Stephanie Heckman

Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Twitter Tips: Seven steps to increasing your Twitter potential

In Branding, Career, Marketing, Social Media on March 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm

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Twitter is an effective tool whether you are a representing a company, organization, cause, other person or yourself. However, it can be a time-suck if you don’t know how to use it effectively.

1. Know the basics

What do you plan to use Twitter for? Twitter is not a time waster if you use it wisely. You can use it to connect with people who have similar interests, network with professionals, keep up with news and industry trends and promote your brand, organization or even your own personal brand. Make sure your tagline includes important tidbits that reflect who you are and why you are on Twitter.

Finally, if this is a personal Twitter account, include a good picture of yourself. People are more likely to follow an actual person than someone hiding behind a picture of someone or something else. If it is for your organization, include a recognized logo.

2. Develop a plan.

Like any good marketer or publicist, you shouldn’t devote time to social media without developing a strategic plan first. Even if this is for your personal Twitter account, it makes sense to think of a general strategy. Consider what are the main topics you would like to tweet about. Try to stick to less than five main categories of interests and include these in your description.

Try to tweet every day or use HootSuite schedule your tweets. HootSuite can also be used to manage your Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media profiles. It’s a great tool if you manage many social media accounts for yourself or for clients.

3. Make everyone word count.

A mark of a great writer is one who can express herself in few words. If you are a communications professional, you should have great writing skills by now. Put them to work by writing Tweets that are concise, grammatically correct and meaningful. Find ways to get your point across in 140 characters. When you include links, use a URL shortener such as Bit.ly to make every character count.

4. Make effective use of #Hashtags

Try to include relevant hashtags in every post but #don’t #hashtag #every #single #word. See how annoying that is? Useful hashtags for the communications industry include basics like #PR, #PRSA, #SocialMedia and #PRjobs.

The documentary film and movement to change the representation of women and girls in the media, Miss Representation, created the hashtag #NotBuyingIt to call out sexist advertisements. That hashtag received many tweets during the Super Bowl and other large events. They’ve even created a #NotBuyingIt app for smart phones.

Another example is when animal shelters and rescue groups use hashtags like #AdoptDontShop. It’s easy to remember, cute and can be used to find homes for specific animals.

Consider “trending topics.” Many are silly but sometimes you can tie your cause, organization or company into a trending topic. If you are creative, you can use trending topics to gain more followers, many of whom might have never come across you.

5. Remember that Twitter is meant to be SOCIAL.

Always follow users back if they are not spammers and do seem to provide quality content. If you are representing a business or organizations, you should always follow other Twitter users to show. Your organization is not an exclusive club.

Develop relationships with others in the Twitter community. You cannot promote yourself or your organization if influencers do not follow you and retweet you. Who are influencers? They are the Twitter users who have a large amount of active followers that they can mobilize to action. If you want to develop a base of followers and have your content retweeted, you need these influencers to become your loyal supporters and advocates. If you are representing a nonprofit or a cause, make partnerships with relevant organizations or activists by retweeting them regularly.

Retweet any followers who are providing relevant information or interesting links and photos. While it makes sense to retweet users who are posting information about your product, service or organization; you always want to retweet those who are posting about anything relevant to your industry or cause. Even general interests stories and links may be quality retweets.

Ask questions. Answer others’ questions. This is a great and easy way to create interaction and build community. Thank others for when they retweet you. You need maker others feel appreciated.

6. Don’t forget about TweetChat!

If you don’t know what TweetChat is or haven’t used it yet, take advantage of it now. TweetChats are used to talk live with Twitter users from around the globe, about any particular topic of interest. It’s a great resource for many connections, finding followers and learning new information. Use Google to find a list of relevant TweetChats in your industry.

For public relations and marketing professionals, there are many relevant TweetChats such as #BlogChat every Sunday at 9 p.m.. Small Business Buzz (#Sbbuzz) is from 8 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays. #JournChat is for journalists, publicists and other communications professionals and is held Mondays at 7 to 8 p.m. #PR20Chat is for PR professionals and is at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays.

