Tag Archives: twitter advice

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@carvillcreative.co.uk 

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.

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

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.

Are You Guilty of Making the Most Common Mistake on Twitter?

There is one major mistake that’s being made all the time on Twitter!

The culprit is evident right at the very start of a Tweet.

Starting a tweet with someone’s Username  (ie: their @ Twitter handle) is a big no no!

For example if we tweet: “@BOBSthebook says…” without something in front of it, Twitter sees this as a reply and the tweet will only be seen by a limited number of people.

Starting a Tweet with the @handle – who sees what?

If you start a tweet as outlined above with the @handle – eg: @carvillcreative – then only the sender and the person mentioned and those who follow both you and the @handle you are sending the tweet to – will see the tweet.

Of course, if that’s your intention – then great. It may be that you are intentionally being ‘niche’.  It’s often a good workaround to send a direct message to someone when they are not following you – where you can’t do an ‘official direct message’.

In order to turn such a closed tweet into a regular public tweet, (for all to see) you simply have to add any character in front of the “@” symbol. This is commonly done by adding words such as “Hi there @BOBSthebook…” or “Great post @BOBSthebook…“

Simply adding characters prior to the @handle means that your tweet is then visible to all. And the people you have ‘mentioned’ will be notified in the usual way.

If you’re already pushing 140 characters, you can simply put any punctuation at the beginning. People often choose a  fullstop – probably because it’s small, simple and most eyes are likely to pass over it – eg: .@michellecarvill

So from now on, if you’re going to tweet with a Twitter @handle– make sure that the “@” sign is not the first character of the tweet, so that all your followers can see it in their timelines – no matter what the tweet is about!

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.

Following on Social Media – is your follower activity planned and strategic?

Being ‘social’ – whichever, way you consider it – means, connecting with others – and socialising as part of a group.

Therefore, when you jump onto the social channels, to build a social group, you initially set out by following others (in the hope that they may follow you back).

Who you follow and who follows you determines what you see and who sees your social musings, therefore, it’s really important that you think about who you want to socialise with before you dive in and start following others.

On Twitter, you can search for people, brands – and simply hit the ‘follow’ button – and et voila, that’s it, you will start to see their tweets in your Twitter feed. Unless you already have a social presence (i.e.: movie star, soap star, pop idol, politician, comedian – or some other public figure), then it is likely that growing your following will be based on the formula, the more people you follow, the more likelihood of getting others to consider following you.

And so, this is where strategic thinking needs to come into play.  Ask yourself, who do you really want to socialise with?  Who is important to you and your business?  Who would it be great to connect with?  Who are the people / businesses out on Twitter, who are connected to the right type of audiences?  Who are the people / businesses  that influence your business.   Having a follower strategy can really make the difference between your social activity being a cacophony of noise versus being a really useful networking channel.

Follow wisely – be targeted and work hard at making the right connections.  Target influencers, trade press and the media and companies or people that over time you would like to follow you.

Take a look a your Twitter account and review who you are following – are you receiving useful, purposeful information – or just a whole load of irrelevant noise?  The good news is, you can unfollow anyone at any point – so if your network isn’t currently working – consider getting strategic.  And if you haven’t started out on Twitter yet, then start as you mean to go on.  Think strategically and target those that can help you achieve your objectives.

If you need any help with creating content or anything else then do get in touch with us.

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.

Artist uses Twitter in Treasure Hunt for free Artwork

An abstract artist that goes by the Twitter handle @streetartdrop – has got fans on Twitter closely watching his tweets for clues as to where they can get their hands on his free artwork.   street art drop twitter article

The artist has been going around Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and London leaving large canvas paintings literally, on the streets for anyone to find and claim for themselves.

He’s using the power of Twitter to share clues with his followers as to the whereabouts of each of his paintings. And in doing so – his followers have doubled in just a couple of days.

We started following him on Saturday – having found out about his activity chatting over the fence with a neighbour. But this chatter is spreading much wider – and that’s definitely @streetartdrop ‘s intention.

But who is this masked man? And what is his purpose?

The artist goes by the name of Letts, Paul Letts and is 37 from Buckinghamshire. The father of two is an electrician and has already dropped more than 60 pieces of abstract art which he created at his studio in Flackwell Health.

He says “I came up with idea to leave 200 canvases in accessible places around the country with the aim of them all going on a journey of their own. I have spent one year producing this work and I just want to share it with people.”

His mission now is to take his art drops nationwide. paull letts, streetart drop, twitter treasure hunt, street artists, street art

After tweeting the name of the location he intends to visit, he leaves his artwork usually by street signs, for others to find. Anyone who spots the colourful canvases can literally pick them up and take them home for free. It’s becoming a race to the treasure.

We personally love how innovative this guy is – using Twitter as a vehicle to share clues to a wide audience – and in turn get everyone talking about him and tuning in.

