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How To Write The Best Tweet Ever

Twitter and tweets

It may only contain 140 characters, but mastering the art of writing epic tweets is not to be sniffed at. Visualise this; over 500 million tweets are sent every single day - that’s 200 billion per year! So it’s fair to say at this point, that Twitter is a rather effective channel for communication.

Now you could be tweeting from your account all day long, all night too in fact, but if what you’re posting is not engaging a desired target audience, it is an exercise of futility. The power of Twitter as a marketing tool has now been realised by the masses, which is why it’s so important now to write better tweets than ever before.

So what we’re after is maximum readability, with maximum retweetability. These are the factors that count, which give you the best opportunity to go viral. That means the potential to get your business name in front of the eyes of millions of people from all around the world.

Here are 5 things to remember when crafting that oh so important tweet:

Keep it snappy
Twitter has mastered the stream of consciousness style. It has no use for long sentences. It’s quick, immediate and reactionary. If it’s not concise and easy to read, people won’t read - it’s as simple as that. When you do have lots to say, break it down in to separate tweets make sure you ignore all the guff.

STAND OUT
What Twitter accounts do you enjoy the most? What are they doing differently to their competitors? Why this is important to understand is because they are clearly doing something right to make you sit up and take notice. Subconsciously, we remember that person or company in future and this level of interest will only rise if their tweets maintain a consistent quality.

Absolutely no sales talk
The tweets you create should tell a story. Who are you? What do you do? And why do you do it? Write like you’re telling this story to a friend. Keep it conversational and leave the jargon at the door. You’ll soon learn that the posts that achieve the most engagement are informal yet genuine.

Wit is a sword, use it
What wit brings with it is emotion and that’s exactly what we want. This is a chance to demonstrate expertise, industry know-how as well as to inject your brand with some much-needed humour. Twitter is the perfect place to provide this.

What would your followers like to see?
It’s important to think like your desired readers if you want to capture their imaginations. Take the time to use the correct language, hashtags and craft it accurately to ensure it appeals to those you want to see it. Remember, you are creating this post for the benefit of your customers, not yourself.
Think you’ve posted the best tweet ever? Send it our way and we’ll put it to the test for you.

The Facebook Post That Saved A Woman’s Life

Facebook Like

The information age gets a lot of bad press. As a social media-marketing agency, we know this better than most. In an era of email, text messages, Facebook and Twitter, this addiction to technology is supposedly making us less efficient, and less intelligent.

Many have stated that this quick and easy way of learning about everything from our friends’ whereabouts to current affairs may be eroding our ability to think, which is why when a positive news story concerning social media appears, it’s worth remembering just what an important tool this plays in modern life.

Her name is Laura Everley and she was suffering from bloating, lower back pain and constipation for three months as well needing to urinate very regularly.

Laura had previously suffered from IBS and endometriosis so had attributed these symptoms down to those conditions. But it was only after seeing a Facebook post on her timeline that she decided to explore further.

‘A friend had shared a post from a friend of theirs about her experiences of cancer and what she’d been through. There was a list of symptoms and I realised I had them all,’ said the mother of one.

Laura’s premonitions were confirmed in October 2014 after doctors at East Surrey hospital diagnosed her with cell carcinoma (a type of ovarian cancer) not long after reading the post.

After multiple tests, doctors performed a hysterectomy to remove the young mums uterus and ovaries, in which Laura describes a heart-breaking decision to make.

‘It was difficult but I decided on the full hysterectomy – I didn’t want my cancer coming back. I already had Harry, but I would have liked to have had more children,’ she said.

Laura is now nearing the end of chemotherapy and is hoping this story raises awareness about the symptoms of this disease in order to help those suffering from the same symptoms.

Why Twitter’s New Search Experience Is Great News For Businesses

Twitter Buttons

If you’re not already using Twitter in order to market your business because you’re unaware of its potential benefits, shame on us. If you still aren’t going to use Twitter in order to market your business after reading this blog, then shame on you.

As businesses all over the world try to reap the rewards that social media has to offer, the online networking service is currently experimenting with a new search interface that makes things that much more simpler.

The new look Twitter has tabs for top, live, accounts, photos and videos. It also features tweets according to popularity, while ‘all tweets’ are done chronologically.

As well as this, it’s showcasing trending topics under the search page on its mobile apps. This means you’ll be able to see all your ‘Tailored Trends’ alongside a short description of each, so you're more engaged with what’s happening right now.

The new layout gives the user much more control in terms of who you want to target or see information from. This is perfect for businesses because every market has a demographic of customers it want to reach and these new updates will allow you connect with big influencers – those who carry weight in your industry and your target audience that much more effectively.

