. In fact, be smarter!

    Mind boggling as it may be, 1 billion people will access the Internet exclusively from mobile devices in 2015. That is a huge number of people to ignore, which is effectively what you are doing if you haven’t gotten around to making your website ‘responsive’ yet (which means it automatically detects whether visitors are using a desktop computer, mobile phone or tablet, and adjusts the layout accordingly). Put another way, if your website doesn’t work properly on Smartphones and tablets, you can kiss goodbye to 1 billion potential customers. So, if that isn’t 1 billion reasons to take action, I don’t know what is!

  4. Driftnet prospecting is out, targeted content marketing is in.

    Forget the old 10% rule of mass mailouts to your entire contact database in the hope of scoring a few hits through sheer weight of numbers. Aside from the obvious wasted effort, such ‘driftnet marketing’ methods can be irritating and spammy for recipients, and damaging to your brand. Thanks to social media, you can now identify people with some degree of interest in your brand, product or service, and market specifically to them. As an added bonus, analytics allows you to easily measure the success of digital campaigns so you know exactly what return on investment (ROI) you are getting every step of the way. Happy days!

  5. You get what you pay for.

    Yep, time to wave bye bye to unlimited free publicity across the social media universe. Facebook’s departure from allowing business pages to share content with followers for free was widely reported in 2014. By tweaking the site’s algorithms, content now reaches less than 1% of followers organically (ie for free). So if you want your posts to reach as many of your Facebook fans as possible (of course you do), you’ll need to allocate some budget towards paying to ‘boost’ posts. No need to boost every post, unless you’ve got deep pockets, because fans sharing your brilliant posts will do some of the grunt work for you (so make sure they are indeed brilliant!). But you’ll certainly want to boost the big stuff like product launches, sales, fundraising initiatives and events, to make sure people don’t miss them.

    The good news is it’s really easy to specify how much you’d like to spend, for how long, and on which posts etc. And it’s economical in the scheme of things. The bad news is, well, it used to be free and now it isn’t! Other channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are heading the same way, but for the time being at least, you can still reach up to 20% of those audiences without paying for advertising.

Everything you ever wanted to know about hashtags

Back in 12th century Italy, an entrepreneurial friar named Allessandro della Spina launched a revolutionary new product to help people see a little better. Although rudimentary by today’s standards, his ‘eyeglasses’ were a game-changer.

Suddenly, smashed thumbs from errant blacksmithing irons and pricked pinkies from misjudged sewing needles became solely the domain of the clumsy. People with less than 20/20 vision could now differentiate between a tuppence and a thruppence – or the Medieval Italian equivalent – thus saving themselves a pauper’s fortune in miscounted disbursements. And best of all, long-sighted lovers could gaze into one another’s eyes and actually see who they were looking at. A pleasing development, most of the time!

If Twitter had been around there would undoubtedly have been a frenzy of hashtags to celebrate the arrival of eyeglasses: #notblind #ICanSee #NoMoreBlackThumbs #DidntRealiseHubbyWasSoUgly. That last one is unkind, but you get the drift. The topic would have trended for weeks.

Fast forward 800 or so years, and today hashtags give us infinitely greater vision than eyeglasses ever could. If social media is the mouthpiece of the masses – and only a fool would suggest otherwise – hashtags are its eyes and ears.

Excuse me, I’ve been living under a rock. What are hashtags?

In a nutshell, if you stick a hashtag (#) in front of a word or phrase (as per the litany of examples throughout this blog post), it will then be searchable (and stumble-onto-able) by others on that particular social media network.

As an example, if you posted a tweet containing #auspol (the tag for Australian politics) and I then typed #auspol into the Twitter search bar, your tweet (along with any others using the #auspol tag) would show up in my results – even if I wasn’t following you. If I liked your post I would check out your profile and hopefully start following you, and ideally others would do the same.

Bingo. One relevant hashtag, many new followers!

(Note that cross-platform searches are not possible, you can only search Twitter from Twitter, Facebook from Facebook, etc.)

Too easy. But why bother? People can find me through Google

Yes they can. If they know what they are looking for … and you have a strong Google ranking at the top of page one … and you don’t mind being overlooked by new audiences who might have found you had you used hashtags in your posts … and who as a result go to one of your competitors … and … I could go on you know!

Okay, I get it. So when is it best to use hashtags?

Any old time. Hashtags can be used within posts, or as an adjunct to them, like the examples below. Rarely should hashtags be used on their own. Rather, they should accompany a passage of meaningful text, ideally with an image, video or link to round out the post and pique maximum interest from readers.

The main benefit of hashtags is to enable you to quickly find relevant posts on a chosen social media network, from known and unknown sources, without having to wade through loads of irrelevant content.

