Tag: twitter

Twitter management tips – what you can learn from an Australian actor

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Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Look at the top celebrities on Twitter and take note of what makes them great to follow. They tweet frequently, talk about their personal lives as well as their work, and even chat with fans. You don’t need to be an ‘A’ list Hollywood celebrity to be popular on social media; you just need to follow a set of basic rules.

A homegrown example of top notch Twitter practices comes from Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars host Daniel MacPherson (@DanMacPherson). The former Neighbours actor has been popular on television for a number of years, and is now popular on Twitter too, with nearly 65,000 followers.

Twitter success is not just for actors and musicians; it’s available to industry leaders, professionals, athletes, and more. Twitter offers individuals and businesses alike the opportunity to chat about numerous topics, interact with followers and promote themselves.

What makes Daniel a Twitter pro?

Frequent tweets: Daniel tweets as Dancing with the Stars airs to get maximum interaction with fans and stay topical. He also tweets frequently in general, which creates and conveys excitement and liveliness, that what he’s doing is interesting and you should be interested.

Takeaway:  It’s common for people to use social media while watching television, so tweeting about a show or news story is a way to relate with fans through common interests. Tweeting frequently will give followers much more information on a subject and give them more to read, more reason to be interested, and thus more reason to follow.

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Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Use hashtags and @mentions: Being connected with a program or community has its benefits – as Daniel regularly uses the @DancingAu and #DancingAu identifiers in his tweets.

Takeaway: Using @ and # works in two ways – @mentions let others know you are talking about them (greater chance of a retweet), and hashtags add your tweet to a topic feed to be seen by others, eg. #DancingAU. There will always be relevant hashtags for you to use, no matter what industry you are in.

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Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Retweet and reply: Daniel regularly retweets content related to his work and hobbies, to show support to other twitter users and keep followers up to date with his activities and interests. He replies very often to follower tweets, which keeps fans happy and shows that he is a genuine, down to earth guy.

Takeaway: always reply to follower questions and comments in an appropriate manner. By replying, you let people know that you are happy to interact with them and shows respect to your followers. Similarly, retweeting someone else’s content will give them a warm, fuzzy feeling, and you might get an RT in return.

Show what makes you interesting: Daniel has a large following because he is on a popular TV show, but he also uses Twitter to showcase his travels in Australia and the USA, as well as his passion for Triathlon.

Takeaway: By tweeting about a broad range of topics, you give more fans a way to relate to you. In this way you can promote your other interests or activities, as well as your work. When fans can connect with you on a number of topics, it makes it easier to grow a following of engaged fans who will keep an interest in you as your life and career changes.

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Image via twitter.com/DanMacPherson

Get visual: Daniel uploads interesting images from online, behind the scenes at Dancing with the Stars, his Instagram account, as well as links to videos he enjoys on YouTube.

Takeaway: The latest Twitter update means users will now see Twitter photos and Vine videos in the news feed without having to expand them. Pictures uploaded through Twitter and Twitpic are more likely to be retweeted (94% and 64% respectively). Capture your followers’ attention with pictures and videos that tell them what’s happening in your world.

Practicing these good Twitter habits will help you to get the most out of the platform and make yourself worth following. Using Twitter doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, but if you feel like you are struggling or don’t know where to start, a social media consultant can help you to become a Twitter pro. Ask us about how we can help you be successful on social media, and stay tuned for our next post on Facebook strategy.

The Pros and Cons of Facebook #hashtags

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#Hashtags

Just in case you’re not sure how they work, hashtags turn words and phrases into clickable links. When a user clicks on a hashtag, it will take them to a list of posts featuring that particular hashtag so they can find similar stories, updates and follow trending topics.

Facebook added hashtags to their network back in June, and since then a number of pros and cons have been noted.

Pros:

Allows you to include and associate your update with a topic of conversation, as you would with Instagram and Twitter. For instance, if you wanted to tell people more about your location, you could add #Adelaide to your content.

You could develop a hashtag for your business, eg. #AdelaideCoffeeHouse, and encourage your Facebook fans to use the hashtag when they check-in or post about your business. This would allow you to see and reply to content with #AdelaideCoffeeHouse.  As your hashtag serves as an online word of mouth tool, it would be a good idea to acknowledge and reward fans who use it.

Using hashtags will be beneficial if you have connected accounts, as the tag will be live across multiple networks, including Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

Cons:

As there have been some months to examine the effect of hashtags on post reach, Edgerank Checker conducted a study and found that the use of hashtags did not increase the organic reach of a post. Further to that, posts without hashtags had more viral reach than those with hashtags. Edgerank Checker’s conclusions to this were that the lack of increase in reach could simply stem from users not clicking on hashtags, especially when they were used in conjunction with promotional content (which often receives less engagement, clicks and therefore, reach).

