25 Tips to Social Media Marketing Success (2019)

Social Media Marketing Success

25 Tips to Social Media Marketing Success in 2019

Social media marketing might seem very confusing. If you have decided that social media marketing is indeed the way to go for you, then the 25 tips mentioned in this blog will definitely prove to be really useful for you.

 

Make use of only those platforms that are suitable for your business needs:

Just because you have decided to make use of social media in your marketing strategy does not necessarily mean that you will have to make use of every single platform of social media that is available.

 

You need to realize that it takes a considerable amount of time for understanding and learning about every one of these platforms before you can implement your plan.

 

Not even the most seasoned of the marketers will be able to handle more than a few of these accounts at a time, therefore you will need to spend a considerable amount of time and take a closer look at them all, look what are the benefits it would provide for your business and also whether or not it is suitable for your business before you get started.

 

Twitter and Facebook might have the largest number of subscribers and active participants, but this does not necessarily mean that these are the only choices you have got. You can also look at the different smaller platforms; you never know which of these might prove to be the best option for you.

 

Social Media Marketing is very necessary to boost your sales and make a brand. This blog explores best 25 Tips to Social Media Marketing that will provide definitely Success.

 

You will have to evaluate everything:

evaluate

There are some social media platforms that have built-in tools that will help you do this, if not you can always make use of the third party social media tools to for the purpose of analyzing your data.

 

You can make use of these tools for understanding which part of your content seems to be getting maximum responses or even perhaps the content that isn’t able to attract more users and so on. In this manner, you will be able to come up with a strategy that is suitable for your business needs.

 

Make sure that you are posting the right thing at the right time:

It is not just about what you are posting that will have an effect on the number of views that you can generate, but it also depends upon the number of people who are sharing and interacting as well.

 

The timing of your posts is of utmost importance, most B2B business just sticks to the ordinary working hours for posting, but even with the given uniformity in posting, there will definitely be some days wherein you will be able to get a much better response or vice versa.

 

You will need to put in some considerable efforts and figure out who your target audience is and the likely time they would be online, depending on this you can make a decision.

 

Start building your connections:

Start building

One of the most common mistakes that a lot of social media marketers seem to be making is that they are talking to their audience instead of talking to them.

 

You will need to engage with them on a personal level, interact with them and start building your connections. Your followers would rather associate themselves with a human being than with an automated machine.

 

You can build your connections by asking them to share their thoughts and then responding to what they have shared. If they send you any messages, then you should respond to them as soon as you can and if you start ignoring them, you can forget about any future potential conversions.

 

Going visual might help:

Going visual

People are often put off by too much text; a large block of text wouldn’t be able to generate as much interest as a video would. Start making use of images, videos and even infographics, these are visually more appealing and also contain the information that you want your users to see.

When you are making use of any visual content then you will have to make sure that it is appealing, relevant and makes sense as well.

 

Make each one of your chosen platforms unique:

There are various tools that you can make use of for sharing your content across various platforms, this usually works when you have to share information that is really important, but then if you keep doing the same for every piece of information that you are sharing, then all the platforms that you have chosen will seem to be the same.

 

You need to realize that the people who are following you on one platform are likely to follow you on different platforms; they wouldn’t want to keep seeing the same content over and over again.

 

You will have to make each of your accounts different and unique, they should all be equally engaging and appealing, this will help you gain the interest of potential customers.

 

Make it worthwhile for your followers:

When someone starts following you on any social media platform, they would want to feel appreciated for doing so.

 

To make it worthwhile for your users you can offer rewards for subscribing or even following you, this can be in the form of a small discount or even an entry to a lucky draw for a prize. An incentive will be sufficient motive for an individual to start following and this will definitely grab their attention.

 

You will need to be a personable person:

Yes, it is true that social media is more relaxed than ordinary marketing strategies of business but you will still have to maintain some professionalism about the way you do things.

 

You should give out some personal details that will provide a human character to your business but this does not mean that you start giving out your personal opinions about different things on the official page of the business.

 

If you start posting your personal views on topics related to politics or start talking about the latest celebrity gossip, it is very likely that your r followers will stop following you.

