Today’s question comes from Tim Lu, who writes on our Facebook page,
“How do you grow your Twitter followers beyond 20,000?”.
I’ve got some great tips for you, Tim- so if you are wondering how to do that yourself, keep reading.
The first thing that you want to do is use the automated tool “Tweet Adder.”
Tweet Adder is a paid service that goes out and favourites tweets of folks in your target demographic—and thereby drives engagement. It’s actually a very effective tool, which I highly recommend.
Another thing to do is making sure that you are engaging with and acknowledging your existing followers so they don’t drop off and you get exposure to their networks.
Retweeting them, giving them shout-outs, thanking them for following you and including them in the #FF or Follow Friday hashtag are great ways to promote and engage your existing audience.
Also making sure that the tweets you are sending out are relevant to your audience is a great way to increase your followers. By focusing on the value you provide, ensuring that people are interested in what you’re tweeting and are actually sharing that—that will get you exposure across lots of other networks beyond the one that you currently have.
And the last tip is to do a little bit of research around the hashtags of your target followers.
What hashtags are trending?
What are popular in particular geographical areas and within specific industries?
If you can jump on the bandwagon of tweets that are trending, you can certainly again get more exposure to a larger demographic than you may have already. And you can get more followers that way.
If you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network.
If you’ve ever been the recipient of a bad online review of your business, you may find yourself frustrated by the apparent lack of control we as entrepreneurs have over things being said about our business – especially if they’re not true.
What proactive steps can you take to protect your business, and how do you best handle a peer review gone wrong?
1. Adapt your mindset.
The worst thing you can do is tell yourself this article isn’t relevant to your business and click away.
We need to adapt in order to survive and thrive, and today’s consumers have more power than they’ve ever had to affect our success. 70%of Canadians online trust consumer reviews. (BDC, 2013)
Negative sentiment can go viral, quickly – as exemplified by the Applebee’s social media nightmare – and can be very difficult to manage.
Understanding the change in buyer behaviour and accepting that it’s not going away, frees you up to take in the following information to help protect your business.
2. Get informed:
Increasingly Canadian consumers such as you and I, rely on the web to make our purchasing decisions.
1. Canadians spend on average 2.5 hours a day online; on social media, watching videos, & researching products and services. ComScore, 2014
2. Nine out of 10 consumers claim to use their smartphone for pre-shopping activities BDC 2013
3. 70% of Canadians online trust consumer reviews. (BDC, 2013)
None of this is particularly surprising.
The widespread adoption of web connected smartphones is not a new phenomenon.
In fact many older and wiser of us lament the pervasive nature of these devices and their impact on social connection – and more practically – our ability to walk down the street without literally running into people distracted by their smartphones.
Beyond being a mildly irritating obstacle to efficient walking, this change in how we as a culture interact has widespread implications for today’s business owner.
The constantly connected state of today’s consumer – specifically – your customers – means your customers shape your brand’s reputation.
Customers and the public at large (reasonable and otherwise) can seriously impact your ability to acquire new customers and maintain your reputation.
3. Know that negative sentiment goes far beyond review sites:
You may have heard of “reputation management” in the context of managing reviews of your business, or even been approached by a less than integrity based business offering you positive reviews of your business, for a price.
But beyond the formal review channels, people can leave negative sentiments on your Facebook page, in response to a post on social media…and almost anywhere else on the web.
4. Start listening:
Google your business name to see what comes up. You may be surprised at the places it’s listed and what people are saying about your company.
If you are surprised, it’s a sign to implement some practices internally to start monitoring your company’s reputation.
You can either manually conduct a search regularly or implement an automated solution to alert you immediately of any new conversations about your business.
Business owner responses allow you to build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When replying to your customers, keep the following guidelines in mind:
Be nice and don’t get personal. This isn’t just a guideline–it’s also a good idea as a business owner. It’s difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous. In addition, responses should comply with our local content policy.
Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be overwhelmed by a long response.
Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers, not just one.
Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business, or share something they might not know from their first visit.
6. Go above & beyond:
The tone and speed of your response to a bad review is where you can really make or break your reputation.
