Tag Archives: business

[Slideshow] 3 challenges for social media marketers

Today I’d like to talk about three challenges you’re most likely to encounter when running social media accounts for business.

Social Fish asked the attendees of its workshop what the biggest challenge they’ve ever encountered for using social media and categorizes their challenges into three groups: individual, internal process, and structure and culture challenges. I’ll pick one challenge from each category and discuss them.

* If the video won’t play, watch it on YouTube.

1. Individual Challenge: Time Management

Personally this was the number one biggest challenge when I was running a Twitter account for my client. Because everything is happening in real time and you need to react in real time too, it is hard to predict what your schedule will be like when you start a day. In the morning, your day starts as an easy one but in the afternoon it may suddenly get busy. Also, if you’re in charge of other tasks besides social media management, you must be very good at multitasking and getting things done quickly. Very quickly without errors. And it would be the worst if you’re the only one running social media while handling other projects like me… Managing your time well is key for doing social media marketing.

2. Internal Process Challenge: Competition about Message and Time

Have you ever had an experience of being asked different things by different clients from the same company/department? Say, you’re asked to create a flyer for TV. Because the space is limited, you can feature one topic and need to list others in bullet points only. Client A wants you to create a flyer featuring image quality, while Client B wants you to create one focusing on design. Would you imagine how hard it is if you’re in the same situation when you create a tweet within 140 letters and ask your clients to make a decision as soon as possible?

In addition, don’t expect everyone at your agency or client’s company knows how social media works. One day, one of our followers asked us a very technical question which neither of my client or me could answer. My client asked a technician working in a different department to answer the follower’s question. Because the technician was working in a different department than my client and (I think) didn’t know well how quickly people on Twitter usually expect to get a reply, it took a few days to get an answer from him. His answer was perfect but we kept our follower waiting for pretty long. We were not sure if he was satisfied with the answer, since we didn’t get a reply from him again.

3. Structure and Culture Challenge: Leadership

If your boss or client is open to new technology and eager to learn about it, you’re very fortunate. If they are not, I feel you. It’s a huge challenge if you are working with someone who knows little about how social media works for business but wants to take a leadership as s/he’s always been doing. You need some time and patience to educate them about social media.

Social media has changed how marketing works but also how we work. How is your workplace adopting social media? What challenges have you faced so far? Feel free to make a comment!

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Filed under MKTG 1552, Social Media, Twitter

Top-ten tips for using Twitter for business

You want to use Twitter for your business and think it’s a piece of cake because you already have your personal account and have been using it for a while? Wrong! You cannot tweet random things like you do from your personal account. Moreover, you must have solid plans and strategies to reach your target.

Here’s the top-ten tips for using Twitter for business.

1. Choose a username which best describes your business

If you get an account for your company, it’s the best to choose your company’s name as your username. If you create an account for your company’s product, service, brand line or community, use its name. If the name is long, make it short. If the username you’d like to get is not available, choose a similar name. Do not create a username which is very long or does not describe what your account will be focusing on at all. The important thing is choose a simple name so that people can easily type it, remember it and recognize it as your business.

2. Engage with your audience

Push marketing won’t work on Twitter. Start a conversation with your audience and ask them questions. Retweet, favorite and reply to tweets from your audience and even those outside of your circle. Interacting with your audience is crucial to build a strong relationship between you and your audience. If someone says a good thing about you, thank them. If someone complains about you, ask them what their problem is and what you can do for them.

3. Use hashtags

Tweet with hashtags relevant to your tweets to reach wider audience. For example, if your company attends an event, use the hashtag(s) for the event. By doing so, people interested in the event or attending it can see a whole conversation regarding the event when they search for the hashtag(s). You can even create a unique hashtag for your business so that your audience can find the conversations about specific topics they’re interested in. Yet do some research before using it. Make sure your hashtag is unique. Don’t use those already used for another topic, which may confuse your audience.

4. Utilize useful Twitter tools

There’re tons of Twitter tools out there. Some of my recommendations for account management are HootSuite, TweetDeck, Buffer and Echofon. When I was in charge of a Twitter account for one of my clients, I used HootSuite. With HootSuite, you can schedule your tweets, analyze your activity, customize your stream with your timeline, @ tweets, lists, etc., and do many more. If you have multiple Twitter accounts or other social media accounts including Facebook and Google+, you can manage up to 5 accounts with HootSuite.

For URL shortening services, Bitly is the best in my opinion. Not only can you shorten links, but  you can also customize a short domain if you’re a Pro user. If you’re not a Pro user, you can still customize the ending of links (e.g. bit.ly/cancustomizehere). Bitly also offers the stats for all of your bit.ly links. And even if you’re a HootSuite user and use ow.ly links, you can also check the stats for any ow.ly links you share through your account(s) by connecting your Twitter account to your Bitly.

If you’d like to know more about other awesome Twitter tools, read 10 Twitter Tools Used by Social Media Experts at KISSmetrics.

5. Analyze your tweets

Analyzing your activity is important. Check how many times your links are clicked and shared, from where and through what channel they are clicked, what the peak traffic time is and so on. Rebuild your strategies and evaluate your activity based on the analysis in order to improve your social media marketing.

6. Tweet updates on your website and other social media accounts

Never think your Twitter account and your website or other social accounts are separated things. Keep your audience updated with your online activities besides Twitter. Lead them to your website or blog. Twitter is limited in space to talk deeply about your business. Get your audience know more about you by driving traffic to your website and other social media accounts.

7. Connect your social media presence on your website

Like I said in #6, promote all of your online activities! Add a link to your Twitter account on your home page, blog, Facebook, etc. It’s also a good idea to display your timeline on your website.

8. Share photos and videos

Don’t just text tweets. Post photos and videos too. According to Track Social Blog, tweets with photos outperform text tweets by 91% for Twitter engagement. Similar data can be found for Facebook engagement at HubSpot as well.

9. Talk about non-business topics too

Show your personality! Post humorous tweets sometimes. Let your audience know who you are to make them feel close to you and want to follow your account.

10. Use effectively your profile photo, cover image, background and profile

Make sure you upload your profile photo, cover image and background to show the audience your brand story. Also, tell who you are in your user profile. It’d be nice to tell your audience when your active time is so they know when they can receive a reply from you. If you don’t plan to respond to every @ tweet, let your audience know that in advance. For example, write “Unfortunately we cannot reply to everyone, but we appreciate all of your replies.” in your profile.

I could go on and on forever but I’ll stop here. I’m sure you have other tips you want to add to this list. Please feel free to share your insights!

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Filed under MKTG 1552, Social Media, Twitter