Tweets including photos have up to 35 per cent more retweets, according to new research by Twitter into effective tweets across verified accounts.
However, this is in stark contrast to what B2B brands are actually sharing. B2B Marketing’s recently published Social Media Benchmarking Report revealed 79 per cent of brands share written copy over social, despite only 34 per cent believing it to be ‘very effective’.
Meanwhile, video was listed as the ‘best type of content’ to share on social media, despite only 63 per cent actually sharing video clips.
So, how do you create the perfect ‘retweetable’ tweet? Basically you can’t. It’s not an exact science, it’s all down to experimentation. For example, after I followed all of Twitter’s rules to creating a retweetable tweet, my update (although mustering half dozen favourites) received less than half the retweets than its basic text-only counterpart.
In order for brands to succeed on social media, marketers need to take on board this information, keep track of their social activity, draw up reports and then tailor updates to what best suits their audience. Because, after all, every audience is different.
witter offers a social network and microblogging service that is the go-to place for real-time rumors, news, customer complaints and service. All messages or “tweets” are capped at 140 characters, which enforces brevity and clarity of thought.
It’s also the originator of the hashtag, at least in its modern sense and usage. Twitter is in the process of rolling out a major profile redesign, with a greater focus on photos and content cards.
Twitter claims to have 18 percent of all Internet users as account holders. Its users tend to be city dwellers (20 percent). The numbers drop to 14 and 12 percent in suburban and rural communities respectively. Users are usually younger adults, and they’re more likely to access the site on a mobile device (60 percent).
Twitter is rapid-fire copy. To stand out, brands need to consider clever wording and visual media. The new profiles will dedicate significantly more real estate to the header photo, offering brands additional space for creative imagery.
1. Optimize your bio. You could fill your bio with hashtags and humor, but if you intend to use Twitter for business, your bio needs to be a miniature version of your LinkedIn profile. You can be funny but make sure to share essential information about who you are, what you do, and where to find you.
2. Set up searches. If you want to turn conversations into conversions, you have to monitor mentions of your brand as well as relevant and competitive keywords.
3. Don’t forget the hashtag. If you want to track tweets and conversations, use a hashtag. It not only lets conversations be found more easily, but also allows you to measure your Twitter efforts.
4. Use Promoted Tweets. If you want your message to reach more people, you’ll have to pay to do it. Two tips for Promoted Tweets: define and target your audience and don’t run your promotion for too long. If you need to run it for an extended length of time, find different ways of stating your message.
5. Implement Twitter Cards. You can share Vine videos or attach images to your tweets, but if you want to provide a richer experience, you’ll want to delve into Twitter Cards. By adding some HTML to your website, any tweets of your content will include applicable visual media.
6. For Twitter’s official guidelines, go to Twitter for Business.
Hashtags first started out on Twitter and have made their way onto all of the most popular social networks including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. A hashtag is a symbol used to mark a certain category on social media.
The use of a Hashtag in a strategic way can be effective when creating popularity around your brand or business. Finding relevant conversations and interesting people to follow is one of the key uses of hashtags along with increasing engagement.
It is important as a business to understand why hashtags are so important, especially onTwitter. Below you can see some great statistics around how hashtags improve a business’s online interaction when it comes to Twitter.
Hashtags have become somewhat of a trend which isn’t necessarily a good thing if a user doesn’t understand why they are using a hashtag and the reason behind why they are so powerful. Here are three benefits to using hashtags;
Using the right hashtags when trying to build engagement can increase your following extensively over just a few days.
If you show expertise when using a hashtag to start a conversation, people will see you as an influencer and follow you because of your reputation.
Searching the right hashtags will allow you to find vital information on an subject matter.
When using hashtags on Social Media, they can lose their value if not used correctly. Hashtags should have a purpose whether it is to increase engagement or following, their is always a reason. Below are 5 uses of hashtags that you should be aware of.
The whole idea behind a hashtag when using one is to make sure it is not to obscure or too long. Remember that a hashtag is only effective is people are actually using it. If it isn’t popular enough, it won’t help you boost your profile however you don’t want your post to get lost if your hashtag is too popular.
It’s great if you are using hashtags and you understand why you are using them but you also need to make sure you measure conversions and by this I mean making sure that you are using the right hashtags. If your key performance indicators (below) have not increased since you have changed your hashtag strategy, you might need to revise your plan.
If you don’t know how to measure the above KPI’s, you can use hashtag applications and social analytical tools to measure your businesses performance. To see how certain hashtags are performing in general, you can follow the conversations yourself or Google the specific hashtag to see how it is performing.
I hope you now know how to use hashtags to increase your social media presence.