In this CTV news clip, I was asked to comment on what appears to be a fraudulent sale of goods by a household brand.
This would never have become a news story if the response to the customer’s complaint on their facebook page hadn’t been a canned response to call their 1 800 number – where the customer didn’t get a response.
In the case studies above, with Winners & Applebees, both responses to the negative sentiment were woefully inadequate and appeared completely disingenuous.
Because customer sentiment can so powerfully and permanently affect your reputation, if you are in the wrong (like I believe Winners was ) you need to go above and beyond-
1.Get the customer’s information
2. Make an effort to get in touch with them right away.
3. Work to resolve the issue to their satisfaction
4. Once you get agreement on a solution, ask if the customer will then update their post with details on how you came through for them.
5. Going forward – work with your social media manager to create a policy for addressing unhappy customers in a way that shows you actually care.
7. Be proactive
By actively soliciting positive reviews- and incentivising your customers to do so, you can combat any negative and unfair reviews with a steady stream of positive reviews.
Copy and paste this templated email and send out to all your happy customers; ( just replace the links with your Facebook & Google Plus page links before you send )
Today we are going to answer Jeff’s question, who writes, “What are three tips for finding the right customers on social media?”
That’s a great question. And if you are wondering that yourself, keep reading for the answer.
Identify your ideal customers:
If you know who your right customers are, you’re two steps ahead of many of your competitors.
The next step is to typify them in an archetype or in a demographic.
So for example, maybe your customers are typically affluent women in their thirties and forties.
Now you have concrete data you can use to research what social networks that particular demographic uses the most.
In this case of our example, that would be Pinterest. Doing a little bit of market research in the beginning will help you create the bare bones of a social media strategy and save you a lot of hassle and time making mistakes through trial and error.
Identify target location:
The second thing to do to find your ideal customers on social media, is narrowing your target down to a geographic area. Again, this provides you with a concrete benchmark, from which you can conduct more market research.
Specifically, there are hashtags that are used for each specific geographic area. Do a little bit of research and find out which are the most popular ones for both your geographic location, as well as the interests of your demographic so you can capitalize on their interests by getting involved in conversations about trending topics and more.
Pay for it:
Another thing you can do to get in front of your ideal networks is advertise.
The social media networks we participate in have amazing data collected on all of us. Thus, they’ve got very specific demographic information available for you to advertise and get in front of an audience that maybe isn’t part of your existing community.
The last thing that you can do is solicit referrals and recommendations on all your social media properties by having people endorse you. Endorsements not only provide new customers with a level of trust that you’re a reputable business, but this activity also provides exposure to your recommender’s network, who are much more likely to buy from you than a total stranger.
Since its genesis in 2006, Twitter has become a global stage that anyone can step onto, grab the mic, and sing to their own audience. Thanks to the potential for easily reaching such a wide array of fans, it has become an integral part of most small business marketing campaigns today.
The only problem is, with so many voices vying to be heard, how can you make sure you don’t become just another brick in the wall?
Being middle-of-the-road means getting drowned in sound, your voice left unheard along with anyone else who only seems to sing for themselves. If you want to get noticed, you have to leave the world of MOR, and concentrate on leaving people wanting MOAR.
This means escaping the road to nowhere and learning how to tweet like a rock star. By following these three simple tips for your Twitter marketing campaign, you’ll soon be well on the way to headlining your own gigs.
Plan your setlist
The best rock concerts are the ones where it seems anything can happen. Of course though, the band do know exactly which songs to play and in what order to hold the show together.
In much the same way, the tweets you send out as part of your marketing campaign can be prepared, put down into a list, and scheduled to automatically go out in sequence and at specific times.
By using a service such as Buffer or Hootsuite, you can easily schedule a whole list of tweets that will be sent out whenever you choose. The benefits of this are twofold, giving you more free time by allowing you to schedule all of your tweets for the week ahead in one session, while also ensuring they are sent out at optimal times, when more people will see them.
Collaborate with your peers
Going solo is a career move that has worked for many rock stars, but doing so on Twitter is one of the worst strategies for your marketing campaign.
