Category Archives: Guest Blogs

6 Tips On How To Improve Your Social Media Engagement on Twitter

Multicolored Group of Speech Bubbles

So you have your social media accounts set up and are updating on a regular basis but why are your accounts not receiving any likes or followers?

We have already written a Blog about what you could do to improve engagement on Twitter but this post aims to give you a few ideas on what you could do across all of your Social Media profiles.

1. Complete your Social Media profiles

It might seem quite obvious but this is an easy thing to overlook. Ensure all the relevant information is filled out such as your name, where you are and website links as well as uploading a suitable profile picture and cover photo. Thinking about the more common social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ you may need to add additional information such as interests, a short bio and more importantly, you might need to ensure your website is verified (specifically on your Google+ profile).

2. Research your Competitors

Do you know who your competitors are? Make a list on Twitter and add their profiles to that list – remember you don’t have to ‘follow’ your competitors in order to add them to this list. Bookmark the main social media pages for your competition in your web browser so you can pop in whenever you have the time and see how they engage with their audiences. What sort of content are they posting? How regularly are they engaging with their fans/followers? What is it they are doing differently? Is there anything you could learn here?

3. Connect with customers, influencers and other industry specialists

You want to make your social networks really work as a network.  So look at how you can be connecting with relevant audiences via social channels too.  You may already have quite a lot of information about your customers via your database – so if you have their email addresses, you can search for them on Twitter and other social networks that way too.

Also, if you know who your key influencers are from other marketing means such as website registrations and email subscriptions – you can also go find them on social media channels too.

Search for industry blogs and look at the main authors and contributors and add them to your social media profiles too. Take some time to do your research, seeing who follows who and topics being discussed.

4. Interact and appreciate your audience

Everyone likes a compliment every now and then so as well as posting on a regular basis remember to ‘Like’ and ‘RT’ or ‘Favourite’ others’  updates. And if people engage with your updates, take the time to send them a message or tweet them back to say thank you.  Also – you could take a look at their profile and find out what their interests are so that when you respond you can ask them something or say something relevant on a more personal level.

5. Find communities and participate in them

There are many groups and communities on Facebook and LinkedIn and a lot of them are easy to find via the search function. Type in industry relevant keywords and see what comes up, but don’t just join any old community, have a good look through to find out more about the community or group and how many contributors there are, in order to find out how active and up to date it is. Do note that some communities and groups are ‘closed’ – which means you may not be added to the group immediately as the group moderator will have to accept your request to join.  You’ll be alerted once you’re accepted – so keep a watch out for those.

6. Respond to your stats

Look at your Facebook Insights, what times are your posts more popular? Post at those times for a week and see if that helps engagement, if not, tweak it. Review what type of posts are more popular than others? It might be that a random post about FAQ’s proved more popular than one you posted about a cute looking cat (or vice versa) so use this knowledge to your advantage and give the audience what they want!

Hopefully, these tips have given you some ideas in terms of generating more engagement on Twitter. Let us know how you get on in the comments below and do share your tips for improving engagement too.

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7 Quick and Easy Ways to Spruce up Your Social Media

You’ve taken the time to establish your social media platforms, made some friends and re-tweeted quite a few times.  Now what?  As time ticks on your social media channels may become just another routine for you and just another quick scan for visitors.  Below are 7 quick and easy tips that you can use today to spruce up your social media life

Change your Gravitar and profile pictures.

Nothing says a “new you” like a new look.  By switching up your online pictures you are refreshing your image online and increasing the chance of getting people to click to see what else is new



Add a video or infographic to your site.

The visual aspects of social media are not going anywhere.  Change up your normal text-based interactions with something more aesthetically pleasing.  With easily accessible do-it-yourself sites, adding a visual aid to your repertoire may be simpler than you think.

Start asking questions.

People love talking about themselves.  This is why we tweet and post in the first place isn’t it, to promote ourselves, business and brand?  Turn this fact on its side by asking your followers what’s new with them.  What’s trending in their current world?  What are they struggling with?  All it takes is a question to get the conversations (and traffic) flowing

Update your bio and portfolio links.

It’s a wonderful thing if you’ve been too busy to update your portfolio with all of the new work you’ve been doing.  But a portfolio that showcases your latest project from 2007 screams stale.  Take some time semiannually to show the world how current your workflow actually is, highlighting new skills, clients and growth.

Show off a different side of your personality.

Being business focused is great, but it is so important to humanize your social media accounts so that others can connect with you on a personal level.  Try sharing your weekend plans or cracking an (appropriate) joke once in a while to breathe some new life into your pages

Branch out.

Chances are that as time has progressed, so have your interests.  What once was your niche audience might now be trickling into different directions.  Devote some of your social media time to making those new connections you’ve been thinking about.  Add value by adding your input into discussions and forums, leaving not only an impression but a link back to you.

Limit yourself.

The key words for this article were quick and easy, and if you’ve read this far then chances are you really are looking for some simple social media practices.  Stay true to your aspirations by allotting a certain amount of time to social media each day (say 60 minutes max) and stick to it.  When the alarm rings, commit to logging off and get back to work because as important as promoting your brand is, building it will always rank higher.

What other ways can you refresh your social media?  Share your thoughts here!

