Tag Archives: social media for business

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 Choose Your Social Media Channels Wisely

social media channelsOnce your business has made a decision to jump on the social media bandwagon, the next decision is to decide upon what channels to use and how much time do you want to spend posting, tweeting, pinning, cricling, creating or following?

When making these decisions, businesses often make the mistake of signing up to all the most popular networks, hoping to have a business impact by reaching the right customers straight away. The reality is that it’s virtually impossible to do them all – or at least do them all well.

Businesses that do try, often go in all guns blazing, then after a week or two, due to the lack of responses to their online activities, the use of social media channels by that business rapidly dwindles – and they’ll often end up with a Facebook page with a couple of half-hearted posts on them, or Twitter feed with the latest tweets being 6 months old. This end result can actually be more damaging to your business than not having any social network presence at all.

The one piece of advice we can give you is to choose your channels wisely – don’t try to be everywhere! The important thing you need to figure out is which channels are dominant for your market.

In social media, it’s about quality, not just quantity. Doing two or three channels really well with consistent, highly engaging content is what will lead to conversion and customers.

Here are a few ways to come to the conclusion about the right social media channels for you:

  • Where does your business sit in the social media space?
  • Are you aiming to build a community presence? If so then Facebook, Twitter and Google+ could be for you.
  • Does your business use a lot of images? If so then perhaps Instagram or Pinterest is the way to go.
  • If you’re a business can provide professional and useful insights for others within your industry then get yourselves on LinkedIn.
  • Think about your target audience – where is your target buyer and what channels are they using?
  • Have a look at your competitors – what channels are they using? Are they doing well on social?
  • Do you have time to be working on all the social media sites? How many channels do you think you can do really well on?
  • Have a clear social media strategy in place – then you can work out a plan that you can realistically implement.
  • Keep in mind that social media takes time, especially if you want to build up a reputation – so don’t get frustrated if you’re not getting instant results.

It’s very important that you choose the right channel or channels from the outset and it’s equally important that you do not get distracted in trying to support your profiles on those channels.

Whichever social networks you choose to use, be prepared to sufficiently resource the activity – this will take some time, skills and prompt responses to build up the right social network for your business. Once you’ve learnt how to master one or two channels to begin with, you can than progress to the next one.

You’ll be surprised at how much time an effective social media presences takes up – so don’t overburden yourself initially, as that is a guaranteed recipe for failure.

Twitter Scheduling – now available for all Advertisers!

Twitter has announced that advertisers now have the ability to schedule tweets directly from the platform. If you’re not a Twitter business user but this kind of functionality appeals to you, then you’re bound to still find this of interest…

Previously, marketers had to use third-party social media management dashboards like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or SocialFlow to schedule their tweets. But now, Twitter advertisers can give those tools a rest with Twitter’s new schedule tweet option – where they can schedule and publish their own tweets up to one year in advance – directly from Twitter!

The scheduling tweets tool has rolled out on advertisers’ accounts on ads.twitter.com – where they can either access the option via the “compose tweet” button or within a new “creative” tab in the top navigation.

So what does this mean for advertisers?

This new capability makes Twitter’s Ad product very useful to advertisers as they are able to draft or schedule tweets using Twitter’s web interface.

Not only this, but they also get the benefits (as you would from other third party social media management dashboards) such as publishing content at any time without having staff on-call to Tweet on evenings, weekends, or other inconvenient times. Advertisers also gain the flexibility to plan content in advance for events like premieres and product releases.

How does it work?

All you have to do is tweet from ads.twitter.com – the URL has a more fully featured tweet text box, including options to pay to promote your tweet, and most importantly, to schedule tweets for the future.

There are two options now available for this feature, one where you can create and schedule new tweets from the blue tweet button on the top right corner of the navigation bar or, the other is their newly introduced Creative tab for users to create and manage both scheduled Tweets and Twitter Cards in one place.

The Compose Tweet button on the creative page will bring up a new tweet box where you’ll be able to compose your tweet and add a photo, location or card. You’ll also have the option to send tweets organically to followers, or set up to publish as part of a Promoted Tweet campaign (thereby selecting specific targeting criteria to make sure the right users see the message).


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall it is quite a nifty tool for advertisers, and many of us are likely to see these scheduled tweets but won’t have access to try them ourselves, however it is very likely that it will start to roll out mainstream, at some point – so be on the look out!

Written by Michelle Carvill 

Instagram for Business – Part 3 – Video

In our blogs Instagram for Business – Part 1 and Instagram for Business -Part 2 we’ve walked you through setting up an Instagram account and shared some great tips for leveraging Instagram for business.  Now we want to turn to the relatively recently launched ‘video’ element of Instagram.

It was introduced not that long ago (July) and has now gone viral – some believe it has even taken over Twitter Vine.

Instagram video is described as “everything you love about Instagram — and it moves,” it is designed around three core principles:

  • Simplicity — It needs to be easy to use and edit
  • Beauty — “We need to do to video what we did to photos.”
  • Community — Instagram continues to look and work the same way when it comes to sharing and viewing content.

Instagram Video had the advantage over Twitter Vine as it came to iOS and Android at the same time and it supports 13 custom filters just for video where users can edit the frames of their videos to remove certain segments of the footage.

How to set up:

Make sure you have downloaded the latest Instagram App – and then you can start recording video straight away!
To record a video:

  • ‘Tap’ at the bottom of the app to switch from either camera in the middle or video on the right.
  • Press and hold the camera button to start recording.
  • Lift your finger off the button when you wish to stop recording (so on for recording off to stop).
  • Then tap Next to beautify your video by adding a filter,
  • Then you can go on to sharing your video!