7. Don’t use Twitter as a hard-sell.

No one gets on Twitter to be sold products or services. Yes, sometimes coupons or links to events are wanted. However, it makes you look like a spammer and many people will unfollow you if you never post other information. Instead, post links to newsworthy articles, whether it’s industry-relevant or a general news or human interest story that is trending. Retweet others’ content. Tweet pictures and videos. Even if you are representing a company or organization, show the human side. Let your personality and interests come through in your tweets.

For more social media tips, check out:

Friending, Tweeting, Pinning.

Friending, Tweeting, Pinning

In Branding, Marketing, Social Media on March 7, 2013 at 4:46 am

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What social media networking sites can benefit you?

Twitter
As the second most popular social media site in the world, Twitter is also one of the fastest growing. Twitter is an excellent social media site for any organization trying to reach an audience in their teens, twenties or thirties. It’s also a necessary tool for any communications student or young PR professional that wants to market their own brand. Twitter is a great tool for creating a personal brand or image if used effectively.

To make the most out of Twitter, choose an appropriate and memorable handle that your followers will remember. Tweet many links and photos, both of which are more likely to be retweeted. Choose a well-rounded selection of accounts to follow, including many news organizations, favorite brands, charities and other professionals.

Retweet any interesting tweets and make sure to thank your followers when they retweet you. Make use of Tweet Chats to connect with other followers and learn new information. What’s important is to remember that Twitter is a type of social media, so use the website fully to make connections, network and promote your brand.

Facebook

Facebook is an important social media site for practically any organization. With Facebook, you can post pictures and videos, link to articles, share updates, create public pages or private groups and ask for direct feedback from your audience.

Another benefit to Facebook is that it draws in a very wide demographic. As the most popular social media website, you can reach an audience ranging from teens to older adults of all ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders and interests. Unfortunately for organizations hoping to target a younger audience, Facebook seems to be losing some ground with young adults.

Post pictures. Regardless of whether they are funny memes, infographics or simply cute photos, pictures receive the most shares and likes on Facebook. It’s also helpful to include links. Instead of simply linking to your organization’s products and services, try linking to stories about current events, pop culture or anything else that your target audience may want to read about.

Make sure that all photos and links you share are noncontroversial and do not take a political stance. If you’re not representing an organization that lobbies or promotes a political cause, candidate or religion, don’t go there. Exceptions are promoting a noncontroversial cause or organization that seemingly everyone supports such as cancer awareness or disaster relief.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great tool for many companies and organizations yet is surprisingly underused. If your target audience is women, ranging in age from teens to middle age, you need to start using this valuable resource. Pinterest is also worth using if you are a college student or young professional who hopes to enter the fashion, beauty, crafting or food industry.

On the other hand, if your target demographic is men, younger kids or older adults, Pinterest may not not the right social media site for you. You would be be better off focusing your energy elsewhere. Pinterest is also not right for companies or organizations that don’t have a visual product or service. Pinterest is great for showing off retail products or images with quick advice or facts.

To effectively use Pinterest requires the ability to select interesting photographs or infographics that link to a website with useful information. Don’t use Pinterest just to blatantly promote your brand. If you’re doing the social media for a fashion company, make sure to also pin images from other brands and include links to general interest fashion stories. No Pinterest user wants to be slapped with blatant advertising.

LinkedIn

If your company has more than ten employees, it needs a LinkedIn page. It can be used to recruit the best employees and to promote your organization. If you are a student or professional, you also should create a LinkedIn page. LinkedIn is where your personal branding begins.

To get the most out of LinkedIn as a student or young professional, you should aim to find at least fifty connections. This should not be difficult if you search for past coworkers, classmates and others that you meet at networking events. Include a brief summary that highlights your personal qualities, career or educational history and information that makes your stand out from others in your field. Make sure that your work history only includes relevant jobs and contains bullet points with useful descriptions.

LinkedIn has features that allow you to sections showcasing projects you have worked on, articles you have written, personal certifications, awards, course descriptions, interests and career highlights. Try to incorporate as much relevant information as you can onto your LinkedIn page. Consider it to be an extended version of your resume that includes portfolio work and a reflection of who you are as possible. Lastly, use LinkedIn to join professional groups and to follow companies that you may hope to work for in the future.

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