Twitter

30 Tips To Improve Your Twitter Account

So, you've to a Twitter account and, yes, you've got some Tweets but are you using Twitter to its full potential? Here are 30 relatively straightforward, and easy to implement, tips for giving your account a facelift, from header to bio and then tweets.

Twitter Header

Your Twitter header is the first thing that people see when they visit your Twitter account. Many organisations tend to use image which reflect the company's corporate image. Now, whilst this is fine you shouldn't feel that you have to adopt this approach. Just take a look at what Adidas, Fitbit, Tesco, Starbucks, Marks and Spencer, Foster and Partners, the Guggenheim, and Waterstones are doing today.

1. Change your Twitter header to reflect events, products, staff, new promotions. exhibitions, conferences or just for the season.

2. Use a free tool, with pre-set dimensions, like Canva to change it.

3. Why not use [Free] images from Unsplash or Pixabay?

4. Get some inspiration from Hubspot and Canva and Shutterstock

Twitter Bio

Your Twitter bio offers potential followers the ability to get an overview of you, the brand, campaign or company. It makes sense to clearly demonstrate to followers the reasons that they should follow you. Here are some ideas on what you could do:

5. Tell them who you are and what you do

6. Consider telling them what they may get out of following you - free tips, advice, offers, insights, knowledge, etc.

7. Consider using product/company features & benefits in your bio.

8. Make sure you add a link to your company profile.

9. BUT did you know you can add more links to your bio. Campaign links? Products links? Instagram?

10. Create Bitly links to your services/products.

11. Add your own custom shortened URLs (like mktom.com/twtrcourse).

12. Emojis are flavour of the month - and visual - use them.

13. Use pipes “|” to separate information.

14. Use relevant hashtags for discovery.

15. Add links to related Twitter accounts. This is how Dell does it:

Tweets

Tweets? Where do we start? Your Twitter updates have changed over the last month and Twitter now lets you write up to 280 characters. Surprisingly, it is quite enough especially if, like me, you have been tweeting for many years. So, what can you be doing to add some zing to your tweets. Here goes:

16. Use images where possible. Check out Riverford.

17. Use images which are local & relevant to your audience.

18. Consider using image collages (they are built in and all you need do is upload images). Look at this fabulous set of images from Visit Portugal.

19. You can add up to 4 images. Go ahead try them out.

20. You can tag up to 10 people in a tweet (make them count). Do you know any journalists or influencers who might like your tweets?

21. You have 280 characters to play with - be creative! Check out these great examples from Grammarly, this from Social Media Today and this from Mashable.

22. Use the white space. There's plenty of it, though many of us like to cram words in to long paragraphs/sentences.

23. Consider emojis. Starbucks love them!

24. Use custom shortened URLs - they can cost under £5.

25. Pin tweets to the top of your profile. Think about events, products, seasons, etc. Here's one from John Lewis.

26. Use hashtags for discovery. They are a great way for people to find you. And, with your 280 characters, and white space, you can even place them toward the end of your character count.

27. Think about broad hashtags and granular (or niche) hashtags. Notice the 2 types in this tweet: #impfringe is granular, whereas #engineering is broad - designed to pull a wider audience in.

28. Mention people (relevant & interested) in your tweets. You never know you may get retweets, likes or followers.

29. Start thinking about video. It's the future and it doesn't have to be complicated or costly.

30. Have you discovered animated GIF's? They can be aded to any tweet. Just click the tweet button in Twitter and then click "GIF". Just like Pizza Express did.

This is just a quick overview of some of the tweaks you can make. I know, and use, many more but please feel free to add your own ideas. That would be brilliant.

Related Articles

Tweet length increases from 140 to 280 characters
Social Media Spotlight On: Starbucks
Are You Making Digital Marketing Waves or Ripples?

Related Courses

Twitter Course
Social Media Marketing Course (London and Cardiff)


12 websites digital marketers should be reading

Photo by Ewan Robertson on UnsplashThe Internet is awash with blogs, news sites, and social media outlets but which websites can give you new insights and help to steal a lead over your competitors? We have compiled a list of 12 sites which we think will give you the competitive advantage. Bookmark them, follow them, Flip them or just visit them!

