Entries Tagged 'social media' ↓
June 21st, 2013 — social media, social media marketing, Social media policy
That always seems to be a headache for people.
They spend hours and hours typing away on social media, but struggle to get people to share their ramblings.
This post has been picked from the archives to give you some handy tips on how you can get your content shared.
Social media is all about conversation and sharing.
The premise is simple:
- Generate great content
- People pick it up and share it with others
- You get more followers, fans and comments
That’s all well and good, but what happens when you’ve been using social media for a while and yet no one is sharing your stuff?
Well, you’ve obviously hit a few barriers because before the above can happen, people have to be able to find your content, they have to read it and then they have to want to share it.
Why is your content being ignored?
First of all, don’t panic. If no one is sharing, all you have to do is rethink how you’re using social media.
Below are 5 scenarios that could hold the answer to why your content isn’t being shared.
If you want people to share your stuff, they have to trust you.
Trust is developed through engaging with people, being open and chatting. If you’re merrily throwing stuff ‘out there’ without taking the time to get to know your followers and fans, it’s hardly surprising they don’t trust you.
2. Caring about your brand
People will only share your stuff if they care about your brand.
How do you get them to care about you? Well, for starters, you can’t make them care. Again, this one comes down to building relationships.
If you are generous with your information, tell them about offers, give away tips or even freebies, you will begin to develop a deeper relationship. They will follow you more closely and tell their friends to do the same.
3. Don’t be boring
No one wants to read something that’s boring, so they certainly won’t share it.
If you churn out blog posts, Facebook posts and tweets that are dull, you won’t be engaging with anyone.
Don’t be afraid to inject a bit of humour into your activities. People like to laugh; it makes them feel good. And if you can make someone feel good, guess what? They’ll share your stuff to make their friends feel good too.
Don’t panic, I’m not suggesting you have to get passionate with all your followers and fans.
If you want people to share your information, they have to feel passionate about what you do. This can be done by showing your human side.
Yes, I know that sounds scary, but if they can see you are human, they’ll warm to you. By writing about things you care about, you’ll be sharing your loves with others. And when we write about something we love, our emotion shines through and touches the reader.
5. Building relationships
There’s no getting away from it, if you want to engage people you have to build relationships.
Setting up your social media portfolio one day, and expecting great results the next, isn’t going to work.
Social media is something you have to work at.
You must listen, engage, chat and debate with your fans and followers to find out what they really want. If you put out information they’re not interested in, they’re not going to share it.
Create a strategy
If you’re in business and want to leverage the power of social media, you must have a strategy in place.
‘Doing’ social media properly is going to take time and effort, so you must make sure it pays off.
Your social media strategy should encourage engagement and prevent PR nightmares.
The most important thing to remember is that social media isn’t a form of advertising. Consumers are far cannier these days and won’t easily be fooled by expensive adverts. As a company, you have to use social media to engage with them and provide them with useful information.
The time has come to move on from yesterday’s market methods. Today, you must listen to your customers, find out what they want and provide it for them. In fact, you have to exceed their expectations.
Marketing is tough as there are more companies chasing a diminishing amount of cash. Today you have stand apart from you competitors and social media will help you do that.
Over to you
Are you successfully using social media?
Leave a comment below and share your experiences.
May 1st, 2013 — social media, social media training, twitter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April 19th, 2013 — social media, social networking
Although a slight departure from the norm, this one does relate back to earlier posts such as “Why You Should Engage Your Brain at all Times“, “Social Media – Employers and Social Snooping” and “Getting into Hot Water with Social Media.“
The name Paris Brown has become well known, but for all the wrong reasons. For those that don’t know it (really?), she is (or rather was) Britain’s first youth police commissioner who resigned shortly after being appointed when certain violent, racist and anti-gay comments posted on her Twitter account came to light – ooops.
She said she was resigning because she had fallen into the “trap of behaving with bravado on social networking sites.”
But why do some people find it acceptable to say things on social media that they wouldn’t ordinarily say to people face to face?
According to an article in The Drum, a recent survey showed that 88% of respondents believed that people are less polite on social media than in person and 19% had reduced in-person contact with someone because of something they said online. It also found that the main culprits for having “emotionally charged” conversations online were the young rather than ‘baby boomers’.
So are social media platforms the problem?
It could be argued that they are because they allow instant channels to vent frustrations that would otherwise remain behind tight lips. With a flourish of fingers a comment can be made and sent out into the online social world without any thought about how it may affect other people. Whereas in a face to face situation people are likely to be more reserved and (if they do vent their frustrations) will do it privately, or at least without the likelihood of several hundred or thousand friends and followers witnessing it.
It would appear therefore that education is called for to make people stop and think before they post or tweet. The author of the report, Joseph Grenny, offers 5 tips for communicating both candidly and respectfully on social media.
1. Check your motives
Social media hasn’t only changed the way we communicate, it has also modified our motives.
Think about why you use social media – is it to get lots of ‘likes’, provoke controversy or are you looking to have healthy dialogues with people?
2. Replace hot words
If you want to make a point rather than score points, look at what you’ve written and replace “hot” words that may provoke offence with words that will help others understand your position. For example don’t use “this is idiotic” when you could simply say “I disagree because…”
Never post a comment or tweet in the heat of the moment. Emotionally charged writing will only end in tears. Give yourself time to calm down before writing anything.
