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November 20th, 2014

SocialMedia_Nov17_CYou've heard it before, and will hear it again: In order to have an effective social media presence you need to be active on more than one network. Many businesses realize this fact and are active on networks such as Twitter. The problem with Twitter, however, is that it can be difficult to master. To help, here are 10 Twitter tips.

  1. Keep posts on the shorter side - This may seem ridiculous, after all there are only 140 characters allowed per tweet, but keeping tweets short allows users to add their own comments and ideas when they retweet. Try keeping your tweets below 100 characters.
  2. Twitter is not about promotion - Studies have proven that tweets that promote a company or product don't usually do as well as messages that are more conversational in nature. If you want to ensure maximum interaction, aim for a mixture of tweets that consists of about 80% conversational and 20% promotional.
  3. Know what time to tweet - Each market is different, so take the time to research tweeting habits. If you see that the majority of your target audience is active during after-work hours, then it would make sense to tweet when they are more likely to be online. Remember, many Twitter users are connecting via their mobile devices, so you are probably better off tweeting during lunch hours, as well as pre- and post-work.
  4. Know what days to tweet - Much like knowing what time to tweet, it is a good idea to also know which days are best to tweet in order to maximize engagement. For example, if you are trying to interact more with other businesses (B2B) then it is best to tweet on days when the companies are open and an owner or manager is more likely to be looking at business systems and social accounts. Customers, however, are usually more receptive to messages on days when they aren't working e.g., Saturday and Sunday.
  5. Use hashtags - Hashtags in Twitter allow for categorization and make tweets searchable. For example, if you use the hashtag #fresh in a tweet and then search for 'fresh' on Twitter, you should see similar posts using the same hashtag.
  6. Use hashtags sparingly - There is a common trend in social media to use hashtags for nearly every word. This makes posts difficult to read and usually leads to people not sharing or retweeting your content. Instead, try to work one to three hashtag, at most, into your tweets naturally.
  7. Realize Twitter moves fast - The average trend on Twitter lasts about one hour, to one day. So, if you see a trend developing or beginning, act quick to join the conversation. Posting after the trend has faded will usually lead to tweets being ignored.
  8. Don't act on every trend - Trends come and go so quickly on Twitter that it can be tempting to try to jump on each one, or as many as possible, in order to get your message out to as many people as possible. However, not every style and subject will be relevant to your business. By shoehorning content to fit trends you could come across as insincere and lose interest from followers.
  9. Watch who you follow - Following people is one of the quickest ways to grow your own follower base - usually because users will follow those who follow them. But, when it come to business, you want to be sure to follow users who are relevant. For example, follow your customers, strategic partners, and even competitors. Following Twitter users who aren't relevant to your business is not going to get your messages read by the right people.
  10. Keep an eye on Twitter - In order to effectively spot trends and see what your target market is saying, it is worthwhile to use a program like Tweetdeck, which allows you to see all tweets, track hashtags, topics, and more.
If you would like to learn more about using Twitter in your business, contact us today to see how our services and solutions can boost your social media presence.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Social Media
February 13th, 2014

SocialMedia_Feb10_CMarketing is an incredibly important lifeline and function of nearly every business. With successful marketing a company will likely be more successful and able to grow. Nowadays, social media has become a large part of marketing, especially platforms like Twitter. While at first glance, Twitter is easy to use, there is a one big mistake many companies make that can harm the reach of their content and posts.

Social media is an always evolving idea, so what works one day won't necessarily work in the near or foreseeable future. Combine this with the various changes and features of the different social media platforms and it is nearly impossible to master every service.

When it comes to Twitter, one of the most popular features is using @username to bring the tweet to the attention of the user and to tweet about them. When you do this you and the person will be able to see it, along with people who follow that person.

What is the #1 mistake Twitter users make?

The problem is, many people put the @username at the beginning of the tweet. What this does, as we stated above, is only make the tweet visible on your feed, to the user and their followers. Why is this a problem? Well, it comes from how most businesses use Twitter. They use it to share content, e.g., a blog article or a video, etc.; to essentially tweet about the person, not at them. You see this in many tweets, for example, "@microsoft's new blog is great. Read it!"

