7 reasons why you should be using Twitter for your business

It’s 2015 and if you haven’t started using Twitter for your business yet, why not?!  Here are 7 reasons why you should make getting Twitter active your new year’s resolution:

1, People buy from people

We have all had crappy faceless customer service from big brand companies and been left feeling dejected, frustrated and put off.  Twitter – on the other hand – often gives us the opportunity to speak directly to retailers / designers / business owners about their products and it gives you, as a business owner the opportunity to show off your skills and speak directly to your customers. People are more likely to buy from you / into you if they feel like they know you.

2, Customer service

Following on from point one, Twitter is a great tool for customer service and more and more people are using it to approach businesses, I regularly use it to ask questions / find out more about services or complain and get good results.  There are some great tips here on how to use Twitter for customer service and support.

3, Brand awareness

You need to be where your customers are and if you are developing great content on Twitter that people are sharing you will expand the awareness of your brand and the more people that know about you, the more potential customers you have.

4, Educate your customers

Twitter is a great way to tell people about what you are doing, how your business works or why your business is unique.  It gives your customers the opportunity to know more about you, share information that make you shine.

5, Networking

Offline networking is great, combine it with online networking and you’ll supercharge your efforts.  Twitter is a great place to learn about meet ups, get involved with local business groups and just plain network!

6, SEO: Google loves social

I probably don’t need to tell you this but Social Media can have a dramatic effect on the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) of your business, being social is often the fasted way to increase your online reach.  Here’s a great article explaining more.

7, It’s a social world!

We meet and hang out offline and we meet and hangout online, people are social animals, we need each other and as Bob Hoskins said in that BT ad

“It’s good to talk!”

bob hoskins

What are you waiting for?

Twitter Tips: Why add a full stop before an @mention on Twitter

Have you scrolled through your Twitter feed and seen a couple of tweets starting with a full stop before an @mention and wondered why? 

It’s one of Twitter’s quirks that plays a huge role in what appears on your feed. When you tweet directly to someone and @mention them at the start of your Tweet, or when you ‘reply’ to a Tweet eg;

@dotsocialise thanks for the great #socialmedia tip

This Tweet will only appear in the feeds of users who follow both you and the person you are Tweeting. The reason for this is a good one, it prevents us from flooding other people’s streams when we’re having a Twitter conversation (we don’t need to share everything)

Now, if you add a full stop or any other icon before the @mention your tweet will appear in all of your followers feeds, for example;

.@DotSocialise post great #SocialMedia tips

In summary:
.Dot before you @mention at the start of a tweet to ensure your message is seen

And leave the .Dot out if you’re having a chinwag

NOTE: This trick is only for when you @mention people in the beginning of your Tweet or for replies that you want everyone to see.

Why using TrueTwit makes you look like a True Twit

If you are a TrueTwit user, please don’t take this post personally.  You might be new to Twitter and you might think that you need some kind of validation service for your account to protect you from unwanted followers but you really don’t.

TrueTwit promises three things to its users; spam avoidance, follower management and follower verification.  If you use a Twitter validation service, like TrueTwit, ALL of your new followers will be sent a validation request by direct message.  They then have to complete a CAPTCHA form and you are sent an email confirming they are a TrueTwit-validated human!captcha

Here’s what TrueTwit aims to do and why we don’t think it is a great idea:

  • Avoid Twitter spam – Twitter is an open social platform and one-way relationships are possible. If your account is public there is nothing stopping a bored individual or spambot from sending ‘spam’ messages to your account. You can’t really stop this.  TrueTwit doesn’t do anything to prevent this because it can’t. Plus, it isn’t only bots that send spam, real people spam too and they find filling in a CAPTCHA form easy!  If you get spam messages you can, through Twitter itself ,block the user, or block the user and report them for spam, report them as annoying or report the user as abusive (in violation of the Twitter Rules).
  • Save time managing your followers – The truth is, TrueTwit actually makes you look unsociable.  It can put people off following you and prevent you from growing your following.  It might save you time managing followers because people who might have followed you otherwise are PUT OFF following you, because they have to go through a validation process!
  • Verify people from robots – These days, most computers and programs can figure out CAPTCHA.  There are some clever bots out there!