Facebook’s response to Edgerank Checker’s report pretty much sums up how you should approach the use of social media – with quality content:

“Pages should not expect to get increased distribution (what some call virality) simply by sticking irrelevant hashtags in their posts. The best thing for Pages (that want increased distribution) to do is focus on posting relevant, high quality-content — hashtags or not. Quality, not hashtags, is what our News Feed algorithms look for so that Pages can increase their reach.”

Thus far, Facebook don’t really seem to have put a lot of effort into making hashtags work as well as they do on Twitter. Maybe users aren’t used to it yet and are not sure of what to expect, or maybe they just don’t fit in with Facebook-style conversation. Hopefully Facebook will add a ‘trending topics’ feature to make it easier for users to follow what interests them, and for brands to join in the conversation. Currently, to use hashtags well on Facebook you would need to follow them closely, and as suggested before, follow up with fans that use them.

If you do use hashtags, use them sparingly – #no #one #enjoys #reading #a #sentence #that #looks #like #this.  Pick hashtags relevant to your conversation or topic, or even create on specifically for your business or promotion (just check that no one else is using it first!) Again, a custom hashtag would be ideal for use across connected platforms.

Tell us your thoughts, do you use or would consider using hashtags on Facebook? Leave a comment below or join our conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

 

 

 

The 5 Principles for Social Media Success

Shaun and I sat down to chat about the 5 principles of social media success and a range of solutions for implementing these principles. This video and presentation are a follow-on from our previous blog post and companion to an upcoming seminar we will be running.

Tell us what you think, and as always, let us know if you need advice or further information.

[slideshare id=22689137&doc=the5principlesforsocialmediasuccess1-130609045350-phpapp01]

The 5 Key Principles to a Successful Social Media Strategy

Like with any business, there are 5 key principles that will set you apart from your competition if you want to be successful with your social media. The game may have changed but the rules are still the same.
Identify – It is important to understand that before you even begin, you need to know who your target market is. Now this is not just the basics of age, sex, location, income etc but more about what makes your target market tick. What are the characteristics of target market, how to they behave, what will make them take action? Ultimately the point of your social media is to engage and to do that you have to know how to speak the right language and to do that you need to know in depth knowledge about your customer base. Otherwise your messages are going to fall short or miss the mark all together. Even though you may have identified that women between the ages of 25-54 with an average income of $65,000 pa are your market, your communication may not connect with them and all your efforts will be largely lost.

Locate – Next is to be able to locate this target market online, what social media channels best suit them. Just because Facebook is the largest, it doesn’t necessarily make it the most effective. With so much communication Facebook is great losing its cut through to the end user for businesses trying to get their message heard. So on top of having the right message you also now need to think about if it is even being heard. Torrents of messages from friends, businesses and others are constantly streaming to people walls and in boxes and without investment in advertising Facebook is becoming increasingly difficult to get any ROI. So perhaps Pinterest or YouTube may be better or, dare I say it, a good old fashioned email. Yes email is a social network albeit very sterile, it is a form of communication that can be shared and forwarded. Many believe that mail is making resurgence due to its cut through to the end user, allowing them to make a decision and not be confused with other social media messages.

Infiltrate – Once you located and defined your target market you can then start to infiltrate them through engaging and informative content that leaves them with the subtle feeling that “this business understands me and my needs”. This infiltration process is what breaks down the walls of distrust and opens the doors of trust. To become a knowledge base in your industry will encourage users to stop and listen to what you have to say, to comment, to share and to interact and that is what makes social media so important. I am more likely to use the services of a referral from someone I trust.

Educate – The process of engaging with your target market is the process of education. Why should I believe you? Why should I use your services and not someone else’s? Why should I trust you? How do I know you know what you are doing and what my needs are? Social media allows you to do this by not only allowing you to deliver your message to people who want to listen but also by the sharing of your content with other who may want or need your products or services.

Convert – Finally once all the previous steps are in place your target market are in the prime place for you to convert them. Your message is clear, you are contacting them in the right place and they are in need of the product or services you offer and you are someone who they can trust that knows what they are doing. All these pieces now fit together and the conversion process becomes relatively simple as they have been given the opportunity to engage with you without being sold to. This is fundamentally what is so attractive about social media as a form of business.
Now all this doesn’t happen overnight. Too many people believe that social media is an event when in fact it is a journey. If you expect to see the results straight away then you don’t understand how to be sociable and you probably lack social skills yourself. An analogy I like to use when I describe this is as follows. When you go to a networking event or a party you are not likely to know anyone and in some cases you may not know anyone at all. Let’s assume you know no one, you don’t go in there and suddenly expect to magically know everyone, you have to take your time to walk the room and introduce yourself, you tell people about yourself and you find out about them. Some people will like you and some won’t, some will remember you and some won’t but it didn’t happen by clicking your fingers and neither does it happen by clicking your mouse button. In fact you will likely have to attend to multiple events and parties before people remember you depending on how well you engaged with them.
So remember the 5 principles of Social Media are just like meeting people in real life, you need people to warm to you and build relationships with them before you can expect them to want to know more about you and to use your services.