While you want to share the content with people other than those who created it, putting @user at the front of your tweet actually limits the audience to the person who created the content and their followers - in other words the opposite of what you intend, unless Microsoft is your target audience of course!

How do you avoid mistake tweets?

If you are looking to tweet about someone or the content that user has created, using the @user is still a good idea because it will bring to the content-creator's attention that you are sharing their content. This is a great way to form relationships and even have these individuals and businesses share your content. In turn, this can help increase the potential of your content being seen by a wider audience.

For many tweets it makes sense to put the @username first as it helps make the overall tweet easier to read. The problem is, this will also limit your audience. So, for those who want to have their cake and eat it too, so to speak, add a period before @username e.g.," .@microsoft's new blog post is great. Read it!".

What this does is ensure that the tweet isn't addressed only to the user, but can be seen by everyone.

Looking to learn more about utilizing Twitter or any other social media as a part of your marketing strategy? We have a lot to tweet about and can help you tweet too.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Social Media
March 14th, 2013

SocialMedia_March12_CIt’s a sure thing that if you say ‘social media’, the vast majority of people will think of either Facebook or Twitter. These are two of the largest networks that are used, with users often having accounts with both. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to see a trend develop on one network and expand to the others. One of the more common trends is the use of the hashtag (#). Do you know what it’s for though?

The hashtag (#), commonly referred to on telephone systems as the pound key, is a character first used by users of the popular social network Twitter. According to the help forum on Twitter, “It is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.”

Look at nearly any Twitter message and there will usually be hashtags attached. If you were to search for the term e.g., #Cloudbackup on Twitter, you would get a list of all tweets that have mentioned the above example. When Twitter talks about a ‘trending topic’ it means a subject that has become popular.

This way of categorization has become so popular amongst Twitter users that it’s starting to spill over onto the other networks. Instagram for instance has given members the ability to add hashtags to pictures, so that they can be added to groups which can subsequently be searched for. Even Google has gotten in on the act, with Google+ and YouTube both supporting this system.

With Facebook, the hashtag has come to give context to a status. You’ve probably seen some status updates such as: I love Mondays #sarcasm #bored. This should be read with a sarcastic and slightly bored tone.

Because of the usefulness of the hashtag, some users have become overzealous in their use. Reading a Tweet that says ‘#Friday is #awesome, here comes a #fun #weekend.’ just looks unprofessional and could put off followers.

While effective, there are some basic rules you should follow to help get the most out of your hashtags. Here’s four.

  1. No long hashtags. Hashtags are meant to be short and associated with one word. Don’t make the mistake of adding more than about two words together, as the likelihood of users finding the tag will decrease. e.g., #Cloudservicesareawesome should be avoided, use #cloudservices instead.
  2. Minimize their use. It can be tempting to hashtag every keyword in messages, however makes them look weird, while decreasing their readability. It is a good idea to limit use to one or two per message.
  3. The hashtag is special. Don’t use it for everyday words. Instead use it for product names, or a special part of the announcement. Remember that you don’t have to use hashtags in every message. Check out Samsung Mobile’s Twitter feed to see a good example of proper use.
  4. Use a unique hashtag. If you can, try to use a unique hashtag, something that followers will be able to associate and relate to you. The key here is that when it’s used, the user is referred to you, and only you. Do a quick search on Twitter for the hashtag you would like to use, to ensure it’s not taken. Many companies will shorten their tag to initials or a shorter term, which is perfectly acceptable.

Hashtags, when used correctly, can be a great way to build brand identity and increase social media presence. If you are looking for a social media plan, please contact us today to see how we can #expandbrands.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Social Media
July 17th, 2012

In the early days of social networks, there were only a few, it was almost easy to pick which network to be on, or even easier to dismiss social media as a passing fad. Fast forward to the present day, and there seems to be a social network for nearly everything. While there are a number of networks, five really stand out.

Here’s some important information about each of the top five, as of 2012, social networks, that as a whole make up social media.