 

You need a social media manager:

social media manager

This might not seem like a real job to you, but the results of having a proper social media manager will be really helpful in generating outstanding results.

 

Not everyone is really good at managing social media, and if this does not happen to be your area of proficiency then you really should engage the services of someone who can get the job done and is good at it as well.

 

In this manner, if you have someone helping you out with these things, then you can get back to running your business smoothly without having to divide your time and attention towards the marketing campaign. All that is required of you will be supervision.

 

Instead of wasting further of your valuable resources on trying to make something that clearly isn’t working work, you should just let go of it. There are more opportunities out there that are waiting for you.

 

Start building relationships with different businesses:

Start building relationships

If there happen to be any businesses that are in the same sector or industry that you are in then you can friend them and start following them, provided they aren’t your immediate competition.

 

You can always refer customers to each other and share followers and while doing this you might also be able to pick up on some tips.

 

This might really come as a pleasant surprise the number of things that you can learn from each other. But this does not mean that you start following everyone; show some discretion and chose wisely.

 

Learn to face the trolls:

As your success and popularity start increasing the amount of attention that you will receive on social media will also increase. And this means that you should also be prepared to deal with some abuse from other people.

 

If you notice that you have haters then you should be really careful in the manner that you reply to them and you can also bloc them if it starts getting too much. But don’t block individuals just because they don’t like your company or brand, this does not send the right message across to the other users.

 

You should always leave your work at work:

Especially when you are starting out, it is really tempting to be there 24/7 and keep a watchful eye over how things are going on, but you need to realize that this really isn’t possible.

 

Mobile technology has indeed made it possible for you to check your performance on social media from the comfort of your own home, but it really won’t do you any good to keep replying to comments and queries in the middle of the night.

 

The best thing to do is not to download any of the applications that are related to your work on your phone. You shouldn’t be carrying your work home even after the business hours. Once the working hours are over you should remember that your work for the day is over as well unless and until it is a really pressing matter.

 

You don’t have to keep on selling:

selling

This might be the reason why you are in business, but it really isn’t a good idea to keep selling, this is considered to be a huge sin on social media.

 

Your followers wouldn’t want to keep getting bombarded with sales pitches after every ten minutes. You should understand that they aren’t on social media to do you a favor; instead, they are there to enjoy themselves and to learn probably.

 

All they are looking for is a way in which they will be able to build relationships and social media is for their entertainment. When they want to buy something, they will invariably come and find you, it might be on social media or it might be on your website or any other means.

 

Make sure that your business profile is complete:

All the social media platforms will provide you with sufficient space in your profile to give some information about yourself. You should make sure that your profile isn’t incomplete and also keep updating it regularly.

 

Your followers would definitely want to know about you and leaving blank spaces will not make you more appealing to them. They really wouldn’t want to follow someone whose profile isn’t even complete.

 

You should make social media a part of your plan:

Think of social media as a part of your business, an area where you should direct some of your focus.

 

Just like with any other area of business for you, you will need to make sure that you have set suitable goals and objectives to ensure that you will have a business plan to follow. And also when you have set goals you will be able to measure your performance in a much better way.

 

Make your followers eager to see your updates:

The goal of any good marketing strategy would be to get your followers to be eager to read the content that you post. Your followers should be hanging out to every word that you write, they should be eager to read your next post and they should be enthusiastic about it as well.

 

You would want them to keep checking constantly to see whether or not you have posted anything new. The only way in which you can get your followers this excited about your profile would only be by posting content that is of high quality, it is relevant and interesting to read.

 

Your content should be easy to share:

share

Technology has managed to simplify a lot of things for us. You can derive the most of anything by putting in a little bit of effort. And the same is true for social media marketing. But if you really want your content to be shared then you will have to do a little bit of work.

 

You should be able to package your content in a manner that is easy to share and also give people the buttons that would allow them to share the content with their friends or followers through their own social media pages.

 

You should make it really easy for your content to be shared that people will not be able to resist not sharing it. When the content you post keeps getting shared then your potential customers keep increasing and the conversion rate will also go up.

 

If you share something, then make sure that you comment on it:

It is not just about clicking the share option that lets you share something or even repost it. If you add a comment to something that you are sharing or reposting it would show that you are sharing it for a particular reason.

