Recipe For A Successful Twitter Party

For years we have been hosting Twitter Parties, also referred to as Tweet Chats and have often been asked what our secret is to hosting a  successful Twitter party! Twitter parties are a highly effective way to build awareness for your brand and get you into the conversation. Think of a Twitter party as an organized gathering of Twitter users who have all come together to chat about a common topic.

All the ingredients needed for a successful Twitter Party:

Choose Your Topic Wisely – The key to a successful Twitter Party is to spark a conversation and to do this your topic must be interesting, relevant and engaging. These might sound like buzz words but it is truly all about the topic.  If you are selling a line of fitness gear talking strictly about your products will not entice anyone to join in.  However if you offer fitness tips and provide fitness related articles and examples you can be sure that you will engage in a real conversation with party goers.

Hire a Co-Host – One of the benefits to a Twitter Party is increasing your brand’s twitter following and reach.  Hiring a co-host will help you increase your overall reach and expose your brand to a new set of followers.  Choosing the right co-host is key! Look for an influencer who has a large twitter following and whose audience is similar to the audience you are trying to reach.  Co-hosts can also be an expert in your brand’s related field.  For example, if you are hosting a “fitness” related Twitter Party bringing on a local personal trainer or nutritionist would offer credibility to your brand, expert advice and exposure to your target market.

Timing is Key – Choosing the right date and time for your Twitter Party is critical to it’s success. Choose a time that your audience is likely to be online. If you are a local coffee shop why not host an early morning party  when your customers will likely be active on Twitter.  Twitter has become a busy platform for parties, especially during the evening hours, so be sure to check local Twitter Party calendars to see what date and time other parties are being hosted and avoid competing against conflicting parties.

Promotion – Spreading the word about your Twitter Party is key in ensuring that people will join in! Create an invitation, share it on social media, promote it with an ad and make sure that all of your followers are aware of the party date, time and rules & regulations.

Be Prepared– Twitter parties move fast and without the right organizational plan in place, a party can quickly get out of hand. Prepare a script ahead of time, schedule all of your brand’s questions and messaging (tools such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite are great for scheduling) and have a couple of people logged into your main account who are available to engage, retweet and respond.

We love a great Twitter Party and know from experience that they are an effective way to engage your audience and grow your following and online exposure. When done right you can host a successful and top trending Twitter Party for your brand!

Looking for help on hosting your first Twitter Party? Reach out and let H2O Digital help!

 

5 Best Social Media Practices

Social Media can feel like a big undertaking for any business, especially for a small business whose primary focus is growing their business.  The days of simply throwing up posts on Twitter and Facebook and hoping for engagement are over.  To truly reap the benefits of social media (and there are many benefits), a business most put in the time, effort and strategy behind their social media efforts.

We have put together our 5 Best Practices:

Have a Plan – Take the time to build a strategy behind your social media. It is no different than any other marketing tactics you plan for.  Think about what your goals are, who your audience is and what you hope to achieve through your social media efforts.  Once you have done this take the time to create an editorial calendar so that you are less likely to scramble with each post. Think about your editorial calendar as your social story. Craft the story and then tell it through your social posts. Having a plan will  save you time and make your social media efforts more effective.

Use Data- Understanding if your social media efforts are effective is key to the success of your social media marketing strategy. Platforms such as Facebook & Twitter provide free analytics that are readily available for you to review.  It is critical that you look at these weekly/ bi-monthly and assess what is working and what is not. The great thing about social media is that your efforts can be changed instantly. If a post isn’t gaining traction, simply try something new.

Create a System– As a business owner it is impossible to balance it all and social media can seem like a 24/7 commitment.  With the right scheduling tools like Buffer, Tweetdeck & Hootsuite you can be efficient in your social media planning.  Choose 1 day a week, block off a few hours and schedule your content for the week ahead.

Be Present– The key to any successful social media plan is to be social.  Scheduling is a great efficiency tool but it is imperative that you are  present to respond, engage and interact with your followers.  42% of customers who use social media as a forum to launch a complaint expect a 60 minute response time. This doesn’t mean you have to be on social all day/ every day but it does mean that you should be checking in and putting aside some time each day to be social.

