Avocado Social

LinkedIn’s New Premium Insights

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LinkedIn has launched as new set of tools designed to empower its Premium subscribers to find quicker, richer insights about the companies they want to target and aid them in making informed business decisions.

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Courtesy of LinkedIn & Social Times

The world’s largest professional network, which is soon to be acquired by Microsoft in a historic multi-billion dollar deal, has allowed Business Plus, Sales Navigator and some Talent Solutions subscribers to be able to access a new level of insight into a company’s employees and growth at a glance.

As LinkedIn product leader and strategist Megan Kamil wrote at its launch last week, the uses of Premium Insights ‘‘[…] are limitless. From the market research associate gathering relevant information on key market and competitive landscapes to the investment professional trying to uncover the next ‘hot’ company, this information will be valuable to any business professional”.

Here’s a breakdown of how the new features will help small businesses:

Total employee count

Allows a deeper dive into a company’s growth trends and can be used to identify or qualify investment targets or potential business partners. You can also look at a company’s staff turnover and even where incoming executives are being hired from.

Employee distribution by function

This features allows greater understanding of a company’s structure based on department. You’ll be able to ascertain a company’s stage of growth based on which functions are growing fastest.

New hires

Paints a picture of how fast a company is growing and in which areas, with a focus on the moves of senior management. Uncover breakout companies, new business areas the company is investing in, or gauge seasonal demands based on new hiring trends.

Notable Alumni

Users can see where a company’s former senior talent have been employed, allowing them to identify opportunities with new companies.

Total job openings

Allows users to have a better understanding on how a company plans to grow by function and seniority.

Here at Avocado Social we’re interested to see how the tools develop and the value they add for users. Interested in knowing more about how to successfully use LinkedIn? We’re hosting a FREE webinar on the 14th of July at 1pm where you’ll learn about the opportunities LinkedIn offers for business, explore case studies and the chance to take part in a live Q & A session. Sign up for your free place here.

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Bristol SMWi: Intro to Snapchat & Instagram Stories

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Snapchat and Instagram are both content and storytelling havens with a community of engaged users, ample features and unique DNA that allows you to creatively share in real time.

In this talk, presented by General Assembly at Bristol’s first ever independent Social Media Week, social media guru Alison Battisby will offer best practices, strategies and actionable steps to begin leveraging Snapchat and Instagram Stories for your business or even personal life.


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How To Create Effective Facebook Carousel Ads

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It’s been one year since Facebook introduced their carousel ad format, allowing advertisers to showcase a variety of images that link through to different landing pages. The format, allowing multiple images and links all in one advert, is now available to both advertisers and Facebook users.

Since their release, advertisers have seen carousel link ads drive 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30% lower cost-per-click when compared to single-image link ads.

Allowing you to upload up to five posts, carousel ads gives you the chance to share a variety of content for your audience to enjoy. Take a look at a few examples below:

River Island


River Island took the advert format to promote their latest swimwear collection. The brand uploaded five images from the new collection along with copy with a brief description. The post also includes a clear call-to-action with an emoji for extra character and to stand out.

Ted Baker


Following suit, clothing brand Ted Baker make good use of the carousel ad format as part of their Valentines Day campaign – managing to attract both males and females to their page in order to make a purchase. The brand doesn’t include call-to-action in their copy but go for a witty tone with a link to their website.

There’s much more that you can do with carousel ads. Interact with a call to action button, educate with links to your website content or promote your mobile app. How will you use them? Start by creating your own today (don’t forget your copy!)

Don’t forget to sign up to our FREE webinar to learn the basics of Facebook Advertising – the best way to boost your business and get infront of your target audience!

We’ll be offering some top tips on Thursday 24th March at 1pm.

Grab your spot NOW!

Top Image:Image source

Our Digital Mission to Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn HQs

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It’s not often you get the chance to visit the European Headquarters of 3 of the world’s largest social media networks. So when we were invited to join Enterprise Nation’s Go Global Digital Mission to Ireland we jumped at the chance!