 

It would make the content seem like it is worth sharing with others. This will help you build up not just your own expertise but it will also help in building your reputation for being such an expert.

 

This tends to add a lot of value to whatever you are sharing in the future. Your personal opinion for sharing when added in the form of comment makes your followers get to know you better as well.

 

Keep checking for any grammar or spelling errors:

spelling errors

This is a really important step. You are a professional businessperson and the worst thing that you can possibly do is publishing content that is full of grammatical errors and rookie mistakes.

 

If you think the content you are about to publish is anything short of well written then it will really do you good if you don’t publish it.

 

You should check for errors and then proofread it, double check your work and read the final draft once again before you publish it. The content you publish should be well written and it should be of high quality.

 

You should learn that reply and mention isn’t the same thing:

You should get yourself accustomed to the basic features of the different social media networks that you are making use of.

 

For instance, if you start a tweet with a username, then the people to whom this tweet will be visible to would be you, the person whose username you have mentioned and anyone who is either following you or the other person.

 

If you place the username somewhere in the middle of the post then it will make it visible to people who either follow you or the user.

 

If you are trying to talk about a specific person and you also want everyone to see it then you will just have to put that person’s name in the center of the post and not at the beginning itself.

 

But there might be some instances where it makes sense to have the username at the beginning of the post and not somewhere else, then in such a case you should add a full stop after the name. When you do this, such a post will be referred to as a Mention and not as a Reply.

 

Never post on the hour:

Never post

Most of the meetings and tasks as well are scheduled in such a manner that they will start at the top of the hour and when the clock strikes, people would be proceeding on to the next item that is on their agenda. And they will definitely not be looking for any updates on various social media networks.

 

If at all a task or even a meeting finishes early or perhaps it overruns a bit, then in such a case there will be a small window of opportunity where they will be able to check the various updates on their apps.

 

Therefore, it always makes more sense to post your content either just before or just after the hour and not right on it. In this manner, you will be able to ensure that more and more people will be able to see what you are posting about.

 

Interact with those users who share your posts:

If some follower of yours shares a link to your content or perhaps retweets or reposts the same message or post that you have published, then in such a case you really should take some time out and thank them.

 

You should always keep such people on your side, these people are carrying out free advertisements for you and you should rightly thank them for doing so.

 

Building a good relationship with a user who is supporting you can go a long way. This would ensure that they would keep on sharing the content that you are posting even in the future. Free publicity and advertising can help in building your brand and thanking someone for that aren’t much of an effort.

 

Familiarize yourself with the platform guidelines:

Guidelines

Each and every platform of social media will have certain guidelines. You should familiarize yourself with these guidelines to understand the form of content that is considered to be acceptable and what isn’t acceptable.

 

Basic common sense would dictate the kind of content that is acceptable and the kind of content that isn’t acceptable. Also, you should keep checking on the terms and conditions and the various guidelines that are given by the platforms.

 

For instance, Facebook keeps updating its guidelines related to things like running competitions and so on and breaching the guidelines issued would result in a penalty or they can suspend or even delete your account from such a platform and this can cause some serious damage to your business.

 

Ensure that you have included your location in your profile:

Always ensure that you have included your location in your profile on social media networks. This will provide people with the necessary information relating to your business.

 

People would know where your business is located even if your product or service offered happens to be based on the Internet; you will still need to provide the location of your business.

 

Only if they know where you are or where they can find you, only then will they be able to check in, especially on Facebook. This really is of great importance when you have a physical store that people can visit and not add your location might cost you some potential customers.

 

Key highlights

The very first thing is to understand what social media marketing refers to and know how to use it. It is extremely important for any company to advertise themselves and their products and services.

 

The best way to do so is by making use of social media platforms. You will see that it is possible for you to reach out to millions just by being part of a social media website.

 

The next thing to do is undertake the step by step procedure that you must adopt in order to arrive at the desired results. You have to go about it in a set way so that you can save on both time and effort.

 

Start by researching the topic of social media marketing and then move to choose the best platform for yourself. The next step is for you to set yourself up online and then look for the best promotional strategies that you can use to promote your products and services.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the best platforms that you can pick to advertise your brand and products. You will see how easily you can reach out to millions. You have to make good use of Facebook pages and you will see that it is one of the best platforms to promote your brand and image.

