Category Archives: Twitter

Facebook ‘Festive Fun’ – or December Depression? 5 Ways to Beat Negativity

This morning I was delighted to be asked to join Alfie Joey and Anna Foster for their Breakfast program (BBC Newcastle) to discuss a recent BBC report showcasing that Facebook use has been proven

Enjoy the joy this christmas
Enjoy the joy this christmas

to cause depression.

Of course, this isn’t the first study in this arena.

Back in 2014, I recall writing a piece following research on how computers were impacting human behaviour – in that study, it showed that browsing Facebook was associated with ‘lower life satisfaction’ and a decline in mood – but interestingly, browsing the internet generally, didn’t have the same negative impact.

The negative impact was found to be unique to Facebook use.

Whilst Facebook is still the most popular social network – with more than 1 billion people logging in daily – people aren’t actually using Facebook to be ‘social’. Only around 9% of Facebook users’ activities involve communicating with others. The ‘social’ aspect is therefore really low – with the majority of people either posting random pieces of content or passively consuming content by spending the majority of time browsing and scrolling through feeds.

Two key aspects associated with decline in mood and lower life satisfaction were identified in all three studies:

1)    When presented with looking in at other people’s perceived perfect lives – photos of fabulous holidays, friends having a fun, date nights, weddings, achievements – rather than feeling good for your friends, you can start to become envious – you and your life may start to feel inadequate, and this in turn leads to a decline in your mood.

2)    Then there’s the other aspect – the time that you spend. You start to feel bad about being under productive; remorse sets in about wasting your time looking at what’s going on in others’ lives. You question why you do it – how sad must you be to spend so much time looking at other peoples’ lives. No life of your own… etc etc – and so the self-fulfilling negative cycle continues.

But… here’s the good news:

Simply being aware of the above two points can make all the difference to how you let your Facebook activity impact you. Knowing that your time on the channel may have a negative impact helps to eradicate those negative feelings.

So to take action and to keep that negativity at bay…

1)    Be aware. Understand that too much browsing is going to potentially decline your mood. Catch yourself if you start to feel inadequate, dull or sad – and get off the channel quickly. Phone a friend, speak to your family – do something nourishing and truly social.

2)    Limit the mindless browsing. Give yourself a limited time to check up on your social activity – this way, if you invite a bit of discipline into how much time you spend on the channels, you won’t give yourself a hard time for spending an hour being unproductive. Instead, limit your time to a 10 minute catch up – and pat yourself on the back when you log out and get back to other things.

3)    Don’t make social comparisons with others on your Facebook feed. The majority of posts made are ‘hero’ posts – people sharing the best moments, celebrations, happy times. It’s rare people post about their fears or insecurities – so stay realistic and see it for what it is.

4)    Be truly social on social – social channels aren’t all bad, they can be brilliant for networking, for business and for support. There are loads of Facebook Groups that are really useful, that are fabulous communities for people to come together to be supportive of one another. They’re not just a platform where people post the best times of their lives – but really useful social networks. Check out local groups in your area – and tune into ones that you’re interested in – there are mum’s groups, craft groups, support groups – you name it, there’s a community.

5)    Get social offline. And of course – make the majority of your social activity, truly social. Get offline and get personable. Pick up your phone and don’t head for the keyboard to text – but instead make a call, have a giggle with friends, or just chat about how you’re doing – how they’re doing. Just be social. We’re social animals, we need that connectivity.

So if your social activity is making you ‘low’ – remember these 5 simple points, understand that it’s normal to feel bad and why – and remember all the great stuff that’s good about your life.

Just because you’re not publishing it on Facebook doesn’t mean it’s not a beautiful, worthy, nourishing and fulfilling moment. Enjoy…the joy this Christmas.

As always – any questions tweet me @michellecarvill or email 

Michelle Carvill, best selling business author, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill – the social media marketing agency. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you – simply get in touch or visit our website for more information.


Twitter lists – What are they? How do you use them in the correct way?

twitter bird 1When you click onto your Twitter profile, you’ll notice that there is a button labelled ‘Lists’- not knowing what it means or what it does – you, like me, may have always ignored it. However it is a really useful way of tidying up your feed and grouping together your favourite tweeters, if used effectively.

Lists are just what they say they are. They are a list of Twitter accounts, which you can communicate with. They can be used to focus on just one topic  – for example talking to a group of your old college friends or following a group of journalists in your industry. By having just those relevant people in your list, irrelevant tweets from other people you follow become invisible. You can choose to have your list as either open or private. By it being open, the public can see your list and the tweets that have been sent within it. However if you choose for it to be private only the people within that list can see the tweets, which makes it more personal.

Another great thing about a Twitter list is that they help you find new contacts and new people who you can interact with. In order to create a Twitter list you:

  • Login to Twitter
  • Click on ‘create a new list’
  • Choose a name for your list
  • Decide whether you want it open or private
  • Click ‘create list’
  • And now you can add users and search for new people to add to your list.

The only rules to having a list is that you can’t have any more than 500 people in one list at one time, and each account can have a maximum of 20 lists assigned to them.