  1. Facebook. With around 900 million users, Facebook is “the” social network for connecting with nearly everyone and has become one of the main forms of communication among the younger generation. In general, over half of users are between the age of 18 and 34, and spend an average of 405 minutes a month connected. If you’re looking to connect to customers, while driving brand awareness, your company should be utilizing this network.
  2. Linkedin. Linkedin is the social network for professionals to connect with other professionals, share their experience and find a job. There are around 150 million users, 55% of whom are between the ages 26 and 44 and spend, on average, 21 minutes a month logged in. If you’re looking to connect with your colleagues, other businesses or potential employees, this is the network that allows you to do so.
  3. Twitter. Twitter is the social network that allows users to announce, or find events going on nearby. With a 140 character limit, twitter is great for those who are efficient with their words, which is apparently over 550 million people. The majority of twitter users are between the ages of 26 and 44 and spend an average of 89 minutes a month logged in. Twitter is a great way for small businesses to broadcast announcements and promotions, with the goal of driving traffic to other social networks.
  4. Google +. Google + is the closest competitor to Facebook with many similar features. There are two major differences however. The first is the userbase is quite a bit lower, around 170 million users. The second difference is users only spend 3 minutes a month, on average logged in. If your business has a Google Places page, you’re already on Google +, and with recent changes to the platform, it should become a solid network to connect with your customers in the near future.
  5. Pinterest. Pinterest is the network to discover new content and products and is one of the fastest growing social networks. Founded in 2010 and coming to prominence in 2011, the userbase is around 11.4 million and growing rapidly. What’s intriguing about Pinterest is that users spend, on average, 90 minutes a month logged in, second only to Facebook. This network is a great way for companies to drive interest in their physical products.
These five networks are by far the most popular in terms of both users, time spent logged in and overall content. What social networks you use and why do you use them? We look forward to your comments below.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Social Media
March 28th, 2012

Many companies are turning to Twitter to increase their online presence. This is a bit of a double-edged sword, as companies can easily reach a large amount of existing and potential clients at the same time. The downside is, if there is a negative tweet about your business, all subscribers can see the complaint. Does your company have a plan to address negative tweets?

Traditionally, the general rule regarding complaints was that a disgruntled customer or client will tell up to 20 people when they are unhappy, versus 5 when they are happy. When a complaint is made on Twitter, chances are very high it will be seen by more than 20 people. Complaints on Twitter should be taken seriously, even one complaint could damage your online reputation. Here are a few tips on dealing with this new breed of online customer service.

Ensure Team Alignment If you have more than one person looking over your social media accounts, or someone other than you looking over it, you need to be sure that they are experts on your products and services. This is important because it is them who will be responding to questions and complaints. If you don’t have an FAQ section set up, it is a good idea to establish answers to the most commonly asked questions, as well as answers or responses to any frequent complaints. This will provide you and your employees with a way to quickly handle displeased customers.

Prompt Response is Key Oftentimes, a quick response will go a long way in dampening the complaint. As people, we like to be acknowledged and when it is done promptly, we are more likely to be open. Many complaints are made when people are mad, and as such, the complaints tend not to show the whole picture. If you quickly respond, ask for more information or suggestions on what you can do to help, the complainer will often give you valuable feedback to use. If the complaint is serious, it is a good idea to acknowledge the complaint briefly, and then pursue a private dialogue. The average window to respond is 2-3 hours from the time of the complaint, so try to at least acknowledge the complaint within that time.

Personal Responses go a Long Way As with any response to complaints, it is a good idea to personally respond. If you use a company account, the response or apology will be read as insincere, and potentially make the problem worse. Many people feel valued when they are contacted from the owner’s or manager’s personal company account. In small businesses like yours, it is a good idea that someone at the very top replies. This will make it look like you care.

Word Limits, We Don’t Need No Word Limits The 140 character limit is usually not enough to explain yourself, or conduct damage control. So, don’t limit yourself to just the 140 characters. Use the space to acknowledge the complaint, and ask the person who lodged the complaint for their email so you can help them.

Pick Your Battles Remember one of the most important sayings in business: “You can’t please everyone, all the time.” There will always be people who complain simply because they can. In an ideal world, you would be able to personally address and solve each and every complaint, but chances are high you won’t be able to do that. Use your business sense about the complaints, or have a colleague look at the complaint and debate about what you should do.