Images taken from Digital Formation World
Today, small business owners are busier than ever trying to run their companies while handling marketing and sales, too. An important part of marketing today is social media. For many small business owners, the world of social media is still foreign territory, and finding the perfect strategy that actually works can often be difficult.
So how do you know if what you’re doing is really hitting the mark? Here are 11 signs that your small business strategy isn’t working. If you’re doing any of the things on this list, chances are your strategy is falling flat and you’re missing prime opportunities to use social media to engage, inform and promote.
1. You delete negative posts.
Negative posts about your brand can be shocking, scary and hurtful. One of the key mistakes small business owners make is taking negative comments personally. Most often when you see a negative post about your brand, the person posting isn’t talking about you. They’re talking about your product or service. Instead of hitting the delete button when you see something negative, think of it as an opportunity to engage. But make sure that you directly address the negativity head-on. Don’t try to sugarcoat your response.
For example, if you own a delivery service and a customer makes a negative comment about your company because their package was late, don’t panic. Instead, let the person know that you will direct message (DM) them with a response and take care of the issue. Once the issue is resolved, go back to the original post and let your followers know you’ve handled it.
In 2011, a Harris survey looked at customers who posted negative reviewed during the Christmas season. The survey found that 68 percent of customers that left negative reviews got a response from the business they were reviewing. As a result, 18 percent of them became regular customers and made additional purchases. Of the customers who received a response from their negative post, 33 percent of them actually posted something positive after and a whopping 34 percent deleted the original negative post.
So don’t ignore negative posts. Deal with them directly, and you might just turn a negative into a positive!
2. You don’t have a solid company social media policy in place.
Most small businesses don’t have a formal social media policy in place. If you’re in that boat, you really should take the time to develop one. Think of it as a road map to helping your promote your brand better on social media. If you define procedures and protocols upfront for how often you’ll post, who will maintain the accounts and how you will handle negative posts, it makes it a lot easier to run your accounts and spring into action quickly when something goes wrong.
3. You’re on autopilot.
Most social media platforms have an automated message feature, but it doesn’t mean you have to use it. When many social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook were first introduced to the public, the automated message feature seemed like a convenient way to thank people who followed you. Today, automated messages are widely considered annoying and impersonal. Instead of sending the same message to every new follower, take the time to send personalized thanks when you can.
Remember, you don’t have to thank every follower, but it’s a good idea to thank those that stand out. For example, if you own a restaurant and the food columnist for your local newspaper starts following you, you may want to reach out directly to establish an ongoing dialogue rather than letting an automated message do it for you.
4. You’re not tracking what others say about your brand.
Many small business owners make the mistake of thinking that consumers only post about them on their brand page. In reality, consumers post about brands everywhere — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and review sites, to name a few. While it’s a great idea to monitor your own social media accounts to see what people are saying about you, it’s an even better idea move to using a social mention tracking tool to find out what people are posting about your brand around the Internet.
Social Mention is a great free tool for doing this. Visit http://SocialMention.com to check it out.
5. Your updates are sporadic.
If you’re not updating your social media pages on a regular basis, you’re missing out. You don’t have to post multiple times a day, but you should at least make a few posts a week to keep your followers, who are essentially your customers, engaged and excited about your brand.
6. You don’t know the difference between a reply and a mention on Twitter.
Did you know that if someone posts something on Twitter and you start your response with @, you’re limiting the number of people who are going to see the reply? For example, if @customerx posted something about @xyzbusiness and that company starts their reply with @customerx, it will only be seen by the customer and the business. That’s a reply. To make sure it’s seen by all of your followers, add a period in front of it like this — .@customerx — to make it a mention.
7. You overuse hashtags in your posts.
Not every word in your post needs to have a hashtag. In fact, hashtagging every word is going to make your post harder to read. Instead, use hashtags sparingly. Try not to use more than three per post.
8. You don’t proofread your posts.
Grammatical errors make your posts hard to read and reflect poorly on your brand. Proofread everything you write before you post it.
9. You only share things related to your brand.
This is a cardinal sin of social media. Remember that your purpose is to engage and get to know your customers. Your brand isn’t the only one they follow, and it’s certainly not the only thing that is of interest to them. Be sure to spend some time browsing your customers’ page, find out what things they like and leave positive comments. This is an excellent way to foster lasting relationships with your customers online. It also shows your customers that you are interested in them, too.
10. You make it hard to retweet your content.
It’s a fact that Twitter gives you 140 characters to post, but it doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. In fact, you should leave about 20 or so characters that can be used by others who retweet your content for the “RT @customerx” that will automatically be part of the retweet. This makes it easier for people to share your content quickly with no hassles.
11. You don’t retweet your followers’ content.
While you definitely want to make it easy for others to retweet your content, you also have to spend some time doing a little retweeting yourself. Find content from your followers that you find interesting and take a minute or two to retweet it. Remember social media is a two-way street and engagement is the key to success.
