Category Archives: Twitter

Twitter Improves How Photos Are Displayed: This Week in Social Media

As seen on: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-improves-how-photos-are-displayed-social-media-news/

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Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Twitter Introduces a Richer Photo Experience on the Web: Twitter is “making your twitter.com timeline more immersive by […]

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Social Media Examiner – Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

25 Twitter Chats: Just for Marketers

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Do you participate in Twitter chats? Want to find the best chats for social media marketing? Participating in Twitter chats is an excellent way to network without traveling, grow your following and display your authority. In this article you’ll discover 25 Twitter chats for marketers. Why Participate in Twitter Chats Twitter chats are extremely beneficial for […]

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Social Media Examiner – Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How To Create An Engaging Brand Narrative On Twitter

Creative non-fiction is one of the most overlooked and, in my opinion, underrated narrative forms in all of literature. One of my favourite ever books is a so-called non-fiction novel by Truman Capote – In Cold Blood. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, and many, no doubt, have read it also, for it is one of the finest pieces of creative journalism to have ever been peeled off the printing press.

What makes it so engaging? Well, aside from the fact that it is penned by one of the greatest English language writers the world has ever known, it’s the constant realisation, as you’re reading, that, despite how the book is written, that Capote’s narrative is 100% real, and not actually a fiction at all.

For me it has the same effect as when those all-enticing words appear on-screen before a movie commences ­– ‘Based on a true story.’ This invariably makes the audience sit up and pay even closer attention. All the drama, conflict and heartache is somehow enhanced by those five magical words. They bring about an added depth of reality to the tale that wouldn’t have been there without them. Sleepers, Schindler’s List, Into the Wild, My Left Foot, A Beautiful Mind, Catch Me If You Can, Goodfellas, Capote – all amazing major motion pictures, but would they really have enjoyed quite the same applause if they weren’t all ‘based upon true stories’?

It’s a difficult question to answer, to be fair, because these are all great movies. Some Academy Award-winning, in fact. And so there is indeed a very viable argument for the contrary – that is to say that, yes, Goodfellas, Catch Me If You Can, Sleepers – all of them – would have been just as enthralling even if the plots and the story beats had all been plucked right out of thin air. Of course they would. Of course they would. But still – there would have been something missing. Something that it’s quite hard to put your finger on, but nonetheless fundamental to the whole spirit of the creation.

No, for me, the reason why movie makers feel the need to insist that those five magic words are emblazoned for all to see at the start of the movie, is that they know as well as anyone that true stories engage. And indeed, that’s exactly why I love In Cold Blood so much.

 

It’s All About Veracity

Yes it is. As I’ve said, veracity is an underrated narrative form when it comes to the written word – albeit less so when it comes to the big screen. Why is this? When we read fiction – and indeed reviews and criticism of fiction – we hail the writer for how believable, how real the story is.  And yet when we are reading non-fiction – newspapers, text books, magazines, blogs – we somehow settle for just being informed, rather than entertained.

And for me this begs a rather obvious question – why shouldn’t there be a kind of reverse crossover when it comes to our non-fiction output? Rather than being ‘based on a true story’, why shouldn’t our business narratives be ‘based on the traditions of story-telling’? Indeed, I think this is exactly why true-movies and non-fiction novels work so well – they bring the best of both worlds neatly together in one artistic expression.

Veracity, by definition (unless you intend to lie to your customers, which is absolutely not a very good idea), is already very much a part of your business story – but what it might well lack is a bit of conflict, drama and suspense to keep your following hooked.

 

How To Create An Engaging Brand Narrative On Twitter

Twitter lends itself particularly well to creating a brand narrative. Those little 140 character posts are just short and punchy enough that you can create intrigue, suspense and sensation very simply and quickly – everything a compelling narrative needs.

But, you were probably hoping for some slightly more actionable tips than that, so here’s what I suggest.