On a very early Thursday morning last week, we joined 40 food and drink businesses on a mission over to Dublin to learn more about exporting to Ireland and using social media to raise awareness of their unique and delicious products.

We wanted to find out what the latest small business advice being offered to startups and growing businesses from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn was. Joining businesses including Creative Nature, Oppo Ice Cream, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee and Bluebird Tea, we headed over the water to sunny Dublin.

First stop was Facebook, where we were taken on a fantastic tour of their partner centre, the top floor of their Dublin office. The area is dedicated to showing off some of the great work Facebook are involved in, including the initiative which aims to get the whole world online. Facebook have even built a drone which flies over Africa beaming out WIFI to hit devices they have provided.

The initiative which really stood out was the work they are doing to enhance blind people’s lives. A Siri-type programme has been developed for blind users, which describes out loud what is being seen in pictures in their newsfeeds. For example “A group of females smiling with balloons”. We saw a video of the system in use which was very moving, as these users had not experienced anyone describing the pictures their friends are posting before, and meant they could suddenly be involved in conversations. Good one Facebook!

Head of SMB EMEA at Facebook, Olivia Leonard then gave a huge informative talk about where Facebook see the main changes and trends are on their platforms, including Instagram and Whatsapp.

Something reiterated again and again was the important move from desktop to mobile for the company, as they find 80% of UK traffic now hits their sites from mobile devices. Every new feature or app is now developed first for mobile, then desktop. They receive 400 million logins a day on mobile.

Other dominant trends include video, which is going from strength to strength as they are receiving more than 4 billion video views a day on Facebook. With the purchase of virtual reality company Oculus Rift, Facebook are working on ways to enhance our lives with artificial intelligence.

We saw some great example of 10-3o second long videos, including this McDonalds’ World Cup campaign. Another great example of how video content has really lifted a campaign was the St John’s Ambulance #TheChokeables campaign, which has saved 38 lives to date. Leonard encouraged the small businesses in the room to have a go with video, just by recording on their smartphones, to really enhance a story and grab a user’s attention in the newsfeed.

Obviously visual content is now king on Facebook, and the memorable advice was that you have less than 3 seconds to make an impression so ensure your content is eye-catching and engaging!

Another of the key takeaways from Facebook’s talk was the ability to tell a good story through your Facebook Page. “Don’t just use Facebook like a billboard,” said Leonard.

Content ideas for the small businesses included:

  • Stories about characters within your business
  • The processes of creating your product
  • Information about your founder or where the idea came from
  • How you take it to market.

This content is all completely authentic and will instantly set you apart from your competitors. The tips are also designed to avoid the conversation on your Facebook Page jarring, which is very important for keeping your loyal and potential customers interested. It was also an honour to sign the famous Facebook Wall, which features in every Facebook office around the world.



We also heard about how offering a personal experience is absolutely key, through the language and images you use. We’ll be touching on this in our upcoming FREE webinar, How to Boost Your Business with Facebook Advertising, on 24th March at 1pm. Sign up here

After our jam-packed experience at Facebook, we were zoomed off to Twitter where we learnt about more specific ways that Ireland use Twitter. We saw some great statistics too about how 76% of Twitter users follow brands and companies, and 1 in 5 follow a brand when making a purchase.

We saw some examples from the likes of ASOS about how to use Twitter’s image collages to showcase products and build brand reputation, as well as learning about the variety of ad placements you can now purchase within the newsfeeds.

Over at LinkedIn, we learnt about how “the cold call is dead” thanks to the wealth of information you can now research about your potential customers and business relationships before making contact. There are 2 billion member updates happening on the platform and 200,000 new Pulse article added every week – so members are using the platform more actively than just an online CV.  Making sure your personal profile is an accurate and credible representation of your business self is key, as we learnt in our recently free webinar on How To Create a Killer Profile.

