Top 5 Ways to Tweet Like a Pro

Sike Social Twitter

Many digital experts believe that a presence on Twitter is a key piece in a successful social media strategy. We can’t help but agree! Read on to find out how you can amplify your tweets to make the most of this popular platform.

#1: Be short & sweet. You only have 140 characters, so use them wisely! Like many journalists or writers, think about what is most important about your message and use words or terms to succinctly get that idea across to your followers.

#2: Enter the conversation. Don’t make the mistake of tweeting in a vacuum. Join events taking place in real time by using a pre-existing hashtag and providing useful info to your fans. Don’t forget to RT (occasionally) to show your support of others as well!

#3: Don’t over hashtag. Although hashtags are a great way to aggregate content, be mindful of which ones you use — and how often. Stick to two or three and make sure they pack a punch. For example, #social may be too broad, where as #socialmedia or #socialmediamarketing will carry more weight and will get more eyeballs on your content.

#4: Request a RT. Asking your fans to RT your content (every now and then) is acceptable and could bring your RT rate up by 12x, versus not asking. Make sure you leave enough characters in your tweet for your followers to add their own two cents!

#5. A photo is worth a 1000 words. If you have a relevant image to tweet with your message, do it! A tweet with an attached photo receives up to two times more engagement than those who don’t.

Some more tips?

  • Be consistent when tweeting! Once you tweet, it literally disappears in seconds on a follower’s feed. As a result, make sure that you’re tweeting several times a day, throughout the day. Use a platform like HootSuite or Tweetdeck to schedule tweets!
  • Make sure that your company is following the right people. There are many fake accounts out there, so choose wisely by looking for quality content — not just people looking for more followers!

Got more? Let us know in the comments below!

— Samantha

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Three Ways Brands Successfully Use Vine

When Instagram introduced their video feature, many thought Vine would soon be on its way out. While Instagram may have the advantage when it comes to number of users, we still see great opportunity with Vine, especially for brands. Vine offers a fantastic platform for brands to connect with their audience in a whole new way. Below, we have highlighted three such ways brands are successfully tapping into their Vine following.

1) Announcing New Products

New product promotion is always incredibly important to a brand. After all, whats the point of developing the latest and greatest if nobody knows about it? Here are two examples from Twitter and Puma of how to effectively promote a new product in six seconds:

2) Behind the Scenes

People love seeing behind the scenes footage. Whether it’s from the Super Bowl or the Grammys, audiences love exclusive material that the average consumer might not get. Here is a Vine from a Kate Spade fashion shoot and one from an XBOX event:

3) Straight Up Entertainment

One of the best ways to succeed in social media is simply create content people want to share. Regardless of topic, the more people linking your content, the bigger audience you reach. Here is a cool video from Urban Outfitters on glow-in-the-dark body paint and another one from Oreo, who may have just revolutionized your ice coffee:

-Mike & Samantha

Most Relevant Factors in Search Marketing

Simply put: If a customer cannot find your company online, they’ll probably head to your competitor.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, plays an integral part in increasing an online presence for a business. It’s the process of garnering traffic from free and organic listings on search engines including Google, Yahoo and bing and giving certain content higher ranking to those that are most relevant to users.

A 2013 study completed by Searchmetrics uncovered the best and most relevant factors in search marketing. Based on the numbers, it’s clear that a higher ranking eCommerce site will increase sales. About 33% of traffic floats to the top listing in Google’s organic search results, while 18% of traffic goes to a second spot, etc. The key takeaway? If a company’s website doesn’t show up on the first page of a customer’s search results, a business will risk great revenue decreases.

Other factors in the report that increase SEO include backlinks, on-page technology and great content. The factor that got our attention? “Social signals continue to correlate very well with better rankings.” After the past year, Searchmetrics found that there’s a direct correlation of URLs that garner large numbers of social engagement and those that are highlighted in the top of search results. The more you tweet/post/comment, the better your SEO!

