Twitter Training With Sky High Potential

aim high

I’m thrilled to be hosting a Twitter training with sky high potential at The Mumpreneurs Networking Club flagship networking event, MNC Live on 29th March 2017.

Using social media is a cost effective way to market your business, with Twitter being one of the easiest platforms to connect and grow audiences. We will learn how best to leverage the platform to reach more customers and then practice everything in a chat session from one of the best views in the UK.

Twitter was created to be the ‘text messaging’ of the Internet, which is why still today it’s one of the chattiest and most interactive platforms. It is also one of the primary platforms for businesses and brands, especially with the targeted ads functionality and the data it can provide about customers and their social media habits.

On the training you will learn;

  • Networking and building your community. Twitter is one of the easiest platforms to grow a following and raise awareness of your products and services. Get tips on how to get ‘social’ by tagging other users, understanding hashtags plus making the most of the chat hours.
  • How to best use all the functions. Even if you use Twitter regularly, it may be handy to have a recap on the purpose and messaging best practice.
  • What content works for your business. We will explore what text works best and how to capture and post images and video. We will understand what our audiences are likely to read and react to.
  • Customer relationship management. Learn how to turn those comments from customers on Twitter into powerful brand advocacy.
  • Measure your efforts. We’ll take a brief look at the data Twitter offers free to all users and what it tells you about your content and customers.
  • General social media content and networking tips which will work across other platforms.

The course content is packed with tips and inspiration for most levels with a chance to immediately try what you’ve learned while enjoying a breath taking experience – a flight on the British Airways i360.

In the same format as our popular #MNCHour Wednesday chat, we’ll ask delegates a thought-provoking question about their business goals plus set a mini challenge to post certain content while enjoying the view and networking with other passionate entrepreneurs.

I have also pulled together a team of social media savvy bloggers to be on hand to help, get a glimpse of how these prolific tweeters have mastered the platform.

At £85 for non-members and £70 for members, including your British Airways i360 flight, refreshments and a champagne lunch, this is a rare chance to learn important skills for your business, make valuable contacts, have fun and be inspired!

SO…what are you waiting for? Grab your ticket today before they go.

Effectively Using Pinned Posts

In Facebook and Twitter you have the functionality to pin a post to the top of your profile’s feed. Which means anyone visiting your profile, page or group will see that message first. It’s a useful tool for promoting key messages for your business. But it’s essential you avoid overusing the tool or misusing.

A pinned post is effective when

You use multi-media

Carefully write the post, be succinct. Check you have included key information with a smart-looking link (shrunk or a customised Bitly link). Use a powerful and relevant image that will draw people in. Video could be even more effective.

You pin temporarily

Leaving the same link at the top of your feed can look a bit stale and uninviting. How likely are users going to delve into the rest of your feed if you haven’t changed the pinned post in over a month? The timescale is relevant to the content you’re highlighting in the post but even if you haven’t finished the promotion, consider changing the text or image slightly after two weeks. That way you capture new visitors without frustrating repeat visitors.

It has a clear purpose

Ask yourself what you want people to do after reading the post? Balance the promotional tone with a sentiment which still connects followers to the subject matter. Some types of posts are likely to work better than others, such as:

  • Announcements – tell visitors about your latest business development or news. Perhaps you won an award? Or have created a video from an event?
  • Promotions – broadcast a money-off promotion or other incentive.
  • Events – drive ticket sales on the run up to an event. Make sure customers find the event info and ticket sales link in as few steps as possible.
  • New products or services – capture more users by pinning a showcase post with details of new product lines or services.

What a pinned post should not be

A bio

Your ‘bio’ or ‘about’ section should contain key information about you and your business; what you do, how you help people; how to contact you and a link to your website. People know how to find this, so repeating it all in a pinned post isn’t really helpful and could indicate you have nothing else ‘new’ to say. Your feed is a chance to dazzle people with your latest activity or photos, so don’t block the engagement with a pinned post which contains a bio.

Forgotten about!

If you’re using a pinned post for a temporary campaign or sales promotion be sure to remember to remove when that period has expired. It looks as if you lack focus and commitment on your social media activity and therefore unprofessional.

Want to learn more? Sign up to my 60-day Social Media Boot Camp for small business for £1 a day. Modules featured in this post include: Facebook community building, creating and using short links with Bitly, optimising images and video for social media, targeting quality content.

