Tag Archives: engagement

5 Ways To Integrate Social Media into your Events

Looking at ways to integrate social media into your events? Then this post looks at 5 simple things to consider to keep the conversation bubbling, before, during and after your event.

1)     Get connected. When taking bookings for your event – be sure give delegates the opportunity to share their social media account details with you. For example, when you ask for their email address, why not ask for their Twitter handle too. This way you can connect with them directly – keep them updated on what’s going to be happening at the event – even ask questions about what they’re looking forward to etc – before the event has even started.

2)     Brand with a hashtag. Create a hashtag for your event so that you can easily get everyone attending or engaged with the event in any other way connected – pre, during and post the event.  You can print the # on promo materials, ask speakers to include on all their slides, use for promotional purposes – eg: getting user generated content from attendees etc – the opportunities are endless. Of course, when creating your # do some research to see if anyone else has used it before – keep it short and memorable and, no brainer – relevant.

3)     Showcase social activity. It was no surprise that at the recent Digital Shoreditch event, there were some really innovative and highly practical uses of social media activity at play.  Speakers were encouraged to share their Twitter handles so that everyone could interact with them during talks, and at the beginning of every talk they encouraged audiences to talk to them and connect.  Plus there was a fabulous contraption; The Social Stock ticker

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tracking and printing out (good old bus conductor ticket styley) all tweets using the event hashtag #ds15.  And of course, there were Twitter boards showcasing conversations alongside the main presentation screens. Lots of engagement, lots of content to retweet, share, use in follow ups.

4)     Create a social database. Back to the hashtag again – simply create a Twitter list of all the people that engaged with the event – either those that used the hashtag or mentioned the event name or retweeted etc. This way, the next time you run the event, you can let them all know that event 2016 is taking place via Twitter.  Create an open list and everyone else can see who else connected with the event –useful as part of networking opportunities.

5)     Continuous conversations. So we’ve talked about what to do to capture audience, talk to them and engage during the event. What about after the event? Give delegates a reason to stay connected – perhaps slides are going to be shared into Twitter following the event, or video footage which they may be highlighted in, or there’s going to be Q&A sessions over on Facebook with some of the speakers – so share your questions with us.

So that’s just 5 ideas you an use to integrate social media into your event activities – I’m sure there are many others that you could come up with – if so, feel free to share them with us – we’re all ears… @carvillcreative

 

@Michelle Carvill founder of Carvill Creative – a digital marketing and social media agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire and London.

 

 

 

Anybody there – and if so, do you care? The Importance of using Social Media Channels Effectively

hearandear

It was interesting to read a recent report stating that whilst many PR organisations are now including social media channels as part of PR activity for their clients, the way in which they are using them isn’t as optimised as it could be.

The critical flaw highlighted in the report – is the use of social media channels purely as broadcast channels. Pushing out updates, notices, press releases and news – good old traditional marketing methodology pushed into a conversational platform.  But surely effective conversations are meant to be two way – otherwise it’s not a conversation, it’s just noise.

And it’s not just some PR organisations that are getting this wrong.  We see activity on the social channels day to day where there’s a lot of ‘talking at’ going on – but not much listening and engaging.

Each time we see this, it breaks our little hearts – as social media channels are perfect resources for engaging with people.  Used effectively, they are wonderful channels to engage in authentic conversations, to compel others to connect and share content or your ideas, extending reach and brand awareness – and yet, even though these channels have now been around for a number of years – we continue to see masses of lost opportunity.

Perfect example of pushing yet not listening

For example, we were recently working on a campaign for a client that meant we were tracking a range of keywords to research relevant conversations. In doing this, we uncovered that the PR company working on the campaign (and again, not just getting at PR companies here –  there are some PR companies that do social exquisitely) – whilst they were sharing updates on social platforms around a campaign, they were not actually geared up to follow up on any engagement. This meant that questions were being asked, people were asking for more info, where they could find products in which stores etc – and yet no one was engaging. The channel was purely being used to broadcast – nothing more.

My question to you therefore is – are you listening? And if so – is that listening effective? Don’t just plan a campaign and set up a tweet bank to push out a whole bunch of timely tweets – that’s not social, that’s broadcast.  Focus your campaign on engagement.  Ask the questions:

  • How are you going to engage?
  • How are you going to encourage engagement?
  • How are you going to get the conversations started?
  • How are you going to keep conversations continuing?
  • How are you going to track conversations?
  • How often?
  • Who’s listening in?

Basic questions – but all too often this critical aspect is missing from social activity.

Listening is part of being social – let’s not forget that.

 

As always follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with social media news and tips @carvillcreative

 

@MichelleCarvill founder of Carvill Creative – a digital marketing and social media agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire and London.

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

Do You Know Who Your Competition Is On Social Media?

