Category: Social Media Marketing

A Twitter basic – #hashtags explained

Posted by – June 12, 2012

For those unfamiliar with hashtags (which is the use of the # symbol with a word or phrase), in less than 60 seconds you can get the picture.

People using Twitter use #hashtags as a way to label or categorise content. For example, if you are talking about films you might use the hashtag #films. People can find or get feeds of content related to a specific #hashtag. If you are at a specific event like the Australian Open you might tweet something about a game you are watching and use the #hastag #AustralianOpen, so your tweet goes into a group of other tweets that also mention the Australian Open.

The use of hashtags has spread beyong Twitter now, and heavy social media users often use hashtags when commenting on any social media site, like Facebook or a blog.

This article on American Small Business information site Small Business Trends has just published a good, simple article about hashtags, so read away.

What do you think about #hashtags? I love them, because I love to organise things and make lists and #hashtags can help to filter or capture information about a topic or event or situation that you would otherwise never find.

If you use #hashtags or have any tips or learnings to share, please add to this article via the comments section below. 

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Is Twitter really big in Australia?

Posted by – May 24, 2012

Lots of businesses ask me if they should be using Twitter. My answer, although possibly not very helpful is 'maybe' or 'it depends'. Like any marketing opportunity, it really does depend – mostly on value (what are you going to get out of it, achieve) and volume (with how many people/prospects/customers/influencers).

This article provides a picture of people using Twitter in Australia – and may be very helpful to guide you in deciding if Twitter is something to get into!

But firstly, if a tweet to you means a chirp from a bird out the window moreso than a communication from Twitter, you can get a quick lowdown on what Twitter is first up. 

We always hear about the gazillions of people using Twitter or whatever globally, but for a small business, that is largely irrelevant. Are people using it in your market, your industry, to talk about your products or services? Th

New information hot off the press from the Australian Research Council's Discovery Project provides some great insights into what's happening on Twitter and the user volumes in Australia.

Start up Smart published an article about this Australian Twitter research, check it out.  The Herald Sun also reported the research in this article Twitterverse map shows what Australians are tweeting about - which displays a great infographic that maps the topics Australians are talking about and the topics that tend to be discussed in by the same people/groups versus those that are not. 

Australia's first Twitterverse map, based on the tweets of 950,000 Australian Twitter accounts, shows people who regularly tweet about sports would rarely discuss real estate while food and wine fans are unlikely to mention farming.

Early 2012 figures reported say that there are around 950,000 accounts and 120,000 Twitter users in Australia (users are classified as having at least 5 followers).

So if your business is considering Twitter or already there, check out the hottest / largest discussion subjects or topics and see if these cross into your industry/business, or consider how they might. See what topics are also popular for those talking about or following topics related to yours. For example, Real estate and AFL are at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet Books and Film are closely mapped. 

If there are no topics related to your industry or business or interests on Twitter then maybe its not ripe for you/your business yet. On the other hand, it could be ripe for the taking if you are interesting enough to create a following and topic of popularity!

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What is Twitter? No it’s not just a bird call.

Posted by – May 24, 2012

If a tweet to you means a chirp from a bird out the window moreso than a communication from Twitter, here is a quick lowdown on what Twitter is.

Twitter is a website – a social platform. Users go to Twitter.com, and write short messages – bite sized updates about life, something they are doing, seeing, reading. Or about work, a passion, or any topic they are interested in. Or to share news. It's like a text message posted online. Only 140 characters of letters/spaces are allowed – hence short bursts of communication emerge.

The short message a user writes is called a Tweet, it is published and available to anyone to read or find on Twitter.com

This is how Twitter position their service, I hope I have done it justice, their explanation is pretty great!

 

The idea of Twitter is to connect with people so they can get a stream of your Tweets into their Twitter page /timeline (like an inbox) and vice versa. If someone connects to another person it is called 'following' ie. they want to follow what you are saying/posting.

Consider it like an email platform that only allows really short messages and whereby you can select who sends you emails (your followers) or maybe to you it's like a mobile text messaging box where you get messages from your address book of contacts into your inbox. And vice versa.