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Want to learn more about managing your content and effectively engaging customers? Subscribe to my training bulletin and get a FREE copy of 7 steps to social media success.

Spellcheck For Content Success

Are you wondering why your social media posts aren’t getting the engagement you think they deserve? It could be as simple as checking spelling, grammar and syntax.

The internet is rife with poor use of written language. It doesn’t particularly matter when it’s our mates posting hurriedly from their phone with a few typos but when a business posts messages riddled with errors it has a different impact.

2016-04-25 18.52.24-1As a business, you’re engaging with people using social media to influence them into buying your product or use your service. Therefore the reader is only likely to react, comment or share your post if they feel what you are saying is of value or interest.

In order to do that, a business needs to stand out with their messaging. But there’s little use in having amazing campaign creative or beautiful images if the accompanying commentary is poorly written.  Here’s why:

1. It looks unprofessional. Why would someone invest their hard-earned cash on your service or product when you can’t spell or post live without correcting finger slips on the keyboard. On Facebook there’s no excuse, you can go back and edit. On Twitter you can delete the message and repost. But even then you could be penalised by their algorithm for posting duplicate content.

2. It’s a waste of time for the reader. While skimming their feed, people are unlikely to stop and spend time trying to decipher a misplaced apostrophe or misspelled word. They’ll skip reading and move on to something which pulls them in more fluidly.

3. It looks like you don’t care. If can’t make the effort to make sure your messages read well, then it could come across as not caring about your customers. So why would they bother with you?

4. It’s not shareable content. People are highly unlikely to share posts with poor grammar with their followers as it equally looks bad for them.

It’s all avoidable. When mentoring clients, we work together to find a process for producing content which works for them. Planning ahead is key: pre-write posts for the week or month then check them after you’ve finished the content and check again before pressing ‘publish’.

I believe EVERY business can produce engaging flawless content. Sign up to my newsletter for details of forthcoming training courses and content workshops.

How To Get The Most From Twitter Chat Hours

There’s nothing more than I love than joining a Twitter chat hour. They are fabulous for meeting new followers, promoting your business plus sharing tips and experiences with peers. But there is an unspoken etiquette, so here’s my tips for getting the most out of the hour:

twitter-iconSay hello! This is ‘social’ media, so be social. Start the hour off as you would any gathering by greeting the group and asking how everyone’s week has been or how they are feeling.

Tag the organiser early on. It’s good manners to greet the organiser or moderator of the chat. Usually local hours e.g. #MNCHour is run by @mumpreneursclub so include the latter in your introduction or greeting tweet.

Use the hashtag in every message. The tags allow people to follow the conversation but also some organisers gather tweets at the end using publishing platforms such as Storify.

Introduce yourself. Tell people how your business helps people. Try to keep this to one tweet.

Don’t schedule a message to spam the chat hour. The point of the chat hour is to converse. If you’re using a scheduler, you’re most likely not ‘there’ and it will show. However, it can be useful to schedule an early tweet to remind yourself you were going to join. But make sure it’s the ‘hello everyone, how are you’ style of message.

Follow those who taking part. Try and follow everyone unless they are largely irrelevant to your networking. It’s good manners and forms good connections for future networking  with Twitter.

Stick to the format. If the moderator has questions planned, do your best to answer those. Don’t go too far off piste or randomly promote yourself in the middle of the session.

Be patient. Some people take a bit of time to reply, there’s a bit of a delay while reading feeds and monitoring the conversation. Don’t jump in too quickly with questions before people have had a chance to respond.

Try not to be too salesy. By all means be clear about your business and what you offer but don’t lay it on too thick. One or two tweets promoting yourself then spending time chatting. If the conversation naturally revolves around your expertise then obviously run with it.

Make a list. Create a Twitter list for those who took part or subscribe to the organiser’s list.

Watch your spelling and grammar. The odd typo would be forgiven during a hasty Twitter interchange but try to avoid altogether if you can. It looks unprofessional and most of all, could detract from the meaning of your message.

Prepare a few images or 30 second vids to share. Multimedia flies on Twitter, so have a few to hand ready for your networking. It increases the impact of your message long after the hour has ended.

Be transparent about Twitter chat clashes. There’s nothing wrong in two-timing your chat hours but perhaps declare at the start, so people know if there’s a delay to a question they’ve directly asked you.

Have fun! As well the opportunity to network, crack a few light jokes and be positive. And it should go without saying to be respectful and don’t swear. If you’re not sure about how a message you’re writing will be received, then don’t post.