About the Author: Kelly Gregorio writes about relevant topics that affect small businesses while working at Merchant Resources International, a merchant advance cash provider for over 10,000 small businesses. You can read her daily blog at


Media Relations and Brand Protection in a Social Media Age

This post is kindly brought to you via our very first ‘Guest Blogger’ – David Taylor. If you are part of the social and marketing world and are interested in Guest Blogging on the Carvill Creative blog – simply email us.

For years, brands and organisations have invested as much time protecting themselves in the media as they have promoting themselves. Press offices, spin doctors and PR consultants have all worked to form a protective layer around companies when dealing with the press.

Indeed, during my time in the press offices of both London Transport (now TFL) and the Millennium Dome, we as mediasocial media marketing and consultancy for carvill creative relations professionals were often called upon to kill off the misleading or incorrect stories which inevitably arose when journalists were looking for a juicy headline or a story they could use to kick the Government.

In addition, there are times, particularly in large consumer-facing organisations, that you will make mistakes and have to face up to both the consequences and the press. As a result, we frequently prepared ‘lines to take’ with the media once we knew that there was likely to be a problem.

As the Northern Line press officer back in the 1990s, this was a common occurrence! The trains were then almost 40 years old and showing their age. There were frequent problems with overheating and we knew that the Unions were briefing the Evening Standard. So we had to be prepared once stories broke. We did this by going through all the likely scenarios, figuring out the questions the press may ask us, speaking to the line controllers and preparing well-thought out responses. These were then written down and handed out to all media relations officers – whether they were based in the office or on call.

The final element of media relations was of course monitoring what was being said in the press to ensure that the brand was not harmed. Press cuttings services, media monitoring and scanning of papers were commonplace to prevent negative stories (and indeed positive ones too) going unnoticed.

So what has this got to do with social media? Well, as it happens – a huge amount.

Exactly the same principles apply whether you have a blog, Facebook Page or Twitter account. You need to be prepared, you need to listen and you need to have a plan for dealing with negative comments or a campaign backlash.

When running social media training courses with Michelle Carvill, we work with a simple but powerful framework – PLAN, LISTEN, ANALYSE, ENGAGE – which is effectively good practice across a number of activities.

In the case of social media relations and online brand protection, this framework still very much applies. So here are my top tips to ensure that your brand is protected:


Before you set up your accounts on social media, prepare for the very worst case scenarios and work with your team to figure out how you would deal with them.

For example, if you are a restaurant and one of your diners posts on your Page that you gave them violent food poisoning, what would be your response and what would be your service recovery strategy? Speed of response is also key – as brand reputation can be attacked in minutes these days.

Similarly, how would you react to negative comments on your blog or if someone hounds you on Twitter? (Both of which happen on an ever-increasing basis these days).

It’s key to be thinking about the ‘what if’ scenarios to ensure that you are prepared for anything on the social media platforms.


It is imperative that you listen to the conversations taking place online about your brand. Do you have any idea about what people may be saying about you? Frequently check your blog for comments and have push notifications to ensure you get messaged once someone posts on your wall or mentions you on Twitter. In an age of mobile communications, this means that you may have to be listening 24/7.

At the same time, set up simple Google Alerts ( to see what’s being said on the web or via Social Mention ( – similar to Google Alerts but for social media activity.

It is also a good idea to set up a stream within Twitter or on a social media dashboard such as, Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, where you can set your brand name as a keyword and track all activity against it.

On a trip to the States last year, I had a bad experience with the airline Delta. After complaining about them on Twitter via their @delta handle, a few minutes later their customer service channel @deltassist responded to me. In other words, they were doing the listening part well, even if they couldn’t transport me properly by air to my destination!


With all these real time feedback mechanisms, you will be able to see what your customers/fans are saying about your brand.

If it is positive, use this to grow customer loyalty or for testimonials. If it is negative, just as with traditional media relations, you need to think about what your response will be. This could include:

  • preparing lines to take,
  • setting up inter-departmental meetings to discuss where things are going wrong in your organisation
  • and deciding on whether you are going to come out in a bullish or defensive way.

A great example of this is the recent decision by Instagram to start selling people’s photos. After an enormous backlash on social media, they decided to change their terms and conditions and made a robust public apology –


With the planning and researching phases in place, you will now be in a position to engage. Your response may have to be extremely swift, hence why the preparation stage is so important.

Unlike traditional media relations, the conversations on social media channels are all on the record and can be seen by many people. So, depending on the circumstances, you may need to move the complainant to a more private channel – (Direct Messaging on Twitter, directing them to a ‘Chat’ facility on your website, private messages on Facebook, email or even a phone call).

The majority of the time, you must been seen to react. Saying nothing or even worse, blocking the complainant, or deleting their comments will only inflame the situation.

Following the Townsend Toreson ferry disaster of 1987 when 49 people died, the parent company P&O’s managing director was criticised for not facing the cameras. Politicians are also very adept on not facing the press, until too late.

Contrast this with the swift response by the emergency services and politicians following the 7/7 bombings in London.

There will even be times when a swift and a carefully thought-out response can turn a negative into a positive. For example, using the Delta airlines case study again, I was impressed that they were listening to my complaints. Following this, a direct message conversation took place in which they went a long way to restoring my faith in their brand. At the very least, people like to think they are being listened to!

David Taylor is the managing director of 2010media. He has trained over 1,200 businesses in social media and online marketing alongside Founder and Director of Carvill Creative, Michelle Carvill. He is also co-author with Michelle of the soon-to-be-published book ‘The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for Business’.