 

Facebook is an easy platform to advertise on and it is even simpler to keep it updated. You will find it quite convenient to tell people about your products and services by making use of Facebook pages.

 

The next social media platform that you can advertise on is Twitter. Twitter, as you know, is the second most used social media platform in the world. You can keep it small and simple and advertise your brand, products, and services.

 

You can easily link all your social media platforms using this medium. You have to post Instagram pics on your twitter account and get people to notice it. You have to know how to use the #s and participate in the on-going viral movement and capitalize upon it.

 

YouTube is the next social media platform that you can use to advertise your company, products, and services. YouTube gives you the chance to make use of videos that you can upload and reach out to customers.

 

YouTube videos have the tendency to go viral, which will make it extremely easy for you to promote yourself. YouTube also has the power to demonstrate your products and services to your customers, which you should use to your advantage.

 

Instagram allows you to click pictures and upload them. These pictures need to be good quality pictures that you can use to promote your products and services. You have to appeal to as many people as possible if you wish to make the most of the platform.

 

You have to get someone famous to endorse for you as that will get you noticed by a lot of people. Instagram is possibly the best platform for you to advertise and showcase your products as a picture speaks a thousand words.

 

We looked at the different dos and don’ts of social media marketing that you have to bear in mind. It is important that you understand them carefully and do only as is asked of you too. Overdoing something will only hurt you and your company.

 

Put in the right efforts and you will see that it is simple for you to appeal to the right audience and increase your customer base. You can go through the don’ts again and steer clear of them.

 

Remember that the customer is always king. When you keep them happy you will see that your business is growing in leaps and bounds. So, you have to listen to what they are saying and keep them satisfied. Don’t unnecessarily fall into traps that some of the customers or non-customers will set up.

 

They will only be interested in pestering you and not really interested in buying any of your products and services. You have to learn to turn a blind eye to such people and continue with interacting with all your best customers.

 

You have to organize events for your best customers in order to understand them better and also keep them happy. The event needs to be good in order to keep the audience interested and educate as many new people about it as possible.

 

You have to focus on the offers that you organize for these people as that has the capacity to pull your audience in and keep them interested. Try to be as unique with your offers as possible and be creative.

 

There are other types of social networking sites that you can work with to promote your company. These include linked in, Google+ etc. All of these will help you reach out to a bigger and diverse audience.

 

After all, isn’t that what you want? A big audience that will keep your business going for a long time, so you have to put in an effort to be present on all the platforms that exist on the Internet and diversify your presence.

 

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Setting the Stage

brand strategy

With so many avenues to approach and design a brand strategy, it is always beneficial to the success of the strategy to plan ahead. Social media strategies should be synergistic with the overall corporate communications, public relations (PR), and marketing plans.

 

Successful social strategies include elements from every department within the company. A few elements to keep in mind as you begin to design your social media strategy include the following:

 

Goal Plan: When companies decide to embark upon a social strategy, including setting up a Facebook fan page, creating a Pinterest board, or initiating a Twitter account, they must first define what they want to achieve.

 

Set clear goals and be sure to consider how this activity fits within the overall communications strategy. You also need to take the time to determine whether your customers utilize the particular social networking site(s) that you plan to utilize.

 

Content Plan: Formulate a plan for maintenance of your content. Social sites must be continually maintained or consumers will become uninterested and leave. Your social strategy should outline the frequency that devised content will be uploaded—hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. Consistency is key; however, posting relevant content is equally important.

 

Conversation Plan: Companies must determine the types of conversations that they are seeking to have with their consumers. It is also helpful to consider any anticipated responses that will materialize.

 

Is a retweet good enough, or is the expectation to converse back and forth between customers and your brand? Is liking a post on Facebook okay, or does the company want consumers to share the information with their audiences too?

 

Operation Plan: Who is going to manage the social site? Planning is always fun, but once the planning is over, someone must curate content and maintain the site. Protocols, reputation management guidelines, and rules for conduct are all essential.