Great news for us digital marketers where likes, shares, comments and tweets are pushed on the regular. Although we’re always trying to find new and better ways spread the news about a business, it’s nice to know that our efforts on social are actually making an impact.

Here’s to a better relationship between social media and search!

— Samantha & Mike

Ranking Factors 2013

DO’s & DON’Ts for Community Managers

Community managers have created a true strategy for word-of-mouth marketing, but there are certainly rules to this type of work. Those that follow them can successfully grow their brand. Those that don’t, can wind up in a boatload of customer service trouble — and much faster than you think thanks to socially savvy consumers.

Originally, community management was done by young interns, who did not have the full ability to run a brand online. A study completed by Social Fresh in 2013 stated that the average age of community managers has increased to those in their 30s. Additionally, the pay has increased to an average of $60k which competes with many mid-level jobs within the marketing industry. (See below for a infographic from Social Fresh for more details!)

Having said this, the last few years of experience have evolved community managers into a true voice behind a company. With every post and tweet, they represent the business and should embody its exact personality and tone. When one has this much power and those on the outskirts are watching, it’s imperative that a CM’s actions 100% reflect the brand’s messaging and beliefs to create a seamless extension of the business throughout the online space.

Community managers must be creative, flexible and willing to go above and beyond. Most importantly, CMs must be consistent. And because they’re “virtually visible,” they automatically gain more responsibility. Everyone (customers, competitors, etc.) online can see their responses 24/7.

Here are some general DOs & DON’Ts for community managers:

DOs:

  • Be an expert of your company (or product).
  • Monitor, consistently.
  • Encourage engagement by genuinely interacting with fans.
  • Respond in a timely manner.
  • Be a friendly, approachable personality!
  • Listen to your fans and build relationships.
  • Don’t be afraid to take some conversations offline to better help a fan.
  • Truly resolve issues with the greater team to build a loyal community.
  • Thank your fans and show appreciation!

DON’Ts:

  • Be rude, sarcastic or defensive.
  • Delete comments, posts, tweets, etc.
  • Ignore people who are asking for help or answers!
  • Be ambiguous with your responses to fans.
  • Respond too quickly to those who may detract from your brand.
  • Use your social presence to blatantly ‘push’ products or services.

Comment below to add any DO’s & DON’Ts that I may have missed!

— Samantha

Community Manager Report 2013

Facebook to Add Shared Photo Albums

In the latest & greatest updates on social media, Facebook has announced that they will be adding a brand new feature to their site. Shared photo albums will be in incorporated into the already photo-friendly social platform on Monday, which will let multiple Facebook users to add photos to the same album.

Unlike before when fans could only add pics to albums they created, the new shared photo albums will be able to ask others (up to 50 fans) to add images to a single shared album.

Facebook Shared Albums

With new privacy and editing settings, Facebook hopes that creating sharable albums will be easier for the user. Now, fans will be able to create albums for events like birthday parties, weddings and vacations, where photos from multiple sources can be added together to form more compelling collections of stories.

Although this new feature will continue to evolve over the next few months including increasing the photo limits and extended mobile abilities, we can’t wait to experience this highly collaborative way to share experiences with friends and family. In addition, we’re excited to see how this roll-out will impact businesses to better showcase events, product launches and more!

How do you plan on using a shared photo album on Facebook?

— Samantha & Mike

Choosing Which Platform is Right for Your Brand

Jumping into social media can be a scary thought for any brand. There are so many options these days, from Facebook to Pinterest, where do you start? For example, you want to do some research like identifying where your customers are. This is not a new concept, just like in print advertising, you want to go where your target audience is. If you are selling custom NFL grill covers, it is probably not a good idea to advertise in People Magazine. Just like magazine readers, certain demographics gravitate to specific social media platforms.