 

Benefits compared to Vine

There’s no doubt about it, the launch of Instagram Video is now in direct competition with Twitter Vine, the Twitter – backed video app.

But what are the differences between them? Has Instagram Video taking over?

That is for you to decide, there are however many advantages of Instagram Video. Advantages that Twitter vine doesn’t have!

Take a look at some of these features that are noticeably absent from Vine:

  • Clip Editing

The greatest advantage of Instagram Video is the fact that it includes editing features. It also allows users to delete unsatisfying past frames, by clicking the delete button marked with an “X” to remove the last frame (or two).

  • Effects of Filters

It wouldn’t be Instagram without filtering options – 13 different ones to be exact. They perform very similarly to the photo filters but with different names.

Vine on the other hand keeps everything raw – all ‘editing must be performed in video, meaning you all have to think about the lighting and exposure.

  • Length

Instagram also offer up to 15 seconds of video – more than twice as long as Vines 6 second videos – there really is so much more you can do with a video in 15 seconds!

  • Tap to Focus

When capturing videos in Instagram, all you have to do is tap within the frame to focus your depth of field; this makes more professional looking footage!  Whereas when you tap with Vine it means you are filming and there is no option for focus etc.

  • Image Stabilisation

Instagram also has a brand new tool: Cinema – which is a custom image stabilisation product which is meant to smooth shaky footage for a more professional, streamlined result. Impressive!

  • Cover Image Selection

Instagram lets you scroll through the still of your video and select the best cover photo for you video.  This is a very important feature as it gives the first impression of your video and therefore will entice your audience.

Why good for business

Video marketing these days has become more and more of a hot topic, where about 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video.

Vine was the latest craze and was Twitter’s attempt at making video easy to create and share – the only problem with Vine is that it requires a lot of creativity to make videos look great…

Now with Instagram Video, your door is open to a whole lot of new different things! Take a look at just some of the ways Instagram video could be useful for your business:

  • Announcement of a new product or sale

Using videos is a great way to showcase the message you want to get across to your fans, with 15 seconds there’s so much you could do.

If a picture of your work is worth a thousand words, imagine what 15 seconds of video communicates. They can also be useful to answer FAQ’s – where a simple how-to video can answer your customers’ questions quickly and efficiently.

  • Your office in action

We often hear about how brands “need to become human.” Social media has blurred the lines with real-time, real-life engagement between companies and customers, creating a need for companies to be transparent and more open.

Instagram videos offer an opportunity for brands and businesses to do this to showcase their culture and style. They can help differentiate your company from its competitors.

  • Great way to boost your interaction on Facebook

Videos and photos inspire the most engagement on Facebook – so will sharing your Instagram videos on there – it can be a tool smart marketers use to boost community interaction on Facebook.

So there you have it – Instagram video can help you out with just about anything! We hope that this Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of Instagram for Business – and that these posts have helped answer any questions you may have as well as increasing your knowledge about Instagram.

Happy Instagramming folks!

Be social…share your favourite Instagram accounts with us. We’ll share on our Facebook Page to inspire.

Instagram for Business – Part 1

Is your business on Instagram? If not – then you might want to start thinking about getting your business on there!

Instagram is a fast, simple and fun way to share photos – simply snap a picture, choose from a range of preset filters to transform the
look of your picture (no photoshop skills required), and then post to your Instagram home feed. (You also get the opportunity to automatically share to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks too).

In Instagram’s own words “its photo sharing reinvented!”

At the moment, you can only create an Instagram account by downloading the app on your IOS iPhone or Android device – which is very easy to set up!

Use our simple steps to get started and to make sure your brand takes full advantage of this creative platform:

How to set up Instagram:

  • Firstly, download the Instagram app in the App Store for your iPhone/iPad, or in Google Play for an Android device. See link here http://instagram.com/.
  • Once installed, tap the Instagram icon to open it on your device.
  • Tap Register.
  • Sign up for Instagram account by entering all your details – be sure to create a username that clearly represents your business!
  • Choose a profile picture by clicking on the photo icon on the top right of the screen – giving you the option to ‘Import from Facebook’, ‘Import from Twitter’, ‘Take photo’, or ‘Choose from you library.’

If you select ‘Import from Facebook/ Twitter’ – Instagram will ask to connect to your Facebook/Twitter account so that you can choose a profile picture from either account. Remember to choose one that makes your business recognisable.

  • Once you have filled everything out, tap ‘done’- then that’s it, you’re all set up!

Once you’ve set your profile up, you can then dive straight in to uploading or taking pictures to beautify on Instagram!

How to use Instagram:

  • To select your first photo, click on the camera icon in the centre to snap a photo (This requires a device with a camera such as the iPhone or an Android phone.) 
  • In the camera mode you have option to edit your picture settings. Choose between ‘always using your phone’s flash’, ‘auto detecting flash’, or ‘never using flash’. You can also tap to switch between the front-facing and back-facing camera.
  • Or why not edit an existing photo where you tap at the bottom right of the screen to select a photo from you library.
  • Once you’ve chosen the photo you want to work with, you can optionally apply a filter to that photo from the choices that appear – ‘Valencia’ is personally our fave!
  • Click “Next” when you are finished. Then enter a brief description of your photo in the “What?” text input field.
  • There’s also the “Where?” tab to add location info to your photo (we recommend doing this as it’s a great way to promote your business).
  • Don’t forget you can also share your picture on other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter – simply enter the username and password associated with your business account to link it with your Instagram business account.
  • Tap “Done,” to complete the process and post your photo. Your photo will appear in your “Feed” and also the feed of other Instagram users that are following you.

We hope this has been helpful and enough to get you started on Instagram. Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3 of Instagram for Business ’ where we’ll talk more about how businesses can  be using Instagram and the benefits it brings!