This is an amazingly insightful article about a subject that it near and dear to my heart (for obvious reasons) and some not so obvious reason. I love to learn new thing, I always have. In fact I have had to practice quite a bit of restraint, and condition myself to not chase after every new trend and tool. Having said that I do agree, completely with Kelvin’s assessment of the Social Media Marketers landscape. In a nut shell, evolve or die.
Almost three years ago, right after university, I talked to an awesome HR professional about my career prospects. While she gave me a lot of great info that day, one thing that stuck to me was her advice not to pursue positions that are only about social media. Her reasoning was that more and more marketing and business professionals were learning social—meaning, the need for professionals who specialized in this space was about to decrease.
Persuaded by this reasoning, I avoided roles such as “Social Media Manager” and even “Community Manager.” I ended up with a position in PR, which had some elements of social but mostly included media relations.
Fast forward to last year and I’ve decided to leave the world of PR to take on a social media role. The thing is, I liked PR—and quite frankly, I excelled at it—but it wasn’t my number one passion.
Last year, Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes proclaimed the role of social media manager dead. He cited a study that found that the growth in positions with the title “social media manager” has slowed down by 50% between 2012 and 2013.
Reading Ryan’s blog post—and now that I’m fully entrenched in social media management—I can’t help but re-visit that HR person’s advice. What if she was right and my current role becomes obsolete soon? What can I do now as a social media manager to make sure that I’m still in demand in the future?
After thinking about this, I’ve come to a simple conclusion: To remain relevant and employable, I have to evolve from a social media specialist to a marketing leader.
I brainstormed a few ways social media managers can make the transition successfully. If you work in social media and want to thrive in your career in marketing, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Acquire new (but related) marketing skills.
Content marketing has been hot for a couple of years now—and for good reason. Many marketers are learning that providing true value through content is a great way of increasing brand awareness and turning prospects into leads. Influencer marketing is another trend that will likely grow in the next year or so.
The point is, there will always be something new in marketing. Learn these trends because some of them will stick.
You also want to acquire older—but still very essential—marketing stills. The lessons I’ve learned in PR in my previous role are applicable to influencer marketing, for example. My basic SEO knowledge helps me drive organic traffic to our company blog. Email is still very hot, and learning MailChimp and other similar systems is a good skill to have.
Keep learning. Take some time everyday to peruse blog posts, to try new apps and networks, and to get your hands on new technology. Embrace your inner geek. Readinsights from creative and successful business leaders.
We have a lot of opportunity to keep on building on our hard skills. If numbers isn’t your thing, something like Analytics Academy, a program provided by Google Analytics, is a good option
By diversifying our skills and acquiring new ones, we can ensure that our marketing skills are up-to-date and relevant.
2. Become the customer advocate in the marketing team.
In an IBM C-suite study, 55% of CEOs said that customers have influence on a company’s strategic vision and business strategy. Executives are waking up to the fact that they need to involve their customers in every business process.
So how does this relate to you? Social media managers fundamentally understand the value of listening to and engaging customers. Together with the folks at customer insights, we’re in a good position now to be the customer experts in the marketing team.
Use social media to capture trends that will affect your company’s future. Trends like the Internet of Things, wearable tech, the collaborative or sharing economy, and big data have the potential to disrupt many industries. Listen on social to determine how these trends might affect your industry, and then share what you know to your CMO and the rest of your marketing team.
By becoming customer-centric, we do not only demonstrate the true ROI of social media—we’re also positioning ourselves as experts in the organization, which might help when we make career moves in the future.
3. Write—and then write some more.
Marketers require great writing skills, and they will continue to do so in the future. If you’d like to stay in the marketing field, learn how to organize your thoughts and to write well. From blog posts to emails, from landing pages to ebooks, writing has a lot of practical marketing applications.
Whatever is the next hot trend in marketing, you can bet that your writing skills will be required. So if you’re already blogging, keep on doing that, and find a way to improve your craft.
If you’re not blogging yet, now’s the time to do so. I have some tips in the embedded Slideshare. Get writing!
4. Learn how to market to the entire sales funnel.
Let’s face it: most (if not all) social media efforts help with top-of-the-funnel stuff. But many CMOs are looking for people who understand the entire sales process. Those who can drive prospects from awareness to information and evaluation are a lot more valuable to brands. You can provide more business value if you know how your skills can contribute to the entire funnel.
5. Build your online reputation.
Here’s the thing: The more real influence you have—and the stronger relationships you have with people—the less likely you’ll ever be unemployed. As social media nerds, we are experts at building communities for brands. The same marketing skills that allow us to build brands can also help us build our own personal brand.
