Social media giant, Twitter, celebrated its 10th birthday on Monday (21st March). To mark the occasion, we’ve put together our top ten tips for SMEs wanting to get the most out of the platform!
1. Make sure you can be found Twitter has come a long way since CEO Jack Dorsey posted his first tweet in 2006:
With 974 million accounts worldwide, Twitter’s ten-year milestone highlighted just how far it’s come in a relatively small space of time, but with so many people using the platform, how do you make sure your business is easily found?
A lot of it comes down to a searchable handle, i.e. your Twitter username. Strong SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is vital for your page’s popularity and making the journey to finding your account as stress free as possible.
This also applies for the bio section, as it’s a good idea to use appropriate hashtags within your description so anyone searching, for example ‘#Lincoln #Construction’, would come across your page.
Top tip: make sure your business name is included in the @ of your username. If you want to change your current @ handle on Twitter, simply go to the account settings tab on the top right of the page and change the username listed in your username field.
2. Clear branding First impressions always count, and it’s the same for Twitter! Make sure your profile looks as professional as possible by using a correctly sized logo and cover photo that doesn’t look distorted or blurry. You want your page to be visually appealing, as well as informative, to capture your audience’s attention.
Top tip: a picture paints a thousand words! Sum up what you do as simply and creatively as possible. Our @WeAreLava account is the perfect example:
3. Link to your website Make sure you add your website’s URL to your bio. This gives your audience the opportunity to easily research your services further with just the click of a button, which, in return, could win you new business, increase your sales and help you network virtually within your industry.
4. Upload photos You want your content to be as visually inviting as possible, when people are flicking through their news feed, an interesting picture or other form of multimedia is a sure way to make them stop in their tracks and delve a little deeper by clicking on your Tweet.
5. Use the lingo Twitter was created to be concise and snappy, so to get the most out of the platform, speak in its language. Tagging other companies in with the @ symbol and using appropriate #s will increase the reach of your Tweet and give you a more dominant voice when interacting online.
If you find where to use @ or # symbol’s confusing, a good rule of thumb is: @ = tagging other people in # = key words.
Top tip: use the search bar and type in either your company’s name or relevant keywords to see who’s talking about your business. This could open up an interesting conversation or help find Tweets where people have forgotten to tag you in!
6. Tweet regularly The more you post, the more familiar people will be with your product.
If you don’t have someone specifically in charge of your social media, it can be time consuming to post informative and engaging content whilst trying to juggle your other day-to-day jobs.
Top tip: write your social media content a week in advance (as well as on the day if you can!) This will free up time and ensure your page is always filled with interesting posts.
7. Be in the loop! The Moments tab on the top left of your screen is a useful new tool that Twitter has rolled out to make the platform a hub for news and information.
Top tip: is there something groundbreaking or newsworthy happening in your industry? Has someone written an interesting article commenting on the subject? Retweet it! This will keep you up-to-date in terms of news and creates the image of being proactive within your industry, as breaking and topical news topics will be featured on your page.
8. Be sociable Social media is meant to be sociable! If someone interacts with your business, try to make the time to respond, favourite or RT as a form of acknowledgement! This gives your business an approachable and friendly image that, in return, will increase customer loyalty to your brand.
Top tip: if someone Tweets a complaint about your business, reply politely and ask them to direct message you. This will stop your interaction from being in the public domain and will show the person complaining that you’re trying to resolve the issue.
9. Grow your audience Are you trying to grow the amount of followers you have? A good technique to increasing this quickly and with no costs at all is to follow other relevant accounts. From competitors, clients and local media to companies and figureheads in the area, people usually follow back, so put the time in and you’ll reap in the rewards.
10. Enjoy your account! When writing your social media content, try and think like your audience. Do you find the Tweet you’ve just written interesting? Would you click or engage with it if you weren’t connected to the company? Try to answer ‘yes’ to these questions and the energy will ooze out of your account, making it an exciting and enjoyable place to be. With these ten top tips, your Twitter has the potential to be taken to the next level, whether that’s in terms of increasing your followers or improving engagement with your audience. Twitter’s come a long way in a decade and we can’t wait to see the platform evolve even more!
