Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to use Twitter - Top 10 Tips

#1. Spend a few minutes on Twitter each day.

If you don’t log in to your Twitter account on a daily basis then you are effectively refusing to listen to your audience. This is the hard and fast rule and why I’ve placed it as the #1 tip.  You don’t have to sit online all day, but take at least a few minutes and tweet a couple of things your followers will find valuable. Check for mentions and respond.  Ten minutes of your time could make the difference between an effective Twitter account and one that appears stagnant.

Remember: It’s important that you don’t let a day pass without at least checking in and seeing if anyone has mentioned you in a tweet.

#2. Respond to @ mentions in a reasonable time.

This goes hand in hand with tip #1 but deserves a bigger mention. When someone @replies your account, you shouldn’t let their words go unheard. These are potential customers/followers, and they’re vital to the growth of your brand. Get back to them and show that there is reward in following your account.

Remember: Being on top of your mentions shows that you care about your Twitter presence and the people that follow you.

#3. Stop spewing spam. 

Twitter is a great way to promote your brand, but if you’re too vocal, people will delete very quickly. Go ahead and promote, but walk the line between promotion and spamming very carefully.

Remember: This is about engagement. Don’t turn up to the party and just talk about yourself.

#4. Pay attention to mentions of your brand & engage.

People are talking about your brand on Twitter right now so why are you not getting involved in the conversation? Use Twitter search tools to find out what people are saying about your brand. Use them as if your Twitter success depends upon them, because it does.

Remember: The more conversations you’re able to contribute to, the more people will take notice.

#5. Tweet valuable information.

Be original with your tweets and provide value.

Remember: Make your Twitter account the primary source of information about your brand on Twitter.

#6. Do not send automatic direct messages when someone follows you. 

When I follow an account and I get a DM a few hours later asking me to like their Facebook page it fills me with rage.  Why is the first message from an account asking me to do something? I just followed you!!

Remember: If you want to thank your followers for following, do it personally. Sure, it takes more time, but make a connection.  

#7. NO LOGOS!! Be a human. 

Humans, not logos, create connections. Twitter is social, so show your face!

Remember: Be real and create authenticity. It doesn’t matter how cool or edgy your logo is if you can’t create a connection with other Twitter users.

You’re not always going to hear what you want about your business or industry. Kindness rules all, even if you receive comments that are less than amicable. If there was a mistake on your part, acknowledge it and apologize for it. Do what you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If it’s a difference of opinion, be open to hearing the other side.

Remember: Don't take things personally.  Never resort to harsh words or indifference toward negative comments.  Twitter is a very public forum, you can't afford to get in an argument for all to see.

#9. Re-tweet and share the message of others.

We all want to be re-tweeted, but in order to heighten our chances of that happening, we need to share the content and message of others first. If you re-tweet someone often enough, they’ll remember you and likely follow you. That’s when they’ll probably return the favor by re-tweeting your content.

Remember: Sharing is an important part of building Twitter relationships.

#10. Don’t put your eggs in one basket. 

Twitter is great for networking, promotion and interaction, but it’s not a savior in and of itself. It’s simply a tool. It’s important to recognize that, while social media is showing its true potential in the business world, it’s not going replace other forms of promotion.

Remember: The best plan is a plan that includes a healthy mix of both new and traditional channels of promotion.

More articles on Twitter:
Crisis Management on Twitter
How to Create Twitter Lists
The Importance of Twitter Lists
How to use Twitter - The Pitfalls

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crisis Management on Twitter

Crisis management doesn’t operate on an eight to five schedule and it never has. Before social networks existed, as we know them today, there were several strategies one could take when dealing with a crisis. “No comment” was often seen as the best way to stall a journalist as the PR team crawled into the war room to brainstorm as fast as they could to reach some kind of ‘official comment’ and ‘long term strategy.’ 

Today this kind of crisis management can not, and does not, compete with the ferocious speed and reputation-wrecker that is known as ‘The Tweet.’ What you spend years in building, 140 characters can knock down within hours, even minutes. As Publicists we must rethink the trade.

Crisis Management on Twitter 

I’ve written articles on why you should be on Twitter and suggested several strategies on account management. What these articles all stress is that to survive in the social media realm you have to start from a position of trust. Companies that set up a Twitter account as a crisis occurs have minimal influence and power because they haven’t gained this trust.

H&M - Case Study

When the New York Times broke a story about clothes retailer H&M cutting large amounts of unsold clothing, making them unwearable, the organization used the “no comment” strategy to deal with the situation. Sorry boys, that doesn’t cut it anymore. 

“Astute Tweeters picked up their error in crisis management and suddenly H&M found itself in trouble, as this quote from a Technorati blog explains

Tweets lashed out at H&M for what people saw as gross lack of charity in not donating the items. Others keyed in on the environmental faux pas of throwing useable clothes in the garbage. And almost all marvelled at how the retailer could be so callous to the obvious financial hardships people faced in the current economy. It became a firestorm.” (Source: Bernstein)

When H&M finally issued a statement, the damage was done.

Eurostar - Case Study

In 2009 Eurostar found one of its high-speed trains, full of paying customers, stuck deep inside the 31.6-mile tunnel between London and Paris. Thousands of passengers were stranded on other trains needing access to that same tunnel enroute to various destinations. What was being done to fix the situation? How long would it take to fix? 