 

1. Prepare In Advance

None of the great tales ever simply oozed out of the writer’s pen without any forethought whatsoever (although, to be fair, I believe Jack Kerouac’s On The Road was supposedly crafted along those lines – and some people consider that to be a ‘great tale’, so it’s conceivable that you might, too). So, don’t begin a storytelling campaign on Twitter without mapping out exactly how you conceive each ‘chapter’ to flow onto the next one. Make a draft plan, and remember some rules of storytelling that you must embed within your campaign:

Your story must have a beginning, a middle, and an end (There’s no point just jumping right into the middle of something without setting up the context of the forthcoming narrative. And, similarly, no matter what happens during the ‘middle’ section, you must resolve it at the end.)
Give your story an emotional arc (To plan for this, you need to consider how you want your following to fell at the beginning of you story, and how you want to transform this at the end.)
Plan your story to be engaging, shareable and interactive where possible (The whole idea of turning towards storytelling for a marketing boost is to try and reach out a little further than you normally would be able to. Not everyone may be interested in your brand, but, find a good story to tell, and plenty will be interested in your campaign. Encourage engagement and interaction – even if that just means that your following will leave comments that you reply to – and you should hopefully find your campaign gets shared far and wide for its entertainment value, with your brand name attached to it of course.)

2. Create Memorable, Lovable, Identifiable Characters

Stories are only as engaging as the characters that carry the audience along. But, my top suggestion here is to try and make your product the central character of your Twitter story. In this way you can imbue your product with whatever personality you can possibly conceive. If it’s a cleaning product, then you could turn it into some type of superhero; a superfood nutty product could be carried along quite cutely by some sort of animal like a squirrel; and even if you’re something like a digital research agency, you could most certainly liven up your image by having some sort of detective character in a trench coat and trilby fronting your Twitter campaign. And this in fact brings me on nicely to my next point.

images

3. Use Images To Tell Your Story

Social media has gone visual. There’s no escaping this fact. And Twitter is no exception. I know from experimentation with my own Twitter account, that tweets with pictures generally get at least twice the engagement as ones that don’t, and often three, four or five times that, to be frank.

And of course if you’re creating characters, then the best way to bring these to life on social media will be to create images of them. A picture really can say a thousand words, and your visual characters can be endearing at a glance to anyone who stumbles across them online. Indeed, there’s nothing to stop you from including comic-book style speech bubbles in your images, provided, of course, that such a thing is appropriate to your story and overall brand image/message.

How do you use storytelling to promote your brand on Twitter? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Related postsGetResponse in Brazilian Portuguese9 Blog Design Tweaks That Will Increase Your Email SignupsHow to Tell a Great Marketing Story

The post How To Create An Engaging Brand Narrative On Twitter appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Email Marketing Tips.

5 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand on Twitter

In today’s very digital world, giving out your card during networking events isn’t enough. But creating a social media following is the ultimate branding tool. To get you started, I wanted to give you a starter pack to personal branding on Twitter.

So, without further ado, here are the first 5 steps to start your Twitter empire:

 

1. Choose your Twitter handle carefully

You may be a great chef and a fun comic book fanatic, but handles like @Cooking4Life or @GimmeComics123 won’t fly.

However, if you started a cooking blog and you want your brand to revolve around that, something like @JeffTheChef is both straightforward and memorable. It’s ok to play around with something funky, but it’s not okay to create a cryptic handle of a middle schooler.

This is a great solution for bloggers. For inspiration, here are two bloggers that took their URL and made it their handle:

twitter bio personal branding

Now, if you’re not a blogger, or an advocate for your business (or place of work) like someone like Ann Handley, you can simply use your name. It’s the easiest way for people to find and recognize you!
One last thing to remember about Twitter handles is that although you can change them as you please, it’s better not to change it up too often. Once people start to recognize your handle, it won’t be easy to let every follow know that it’s changed. A strong personal brand needs to be consistent and recognizable, and that includes your usernames.