Wired

Wired has been around since the early 1990's and continues to offer cutting-edge articles on a range of subjects from business to culture. It is well-known for articles on the latest developments in technology. Gotta be one of my favourites!

Sample article: The Blockchain Explained

Harvard Business Review

An excellent read especially if you're looking for articles on strategy, working effectively and HR, to name but a few. Many of the articles are free though sometimes, for more in-depth articles, you will need to subscribe.

Sample article: Why a Gen-X CEO Hired a Millennial to Help Him Keep a Learning Mindset

Fortune

There was a time when Fortune had a pure focus on "C-suite" business news. Like many other publications/websites it now seems to offering wider reading options, though many of its articles are aimed at chief executives, chief financial officers, etc.

Sample article: Here's Why Twitter Won't Suspend or Delete Donald Trump's Account

MIT Sloan Review

Fascinating articles on a range of subjects aimed at "academic researchers, business executives and other influential thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology, that are transforming how people lead and innovate." A very good read for those doing level 4 and level 6 CIM qualifications, along with marketing and business under/post graduates.

Sample article: Are You Taking the Wrong Approach to Digital Transformation?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Bloomberg produces titles on subject like markets, tech and business. Though quite a lot of the articles are US focused, often on US politics/business, there are still interesting reads to be found here.

Sample article: Facebook Is Still In Denial About Fake News

Entrepreneur

This magazine seems to have a focus on start-ups, franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs. You will find the usual "get rich" and investment articles but you'll also find interesting articles on digital marketing and interview tips, networking and tips on growing your business.

Sample article:  The Face of Intelligent Marketing? Your Customer

Inc.

A quick look at the sections of this American website/magazine will give you an idea of the primary focus of its articles: Startup, Lead, Grow, Innovate and Technology. Articles are often varied, relatively easy and short to read.

Sample Article5 Productivity Tips to Get Your Work Done (Now That It's Dark at 4 P.M.)

AdWeek

Guess what? It's about advertising! Anything and everything to do with advertising. It also has a healthy mix of articles relating to digital marketing which is always of interest to our clients. Stats and case studies make it of interest to students.

Sample articleThese Digital Billboards From McDonald’s Change Depending on How Bad the Traffic Is

Fast Company

This is one of my favourite magazines (alongside Wired) and, as their site says, "Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world changing ideas, and design". So, there you have it!

Sample article: For Amazon, The Future Of Alexa Is About The End Of The Smartphone Era

Entrepreneurship - NY Times

Entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovation, funding and small business - these are the topics you will find on this website. Like its parent site, the Entrepreneur section offers meaty and interesting articles which are also well-written. Not as frequent as others but worth a read.

Sample articleA Paintbrush in One Hand, and a Drink in the Other

VentureBeat

If Big data, Cloud, Deals, Dev, Enterprise, Entrepreneur, Gaming, Mobile, Security, Small Biz, and Social float your boat then Venture Beat may be the place for you to check out. Definitely worth a read.

Sample article: AI Weekly: Digital assistants are changing business, but they still need human help

TechCrunch

TechCrunch covers the business side of technology. When news breaks about the latest digital innovations/disruptions TechCrunch is often the first to break it. Its Crunchbase offers great insights into people, investments and companies in the tech industry. Another "must-read" publication.

Sample articleTwitter fixes another important problem with support for 50-character usernames


Tweet length goes from 140 to 280 characters

Yesterday Twitter increased its character count from the famous 140 characters to 280 characters. It would appear they carried out a trial among a small group of users in September but have now rolled it out to the majority of users. According to Twitter:

Historically, 9% of Tweets in English hit the character limit. This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a Tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning Tweets before sending.

Twitter also found through this experiment that:

more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before.

You might think that doubling the character limit to 280 may result in people using up this limit but what was interesting was that Twitter found that only 5% went over the 140 character limit and 2% went over 190 characters. In terms of engagement the folks at Twitter also found that:

In addition to more Tweeting, people who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter. People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall.