Don’t wait until you’re in need of a job to start enhancing your online presence. Use LinkedIn to its full advantage. (Some tips in the embedded presentation.) Build your Twitter following (and always keep your eye out for possible future employers). Maintain a credible blog that provides real value and that communicates your expertise.
The social media manager will not die quickly
As long as people use social networks, it’s unlikely that social media managers will completely go away. Yes, social is “part of everyone’s job, or soon will be,” but businesses (particularly enterprises) will need specialists who will keep up with the ever-evolving social media landscape.
Given that social media is still expanding and continues to evolve, it will probably take years before our position becomes 100% obsolete. But just like any other roles, social media managers like myself need to evolve—and the time to evolve is now.
Brands need us: after all, most of us understand the value of engaging customers, and we know how to communicate with people using digital technologies. To prepare for the future—and to bring even more value to our employers and/or clients—let’s also make sure that we’re acquiring the skills that businesses need tomorrow.
P.S. I wrote this article as part of the LinkedIn’s #MyIndustry campaign. For more social media rants, I invite you to read my marketing blog. If you have any comments on this post, please tweet me @kcclaveria.
Twitter plays by its own rules.
It has kept it’s 140 character limit despite the jokes , the pressure to change by many of its followers and the demands to be more like Facebook or Google+.
It is is misunderstood by many people who throw stones at it from the sidelines. Despite the knockers it has kept true to its initial design and constraints that don’t seem to fit it into an online world that is about bigger being better.
This succinct reporting has made it the channel of choice for breaking news. Twitter is now often seen popping up on the television screen as viewers interact with a show. The character limitation demands means it lends itself to one liners that are often humorous, pithy and sharp.
Twitter has enhanced the art of comedy and the throw away quip.
Why should you bother increasing your Twitter followers?
Increasing your Twitter followers does have some distinct benefits for business and brands. Here are three worth mentioning
- It increases brand awareness. What business doesn’t want that.
- Distributes your content wider and faster. This can improve link building to your website and hence improving your organic SEO
- Drive traffic to tyour blog or website. This can lead to more leads generation and sales.
So how do you double your Twitter followers?
The average Twitter account has a 126 followers and has tweeted 307 times. Doubling that number isn’t hard if you implement some of the following tips. And you can do much better than that if you apply a little focus and discipline.
- Make sure your profile and “Bio” (which is limited to 160 characters) is to the point and attracts followers in your niche. Check out Hilary Clinton’s Twitter Bio in the infographic below.
- Tweet more often. Those with 15,000 plus tweets have between 100,000 to 1 million followers
- Use hashtags. This will expand your tweet visibility
- Schedule and automate tweets with tools like Hootsuite and Socialoomph.com
- Follow people in your niche or industry. Especially those with substantial numbers of followers on Twitter.
- Retweet the content of influencers and let them know with the @mention
- Join in Twitter chats or start one of your own a regular basis
- Find new followers that share your interests by using tools like Tweepi
- Twitter is not an inbox but a stream so you need to keep your followers engaged by tweeting valuable content for your target audience
- Learn from the best. Check out Anton Perlkvist does it with @Fun and @Googlefacts
- Promote your Twitter account “everywhere
For some more tips check out the infographic.
Source: WhoIsHostingThis? on Visually
What about you?
How do you use Twitter? Is it still an enigma? What have you found to be an effective tactic to gain more Twitter followers?
Look forward to your insights and stories in the comments below. Want to learn how to make your blog and content contagious and increase your Twitter followers?
My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.
It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.
I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 223,000.
Social media contests are a great way to connect with consumers in the ever evolving web. Social networks are natural venues for users to share information quickly. Since I am a big fan of giving real world examples whenever I explain a specific tactic, I wanted to highlight a contest I found recently. I’ll walk you through how I would go about promoting it and how I might actually do it differently.
I would like to point out a few things here about this contest – first of all, they are not a client of Ignite Social Media and secondly, I don’t know what they’ve done to promote it so far.
Beneful Most Incredible Small Dog YouTube Video Contest
Before I get into promotion tactics I have to point out something that is extremely important, but that a lot of companies don’t do well.
Put Appropriate Keywords In Your Contest Name
If you implement a contest properly, people will be linking to your site. 9/10 times people will use your contest title as the anchor text, so make sure you take advantage of a well-thought-out contest title before you even start thinking about promotion.
In this example I would have used the following contest title: Beneful Dog Food YouTube Video Contest. Ranking for “Incredible Small Dog” is probably not going to amount to many sales of the Beneful dog food product line.
Host The Contest On Your Site
For the Small Dog Video Contest we are dealing with YouTube as the means for entry. As someone who understands the power of search, I am never a fan of hosting linkable assets off of my main site. It is also worth pointing that hosting a custom channel like they have rolled out on Youtube is not cheap. More often than not contests are very linkable. As I will outline later on it is relatively easy to drum up some press for your contest, and more than likely they will link to the destination of the contest, where it is hosted on your site.