With careful responses that are prompt and personal, there is a high chance you will turn the complaint into praise, and not only keep your client, but look good while doing it. If you have any questions about Twitter or any other social media tools, please give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

March 2nd, 2012

In late February 2012, Twitter hit 500 million users. This milestone has cemented Twitter as a major Social Media player. With this large user base, companies should be seriously considering integrating twitter with their marketing strategies. Benefits of integration include increased followers, brand awareness, and potentially a better bottom line. Here are some tips for increasing your followers.

Search for companies and people you know While it’s easy to use the search function in Twitter, it can be time consuming to search for people one by one. Instead:

  1. Log into your Twitter account
  2. Press the # Discover button at the top of the page
  3. Press Find Friends
  4. Log into the various accounts available
  5. Add people as followers
This is a great way to rapidly increase your followers, and reconnect with customers and contacts you may have lost contact with.

Combine your Twitter and Facebook feeds You can combine your Twitter and Facebook feeds easily:

  1. Log into your Twitter account
  2. Select Profile Settings
  3. Select Profile
  4. Select Post your tweets to Facebook
  5. Follow the instructions provided
Within minutes, your Tweets will show up in your Facebook status, enabling you to reach two platforms simultaneously. Be warned, this could spam your followers, causing them to stop following you - so it’s best to keep your Tweets or status updates to the most important information.

Join Twitter Ads for Small Business This recently announced service will be up and running soon, allowing small business owners to advertise on Twitter through Promoted Tweets. This service will be released in the near future, enabling businesses of all sizes to advertise.

If you are not on Twitter, would like to join, or know more please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Social Media
September 5th, 2011

Is your organization properly monitoring and managing the use of social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn by your employees? Here is a primer on what you need to know and why it matters.

The use of social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin is exploding, with some using them even while in the workplace. While these sites offer work-related benefits such as fostering better workplace communication and collaboration, they also expose the organization to risks as well. Some of the risks borne out of social networks include the mundanesuch as potentially embarrassing the company through inappropriate posts online, to the serious—such as security threats via viruses and malware or through the inappropriate sharing of proprietary or confidential material. This begs the question: are companies properly managing the use of social networking sites of employees at work?

In a survey recently published by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics with the Healthcare Compliance Association, it was discovered that for most companies, this was clearly not the case. With a sample of almost 800 respondents from for-profit, non-profit and government organizations, the survey revealed that half, or 50%, did not have a policy covering the use of social networking sites at work. Of those companies that do have a policy, 34% include it in a general policy on online usage, and just 10% specifically address the use of social networking sites.

About half of the respondents also reported that their employer also does not monitor the use of these sites, or at best has passive systems in placeusually being done by their security department. Yet despite this, a significant number, nearly one fourth of those surveyed, or 24%, report that their organization has had to discipline some employees for improper use of these sites.

Despite the suggestion from the research that a lot of companies do not yet have formal policies and governance systems in place to manage the online activities of employees in social networking sites, it suggests that over the long term it is something that they should do. Employees may be engaging in risky activities that the company is not aware ofand therefore, as with other online activities such as email, should be managed properly.

Do you agree? Or do you think that the fears of some organizations are bigger than the actual risk? Let us know. We help companies understand more fully the risks associated with online activity and how to better monitor and manage them. We would be happy to speak with you on this subject and help you make sure that your data and systems are safe.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic General Tech
April 6th, 2011

twitter cupcakeWhat’s in a 140-character tweet? Apparently a lot, as microblogging website Twitter turns five and continues to be a powerful social media and social networking tool, both for personal and business purposes alike.

Social networking and “microblogging” site Twitter turned five years old recently, a testament to how effective this kind of approach to social networking is. And in those five short years, the number of users has ballooned to up to 200 million, sending around 140 million tweets a day around the world and the number continues to grow.

March 21, 2006 marked the day Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet that read, “just setting up my twttr.” Since then, people have used the service to broadcast all sorts of things, provided they stay within the 140-character limit – from what they ate that day to updates about news and current affairs.

Much more relevant to businesses, though, is how Twitter has become an integral part of internet and social media marketing. Twitter offers a plethora of advantages that enable businesses to share information on the web much faster than traditional means.

And it’s not only for small businesses. Big organizations such as ESPN (@espn, 1,098,906 followers), Dell (@DellOutlet, 1,581,201 followers), and Amazon (@amazondeals, 204,838 folowers) use Twitter’s wide reach and large audience to update about promotions, events, and other information.