 

Evaluation Plan: As with all PR planning, the “evaluate” stage is critical. One method of measurement is to record the number of conversation starters. For example, you can track the number of status updates, videos, or links that a company shares to generate conversations.

 

Companies can also track the number of fans, increases in fans, likes, and posts generated by fans. Measuring outcomes that correlate with corporate goals and communication goals is also a good way to evaluate the success of a social strategy.

 

Social strategies should support the overarching goals of the communications plan and those of the company. Any metrics collected should be weighed against those goals to understand the level of success that each initiative has achieved.

 

Things to Be Kept in Mind

Mind

Social media marketing seems to be the “in” thing these days, but there are some important things that you need to keep in your mind while you are making use of this in your marketing strategies.

 

You need to come up with a mental checklist that will let you ensure that all the efforts that you are putting into this campaign are not just goal oriented but also capable of being measured while proving to be successful.

 

In this blog, we will take a look at ten things that you need to keep in your mind while you are developing your social media marketing strategies.

 

This is not just an additional platform

The broadcast marketers might make you believe that these social networking platforms are nothing more than an additional platform that will let you distribute your message to the masses.

 

Well, this really isn’t true. All the different companies and organizations that solely focus on their press releases and also keep talking about themselves will definitely end up as social media road kill.

 

You don’t want this, do you? Social media happens to be an important platform where you can engage with your existing customers and attract potential customers, so put in some effort and develop an engaging campaign.

 

Beware of social media experts

social media experts

Beware of these so-called social media experts; they are simply sprouting up out of nowhere. Everyone claims to be a social media expert these days. They all can talk the talk but not many of them can walk the walk. Simply having the knowledge about how to tweet doesn’t make anyone an authority on this subject.

 

If any of these so-called experts can manage to show that they have had years of productivity, have a good reputation, come with good and genuine references and have managed to produce results that can be quantified.

 

Only such a person can be genuinely called as an expert. So, you needn’t worry and you don’t need a social media expert, as long as you know what you are doing and how to do it you will be fine. Be wary of anyone who claims to be a social media expert.

 

Some things never really change

The world of marketing has had a complete makeover; the way it is being approached and looked at has also changed. But there are some things that never really change even after the advent of all the technology. 

 

These old-fashioned rules can be thought of as the basic ethics and they will never go out of fashion. It is crucial to know about the dynamics of your target audience, the value that your organization can add to their lives and also your ability to develop and offer such products and services that can satisfy their needs and wants are the areas that you really need to concentrate on.

 

And this information can prove to be very valuable for your marketing campaign. So, do not stray away from these concepts just because you have opted for social media marketing.

 

Social media marketing isn’t restricted to just Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter

Yes, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are really popular social media sites but these aren’t the only social networking platforms. In fact, they just form a tiny fragment of the social media ecosystem.

 

Web forums, email lists, podcasts, social bookmarking sites, different video, and photo sharing services and niche online communities all form a part of the world of social media.

 

You need to keep in mind that you haven’t restricted your campaign to just one platform. You will need to make an effort and understand the different platforms that your customers are making use of and start getting involved on those platforms to attract more customers.

 

It’s all about creating and maintaining relationships

Building relationships

At the end of the day, marketing is all about creating and building relationships. And social media provides you with all the necessary tools and likely platforms for you to get this job done.

 

But this does not mean that you should ignore the basics things such as one on one personal communication, because this helps in building a good rapport with your customers. You can’t build a relationship overnight, it takes a while. It is not just about the technology that we make use of; it’s about human beings.

 

Don’t get carried away

Social media is a powerful tool, but you need to realize that it can help you do a lot of things but not everything. Considerable time and effort should be dedicated to developing a marketing strategy that would actually work.

 

You will always have to do your bit if you want to achieve your goals. Social media marketing will work only if you have a good marketing strategy. So, put some effort into it.

 

It is not just confined to one thing

There are different elements that you will need to combine in a harmonious manner if you really want your campaign to work. Social media would be just one element; you will have to ensure that all the other elements of the campaign would also go hand in hand with this.

 

You cannot completely ignore the traditional methods of marketing and should develop a marketing campaign that would strategically involve both the new and old methods. You should give equal importance to all the other elements as well, instead of just solely depending on social media.