I suggest hosting the contest on your site, and leveraging tags to aggregate YouTube videos.
That way, contestants are still using YouTube, which is widely established as the de facto video hosting source, and people are familiar with the interface.
Find People To Enter The Contest
Now that I have those two main issues out of the way, let’s explore how one might actually promote the contest. This can be the toughest aspect of contest marketing in my opinion, especially because videos have a high barrier of entry. That’s because videos are not easy to make and share when compared to other forms of online content creation.
Using the example above, we can utilize custom search queries inside of Google to help us identify dog owners who have channels on YouTube. This will help us target individuals who we know have created dog videos in the past. Then through some additional social searching we can identify some form of outreach, whether that is via email or other means, to let them know about the contest.
Submit Your Contest To Social Media Contest Sites
There are several well-known and emerging sources in the giveaway and contest market that are worth submitting your contest to. These sites will help you get additional coverage and should help drive entries into your contest, which is very important, after all. Below is a list in no particular order:
Contests are being widely adopted by many big brands currently and are the sort of tactic that even small to mid-sized businesses can implement with success. Since there is an influx of so many contests in the market, however, it can be difficult to cut through the similarities. Approaching contest marketing from the angles outlined above will help ensure success for your campaign. Do you have any additional tips to add? Have you run a successful social media contest?
For as long as I have been doing social media marketing, I have wondered what the value of Twitter is for sales and business. Everyone knows the indisputable value of LinkedIn for B2B sales, marketing, , and entrepreneurs in general. But Twitter is finally gaining traction in B2C?
This article shares some of the latest Twitter strategies, tactics, tools, and best practices.
1. Decide your purpose. Why are you using Twitter?
Some Twitter users utilize the social media site to build their company brand or generate leads. There are bloggers who use the platform to share ideas and articles and to see what others are writing about. Some people check Twitter for news, while others want to see what celebrities or friends are up to.
Defining your purpose will help you decide who to follow and what kind of information to share.
2. Focus on your passion. There are millions of Twitter users tweeting thousands of pieces of information every second. It is easy to get overwhelmed by and lost in the noise. Rather than trying to soak it all in and repurpose everything, focus on your passion.
Don’t be a jack of all Twitter subjects and a master of none. Tweets surrounding your passion are going to be stronger. Plus, you will attract users who have similar interests. If you don’t focus, you will attract meaningless followers, if any at all.
3. Define your brand. Once you have zeroed in on your purpose and passion, decide how you want the Twitter world to view you.
Do you want to specialize in one subject to attract a targeted audience? Or do you want to be more general, tweeting about numerous topics? Do you want your tweets to be funny and casual or very professional? Is your goal to be a thought leader or celebrity? This will give you direction on who to follow and what to tweet.
4. Determine your strategy. Is your strategy tocommunicate?
If your goal is to influence, promote or sell, your strategy should be communication based. You are going to want to attract attention. To attract attention, you are going to need to tweet, direct message, engage with other users and focus on getting information out in the Twitter world.
Is it to listen?
If you are using Twitter to keep up on news, learn, provide customer service or perform market analysis, your strategy should be to listen. You are going to want to decide who will provide the content you’re interested in and follow them. You will also want to learn how to utilize filtering tools, including hashtags and Twitter lists.
5. Learn how to use Twitter. Reading this article and articles like it is a good first step. However, to really learn how to utilize Twitter, you’re going to need to get your hands a little dirty and roll up your sleeves.
- Go to Twitter.com, and create a free account.
- Learn Twitter terminology. When you post something, it’s a tweet. When you repost something from another user, it’s a retweet or RT. Trending topics, or TT, are topics discussed by many users at a given time. You can Favorite a tweet by clicking on the star. That is a great way to recognize someone for sharing your content.
- Explore. See who is on Twitter and what people are tweeting.
- Engage. Follow the guidelines in this article and become an active user.
6. Grab your name, brand or persona. (@KenKrogue)
When you are signing up, you will need to decide your Twitter name, which is how people will tag you in tweets and ultimately how you will be known on Twitter. Mine is my name, @KenKrogue. If you can’t get your own name, add your passion or function like @KenKrogueSells or something. My company address is @InsideSales. Choose something that fits you or your business.
7. Take a good picture. Use a close-up headshot of yourself or a logo of your business. This image will show up on your profile page and next to any comment you make on Twitter. You want people to recognize you. Make sure the image is clear and well-lit, with your face in the center. (Or you can be off-center, like me, if you are a little different.) You want to avoid having other objects beside you in the picture.