It was fantastic to hear about the latest trends and statistics from each platform, and to hear how they are advising small business. We were honoured to visit each, but the highlight for us for defintely Facebook who offered fantastic tips as well as impressing us with their brilliant new innovations.

You can see some more pictures from our trip on our Facebook Page here, and take a look at the #GoGlobal hashtag for more content and learnings. A very special thank you to Enterprise Nation for a great experience!


Webinar: How to Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile

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One social media site that often gets overlooked is LinkedIn. But with over 19 million UK users logging into the platform monthly, it’s important to make sure your profile accurately and professionally represents you.


LinkedIn is actually a fantastic way to raise awareness of your business, drum up leads and expand your network. Many HR teams and sales teams are now tapping into their LinkedIn networks to help drive their businesses forward.

We’ve decided to host a free 45 minute webinar to offer you some top tips on how to create a killer LinkedIn profile, that shows up in search and looks fantastic. Our founder Alison will host the webinar, and will be discussing ways to use LinkedIn for searching for leads, join conversations and for standing out against your competitors. There will be a short Q&A at the end.

Register now

Title: Free Webinar: How to Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile
Date: Thursday 25th February 2016
Time: 01:00 PM – 1:45 PM GMT




One Year in Business: What We’ve Learned

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By Alison Battisby, Founder of Avocado Social.

It’s early November, which means Avocado Social has just turned one year old. Happy Birthday to us!

It’s been a fantastic year, working with a whole host of businesses and startups across the UK, hosting social media workshops for companies including Visit Scotland, Etsy and Fellowes and teaching regular social media classes at General Assembly and Enterprise Nation.



It’s gone as quick as lightening so I wanted to take some time to reflect on 5 key learnings which I’ve taken from my first year in business. I hope you enjoy them, and feel free to add your own learnings in the comments below!

1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but learn from them

Running your own business is a complete learning curve and of course you are going to make mistakes, but the key thing is to make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes again. Below are three mistakes I made over the year and how I’ve learned not to make them again:

  • I’ve misjudged how long projects would take: This can be a killer for your business, especially as I hate keeping clients waiting! It means you need to put in extra hours at weekends and evenings to get the work done. Now I make sure I leave some extra time in my diary around the end of a project to ensure it gets finished and delivered within the expected time.
  • I’ve taken on too much work at times: There is a temptation to say yes to everything at first, but I’ve learned that there are only so many hours in a day so you can’t do everything that comes your way. I now make sure I have at least one day at home a week for planning and admin. Yoga is a real help for me as it allows you to switch off, so I make sure I make a minimum of a couple of classes a week.
  • I’ve accepted projects which I don’t have a passion for or interest in: I quickly realised that if I don’t have a passion for the project, then I’d put it off for as long as possible. This isn’t productive nor is it fair to the client, so now I only accept projects which I believe in.

2. Be generous

I like to be generous as I feel it’s a great way to strengthen relationships, and get yourself noticed. Offering free blog content, speaking at events for no fee, and giving free advice are all techniques that have helped me to grow awareness of my business and also win new clients.

3. Utilise social media 

Of course, I am a huge advocate of social media. It’s great to hear that many clients came to me because of my presence on Twitter, or because they had searched on LinkedIn. I received a new business enquiry through my personal Facebook Page recently too! Keep your audience informed of what you are doing in your business, you never know who will be reading it.

4. Outsource to experts

Your time is worth everything, so don’t spend too much time fiddling around with things you simply aren’t good at. I outsource my accounting, my website design and branding, and I have SEO and PR contacts I regularly call upon. Without these businesses and freelancers, I wouldn’t have any time to work on my own clients, nor do I have the expertise to do what they do quickly and efficiently.

I outsource various social media research tasks to my trusted network of experts which I have spent time building relationships with. This for me is far more cost effective than a full time team, and they can plug in as and when I need them. This is a key part of how I have kept the business lean. For more ideas, I’d recommend The Lean StartUp by Eric Ries and Enterprise Nation’s Going for Growth.