To finish with, Twitter can be very chaotic at times, and so by having a list it allows you to interact with only the people you choose to interact with. By being on someone’s list you are far more likely to be found by the right tweeter.

Thanks for listening and stay tuned to our blog for more helpful Twitter advice.

Written by Eliza Bennett – Eliza is a 16 year old student at Furze Platt Sixth Form, she is currently on work experience with Taylor Alden PR Company and Carvill Creative. 

Terrified of Twitter? – 5 Reasons to Fall in Love with my Favourite Social Network

Lately I’ve had several opportunities to speak to groups of people about their social media activity.

When I’m testing where people are with social – and asking which channels they’re using – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn are always commonplace. So what about Twitter?

Twitter always seems to be the one that most people have the biggest challenge with. In fact when I dig around a little, it appears that for those that have never ventured onto Twitter – there’s genuine ‘fear’ of doing so.

I’ve been a huge Twitter fan for about 7 years now. For me – it’s just got better and better. Sure – you still get people talking about their lunch, cats and other potentially irrelevant stuff. But if you can see past the noise – let me showcase just 5 things that may tempt you to give it a go. (I could give you many more reasons than 5 – but I try to keep my blogs short ;)).

Two blue bird, dove, pigeon on speech bubble.

Why I love Twitter

1)    It’s a brilliant network

Twitter is an incredibly useful platform to connect with people. When I was writing my first book – I needed to get permissions from a significant number of people and organisations.

Faced with the task – I immediately took to Twitter. Using Google search and Twitter’s search, it was a relatively simple task to locate the people I needed to speak to and tweet them. Before I knew it – I had made relevant connections, was able to grab further contact details and continue our conversations in a far more effective way.

I remember being really surprised at just how many people responded to questions and requests I was making. People that really ‘get’ Twitter – understand that it’s about building relationships – it’s a two way conversation. Of course there’s a whole load of people, brands and businesses on Twitter simply using it as a publishing platform. Pushing out noise about themselves to irrelevant audiences and never listening or engaging – but, that’s not using Twitter smartly.

If you set out to build relationships and have authentic and useful conversations – then Twitter is a highly effective platform. Checkout the regular Thursday chat #TwitterSmarter – where conversations happen each week about the best use of Twitter.

2)    It’s real time

Twitter is the place where you can find out about pretty much anything – in real time and immediately see what other people think too. News tends to break on Twitter first.  You can see topics that are trending and join in conversations.

3)    Search function is ace

Just as 59 million of us in the UK are dependent on Google search – I am equally dependent on Twitter search. The search function on Twitter enables you to type in any keyword or string of keywords to see what’s going on in the Twittersphere – right now. There are of course more sophisticated ways of using Twitter search – in much the same way as Boolean search for Google. Where you can be specific about location, person, words etc. Take a look here for more if you’re keen to do some smart digging around..

4) I can tune in to exactly what I want

Twitter connects me to the people, publishers, brands and influencers I want to hear from. I have total choice as to what I tune into. It’s interesting that more than 40% of people on Twitter have never even sent a tweet. They’re not on the platform to talk or network – but rather just to tune in to the newsfeeds they’re interesting in.

When you want to tune into your favourite celeb, footballer, artist, author – or want to be entertained by the latest tweets from comedians or writers – it’s highly likely they’re on Twitter sharing their news by the minute.

From a business perspective, you can tune into what’s happening in your landscape, trade press, influencers – even competitors – and of course, your clients / customers too.

The beauty of Twitter is that you can tune in – by following someone – and if what they’re saying doesn’t fit for you – then you simply tune out – by unfollowing them. The choice is yours.

5. It’s short, simple and to the point

When I first encountered Twitter all those years ago – I do remember thinking – huh – what nonsense. How can people have conversations in 140 characters. But those clever silicon valley boys knew what they were doing. The fact that Twitter is so succinct and to the point – is one of it’s finest qualities. The feed is easily scannable – and if you’re interested in something and there’s a link – you can easily go off piste for a bit – explore and then come back.

And if you don’t have time to read the bigger picture – then you can simply – favourite it and come back to it when you do have time.

So that’s it – just 5 of the reasons why I love Twitter. If you haven’t explore Twitter yet – then perhaps start by simply tuning in to the stuff you’re interested in.  And if you’re on there but not quite sure it’s working for you – check out the many Twitter articles on this blog – to optimise your presence.

As always – any questions tweet me @michellecarvill or email 

Michelle Carvill, best selling business author, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill – the social media marketing agency. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you – simply get in touch or visit our website for more information.

Beware… The Curse of Knowledge – 5 ways to overcome your nemisis

For anyone that knows me – they know that I’ve always got a recommendation of a  ‘good book that you’d enjoy‘ at the ready.

Amazon business books must love me – as I buy books weekly! (In fact 3 books ordered this week, Getting Goosebumps, (@googledave) Stop Talking Start Doing and Do Less Get More – both by (@shaawasmund)).

I love to zip my way through them – sometimes reading two or three books at a time – scribbling notes and collecting gems of knowledge. It’s rare I don’t pick something up – and it’s wonderful when I pick upL plate on something that’s potentially been challenging me for years.