There you go. I’ve said it. Right at the start of this piece, I’ve set my stall out..
You can’t say anything in 140 characters. It’s difficult to work creatively with images and video. It’s nearly impossible to find anything useful in your Twitter stream when you follow thousands of people in order to get them to follow back.
Okay, that’s a bit harsh. Twitter has its role. I use it a lot for getting news out, pointing people to websites and, in a personal role, for finding session plans for football training.
However, I don’t think I’ve ever managed to sell anything for a client via Twitter or have meaningful and productive engagement with people interested in my clients’ services. All of that is achieved by using Facebook.
Facebook, to me, is just simply better than Twitter from a marketing perspective. Facebook allows greater creativity. It provides better analytics. Yes, it’s a business, and given recent changes to Facebook’s business model, marketers are having to pay a little to reach people, but it’s worth it.
Let’s look at what you can achieve with Facebook.
You can post more than 140 characters – so you can say more.
You can upload images, videos and audio – that people can see immediately.
You have apps that can be embedded into your Facebook page – allowing you to sell tickets for events or enabling people to sign up to newsletters quickly and easily.
You can advertise effectively – Facebook allows you to target demographics, locations and interests in a far more comprehensive way than Twitter’s fledgling ad platform does.
You can evaluate your efforts – Facebook has analytics built in (as does Twitter to be fair).
You can reach more people – Facebook is still the largest social media platform in the world.
You can survive online with just a Facebook page, you don’t have to have a website – some companies I know only have a Facebook page. It’s all they need.
What all of these factors give you is greater scope for creativity. The more creative you are, the better the chance of creating engagement.
We’ve run several Facebook campaigns. Not so long ago, we used Facebook as the platform for our Hallo’win promotion. People received a pumpkin from us and were challenged to carve it, post their pictures on our Facebook page and then ask people to Like their pimped up pumpkin. The artwork with the most likes on 31st October won! Not only did this promotion get people engaged in a fun activity, but people shared our promotion with their friends.
Just last week, we set up a Facebook page for an event that we’re helping to organise. With just one promoted post, we directed 93 people to the box office page on the event’s website and generated 30 sales. Just as important, people are still sharing our post, so that one piece of marketing activity is continuing to deliver a return.
For that very same event, we’re also able to answer people’s questions, direct them to the event website and provide customer service all within an environment they’re comfortable with.
We also have a Twitter stream, Instagram and YouTube account set up for the event. Yes, we will push our news out in 140 characters and shortened links. Yes, we will publish photos and videos. All of these social channels have their place in our campaign but for me, the one social media channel above all others that I Like the most, is Facebook.
Back in 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill killed 11 people and caused unparalleled damage to the environment. Yesterday, BP reached an £12bn settlement with the US Department of Justice.
Thankfully, most of us won’t face a crisis on the same scale as BP, however, every comms team should be prepared for something to go wrong.
Have a crisis plan Rather than panicking when a crisis hits, having a plan ready to go when it does will make life much easier. Start by jotting down the potential scenarios and then assume that they have happened.
Crises fall into two categories uncontrolled (employee death, fires and the like) and controlled (job losses, takeovers etc) so you will need to have a plan in place for these different scenarios.
Decide what you will need to do – issue press releases, schedule media interviews, update your website – and create action points. Align these with the level of the crisis, assign specific people/roles responsibility for each task and create a crisis plan document so you’re prepared when disaster hits. And don’t forget to include an internal communications chain!
Use one voice When a crisis hits, it is very tempting for different people to answer questions and queries – often giving different answers. But it is essential to ensure a consistent message is delivered by one central spokesperson – at the highest possible level within the business. Make sure the elected person has the knowledge, sensitivity, authority and interpersonal skills to deliver your message and is accessible to the media.