 

2. Choose your brand’s imaging

Your profile is like an online business card of sorts. People need to see who you are (not what coat your cat has) and what you’re all about. Use your profile picture and header photo accordingly.
You can have a fancy business-professional picture, a simple selfie (but make it tasteful, you’re not Miley Cyrus), or a funny photoshoot-style picture (Chris Goward nailed this one.) But, as far as covers go, there are a few different approaches:

Promotional

This one is for those who are more advanced in building your personal brand, since you need to have something to promote. You could also promote your blog or the company you work for.

If you have a book coming out, are speaking at an event, or have any other kind of ‘gig’ coming up, make sure that you let your followers know via your cover photo. Not everyone will see your tweet (remember that they have a very short lifespan on Twitter) but more will check your profile or hover on your handle to see your info.

Take a look at Marsha Wright’s cover photo:

twitter header personal branding

Do “your thing”

Do you have a catchphrase, a signature color (Joe Pulizzi sure does), or a specific place/event that relates to you?

If you’re just starting out, think of something that you’d like people to associate with you. Every influencer has their own “it” thing. Whatever you choose, put it to work on Twitter! One of my favorite examples is Andrew Davis and his famous “You’ve been Drewed!” phrase:

twitter personal branding

Simple

Sometimes less is more. Branding doesn’t necessarily mean promoting yourself in every aspect of the word. Whether you’re just starting out or are more established on Twitter – a simple photo will do.

The main rule for this strategy is to post something relevant, but not overly splashy. Kittens or ponies may not necessarily work, unless that’s you and your brand (Seth Godin’s Twitter profile is pretty catchy.)

All in all, give it a vibe that portrays your professional environment. Learn from Guy Kawasaki:

GuyKAwasaki

 

3. Find your brand’s voice

Don’t make a professional branding tool all about what you ate for lunch. There are a couple of questions that you need to answer before you click that tweet button:

Is this relevant to my followers?
Does this piece of content promote your values or business ideals?
Does this help your followers get to know you better?

It’s okay to post a panda video here and there, but keep it occasional.

For most of us, just one profile will do. However, I’ve noticed a trend of influencers with two profiles. One just to post content, and another profile that’s professional but still engages people and showcases their personality (influencers are people too!).

I’ve already mentioned Ann Handley, but take a look how she’s created two profiles:

ann handley personal branding

Her second, more personal, profile shows how great of a communicator Ann is – which brings me to my next point.

 

4. Start building connections and influence

The point of building a personal brand is to become someone that has the answer. You want to be the guy that marketers, social media mavens, and CEOs look to for inspiration? Then you need to roll up your sleeves and find the time to get involved.
rom observation, and personal experience, there are a couple things you can do to stay engaged:

Twitter Chats

Chats are an extraordinary way to meet new people, attract new followers, and gain more information about what’s going on your field. Most Twitter chats take place weekly on the same day, at the same time.

My personal favorite is CMI’s Twitter chat. The people I’ve tweeted with during these chats ended up being the people I got coffee with during conferences, later on leading to professional relationships and coop projects.

Respond to mentions and shares

This one seems obvious, but a lot of people forget about it. After a couple of years on Twitter, I’ve noticed that nothing strengthens professional relationships and loyalty like a little love here and there.

I could once again throw in an Ann Handley example (can you tell I’m a big fan?) but I won’t. Instead, I’ll encourage you to check out her profile and take a look at how engaged Rick Short was during CMWorld 2015:

personal branding engagement

I really liked Rick’s session, so I tweeted a quote (remembering to give credit by tagging) and I got a response from the author himself. Be like Rick – respond and converse to create loyalty.

Share, tag, talk

If the author of an article you’re sharing is on Twitter, tag them in your tweet. Ask other people what they think. Don’t be afraid to start conversations by mentioning someone. It’s good to ask and engage.

 

5. Become a master tweeter

Now that you know what you need to build your personal brand, it’s time to share some tools to help you tweet better.