In my recent reading endeavours, I was introduced to Made To Stick a pacey and easily digestible tome – packed with practical insights into the power of stories and theories around why some ideas stick and others don’t. One area they touch on which really chimed with me is the Curse of Knowledge.

The Curse of Knowledge – the premise that the more you know about something, the harder it is for you to imagine what it’s like to lack that knowledge. This was a real ‘ta dah’ light bulb moment for me. As, I don’t know about you – but sometimes, I’m in meetings with people and when explaining something, all I get is bemused blank looks.

It’s as if my logical plain English discussion has been turned into a totally incomprehensible foreign language which no one understands.

What I now better understand, it that it’s my nemisis coming into action, mwah ha ha   –  the curse of knowledge.  When people look at me as if they don’t know what I’m talking about – that’s because they probably really don’t know what I’m talking about.

Thankfully, it’s not that I’m a terrible communicator (honest) – but rather that I am talking to them as if they already know what I know – and they don’t.

What does this mean for the way we communicate?

The curse of knowledge is such a significant factor in how we communicate. Not only with our colleagues, but also with our marketing communications. When we’re explaining something to a customer, client or new team member – either via talking, video, email or however else, we have to remember that they don’t know what we know.

We have to remind ourselves to turn back the  experience dial and think about what we had to know to know what we now know. (Too many know’s here but you get my drift).

And if you’re in the business of influencing people, management, business, selling – and you’re looking for people to do what you want them to do – or buy what you want them to buy – then the curse of knowledge becomes a big challenge.

Here’s one way of looking at it…

Liken it to driving a car. When you first stepped into the driving seat to take your lessons – you thought about every single thing that you did. You actively listened for the step by step instruction from your instructor.

You nervously checked, double checked and triple checked your mirrors, indicators, seat belt and that your foot was on the right pedal.  You probably then read up on your highway code or theory practice – so that you were fully immersed and prepared for any eventuality.

Ping yourself forward a few (or many years) and driving’s a breeze, right? You don’t even think about it.  But that’s because you’ve been doing it a while, it’s become part of what you do – it’s natural.  And importantly, it’s really difficult to remember, not knowing how to drive. If you now had to explain to someone how to drive – you’d find it challenging, you’d probably cut corners and you’d get frustrated that they weren’t ‘getting it’ – after all, it’s not rocket science – it’s just driving.  Right?

Well apply this scenario to work, business or life. The same principle applies. And when you become aware of the curse of knowledge, you start to see it’s manifestations all around you. In conversations, I find myself talking B2B and B2C and putting up slides filled with acronyms that I am familiar with and therefore, I assume everyone should know. Only to be asked, what does that mean?

And the worry is, just how many people do we think sit on their hands and don’t ask for fear of looking like an idiot. Not only does the curse of knowledge hamper communication and getting the point across – but it also stops you from genuinely connecting with people. There’s nothing more rewarding than being heard – but communication is a two way street and you need to be talking in a language everyone understands in order to achieve that effectively.

So here are my 5 simple lessons for overcoming the curse of knowledge:

1.     Be aware

Once you know about the curse of knowledge just start sense checking how you’re communicating.  You’ll start to spot the assumptions you make all the time.  People aren’t idiots or being difficult – they just don’t know what you know – just like you may not know what they know.

 2.   Sense check

Check in with someone that is similar, or part of the audience you’re looking at communicating to. Does it make sense to them. It is pitched at the right level. Do they understand what you’re saying. Is there anything that they don’t understand. Is there any jargon that could be simplified.

3.     Start at the beginning

Rather than diving in and assuming a high level of knowledge, ask where people are to gauge where you need to start. I’ve found it really useful to say things like ‘I’m not teaching grandma to suck eggs here – but I’m starting at the beginning just so that we’re all on the same page – for those of you that know this, great and bear with me for a few minutes, and for those of you that don’t already know this – great, I’m going to go through it briefly.

4.     Does that make sense?

When you get the confused looks, or you feel you might as well be speaking Japanese (to non Japanese speaking people;)) – then check in. Ask the question – does that make sense? See who is getting it and who isn’t and then be prepared to start at the bottom and work through things step by step for those that aren’t.

5.     Step into their world

Having empathy and patience is key to effective communication. You may not remember all the steps you took when learning to drive but you will remember how vulnerable you felt the first time you sat in the driver’s seat – and remember that for others learning something for the first time, they too may be feeling a little ‘fish out of water’. So work on drawing your audience in by understanding where they’re coming from – and breaking things down so it’s easily communicable.

For me – uncovering the ‘curse of knowledge’ – has set me on a mission to change and improve some of the ways I communicate. Here’s hoping you find it’s something useful to be aware of too.

As always – any questions tweet me @michellecarvill or email  

Michelle Carvill, best selling business author, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill – the social media marketing agency. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you – simply get in touch or visit our website for more information.

CASE STUDY: Luxury brand Burberry ahead of the competition with digital innovation

Image Taken From Burberry Website
Image Taken From Burberry Website

When it comes to digital there are a whole load of possibilities with how retail brands can choose to approach the area and how creative they can be.