If you are using a logo, try not to make it too wordy, or it will not be readable at the small image size. Your image can be formatted as a jpg, gif or PNG. The size limit for upload is 700KB. Twitter reformats the image for the profile picture and the smaller image that goes next to comments.
Changing Your Profile Image. To change your profile image, click on the gear icon located at the top of the page, and select “edit profile.” Next to “Photo” select “Upload photo” from the drop down. Upload your photo from your computer.
8. Find your keywords. Use the Google Keyword Tool (now Keyword Planner as of Aug 26) to find the keywords that make up your industry or market. Remember to divert a river, don’t dig a well. In other words, tap into existing traffic rather than generating it from scratch. It is better to know about keywords than even about hashtags, because a hashtag is a keyword or a “theme” that can help amplify your exposure.
9. Research and identify your #hashtags. Hashtags are a tool to make words more searchable. To create a hashtag, place # before a word. Hashtags allow Twitter users to tap into a Twitter-wide conversation. Discover the trending conversations, and decide which ones you want to be included in. This will also help you connect with users who have similar interests.
Use a maximum of two hashtags per tweet. Hashtags are a useful way to get your tweet out to people who are actually interested in its main subject, but too many hashtags in a single post can be overwhelming.
#Hashtags can be a #useful #tool, but this is #toomany in a #single #tweet. #annoying #overwhelming
Five Tools to Help Research Hashtags:
- Twitter Toolbar: You can search terms, keywords and people by entering them into the toolbar at the top of the page on Twitter. For example, if you are in sales, try searching #sales and related keywords you have identified using the Google Keyword Tool. If you want to see tweets surrounding a certain topic enter that term into the search bar, and it will bring you to all related tweets. For example, if you wanted to see tweets related to the Inside Sales Virtual Summit, enter #SalesSummitinto the search bar, and all tweets tagged #SalesSummit will show up.
- Hashtags.org: Hashtags.org provides research to help businesses improve social networking strategies.
- Twitter Reach
- Social Mention
(3-5 are social analytics tools that can provide analysis of your tweets and hashtags.)
10. Wordsmith your profile with keywords for search and fun facts for people. Once you have decided why you are using Twitter, what your target audience is and gone through the initial setup, now you want to show up in search. Include keywords in your Twitter profile.
11. Publish your Twitter ID in your other media. I post my Twitter ID (@KenKrogue) in my email signature, at the bottom of articles I write and anywhere else I think applicable. This lets people know I’m on Twitter and helps them find me. A great way to grow your following is to start with people you know and connect with them in various ways.
BUILD YOUR NETWORK
12. Check out Twitter Tools like TweetAdder or Tweepi to target who to follow or who you want to follow you. The best way to build your network is to target your content specifically to those who would be interested in following you and make it really interesting and valuable.TweetAdder or Tweetpi are perfect tools for this. Check out How to Build a Targeted Twitter Tribe of 100,000 on Jeff Bullas’ blog. Two other useful tools are Twitonomy, which provides analytics, and Twtrland, which offers up social intelligence.
13. The follow-first rule: I follow you then (hopefully) you follow me. This is by far the most common way to get followers. Twitter puts limits on how many users you can follow. Here are the guidelines: “Every account can follow 2,000 users total. Once you’ve followed 2,000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow. This number is different for each account and is based on your ratio of followers to following; this ratio is not published.”
14. The favorites-follower rule: I click ‘favorite’ on your Tweet, then you follow me. This method helps you gain targeting following by first finding Tweets that match your interests and targeted keywords. Then you click ‘favorite’ and often they reciprocate. This takes more time, but gives you a much higher quality and engaged following.
15. The offer-follower rule: You follow me, I give you something: information, ebook, etc. Make sure to give away something that your target audience will value. Make it easy for people to claim their reward.
16. The fan-follower rule: You follow a celebrity, they tweet you about them. You follow a celebrity types to keep up on their tweets. Twitter helped this process a lot by featuring the Twitter address of famous people in the Twitter registration process.
17. Choose your lists: Twitter lists allow you to listen to relevant conversations, identify influencers and filter out the noise so you can focus on the people and topics you care about.
18. Two ears and one mouth rule: Listen (and research first) before you speak. It is much better to listen about twice as much as you tweet if you want a strong following that is engaged and targeted to your purpose and passion.
19. Listen with Topsy. Topsy.com is a Twitter search engine that let’s you see if anyone listens or cares. Let’s you see the latest Twitter results in the past hour, day, week, 20 days, month or all time — with a cool trending graph. Also, be on the the lookout for a great social media tool called TinyTorch. This premier tool enables you to easily find relevant social content in your industry.
20. Use Tweetdeck or HootSuite to listen to the conversation about you, your company, or your industry. Serious listeners step up to Radian6, what is now the saleforce marketing cloud.
