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More twitter followers? Yes, but what for?

More twitter followers? Yes, but what for?

I often see tweets advertising services and tools, most of them paid-for, that promise to generate enormous numbers of followers on twitter practically overnight. Let’s ignore for the moment the questions this raises with regard to ethics and fairness in social media marketing and, dare I say, the issue of spamming, and let’s turn first to the question that these offers should prompt. Basically, what do you want more followers for?
This may seem odd but think about it. I’m personally still trying to understand why and how a basket gift company, a wedding organiser and a dentist in LA (a dentist!) ended up following my tweets!

Twitter is, before anything else, a SOCIAL network. Social means interaction, not automation. Social Media is filling in what was missing in the Web, the relationship, the personal, the reality. As I see it, numbers are simply of themselves not a useful metric. It’s not important how many followers we have, particularly if they are all bots, affiliate marketers or auto generated follows. What we want is quality followers and by quality I mean those that are actually engaged. It’s about who our followers are, what they’re saying, what they’re doing, what they’re feeling, what they’re talking about with you, how they’re reacting, what they’re saying about you. In other words, it’s quality not quantity that counts.

If your followers are truly interested in your services/products, a real conversation or engagement is much more likely to convert them into customers. Better still if they already use your brand, then a bit more engagement could make them a true advocate for it.
So if we want quality followers how do we both target and attract them?
Let’s start with attraction. Try to follow these easy steps:

1) SMILE –  Make sure your twitter page is ready to welcome potential followers. Do change the default settings, change the avatar or picture- it shows you care. But content is king! Make sure you include all the relevant information. Always mention your website if you have one, and make the most of the 160 characters of your BIO: use keywords relevant for your sector/area, to describe your company. Highlight its strengths and its main focus, its USP. Followers may return to your profile rarely, but they will almost certainly visit your twitter page at least once, and that will probably be the most important visit.

2) BE VISIBLE –  Use hashtags and keywords in your tweets. Try to figure out what your targeted audience would search for and use those words in your tweets. Find out how people search for your website if you have one. What terms are they using? Hashtags are good because they make your tweets more visible in twitter search, but don’t abuse them. If your tweets look like a censored conversation (you know what I mean, RT # @# @# thx ##ff## @@####) chances are they will be totally ignored.

3) BE YOURSELF  – If you keep hiding yourself behind other people’s links and RTs, the real you won’t be seen. You need a voice and authenticity otherwise followers will lose interest in you and your product/service.

4) DONT SPAM, don’t mass follow, don’t use automated DMs for your new followers, don’t do anything impersonal and automated. Don’t try to sell your products / services all the time: it takes a click to unfollow you, even less than what it takes to bin spam email or to shred advertising material just come through the post.

5) BE FRIENDLY – Make the most of some twitter “events” such as the #FollowFriday, keeping in mind that you only get what you give. Spend those 5 minutes every Friday to hashtag users you find interesting. Someone will eventually include you in their #ff.

6) LISTEN – Take your time and see who is already talking about your product/service on twitter: what are they saying? By all means tweet your own content, but it really helps if you understand the twitter dynamics for your specific sector/area.

7) BE INTERESTING – There is nothing more boring than a constant stream of tweets that sing the praises only of your products and services. Interesting content that is not entirely self-serving will build your reputation as an honest broker and worth listening to, and perhaps most importantly generate retweets so making your name spread more widely.

Okay so what about targeting tweeple to follow and so raise your profile?

1) KEEP LISTENING –  By doing this you will identify who are the most influential twitterers among your targeted audience.. so follow them, follow who follows them, and pay extra attention to the interactions going on. Try to engage them into conversations as much as possible. If they communicate with you a lot, they will eventually mention you and you should get some RELEVANT followers from them.

2) SEARCH – Use twitter ADVANCED SEARCH to find conversations about your niche, services or products. Don’t be lazy and think that setting a series of one-word searches on your Tweetdeck is enough, far from it. Search for combination of words, even whole sentences that you think would be part of the conversation among your targeted customers.

3) CHECK DIRECTORIES –  Use twitter directories like WeFollow, they may help with targeted searches. You can also include yourself in them, in order to be found by other people.

Last but not least.. Be patient. It takes time and effort. A solid follower base can be a fabulously valuable asset for your brand and it can only be built through QUALITY conversations. Always remember you simply can’t buy customer loyalty.

For more advice and tips, please contact us!

Social Media – It’s so much more than marketing.

Social Media – It’s so much more than marketing.

