Entries Tagged 'twitter' ↓

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

Only 1% of SMEs Use Social Media

Can that really be true?Social media and business

Well, it is according to a recent article in The Drum.

Apparently, a recent survey undertaken by TalkTalk Business discovered that only 1% of UK SMEs use social media sites such as Twitter and Linked In to generate new business.

Out of the 500 SMEs surveyed, 43% said they weren’t comfortable using social networking sites.

As a copywriter, I’ve been using social media for a while to offer advice, promote my business and make new contacts. It really isn’t scary – it’s just like chatting with friends.

Finding the comfort zone

Social media allows customers unprecedented access to companies these days. They can instantly send messages, ask queries and make complaints – perhaps that’s part of the problem.

But there really isn’t any reason for companies to be afraid of social media. Used wisely, it can open up new markets and even find new business partners.

Of course, once you put something out on the web, it’s there for good, so any company looking to use social media as part of their marketing must have a strategy in place.

Understanding your social media strategy

The first thing that must happen is for everyone to understand (that includes senior management) that the main goal is not to sell.

Social media is a long term commitment that should add value to your relationships with your customers.

Then you must determine what your goals are – whether you’re using it for PR, customer service or marketing. However you use it, your goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely).

Of course, not every social media outlet is going to be right for your business, so do your research. Work out where you customers hang out and where your activities will have the greatest impact.

Once you start to use the platform(s) join in the conversation, don’t just lurk on the fringes. Chat with people, answer questions and offer advice. All of these activities will help get you noticed and increase your levels of engagement.

After a while, you may start getting questions coming your way. If you do make sure you answer them. Also, it’s worthwhile bringing your social media activities into the real world by going along to networking events and tweetups so people can put a face to the profile.

One more thing about Twitter, if a specific person within your company runs the account, make sure they sign their name to their tweets, or have their bio on your Twitter page. People like to know who they are tweeting with.

The best way to learn is to do

“Social media can prove invaluable as a new business tool and so it’s worrying to see that so few SMEs are embracing it. Its business benefits range from being able to engage and understand the needs of customers and prospects through to gaining insights into target markets and perceptions of your organisation or brand.

“There’s certainly scope for more SMEs to be educated on how social media channels can be applied to business and ne harnessed to benefit the bottom line.” Paul Lawton, Managing Director of TalkTalk Business.

I couldn’t agree more Paul.

Over to you

Are you one of the 43% or have you embraced social media as part of your marketing strategy?

Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.



Using Twitter to Improve Your Customer Service

Yes, love it or loathe it, Twitter is a fantastic platform for your business.

You can instantly connect with customers, you can act immediately, you can ask questions and get a shed load of responses – Twitter is amazing.

But are you using it to maximise your customer service and support?

To show you how it can be used to your advantage, I want to direct you to a great post I found on SocialMediaExaminer.com. Written by Leo Widrich, co-founder of BufferApp.com, it is a personal account of how Leo has used it to improve his company’s customer service and support.

After all, as he says, customer service is one area where you can really make your company stand out in a crowd – in the words of Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee):

“I genuinely believe that any business can create a competitive advantage through giving outstanding customer care.”

So, what are Leo’s tips?

Well, they go something like this:

  • Use Twitter to give a rapid response
  • Personalise your Tweets with your name or picture
  • Use DMs to your advantage
  • Use search tools to help people who aren’t even customers yet

So, if you want to improve your customer service and blow your competitors out of the water, have a read of 4 Ways to Use Twitter for Customer Service & Support.


The Pros and Cons of Automated Tweeting

Twitter – a social networking platform where you can communicate in 140 characters, which amounts to relationship building in a literal nutshell.Pros and Cons of Automating Twitter

Take a good a look at the third word in that opening sentence – social.

How can you automate being social?

Social is relationship building, spontaneity, conversation and all those things you need to be present to do.

And yet people still profess that automating your Twitter usage is the way to go – but why?

The Pros of automated tweeting

Those in the ‘pro’ camp will try to convince you that automating your tweeting will:

  • Save you time
  • Give a constant presence
  • Give your followers a stream of tweets to keep you in their mind
  • Provide your followers with timely offers
  • Help you plan your strategy to target potential customers

But there is a problem with that. Sending out random tweets isn’t always constructive. Plus, some people who automate will schedule the same tweet to go out at weekly or monthly intervals. They may think it saves them time, but it’s not long before their followers get fed up with seeing the same message. And that type of repetitiveness highlights the fact that you’re an absent tweeter.

The cons of automated tweeting

So, that brings us to the cons of being automated:

  • There is no engagement with your followers
  • Your tweets can appear random and disjointed
  • If you’re not there, you can’t respond to replies or RTs (retweets)
  • There is no conversation
  • You can’t react quickly to someone else’s tweet

The ideal strategy

I am no Twitter guru, but I have been using it for a while now.

For me, the best strategy is to be there in person when I’m tweeting. The only automated tweets that go out are those showing my latest blog posts when they are published – everything else is me. That way I can react to other people’s tweets, join in with conversations and offer help and advice when needed.

Over to you

What’s your take on this?

What strategy do you use?

Leave a comment below and have your say about the pros and cons of automated tweeting.

Sally Ormond – Copywriter