The above example uses hashtags as part of the message 

This example uses hashtags as an adjunct to the message 

Other ways you might use hashtags are to project your mood to the world (#tiredandemotional), or your political views (#MyCatForPM), your preferred brands (#levis101), a classy restaurant (#notKFC) or a shambolic flight check-in (#NoUpgradeForMe).

You can also use hashtags to search for stuff (#melbournevolcanoes), participate in TV or online forums like ABC’s Q&A program (#qanda), join in the conversation at an event (#hillsfestival) or to monitor a crisis such as a bush fire, cyclone or even a missing airliner (check out #MH370 to see what I mean).

Finally, you can create your own personalised hashtags to promote events, products, launches or whatever, that relate to your organisation. Say your company, XYZ, was holding a conference. You could advise delegates to tweet or post questions and comments to #XYZconference. Not only would the unique hashtag make comments easy to find and respond to, but if enough people got on board you may even find your own event trending on social media – what a coup that would be!

Which social media channels use hashtags?

Most of the popular social media channels now support hashtags, including Twitter (the originator), Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest and others. This means searching for things, promoting your own products and causes, creating that elusive flurry of excitement known as a trending topic, and being generally more efficient in your use of social media are easier than ever. Interestingly, after initially jumping on the bandwagon, LinkedIn have now dropped hashtags from their repertoire. Likewise it’s been widely reported that adding hashtags to Facebook posts may actually reduce engagement (go figure!).

Remember to use analytics to help you identify popular keywords that are relevant to your organisation as well as your target audience. Combining hashtags and keywords in an appropriate way will help you attract new followers. This doesn’t mean sticking #angelinajolie at the end of a post about community banking just to attract zillions of eyeballs – trust me, people are smarter than to fall for that old chestnut! Suffice to say, analytics is a crucial part of any successful digital communications strategy and a future edition of Scootalicious will cover it in greater detail, but it would be remiss not to touch on it here.

What not to do

You certainly don’t want to overdo it by ‘hashtag stuffing’ – which means posting a string of #too #many #hashtags #and #no #actual #caption. These types of posts are an abuse of hashtags and an eyesore, and should be avoided at all costs. People do this in the belief that their posts will turn up in more searches and result in more followers, however I find it crass and would never follow or like a business that used such methods. As with all things in life, moderation is the key.

These are just some of the ways to use hashtags. For others, consult your imagination or check out what’s ‘trending’ on Facebook or Twitter to get up close and personal with topics ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.

As for dear departed Friar Allessandro, were he still around he might offer this sage advice: #Don’t #be #a #dinosaur #hashtags #make #your #content #roar #!

…or maybe not!

The Scootalicious Blog

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What is the Scootalicious blog?

Good question. I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not a blog about cooking, though you’ll see plenty of talk of food. It’s not a blog about banking, but it will certainly seek to help you make a quid or two. It’s not a charity, though it is a voice for the power of social good. And it’s not a blog about technology per se, although tech and social media savvy readers can expect plenty of worthy commentary.

Okay, so that clears up what it isn’t, so what is it then?

Scootalicious is a fresh take on communicating in an age where people check their social media feeds before they even get out of bed. We all want to know what went down during those fateful hours when we were sleeping. How many Facebook friends liked our photo of last night’s dinner? What’s trending on Twitter? How many #sunrise photos have been grammed in the 25 minutes since dawn?

These are not just first world questions, these are everywhere questions. But with so much chatter on so many channels creating so much confusion, not to mention controversy, are we all slowly going the way of Randle McMurphy as he slid towards mindless oblivion in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”?

How do we harness the best of social media while being mindful of its pitfalls? What strategies are there for attracting followers and converting them into advocates and customers, while sending trolls and detractors through to the keeper? Why is it important to repurpose content to different social media channels, and to post your best content – such as videos and key milestones – more than once?

We can’t ask Jack Nicholson these questions because he’s a bit of a dinosaur and isn’t on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even LinkedIn (is he crazy – how does he get through the day?). No matter, Scootalicious to the rescue!

The Scootalicious blog will give you the tools to tap into new audiences and strengthen relationships with existing ones. It aims to help people talk – and listen – to their customers, their clients, their supporters and their peers. Scootalicious is broad of topic and edgy of viewpoint, and will always seek to inform readers as factually as possible about the matter at hand. Which isn’t to say a bit of bias won’t creep in from time to time. After all, what’s the point of having editorial licence if you’re not willing to use it on occasion?

Best of all, Scootalicious will give you a few minutes of respite every week when it drops into your inbox. So don’t dilly dally, subscribe via the sign-up box at the bottom of this page so you don’t miss a single post!