Just Be You-There are no shortage of books that will teach you how to leverage social and become a social brand but the best tip we can share is to just be you. The personality behind your brand is what will help connect you to your customers.  Being authentic may sound like a cliche but it should not be overlooked. Your greatest asset is yourself.  Let your customers see who you are and why you are passionate about your business and your customers.

 

 

Social Media is not a one size fits all approach

Social media has emerged as a powerful marketing tool and in today’s digital driven world, your business needs to be in the social space.  However, social media for business is not a “one size fits all” approach.  Your customers go to social media for different things at different times and it is critical that you navigate through these waters to identify which is the right space for your business.

Every day it feels as if a new social media platform is being introduced to the market but that is not to say that each of these is the right fit for your brand.  Understanding what each platform has to offer and what audience they attract is key to identifying the right platform for your brand.

Let’s take a look at what each has to offer for your business:

Facebook: The most popular of the bunch, Facebook is a great tool for engaging with customers through posts, stories, photos and articles. Building a Fan page is a great forum for conversation but this tool is no longer simply a “free” option. Facebook offers many advertising options to acquire fans, reach and engage them and these options are necessary in having an effective fan page that will grow over time.

Twitter:  The very premise of Twitter is based on bite size conversations. With only 140 characters to say your peace.  Twitter provides a forum for real conversation. Used correctly and consistently you can connect with your audience and your customers and build true engagement.

Instagram: One of the fastest growing platforms with over 400 million monthly users, the once trendy IOS only app is now a mainstream staple in the social media world. Based on photos, editing and filters, Instagram is an incredibly popular visual tool that allows you to connect with your customers through photos, product images, behind the scenes and more. Its users expect creativity and quality photos so try to avoid stock photography and standard product images.

Pinterest: Classically known for its array of recipes, crafts and outfits, Pinterest has emerged on the scene as one of the most powerful Social Media platforms. For businesses in retail, fashion and service industries Pinterest provides a “scrapbook” approach that allows you to show off your product lines and entice your customers through beautiful images that link back to your site where they can purchase those picture perfect products.

LinkedIn: As the only truly B2B platform LinkedIn has created an online networking event that you can join as often as you please. LinkedIn allows you to connect with your customers, colleagues and associates while generating new leads through posts, ads and sponsored updates.

Periscope: The newest player in the social media game is Periscope.  It’s “in the moment” approach offers users a chance to engage with your business in real time. The very essence of social media is about connection and Periscope has created a space where your brand can share live updates, Q&A’s, behind the scenes and more simply by logging in and hitting “start broadcast”. There is no need for a fancy video production or a rehearsed performance. You can be yourself and interact with your customers in real time.

Your business model and consumer base should dictate which social media channels your business chooses to appear on. It is more important that you are consistent and authentic with your online voice,  than it is to be on all channels and only somewhat engaged.   Do your homework, feel out the various platforms and create a strategy that you can successfully stick to.

 

Paid vs Organic Social Media

Overhead view of an desk

Back in the day social media marketing was an organic marketing tool with a focus on creating engaging and interesting content that people would want to read. Brands have spent the last few years working diligently in hopes that people would consume and then share their content.

Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram created forums of open conversation and free promotion for brands. It seemed too good to be true (especially for a small business) and maybe it was.

Paid vs Organic

Fast forward 3 years and now we have platforms where brands have created fan bases and loyal followings. They might even feel like they finally have a hang of this whole social media world. The only problem is now these loyal followings aren’t seeing your brands posts in their feeds anymore. Now these platforms that brands have built a marketing strategy around are now limiting when a brands posts will be seen and by whom.

The Days of Paid Social Media are here

The landscape of social media has changed and there is no going back. Brands not only have to continue creating engaging and interesting content but now they must learn how to maneuver through the many paid advertising options.

The strategy your brand created last week, last month or last year will not be as effective today. The question is why?