Giving a shout out to people, be they your fans or people in the same industry, will make them like you a whole lot more as they appreciate the effort you put into acknowledging or promoting their content too.
Every time you mention somebody or re-tweet their post, they’ll receive a notification, which gives you a chance of being mentioned or re-tweeted in return, with the latter being a big deal if they are a bigger influencer or have a wider audience than yourself.
Perhaps more importantly than receiving reciprocal Twitter activity however is the fact that by appearing in their notifications, you are keeping yourself at the forefront of their minds, which is the best place to be for your marketing campaign.
Hold live shows
As recently as a few weeks ago, Twitter acquired and launched Periscope, a live streaming video app that is looking to add a major string to the social media giant’s already impressive bow.
Downloading and installing the app will allow users to stream and view live videos on their Twitter profiles, increasing the options for creative new ways to bring your marketing campaign to your growing audience.
The live streams also take up more screen real estate than text-only tweets and engage the user for longer than a single image will, helping your content and name to stick in the mind for longer.
For a marketing campaign to have the desired results, standing out from the crowd on Twitter is a must. By following these three tips, you’ll open the doors to tweeting like the rock star you’ve always wanted to be.
From humble beginnings, social media has grown from being a way for friends to share and stay in touch to become an integral part of corporate marketing plans for the majority of today’s businesses, and some of the most successful social media campaigns in the past have transformed their respective company’s fortunes.
Unfortunately, many companies still don’t understand the key elements of good social media practices, perhaps thinking instead that merely creating profiles and sporadically updating them is somehow enough.
If you’re finding your social media efforts are falling short of what you’d hoped for, you need to be thinking about why that is. While the various platforms are now used for business, we should never forget where they came from. With that in mind, and to help analyze where you might be going wrong, ask yourself this: would I want to be friends with my business social media account?
It’s all me, me, me
You’re at a party, and you meet someone new. They’re attractive, and you get chatting. Ten minutes later, they’re still chatting, and you’re still listening. Suddenly, they’re not so attractive anymore. Social media is no different. Constantly talking about your own company, products or services is a surefire way to receive zero engagement on your profiles.
Successful social media campaigns are built on likes, comments and, ideally, shares. It’s the modern day version of word of mouth. This means interacting with other people, commenting on their content, re-tweeting, sharing, and making them feel good.
Then, like meeting someone at a party and having a two-way conversation, they’ll start checking you out too. If the like what they see, they’re going to tell their friends all about you.
The boring friend
It’s not nice, but it’s a fact of life. We probably all have at least one friend who, while being really nice and a great person, is just a little bit boring. In real life, it can be hard to keep making excuses when they invite us somewhere every weekend. With social media, ignoring them couldn’t be easier.
To keep your audience engaged, at least 80% of what you post has to be entertaining, inspiring, or informative. If it isn’t, people won’t need to think up a reason to not interact with you; they will simply stop listening, and find someone who does amuse, charm, or interest them. Successful social media campaigns do this as standard.
A little less conversation
Some people just know how to hold a great conversation. They’re knowledgeable, witty, informed, and entertaining. It’s a pleasure to talk to them, and you usually look forward to their company. Occasionally though, you have to go out and find stimulation in other ways: A walk in the countryside. A movie. Rock climbing.
Successful social media campaigns will always offer more than just words. Visuals like images, infographics and videos all capture the attention more effectively than text updates ever will. They take up more screen real estate, and are eminently more shareable than simple words too.
Investing in a stock image license or making your own videos is a surefire way of getting you closer to your dream of emulating those successful social media campaigns you admire so much.
I’m washing my hair
When friends organize get-togethers, the first people that are invited are those who usually say yes; those that are consistently there. Those who often say no, who spend as much time out of the circle as they do in it, begin to lose some elements of the friendship enjoyed by those who are always there.
Social media is the same. If you want to keep your friends, your audience, you have to always be there.
