Sunday, August 28, 2011

7 surefire ways to increase your Twitter following

There are many companies out there who provide a quickfix service in getting you an increase in followers using 'bots'; robots that will flood your system with spam.

If you want to engage with real people and a real audience you should:

Promote your twitter page outside of twitter. If you have a blog, provide a link to your twitter accounts and other social media such as Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube etc. If you leave a comment on forums or wiki's make sure their is a link to your twitter account.

If you have a webpage make sure you add the 'Follow Button' to your pages so that readers can easily be added to your followers list.

Add your Twitter address to your business cards. Beware - remember that people from the business community may be reading so keep your tweets sensible.

Engage in conversation with people who have a lot of followers in the hope that they will re-tweet your message, this may have the impact of boosting your followers as you will be seen as a 'reputable person to follow'.

Discuss whatever is in the trending topics; if you say something witty and insightful that tweet will get re-tweeted and could increase your follower count.

FollowFriday – send out FollowFriday tweets of some people you are fans of and maybe one day they will do the same back for you!

Write good content

10 Commandments of Social Media

Thou shalt acknowledge your organisation can benefit from an on-line presence

Thou shalt survey the social media tools available to create, manage and maintain a good online brand

Thou shalt understand the conversation and be aware of brand sentiment and awareness

Thou shalt create and mature a ‘Voice’, an online style/tone that you will stick with/ create an 'online personality'

Thou shalt trust your staff with implemented guidelines on how to and what to contribute

Thou shalt not put restrictions or rules on your new community for they will fragment and go elsewhere

Thou shalt find your audience and engage with them, conversation shall flow and your network shall enlarge

Thou shalt find the strong and weak connections in your group and actively try and link the two into a stronger network

Thou shalt generate spokespeople for your brand by responding on blogs, forums, wiki, tweets in a quick and informing nay entertaining manner

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Image is paramount - managing your online brand

How you appear online is the key to your success. Building credibility starts with you and your personal 2.0 accounts. What does your Facebook account say about you? what do your friends accounts say about your account and in turn what does that say about your business account? Maybe you think this is slighlty going overboard on the fussy scale but attention to detail at this step will make sure your brand gets off on the right foot.

Scan Google with your name and see what comes up? Is it a picture of you drunk or sleeping rough? Was your face tagged in a friend of a friends facebook photo! If sp make sure you sort this out pronto; make yourself familiar with the security settings on Facebook. What type of posts are on your Facebook accounts? Are they rude or vulgar? Are your friends hell bent on refusing to believe that they left university 10 years ago and giving your personal brand a kicking? If so ged rid of them, you can tell a lot about a person by the friends they keep and their email addresses ( - especially when readers dont know you personally and will be getting their cues from the content of your social media sites.

Understand how to use the settings on your Twitter account. If some nut is sending you crazy or offensive tweets learn how to block them. Watch your language and tone as well. Comments are never truely deleted in the internet age. Always portray a positive and inclusive image adding value to the conversation.

Make sure that you send quality posts and blogs. Little and often is the key, but make sure its of value, and dont repeat the same message, it will become tiresome and end up as unwanted spam after a short while!

You should set up a YouTube channel with a distict, clear and crisp presentation. If you are a good presenter why not upload a presentation of the work that you do and videos that interested viewers may find value in? Check to see what videos are available and see how you can tweek them to make them more interesting to your audience. 3000 viewers on how to put on a pair of socks - i rest my case! Make sure you link to your blogs and your other social media platforms. Link everything up!

Listen to your audience. What do they want from you? What can you give them? In social media you have to listen to what the conversation is before you can converse back.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Success with social media and a sceptical boss

Measuring the success of your social media plan depends on what your goals are. You must ask yourself what are you looking out of this strategy and what is realistically obtainable. Researching your market beforehand will bring clarity to your quest and will help bat off awkward questions from the board. As a relatively new concept, success with social media is difficult to measure as it is not about direct sales and success stories are still breaking, but it is not the standard “push strategy” industry norm for most companies. Social media strategies are a great complement to the standard marketing avenues and should be looked at in this light.

To increase your network of contacts to target potential customers?
To find the influencers in a community and get them into meaningful engagement?
To change the perception of your brand?
To be proactive with customer service?
To improve the contact with your customers?
To give a personal touch to the corporate brand?

These are all legitimate goals but unless you have a metrics in place to track your progress, how do you know that you have succeeded? You may feel you have done a good job but how do you explain to your bosses that you are forming long lasting ties with the movers and shakers in the industry and that their investment in your time and resources is worth the expense and deserves an increase in budget?

In most companies there is a generation gap between the guys at the top (who control the purse-strings) and the marketing guys who are advocating a social media plan. They may allow their prejudices get in the way of solid market fact; so give them what they will understand, present your metrics in a structured way. So start with the obvious and go with the number of Twitter followers; Facebook friends, or likes if you have a corporate page; viewers if you have a YouTube channel. For measuring your blog, use Google Feedburner to see the number of subscribers, views, comments etc. (There are a myriad of tools available online to get detailed statistics for each service such as TweetStats, Facebook Friends Wheel, Google Analytics; it depends on how much detail you want to go into.) Decision makers will see that your efforts have not been in vain as they observe month by month growth, brand awareness and presence. These reports can then be used to validate their investment in the social media initiative. However, (keep this to yourself) you must be cautious on relying on volume of users and fans etc as using this form of metrics alone will not give you any meaningful insight to your business. Target the increase you would expect from these mediums over a 6 month period and report the figures to management.

The use of search facilities on blogs and Twitter can highlight mentions of your brand name which can be used to track the increase or decrease in the number of people talking about your brand or product. You can also use sentiment measuring tools such as Twendz to watch change in satisfaction with your brand or organisation.

20 Constructive Social Media Tools

Move on from the concrete statistics and identify from the content recieved through your social media pages areas how social media has increased customer interaction, sentiment, influence, and/or perception. The information received is priceless and you will stand to gain invaluable information on how your market works and the wealth of untapped knowledge that is out there.

It is important to show that there is a conversation out there for your product and that managed correctly, with time and resources, it can gave a massive impact on your companies image, reputation and bottom line. People buy people and not faceless corporations and in social media they really need to feel that this is the case. Humans are social animals, it’s in our nature to converse; this is the start of something big, advise your bosses now before they miss the boat.