 

Social Media Marketing Success Stories

Social Media Marketing Success

Social media marketing has managed to take the world by storm. Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are still the go-to social media platforms for most of the digital marketers today.

 

But with the arrival of an increasing number of social networking applications, the digital marketers have an opportunity to look for different ways in which they will be able to expand their brand into different social networking platforms, increase their awareness and also broaden their scope of marketing.

 

Of late it seems like brands are more than willing to turn towards newer social networking sites and are much open to try and experiment with their campaigns by making them more edgy, funny and something that is different from their usual campaigns. Brands are trying to break free of their preconceived image and offer something more to their customers.

 

Once these videos had been shot they would be turned into GIFs that were shared on various social networking sites such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram along with the links to their e-commerce site. These GIFs were of high quality and their innovative idea did help them gain quite a fan following.

 

Spotify had recently launched a new tool that would scan the playlist of the user and their history as well and inform them of the artists that they had been the early listeners of who had later on become quite popular.

 

Spotify had decided to take this tool to Instagram, a social media platform for its promotion and had started using the hashtag #foundthemfirst.

 

This campaign for the promotion of their online tool was successful because Spotify had decided to keep it simple and didn’t unnecessarily over think it. Making the user data available that the company had with it was a really good marketing tactic. Spotify is all about connecting fans to the music that they appreciate and also giving them the inside details of this world.

 

Critics have often written off Hillary Clinton as being too cold, calculating and controlled. The PR team behind the Clinton campaign decided to change this general perception of the public by making use of a social networking platform and they chose Snapchat for this purpose.

 

The Snapstories that were posted by Hillary were successful because they managed to humanize her ill-conceived character and made her seem more relatable than all those speeches that she had ever made.

 

Burberry, the British fashion house in a move to promote their clothing line had decided to make use of Periscope for streaming live their menswear fashion show and they also made use of Snapchat for providing a fleeting photographic update of the event.

 

This helped the iconic brand receive the best digital engagement that they had probably ever received. A month after this the fashion house had decided to stream live their fashion show that was held in Los Angeles on Snapchat and this helped them create over 100 million impressions.

 

This proves that if you know what your target base is then making use of social media marketing will prove to be really beneficial.

 

If you just know this one thing, then you can make use of the best resources available and create a marketing campaign that is beautifully strategized. Such a well-designed campaign will provide you with amazing results.

 

Building your brand

Building your brand

Some of the organizations these days are slowly moving away from destination websites and are instead shifting their focus on various community building strategies. If you really want to build your brand, then you will have to concentrate on various other things as well.

 

It is a really good move to have established your brand on major platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram, but what you need to remember is that these aren’t your only options.

 

You need to understand that your existing customers, as well as potential and likely customers, might be active on various other platforms and affinity groups that aren’t a part of the above mentioned popular platforms. You will need to broaden your horizons.

 

It isn’t just about return on relationship

You should be able to measure your success by making use of a mix of qualitative as well as quantitative metrics. But apart from it, you should also concentrate on different aspects such as brand recognition, the reputation of the brand in the market and the public’s awareness.

 

But you should also pay equal attention to metrics such as the money that has been raised, any increase in the number of attendees and subscribers, also an increase in the widgets that are sold and so on.

 

All these things will give you an idea of whether or not your business is doing well. You will have to be able to track the changes that have been produced by using social media marketing, if and only when you are able to obtain this data you will be able to know whether or not your social media strategy has worked.

 

You need to be sociable

You need to remember that at the end of the day there is one thing that is very important. You just need to be sociable, after all, social media is all about being sociable. 

 

You will need to come up with a strategy that will make your brand seem more socially appealing to your potential customers. It is about creating a good reputation for your brand.

 

Twitter

Twitter

Another social tool, Twitter, is often incorporated into a social strategy because it is a great way to start a conversation with your target market and build and manage connections with customers, prospects, bloggers, and a myriad of other influencers.

 

Launched in 2006, Twitter is a powerhouse on the social sphere. People clamor to connect with one another, update their statuses, learn about new products, share ideas, and create connections on Twitter. Twitter is one of the best social media channels for customer engagement.