Social Media has so many applications in a business context. Make sure your Social Media partner understands them. To twintangibles Social Media has the potential to transform the way that we do business because of the way the technologies and sensibilities that underpin it radically alter the dynamic of communication and collaboration.

So why is so much of the buzz about Social Media focused solely on Marketing?

Just the other day I had a discussion with someone who was endeavouring to re invent “Social Media” as “Social Media Marketing” – that is to say adding an extra word to create a new phrase that encompassed all Social Media related activity under the banner of marketing. Hmmm?!!!

Well, marketing is an important aspect of the application of Social Media in the work place but consider the graphic below to reflect just a few of the other applications for Social Media – each of which is a key component in value generation for businesses.

Some uses for SM

A few of the many uses of Social Media

To ignore these opportunities you would be missing a trick. It’s a bit like having a Swiss Army knife and only using the screwdriver because it’s the only tool you can use!

Consider as well how these technologies and techniques can be applied both inwardly and outwardly facing for organisations and you begin to grasp the breadth of opportunity on offer here.

If you are looking for partners in any of your ventures into the realm of Social Media make sure they are capable of addressing the specific needs of the application you are considering, or if you are inviting partners to help you understand the value of Social Media to your business make sure that they do truly understand these applications and are not just marketeers.

To investigate these areas in a bit more depth and to give you the opportunity to test the credentials of your potential partners we will look at the role of Social Media in a number of these areas in the coming blog posts. Stay tuned and follow our twitter @twintangibles feed to keep in touch.

Scottish Craft Breweries use of Social Media

Scottish Craft Breweries use of Social Media

Survey Summary

In September 2010 we carried out a survey on the use of Social Media within the Scottish micro-brewery sector.
We found a generally low take up in the use of SM, with perhaps two or three notable exceptions. These notable exceptions include the clear leader in the sector Brewdog who have usefully used the power of Social Media to launch a successful share issue, and drive brand awareness and engagement up on an international scale. Typically the most active users of social media are those organisations that have a younger demographic in senior management.

However, for the generality and majority of brewers in the sector this would appear to represent a missed opportunity for a sector which would seem to have the characteristics of one that is well suited to benefit from engagement in Social Media.

Whilst it is possible to avoid the use of Social Media, its very nature means that others will almost certainly be using it to talk about your company and brand. We believe that it is much more sensible to be part of that conversation than ignoring it.

Typically smaller enterprises find it hard to find the resource to take the time to understand, set up and maintain a Social Media presence, and for those not familiar with its use it can be harder to recognise the opportunity it represents. However companies like Twintangibles can offer a cost effective solution to those problems.

Background

Our survey – carried out during September 2010 identified 58 active, i.e. operating, trading or brewing Craft or Micro breweries in Scotland.

The intention was to establish the extent to which these organisations had a Social Media presence.

Social Media, which typically includes applications such as twitter, Facebook and YouTube to name a few, offers a powerful armoury of tools that can raise and extend profile and brand awareness for smaller organisations, and to generate deep customer insight and customer led innovation. Our survey was driven by a view that the craft beer consumer has characteristics that suggest Social Media would have particular interest and application to them and so craft beer producers would do well to consider the use of Social Media to generate value for their business.

Findings

Websites: Used as an indicator of the most basic online presence of the 58 active breweries 57 have a website of some sort and these varied in quality and scope from self produced single page sites to sophisticated professionally produced branded, community and e-commerce offerings.

Facebook: Of the active breweries 28 have a Facebook account associated with them. Some of these appear to be fan sites created by fans of the brewery but not employed or with any direct association with them, whilst others are created by the brewery itself or those directly employed and associated with it.
Of this 28, using the very modest criteria set out below – 11 were considered active. That is to say they were being used actively in some way and were not simply place holders or static “brochure ware” presences.

The average number of FB Members or Likes was 337. This may seem quite high but is skewed by the breadth of span of numbers which ranged from 1 to 1993.

Twitter: Of the 58 breweries we identified 12 had identifiable Twitter accounts of which we defined 9 as being active accounts.

Average number of followers is 693 with a span ranging from 30 to 4205. Once again the relatively small number of very active accounts skews the average upwards. Average number for Following was 196 with a range of 1-1025. Average Lists 60 span being 0 – 383

Other online Activity

There is some blogging, some flickr and other picture sharing services used and mashed up in the best examples, and some use of YouTube. Wikipedia entries existed for 25 of the breweries some of which are now no longer active or trading entities.

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twintangibles Ltd is a company registered in Scotland with company number SC397987. Registered office is Blue Square House, 272 Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G2 4JR

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twintangibles, Blue Square House, 272 Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G2 4JR