Inconsistent posting leaves your profile looking half-hearted, as though it’s only updated when you have the time or inclination, and is not a priority for you. And if it isn’t a priority for you, why should it be for anyone else? Consistency builds trust, which is key in successful social media campaigns, so a regular posting schedule should be devised and stuck to. If you can’t post every day, even once a week is better than a flurry of posts together and then nothing for the rest of the month.
Start caring about what others think
If you’re going to remain friends with people, it’s important to know what they really think of you, and to know that your efforts in the relationships are being reciprocated.
Social media is no different, and tracking the results of your activity is vital if you are to learn how to improve your engagement. There are tools that enable you to check what sort of activity your social media posting results in on your website. Do visitors from Facebook stick around or bounce? Are people checking multiple pages? How much time do they actually spend on your site once you’ve managed to get them there? What types of social media posts get the best reaction?
Checking these metrics is essential for all successful social media campaigns. Only by knowing and then acting on this information can you hope to improve your relationships with your social media audience, and hope to one day turn them into friends of your business.
Social media is many things to many, many people. It’s a way to keep in touch with friends near and far, current or past. It’s a means of sharing photographs, touching moments, thoughts, and videos of people falling over. It is also one of the most potent weapons a business has in its marketing arsenal, and one which can hit far more target customers far more easily than any other marketing method.
Unfortunately, many companies are still employing an uncoordinated scattergun approach to their social media marketing, meaning a lot of their ammunition is wasted. If they want to increase their hits, they need to shoot for a real social media plan and set their sights on some tangible targets.
Which platforms best fit your audience?
Not every social media platform was created equal, and the first step to crafting a social media plan is to decide which ones are likely to give the greatest return on the time invested in them. Visual platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram attract a different demographic to Facebook and Twitter, and it’s not uncommon to see a company succeed on one and relatively fail on another.
Identifying where your target audience hangs out online is crucial to finding them with your social media.
Although your social media plan won’t need to include activity on every platform out there, especially in the beginning, it might still be prudent to register for any you might use in the future, just to make sure you grab the handle before somebody else does.
Setting goals for your social media plan
Once you have your platforms chosen and profiles set up, you should define exactly what you want to achieve on them, and this means setting real, measurable and achievable goals. These goals come in two flavors: interaction on your activity, and the effect it is having on your business in the real world.
While likes, comments and shares are a decent indicator of whether anyone is interested in your efforts, the real point of your social media plan should be bigger than this; growing your business is the real target. Whether this means increased traffic to a blog, more email addresses captured, or more physical sales made, you can only hit your target if you have defined what it is.
What to post
Knowing what to send out is the key to keeping your followers engaged and in attracting new ones. Even on the less-visual platforms such as Twitter, images work well, although there should always be a mixture of post types. Successful social media campaigns may include images, quotes, links back to the related website, videos, or exclusive company information and announcements.
Social media should also be social, and this means not being selfish. As well as posting your own content, sharing other people’s content that you feel your followers will benefit from is an integral part of a respected social media presence. It will mark you out as an authority with your finger on the pulse of the whole industry, while also helping to network with those whose content you are sharing.
When to post
On certain platforms, the timing of your posts is everything. On Pinterest, people may be searching for specific posts regardless of when they were made. On Twitter however it’s all about the now, and people may not look too far back down their feed. This means if they didn’t see your tweet at the time you sent it, they probably never will.
Because of this, posting several times a day and then monitoring the optimal times for interaction from your audience is vital.
Analyze and automate your social media plan
Once you have been posting for a time long enough to have results you can analyze, analyze them. Find out which type of posts have seen the most interaction and which have led to the real world goals that you set being achieved, and concentrate on producing more of those.
Check also for patterns indicating the best performing times for you to send out your content and ensure you always post at these times.
With so many posts going out per day, no successful social media plan is implemented completely manually. By using services like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can automate and schedule your posts while also using their analytics tools to check your performance.
Of course, any interaction you receive on your posts has to be responded to in a personal, human way, and automating your posts allows you the time to do this every day.
A complete social media plan
Beginning with deciding which platforms to use and developing right through to having all of your posts automated, crafting a complete social media plan could mean the difference between firing posts aimlessly out into the ether or having them hit your target audience.
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