This is a beautiful space that can offer brands the chance to shine and think out of the box in terms of marketing to their consumers. Where we are now is that the platforms themselves have developed hugely and social advertising is becoming more popular.

Brands are also making greater use of newer social media platforms like Snapchat which offers marketers a chance to target the younger consumer through images and short videos.

There are many good examples of retailers embracing social media and creating really good and creative content on a regular basis – Burberry is a great example of what could be achieved when digital is fully embraced. Not just placing themselves where their target audience is online but also engaging with them in a way that can open up a whole new shopping experience.

This post is based around a recent news article headline which said;

“Rival luxury brands have yet to catch up with Burberry on digital innovation”

So…. we thought it would be a good chance to analyse why they have done so well and see what sort of strategy they have in place.

Speaking to analysts for the company’s trading update for the last six months, Carol Fairweather acknowledged that rival brands were spending more on digital, but said Burberry’s “embedded” approach was a cut above the rest.

“Digital is embedded right through the organisation in everything we do. So yes, other people are beginning to invest in digital, but have they got the same advantage to the fact that it’s absolutely embedded in everything?”

This isn’t just a boastful statement, the financial figures speak for themselves;

  • Burberry have seen an exceptional rise in sales being “almost 14% higher than the rest of the luxury fashion market”
  • As well as accrediting a 9% year-on-year sales bump to their personalised efforts in this area.

And Carol Fairweather is right about another thing, it is literally embedded into everything; from the Company culture – 70% of the London HQ are aged 30 and under and are all encouraged to peruse Social Media on a daily basis. CEO Christopher Bailey often publishes webinars to all staff on how the company is doing and what creative initiatives are coming up next.

The stores themselves are digitally integrated; with digital chips around the store that activate as the consumer moves through the store, kicking off catwalk shows and fashion displays on mirrors.

Christopher Bailey (CEO And Chief Creative Officer) used an interesting choice of words when he said that he had wanted to ‘weave digital into the fabric of the business’.

From the conception of their first Facebook page in 2009 to having a presence on Google+,Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and now Snapchat and by being present on all these different channels, the company have managed to harness the attention of their key target market.

Burberry have approached social media in the way they probably would when creating a new fashion piece; Taking an item and turning it into the best it can possibly be. They use social media to provide, behind the scenes footage, discussions with Christopher Bailey and live stream runway shows, giving followers an intimate insight into the brand.

In an interview with GQ Christopher Bailey said of the company digital approach;

“We had realised that we had created a lot of platforms that only exist online so we decided we had to bring these to life. Our approach to the store was to make a bridge between the online and offline experience. Today I think we’re less concerned about where we actually shop, and more concerned about the experience we have while we’re shopping.”

Through these activities it is clear that Burberry have fully embraced innovative marketing techniques and as a result have managed to almost blur the boundary between its online environment and physical stores by providing followers an all-round digital experience by marrying technology and retail environment in a fascinating, creative and intrinsic way.

At the time of writing, Burberry are due to launch a special Snapchat series from LA and all week have provided followers with short video teasers by Fashion Models Naomi Campbell, Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delavigne introducing the upcoming segment.

So it’s easy to see why Burberry have been so successful! By sharing so much with their special online fans they have managed to keep up with the modern digital age and in turn boost their profits too.

We look forward to keeping an eye on Burberry and how they embrace the newer social media networks and what creative they come up with!

As always leave a comment below and if you have any questions about how to market your business online using Social Media then you can drop us a tweet @CarvillCreative

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.

Tweet Us @carvillcreative

How To Get Your Twitter Presence Up To Scratch

Whilst Twitter has been around for 10 years, many are just starting out on their Twitter travels. Whether you’re just setting out, or have been on the channel for a while – take a look at these top tips to help you improve your Twitter Profile:

CC Twitter Page

Complete Your Twitter Profile –

Nobody likes an unfinished profile as it can look fake and your friends or customers might not know it’s you.It is highly recommended that you set a profile picture whether it be a logo or a headshot or item that is suitable to your product or brand. Twitter is all about people and people tend to like seeing who they are talking to.

When it comes to writing your bio our advice is to KISS. Yes, Keep It Short and Simple! You only have 160 characters so you should say a few key things that describe you or your business in a nutshell.

What is it you do? What interests do you or your business engage in? Most importantly; think about what it is you want people to know about you. And possibly what you don’t want people to know. If you’re stuck, have a look at some other profiles that get a lot of traction to see how they’ve positioned things.  Always a good idea to do your research and borrow ideas.

 Brand It, Own It –                                                                 

Does the colour scheme and imagery on your profile go with what you are about? The ‘Settings’ tab on Twitter enable you to personalise your profile from background image and profile picture – right down to being able to select a specific colour to use for wording and links. Also, the new cover photo space above the profile picture allows a little extra ‘promotional’ space for telling your followers a bit more about you. Make the most of your profile page now, as first impressions really do count.