There are a lot of factors to consider before setting up your social media presence. Just because social media is mostly free, that doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. After all, you would never start an expensive print ad campaign without doing extensive research first. Choosing that social media platform that is right for you is paramount, but how do you know which one is right? Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Who is my target demographic?
  • What are my objectives? (Improve SEO, Increase site traffic, Increase brand exposre, etc)
  • What platforms are my target demographic using?
  • What skills do I have that I can leverage on social media? (Copywriting, Graphic design, Photography, etc)

Now that we have you thinking a little more in-depth about social media and how it can help your business, take a look at this infographic by Social Barrel. Take it step by step and figure out exactly what platforms you can leverage for the best results.  Don’t waste your time and resources by investing in the wrong platforms, if you can successfully grow and cultivate your social presence, the results can be exponential.

how-brands-can-choose-the-right-social-media-platforms-for-their-goals-infographic

 

-Mike

Why People Overshare Online

Status Update on Facebook

We all have the friends on Facebook or Twitter who overshare the details of their lives with the rest of the internet. They’re the type of people who consistently update statuses and feel the need to share every detail of their lives — from what they last ate for lunch to their opinion of their favorite TV show. Although it’s certainly their right, what makes it so easy to overshare on social media platforms?

Author and social scientist, Sherry Turkle, believes after one shares feelings or thoughts in a public space, the brain’s neurochemical reward system is automatically triggered. This action, in addition to the idea that our private lives are constantly being infiltrated by reality TV and social media, adds to an innate urge to share.

In the most recent paper by Russell W. Belk titled “Extended Self in a Digital World,” he argues that people’s relationships with social media sites are ultimately allowing us to create a more complicated concept of who we believe we are as individuals. With the addition of various platforms that let us be creative through status updates, highly-edited pictures and funny videos, Belk says that humans are able to create a unique, desired identity in a space that makes us feel ‘invisible.’ Consequently, when individuals believe no one is listening or watching behind a screen, they gain more confidence to divulge personal details about their lives that wouldn’t typically be shared in normal day to day life.

Overall, it’s clear that the line between private and public is quickly disappearing with each status, tweet and Instagrammed photo. People want to be interesting, popular and cool. They want to be heard and respected — and will often give up such self-respect to feel valued by their peers. But how far is too far? And how much worse will it get as our world continues to highlight reality stardom and materialistic values?

Tell us: How much do you share via social media? 

— Samantha

The US Open Goes Social

The US Open is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world. Every late August & early September, it draws the league’s top players and thousands upon thousands of fans.

This year, the US Open (hosted in New York) will be accompanied by a brand new attraction: a 50-feet-by-8-feet social media wall that will aggregate all social content made by fans and players in real-time. Although the content will be monitored, fans will be able to send tweets, Instagrammed pics and more to better connect themselves to this world-famous event, using the official hashtag #usopen. It will also serve as a meeting spot for the over 700,000 attendees expected to be at the tournament.

US Open Social Media Wall

We think this is an amazing idea as it encourages tennis fans to engage with the US Open and with the sport of tennis in general. In fact, we love this social media wall so much that perhaps it should be rolled out to more sporting events in the future to help increase awareness for a particular team or brand partnership. Just think: Tens of thousands of fans at a baseball or football event would be able to watch a screen displaying not only the score, but a ticker or ‘wall’ of the latest social conversations taking place around the game. Fans would be able to view and engage with the current dialogue between team members, fans and even brands, therefore adding a truly personal experience to the event.

And although we’ve seen this at some basketball and hockey games by way of a social ‘ticker’ or half-time entertainment on the big screen, such a staple at every game would result in an automatic uptick in engagement numbers throughout a season. With more engagement comes better brand or team awareness, ultimately resulting in a higher interest in the game, more stadium tickets sold and better customers for those sponsored brands involved.

As huge sports and social media fans, we’re big supporters of a roll-out of this nature. Are you?