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Carvill Creative Competition

When starting out with your business on social media, it’s often best practice to spend some time looking at what your competitor’s are doing.

When you and your competitors are both trying to attract the same audience, customers looking for the same thing are going to be torn between whose content is better. Therefore it’s good to review the kind of content your competitors are sharing, and if others are sharing it, if so – then there’s a good chance they’ll share similar content from your channels too – but you can work on it so that your content is even better! That’s why it’s important to research what content competitors are publishing as it will give you clues about where to gain the most engagement.

Take a look at three important things to be looking out for when researching your competition:

  1. Learn From Their Mistakes

In today’s digital word, as a small businesses you too have to go out and earn your brand’s reputation. One of the very first steps when starting online is to take a look at your competitors, and dig up the mistakes they have made in the past. Social media is any easy place to search and see what people are saying – so when you find mistakes that your competitors have made or things that didn’t sit well with your target audience – take note of it.

Tip: Aim to monitor your competitors weekly – look out for how often they post in comparison to you. You may be able to see some differences in what effects this has on your audience’s engagement. For instance if they are posting content a little more often then you and have a better engagement rate – you may want to test picking up the pace.

  1. Find Out The Best Ways To Interact With Your Target Audience

Your target audience should be the key objective when it comes to your social media strategy. How businesses interact with their social media audience will largely affect the kind of response they get. So be sure to investigate the customer acquisition approach your competitors have – then think about what you could be doing differently? Do you need to think about increasing your followers’ every day? What kind of voice do your competitors use? Keep in mind that humour always works well online – but of course it has to be appropriate for the business.

Tip: Don’t get caught up in the number of followers, likes, fans etc. that your competitors have – although these numbers are important, they’re not as important as the engagement rates.

  1. Find Out What Content Works Best

When researching your competition – be sure to look at what content works well for them – but clearly, your intention is not to copy them directly. You purely want to see what they’re doing to give you an idea on how you can make your content even better – so just take a quick look at their work and gain clues about your own content by seeing what gets the most engagement from their audience compared to yours. You’ll quickly be able to see whether those photos of you and your employees at the Christmas party were a good idea, whether you may need to post a video once in a while, or whether you need to use more images.

Tip: When following different theories to your competitors, it’s important to remember that just because they’re doing something new that appears to be working, there is a good chance that they have not tested it – so be careful and always use your best judgement.

As part of your social media activity, research and analysis is equally as important as sharing  content,  so take some time researching the ‘big players’ in your industry and be sure to take our tips on board and to consider how you can build in a process to critically analyse your completion now and 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.

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.

Lessons any brands or business on Twitter can learn from Xbox

As a trainer and consultant in social media – I’m always looking for case studies and best practice to share.

Even though I’ve never entered the ‘gaming’ world personally – I certainly think they know a thing or two about developing and engaging communities.

Their products enable you to be ‘social online’ and virtually ‘play’ with likeminded friends or complete strangers (new competitors) who all share the same interest and enthusiasm for gaming.

Beyond the actual social element within the product – then there’s of course the ‘social’ media networks which many of their target audience are aligned with.

So take a look at Xbox on Twitter – and consider some lessons we can all learn:

A Targeted Approach

  • Rather than one global Xbox account – they have recognized that their ‘followers’ have different needs.  You’ll see that rather than have one corporate account and push all messages via it – due to the size of the audience they’ve segmented their accounts on Twitter to serve specific needs.  Their main Xbox account  promotes their product – features of the product, competitions they are running, partnerships they have in place and any latest news.  Exactly what you would expect from a corporate account.
  • Service, service, service.  Xbox has a dedicated Xbox Support Twitter Account – take a look at this profile and you will see that they rightly boast about holding the Guinness World Record for ‘most responsive brand on Twitter’.

Also, you’ll see a list of the team who make up their support team – so as a customer, you can see who you are talking to at any one time.

Take a look at their conversations in this thread and you’ll see high levels of engagement, responsiveness, relevant promos and competitions.

My guess is that their service / support levels have potentially become far more efficient and easier to manage via opening up the support service via Twitter.  Support is now visible to all their followers – and so they have to be great at it – and great service and visible praise from your audience adds momentum to continuously improve your service levels.   Also, Support is now one to many instead of one to one – whilst still retaining a personal positioning.  If a number of their customers have the same issue – one global message can communicate to many that they are working on the issue and keeping people informed of progress.

In my view, Xbox offer all of us something to learn on how to engage a community and continue to service a community via Twitter which focuses on key facets that are relevant to any business.  Simple marketing really – 1) know your audience and segment content / engagement accordingly  and deliver the content and messaging you know your audience want to engage with – and 2) deliver excellent service to grow advocacy and nurture retention and brand loyalty.