As we always say – content matters on social – after all the ‘media’element of ‘social media’ is the core element that people are interested in.  And @streetartdrop gets that.  He’s created a ‘game’ – a fun art treasure hunt – using Twitter as the vehicle to share clues into an ever growing  tribe of followers. Hat’s off to him!

So, if you are looking for some free and interesting art which has a story to tell – then follow @streetardrop on Twitter and be sure to follow the clues for the next painting which may be coming to a street near you sometime soon!

You can also check out his website too – we love it… www.streetartdrop.com .

Kat West is Social Media Exec at Carvill Creative, Online Visibility Experts.

Michelle Carvill’s Chapter Insights – Twitter

Introducing the Twitter Chapter of ‘The Business of Being Social.’

Michelle Carvill, the Founder and Director of Carvill Creative has co-authored the book ‘The Business of Being Social.’

We’ll be sharing some taster videos with you over the next few days, sharing ‘Michelle Carvill’s Social Media insights’ – discussing chapters within the book.

Introducing the second Social Media Insight – Twitter

See the video to find out more…

We hope that THIS social media insights video has given you a taster of what to expect from the book!

If you haven’t got your copy already… You can order yours here!

For further updates visit www.thebusinessofbeingsocial.co.uk

Also, you can stay tuned by following the book on Twitter!

The Simple Science of Engagement for Twitter

Here, we’ve broken down the scientific facts for you on Twitter for ‘Engagement Rates’, ‘Posting Times’, use of ‘Hashtags’, ‘Mentions’ and ‘Retweets.’

Read on to measure and compare how your business is engaging with its followers…

Engagement facts:

  • The number one main rule on Twitter – Don’t talk about yourself all the time; instead be useful to others.  Informative tweets are 30 times more effective at snagging new followers!
  • 92% of engagement with tweets is clicking on the links within the tweet.  So, where relevant include a link in your tweet, but be careful not to be ‘pushing out’ promotional links all the time.
  • Media tweets (such as video or images) receive on average 3 to 4 times more engagement.
  • Stay active when followers are making complaints about your business/brand. On Twitter, 25% of people expect a response within the hour from a business/brand and 10% expect a response within the first 20minutes! Always check the @ on your Twitter profile so you can follow conversations and see what people are commenting on. It’s also good practice to have Apps loaded onto your smartphones so that you can check mentions on the go.
  • Tweets between 120 and 130 characters get the highest click through rates – so try keep your tweets as short and to the point as possible!

Posting Times:

  • Twitter engagement rates for businesses/brands are 17% higher on Saturday and Sunday, yet only 19% of them actually tweet on weekends! So seize your opportunity here, get tweeting on the weekend when the platform is quieter and more people will be listening. Use social media dashboards, to schedule your activity to run over the weekend, no problem!
  •  The highest Twitter reaction rates are between 8am and 7pm – this is prime time, so be sure to schedule tweets between these times.
  • Make sure you’re tweeting later on in the day too; tweets in the afternoon tend to get seen more than those in the morning.
  • For those who post a concentrated number of tweets in a short time span, follower growth is 50% more than expected – however, while this may be true, try not to bombard your followers with tweets, this may come across as spammy. Plus remember, 80% of those on Twitter use it via mobile – if you post tweets one after the other, then you can fill up their feed – which can be pretty annoying.


  • Hashtags can increase engagement by almost 100%. Keep in mind that people usually follow hashtags for keywords, events and trending topics, so make sure your hashtags are kept simple so that others can understand.
  • Tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than those without.
  • Having one or two hashtags in a tweet has 21% higher engagement than those with 3 or more hashtags. (If all you are doing is sharing a string of hashtags – how is that a conversation?).
  • Tweets that use more than two hashtags actually show a 17% drop in engagement. So, make sure you’re savvy with your use of hashtags!

@Mentions and Retweets:

  • Using more @mentions (targeting a post to a specific @handle) increases your follower growth – organisations that tweet more @mention grow followers by 17% more than a tweet without @mention.
  • Be sure to choose the right words and phrases to get attention; action words have higher engagement rates than nouns. Tweets containing ‘@’, ‘RT’ and ‘please,’ also contain higher engagement rates.
  • 78% of a brands/businesses brands engagement tweets are retweets.
  • Asking followers to retweet, receive 12x higher retweet rates than those that do not, yet less than 1% of brands actually implement this strategy! (Perhaps we all don’t want to come across as desperate!)
  • When followers are specifically asked to retweet by spelling the word out, the retweet rate is 23xs higher than average – so try and fit it in your Tweet if you can!


Again, make sure you’re up to date with these important facts and don’t be afraid to experiment… Happy Tweeting folks!


Kat West is a Social Media Community Manager at Carvill Creative – the Online Visibility Experts. Kat spends her days, tweeting, sharing, listening, researching and blogging. (As well as a little sleeping and eating and having fun too)!