Getting started with social media for business

Getting started with social media can be daunting for many businesses. You may not know where to start, which networks you should be using or how to get the most out of those networks.
Most businesses use social media because it is free (or low cost) with the added benefits of being able to personalise your message and content and monitor performance through analytics.

Importance of social media for businesses

Why is social media important for your business? Social media enables you to connect with current and potential customers online. You can use social networks like mini websites to display information such as products and services, contact info, and opening hours.

Social networks enable you to be social and build your online community to spread positive word of mouth about your business. You can join Groups on Facebook to chat with other business owners to swap ideas and make connections. If your business has a store or office, tell customers about your social networks, ask them to ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ you and help spread the word.

Your social networks allow you to ‘listen’ to what your customers want, and what they are saying about your brand. Importantly, you can use social media to maintain online customer service. Are your customers or fans posting questions or comments to your networks? Respond! Always respond to customer questions in a timely and professional matter. If you are receiving negative feedback, respond calmly and ask how you can rectify the situation. Your social networks are for reputation management as much as they are for community building and driving sales. Remember, what is on the Internet is there forever, so be careful what you post.

Find out what your customer’s wants and needs are through keyword searches, monitoring groups and reading forums. Say you own a bakery and you have seen a post on a group for Mums asking for suggestions on the best place to buy a birthday cake. You can jump right in and tell that person (and the group) about your services.

If you have a website (which you should), social media will help improve your search engine rankings, making it easier for customers to find you when they Google you! Share content from your site on your social media networks and encourage your fans to share it too.

Which social networks should you be using and how can you use them?

Deciding which social networks to use depends on your business, your target market and what you want to achieve from using those networks. If you sell power tools, you may not have much success on Pinterest, but find Twitter more useful.

Make sure you cross-pollinate your social network posts. Link your accounts so your Facebook posts are sent to Twitter, and vice versa, your Instagram pictures show up on Facebook, etc. It’s all about building your network and being seen more easily.

Customise your social networks, upload a profile picture of yourself or your logo and post good quality pictures for cover photos, background photos etc. so fans know who you are. Make sure all your contact information, links to your website and other sites are included in all your profiles.

Give your fans an incentive and reward for ‘Liking’ or ‘Following’ you – run a competition or offer through social media, just make sure you adhere to the terms and conditions of the site you are using. Facebook has strict rules about running competitions and require the use of third party apps.

Facebook: the all rounder.

A great starting point is always going to be Facebook – it’s your one stop shop for uploading photos, videos, text posts, joining groups, providing business details and contact info, etc. Facebook is becoming less friendly to brands in terms of limiting the visibility of posts so you need to work hard to create and share quality content.

Make sure your Facebook page has a personal touch, add photos and videos of yourself, your staff, what you’re up to, events, and more. Ask questions; find out what your customers want. Encourage content sharing and recommendations to promote your business.

Twitter: listen and learn

Not everyone is a fan of Twitter, but it can be a fantastic tool for networking, and allows you to ‘listen’ to customers more easily than on Facebook.

The Twitter news feed is not organised like Facebook’s is, it’s a constant stream of tweets so there’s a few things you need to do to make the most out of it. You’ve got 140 characters to play with but the tweets that get the most interactions are between 70-100 characters. Keep it concise and write it like a newspaper headline – you want to get people’s attention!

Use hashtags to join in on conversations and allow your tweets to be found more easily. Like Facebook, you can use the search function to follow keywords and join conversations to network and tell people about your business.

Don’t forget to use pictures and video in tweets – people respond more strongly to visual content and are more likely to click on your tweet if it has something interesting to look at.

You Tube: show off and educate

As any marketer will tell you, visual content is king. You can take advantage of video hosting sites to create content which can be shared on other networks to show your personality, and tell customers who you are and what your are all about.

Use any variety of video hosting sites: YouTube, Vimeo, Tout, Vine, Live Stream, etc. to promote your products, instruct and educate customers, demonstrate your expertise, and more. No matter what your budget, you can make a video with your webcam or hire a professional, just get creative and don’t ignore the power of video.

Always include strong keywords in video titles and tags to make sure they can be found by people looking for what you have to offer.

Pinterest & Instagram: show and inspire

The rising stars of social media, Pinterest and Instagram, are excellent for putting a personal touch on your brand and really connecting with people on a personal level. Use these networks to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at your business, get creative and have fun with it.

Businesses with strong visual content should be using these sites – bold, bright pictures are perfect for inspiring your customers and keeping your brand top of mind. Let’s use the bakery example again: you can upload pictures of delicious treats and tell customers where they to buy them. Pinterest is especially useful in its ability to drive referral traffic back to your website.
Like with other networks – be social. Use hashtags, pin and repin, respond to comments, and reach out to others users to create a vibrant community.

The final word

Get started! If you haven’t started using any social media networks, do it now. Why miss out on an opportunity to grow your business and connect with customers?

Remember, building an online community takes time, but it is totally worth it. Give it a go and if you need help or have any questions, we’ll be happy to assist!