Do let us know your thoughts and opinions on this topic – share your comments below or simply tweet us 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.

Social Media – Great – But Don’t Kill Yourself

According to the BBC, a recent RAC survey found out that 20% of 17 to 19-year-olds admitted using Facebook or Twitter while driving.

That’s a huge number of people who can’t resist checking their social media news feeds mid car journey.

We all know what it’s like to be stuck in gridlock traffic, bored out of our minds with nothing but the radio to entertain us, but boredom shouldn’t cause us to act dangerously. Even taking your eyes off the road for 10 seconds can cause a car accident – no matter how much of an experienced driver you feel that you are.

To add to the distraction, most modern cars now have dashboard phone holders, leaving your phone in view and making notifications more visible and even more of a distraction.

Of course, whilst we are huge social media fans and believe in the power of fast engagement, we in no way support ‘Tweet-driving’.

Many new cars enable you to plug into your social activity – providing ‘Status Updates’ on the go – safely.  It’s our need for constantly keeping up to date with what our friends and networks are doing that has driven this new ‘in car’ social innovation.

But surely there are risks with this too – interruptions to our core task of driving safely – and what about any emotional impact.  Getting wound up by an update could be detrimental to our behaviour behind the wheel.

So we ask you, be honest… How many of you have checked your news feed mid-drive ? And what are your views on being plugged in to social behind  the wheel?

Do let us know your thoughts and opinions on this topic – share your comments below or simply tweet us 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 Story Bumping 101 – The More People Engage – The More People Get to See

Previously, Facebook relied on the News Feed algorithm; Edge Rank to determine who got to see what. However, not many marketers never mind businesses or brands had even heard of Edgerank – and its principles – and the consensus was that it wasn’t transparent and potentially a little too complex.

Now, Facebook hopes to eliminate some of the mystery behind our Newsfeed’s by using new signals to organise feeds. These signals include; who people interact with, what they like, and the kinds of stories they interact with most.

This is all part of Facebook’s goal to “make the best personalised newspaper for our users,” highlighting the hottest stories it assumes users will find most interesting, so that users are more likely to engage with them!

The new feature determines the posts you see when you next visit, and the relevant posts that you missed the last time you checked Facebook.

So what is Story Bumping?

Facebook said that every time someone visits their News Feed there are on average 1,500 potential stories for them to see. And with more than 700 million people using Facebook’s News Feed daily, you’re hardly likely to have the time to see every story.

With so many stories, there is a good chance people would miss out on something they wanted to see – therefore Facebook are using their algorithm to determine the importance of each post (such as a large number of comments and likes), and this is called Story Bumping!

Instead of seeing the latest photos, links and status updates, you’ll see a mix of the latest posts as well as older ones, that you may have missed the last time you checked Facebook.

Facebook comments:

“Now organic stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see can reappear near the top of News Feed if the stories are still getting lots of likes and comments.”

Facebook looks at what stories have been published since someone last looked at the News Feed and all of the relevant stories that the person hasn’t seen. So now, when you log in, you’ll see all kinds of stories that are important to you!

This works using the News Feed algorithm that responds to signals from you! Which depends on:

  • How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted.
  • The number of likes shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular.
  • How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past.

(In fact, this is pretty much the same way in which Edgerank has always filtered and organised information – but the fact that highly engaged stories still stick around regardless of how old they are, is the key difference).

How will it benefit you?

This change has already resulted in a “5% increase in the number of likes, comments and shares on the stories people saw from friends and an 8% of those they saw from Pages.”

Additionally, potentially visible stories read rate has increased from 57% to 70%, meaning that people are now seeing more content.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Before, posts got the bulk of their engagement in the first few minutes of being posted. Now, those successful posts have a better chance of staying in more people’s news feeds. The “bumping” feature bumps those posts to the top (despite being older) therefore raising engagement rates.

Good content will always reign – so be sure to produce good content, share it through your relevant channels and hope that people will engage.

So what do you need to know as a marketer?

  • Every post counts

With the new Story Bumping feature (which resurfaces older posts that you may have “missed” to the top of the News Feed), you have more opportunities for your content to be resurfaced to your Fans (that is if it’s good content – with high levels of engagement).

  • Engagement is key

Facebook cares more about people actually interacting with your Facebook content; this gives businesses even with a small following an advantage. So post good relevant and purposeful content, focus on engaging people with your posts, and you should appear in their News Feeds more often.

To recap, the general rule for all content creators is to not be boring – the more people interact with your content, a higher volume of people will see it! Think about your audience and what matters to them. Also – be human!

With all of these changes, be sure to test what works with your Company Page and your Fans – it may be a lot different from one business to another. So get testing – and with the right data, you’ll start increasing your Facebook engagement and leads in no time!

Kat West is Social Media Executive at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.