Join The Conversation –

In recent years Twitter has been a great ‘go-to’ tool for users to read up on the latest news and goings on around the world in real-time. In fact, latest stats unveil that 40% of Twitter users never ‘tweet’.  Just going to prove it’s a wonderful news feed and research resource for many.  To find out the hot topics in your local region as well as the world – you can view the ‘trends’ section – and view ‘hot trends by country or region.

And if you do decide to go with the majority on Twitter and ‘join the conversation’, ensure you include relevant hashtags and Twitter handles of people you want to say something to. By joining in and making sure people know you’re part of the conversation – this drives the opportunity for retweets, new followers, and maybe even some favouriting your tweet!

Personal Tweeting vs Marketing Tweets –

In this cluttered world of communication we live in, our advice is that you don’t join in the ‘spam’ culture. Don’t make your tweets spammy and by spammy we mean posting a single link or constantly referring your followers to your products or services or offer. No-one wants to be bombarded with the ‘hard sell’ all the time. Think about your own browsing and engagement habits. If it all gets too spammy, you tune out. And so the same goes for those audiences you bombard too.

Sharing links to third party articles you enjoyed reading or watching is a good way to share. Content curation can be just as relevant and purposeful for your audience as sharing your authentic content.  And of course, add your own views to anything you share where relevant, keeping it a bit more personal.

Think Before You Tweet –

Questions worth asking yourself before clicking the tweet button should be;  is this newsworthy? Would my followers want to know this? Are there any typos? Have I included a correct link for my followers to click? Is there an image I could add to this that is relevant to what I am saying?  As we reported in one of our recent blog articles; tweets that include images can lead to a whopping 150% increase in engagement.

Hopefully these tips have given you some ideas on how to improve your Twitter presence. Check out this page from the Twitter website for extra support with setting up and personalising your profile as well as taking a look at other blogs we’ve written around optimising Twitter below.

Happy tweeting!

8 Common Social Media Mistakes To Avoid

Fotolia_61778996_XSIf you’ve made the decision to get your business started on social media, then it is important to be active on there in order to reach your potential customers. However it’s important to remember that one little error could hurt your brand’s reputation.

Some of the most common mistakes companies make with social media are related to lack of knowledge. It can be an extremely dangerous medium if not handled with care – therefore to help you out we thought we’d highlight some of the most common social media mistakes that are easily avoidable:

  1. Failing To Create A Social Media Strategy

When first starting off on social media, people often rush to set up a Twitter and Facebook account so that they can say their company is all over social. However it’s not as easy as that. There’s nothing worse than seeing a company struggling to create a social media presence – don’t just start posting random messages that you think is going to be relevant – have a strategy in place.

The best social media strategies are carefully planned out – clearly defining what your objectives are, the type of ‘voice’ you want to use, what kind of messages will be posted (content, content, content) and what channels are best for your company.

  1. Not Sharing The Right Links On Your Website

When we’re browsing the web we often come across company websites that make the ultimate mistake of having social buttons on their website that don’t link to their accounts, instead they encourage users to tweet or share the page. This is a big no no! You want your customers to know you’re on social yes – but you also want them to be following and interacting with you. And they’re far more likely to do this if you make it easy for them to find you by linking directly to your accounts.

  1. Paying For Fans

After creating an account – everyone seems to focus on increasing the number of followers and likes they have. Whilst it’s great to have a large following and looks impressive on your site – it’s not what you should be most focussed on. There are many accounts that pay for their 1000’s of fans – but these fake fans add very little to your community and they won’t be as engaged as real fans of your brand. There are no shortcuts in social media – you need endeavour to build authentic relationships with your audience before expecting anything from them.

  1. Not Creating Original Content

You want to build share of mind or establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry, as well as engage your audience. But you can’t do that just by sharing the work of others. That’s not to say it’s not great to share relevant articles or blogs that you think your audience might enjoy reading – it just means that you should also be creating original content too – that you know your target audience is going to love. When you’re able to balance your original content with content of others, you’ll increase traffic; gain new followers and fans – getting people to ‘like you, know you, trust you – ultimately do business with you’ (in that order).

  1. Talking Too Much

Posting too much about irrelevant things and sharing too many ‘salesy’ posts provides very little useful, educational or compelling content for your audience. Such posts rarely get a lot of attention. Remember that social media is about creating conversations – you need to talk less and listen more. (As we say, we have two eyes, two ears and just one mouth). People will be more drawn to you if you’re building discussions with your customers and actually listening to what they’re saying rather than forcing your sales messages upon them. Remember, the social channels are conversational channels – pushing traditional marketing messages directly into a conversational channel isn’t what social stand for.

  1. Spelling Mistakes

Making mistakes with your spelling and grammar can really nosedive your reputation. If you’re posting something that has either a grammatical or punctuation error – then you’re automatically sending out a red flag to viewers. Not only will this put people off your company, but it’s likely that no one will be commenting or sharing that post – or even worse you’ll get a number of people who feel compelled to correct your error – making you look a little stupid. So be sure to double check everything before you post – take a step back and re- read what you’ve written. Mistakes are highly likely to generate negative attention, so be certain that your work is flawless – otherwise you may never hear the end of it!