Be prepared Before speaking to the media make sure that you are prepared to answer any difficult questions. Be informed about the situation and understand what you can and can’t say. Don’t volunteer potentially damaging information and make sure to stick to the facts.
Don’t overlook social media In this digital age, social media is one of the biggest headaches facing companies in crisis. Within minutes, the whole world can know – and be making comments – about your crisis. Use this to your advantage and be proactive in communicating with your customers – answer their concerns and provide information. It’s also a great tool to gauge public reaction to a situation.
Be honest No matter how many bad examples of crisis management you read, many businesses still insist on learning the hard way. A network of smoke, mirrors and untruths will be discovered and you will end up with egg on your face and your reputation in tatters. Combat this by being as honest as you can with your customers and taking responsibility – they will respect you for it.
Don’t hide Another mistake many companies make is falling into a black hole the second a crisis hits. Make sure to keep communicating – even if nothing has changed – and be proactive.
Monitor public opinion Make sure to keep on top of public opinion – social media is a great tool here – and respond accordingly. This will help you to evolve your crisis communications plan as the situation develops.
Learn & improve Once the dust has settled, get your crisis team together and evaluate your response. What worked well? What didn’t? What could you do better? Make sure to update your plan.
Do you have any other tips to share about managing a crisis or issue? Let us know by posting a comment.
We’re looking for an experienced PR and social media marketer to join our Lincoln team.
The ideal candidate will have around two years PR experience gained in an agency or in-house. They will be a talented writer, capable of crafting news releases, feature length articles, case studies and website copy. They will have managed social media activity on behalf of clients. Creativity, great inter-personnel skills, a sense of humour and a can-do attitude are also required to thrive in this role.
Lava is an award-winning integrated marketing agency offering design, digital, PR and social media marketing support to clients across the private, public and third sectors. Our new recruit will be working closely with an Account Manager on a range of b2b and b2c campaigns, undertaking trade and consumer media relations as well as creating engaging social media activity. They’ll also be involved in new business activity, coming up with great ideas to pitch to potential clients. There’s a bit of admin to do too, but that’s life.
A salary between £16 – £18K, 33 days annual leave (25 days + Bank Holidays) and a chance to grow your career in a dynamic, lively and successful agency are on offer to the right candidate.
If this sounds like the job for you, then email your CV, some examples of the coverage you’ve generated for clients in the past and a writing sample to [email protected] before midday on 6th March.
We’re busy and getting busier! We’re looking for two experienced PR people to join us in either Lincoln or Nottingham in the New Year. So, if you’re looking for a new job to kick start your 2014, read on …
We need a Senior Account Manager or Account Director to lead a portfolio of B2C and B2B campaigns and play a significant role in new business activity.
We’re also looking for an Account Manager to work on the same portfolio of clients, implementing integrated campaigns, comprising traditional PR, social media activity and copywriting for print materials, advertising and advertorials.
Both new members of our team will be ambitious, talented, driven and have a can-do attitude. They’ll be looking to take on more responsibility and want to join a fast-paced, award-winning agency and a play an active part in its rapid growth.
A competitive salary, 25 days holiday + their birthday off and the chance to work in a fun environment with a fantastic team await!
To apply send a covering letter, CV and portfolio of amazing coverage which you’ve generated for clients to [email protected] by 17th January.
So, here’s the story. We send out our festive Christmas card and challenge everyone to make the enclosed origami Christmas Penguin.
William Wright, drivetime presenter at BBC Radio Lincolnshire, has a go and a very good go it is. He’s so impressed with his Christmas creation that he gives it a little mention on air (thankyou!) and Tweets a picture (@MrWilliam).
Next thing we know, a picture of Jeremy Vine posing with a Lava Christmas Penguin is Tweeted to us. Yes, that’s right! Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2 presenter! Amazing!
We’re not sure how the Christmas Penguin found its way from Lincoln to London – it is, as Mr William says – a bit of Christmas magic!