Save time with scheduling

Yes, the tool no one wants to admit to but everyone uses. There are dozens of great scheduling tools – like Klout and Hootsuite – that will help you choose the date and time of each tweet. Although Hootsuite offers more scheduling options, Klout has better optimization tools (time zone, best time of day, etc.).

Find conversations to join

Monitor and listen to what’s happening on and around your account. Mention is an awesome tool to find conversations happening around (and about) you. You can react and reply within the app.

Hand out your handle

Having social media buttons (in this case, Twitter) in your email signature, on your business cards, and in all your bios are important. People are more likely to log on and follow you if you plant the idea in their head first.

 

Conclusion

The reality is that if you know how Twitter works, what your goals are, and who you want to reach – you’ll be able to build a brand.

Jump in the deep end and start connecting, engaging, and sharing your opinions. With some time and consistency, you’ll find what works best for your personal brand and what falls flat.

Stay true to who you are, but just like with any branding, you need to think about what your audience wants.

Once you have the hang of things, try creating a campaign around influencer outreach. Working with like-minded colleagues will help you establish your position and set a seal on your Twitter personal brand.

So, happy tweeting, and let me know in the comments how you tackle personal branding on Twitter!

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This post originally appeared on Mention, and is re-published with permission.

Related posts5 Ways to Promote Your Business on LinkedInDave Chaffey Shares Smart Insights on Email Marketing5 Tools And Tips For Creating The Perfect Headline

The post 5 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand on Twitter appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Email Marketing Tips.

Six takeaways from my eight years on Twitter

This week marks my 8th anniversary on Twitter. The early months I spent on the platform – from November 2007 to roughly mid-2008 – were somewhat odd and often punctuated with me feeling: “What the heck is this stupid thing?” If I recall correctly, I was also experimenting with Second Life at the time; Second Life […]

The post Six takeaways from my eight years on Twitter appeared first on PR Warrior.

How a tweet from Shutterstock’s CEO changed the way I think about customer service

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by Mars Dorian, {grow} Contributing Columnist

There have been a few online exchanges that have changed the way I do business. One such exchange happened recently, on November 24th, and I thought I’d share with you the lesson I learned.

That day, with J-pop music blasting from my iMac speakers, I was working on a cover for my upcoming sci-fi book and was looking for high-quality images that I could use. After rummaging through crappy free online stock piles, I realized I ought to look into paid stock images.

Of course, I stumbled upon one of the biggest premium stock photo sites: Shutterstock. So I signed up, chose the five-image package deal, and proceeded to checkout when a warning message in German popped up, saying: “you can’t pay digitally for your chosen option.”

First came bewilderment, then amusement.

So here was this huuuge online photo portal and there was no way for me to pay online? Blasphemy.

As a millennial, I was of course compelled to express my “frustration” online and make sure the world knew about it. Twitter was my chosen to medium to announce this frustration:

Tweet1

A short time later, maybe just a couple of minutes, the very CEO of Shutterstock tweet-replies back at me:

Tweet2

I thought it was a joke, since I hadn’t even added the @ sign, which means the tweet was neither addressed to Shutterstock nor the CEO. But then I clicked the profile and realized it was, in fact, their CEO that had tweeted at me. So I told him I was using the German version of Shutterstock and was bewildered about its lack of online payment options.

The CEO replied:

Tweet3

As a German, I immediately chalked it up to a cultural difference, thinking this might just be a polite, though ultimately empty, phrase that Americans use without actually meaning it.

Nevertheless, the next day, at around 11 am, I got a call from the German branch of Shutterstock asking about my problem.

At this stage, I felt shameful. I mean, I was just experiencing a minor discomfort and tweeted about it like any millennial would do, and then somehow the Shutterstock machinery was put into motion to deal with me. Nevertheless, I told the representative that it was inconvenient to pay the “old-fashioned” way where I had to fill out a page full of information, instead of offering me a simply Paypal button that would allow me to just click and confirm.

The service woman finished the conversation with the following words,

“Okay, we’re going to offer Paypal payments in the future.”

Boom. I was shutterstocked.