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Is the CIM Foundation Certificate for you?

Marketing Tom will soon be delivering to its 3rd cohort of Foundation Certificate in Marketing students. We are pleased to say that so far, students who have sat the course, have all passed - most with A's and B's.

So, is the course for you? The aim of the CIM Level 3 Foundation Certifcate in Marketing is to equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding to perform professionally when you are new to marketing. The great thing about this, and many other CIM qualifications, is that they bring learning to life through meaningful assessments which refect the demands of the modern industry. As a result, you will develop a good understanding of the wider role of marketing and learn practical skills which can be applied to future career progression.

And, who is it aimed at? The CIM Level 3 Foundation Certifcate in Marketing is aimed at those either in a job that already involves marketing or those who wish to fnd out about marketing with the intention of starting out on a marketing career. It is ideal for people at all stages of their career, especially managers in a non-marketing function, entrepreneurs, apprentices and those starting out in their marketing careers.

What should you do next? Head over to our CIM Foundation Certificate in Marketing page where you can book on to the course, download a brochure or just enquire for more information.


Social Media Spotlight On: Starbucks

I thought I'd begin a series of blog articles focusing on what some of the brands are doing on Twitter.  Starbucks is the first company that we'll point a spotlight on. Over the past few years Starbucks has featured in some form or other on most of our our Social Media courses. They are a company that really seem to get social media and are often at the cutting edge when it comes to new, innovative use of social networks. we must also remember that their products/stores easily lend themselves to the visual updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. As you'll see below they also garner a steady stream of likes, retweets and replies. Promoting a new seasonal initiative.

Wonderful use of gif images. Makes you want to buy one, doesn't it?

Neat way of getting some engagement. Notice the use of the hashtag.

Focusing on a worthy initiative - in a fun way, enraging way.

When Starbucks want to make a big impression they work with amazing animators like Rachel Ryle, who creates really special animated gifs.

Retweeting selected tweets. Like many brands Starbucks is careful in its selection of tweets to retweet. For the most part it tends to retweet text-only tweets like this one:

though once in a while when a Twitter user exploits the right mix of visual and text (story), Starbucks will retweet out (notice how this is a tweet from an employee, though).


Are You Making Digital Marketing Waves or Ripples?

Adobe Spark-5

Just before the summer I came across an interesting article from Darren Rowse, entitled How I use Google Analytics ‘Compare’ Feature to Motivate Me to Grow My Blog. Though it is around 3 years' old, the basic idea really resonated with me. In it Rowse highlights the 'hourly' feature of Audience Overview within Google Analytics. This interesting Analytics report splits the day into hourly segments and lets you view the number of sessions per hour (in the form of a graph). However, what Darren Rowse does is add an extra element - comparison of today against yesterday or the week before.

What grabbed my attention was the idea of trying to see how you could possibly make one hour, or a number of hours today, 'beat' the session count from another day. Imagine that you look at your graph and say, "it looks like 9.00 isn't performing as well as this time last week." Well, your challenge is to consider the tactical digital tools at your disposal, and boy there are MANY, which could improve on last week's rankings. Whilst this is very much a reactive exercise, it would well turn into a proactive one in the future once you know what works and whats doesn't for you.

One topic the we cover on our digital courses is the interconnectedness of many of your digital media channels.Taking your website as the centre of digital marketing activity we consider how you might go about 'making noise' or making waves through this digital network. For the remainder of this article we will explore how you can go about doing this.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is the foundation on which much of your digital marketing activity is built and making sure the your website is positioned highly on Google is a key objective. So, what should you be doing on a frequent basis?

Keyword Checking. Are you using the right combination of keywords? Are you going for highly trafficked keywords or focusing on the long tail? Let's say that I am looking at keywords for social media courses in London", do I go for the high volume (where there is potentially higher competition ) or for lower volume (where there MAY be lower competition but richer pickings)? Once you know the right keywords, you can start by placing them in key locations: page titles, content, links, headlines, meta descriptions and more.