Twitter enables businesses to get in touch with audiences and gain feedback almost instantly. It’s a win-win deal – clients get to say what they want in a short, brief 140-character tweet, and businesses can respond and make the necessary improvements very efficiently. Twitter also helps direct more traffic and visitors to websites and gives the impression of a hands-on, responsive service (provided website updates are timely and relevant). The platform on which Twitter operates makes for a fast-paced exchange of information that, with the right marketing strategies, can be very advantageous for businesses.

If you want to know more about how to harness this very effective medium to beef up your internet marketing efforts, give us a call and we’ll be happy to sit down with you and create strategies that meet your needs.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic Articles
April 6th, 2011

twitter cupcakeWhat’s in a 140-character tweet? Apparently a lot, as microblogging website Twitter turns five and continues to be a powerful social media and social networking tool, both for personal and business purposes alike.

Social networking and “microblogging” site Twitter turned five years old recently, a testament to how effective this kind of approach to social networking is. And in those five short years, the number of users has ballooned to up to 200 million, sending around 140 million tweets a day around the world and the number continues to grow.

March 21, 2006 marked the day Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet that read, “just setting up my twttr.” Since then, people have used the service to broadcast all sorts of things, provided they stay within the 140-character limit – from what they ate that day to updates about news and current affairs.

Much more relevant to businesses, though, is how Twitter has become an integral part of internet and social media marketing. Twitter offers a plethora of advantages that enable businesses to share information on the web much faster than traditional means.

And it’s not only for small businesses. Big organizations such as ESPN (@espn, 1,098,906 followers), Dell (@DellOutlet, 1,581,201 followers), and Amazon (@amazondeals, 204,838 folowers) use Twitter’s wide reach and large audience to update about promotions, events, and other information.

Twitter enables businesses to get in touch with audiences and gain feedback almost instantly. It’s a win-win deal – clients get to say what they want in a short, brief 140-character tweet, and businesses can respond and make the necessary improvements very efficiently. Twitter also helps direct more traffic and visitors to websites and gives the impression of a hands-on, responsive service (provided website updates are timely and relevant). The platform on which Twitter operates makes for a fast-paced exchange of information that, with the right marketing strategies, can be very advantageous for businesses.

If you want to know more about how to harness this very effective medium to beef up your internet marketing efforts, give us a call and we’ll be happy to sit down with you and create strategies that meet your needs.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic Articles
April 6th, 2011

twitter cupcakeWhat’s in a 140-character tweet? Apparently a lot, as microblogging website Twitter turns five and continues to be a powerful social media and social networking tool, both for personal and business purposes alike.

Social networking and “microblogging” site Twitter turned five years old recently, a testament to how effective this kind of approach to social networking is. And in those five short years, the number of users has ballooned to up to 200 million, sending around 140 million tweets a day around the world and the number continues to grow.

March 21, 2006 marked the day Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet that read, “just setting up my twttr.” Since then, people have used the service to broadcast all sorts of things, provided they stay within the 140-character limit – from what they ate that day to updates about news and current affairs.

Much more relevant to businesses, though, is how Twitter has become an integral part of internet and social media marketing. Twitter offers a plethora of advantages that enable businesses to share information on the web much faster than traditional means.

And it’s not only for small businesses. Big organizations such as ESPN (@espn, 1,098,906 followers), Dell (@DellOutlet, 1,581,201 followers), and Amazon (@amazondeals, 204,838 folowers) use Twitter’s wide reach and large audience to update about promotions, events, and other information.

Twitter enables businesses to get in touch with audiences and gain feedback almost instantly. It’s a win-win deal – clients get to say what they want in a short, brief 140-character tweet, and businesses can respond and make the necessary improvements very efficiently. Twitter also helps direct more traffic and visitors to websites and gives the impression of a hands-on, responsive service (provided website updates are timely and relevant). The platform on which Twitter operates makes for a fast-paced exchange of information that, with the right marketing strategies, can be very advantageous for businesses.

If you want to know more about how to harness this very effective medium to beef up your internet marketing efforts, give us a call and we’ll be happy to sit down with you and create strategies that meet your needs.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic Articles