Networking is without doubt Twitter’s biggest asset. It’s a gigantic community of ideas and information, as well as it being a fabulous place to show off what makes your business different and stand out from the rest.

These new features that enable a greater level of search experience are being rolled out gradually and the company is working in partnership with Google to incorporate the full Twitter firehose in Google’s search results.

Twitter only recently updated its new Advanced Search in 2014, which meant finely tuning results by factors such as location, sentiment and specific time periods and words. So you can see why everybody is telling you to ‘get on Twitter’.

Make sure you have a presence on this popular social network!

Photo Source: By Garrett Heath (Twitter Buttons at OSCON) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

5 Telling Signs Your Client Relationship Is In Trouble

Client Relationship

In the world of social media management, when day-to-day delivery means you are forever fighting the clock, client management can be a part of the job that is often overlooked. Neglecting this relationship ultimately ends one way, the client losing their passion for social media and looking for alternative means, methods or companies to market their service or product instead of you. Therefore, the value of nurturing this dynamic is absolutely pivotal to ensure a client receives a rewarding experience. Here are 5 telling signs that your client relationship is on the rocks, and how to go about fixing these problems:

1. Avoids your emails

If you have something important to say to your client, nothing beats the personal touch of a phone call. Despite its prevalence today in communication, you want to be more than just an email address. The phone is great for delivering good news and is a proven method to build a better relationship with your client. If they are avoiding your calls, email first and arrange a scheduled time to talk.

2. There’s a leadership change

You could be getting on just fine with a client and then bam! Your point of contact changes for one reason or another and your new client wants a complete overhaul of direction and strategy. While this may be no fault of your own, it’s important to be as helpful as possible to facilitate this change, while demonstrating your expertise along the way ensuring the value of a social media marketing service.

3. The client doesn’t feel valued

We’ve all been there. You have a lot on your plate at a particular time and your communication to a particular client is – lets say – less than prompt. This can make that business feel undervalued and overlooked. Consequently, treating every client like it’s your most important is a must. Client management is even more important that your actual delivery, so this should be number 1 in your list of priorities.

4. They fail to see a ROI

Every client wants to see a return of investment on social media, as it’s proof that the service is working. So you need to demonstrate that the strategy you have implemented is hitting the desired marketplace and that a client is getting the most with their money. Setting realistic objectives, determining effective platforms, creating valuable campaigns and recording results is a sure fire way to convey what you’re doing has real merit and is contributing to the bigger picture of achieving the clients’ aims.

5. You fail to manage expectations

Many social media managers have learned this the hard way. It’s always exciting times when a new client comes on board, as a result, it’s easy to get carried away with what you promise and what in fact you can deliver. Expectation management is a big part of the job and quality social media management takes time. You need to make sure your client understands this from the go, not 2/3 months down the line when disappointment may have already set in.
While dealing with tricky clients can be tough and not without its fair share of challenges, building a rapport with clients that is based on mutual understanding and trust, goes a long way to establishing a long term working relationship. How do you make clients feel valued? We’d love to hear answers from fellow social media managers.

Who Coined The Term ‘Social Media’ First?

AOL

The term ‘Social Media’ is very much the buzz phrase of a generation: it is used millions of times a day, generates nearly 1.5 billion hits on Google, and has completely altered the way that we market products, communicate, and share our experiences. The rise of brands such as Facebook and Twitter has taken social media to heady new heights that nobody could have possibly conceived at its inception. But who coined the term ‘Social Media’ first? This is a question that is hotly contested and there a number of people who lay claim to it meaning that nobody is completely sure.

A former executive at AOL believes that she coined the phrase first. Tina Sharkey is on record as stating that she created it when a new phrase was required for describing iVillage, whom she also worked for. However, the URL socialmedia.com, which is registered to Sharkey, first appeared in 1999 making it a late contender by all accounts.

In 1997, Ted Leonsis, was discussing the need to offer a platform through which users can communicate and be entertained online. He claims that the phrase almost certainly came out of AOL in the 1990s whilst he and other executives were beginning to develop the ideas being AOL Instant Messenger.

Going back even further to 1994, we find Darrell Berry who claims to have coined the term whilst he was developing Matisse, an online media environment. In 1995, he wrote an article about ‘social media spaces’ and how the internet, if it were to survive, would need to grow from being just simply a selection of pages into a space within which users could interact and communicate with one another. Berry points out that since the web was lacking in development, unlike nowadays, it is unlikely that he would have heard the phrase elsewhere before using it in his own work. It is a fair point but it would be nearly a decade until social media was really coming into its own online.

