Entries Tagged 'social media training' ↓

Why You’re Getting Twitter Wrong

On the face of it, Twitter should be the easiest thing in the world to use.

All you have to do is create a message that’s no longer than 140 characters and hit send. But, judging by some of the tweets I see, it obviously isn’t as easy to master as it appears.

Below are 10 reasons why you’re getting Twitter wrong and what you can do to make it better.

1. Batching

Tweeting frequency is often a problem for people. How often is too often?

A lot of people end up sending out a flurry of tweets all in one go (or batch) thinking if they get it over and done with they can get on with other stuff.

The problem with that is twofold: you’ll hack off your followers by filling their timeline with your inane ramblings and you run the risk of only reaching a very small percentage of your followers.

Not everyone will be using Twitter at the same time, so if you want to reach as many people as possible, spread your tweets out through the course of the day.

2. Room to RT

You see a lot of tweets go out with ‘Pls RT’ at the end (i.e. please re-tweet). That’s all well and good, but with only 140 characters to play with, if your message takes up all of them you’re not leaving your followers a lot of flexibility to RT.

If someone likes what you say, but then has to edit your tweet in order to be able to RT it, they probably won’t bother.  Likewise, they may want to add a comment, but if there’s no room they won’t be able to.

3. Engage

If you want people to interact with you, you have to make your tweets engaging. But let’s get one thing straight, unless you happen to be a celebrity, it is unlikely you’ll get a flood of responses every time you tweet.

You’ll increase your chances though if your tweets are engaging.

4. Back to the RT

In number 2 I talked about re-tweeting and leaving room, well don’t forget that if you want people to RT you, you also need to RT other people.

When you see something of interest, RT it and share it with your followers. If you see someone asking for advice, RT it – unless you know the answer of course and then you should respond.

If you RT others, they are more likely to RT you in return.

5. Protection

On Facebook there are several levels of privacy you can use to protect yourself from unwanted prying eyes. Well, there is also a privacy setting available on Twitter, but if you are a business using the platform as a marketing tool, make sure you disable it.

Unlike Facebook, protecting your tweets makes you look very secretive. Why should someone have to ask to follow you? The whole point of Twitter is to be able to chat with anyone. Using the privacy setting would be like turning up to a networking event surrounded by an impenetrable wall of bodyguards.

Make yourself open and available to chat – if a follower really annoys you or sends abusive tweets you can always block and report them.

6. Follow me

One of the main headaches for anyone who is new to Twitter is how to get followers. Many people seem to have a hang up about following way more people than they have followers – well that’s where everyone starts.

The only way you can get your name out there is by following other people. Then if they like your stuff and RT it, their followers will see it, think ‘he/she’s great’ and will then follow you…and so it goes on.

So don’t get hung up by numbers.

7. Vague

If you have something to say, say it. Cryptic and vague tweets are annoying, pointless and frustrating.

That’s all I have to say on that one.

8. The difference between @ and .@

If you tweet about an article, blog or website and just use @, only the people who follow you and the site/person/article mention will see it. But if you use .@ everyone can follow it.

9. Think first

A tweet is for life (unless you delete it), but if it’s seen, well, you’re too late. That’s why you should never tweet in anger.

Always think very carefully about what you’re putting out there.

10. Chatty not sales

There’s nothing worse than having your twitter feed filled with spam tweets trying to sell stuff to you.

Tweet as though you were at a networking event. If all you do is tweet about your business with constant sales messages, you have become that person at the networking event everyone tries to avoid.

You’ve seen him, before he’s finished shaking your hand he’s thrust his business card and brochure in your other hand and told you all about his business and why you must buy from him. Then, without even asking you anything he wanders off to accost another victim.

But if you chat and engage with other tweeters, you’re the person who is naturally charismatic and draws people to them. The person who is more interested in who they’re speak to than themselves and who helps others and offers advice rather than sells.

I know who I’d rather be.

So there you go. That was a quick run through of what you’re doing wrong on Twitter and how you can make things right.

Remember, it is a social media platform that’s perfectly designed for conversation and engagement, so make sure that’s how you use it.




Sally Ormond is a professional copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Working with a global client base, she also finds time to tweet – you can follow her here: @sallyormond.

Why You Should Engage Your Brain at ALL Times

Social media is a wonderful thing…in the right hands.

Those hands must be level headed (is that possible?), never react in anger and should always think before they type.