4. Agree before disagreeing
We are all different so, at one time or another, are going to disagree with each other. Find your common ground first before wading into an argument. According to Grenny, arguers agree on 80% of the topic, but create a false sense of conflict when they spend all their time arguing over the other 20%.
5. Trust your gut
When you read a response to your post and you feel the conversation is getting too emotional for an online exchange – stop because you’re right. That’s the time to meet up and talk about it face to face.
Over to you
What are your thoughts on this?
Is social media to blame or do you think it’s youth culture?
Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter, blogger, tweeter (@sallyormond)
March 22nd, 2013 — social media, social media marketing, social media training, social networking
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:
- The infamous Tulisa vs Dappy spat
- Diana Abbott’s ‘white people love paying divide and rule’ prompted by Bim Adewunmi tweet about the term ‘black community’
- 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
- Kim Kardashian tweeting a photo of herself holding a cat by the scruff of its neck
- Ashton Kutcher’s tweets of support for football coach Joe Paterno
- Russell Bran tweeting a picture of hi ex-wife Katy Perry with no makeup on
- Piers Morgan revealing Ryan Giggs as the high profile footballer having an affair
- Charlie Sheen direct messaging his mobile number of Justin Bieber only for it to end up on his timeline
- Chris Brown reacting to the critics when he picked up a Grammy
- 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
March 13th, 2013 — blogging for business, Building a business, Content writer, Freelance advice, internet marketing, marketing, small business web marketing, social media, social media marketing
The following guest post was written by Luke Clum. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.
Content marketing is a fertile field for freelance writers these days; in fact, it’s one of the few areas in which opportunities for writers seem to be getting better, not exploding in a newspaper-fueled inferno. But good content writing jobs won’t fall in your lap just because you woke up one day and said, “I’ve got it! I’ll be a writer.” Getting these jobs requires building a portfolio, being highly adaptable, recognizing promising opportunities, and getting your work into the hands of the right people.
In many articles on the subject, you’ll often find the suggestion to join a content mill to build your portfolio, despite the pitiful rate of pay. This actually is a good first step if you’re really starting from scratch (you need to have something professional to show potential clients). But to really stand out from the masses of people calling themselves writers these days, you’ve got to consciously create content that really brands you as an industry and creative leader. Here are our top 4 tips for doing just that.
1. Become an Informational Resource
By now, you’ve probably been told a million times that you should start a blog to show prospective clients. Again, this is true, but keep in mind that since this is often a baseline (i.e. something that’s strange not to have but not particularly distinctive if you do) your blog or website has to stand out in some way. One of the best ways to do this is to pick a niche and brand yourself as an informational resource by producing a few great pieces of content.
As an example, take the cloud accounting service, Xero, which produced this cloud computing guide as a helpful resource for its current and potential customers. The guide not only addresses a very relevant and widespread question (“Just what is the cloud?”), but it also showcases the company as a fun, down to earth, and helpful brand. And, as an added benefit, stand-alone resources like this are far more likely to go viral than a single company website.
Much the same is the case for the insurance company Simply Business, which has branded itself as a business resource centre with things like this guide to social media success. While not all of the company’s potential customers will want to look through these resources, many will, meaning guides like these both widen the company’s audience and instantly establish their credibility.
While you won’t have the same resources as these companies, the point remains the same. Take the time to develop great informational content that can act as a standalone piece. If you have any interests or specialities as it is, create a resource that answers questions you know are common within that niche, or use the Google Keyword Tool to find what potential readers are searching for. With compelling, impressive resources like this, a potential client will learn a lot more about you than if you were to send them yet another top 10 list.
Another way to find distinctive material for your content portfolio and to get your work out in front of movers and shakers is to volunteer at a place you really “get.” This could be at an organization that’s within the industry you’re looking to enter, or it could be a cause you’re really passionate about. Either way, sticking with your interests will put you in a position where you’ll be more likely to have those creative content ideas, and more convincing in you pitches to your volunteer clients. What’s more, if you’re writing for an organization’s website, you’ll likely gain a lot of exposure for your work while also adding to your portfolio. The better the job you do, the more likely the people you’re volunteering with will be to use you in their own businesses or refer you down the line.
3. Partner Up
Content writers don’t operate in a vacuum. Where once editors used to be a writer’s most crucial contact (and, don’t get me wrong, they’re still pretty high up there), now partnering with someone in a related industry, like graphic design or SEO, can be just as fruitful a venture. Having a freelance partner means doubling your networking ability. It can also make for a much more convincing sales pitch if you can bill yourselves as a one stop shop kind of place. What’s more, if you’re looking to create those specific resources previously mentioned but you don’t yet have a niche, partnering up can be just what you need, as you can then take your partner’s expertise and get it down in written form, establishing an expert’s reputation for you both.
4. Become a Microblogger on Social Media
Social media isn’t just about promoting your content (though that certainly is important). Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all potential sites for microblogging. Through tweets and status updates, you can post helpful tips in your distinctive and creative voice. On Facebook and LinkedIn, you can write blog posts and join industry groups with discussion boards. These are all forms of content creation, and the more regularly and uniquely you embrace them, the more you’ll stand out.
When you’re a freelance content writer, your content is your marketing. Showing clients what you can do with the resources you create and the impact you can make on social media is showing them just what you can do for them, should they take you on board. Make it helpful, full of expertise, fun and interesting to read, and your content writing career will take off in no time.
Luke Clum is a graphic designer and writer from Seattle. Follow him on Twitter @lukeclum