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Optimise Your Twitter Profile

First impressions count

Twitter can often be the first place where someone sees your brand online. Whether by a retweet, a hashtag or a search, if someone happens to come across your profile, you want it to be the best representation of your brand as possible. Have your logo and any other usable graphics you have associated with your brand on your Twitter profile.

Branding

It often pays off more to design yourself specific cover photo and background with your company colours, logo and any essential information you want to show off, as it were. Designing a cover photo for your profile using the specific dimensions and size guides will ensure that your image is positioned just how you want it. Remember that a profile image is 81 x 81 px, and a cover photo is 520 x 260 px. Unfortunately the Twitter background isn’t responsive, so how it is viewed will depend on the screen being looked at. Having something simple that represents your brand through a certain colour scheme or pattern will work well on all devices.

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Bio

Your bio is also a very important factor, especially when it comes down to whether or not someone decides to follow your account. If your profile appears in a list, then your bio is the main thing people will see, and will inevitably be how they judge you. Be brief, but not too vague. You only have 160 characters to describe exactly who you are, what you do and your style.

To fully take advantage of the bio, you should be aware that words you have written in there will also help you show up on the search engines. If there is a specific term, key word or phrase you want people to find you with, then your bio is a good place to include it. You can also make use of hashtags in your bio as this automatically enhances your search optimisation when someone uses the same hashtag to search with, but these aren’t essential to being found

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How do people find you on Twitter?

If someone has searched for your name on Twitter, you want to be the first one to come up.

Your account name, sometimes referred to as a ‘handle’, should be recognisable, easy to remember and relevant to your company. Seeing as you’re only allowed 15 characters, your company name might be too long to have as on your account. The best thing to do in this situation is to come up with a witty and or recognisable abbreviation of your name. Take, for instance, the account pictured below, instead of having @marchofthemermaids, @Mermaids_March is more condensed and still gets across the two main words of the organisation.

Who to Follow

Try not to follow too, too many accounts as this can come across rather desperate. Following more accounts than the amount that follow you is however, very normal and expected, especially for someone who’s just starting out on Twitter. Just keep it in moderation, (say a two to one ratio) and only follow relevant accounts to your cause. Follow people that are likely to interact with you as well, as Twitter can get rather boring if your Tweets just get lost in the over-crowded bustle of a famous account. The purpose of being on social media and creating a presence for your brand is to get seen- keep this in mind when posting and choosing who to follow.

Following local people and businesses as well as influential accounts to keep your feed useful, relevant and easy to communicate with.

Overall, whatever colours, logos and branding you do use and whatever you put in your bio – you should always have one thing at the front of your action plan and the top of your mind: your brand values and your social media objectives!

If you are aware of what you need to do to optimise your Twitter profile, you will understand that in order to manage it successfully, you need a routine. Many business owners just can’t find the time to do it themselves or can’t afford to hire an in-house marketer, which is why services such as our Social Media Management and SEO packages exist!

Vanity Statistics Vs Engagement

Do you manage your own social media campaigns?

Many business owners will choose to manage their own social media pages and blogs, which is great for those who have the time to update it. It offers many benefits and gives your readers freshly squeezed news, engagement and company updates straight of the press.

If you don’t need your social pages to drive direct sales but are using it mainly to create more brand awareness and online presence, you will need to focus on conveying a personal social tone to help build customer relationships and build a helpful online community for your brand and product/ service.

Behind the Posts

However, if you do want your social media pages to specifically drive more sales and traffic directly to your website, you will need to know what you’re doing when it comes to analysing your stats. Firstly, you’ll need to come up with a social strategy and a plan of action to help get your social media campaigns underway; prepare yourself to learn about the other faces of your social pages than you at first thought.

vanity

Analytics and Admin Panels

Most major social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter offer a basic Analytics option which allows you to monitor your page statistics. It will show you where your likes are coming from, how much engagement your posts gets, how many people have seen your posts and graphs about general page activity.

facebook admin panel

On every Facebook page, if you are a page manager, you will see the Admin Panel at the top, above your cover photo when you’re logged in. You will see sections that look at help you when inviting new likes, keeping track of competitors, post analysis and the option to advertise or promote your page. Twitter has a similar analytics option and you can access it on any Twitter account, via the settings > analytics option.