What this story has taught me

I hear these stories on the internet all the time and often think “yeah, that’s got to be rare, that would never happen to me.” Or one might think it’s some feel-good story that was probably fabricated in the first place. But when these superb customer service moments happen to you, they do have an impact.

And they hurt.

They hurt, because that little Twitter exchange with Shutterstock’s CEO reminded me of the sloppiness in my online illustration career. Because of my writing ventures that make me more and more money, I have purposefully ignored messages of past clients. Good ones, that I have worked with on multiple projects. Despite their interest and needs to work with me again, I have ignored them simply because I’m busier than I used to be.

I lie to myself and say, “I don’t have time, I need to focus on my current work.”

And even after repeat messages–one client had even sent me 11 emails which remained unanswered–I put them out of my mind and didn’t even bother to send a one line reply.

Not anymore.

Instead of blaming it on burnout, personal problems, or an increasing workload, the Shutterstock exchange told me to grow a pair.

I resolved to better serve my clients, regardless of overloading work, or any other excuse I could muster up.

Today, I answered all of the client requests I had ignored and excused myself for the lack of service.

Conclusion:

When a CEO of one of the biggest stock image sites has the time to tweet-reply and tell an overseas department to personally call me, then I should have all the time in the world to treat my customers the same way.

Have you experienced a customer service moment that changed the way you felt about your own business? If yes, what lesson did you take away from it?

mars dorian
Mars Dorian draws funky illustrations and pens sci-fi thrillers for the Internet Generation. His latest novel is available on Amazon for just $2.99! Consider his artwork for your next project:http://www.marsdorian.com

Original illustrations by the author.

The post How a tweet from Shutterstock’s CEO changed the way I think about customer service appeared first on Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow}.


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8 Twitter Tips to Improve Your Twitter Marketing

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Is your Twitter marketing working? Do you want more engagement for your tweets? Knowing how to write your tweets and when to publish them can increase visibility, boost engagement and drive traffic to your site. In this article you’ll discover eight tips to deliver better tweets. #1: Tweet Without Links Research shows that tweets without […]

This post 8 Twitter Tips to Improve Your Twitter Marketing first appeared on Social Media Examiner.
Social Media Examiner – Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How Images Make Content More Shareable on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter [Infographic]

It’s no secret that visual content is dominating the social web right now. Facebook’s News Feed update that made images much larger and more visible is a great example of this. After all, people are naturally more attracted to images than they are to text — making visual content highly shareable and engaging.

Posting compelling visual content is one of the most important things you can do to improve your social media strategy.One study found that Facebook posts with photos saw the most engagement over any other type of post, accounting for a whopping 87% of total interactions. Another found that tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

To help marketers understand more about how images make content more shareable, StoryBox created the infographic below. Check it out to learn tips and examples of how other brands are leveraging visual content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

free visual content crash course

Twitter Has Stopped Updating Its Public Tally Of Bots

AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

The weird world of Twitter bots is thriving. But Twitter's official tally of the automated accounts has gone stale.

In a quarterly filing with regulators on Friday, Twitter disclosed that roughly 8.5% of its users showed signs of being more robot than human. Twitter has announced this tally on a regular basis for over a year, since it tells investors how many active users aren't actually the flesh-and-blood humans the company needs to fuel its advertising revenues.

There was one curious feature about the disclosure on Friday, however. It was out of date, providing an estimate for where the number stood at the end of 2014.

This isn't the first time Twitter's bot tally has been stale. It's the fourth. In four separate filings, starting this March with Twitter's annual report, the company's bot disclosures have covered only that final quarter of 2014.

Twitter had previously been refreshing its bot count. In a quarterly filings in August and November of last year, the disclosures covered the quarters that immediately preceded them. In both of those quarters, the filings show, the tally of automated accounts was similarly 8.5%.

This consistency may help explain why Twitter has continued to use an out-of-date metric. The percentage of bots on Twitter “hasn't materially changed, which is why it hasn't been updated,” a Twitter spokesperson, Jim Prosser, told us in an email.