21. Create and tweet great original content that fits your purpose. Create content that is informative and entertaining. Write about industry news, especially if you’re in a position to break the news. Stay on top of trends and provide commentary that adds context. If somebody releases groundbreaking research in your industry, write about this research. But don’t just regurgitate it. Use your own expertise to explain why this research is important. Show others in your industry how they can apply it to their work.
Use a combination of short-form content, like tweets, and long-form content, like blog posts, to establish yourself as a thought leader.
22. Summarize and curate great content that fits your purpose.
Share facts, insights and statistics in 140 characters or less. Try to keep your tweets to about 100 characters to leave room for links and hashtags and to increase the likelihood that somebody will retweet your content. Use your Twitter lists to curate relevant content. Set up keyword searches to track content by keywords.
23. Spend your time on really great headlines with keywords. Your headlines have the greatest impact on how many people share and read your content.
Here are some proven headline formulas:
- Lists: Headlines with numbers in them consistently perform well. Example: 7 Undeniable Reasons People LOVE List Posts.
- How to: “How to” titles promise a benefit to your readers. Example: How to Use Sales Data to Increase Sales Productivity.
- Target a Shark: Refer to a shark, which can be an important company or person in your industry. This allows you to feed off the shark’s popularity to call attention to your content. Example: What Steve Jobs Can Teach You About Startup Success.
- Include Keywords: If you want to be known for sales motivation, make sure to include that keyword phrase in your headlines. Example: 6 Insanely Useful Sales Motivation Secrets.
24. Keep tweeting — Resend tweets with different angles. Some social media experts (Guy Kawasaki for example) recommend that you send the same tweet four times to cover all four U.S. time zones.
If you want to mix things up, here are some different angles you can take:
Use statistics to show significance: 90% of your sales come from 10% of your list
Address tweets to the individual by including the word “you”: Why You Should Focus on 10% of Your Prospect List
25. Alternate tweets by time of day and day of week. Social media scientist Dan Zarrella says that the best time to tweet if you want to be retweeted is on Friday at 4 p.m. EST. That’s based on aggregate data he has analyzed for millions of retweets. The engagement levels on your Twitter account may vary based on your industry and other factors.
Use the Buffer App Tool (one of my favorites) to schedule your tweets. Test different days and times. Monitor engagement by using Buffer’s Analytics tab. Identify patterns among your Twitter followers. Schedule your tweets for your optimal days and times. >Don’t overlook weekends. Some Twitter users see higher engagement over the weekend. But the only way to know is to test and monitor your results.
26. Bridge Twitter with other media. Create a dynamic experience for your Twitter audience by including different types of media, such as images and videos.
Here are some tools you can use:
- Twitpic: Go to Twitpic.com, create an account, upload photos and easily share them on Twitter.
- Yfrog: Yfrog is another popular photo-sharing service.
- YouTube videos: Simply paste a YouTube video URL into a tweet. Your followers will be able to view the video right in their Twitter stream by clicking on the “View Media” link that appears in your tweet.
- AudioBoo: Use AudioBoo to share audio files. Once you have an account, sharing an AudioBoo link is super intuitive.
Twitter is a very passive media, but great to build awareness and start conversations. I recommend bridging to more assertive media like email, Chatter, LinkedIn, phone conversations, and live meetings. Live meetings are the most assertive, and work great at common events like Trade Shows, etc. Use Twitter to bridge to more assertive media as soon as you can.
27. Retweet great content. When you see something worth sharing in your stream, retweet it. This means that you are sharing somebody else’s Twitter content with your own followers. Retweeting somebody else’s content accomplishes two things:
- It helps you make friends with other influencers on Twitter.
- It shows your followers that you’re an active member of your online community.
Retweeting is simple. Here’s how:
Click the Retweet button on any tweet. This will publish the original tweet in your followers’ streams. The tweet will appear exactly as it did when it was first tweeted, meaning it will appear to come from the person who originally tweeted it. A message will appear at the bottom of the tweet telling people that you retweeted it.
Retweet the old-fashioned way. When viewing a tweet, click Reply. Copy and paste the original message into your tweet box. Place the letters RT in front of the original tweeter’s Twitter handle, or @ sign. Click Tweet. The post will be published in your followers’ streams as if it came from you. Many users prefer this method of retweeting because it’s better for building your own brand.
28. Send direct tweets as a great form of communication. Direct tweets are one-to-one messages as opposed to one-to-many. So, these tweets are more personal by nature. Use direct tweets to build strong relationships and to communicate important messages.
There are two types of direct tweets:
At-replies: Send an at-reply to another Twitter user by hitting the Reply button on any tweet. Type your message into the box that pops up and click Tweet. Your at-reply will show up in this person’s Interactions stream, which means it is more likely to be seen than a regular tweet. Just remember, your at-reply will also be visible to the public as part of your general Twitter stream.