These offer a basic option and offer no fancy marketing skills, especially in comparison to specifically designed software. But for those of you who are doing it alone, it’s a great place to start. You will learn about the most prevalent areas and the relevant terminology associated with social media analytics.

 

Vanity Vs Engagement

Vanity metrics tends to refer to the things like raw/ organic pageviews, registered users and downloads. Which are all seemingly valid aspects, however they are easily manipulated and don’t necessarily correlate the most important numbers. By the most important numbers, we mean things like active users, engagement, revenues and the cost of getting new customers.

Companies, especially startups, who keep updated and analyse their social strategy regularly and thoroughly, will have much more of an idea of the true state that their business is in.

CatLionMirror

The difference between Vanity Statistics and Page Engagement is paramount on social media. Contrary to what many think, likes and retweets aren’t everything and they don’t always lead to sales. Simply having a page that regularly engages with and understands it’s audience is bound to be more successful on a social level than one that has bought 1,000 likes over the internet. Vanity stats aren’t completely useless at all, but just don’t be fooled by them; make sure you have enough further stats to back up your figures.

Once you have an understanding of how the Facebook or Twitter analytics work on your pages, you will probably be relieved by stepping up a gear into professional software. You could consider investing in a premium (usually paid for) program or app. This will give you more information, more options and inevitably help give you more confidence in what you’re posting and the results it should bring.

A previous blog post by us talks about why buying social indicators is a bad idea here if you’d like to find out more.

 

The 12 Tweets of Christmas

Christmas Tweet Tips for your Business

The big day is getting closer and your festive marketing campaigns should be well underway by now. When it comes to social media, twitter in particular, everything is temporary. People will often only scroll down two or three times to update on their news feeds, so by making sure you follow all our Top Tweet Tips for Christmas you can be sure to be seen.

 

1.Learn from the Ghost of Christmas past

 

Twitter analytics are a relatively new addition to the social platform, they can really help you understand what works for your account.

 

Check out last years analytics if possible, see what worked and what did not so you can be sure you are tweeting to your full potential, and not making the same mistakes again.

2. It’s not too late to offer discounts!

 

Competitions, discounts and promotions go down like a dream at this time of year. Contrary to what you may think it is not too late to offer your followers a festive treat. Even after Christmas, people are always going to appreciate your generosity.

 

Marketing a January Sales offer could work wonderfully in your favour, especially if you didn’t do one in time for Xmas. However much people are are pinching the pennies, they still can’t resist a bargain!

 

3. A time for giving

 

As we all know, Christmas is a time for kindness and generosity, so show your customers you care by supporting a cause or charity out at the busiest (and often toughest) time of the year. Customers will also notice your ethical standards and be more compelled towards your brand.

Having an affiliation with a charity can really help your marketing campaign in more way than one. Not only is it helping out people or things that are less fortunate, but it raises your presence, especially on social media.

 

3. Ask for RT’s

 

Retweets can be priceless to marketing, if retweeted by the ‘right’ person or brand, it can have a huge impact on your account.

By simply putting an “RT” at the start of your tweet, it implies to your followers that they should retweet your message. If you are marketing a holiday coupon, discount, giveaway or voucher, asking for an RT could help you reach that extra audience.

 

4. Use images

 

With Twitter’s new image feature, more and more images get shown with every tweet. If you search a hashtag, you will find a selection of the top/ latest images associated with that tag, which can work wonders for marketing.

 

Creating graphics and uploading images to your tweets will make them bigger! With more to look at, more gets noticed.

5. Don’t make it all about business

 

In order to really succeed with your social campaigns this Christmas, don’t try to shamelessly self-promote yourself too much. People are naturally feeling festive, so talk to them about things that matter to us all; for example, food and drink recipes are a great way to show your festive side, give your twitter account more of a persona and increase your retweets and post reach.

6. Customer Service is key

 

Christmas is an exciting time, but it can also be a very stressful time for some. Try to make it easier on your customers by replying promptly and professionally to any enquiries, questions, complaints or mentions.