With no word from Eurostar the Twitter community was ablaze with complaints at a rate of nearly one tweet per minute. If Eurostar had its act together they only had to use their Twitter account to connect with their customers, provide them with timely updates on what they were doing to resolve the problem, and at the very least customers would feel that their voices were being heard. 

As it happens there was no official Eurostar Twitter ID in place for crisis management. Journalists and passengers seeking real time information on the crisis heard no official Eurostar response. No updates. No apology. Silence. 

Innovative Beverage Group Holidings Inc - Case Study

In comparison, Innovative Beverage Group Holdings Inc., whose website crashed after a surge in traffic following a segment on Fox News, notified consumers on its Twitter feed that it was working to resolve the problem. The company also did a search on Twitter for mentions of the site crash so it could respond with tweets describing its repair efforts. 

"Twitter gave us an up-to-the-minute ability to take what would normally be a crisis situation and make it just another event," says Mr. Bianchi. "You can't do that with a 1-800-number." (Source: Wall Street Journal)

Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail.

Over the weekend many people became acquainted with the above photo for the first time. Although a hoax, the picture soon became a PR problem for McDonalds. 'Seriously McDonalds' began to trend on Twitter as people began to re-tweet the offensive photo. 

To McDonald's credit they didn't ignore the hoax, jumped on their Twitter account, and issued an official response:

So why does any of this matter to you and your company? 

Eurostar is a multimillion-dollar company and it didn’t have a Twitter account set in place ready to go. McDonald's is a gigantic corporation, and even it couldn't stop a reputation-damaging meme from spreading like wildfire. Just imagine how hard it is for the average company.

Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail. Twitter is growing, that there is no denying. There are even murmurs amongst the blogs that Twitter could even overtake the mighty Facebook in years to come.  That remains to be seen.  But what is clear is you will need to get a Twitter strategy in place before you need it.  Playing 'catch-up' won't cut it.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Improve Your EdgeRank Score

So much has been written about social media, how it has 'leveled the playing field,' but inevitably the floodgates opened and a million ‘Gurus’ hit the scene armed with a million Facebook pages. Being able to reach thousands of people online using small budgets was an amazing development, but as our News Feeds were bombarded with status update after status update and our Twitter feeds filled with a million salesmen shouting their latest deals, marketing just seemed, well, dull and uninspiring. Publicity was becoming a cheap discipline (and I'm not talking dollars and cents here). We were all becoming rather despondent.

Never underestimate your audience!

The public soon got wise. They started to block the Facebook pages they had 'liked' from appearing in their News Feeds. They began to delete those Twitter profiles that were spamming with no fear of receiving an 'unfollow' in return. Suddenly numbers, the amount of followers one had, became an ineffective way to monitor just how effective ones outreach truly was. Brands could have a thousand followers on Twitter but how many people were actually reading their Tweets? Analytics are just beginning to catch up, but that's not the focus of this article.

“Content is King” – A cliché for a reason. 

This is why I love EdgeRank so much. It is based purely on the quality of content. Nobody wants to read sales pitch after sales pitch, but they may like to see a great video. They may like to even be a part of that video. Nobody wants to be ignored, but they may like to join a debate on the latest logo design for your company. They may even like to vote on what your updated logo will be. Hell, they may even like to upload their own design for your next logo. Ahhhh the ideas and the interaction...the ENGAGEMENT. This is what it's all about!

4 easy ways to improve your EdgeRank score.

1) If it’s interaction they want then lets give it to them! 

A status update just isn’t going to cut it in the age of EdgeRank. Before you post anything, status or video, ask yourself if there is room for interaction. Does the video inspire the audience to comment? Is it unique, asking a question, controversial even? Is there a Call To Action (CTA)? This can be as simple as asking when you post a video or photo what people think of it.

Above & Below: Two great examples of CTA in place. However, note the difference in comment volume.

2) If you don’t have time to create loads of fresh content, share some links. Become a resource! 

Since you are busy why not post some links on your page? Links require interaction, as users have to click on the link to view. Again, leave a CTA that encourages opening the link and leaving thoughts/comments.

Above: Robin Van Persie, a Dutch soccer star, often posts links to relevant news regarding his team. 42 comments aren’t bad considering it probably took about 30 seconds to post a link on the page.

3) Don’t be afraid to spell out your CTA! 

Don’t be afraid to ask users to share objects or click on the Like button—especially if you’re new to Facebook. It can take a little while for a Facebook page to gain momentum. Anything you can do to help it along will only speed the process.

4) Start a conversation. 

Ever notice how controversial content on Facebook can generate comment after comment? People love to debate and discuss hot issues. Make your fan page a place for constructive discussion on the latest industry topics. Although this approach takes careful management, objects from a fan page filled with healthy discussion are more likely to receive a higher EdgeRank. 

Right: Coldplay have started over 1747 discussions on their page. We all love a good rant, so why not get people started!


There are many other ways to increase your EdgeRank and we are learning everyday. The above four suggestions however are easy to implement and, from my experience, are a great way to ensure your brand’s updates are appearing in those all important News Feeds.

Do you have any other ways in which to increase EdgeRankings?

Leia Mais…