Another contestant is the technology expert, Chris Shipley, who many believe coined the phrase long ago. However, she herself states that she merely popularised the term although she was unaware of the phrase being used prior to then.

In short, the term ‘social media’ and its origins will perhaps never be known for certain. It is understandable why it is such a point of discussion though since it is one of the most important phrases used in the world today. Forbes magazine reported that Tina Sharkey has said that “Successful memes have many mothers, and I’m happy to simply be one of them here.” These are true words indeed and perhaps this leads us to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter who, specifically, coined the phrase since social media, by its very nature, is designed to be the combined efforts of many different people – all of whom bring something new and interesting to the fore so that the idea can evolve and grow. It seems fitting, then, that the term ‘Social Media’ has a convoluted and interactional backstory.

Photo Source: Coolcaesar at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

How Does Amir Khan Use Twitter?

Amir Khan

Amir Khan is one of the best young boxers in the world today and certainly one of the best that Great Britain has produced. His name has become synonymous with Olympic success and he is generally thought of as being a good guy who’s also known for his charity work with organisations such as the NSPCC and the Great Ormond Street Hospital. His Twitter feed is, unsurprisingly, extremely popular and follows a significant pattern.

Like many other celebrities on Twitter, Amir doesn’t tend to do a lot of responding to fans and, instead, uses Twitter like a diary with which he keeps his fans updated on his movements. He includes photos with nearly every tweet and these range from images of him with his family, to professional images of him during and after winning fights. These photos are an excellent way for Amir’s fans to feel connected to their idol by being allowed an ‘all access pass’ to his life. Recently, he has posted photos of himself training and others where he is playfully training with his young daughter, another of him at a meal with his family, and others of his parents collecting an award on his behalf.  It is clear that this is a young man with a clear set of principles and priorities.

Amir was involved in a Channel 4 show called ‘Angry Young Men’ which sought to help boys who were getting into trouble with the law and lacking direction in their lives to find a better path with the discipline of boxing and the assistance of faith and family values. You can see that these are beliefs which Amir lives his life by just by looking at his Twitter timeline: he is a positive Muslim role model for young men in Britain today. He shares the love too by often tweeting his friends with positive messages of well wishes or gratitude. He is clearly a man who has more than just professional pride and his Twitter feed demonstrates him to be someone who takes an enormous amount of pride in all positive areas of his life.

He also uses the re-tweet function a lot. This shows him to be a man who wishes to use his fame for good by furthering positive messages and news. For example, he regularly re-tweets promotions for charity events – something which is clearly close to his heart. Furthermore, he congratulates and supports hi friends and family by promoting them too – his trainer, Virgil Hunter, appears in a lot of the photos, for instance.

All in all, Amir Khan uses Twitter in a very positive way: sharing aspects of his personal life with his fans, promoting excellent causes and important messages, encouraging young people to get involved, demonstrating the virtues of hard work and effort, and generally living a positive and harmonious existence. His timeline is filled with re-tweets and photos, as well as shout outs to his friends and colleagues offering them support and love. It is an excellent collection of tweets, which show him to be an excellent person and role model.

Photo Source:By Chamber of Fear (originally posted to Flickr as Khan/Malignaggi) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

What Should Be In My Social Media Policy?

Social Media Policy

In today’s world, having a solid social media policy is just good business sense. Employees are now more connected to the outside world more than ever and so it is crucial to have your finger on the pulse of what they are saying. The recent story of the teenage employee of an American pizzeria who was fired before even starting her first shift is demonstrative of a world where employees can and will say anything they like, often leaving it down to the employer to police them. Therefore, a social media policy can help to protect your company’s image and prevent you from receiving any undue or unfair negative press.

Your social media policy should, first and foremost, lay out ground rules for what employees can and can’t say about their work and your company. If you have employees running company-specific social media then it is crucial that they have a clear understanding of the brand and what you want to be put out there. If, however, they are employed to do another role then being clear about what is acceptable online behaviour and what isn’t must be a crucial aspect of your policy. Equally, including details about exactly when their use is acceptable is important too. In today’s workplace, there are more and more potential distractions through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Buzzfeed and more that could prevent your employees from working as efficiently as they can. Be fair but be very clear about your expectations and the potential consequences too.