 

If you get a negative or angry tweet from someone, the best you can do is be honest, professional and show your concern. Be as helpful as possible to everyone, ensuring that your brand maintains it’s nice persona and comes across as honest and helpful.

 

7. Schedule some posts for when you won’t be able to tweet.

 

We’re all busy and we all want to relax and enjoy Christmas with our loved ones, but still, your followers will inevitably checking their twitter accounts when they open their new smart phones, tablets or laptops this Xmas! Be sure to be the face wishing them a happy day!

 

You can schedule tweets to come out at times where you can’t find yourself at a computer. This is great news for businesses as you can still wish your followers a twinkly christmas and a prosperous New Year without even thinking about it on the day!

8. Utilise Holiday Hashtags!

 

Using hashtags in your tweets means that they are exposed to more people. By using popular Christmas-related tags, you can increase your reach with ease. Try things like : #StockingFillers #GiftIdeas #LastMinuteGifts to get your products and services noticed by more users.

So there you have it, 8 wonderful tips to help you win at Twitter this Christmas.

Keep these up alongside your normal Tweets and Interactions to give your pre (and post) Xmas campaign an extra boost.

Social Media Optimisation – Twitter For Businesses 101

social media optimisationIf your business isn’t yet on Twitter, or if you are but you’re not seeing any benefit, then you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. Twitter is in the news a lot because its users are constantly getting themselves into trouble or pushing the boundaries of socially (and legally) acceptable behaviour. How much use can a small business really get from the platform, and how should they go about their social media optimisation campaign?

I often write that Twitter is useful for PR because it’s a great equaliser, putting businesses and consumers on the same level and removing some of the barriers to communication that might traditionally be encountered. However, it’s also a profoundly useful marketing tool because it allows you to build trust and get your brand across to potential customers in a completely non-intrusive way. The key to this is the generation of targeted followers and knowledge of the way in which users like to interact.

Social Media Optimisation and Your Valuable Time

Twitter marketing isn’t magic – it’s as simple as convincing leads to ‘follow’ you, keeping them interested with relevant content, and dropping in the occasional promotional message. Your marketing efforts are not seen as intrusive or ‘spammy’ because your followers have a genuine interest in your business. The problem is that this takes time, both to learn the processes involved and to actually do the social media optimisation work itself. As any small business owner will know, time is in short supply. If you’re already working 50+ hours a week within your business, you’re unlikely to want to spend a further few on this. That’s where we come in.

We have access to specialist software, we have intimate knowledge of the platform (we’re all avid Tweeters in our own right), and most importantly, we have the time to dedicate to growing your customer base and effectively marketing your brand. Twitter can generate traffic and add to your bottom line when given the time investment that we can deliver for you.

Chris Brown – How To Use Twitter To Cultivate Your Identity

Chris Brown Leaves Twitter

This weekend’s Twitter furor involving Chris Brown and his misogynistic tirade towards a comedian who instigated an online slapping fight, has seen further petrol added to the fire which so, so many want to burn Brown on. As a result, the “foul-fingertipped” musician has deleted his account, leaving his fans attacking the comedian, Jenny Johnson, through the network. Many critics point to his tweets (not just from this weekend) as a clear representation of his character as a whole. Even if they are not a clear representation of the true person, then this is at least how many perceive him to be, or at least it gives substantial evidence for him to be viewed in this way. It just shows the power that Twitter and social media has in shaping identity. Reputation management by agencies like us, has become it’s own service, thanks to the proliferation of social media in the last decade, because now, people can talk about your business, publicly (the horror!).

This got me thinking about how careful one must be on Twitter today, whether an individual, public figure, or organisation. If you asked 20 people to give an example of “Twitter gone wrong” where a private tweet has been made public, an account has been hacked, or someone has simply tweeted something they shouldn’t have, I’m sure all respondents would give a different example they’ve heard about or seen (with many, many more out there). It’s understandable when you involve factors like consuming too much alcohol, getting caught up in a “flame war” from the safety of your bedroom, or simply not being able to navigate the tiny keys on your phone.

