Tag Archives: social media marketing

Does your Twitter account need some TLC?

Remember when you first set up that twitter account?

Chances are you spent some time trying to build up some followers, made sure you had great content to share and uploaded some pretty profile pics and cover images.

Hopefully, that early effort paid off, and you built up a community of interested, engaged followers. A quick glance at the stats tells you that you’re attracting a steady stream of new followers – so keep the content flowing and it’s job done. Isn’t it?

It’s easy to ‘neglect’ an account without realising you’re doing it. I try to make sure I spend some ‘quality time’ with each of the twitter accounts I manage for work and it is amazing how a little effort brought in instant rewards – lots more relevant, interested followers!

So if your trusty old twitter account is overdue some TLC, here’s a little checklist that’ll be a great start:

1. Log onto the account directly, rather than through a third party
I usually use Hootsuite for scheduling content, managing replies etc. But when you log onto Twitter on a desktop PC you’ll soon get a feel for how the account is really looking and any quick updates you can do to jazz things up a bit.

2. Regularly refresh cover photos and ‘pinned’ posts
The right cover image can make a page look fabulous – so make sure they’re current. A beautiful snow scene isn’t the look you want to go for in summer. If you’ve pinned tweets to the top of your page, check they’re still relevant – if not, change them. Make a note to remind yourself to change them again before too long.

3. Check notifications
Have a look and see who your new followers are. Depending on how many you have you could tweet them to thank them for following. If they’re relevant people, maybe follow back, or add them to lists. See who’s been retweeting your content and thank them – it’ll be appreciated and might start an interesting conversation. Maybe they’re also worth a follow if you’re not already.

4. Use the ‘Discover’ tab
Have a look at the accounts and tweets that Twitter thinks you might be interested in – you might be surprised how relevant some of their suggestions are. It has come a long way from the “people like you” feature of a few years ago. Look for relevant people to follow, conversations to join, hashtags to follow and content to retweet.

5. Look through hashtags to join conversations and accounts to follow
Consider the hashtags that are relevant to your account – take a look at them. Are you remembering to make best use of hashtags in your tweets? Research shows that using a maximum of two hashtags per tweet (but no more!) increases engagement. Look at trending topics and the popular hashtags used by your target audience – is there anything relevant that you can join in with? (Without posting spam!)

6. Use Just Unfollow
If you’re worried about your following to follower ratio (which isn’t something I lose sleep over, to be honest), use Just Unfollow to unfollow inactive accounts or irrelevant ones that aren’t following you back. Once you’ve culled a few, you can try following some new accounts in their place and hopefully you’ll be rewarded with new followers in return!

7. Check over your analytics
Twitter’s own analytics offer a really fascinating insight into which content went down well with your followers. Take a look at yours (all users now have access to Twitter analytics – just go to analytics.twitter.com). See which tweets worked best – and take that as inspiration for future content.

8. Set up searches to help you join conversations and see relevant content
Head back to Hootsuite (or whatever platform you’re using to manage all your accounts). Make sure you have tabs set up to see your account’s lists and to do keyword searches for tweets that mention relevant topics or hashtags. Don’t forget to review these regularly, joining in conversations, retweeting interesting content and generally engaging with others.

It’s amazing how spending a bit of quality time with a twitter account can reinvigorate your enthusiasm for it, inspiring you to build your audience and produce even more quality content in the future.

So go on, try it!

The true ‘value’ of social media marketing

I was reading this post by Neville Hobson: ‘Why the C-suite don’t ‘get’ social media marketing – and how to change that’ the other day and it got me thinking.

It’s quite amazing to me that some people don’t want to accept that social media has changed the world, like it or not. People’s expectations of how companies will communicate with them have changed. Many people I know would be reluctant to use the services of a company which doesn’t have a website – and I think that this will increasingly apply to companies who have no social media presence.

As Neville Hobson says in his post, the best way to get the ‘powers that be’ to understand the value of social media is to get them on there themselves. Let them see for themselves the professional value that being on Twitter or LinkedIn can provide – as a way of networking, information gathering, profile raising, building trust. Once they understand that social media is not all about Justin Bieber and pictures of what you had for dinner, you will have their interest. Once they see how the companies and individuals they admire are using social media, they’ll start to want that for themselves and their company too.

As communications people, we have a duty to help the less social media savvy members of our organisation understand the value of social media. We flag up complaints, possible issues or negative feedback that people post about our organisation on social media. But are we as good at showcasing the positive interactions? You can understand why somebody only seeing the negative side of the picture would wonder: “why are we doing this?”

In the world of Local Government comms, we know, that when we answer a person’s question quickly, efficiently, and actually get their problem sorted out, they’re usually pleased. They’re happy that, with one tweet, they’ve managed to get their bin emptied, flytipping removed, streetlight fixed, whatever. Even the most frequent posters of complaints or issues on to a council’s social media accounts are only looking to have those issues dealt with, and when they are, usually there’ll be a “thanks”. Actually what they’re doing is being an active, engaged citizen, who cares about the place they live and likes to know that they only have to post a quick comment on Facebook, or a tweet, and that information will be passed on and dealt with. That’s pretty brilliant in anyone’s book.

Local authorities are not so worried about monetary ROI as the CEOs in Neville Hobson’s post. But of course time is precious, and everyone in the organisation wants to be sure that effort and resources are not wasted on anything which doesn’t demonstrate a true “value” of some sort.

So it’s important that when good things happen on social media, we’re sharing that with the people at the top, as well the less positive things. If we can get more of those positive examples noticed, that slightly intangible “value” of social media will start to be recognised more. It is about conversations, building relationships, and expanding customer service online into the places where our residents already are.

I’m sure there are far fewer social media sceptics at the top of organisations than there used to be – and comms has a vital role to play in helping the uninitiated understand what they’re missing out on. As for reputational risk – the risk of not using social media far outweighs the risk of doing so – it’s what your customers and stakeholders now expect of you.

It will soon be impossible to ignore the expectations of social media – if it isn’t already.