Social media, is as the title suggests a social activity and information shared should not focus on just the company or sales. Continuously posting broadcast posts is very likely to disengage followers.
2. Unclear Branding
Companies may choose to use multiple social media platforms to promote their brand to a variety of audiences; however, the branding should be consistent across all platforms to ensure strong brand recognition.
As much as an eclectic mix of information may be interesting, it gives out a confused message to followers; removing focus from you and your brand.
Social media platforms are a tool to raise brand awareness and funnel traffic to your website. If website details are omitted from profiles or links within relevant content, your audience is unlikely to go looking for the additional information.
It may be a comment, follow or mention depending on the platform; but this interaction is a great opportunity to connect with audiences and make them feel valued.
Posting avidly for a couple of days and then disappearing for weeks at a time will leave your audience unsure of what to expect. In addition they are likely to question if this approach is reflective of your customer service. Establishing a clear strategy in advance, which you can tweak if required, will keep your brand in front of an audience on a consistent basis.
Linking Facebook posts to Twitter feeds is just one example of this. Remember the platforms all work differently. Facebook allows 2000 characters whilst Twitter only 140. Therefore, when posts are automatically pulled through from Facebook, Twitter will not edit the content to fit and posts will often not be reader friendly.
1. Use a good profile picture
Admittedly this can be seen as just aesthetics; however, it will also allow you to reinforce your branding if you are using your company logo and look more professional than just being an egg, which is the default avatar twitter currently defaults to.
2. Maximise your Bio
This 160 character space is a great place to promote yourself, your business and any additional url’s or Twitter accounts you are looking to advertise. Remember to be creative yet informative and read your bio from the perspective of a potential new follower.
3. Tweet during peak times
Common opinion is that the core Twitter hours are Monday – Friday, between 1 – 3 pm GMT; although some research suggests 9 am, noon to 3 pm and 6 pm are also very busy in the twitter-sphere. It is best to just post some tweets and find out which times are the busiest for you, your followers and interests and then concentrate on those. Relevant #hashtag hours can also prove highly productive when looking to gain new followers.
4. Tweet Top Influencers
The great thing about twitter is that you can interact with other users even if you do not know them.
So find the top influencers and users that are key to your interests / business and tweet to them using their @name and also retweet & favourite any interesting and relevant content they put out there.
5. Ask Questions
Questions are a fantastic way to get talking to fellow tweeters, by creating opportunities for people to interact and engage with you. Not sure what to ask? Then possibly talking about a particular news item or trending topic can be a good starting point.
6. Plan your Strategy
Rather than casting your net wide with random tweets on a breath taking spectrum of subjects, decide on your area of expertise or interests that you wish to focus on and build your posts around that.
7. Link to interesting sites
Sign posting followers to interesting and relevant sites & blogs is likely to gain you more followers than tweeting about what you have had for lunch. It will help you to be seen as a source of information and should in turn garner you more followers.
8. Repetition can be key
The average lifespan of a tweet is approximately 18 mins. If you are not posting at peak times, it is reasonable to assume that your followers will not have seen or read every post you tweet. So repeating a post, with a reasonable timespan from the initial posting may gain additional interest.
However, use this method sparingly as followers are looking for diverse content and you do not want to become known for constantly repeating yourself.
9. Post Pictures
Twitter will give you 140 characters, but as the saying goes “A picture paints a thousand words”. Just consider the Ellen DeGeneres 2014 Oscar selfie; which became the most retweeted tweet of all time.
Download the Twitter app on your phone so that you can take and share interesting photos on the go.
10. Shout All About It
Okay, not literally; but ensure that you promote your account details across any social media platforms you are using, such as LinkedIn and Facebook etc. Also include your Twitter name on any traditional marketing materials such as flyers and business cards; and, in addition to this we would suggest adding a link to your e-mail signature.
Don’t forget to include your social media links and possibly a widget on your website to enable potential followers to connect with you easily.
So for those of you also struggling, here are just a few tips we have learnt along the way.
Make a date with your Blog
If you schedule some time in your diary for blogging, just as you would for seeing a client you are more likely to stick to it, rather than pushing it increasingly further down the never ending ‘To Do’ list.
Have a plan
The biggest hurdle is often what to write about, but by putting together a content strategy for your social media including relevant blog post titles, it will help give you focus when you sit down to a blank screen.
Make a note of it
Often blog ideas will present themselves at the most inopportune moments, so keep a notepad and pen with you and when inspiration strikes write it down and return to it when you are ready.
Solve a problem
Often by giving a solution to a problem, there will be a natural flow to the structure of your writing. It is also a great way to demonstrate your expertise in your field of work or industry.
Go for it.........
Just get started, it does not need to be a great piece of literary work; however, once you start to type, you will begin to formulise a more coherent structure than just having the relevant points and topic just floating around in your head.
Not sure what to say.....
This is a barrier we regularly hear, often from individuals who are articulate, extremely knowledgeable and passionate about their business. In a real time networking event they thrive, yet when presented with the idea of posting a tweet, a post or commenting in a LinkedIn group, they suddenly seem struck down by a severe case of writers block.
Forget it's a virtual environment and sometimes the immediacy that is part of a face to face meeting may be missing, but remember those reading your posts and comments, are no different to the people you might meet and chat to when networking.
Decide on a strategy regarding what and how often you are looking to post; and consider the tone your social media feeds should take. Share your expertise, be personable and interact with other users of the platforms.
No time to post.....
Social media does have the power to make the seconds, minutes and on occasion even hours just slip away. However, with careful planning, a content strategy and the use of some schedule software such as Hootsuite or Buffer to mention just two, you can plan and implement an effective social media campaign using your own original content without submitting the majority of your posts in real time.
If these are intermingled with the occasional real time post or response it can help to give a rounded social media presence without round the clock posting!
Tried it, but got nothing from it......
If this is you, ask yourself what did you want to achieve? How did you measure it? Did you identify the correct social media platform for your target market? Did you share relevant and consistent content? Did you interact with your followers? Did you also post at the most effective time for that platform and the users on it? Did you use it to direct people back to your website?
If you answer no to any of the above questions, it may be worth revisiting social media as a tool to raise awareness of your brand as this is the main ROI.
How free is free.......
As the saying goes "nothing in life is free" and social media is no different. There is a lot of potential for business promotion, potential client interaction and sharing of expertise that will cost nothing more than your time. But before heading off and starting posting away, remember that your time also has a financial value attached to it.
So before becoming a Twitter guru or LinkedIn genie; research which platform is popular with your target audience, otherwise all your social media efforts could be pointing in the wrong direction.
The Direct Message aka DM
This requires the recipient you wish to message to be following you. It is a private conversation and not visible on a profile or home timeline. To ensure a proper private two way conversation via the direct message option, both accounts need to follow each other.
Twitter recently also introduced the group DM option which can include up to 20 people in one conversation.
The tweet is started with the recipient’s @username, as if in a group conversation.
“@username thank you for following us”
The account holder receives a notification that they have a tweet directed at them. In addition to this the tweet is visible in the senders profile timeline and if the recipient is following them it will also appear in their home timeline.
The tweet is started with normal text and at some point within it the recipients’ @username is mentioned.
“Hi @username, thank you for following us”
Again the recipient will receive a notification that they have been mentioned and this tweet will be visible in the senders profile timeline, the recipients’ home timeline and in the home timelines of the recipients followers.
Hello & welcome to the Social Media Solutions Blog! The aim of our blog is to bring you news, hints and useful guides to help you take charge of your social media strategy and promote your brand.