The immediacy of social platforms make sure knee-jerk reactions hang around to haunt you forever, or at least for a very long time.

Frequently, celebrities are caught up in Twitter spats or put out a not-particularly-well-thought-out tweet, prompting Cosmopolitan to list its top 10 celebrity Twitter blunders of 2012:

  1. The infamous Tulisa vs Dappy spat
  2. Diana Abbott’s ‘white people love paying divide and rule’ prompted by Bim Adewunmi tweet about the term ‘black community’
  3. TOWIE’s Jessica Wright’s ill-judged ‘rest in peace’ tweet in response to the news of the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il
  4. Kim Kardashian tweeting a photo of herself holding a cat by the scruff of its neck
  5. Ashton Kutcher’s tweets of support for football coach Joe Paterno
  6. Russell Bran tweeting a picture of hi ex-wife Katy Perry with no makeup on
  7. Piers Morgan revealing Ryan Giggs as the high profile footballer having an affair
  8. Charlie Sheen direct messaging his mobile number of Justin Bieber only for it to end up on his timeline
  9. Chris Brown reacting to the critics when he picked up a Grammy
  10. Rihanna for writing cryptic messages, soon after Chris Brown posted a picture of his new girlfriend, suggesting he was being less than faithful

But one of the more recent examples left Labour MP David Lammy apologising.

What did he do?

Well, following this tweet from BBC News:

David Lammy accused the BBC of being racist claiming the tweet from the BBC was “…crass and unnecessary. Do we really need silly innuendo about the race of the next Pope?”

After it was pointed out to him that black smoke appears from a Vatican chimney when no decision has been made and white smoke when a new Pope has been elected, he realised his mistake and was forced to make the following apology:

“Note to self: do not tweet from the Chamber with only one eye on what you’re reading. Sorry folks, my mistake.”

So there you go, some very good reasons why you should never Tweet in haste or anger.

Before you write your tweet always make sure:

  • You have carefully read the tweet you’re responding to
  • You’re not responding in anger and the heat of the moment
  • Think carefully about what you write and how it will be take by others
  • You’re careful about what you send in a direct message

Pinterest for B2B Companies

Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and/or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest allows its users to share ‘pins’ on both Twitter and Facebook, which allows users to share and interact with a broad community.

Source: Wikipedia

Have you been bitten by the Pinterest bug yet?

Personally, I haven’t. It’s not something that I really ‘get’ – admittedly because it doesn’t really appeal to me.

But there are a lot of buisnesses out there who’ve had a lot of success with it and a study by SteelHouse identified that ‘Pinterest users are nearly twice as likely to purchase than Facebook users.’

However, many B2B businesses (like my copywriting business) are struggling with the whole concept of promoting themselves through this pictorial platform.

Thankfully, those wonderful people at SocialMediaExaminer have come up with a post helping people just like me.

They explore 7 tips for successfully using Pinterest in a B2B business.

In it they look at how some B2B businesses are using Pinterest by:

  • Using infographics
  • Ebooks, guides and white papers
  • Engaging with their fans
  • Displaying their products
  • Displaying their work culture
  • Using pin brand-related images
  • Showing how they are serving the community

Take a quick look, it might just give you the motivation to start Pinteresting your business.

Getting Started on Twitter – What to Tweet?

One of the main reasons businesses don’t use Twitter is that they don’t know what to tweet.What to tweet about

There appears to be a common misconception that tweets generally comprise of ‘I’ve just had a cheese sandwich’ or ‘time for a coffee’ or other such mundane updates.

There is a lot more to Twitter than that and no, by being part of it you’re not going to be subjected to an onslaught of dietary updates from all your followers.

The whole point of Twitter is to engage with others, to chat with them, share great information and offer help and advice wherever possible.

But if you’re still sat there, fingers poised over keyword, without a clue what to tweet, take a look at the list below.

Things you should be tweeting about

1. Share links

If you blog, every time a new post is published, tweet the link. Tell everyone you have a new blog post out, give its title and then insert the link. You will be offering them great information and promoting your blog at the same time.

Also, if in your daily reading you spot and article or blog you found interesting, share the link with your followers, you never know, they might find it interesting too.

2. Ask

Rather than just pushing your opinions on people, ask what they think about current issues, or things happening within your industry. This is a great way to get conversations started and draw new followers to you.