— Samantha & Mike

LinkedIn Lowers Age Minimum

LinkedIn Logo

When Facebook first started in 2004, it felt like it was exclusive to college kids. Since then a lot has changed, including new rules allowing people as young as 13 to young the top social media platform. It comes as no surprise that more and more social networking sites are increasing their user bases, including LinkedIn who is officially allowing users as young as 14 years old, starting on September 12.

It seems that many young people automatically gravitate to social media, both for social and now for career-based reasoning. Specifically speaking of LinkedIn, the increasingly popular platform has always had strong ties to businesses, which allow companies to scout new talent or for new recruits to network and research future employers. It’s been noted that many in higher education establishments are even using LinkedIn to demonstrate the effectiveness of education by highlighting where many alumni work after they’re done with schooling.

Personally, Mike & I believe that opening younger users to a more “academic” side of social media could be extremely beneficial — both to the user/student and to the business. Although networking with 14 year olds will certainly be something to get used to, we think this means bigger, smarter and more connected communities for upcoming generations.

Here’s to linking up with your babysitter or little cousin, and hopefully more career-minded individuals!

— Samantha & Mike

Teens No Longer Interested in Facebook

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Leave it to a 13 year-old to tell us how things really are. In this article, I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook, on Mashable.com, Ruby Karp explains how teens now see Facebook. It is no secret that Facebook has been losing part of its youngest demographic. They have been making up for these loses with additions from the older generations, but as we all know, without the youth on-board, Facebook’s future is not looking so bright. We are really impressed how Ruby was able to explain Facebook’s problems in such simple terms. For example:

Part of the reason Facebook is losing my generation’s attention is the fact that there are other networks now. When I was 10, I wasn’t old enough to have a Facebook. But a magical thing called Instagram had just come out … and our parents had no idea there was an age limit. Rapidly, all my friends got Instagrams.

We think this is an often overlooked fact. People seem to forget that when Facebook came out, the teens of today were not allowed to have accounts. Of course, when a teen is told they can’t have something, it makes them want it even more. However, now that this group is old enough to have a Facebook account, they have already moved on to the latest and coolest platform, as Ruby explains:

Now, when we are old enough to get Facebook, we don’t want it. By the time we could have Facebooks, we were already obsessed with Instagram. Facebook was just this thing all our parents seemed to have.

Facebook is now so popular with the parents, and even grandparents, of today that kids don’t want to be involved. Besides the obvious fact that what parents do is never “cool”, teens are afraid of the Big Brother effect Facebook can have. With people constantly sharing and over-sharing every aspect of their lives on Facebook, it is only a matter of time before a teen’s parent or grandparent sees something they shouldn’t have. Ruby perfectly sums that up by saying:

All of our parents and parents’ friends have Facebooks. It’s not just the fact that I occasionally get wall posts like, “Hello sweetie pie!” But my friends post photos that get me in trouble with those parents. 

Imagine your own teenage years if your parents could see your every move online, pretty scary thought huh? No matter what they are doing, innocent or not, no teenager wants their parents in on every aspect of their lives, and if not having a Facebook account can help keep that secrecy, the choice is obvious.

The final topic that Ruby brings up is Facebook’s ever-changing interface:

Look at something like Twitter, where it’s four buttons — people like the “simple” design better. In the end, Facebook has been trying too hard. Teens hate it when people try too hard; it pushes them away. It’s like if my mom told me not to do something — I immediately need to do it. When she forces something on me, I really don’t want to do it. 

We all get annoyed when Facebook updates their platform and overhauls the user interface. Just like Ruby said, we like simple and we like familiar.  Every time Facebook makes you relearn how to use their platform, it turns people off and forces them to other, more simple, platforms.

Will Facebook figure out a way to win back the teens? We think they probably will. You don’t get to where Facebook is without being able to adapt and solve problems. It will be very interesting to see how they do it, and what tactics they will use. Social media is built on trends, and nowhere is trending more important than with teenagers.

-Mike & Samantha