Other things to consider including are:

  • Rules about confidentiality – include clear guidelines about how employees should speak to customers through social media, and about what information should be kept away from the public eye: sales numbers, salaries, costs etc.
  • Copyright laws
  • Clear guidelines for employees should an argument arise online – if a disagreement should occur on a social network between an employee and a customer, be sure to equip your staff with a clearly defined procedure so that your company’s reputation is kept intact, as well as to protect the member of staff.
  • Social etiquette – remind your staff of simple social etiquette and remind them that this should be backed up by complying with the company’s code of conduct at all times. Playing nice should be innately human but, for some, it is not. Be warned!

Once you’ve written your policy, it is important to get it checked out by a lawyer to ensure that you are upholding your responsibilities as an employer, as well as your employees’ rights too. It is also vital to keep in mind that this policy is one which will need to evolve over time; new ideas are popping up online constantly and, as such, you will need to work quickly to adapt accordingly. Do not allow for any loopholes simply because you failed to keep on top of the latest trends in social media. It is also worth composing the policy with employees to ensure that everyone is happy and has had a hand in creating a vitally important document. This will allow for the immediate intervention of possible issues as well as allowing you to address any employee concerns as they arise. But regardless of its content, make sure your social media policy is clear, precise, and firm.

Why Mad Men’s Don Draper Would Make An Excellent Social Media Manager

Don Draper

Mad Men is back on our screens and with it comes the hard drinking, chain smoking, old school ways of dapper Don Draper. Whilst the ad exec was dealing with the world of marketing way before Mr Zuckerberg was even born, these pearls of wisdom prove that if Don was around today, he’d be a force to be reckoned with in the world of social media marketing.

“Maybe I’m not as comfortable being as powerless as you are.” 

Don said this after an altercation with underling Peter Campbell and it rings true for any small business owner or entrepreneur wanting to do all in their power to harness a business in the right way online. Why Don Draper would be a great social media manager is because he in ‘hands-on’ and willing to discover new ways to get a message across. Did he discover content marketing 50 years before anyone else?

“Change is neither good or bad, it simply is.”

In the retro 60’s ad agency, an advert was reworked, polished and pitched over a period of months before it was finally unveiled for TV, print or radio. In real-time social media marketing, you’re on the front line and time is of the essence. But, don’t be put off by the ever-evolving world of social media. Instead, embrace change and see it as an opportunity to try to get ahead of your competitors. An effective social media practitioner is always ahead of the curve.

“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”

Before saying this, the Head of Creative was asked to pitch a rather boring product to an over-expectant crowd and yet, he manages to pull it off with all the grace and charisma you’d expect – engaging his audience to such an extent they were left wanting more. Classic Don. Social media outreach is an opportunity to embrace your customers, talk about your USP and ‘be who they want you to be.’

“The day you sign a client is the day you start losing one.”

While there’s been tons of fantastic writing on the show, this corker is a favourite because it touches a nerve with social media managers everywhere. In an industry that’s moving so fast, mistakes will get made. However, it’s what you take away from the situation that will ultimately prevent you from making the same slip-ups in the future.

“We’re gonna sit at our desks typing while the walls fall down around us. Because we’re the least important, most important thing there is.”

Sterling Cooper Draper Price is in trouble and Peggy asks what to do after a condescending businessman patronised Don by saying ‘creative’ is the least important cog in the machine. As usual, this statement is rich with meaning (you don’t get your name on the door for nothing, you know) and Don knows that its inspirational ad campaigns that win customers, not the account men.

To quote Mark McGuiness, “typing while the walls fall down around us” is a glancing allusion at the saying “fiddling while Rome burns” – used to dismiss artistic types as hopelessly impractical. But Don’s twist on the cliché is defiant, asserting that creativity is more enduring than the walls of Rome or Madison Avenue.”

How creative do you want your social media marketing to be? We’d all love to pour a glass of whiskey and enter the head of Don Draper, sadly that’s not possible, but what the marketing guru teaches us – regardless of era – is that advertising only works when you know your audience and engage them using creative technique and flair.

Photo Source: By Angela Natividad from Paris, France (Mad Men's Jon Hamm) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

5 Celebrities Who Use Social Media The Right Way

Taylor Swift

To be a successful celebrity in the 21st Century, you have to use social media just right. Many try and fail or hire teams of people to do it for them but some celebrities nail it, all by themselves. Here are five celebrities who are using social media in clever ways.

1. Taylor Swift

The current teen queen uses social media in a way which puts her on the same level as her fans: she responds to them and tweets in the same way that they do. She’s on Tumblr responding wittily to memes about herself, using hash tags on Twitter such as ‘#taylurking’ where she posts photos of her fans clutching her latest album. In short, she is cleverly present online whilst her fans do the important work of promoting her latest song/album/whatever else Taylor Swift does. She also responds directly to her fans, encouraging them when they have a bad day or cheering them on for their successes. Put simply, Taylor Swift is doing social media right, and the world loves her even more for it.