Direct messages: If you don’t want anybody but the intended recipient to see your tweet, use a direct message. Click on the gray gear icon at the top of your Twitter profile. Select Direct Messages and create a new message. Once you submit it, it will appear in the recipient’s inbox.
29. Use great #hashtags. Hashtags categorize your tweets, which makes it easier for others interested in your topic to find them. Turn the keywords you want to be known for into your hashtags. Create a hashtag by placing the # symbol in front of your keywords. For example, #insidesales, #sales and #salesdata are popular hashtags in the sales space. Remember the rule though: divert a river, don’t dig a well.
Find existing hashtags with lots of traffic by searching for them using the Search Bar at the top of your profile. View a list of related tweets by clicking on a hashtag inside a tweet.
Make a hashtag for every event and presentation you do. #salessummit was our hashtag for our big Virtual Sales Summit. It already had lots of existing traffic (divert a river.)
Put your hashtag right at the bottom of every slide in your PowerPoint to make it easy for people to see it and tweet while you are presenting.
30. Leverage your tweets in Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs. Share your Twitter content with your audience on other networks by re-posting your tweets on Facebook and LinkedIn, when appropriate. You also can embed a tweet into your blog or website. Click on the date in the upper-right-hand corner of a tweet. Then click More and select Embed Tweet. Copy the code and add it to your blog or website.
SEE IF IT’S WORKING
31. Check where you stand on social media tools, like Klout.com, Peerindex.com, Kred.com, Wefollow.com. Your influence on social media matters. The higher your score is, the more influential and relevant you are to others in the social media realm. One of the most popular tools is Klout. Quickly set up an account on Klout to see your score from 1 to 100.
Effective brand-generated hashtags, on the other hand, are designed for action. The best brand hashtags not only reach an existing group of people who are already interested in a specific category, they give those people a reason to talk publicly about the brand. Here are some best practices that every brand should implement.
Keep it to 3 tags or less per post on any social channel or you’ll look like a spammer. If you think you need more, write a separate tweet or post.
Don’t hijack a popular trending hashtag to get attention—especially one with any whiff of controversy– unless you can find a solid connection. Remember when Entenmann’s decided to get glib with #notguilty during a high-profile murder case? Coffee cake won’t fix that faux pas. On the other hand, there are no hard and fast rules to trendjacking. It can be worth the risk—like Google’s global greeting card for the #RoyalBaby or JELL-O’s controversial but buzzworthy #FML hijack. The bottom line? If you’re going to trendjack, do your homework, be prepared to handle backlash, and monitor, monitor, monitor.
Think of general hashtags like #donuts or #donutshop like general search terms. Yes, they will put your company’s post in front of the masses, but they don’t really improve your connection with the people willing to talk about your brand. A specific made-by-you hashtag, however, is more like a targeted ad campaign. Promote #DonutsForDinner and your existing fans will collectively deliver a whole world of brand-specific content to their own networks (read: soon-to-be fans of yours). Whether it’s an Instagram gallery of strangers’ donut meals or a long list of Tweeps upping their caloric intake with your tasty product, the conversation is 100% about YOU.
Think beyond your brand for a minute. If a consumer clicks on your gym’s #LetsGetSweaty hashtag, what else will they see in that list? And does that help or hurt your brand? Find out before you tag, not after.
And then look at it again. See if someone else can catch a red flag you’re not seeing. We’ve seen some grand hashtag mishaps that happen in a hurry, including Susan Boyle’s recent international record release and an unfortunate mixup that left readers wondering if it was Cher or Margaret Thatcher in the morgue. #susanalbumparty or #nowthatcherisdead anyone?
Don’t ask the public to join in the conversation if you have reason to believe they might run toward the opposite goalpost. McDonald’s asked the Twittersphere for their dining experiences– #McDStories– back in 2012, and they didn’t get glowing recommendations. Who saw that coming? Everybody except McDonald’s. Even your most loyal fan won’t cover for your brand’s shortcomings. Play to your strengths, period.
Keep it short, memorable, and easy to spell. Think #OpeningAtAmys vs #amysartgallery. Capitalization is your friend (just ask Cher and Susan Boyle), and the social media universe gives bonus points for hashtags that can be used in a sentence.
Hashtags only work for brands when consumers use them, so you’d better tell your fans what to do with yours. Do you want feedback on a product? Asking for content? Seeking advocates for a cause? Holding a contest? Give them a reason to use what you’ve made. With the right call to action, your hashtag is a conversation starter that can earn you a spot in social feeds around the globe; without direction, it’s nothing more than a misplaced pound sign.