 

If you can spare 3 minutes to watch a video, this one is pretty good as a basic run down on introducing Twitter

Sounds a bit full on doesn't it, getting MORE communication when we are all overloaded with it already. But what's great about Twitter is it is personal and personalised – you decide what to say, you decide who to follow. Want to know what the prime minister is up to, or your competitor, or indeed a colleague you do business with – getting an insight via their Twitter posts may be invaluable to you. And conversely, what you have to say, share, inform others about might be invaluable to them and get you a good following, a great standing, publicity and more!

You can get your Twitter feeds instantly, daily or weekly, you decide how you interact. 

So if you want to give it a try, set up an account on Twitter and go fly!

Tell us what you think, sound interesting, not relevant, too hard, or do you have a question? Pop your comments in below!

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LIKE is not LOVE

Posted by – May 10, 2012

Social media software provider VIRTUE recently launched a campaign: “Like Can Never Replace Love.”

 Facebook like buttonThis really struck a chord for me and I think it’s a great sentiment to remember as businesses get caught up in social media and the game of chasing “likes”.

Business and marketing is about so much more than being liked. It is a great reminder that brands are built on true, meaningful and valuable customer relationships.

Sure, the objective of gaining ‘likes’ fits with the longer term goal of getting people to fall in love with your brand, but don’t forget to make the experiences add up and evolve, from transactions and passive following, to real world customer engagements.

Virtue sum up the premise behind their 'Love campaign' perfectly by saying:

"The world’s greatest brands aren't built on clicks, they’re built on meaningful relationships with real people. So don’t stop at like. Go for love."

How is your business thinking about or using social marketing to use likes to make love in your business?

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The best times for social marketing

Posted by – May 10, 2012

Are you getting into the swing of social media marketing, maybe you've started a Facebook page, or a Tweet or ten on Twitter and are keen to communicate with your audience.

social media timing

A key consideration with any media/ communication should be timing – and you should plan your activity at just the right time/s to increase your chances of being read, noticed, responded to, and engaged with.

So when is the right time to communicate with your audiences on social media sites?

Marketing Magazine Australia shares some new data from url shortening servive bit.ly who deliver a huge volume of links on social networks that key times to gain click throughs on Facebook and Twitter. They report:

 

   "Early to mid-afternoon, when the office crowd hit their post-lunch crash, according to data released by link shortening service bit.ly. In a study of link performance for short URLs generated by the service and posted on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, 1pm–4pm on weekdays emerged as the most fruitful time to post a link on Facebook, while for Twitter 1pm–3pm was best."

 furthermore

"For both Facebook and Twitter, brands should avoid posting links after 8pm and before 8am, after 3pm on Fridays and on the weekends, or they run the risk of achieving low engagement on the post."

 

This data is based on click through results from url links posted by brands. Not on brand page posts read or comments liked or links within social networks not using bit.ly. It is insightful and a good guide, but important to remember the basis of the data.

As a small business, I know when I read and engage in social media from the brands I follow as a business, which is typically during my business day. As a consumer however, I read and engage in brands for my personal life during the evening when I am switching off from business (that is as much as any small business owner switches off!). 

Do you use social media as a consumer? When do you log in, get social? As a business who uses social media, have you uncovered any insights about good vs bad times to engage your audience? 

We'd love to hear any experiences – just jump on via the comments section below to submit.

 

 

 

 

 
 
    
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Facebook marketing – how to avoid getting it wrong!

Posted by – April 4, 2012

A recent article published by B&T (Marketing publication) shares some fantastic research results about followers of business pages on Facebook, where one in five users ‘unliked’ a brands Facebook page… check out the article on PAGE 4 of this B&T newsletter

facebook logo imageFacebook is a fantastic avenue to keep your brand/ business in front of your market, but I know first hand how annoying it can be to get bombarded with multiple updates every day from not just one, but many businesses who I follow, and especially at times when I am really just using it for personal connections.

A great rule of marketing that I live by and always use when providing marketing consulting to a business is ‘always put yourself in the shoes of your customer/s’ – think about how things impact them, how your activity come across to them, and indeed if your activity is more for your benefit than theirs… you might need to launch that new promotion today, but do they want to hear about it right now?

Be engaging, not annoying!


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