 

With more than 500 million active users sending more than 500 million tweets per day, Twitter has become a crucial social media tool.

 

Businesses, both big and small, use Twitter for a variety of reasons, including lead generation, customer service, and even competitive intelligence. The rationale for introducing Twitter in the social strategy will vary based on individual company goals and outcomes.

 

Twitter is known as a “microblogging” service. The once succinct 140- character limit was eliminated by the company in favor of a more robust 280-character limit. Twitter noted that the “longer character count allowed users to express more of their thoughts without running out of room to tweet.”

 

Many argued that the increase to 280 characters would make Twitter less readable, as longer tweets filled their timelines. Others suggested that Twitter’s focus on a feature no one really asked for was diverting its attention from more critical problems— like the rampant abuse, harassment and bullying it’s become known for, unfortunately.”

 

Only time will tell how brands will use the 280-character count to connect with their target audience.

 

ABCs and 123s of Twitter

Similar to the other social networks, Twitter also uses a set of common terms, symbols, and language—often dictating how users behave. The following are key terms that all Twitter users should know:

 

Twitter Handle—an individual’s or entity’s username. This is the name used to represent an individual or a company on Twitter. For example, Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, tweets from the Twitter handle @EdelmanPR.

 

Symbol—probably the most common symbol used on Twitter. This signifies that you are commenting or conversing with another Twitter user directly.

 

RT—retweet. When a user RTs a fellow user’s tweet, it is essentially like forwarding that tweet to all of the people in that user’s own Twitter stream.

 

In business, RTs spread the information that a company wants to share with others, including links to articles, blogs, newspapers, websites, journals, contests, and coupons. When retweeting, a user should always credit the original user.

 

Hashtag—used to aggregate a conversation surrounding an event, topic, or theme. For example, this blog uses #LRNSMPR to share links about social media and PR. Hashtags are created by combining the “#” symbol with a word, phrase, or acronym. When a tweet contains a hashtag, it then becomes searchable.

 

Like—represented by a small heart icon in a tweet. These are most commonly used when users like a tweet. Liking a tweet can let the original poster know that his or her content resonated with you, or you can save the tweet for later.

 

DM—direct message. A private message from one Twitter user to another. A DM can only be sent if both Twitter users follow one another.

Twitter Stream—a list of a user’s real-time Twitter updates.

 

Twitter Chat—an event held entirely online and intended as a forum for people to exchange ideas and discuss a specific topic. Twitter users connect with other like-minded Twitter users. Twitter chats are casual events that do not require registration and are generally organized by an individual or small group, an organization, or company.

 

The intention of any Twitter chat is to be educational, conversational, and informative. Twitter chats are not forums to promote or sell products.

 

A popular Twitter chat among PR professionals and students is #PRStudChat. This event is designed to bring together PR students, professionals, and educators for energetic conversations surrounding the PR industry and to provide opportunities for learning, networking, and mentoring.

 

Twitter List—a curated group of Twitter users that are organized by the commonalities among its participants. Lists help individuals and companies organize their followers into categories or groups. This allows a user to easily view tweets from a specific group without having to scan an entire feed.

 

Blue Verified Badge—lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic.

URL Shorteners—used to shorten and share links. The most frequently used shorteners include Google URL Shortener (Google URL Shortener), and TinyURL.

 

The Business of Twitter

Twitter

There are numerous lists available that identify the ways in which businesses are using Twitter to connect and, yes, even monetize their strategies. PR practitioners should lead the company strategy on Twitter by tweeting useful resources, insightful ideas, and helpful tips that will ultimately benefit their followers.

 

Establishing company representatives as leaders within an industry is common in PR. Tweeting company resources, including white papers, blogs, and ebooks, is an excellent way to illustrate that a company representative is a thought leader.

 

Following social media strategies and connecting with others on the social web is not just about your company.

 

Take the time and commit the effort to link other resources within communications to your consumer base beyond those only written by the company.

 

In the business realm, using Twitter is more than merely tweeting content. A company Twitter page is like any other piece of collateral. It must be branded. The first thing a company should do when initiating a Twitter handle is to upload an image as the profile picture that represents the company and what the company has to say.