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 09.29.19

Page Titles. Are you using the right keywords in your page title? Let's assume that most people don't enter your website on the home page, then the company name/brand is not important at this point. Think about the theme of the page and change keywords accordingly.

Search Console. I wrote an article on Search Console last year so won't go into it in too much detail but from an SEO perspective these things are important:

    1. Search Analytics. Where are you positioned? How many clicks are you getting for your keywords but as importantly how many of the keyword impressions display "0" for you? 0 means that people are not clicking on your listing in Google but on someone else's which probably means you are not optimising your pages (on-site and off-site) for Google. This is a great opportunity for you to get untapped traffic, so get working on it!
    2. Fetch as Google. If you have created new pages or modified other pages (see below), then you might want to use this tool so that Google can identify your site in a matter of hours (not weeks!).
    3. Data highlighter. Offering events, courses, confernces? Well, you should be using this tool as it gives your website more visibility in the search engines. Check this out:

serps21

Meta Descriptions - These are 160-character strings which allow a website to indicate what a page is about. They are often used by search engines to supplement your search results. We often say that they can mean the difference between someone clicking on your link and your competitors in the Search engine results. However, did you also know that social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook also use them when displaying information that you share (notice below)?meta

Email Marketing

So. you're harvesting email addresses for your mailing lists but are you telling your customers about the latest products, services and offerings that your company has to offer?  Use email marketing to flag up the following:

  • New products and services
  • Latest blog articles
  • Company news
  • Achievements (in our case congratulating students on passing their exams)
  • What about new staff?
  • Latest promotions?
  • Book offers?

Aside from using your email marketing package (such as MailChimp), have you considered using email signatures to flag up new articles, products, offers, etc? On my email accounts I often have different offers. So, someone who has already been on one of our courses will be invited to sign up for a special rate on another course.

Social Media Marketing

Each time I write a blog article or have a new product/service that I would like to promote, I'll fire up many of my social media tools. Let's go through how you might use each of the tools.

Twitter - OK, first thing you need to consider is what you are trying to promote and then consider crafting a tweet with some or all of the following checklist:

  • Image - have you sourced or created (possibly using Canva) an image that conveys the message of the article of page you wish to promote?
  • Link - have you made sure you have created a link on Bit.ly (probably using your custom link)?
  • Hashtag - have you identified the broad hashtag that sums up what the tweet is about and how about the 'granular' (or focused hashtag which may directly relate to your business)?
  • Call to action?
  • Keywords - have you thought about the correct use of keywords in your 140 characters?
  • Photo tagging - could you have tagged someone in the tweet (journalists, stakeholder, etc)?

In his book, the Art of Social Media, Guy Kawasaki invites Twitter users to try and 're-use' some of their tweets. Don't just tweet once, but use the same tweet at different times. Aside from tweeting another way to gain some traction for your tweets, and hence content, is to pay for Twitter advertising.  The potential benefit of using this to complement your tweets is that you can now expand the reach of your tweets outside of your followers. What about directing tweets at influencers within your industry (with the hope of a Retweet or alert a follow or reply)?

LinkedIn - I use LinkedIn on a few different levels. Firstly, I use it inform the people who are following me that I have added something new to my website - blog article, new service, etc. It is possible that I might  'repurpose' (or slightly change the updates) as we mentioned in the Twitter section. Images and links are vitally important and don't forget that LinkedIn sends 4 times as many people to your website than Twitter or Facebook. I also find that Sundays are pretty good days for pushing people to the website from LinkedIn. LinkedIn groups are another place that I will often go to, having published something on my website, just to flag up articles of interest for members. And don't forget to use your Company Page on LinkedIn. I find that many companies tend to neglect their LinkedIn company pages but don't forget your contacts/clients/employees/stakeholders are using this platform more and more so, why not use it to flag up stories of interest to them? And how about the good, old direct message? Consider who in your network might find your new content/offers/products of interest and then directly message them. It does work!