Do you have any other tips for people taking part in a Twitter chat hour? Post a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Stephen Fry Quits Twitter: Has The Platform Become Stagnant?

News reports yesterday say Stephen Fry has deactivated his Twitter account, claiming it has become ‘stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous’. The decision came after a joke he made at the BAFTAs about his friend and costume designer, Jenny Beavan coming to the award ceremony dressed as a ‘bag lady’. It seems he is less than impressed with the stream of commentary on the social media platform which followed his remarks.

Fry was one of Twitter’s earliest celebrity adopters, cultivating a ‘follow back’ approach to his profile which in turn helped boost its credibility. After all, he is not just any celebrity, he’s a national treasure, a wit, an academic. But it seems the humourless haters and trolls have gotten to him. Which is a desperate shame.

It’s at this point I hope Twitter somehow intervenes and speaks up for their community. The issue many celebrities and large brands face with Twitter is the two-way communication and unlike Facebook the inability to hide critical comments. If someone tags a profile, you are linked. Reputation management has taken a whole new direction with PR experts still grappling with social media and understanding the voices which drive the trends.

With traditional forms of media, these major voices in our society weren’t used to dealing with direct comments from the general public. And in such volume. It’s very true that dealing with a large amount of followers on Twitter comes with it’s own set of problems. I happen to think Fry’s joke was misguided and the term ‘bag lady’ in this current economic climate is an inappropriate choice of words. Maybe the backlash to his comments feels disproportionate and with social media, there will be a number of ‘hanger-ons’ to the message, RT-ing and using hashtags just to get noticed.

This is why it’s disappointing to see Mr Fry give up so quickly. His very public action to storm off the platform gives more weight to those who drive those over-the-top self-righteous rampages. There is decent and measured debate to be had on Twitter, the kind which informs and raises awareness of issues and causes.

In my view, Twitter is not becoming stagnant, just tricker for those with major accounts to navigate. They need to figure out vocal trends in social media and strategies to manage them. I’m not dismissing the very real problem of the haters, trolls and abusers on this platform. But headlines like these only feed the trolls. And the golden rule of social media is never feed the trolls.

Ask me about Twitter strategy and building a healthy, thriving community which leads fruitful discussion on-line, around your business.

Social Networking Is A Two-Way Street

Many businesses contact me at through Facebook and Twitter to access our parent network of followers. Which is great, as it helps us keep up to date on local enterprise and offers for customers. But many of the messages come across confused and sometimes a little rude.

social network
The social network is surprisingly…social!

Social media presents a huge opportunity for smaller locally based business. It’s low cost in terms of investment, although requires a bit of time to prepare content and network with other users. But as small businesses are geographically closer to their customers, they can connect through shared experience of the local areas, creating content that is instantaneous and current.

I have worked with various companies, large and small, offering training and content strategy to harness the power of social media to support their business goals. I get most excited when working with small companies and niche offerings because of the huge potential.

Here are a few of the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for local business to achieve social networking success:

1. Network on social media platforms as if you’re networking a room. You wouldn’t approach someone at a business networking event, tell them what special offers you have on at the moment, then walk off! Be polite, introduce yourself, be clear why your message may be of interest to that person and their followers.

2. Know your audience. Before you tag someone, make sure you read that persons profile, blog or any other public content they produce and share. Understand their interests and motivations. Check your analytics at least monthly to see who is reading, clicking and commenting and when.

3. Read, favourite and share or retweet content from others. Comment on their posts in a professional, relevant way but show that your business has a personality and takes interest in their potential customers.

4. Don’t spam. Repeatedly tagging on Twitter or posting on a Facebook page wall without interacting or at least reciprocating a share or retweet is spam. Cultivate a common connection through shared experience relative to your business or organisation. You are most likely to imprint your business in their memory, given the thousands of messages we read on social media each week.

5. Acknowledge your followers. Thank and welcome them to your feed privately or publicly. Respond to any messages within 24 hours where possible and if appropriate.

6. Focus on your content. Make it relevant, engaging with vital marketing information but also posts that will enhance readers’ lives. Think of the busy parent, looking for life hack ideas or activities for families and what your business can offer. Remember that images and video are often shared much more than plain text with web links.

We LOVE our organically grown social media network, built through hours of targeted engagement by our own hand (not promoted posts!). We have a relative high level of engagement, meaning we’ve attracted quality followers who connect with our message.