The answer is somewhat simple.

Social networks have exploded and with millions of users and these same platforms need and want revenue in order to continue offering a free platform for users. These platforms also have a responsibility to their users to deliver content that is relevant to them. With so many users logging in daily,  platforms simply can’t deliver all content to all users.

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The very premise of organic social media is based on “earning” your way into a user’s newsfeeds. Great content that people want to consume being delivered to their feed. In turn those same users share your content helping to increase its engagement. The more users interact with your content the more play it gets. The playing field is fair for all brands or atleast it was.

Paid social media is a whole other beast. Now brands have to create posts that grab people’s attention, stand out among the fierce competition and that fit within the parameters set out by each platform. Paid social media is about positioning your brand in front of a highly targeted audience and in many ways interrupting their daily dose of social media with your brands messaging. To be successful at this tactic you gotta be good and you gotta pay up!

When creating your marketing strategy a brand must have 2 buckets. 1 for organic and 1 for paid. Each approach requires different elements. What remains the same is the need for good content, relevant content and timely content. While the strategies are similar the execution is vastly different.

Things to consider:

  • Develop a paid and organic strategy for your brand
  • Develop content with a compelling call to action (you have limited space to make an impression)
  • Determine who your audience is and what platform they are on
  • Trial and Error – the paid space is new and ever emerging. Try a few different ads and see which performs and delivers results
  • Set a budget – There is no need to break the bank on a social media ad spend. Start small and increase your budget as you see results

 

3 Ways To Simplify Your Social Media

Travel Trailer Camping

By now you know your brand needs to be on social media. You also know that its not enough to just be “on” social media.  The question most often asked is “how as a business owner can I find the time to do social right”.  The answer is, social media does not have to be stressful, it is something that can be managed and organized in a way that will not only work but show you a clear ROI.

3 simple tips to simplify your social media:

Strategize

Before you jump in the social game, take the time to build a social strategy.  Define who your brand is and research which platforms best suit your brand.  If you are a fashion designer for example, you need to be spending your time posting images and creating boards on pinterest. This strategy however would not work as well for an accountant.  Understanding where your customers spend their time is key in planning where you will reach them.  Once you have chosen your platforms work on a strategy for how and when you will post.

Things to consider:

  1. What content is relevant to your customers?
  2. What expertise can you share with your customers. Always be thinking of the takeaway.
  3. How many platforms fit your brand?
  4. How much time per week can you devote to Social Media?

Schedule

Your time is best spent running your business and managing your social media can be a full time job.   I have always been a firm believer in real time marketing, be present, be engaging and be in the moment.  The beauty of scheduling is you can now do both! Tools such as Hootsuite & Tweetdeck  make scheduling your tweets and posts quick and simple. You can even schedule the exact same posts to appear on multiple networks simultaneously. The key to scheduling is to set aside time each week to work on your social content for the upcoming week. Once the hard part is done the scheduling is quick and can be done in under an hour.

The key to scheduling is to not become complacent.  Social Media is a 2 way street and your success relies on the engagement with your followers.  Take time each day to respond, share and chat with those who took the time to engage with your scheduled posts.

Outsource

When people think of outsourcing their first feeling is often one of losing control.  Outsourcing your social media does not mean you have to lose your online voice, in fact when done properly it is the perfect solution and one that allows you to continue doing what you do best…running your business.  A good community manager does not take over your voice, they in fact become an extension of your brand.  A seamless voice that works harmoniously with you to create the online presence you envisioned without the daily worry of taking it all on your own.  The cost of outsourcing may seem daunting for a small business but think about where you time is best spent and most valuable.  Most community mangers work remotely and simply need a laptop and smart phone.  Strategy sessions and check ins can be done via skype and held once a week. Your best investment to a successful social strategy is to have the right person managing it while still allowing you to run your business.

Social Media is here to stay and is changing rapidly with each new app and platform that enters the market.   With the right strategy and systems in place you can build a successful social media presence for your brand, while still concentrating on your business.