Facebook - this may not be your 'top' platform for 'professional social networking' but that doesn't mean that people don't use it to check friends/family updates during the day. They do - all day, every day! And, of course, if they're following your company page, they can also receive bang-up-to-date information from your website. So, why not create schedule those updates and get them to appear at peak viewing times on Facebook? Learn for your success full updates (check Insights). For certain posts that are working (engagement and reach) or those you think may need nudging, why not boost a post? Don't forget that organic reach for your Facebook posts may be as low as 6.5% and these boosts can help you reach either more of your Facebook followers or even those who are part of your potential market.

Related Courses

Social Media Marketing Course (London and Cardiff)
CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing


Social Media Trends 2016

You may be wondering where Social Media is going this year. What are the trends to look out for? Are there any new techniques? What platforms will win out? To this end, I thought I'd create a compendium of articles from some of the top Digital/Social Media sites to try and help you figure out what 2016 might hold for Social Media and your business.

Inc. have identified 3 Biggest Social Media Trends to Know for 2016 and they include:

  1. Video becoming the native advertising platform of choice
  2. Virtual reality becoming a buzz worthy platform
  3. The rise of mobile messaging for customer interaction

Social Media Examiner's 2016 Social Media Marketing Predictions From the Experts includes 10 hot trends selected by 14 experts

  1. Social Media goes private - think groups like LinkedIn and messaging
  2. Get ready to pay more for traffic - this could include Twitter developing an algorithm like Facebook to display tweets
  3. Visual customised by platform become critical. Peg Fitzpatrick says that, "Creating anchor content for your website and breaking it into contextual pieces to natively post to each platform will be essential". Wow!
  4. Live video goes mainstream. We're going to see more Persicope and the opening up of Facebook live to more accounts

Econsultancy has come up with its 11 pivotal social media trends for 2016

  1. Live streaming - yet again this seems to rear its head.
  2. New social publishing formats - they reckon the growth of Snapchat Discover, Twotter Moments and Facebook Instant Articles points to a trend of keeping viewers 'in app' which will, in turn lead to more ad engagement.
  3. Video Innovation - we will see brands getting more creative with video content. Think virtual reality style ads!
  4. The even bigger rise of the buy button - we will see more brands using the 'Buy' buttons on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Youtube.

Forbes magazine came up with The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2016

    1. In-the-moment updates will dominate - with the growth of Persicope over the past year we may see the demise of scheduled posts and the rise of 'in-the-moment' updates.
    2. Buy buttons will take over - it will be interesting to see how this does develop or whether we'll get 'buy-button-blindness'.
    3. User privacy concerns will hit an all-time high - the author Jason DeMeyers believes that only platforms 'which offer a degree of privacy and security will continue to thrive'.

Related Courses
Social Media Marketing Courses


Ten Tips To Improve Twitter Performance

On the @TwitterSmallBiz account you can find a whole host of tips to ensure that you are maximising your use of Twitter. Here are a 10 that I came across this morning and wanted to share with you.

1. Pinning Tweets To the Top of Your Timeline

 

2. Include Prices

 

3. Take Images On Your Camera At Events (Don't forget to hashtag!)

 

4. Schedule Your Tweets

 

5. Share Pics of Your Staff

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Some Interesting New Tools From Twitter

Jack Dorsey is back at the helm of Twitter and it looks like things have been fairly busy over there for the past few weeks. Whilst some of the news outlets have focused on Twitter's growth problems Jack and his team have been getting on with the job of improving Twitter. So, where shall we start?

Loves replace Favourites

Well, yesterday Twitter decided to turn its "favourites" button into a heart and call it "Likes". If you listen to some people, you'd think the Twittersphere had exploded but, I must say, I quite the idea. I was never really sure about favouriting - was it for me to save (bookmark) or to say to people that I liked what they were tweeting? Well, this button seems to make more sense and I'm sure my number of 'loves' will increase!

Twitter Polls

Another recent development (2 weeks' old actually) which you may have seen on your desktop or mobile devices is the poll function. This allows you to create snap polls to get quick feedback from your audience on all manner of subjects. The two-choice poll appears in your compose box, lasts for 24 hours and polling is anonymous.

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