3. Respond

Twitter isn’t just about you pushing your stuff out there. You also need to listen to your followers and respond to their questions too. If they have a problem that you can help them with, tweet back to them and lend a hand.

4. Business updates

Let your followers know what’s going on in your business. If you’re involved with local charities, tell them. If a member of your team has a story to tell, let them. This is a great way to show the human side of your business. If you have photos of events etc., share those too.

5. Tips

People love to get helpful tips. So if you tweet something that’s going to add value to your followers, they’re more likely to start engaging with you.


If someone you follow tweets something interesting, retweet it so other people that follow you can also see it.

7. Shout out about others

If you deal with a company that offers great customer service, or helped you out when you needed it, tweet about them. You will come across as the caring, sharing type and they’ll benefit from greater exposure.

8. Talk about events

Even if it’s a local networking event, tell people about it. You never know how many other tweeters are there. Also, it’s a good idea to tweet about it before the event so fellow tweeters can let you know that they’ll be there too so you can have your very own mini tweetup.

9. Comment on news

If there’s something new happening in your industry tell people about it and stimulate discussions.

10. Have fun

Twitter is supposed to be fun. It’s a great way to engage with people, so be human and share videos and photos that made you smile.

So there you have it, 10 things to tweet about. But remember, much like texting and email, intonation and sarcasm don’t translate well in tweets, so:

  • Don’t get dragged into arguments, you’ll always end up looking bad
  • Make it clear when you’re being flippant
  • Don’t tweet something that’s going to cause offence

In other words, think before you tweet.

Over to you

How are you using twitter? What successes have you had?

Leave a comment below.

Sally Ormond (@sallyormond) – copywriter

Getting into Hot Water with Social Media

Freedom of speech has long been embraced by society, but are we really free to say exactly what we think without fear of repercussions?How to use social media safely

A short while ago, I wrote a post called Social Media – Why You Should Watch What You Say, in which I talked about how employers use social media to screen job applicants.

But it’s not just your potential working life that could be affected by your tweets and Facebook status updates (or those unfortunate photos taken of you on a big night out), you could also jeopardise your career.

The Drum recently reported on such a case where a council press officer was forced to quit his job after an ill-judged tweet.

Working for Lambeth Council, the press officer in question tweeted, from his own personal account, that “Having spent a considerable amount of time in Streatham, my solutions for supporting the High Road mostly involve napalm.”

Needless to say, his tweet was met with several complaints and, despite an apology, he quit his job.

But was that right? Should he have had to quit his job over tongue-in-cheek comments made on his personal social media account?

And there lies the very murky grey area. Had that comment been made through his official work account, no one would question the outcome. But as it came from a personal account, does that make it any less offensive?

Understanding the power of social media

The news is full of instances where people use social media in naïve ways. Whether it’s something like the case above, or the more serious and malicious practice of ‘trolling’ (the posting of inflammatory messages online with the main aim of provoking readers into an emotional response or otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion – Wikipedia), the use of social media can land people in hot water.

A recent case of trolling was highlighted following a landmark High Court ruling. When a lady from Brighton posted a supportive comment for X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza, trolls ‘left comments falsely accusing [her] of being a paedophile and drug dealer for supporting the singer…’ (The Drum).

The High Court ruled that Facebook had to reveal the identities of the cyberbullies (their names and IP addresses) so civil actions could be pursued again the ‘trolls’.

Do your employees understand your social media policy?

With social media becoming a powerful business tool as well as a social communication tool, it is essential your employees fully understand your social media policy to prevent these types of instances happening.

Your businesses social media usage should concentrate fully on engaging with your customers and adding value to your relationships with them, therefore it is essential your employees fully understand what is expected of them.

  • Make sure you list what they can do.
  • Ensure they fully appreciate that they are responsible for what they write (whether it’s on behalf of your company or on their private accounts).
  • Encourage them to engage with customers using their name and title so the customer knows who they are talking to.
  • Make sure they think carefully before posting – it’s Ok to offer opinions, but they must consider how their comments will be viewed by others. After all, what they say (whether using social media during work hours or in their personal time) will reflect not only on them personally, but also as an employee and on the company.
  • Ensure they understand what information is confidential and that should not be shared at any time.
  • They should bring value to your company through their engagement.

Over to you

What are your thoughts on social media usage?

Do you agree that the council press officer should have lost his job?

What policies do you have in place to ensure your employees don’t overstep the mark?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and opinions.

Sally Ormond – Copywriter