But that raises another question: If the percentage hasn't changed, why not at least update the time period? Prosser didn't respond to that one.

Bots, relying on third-party applications to deliver computer-generated snippets of content, are an inescapable part of Twitter. Many would say they form part of Twitter’s identity. Bots can be useful, informing you of earthquakes in your area or alerting you every time someone edits a Wikipedia page from within Congress. They can be funny, mimicking a teenage girl or a particular journalist. They can also bestrangely profound.

Twitter's policy for disclosing the number of bots on its service has evolved. In its first IPO prospectus filed in October 2013, the company estimated that 7% of its active users accessed Twitter through applications that automatically contacted its servers. The company said this group, which included people using third-party apps that updated automatically, was potentially inflating active user counts. Twitter expected the percentage to decline as more users switched to its own mobile apps.

Instead, it increased. In the three months through March 2014, it was 12%, according to a filing that May. But in August 2014, Twitter began reporting a new, refined metric made up of accounts that get automated updates “where there was no discernible user action involved.” The company said up to 8.5% of active users “used third party applications that may have automatically contacted our servers for regular updates without any discernible additional user-initiated action.”

If this percentage of automated accounts has stayed the same, then the absolute number of such accounts has grown with Twitter's base of users.

Twitter had 307 million users in the third quarter, excluding those who use the service through texting, an 8% increase from the period a year earlier. Using the data from the end of 2014 suggests that up to 26 million of these users appeared to be robots.

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Twitter Account

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Twitter Account

While Twitter’s growth is said to be in decline, the 140-character social network is still a valuable asset for your business.

Why?

Because it’s almost 1 billion users still have significant influence over your customers and an ability to amplify the reach of your content.

Maybe you feel intimidated by Twitter or don’t see value in it for your company. Perhaps your ROI is hard to track and you prefer to rock out on Pinterest.

But this doesn’t mean you should ignore the blue bird and disregard having a Twitter account altogether.

Here’s why:

1. It works for viral promotions and special offers

Imagine you’re launching a new add-on service, or you’ve got some hot seasonal discounts to promote. Twitter is the place to be when it comes to launching viral campaigns.

Here’s a recent case study to illustrate the concept. Virgin America decided to do a Twitter announcement about their selected flights now equipped with Netflix. A single Tweet placed them on top of the trending news section and right in the middle of that week’s conversation according to word cloud. It also resulted in landing extensive press coverage and getting a 96% positive sentiment from the audience.

How can you do it?

Spice up your Tweets with full-featured images (440 x 220 px).

Tweets with visuals receive 150% more retweets, 18% more clicks and 89% more favorites.

Turn your promo codes, announcements and calls-to-action into appealing, inspiring, and fabulous graphics that could be later repurposed for other social media networks like Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.

Also, make sure to Tweet at the optimal times when most of your audience is online.

Buffer data example for Twitter account

In the U.S. the peak hours are 8-9 am for Pacific Time Zone, 12-1 pm Central, Mountain Time and Eastern Time according to Buffer.

However, according to the same study if you’d like to maximize the amount of clicks per tweet, you should schedule them between 2:00 and 3:00a.m.

According to Dan Zarella, the following types of tweets get the most re-tweets:

Tweets with links
Tweets that are between 100 and 115 characters long
Tweets containing news and trendy content

To get even higher engagement rates, use a set of words that trigger activity from your followers. Including: “free”, “how-to”, “help”, “you”, “please”, “social” and “great” among others.

2. It’s great for customer support

Customer support example for Twitter account

Long gone are the days when people just ring up a company to complain. Now users prefer to get social and publicly reach out or bash companies on social media.

If you are not on Twitter, you may have no idea of how your reputation is screwed or praised by the community.

Use Twitter to offer effective, timely support to your users.