The Aftermath for Brown and JohnsonChris Brown has left Twitter

Brown, for the time-being, has lost a key promotional tool, having dropped off the light blue radar. He hasn’t been forgotten about by any means, as he is still being discussed both on Twitter and elsewhere online (in fact screencaps of his tweets to Johnson were saved and are floating around). Though he is currently on a big European tour, his name has a lot of mud attached to it due to his previous crimes against girlfriend Rihanna. Something like Twitter is incredibly important to preserve the bond a figure has with their audience, especially for Brown and those who still support him. This is probably because Twitter is so direct and personal. Perhaps we will see someone in his management team take the reigns of his account, should Brown return. It would seem incredibly odd in 2012, for a contemporary, popular musician to not be on Twitter.

But what if you’re public profile is limited at the moment? Jenny Johnson has exponentially increased her exposure from where it was, just a week ago. Out of all those comedians out there who has made a crack about Brown in the last three years, her 144-character tweet has made the loudest noise because it got a reply from her target. She’ll be known as the comedian who led to Brown’s Twitter-exile. While she has received an enormous backlash from Brown’s fans, Twitter has proven once more to be a platform for anyone trying to make a name for themselves in our celebrity-obsessed culture;. It will be interesting to see how many of these new followers she can keep, by either exploiting the situation and making it a key focal point of future tweets; or converting those new followers into fans by promoting her material and projects correctly via this platform (and naturally).

How To Use Twitter

The approach one takes to Twitter can be viewed as a choice of several “magical” mirrors into a person’s life; each with a different level of distortion of the public image they have already carved out for themselves, through their work. Below we look at these different approaches, weighing up the pros and cons:

The Straight-Forward Handles

There are those handles which are a tad boring. If you’re already a fan of this person, and have them liked on Facebook, subscribe to their newsletter etc., don’t expect to get anything juicy by following them. Tweets won’t stretch further than being a promotional tool, with little creativity in the language, so it feels a little static or robotic (very Stepford Wife-esque). They may not even tweet themselves, instead having a  “Tweetmaster” tweeting on their behalf; perhaps their management, a publicist or a close friend they trust. The reason for this might be that the individual has little to no clue about social media or technology, and are simply on Twitter because they’ve been told that it’s essential today. Tweets will be strictly about upcoming or ongoing projects, like a new episode of their TV show airing that night, or an upcoming gig. If someone looks after the account for them, they’ll be upfront about it, referring to the figure in the third person. Charlie Sheen has recently revealed that he has a Tweetmaster, which is probably a good thing!

Handles That Go A Little Further

These individuals score higher for effort, embracing Twitter to promote themselves, but will go a little further to put their own personality into their activity. The account may still be managed to some extent, and perhaps verge on being a little too promotional at times, but this kind of Tweeter does try. They might conclude a tweet with a unique sign-off, to indicate it’s actually them tweeting on that occasion e.g. Hulk Hogan signs off with a ‘HH’. These are sometimes the best kind of Tweeter, as while they promote their projects they give you just enough insight or peek behind the curtain, so you feel valued as a follower.

The Pro-TwitterJGL's Twitter feed

These handles mean business. Perhaps to the point where you wonder how they possibly have time to do their job and live the lavish private life that goes with it. You might even get a little sick of seeing their tweets appear so often in your feed. One positive is that (depending on how popular they are of course) there is a slightly better chance they’ll reply to you, if you mention them. What’s also great about these more extensive handles, is that they often give you a completely new perspective of someone, if they’re synonymous with a certain character or image they portray. For example, Rainn Wilson, from The Office, is actually very philosophical which might strike you as odd when compared to his rigid and unsociable onscreen character. Joseph Gordon Levitt heavily promotes his side-projects, often more so than any of his film releases (his handle even takes the name of said project). Zach Braff is another tweeter who is very active on the social network, tweeting pretty much every day. For particularly engaging personalities who hold strong views or can articulate them in a funny or thought-provoking way, like Stephen Fry, these are terrific handles to follow.

If you would like our help maintaining, and even setting up, your social media accounts, browse our social media services or contact us to discuss any problems you may be facing.

 

 

 

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