5. Give something back

I’ve been very lucky to have had such a great first year of business! It makes me all the more keen to give something back to charity, and to everyone that has supported Avocado Social over the past 12 months.

I’ve decided to offer a free 2-hour social media consultancy in support of BBC’s Children in Need. I will reward the highest donation I receive with a face to face sit down or a Skype session. You can enter here. So please, give what you can – it’s for a great cause!



More than a hashtag: 5 top social media tips for success

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Social media is so much more than a hashtag! Avocado Social Founder Alison Battisby shares her 5 top tips for social media success. If you want to hear Alison’s top advice in person then scroll to the bottom of the page to hear about her upcoming September events. 

Often when brainstorming a social media campaign, the first question asked is ‘What should our hashtag be?’. It’s not wrong to ask the question, but it’s certainly naive to base an entire campaign around a single hashtag. Social media is so much more than that, and a clever hashtag isn’t going to make (or break) a campaign anymore.

A recent interview in Marketing with popcorn brand Propercorn’s design chief perfectly summarised my thoughts when talking about their recent display campaign over London. Becky Akers said: “When we were designing our creative, people told us we needed a hashtag. But we said, actually, if you ask someone to hashtag, they’re probably not going to.”

And it’s worked as #propercorn has been used almost 11,000 times on Instagram, plus they’ve received a constant stream of tweets about their popcorn designs on the London Underground and taking over London buses.


Social media involves giving people a reason to talk about your brand.  If you can come up with great ways to do that, then people will often naturally add a hashtag or look to tag you in a post. With that in mind, I’ve put together my top 5 tips for creating that social media success:

1. Use slick branding 

There’s nothing worse than a badly cropped profile picture, or an out of date Facebook Cover. Take some time to really work on the visual experience that your social media pages create. Use free tools like Canva to make sure you are creating beautiful images that fit within the platform dimensions so no logos or words are badly cropped out.

2. Really get to know your audience 

Take time to listen to your audience. Understand when they are online, how they access social media, what magazines they read, what TV shows they watch, which celebrities they like, what they like or don’t like about your product, etc. etc! This information is so useful for planning your content and choosing the right campaigns.

3. Don’t just talk about yourself

Would you like someone at a dinner party if all they could do was talk about themselves? No! It’s the same in social media; ask questions, provide current or helpful information and have fun! This is what will make you stand out, rather than asking people to buy your products all the time.

4. Win at customer service

The top UK brands are now aiming to reply to customer service enquiries within 1 hour. It might seem unachievable but if you have the apps on your phone you can deal with any feedback on the go. Have a clear plan in place for how you will respond to different complaints, so you’re prepared if you ever get one. Also think about what you might offer your customers as a ‘sorry’. The more personal the better, and I’m a huge fan of handwritten notes like the one Leon sent me. It’s good practice to reward your loyal customers too, whether you are sending goodies to your top tweeters or running regular competitions. Offering rewards is a great way to build customer relationships, and spread brand awareness too.

5. Learn what works

At the end of every month, you should take some time to reviews your channels and understand what worked well. Was it photos or video? Morning or evening posts? Do more people click through to buy on your website from Facebook or Twitter? This is all very useful information for the next month of activity and means you can spend your time focussing on activities that you know will be received well.

Want more tips? Well you’re in luck! I’m hosting a PR & Social Media Workshop for Startups on 10th September at Central Working in London. Rebecca Burn-Callander, Enterprise Editor for The Daily Telegraph who will be sharing her wisdom about pitching to journalists. Book tickets now via Eventbrite and if you’re quick you will get the earlybird rate!

Looking for some more advanced guidance, such as content planning, Facebook advertising and the latest trends in social media customer service? Then book your place at the Avocado Social Advanced Social Media Workshop on 3rd September in London for a full day of learning and sharing.

See you in September!