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5 Tips for Companies Starting to use Twitter for Business

An image of the Twitter Bird

Recently I’ve done quite a lot of presentations to companies and business groups about starting to use social media for business. I have been surprised how many companies have avoided social media for so long. This is mainly for one or more of these reasons:

  • They’ve felt it’s all to complicated and techie for them to understand.
  • They’ve never struggled for business and so felt they didn’t need to use social media.
  • They don’t have the time to do it.
  • None of their clients use social media and Twitter in particular.

I find that these companies are now showing an interest because:

  • Their competition is using social media and so they feel they need to have a voice as well.
  • Through colleagues and peers, they’ve been told how easy it is.
  • The economy has hit them and whereas before they didn’t need to promote their activity, they now need to use all the tools available to them.
  • They want to adopt a holistic marketing mix approach to stand a better chance of reaching potential clients/customers.

Whatever the reasoning, Twitter seems to be the place they want to dip their toe into the social media water first. This is because they see it as less time-consuming (we could argue that point, but this is their feeling) and so it could be more easily crammed into their schedule.

Anyway having seen this knowledge gap I thought it would make sense to list a few tips for people new to using Twitter for business.

So here are my 5 basic tips to get you started:

  1. Make a profile. This sound obvious but many don’t fill it out completely. Also you may not be aware that Twitter has just introduced a new webpage layout on the 22nd April 2014. So if you’ve set up your page but haven’t really started using it, you should take the time to update your profile to the new format. Remember to get your logos and graphics designed to the right size to make you look the most professional you can. Remember first impressions count. Click on the earlier link or here to get information on the changes. If you need help in updating your social media profile, we can help, please get in touch.
  2. Listen and then speak. As you would do in a business networking event, first get the lay of the land. Don’t post much… just search for Twitter users in your sector, even your competition, especially if they they have a lot of followers and watch what they’re saying. Follow them, remember they’re trying to solve the same problem as you are, plus in a Sun Tzu way you should keep and eye on their marketing just in case you can counter it. Whoever you follow, try and keep them relevant, some will follow you back and you’ll start to build an audience you can interact with and speak/market to.
  3. Share & Create. Start retweeting interesting posts from others and join in on industry relevant discussions. Point people to interesting industry news to show you’re up-to-date and share news about your company without bragging. Realise if you just talk about yourself people will get bored. Show an interest in others.
  4. Use Hashtags.  Hashtags have become the way on social media to both organize your content and get it noticed. Even Facebook now allows you to use them. By simply including a hash mark (#) followed by a word or phrase your tweet content can be easily found by anyone searching for or clicking on that hashtag. This allows you to reach far beyond your immediate followers. Also use them to filter tweets for a common subject. For example use the hashtag #fifaworldcup2014 to only see tweets about this years World Cup Football Tournament.
  5. Promote it. Now you’re starting to use Twitter more, make sure you feature your Twitter name (ours is @ngd_agency ) on all your marketing materials. It should be on all your stationery items and email signature to help potential and existing customers stay in touch with you and build your following. If you need help in updating all your marketing material, we can help, please get in touch.

 

These are just the basics but if you follow these introductory tips you’ll have a solid foundation to start to build your social media presence. Please get in touch if you’d like me to come to your company to speak about social media for business.

Filed under: Business Advice, marketing, social media, , , ,

Twitter testing Facebook-style design

Twitter are supposedly testing a Facebook-style design to replace the existing user interface. The rumours are that this testing is quite advanced with some Twitter users already able to see the new page design.

The new Twitter Interface design being tested at the moment.

The new Twitter Interface design being tested at the moment.

The new, clean interface design appears to be very Google+ like. The clean, understated look will bring more focus onto the content and could be easier to view, as it’s less fussy on smaller devices.

One of the many Social Media trends anticipated for 2014, is the increased importance of enhanced content to achieve a deeper connection with customers. Put simply, straight text isn’t going to cut it as people get used to the easy access to short videos, info graphics and quality imagery. Companies who enrich their messaging with such media will engage with their customer base in a deeper way and as a by-product make their Social Media streams more ‘Sticky’!

Profile pages on the newly designed site feature a cover photo along with an enlarged profile picture and bio making the interface more visually rich but at the same time paring back the menus to give Twitter a more considered feel.

The biggest change is the size of the images and text in tweets. Both are much bigger making them dominant in the layout, guiding the eye, making the follower count etc subordinate as it should be. The only downside I can see is the fact that you’ll only be able to scan a few, maybe two tweets at a time! I for one quickly scan through previous tweets to select the ones of interest and this may now be less possible. No one likes change and if that is the only downside, you’d have to say it’s a step forward. We’ll have to see how the header panel works on different media to see if it’s an improvement and a better space to brand your feed compared to the current design. This is of course if this is the design that’ll be released, things could change from now until launch.

With Twitter reporting slower growth in recent months, this new image focused design could increase engagement among its users, especially the younger users. It maybe seen as a ploy to capture the droves of teens who are reportedly leaving Facebook for quicker, slicker messaging systems…. this brings us onto Facebook’s $19bn purchase of messaging platform WhatsApp…. Done for the same reasons… but that’s for another time.

Filed under: Design, social media, , , ,

ngd Agency – Social Media for Business Training

Neville Godwin of ngd Agency giving a presentation on Social Media for Business

Neville Godwin of ngd Agency giving a presentation on Social Media for Business

At ngd Agency we cover the whole range of design and marketing services. We can do this because with my associates, we have collectively 300 years of top design and marketing agency experience to call upon.

We’re not straight out of college. We’ve been round the block and as such we offer solid, proven advice, plus design and marketing support.

Over the last few years we’ve done presentations on Branding for Small Businesses, Personal Branding and Design trends but by far the most demand is for Social Media presentations.
We normally give private presentations to clients but the demand has been huge to have us educate companies on getting involved in and then maximising the opportunities of Social Media.
Unlike a lot of social media agencies out there, we provide a complete market view. Social Media is NOT the complete answer, it’s just a delivery mechanism, albeit a powerful one. Social Media should always be seen as part of your complete marketing mix because quite simply, due to the complete fragmentation of all media, your target market are not all going to be found in the same place.
I’ve got to say I enjoy presenting because of the immediate feedback you get. This is different to our other design and marketing services where the timescales can be months until a website is launched or a brochure is printed.
I really enjoy adding value and by the looks of the feedback form the attendees enjoyed it to!
Feedback Forms from a presentation by ngd Agency

Feedback Forms from a presentation by ngd Agency

We have been particularly surprised at the demand for our ‘Introduction to Twitter for Business’ presentation. It would seem that we wrongly thought that as Twitter has been around for 8 years or so, most people would understand it even if they chose not to use it for business.
We offer three main presentations:
  • An overview of Social Media for Business
  • An Introduction to Twitter for Bussiness
  • Maximising Twitter for Business
We also do presentations on LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest but most companies see Twitter as a good jumping-in point for their Social Media.
Neville Godwin of ngd Agency giving a presentation on Social Media for Business

Neville Godwin of ngd Agency helping businesses in Surrey with Social Media

To most professionals, the use of Social Media as a business development tool is a dark art and we aim to guide our clients through the options and then, if required support them in their Social Media campaigns. We can do this as little or as much as they wish.
If you would like us to present to your company about any of the topics mentioned, please get in touch. 
Also if you know of a company in the South of England who needs design and marketing advice including Social Media, please recommend us. If you introduce us and it leads to business we’ll make sure it doesn’t go unrewarded!

Filed under: Business Advice, Design, marketing, social media, , , , , ,

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