2. Katy Perry

From one teenage dream to another, Katy Perry is a clever user of social media too. For musicians, often tours can be a way of connecting with fans but what about those who couldn’t get tickets to the show? During her 2011 California Dreams tour, Katy had her fan’s tweets being live-displayed on a giant screen whilst she performed. This was extremely clever because not only did it make the fans feel more like their input is appreciated, but it also meant that her performance was shared (and therefore promoted for free) with the fans at home too. Smart.

3. Robert Downey Jr

When RDJ is not busy being Iron Man, he is a committed user of social media. His Facebook page is particularly fun where the man himself posts regular updates about projects as well as an assortment of memes focusing on his characters. It is refreshing to see an actor embracing the popularity of his character and his social media is awash with Avengers-related humour. What’s more, he’s also running an amazing competition to win a chance to attend the Avengers: Age of Ultron premiere with him by donating to a children’s charity here in the UK.

4. Ellen DeGeneres 

If you have missed Ellen’s meteoric rise to ‘Queen of Daytime Chat Shows’ then you have probably been living under a rock. Ellen’s Twitter page is not just promotion for the show though; she regularly posts jokes, personal tweets, support for her friends and colleagues and their shows, and a whole host of photos you want to see. And, of course, there’s a little something known as ‘the most re-tweeted photos of all time’ taken by Ellen: a selfie of herself with some of Hollywood’s elite at the 2014 Oscars.

5. Leonardo DiCaprio

One of Hollywood’s biggest stars is also one of the world’s most popular social media users, boasting over 10 million followers on Twitter and 11.6 million likes on Facebook. However, Leo uses his love of social media to promote awareness of the environment and routinely pledges huge sums of money to worthwhile causes. If it’s vacuous celebrity that you’re after, he isn’t your guy; he’s got his eye on the bigger picture and is working tirelessly to make our planet that little bit better. Good work, Leo!

Photo Source: By Eva Rinaldi from Sydney Australia (Taylor Swift) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

What Is The Difference Between Marketing And Advertising?

Marketing And Advertising

Marketing and advertising are often confused for one another. They are intrinsically linked but are actually two remarkably different concepts. Put simple, advertising is the presentation of a product or an idea, whereas marketing is the introduction of something new to the marketplace. In other words, they work well together but are two different processes which must be combined to create a successful campaign.

Marketing is a complex process by which a careful strategy is formed for a new product or idea to be placed into the marketplace. This can involve using a variety of devices such as logos, colour and branding. Companies today are required to have a recognisable and relatable brand in order to be successful. A brand is something a company develops which represents them in the marketplace. The question to consider when building your brand is ‘how do you want your company to be perceived?’ Two prime examples would be HSBC and Innocent. The former, being a bank, has built a brand around being helpful and friendly but without losing a serious undertone, whereas the latter approaches healthy eating and environmental issues in a fun and often silly way, ensuring that their customers like the quirkiness of their product without being put off by anything too serious. Innocent do this by using bright colours, recognisable illustrations, and informal language; HSBC do this by using subtle colours which echo their logo and by developing a brand tagline of ‘The World’s Local Bank.’

Advertising, however, focuses more on securing new and repeat customers by promoting a new product or idea. Adverts can be found nearly anywhere in today’s world: TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, on the sides of buses, websites, even directly into our email inboxes. In recent years, some of the more successful advertising campaigns have developed narratives, jokes, catchphrases, or even gone so far as to offer cuddly toys to customers: CompareTheMarket.com came up with the idea of use meerkats to promote their insurance comparison website; the cuddly critters were initially complaining about the mistaken connection between it and their own CompareTheMeerkat.com. Since then, they have been involved in an extensive campaign which often has very little to do with insurance at all and, instead, are now instantly recognisable – the same as their catchphrase, ‘simples!’.

Both require research into how best to reach certain demographics. For instance, there is very little use in gearing up your branding and advertising campaigns to the elderly if you’re trying to see children’s toys. Customer testing is done to assess the viability of products and their ensuing advertising and marketing to ensure that they are reaching the ideal corner of the market. However, your first step would be to work on your product’s marketing by building your brand and ensuring that it (your logo included) is liked by your target audience. Following this, you would build your advertising campaign up to place your product in the market. Doing both of these things and recognising their different roles is the first step towards a successful product launch.

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