Entries Tagged 'social media' ↓

Responding Through Social Media

Hands up if you’ve made a comment on a Facebook business page you’ve liked, or sent a tweet to a company only never to hear a dickey bird?

I know I have.

It’s a bit like going to a party and chatting to someone only to be blanked by them. Who does that? No one does, because it’s very rude to ignore someone who’s talking to you.

It seems crazy that companies dive into social media to spread the word about how great they are, but don’t understand that it is a two-way street.

Social media isn’t a soapbox that you can shout from. It is a platform through which you can communicate with your customers.

After all, by signing up for it you gave your customers a new way to interact with you, so interact.

Make an impression

Just setting yourself up on social media isn’t good enough. You must also allocate someone to monitor the channels you use and respond on your behalf.

If your fans and followers have taken the time to make contact with you, the least you can do is respond to them because that’s how you start to build relationships. And social media is all about building relationships.

The more you interact with your fans and followers the more likely they are to share your content with their friends, widening your reach and your audience.

Speedy, speedy

One of the benefits of social media is its immediacy.

Within seconds users can respond to someone’s comment, but that does mean your fans and followers will expect to hear from you fairly soon after they post their message.

Taking days or weeks to respond is not good.

For them, your social media channels are like a customer service channel where they can post comments, complaints and compliments. But they will expect a response from you.

That’s why it’s essential you have people on your team whose job it is to respond to any questions that are raised by your customers.

You gave them the option to contact you that way by signing up for Facebook and Twitter, so it’s up to you to make sure they don’t go unheard.

Thank you

These are two simple words that are sadly so often lacking in social media.

It doesn’t take long to say thank you in response to a comment or tweet, especially if someone has taken the time to retweet something you’ve said.

Manners cost nothing, as my mum always used to say – and she was right.

OK, granted nothing here is ground-breakingly new, but considering my experience of dealing with companies thorough social media, it needs to be said.

Remember, social media should be seen as an extension to your customer service, use it well and respond quickly and you’ll go far.



Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd

Twitter – @sallyormond


How to Get Your Content Shared on Social Media

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:

  1. Generate great content
  2. People pick it up and share it with others
  3. 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.

1. Trust

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.

4. Passion

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.

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.

People Are Less Polite on Social Media

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.social media and offensive comments

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…”

3. Pause

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)

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