 

Many companies opt to use a branded logo. Some small businesses or sole proprietors opt to use a photo of the person who maintains the Twitter account. Regardless of the image chosen, it should represent the professional image of the company.

 

The profile background and header image should blend together well since they also represent the brand. You want to make it easy for users to find what they are seeking when they search for you or your company on Twitter.

 

It is important to detail your real name and location or the name of your company and where it is headquartered. Finally, write the best, most succinct bio that you possibly can. What captures your company attitude? Companies should have fun and be creative when writing the 160-character biography.

 

Some companies include other Twitter handles managed by the company and even Twitter chats that the company hosts. Moosejaw, the Michigan-based outdoor apparel company, uses its logo and the quippy tagline “The most fun outdoor retailer on the planet” for its Twitter image.

 

The Coca-Cola Company has distinct accounts for specific products and independent channels. Twitter users who follow @CocaColaCo can learn about what’s happening within the company itself.

 

Those who follow @Coca-ColaZero can get the latest updates on their favorite soda, while users who follow @WorldofCocaCola can experience the story of the company, interact with the Coca-Cola polar bear, and learn more about the more than one hundred flavors the company offers across the globe.

 

Managing a company brand on Twitter is fairly straightforward and is accomplished by monitoring what is happening with your brand and what is going on within your industry.

 

Staying abreast of the conversations on Twitter helps brands connect more intimately with their customers, while at the same time eliminating surprises, including disgruntled customers and faulty products.

 

When a company appoints an individual to manage its Twitter account, that person should be knowledgeable, a good listener, and trustworthy.

 

Twitter is not an advertisement, marketing campaign, or a fad. Any company that enacts a Twitter strategy would benefit from appointing individuals whom it trusts completely with its brand reputation since Twitter users expect to interact with a real person.

 

Bonding with Followers

Followers

The value of any interaction on social media is the conversation and relationship that is cultivated with real people and real customers. Using Twitter, there are plenty of ways to interact with your customers and engage in meaningful conversations.

 

Special offers and coupons are often used. Companies can easily tweet exclusive offers to their followers. A benefit of using Twitter to support this strategy is that when the offer is compelling enough, the follower will not only redeem the offer but also share it with his or her followers.

 

A good habit to get into is to link back to a company landing page where customers can download the coupon, ebook, or free code to the latest webinar the company has hosted.

 

When companies steer customers back to a specified webpage, they create an opportunity to expose customers to the company website, where they may be inclined to look at or purchase other products.

 

Customer service is often an avenue of connection on Twitter. When customers have questions for the company, they rely on Twitter. When customers have complaints, they rely on Twitter.

 

According to AJ Agrawal, entrepreneur and Forbes contributor, “Companies who use Twitter as a customer service portal typically see a 19% lift in the satisfaction of their customers. Most of us, as customers, value customer service more than anything else.

 

We hate having to wait to solve a solution over the phone, expect prompt responses and want to walk away from the problem has found a solution. What’s more, with 75% of us loving the instant gratification that social media brings, contacting companies on social is making more and more sense.”

 

One of the leading brands supporting excellent customer service via Twitter is the team at Nike. They monitor the @NikeSupport Twitter handle, where their sole purpose is to respond to customers who need help. They boast a 73 percent response rate, which is three times higher than the closest brand.

 

Team recruitment isn’t saved for LinkedIn alone. Recruiting and hiring managers to turn to Twitter to post open positions, leverage their network of followers, and view potential employee profiles.

Twitter has been used to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and benevolent causes. In addition, Twitter has been a critical component to spread awareness about social issues.

 

The key here is to look around the next time you wonder what you should tweet. Is there anything of note happening in the office that your customers may want to see? Maybe you could share a sneak peek at the latest photo shoot or the guest speaker who is spending a day at the office. Simply pull out that smartphone, snap a photo, and tweet it.

 

Perhaps your company has an upcoming conference or webinar it is hosting—tweet the link to that event. Tweet the company’s latest blog post.

 

You could also post a link to another industry leader’s content that your customers may find relevant. Finally, and this is especially important in building brand awareness, just chat with your network.

 

After all, Twitter is “a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting.”

 

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