Here are just a few key benefits:

Timing is crucial for modern users. They want to get help here and now. That’s where Twitter becomes essential, as your customer reps don’t need to dig through contact information data and can shoot immediate replies with links to FAQs or a respective help information section.
You can increase your brand visibility with the use of special hashtags, re-tweets and mentions by your customers. Your brand will get organic promotion and also appear more approachable and human.
Building new leads.  Here’s the trick. If you start offering customer support to those users who are not your clients yet, they are likely to become them. Set up alerts for search terms with the most relevant words to your industry. Answer the questions that pop up on Twitter now and then. When you just help people out, a lot of them naturally check out what you are doing and become potential prospects.

Here are some of the companies who nailed the concept of Twitter customer support to give you a better idea of how you should do it.

3. It helps build relationships with influencers

Example of Twitter account for relationship building

You’d like your business to be acknowledged by the industry experts, right? Most probably you have even reached out to some of them via email or Facebook and got some luck. Or not.

Twitter can be an excellent medium to start building relationships with industry thought leaders. Start engaging with them by curating their content, mentioning them, asking relevant questions or answer their queries.  Get them to know you and identify you as “a lovely helpful chap” from Twitter, rather than a stranger asking for something out of the blue.

If you create a connection through Twitter, next time you reach out to them with a quick favor, the chances are you’ll receive a positive outcome.

4. It can expand your customer base (with Twitter chats)

In simple words, a Twitter chat is an online meetup scheduled for a predetermined time, where users discuss and track replies on a certain topic using a dedicated hashtag.

Hosts or moderators usually pitch those questions (marked as Q1, Q2…) and re-tweet, answer and prompt responses from participants (using A1, A2…).  Usually, a Twitter chat lasts about an hour.

Why should you participate?

Twitter chats are a great way to expand your professional network and learn a few more things about the subject as well.

By actively participating in the conversation and exchanging thoughts with other tweeters, you leverage your authority and credibility.  On top, you get plenty of ideas and tips for your content, as you now know what interests your target audience.

Check out Chat Salad or Twubs Twitter Chart to find the latest chat schedules for different industries.

Next step – host a Twitter chat yourself! You may need to get some training first and wait till your followers base grows to reach the best results, but the reach of Twitter chats can not be underestimated.

5. It enables you to curate user-generated content

Example of Twitter account for curating content

Twitter is the ideal medium for content curation. In fact, it’s essential to curate content if you’d like to keep your fan base active and engaged at all times. Or produce tons of personal content on a daily basis that is mission impossible for most businesses.

According to U.S News, 85 percent of followers feel more connected with businesses after following them. And 72 percent of followers are more likely to buy something from a business they follow.

Most people feel flattered when a brand acknowledges them and shares their content.

So, how can you interact with your audience on Twitter?

a. Create a custom business hashtag (or a few).

First of all, custom hashtags help you expand your long-term reach and track it accordingly.  You can use them to analyze the success of the Twitter campaign after it’s over.

You need to have custom hashtags for promo campaigns; events you organize (online and offline) to help people track, connect and spread the word easier.

Hashtags also strengthen your SEO, especially when used consistently over different social media platforms as they tell the search engine what accounts are connected.

Re-tweet users who mention your brand

Let them feel acknowledged. Also, always shoot a quick “thanks” message when they share your content or a brief reply to their mention.

b. Run a creative competition

Offer special discounts or promo codes to users who Tweet with your products. Or use the #LuckyTweet to run competitions when each tweet with your brand @mention and special hashtag enters the draw to win.

Another effective idea is to run a Q&A session with a dedicated hashtag.  Imply that the answers need to be as creative as possible and the winner will be chosen by the organizers and rewarded with a great prize.

Here’s a few more amazing ideas that work for Twitter competitions.

So what do you think of Twitter now? Is it a Yay or Nay for your business? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Guest Author: Carmelo is marketing writer and blogger helping small and medium business to craft winning content strategies. She’s always scouting the web for new social media strategies and is slightly addicted to apps. When not tapping the keyboard, you are likely to find her in the park playing with her uncontrollably friendly Irish setter.

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