  1. Too Many Hashtags

There’s no doubt that you’ve used a hashtag here and there and that’s all very well, and is a useful way to join relevant conversations. However,  sharing too many hashtags becomes a problem. Studies have shown that posts that include more than three hashtags receive fewer actions to those only using one or two.

While we’re on the subject of hashtags, it is also best practice to make sure that you are only sharing hashtags on the channels that use them – by these we mean Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. We often see people sharing the same message on LinkedIn as they did on Twitter and forgetting to take the hashtags out – this just looks messy.

  1. Not Tracking Your Activity

Your social media activity is almost pointless if you’re not tracking your activity. How do you know if your updates are reaching the right people? Are your efforts bringing return on your investment? Without consistently monitoring these things you’re unable to see the effectiveness of your activity or campaigns. Even if you’re just tracking your activity at the end of every month and comparing your results with the month before, this is still enough to give you an insight into how things are going, which content works and what you can be focusing on going forward.

If you can think of any other mistakes you have come across or made in the past, be sure to tweet us and let us know via @carvillcreative. In the meantime, we hope we’ve given you enough warning – don’t make the same mistake twice.

Twitter tests ‘Promoted Videos’ to take on Facebook

We all love a video, that’s for sure. In fact, video is the most consumed content online. And so of course, all the major social networks have ensured that video is shareable and accessible via their platforms.

Last year Facebook tested out targeted video ads. And if you’re on Facebook (who isn’t these days) – then you’ll have seen how they work. Effectively, once the ad hits the target audiences feed, the 15 second video ads play automatically without sound, and you have to click on the video to hear the sound.

Now – the social network Twitter seems to want to rival Facebook as they have begun testing similar targeted video ads of their own.

They seem to work in a very similar way to the Facebook video ads – however the difference is that, currently, these videos will not automatically play as a user scrolls down their newsfeed. Users have to press the play button to see the video.

With this feature – promoted video ads will work on a cost per view buying model. This means that Twitter users need to click on a video in order for it to start playing. And the marketer will only get charged when a user presses play to view the video ad.

Promoted videos will be marked in the timeline by a promoted banner and the promoted video program offers marketers a wide range of analytics including completion percentage and a breakout of organic versus paid video views.

The new ad format will be similar to the most popular ad product, Promoted Tweets – which are ads that look like tweets and appear in a users content feed – the only difference is that they will be embedded into the tweets via a Twitter Card that supports other media rich ads.

Twitter has always been a text heavy (if you can call 140 characters heavy) service – therefore this type of content will significantly change the look and feel of the social platform. Tests have even shown that tweets containing video create more engagement and more video views.

Not only this but online videos are an important marketing tool especially at a time when the internet continues to introduce new channels into the buying process – therefore this is an important feature to consider.

Although these tests are only available to a ‘select’ few of content publishers and verified users – we thought it best to get you to start thinking about these early. We’re still awaiting a date where this feature will be made available to everyone.  We’ll be sure to keep you posted.

5 Twitter Advertising Mistakes To Avoid

twitter advertising 123Advertisements have always played a big role in the world of marketing. Whether bill board advertising, press advertising, direct mail – or now social advertising.

The thing with advertising is that it’s usually pretty pricey – and so you want to ensure you get it right. Nothing worse than your latest ad going out with zero call to actions or a dreaded incorrect telephone number or glaring typo.

Of course, we’re only human and many of us often make mistakes – whether it be a small spelling mistake or perhaps tweeting the wrong thing at the wrong time –mistakes are very important to avoid, particularly on social – where one little error can be shared to a mass audience in a matter of seconds.

To avoid any future mistakes when creating social ads on Twitter, check out the following 5 Twitter ad mistakes that companies should avoid:

  1. Don’t Forget To Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to get the attention of your target audience and highlight exactly what it is you’re tweeting about. They are a great way for businesses to insert themselves into conversations and trending topics.

Using a new ad or product image can stand out, however if you use strategically chosen hashtags in your promoted tweet, you can help your business find their target audience, reach non followers in large numbers and help grow your influence.

  1. Don’t Take Away User Anonymity

People don’t like it when companies or brands use too much targeting. If the user clicked on an ad and then see that ad everywhere, then they are likely to get annoyed. Seeing a thousand ads similar to the one then clicked on could be a turnoff for the user. So keeping some kind of anonymity is essential.

  1. Use Images To Your Advantage

Images on Twitter ensure that tweets take up more space on the feed and therefore, help to drive engagement. It’s important to include images when you’re sending out a promoted tweet. Tweets that include an image receive 200% more engagement than tweets without images.

Although an image may not be appropriate for every tweet, companies should try to include them wherever possible to help draw attention to their message.

  1. Don’t Take Advantage Of A Users Connections

Every user will have both personal and professional connections – and more often than not, many social media platforms take advantage of that and tend to make recommendations to a user based on what their friends like or based on their professional connections. Some users may find this too meddling – so try not to go overboard when using this tactic.

  1. Try To Use A Consistent Voice

When creating ads, it’s important to consider the objective of the ad. Whilst unique and chatty messages can make a Twitter account seem more ‘human’- depending on the message you are trying to convey, sometimes being chatty or cheeky may not be appropriate and could push your platform off-message and create a backlash. Another point to consider – don’t let your account sound like a robot stuck on repeat – repeatedly sending out the same messages can create problems from consumers too. The key is to find a happy middle ground where your message is clear and your voice is consistent, caring and human at the same time.

We hope you found our tips useful – and, why not share your Twitter Advertising tips with us too.

Twitter Advertising – Levi’s weather Glitch – and The Importance of Relevant Content

When it comes to Twitter advertising you need to make sure you find the balance that satisfies the advertiser without upsetting or being intrusive towards your target audience.

It may seem like an obvious thing not to do – but you’ll be surprised at how many big brands end up getting themselves into hot water over the silliest of things.

Here’s one recent example involving Levi’s (see below)

levi jeans mess up


Seems like a clever enough tweet to post, but their downfall was that on this particular day, it wasn’t sunny at all – in fact it was raining all day! And here are just a few of the responses they received (see thread snipped below):

replies to levi

If you look at the date of the original tweet – July 29th – then it probably was a beautiful day when they shared it. But when they ‘reused’ the same content – via a sponsored / promoted tweet – then it clearly hit on a day when the Great British Summer wasn’t at its best.

Let this be a lesson to us all.  When thinking of reusing any previous content – make sure that content is still relevant!

It’s so important to avoid silly mistakes on social media as people are listening all the time – so our advice to for you to use relevant, up to date content and be vigilant at all times.

If you want to know more about Twitter Advertising mistakes then be sure to check out our blog on ‘5 Twitter Advertising Mistakes To Avoid.’

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

10 Tactics to Increase Twitter Engagement

Twitter can be an incredibly useful platform to promote your business and do some great social marketing. It can also prove useless if you’re not ensuring you focus on good engagement tactics – therefore in this blog, we are going to give you 10 tactics to use on Twitter to help build your engagement.

1. Keep your tweets short. Tweets that have approximately 110 characters get 17% higher engagement. This is because users often like to retweet and add their own commentary, which is much more difficult to do if the tweet is longer. This can then mean the user has to edit the tweet, which is more time-consuming and they may decide they cannot be bothered. And if you think about it – 80% of people using Twitter do so via a mobile – and so editing tweets can be tricky.  It’s best therefore, to keep your tweets at 80-110 characters for optimum engagement.

2. Tweet during daytime hours. Make sure you are tweeting when your target audience are awake, during their daytime. Your tweets will have 30% higher interaction between 8am and 7pm, for the time zone where your audience is based. A great tool to use to find out exactly when your audience is most active is Tweriod.

3. Keep tweeting over the weekend. Never stop tweeting over the weekend – your followers will still be checking Twitter. Even if you aren’t at work, schedule the tweets in so  you are still active on Saturday and Sunday. Engagement can sometimes even be 17% higher on weekends than weekdays!

4. Share your images. Including pictures or videos in your tweets can lead to a 150% increase in Twitter engagement, which is a huge incentive. Find images relating to the wording of the tweet, or include a relevant   or Vine video. It may seem like more effort to do compared to just a regular tweet, but if you want the increased engagement, it’s completely worth it.

5. Ask for Retweets. Surprisingly, less than 1% of businesses have asked for retweets, but doing so means you are more likely to get them. Users are more likely to respond when you use the full word ‘retweet’ rather than the abbreviation ‘RT’, with the retweet rate for the full word being 23 times higher. More retweets mean more people can see your tweets, leading to higher engagement.

6. Use Hashtags. This is a vital Twitter tactic, and a very easy one to do as well. Despite only 24% of people using hashtags, using them can double your engagement rate. They can give your tweet much more visibility. However, don’t overuse them – keep to 2 or less per tweet! Otherwise the tweet becomes cluttered, and it has been proven that tweets using more than 2 hashtags have a 17% drop in engagement which would not be good. Keep informed on trending and use industry-related hashtags where you can to increase your engagement.  Be authentic with your hashtagging though, don’t just jump on a trending hashtag if there’s no clear relationship between the content you are sharing and the hashtag. People that do this – usually get bad press i.e.: when an intern at Habitat used # relating to the new Apple iPhone to showcase items in their sale.  Uh oh – #fail

7. Include Links. 92% of all Twitter interaction happens when users click on links. They are an easy thing to include and can easily boost your retweets as tweets that include links tend to get 86% more retweets. It is suggested that you include links in 60-80% of your tweets, as a quick and simple way to get regular retweets which, as previously said, can hugely help your engagement. Twitter now automatically reduces long URL links for you – and if you are sharing from another platform – be sure to shorten your links (via Bitly and other tools) to ensure you are not eating into your already limited tweet characters.

8. Avoid Lifestyle Tweets. Remember, you are a business, not a celebrity. Don’t get carried away with talking about your day-to-day life as users are not usually interested. The fact you’ve just had a yummy cheese sandwich for lunch may be interesting to you – but most certainly isn’t for others.  Focus on marketing your brand. Try not to use words such as work, home, watching, tired and tomorrow – they aren’t relevant. Use words that will make a reader interested in your brand and want to engage.

9. Use Strong Calls to Action. Asking users to do something can hugely increase engagement. Words such as please, retweet, help, follow and how to are examples of the most retweeted words, giving a high sense of engagement. This is because they make the reader feel like they are the focus of the tweet, therefore persuading them to want to get involved.

10. Send 1 to 4 Tweets a Day. Many companies think that the more they tweet, the more they will be seen. Although this may be true, people are less likely to engage with the tweets as they see so many. Keeping the number of tweets down to a steady stream means you are likely to be producing tweets of a higher quality and therefore achieve higher engagement levels. Go ahead and respond to @s and DMs, but definitely don’t over-tweet.

We hope these Twitter tactics will help you to make your brand’s Twitter more successful, enabling more engagement and interest from readers.

Do you have any other tips that you can add to our list? Let us know at @CarvillCreative

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

Facebook Launches New ‘Save for Later’ Feature

You know what it’s like – you’re flicking through Facebook and you see a few articles that look really interesting – but you just don’t have the time to read them at that moment.

Well, Facebook’s latest feature now lets you save the articles you’re interested in – so you can catch up on them later.

Unfortunately, ‘save’ doesn’t work for everything – it currently works exclusively with link posts. So if a friend posts a status update with a picture and a link to an article, you won’t be able to save that for later (at the moment). Annoying, we know. However it does let you flag things like links, places, movies, TV and music.

To ‘save’ an item, all you have to do is click the drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the post you want to save. If you’re looking at a place or music page then a ‘save’ tab will be available to you (appearing just under that page’s profile photo).

google posts to put in













To go back to review the content you saved – you have to click on your ‘Home Feed’ tab – then on the list on the left hand side under ‘Events’ you will see the option ‘Saved’ – click here and all your saved items will appear.

saved items


For now, these ‘saved items’ are private, meaning that only you can see the items you’ve saved, unless you choose to then share them again with friends via your timeline.

This new feature brings a much needed element to Facebook – which has made steps towards becoming the go-to place for consuming news. There was no easy way to revisit a post in a News Feed before – and given that Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t surface items chronologically,  a story you wanted to read later might never have resurfaced.

You can compare this feature to the likes of Twitter ‘favourites’. Twitter doesn’t offer an explicit “save for later” feature, but users can favourite a tweet and then easily revisit that list from their profile. Using the feature to bookmark/save things that you want to reference  but  don’t necessarily want to share to all of your friends and followers.

So have a go – save your favourite posts and never miss an article again!

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

How to Follow the World Cup via Twitter

So the World Cup is upon us, and this year has become as much of an event in the digital and social sphere as it has on the pitch.

No matter where you are, whether you want to know about the World Cup or not – social media weaves us all together giving us all a second screen experience. One you can’t miss!

Major brands have also come out in full force to get involved in the World Cup through a social media perspective – so be on the lookout for competitions, blog posts and tweets – and quite rightly they should, as this is the most social sporting event we’ve seen so far.

Keep Track of the Action

Twitter has made it easy to for you to figure out how to keep on track of all the action during the World Cup by publishing lists of all players and team accounts.

One of the crucial ways to keep your eyes on the game is to follow those key players. Be sure to also look out for all the other voices out there including commentators, journalists and websites etc. Some of these can be harder to pinpoint on Twitter but due to the fact that they are crucial to the World Cup conversation, you will find them!

Twitter Introduces the Hashflag for World Cup Tweets

The hashflag has returned – this was something that was an instant hit during the 2010 world cup. And now Twitter has announced the return of hashflags which are bound to add a little national pride and colour throughout our Twitter feeds.

A ‘hashgflag’ is exactly what it sounds like – a hashtag flag. It allows users to use the world’s flags, as a new form of hashtags in their tweets.









So throughout the World Cup – when fans tweet a ‘#’ followed by their county’s three letter abbreviation, a flag will appear in the tweet. For instance if you’re rooting for England (which we hope you are), you would tweet #ENG – and the country’s flag will appear after the text.

They have been introduced not only to brighten up your Twitter feeds but to make the World Cup come to life. Twitter has estimated that around 90% of users will be watching the tournament – therefore has focused on making discussions centred around the event – more accessible for us all.

Show Your True Colours

Noticed a banner at the top of the screen when you first log in to your Twitter saying – Excited about the World Cup?

Twitter are giving you the chance to share with the world – your true colours!

Here you get to pick the team you’re supporting throughout the World Cup – where you will unlock some new customised World Cup features which allow you to personalise your profile.

It’s another way of getting involved in the World Cup where you can use your Twitter profile to represent your allegiance.

Once you’ve chosen your team – Twitter will then give you the option to add a team profile photo and header that you can pick from their library of customised images.

So what are you waiting for? Get your Twitter profile involved with the World Cup – look the part, follow the right people and stay on top of all the real time scores and highlights.

There’s also bound to be a whole lot more going on with the World Cup in the social sphere – so if we’ve missed anything – feel free to share any other ones that have caught your eye!

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.