So if TrueTwit doesn’t do any of the things it promises to do, what does it actually do?

First Impressions last

If the first contact someone receives from you is this:

@blahblahblah uses TrueTwit validation. To validate click here: http://truetwit.com/vy303452218

What do you think is their first impression of you?

TrueTwit can come across as alienating and rude.  Some people won’t click through to validate and some people will think that you don’t really know what you’re doing on Twitter.  You can also look like a spammer yourself.   How many messages on Twitter do you avoid like the plague?  We never click on the dodgy-looking link, do we?

Twitter is all about sharing

What we love about Twitter is that anyone can find and follow you.  People will choose to follow you because they are interested in what you might have to say.  If when they click to follow you and they get a DM asking you to validate yourself, do you think they’re interested enough at that stage to bother?  If your business or brand relies relies upon or is trying to create open communication you should think twice about placing this kind of roadblock between you and your audience.

In Summary:  Please don’t used TrueTwit, especially for business accounts, it makes you look like a bit of a Twit.

 

Online monitoring using Google Alerts

For monitoring what’s going on in your industry online and topics of interest, what people are taking about or saying about you and your business, this is such an easy and simple way to get this information regularly without any fuss.

A Google Alert generates search engine results, based on a search you request, and sends it to you by email.   This means you can keep up with what is new about a topic, company, industry and see what is being shared online about you and your business without having to go actively searching for it.    You can use this information to make sure you don’t miss anything being posted about you and/or your business, to create new content or comment on new developments in your field, or just share new or interesting information on your social media channels.

It’s VERY simple to do, just go to Google Alerts.  You can decide how often you want to be notified, what language, region and which type of results you get in ‘Sources’.   If you leave it to Automatic you’ll get a mixture though, if you prefer a particular format you can select to receive news, web, video, blogs etc.

It even gives you some Alert Suggestions and a preview of the kind of content you will be getting depending on your search terms, so you can change or improve what you are wanting to receive before you confirm the alert.  You can select how often you receive them too.  We suggest you set some up and alter then alter them to suit until you start receiving exactly what you’re looking for.

It’s such an eady and simple way of improving your online presence and knowledge.  Just try it out at Google Alerts, and if you really need full step-by-step instructions find them here at WikiHow.

 

To keep up with us at Dot Social, if you’re local to Croydon you could meet us at one of our events, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Sharing your location on Twitter

If you add your location to your tweets using a mobile app, you attach your specific location to your tweets. When you tweet from twitter.com, you can choose to attach a more general location like a city name.  We find local cities and towns in the UK don’t come up though. The site just offers London normally if that’s where you are, or you can add / be in Scotland or Wales!  If you want to be more specific it’s best to be using an app or mobile.

Tweeting your location allows your followers to see where you are, gives you location-specific ‘trends’ and you’ll also get commercial tweets tailored to your location, which can mean more great local offers.

As described before in our blog on Local Marketing Tips, marketing and selling can often be linked with local connections, so sharing where you are, where you’re going or where you’ve been could be that last connection that gets you that business meeting, or a sale that you might not otherwise have got. It might even mean a new supplier or a special offer finding you too.

As with most social media sites and apps etc, you can amend your privacy in the settings, under ‘Security and Privacy’. Even if you opt-in for ‘tweet location’, you can still turn your location on or off before each tweet so it only shares where you are when you want it to.  You can also delete all the previously stored location information. You might want to do this is you’ve moved your office or moved house so you stop getting irrelevant information and ads.

Shared locations become really powerful for businesses when they’re used to search out people, connections and prospects via the Twitter Advanced Search facility, or on Hootsuite’s location search.  Following others who share their location could bring you more business and certainly get you leads.

So, we would advise having the facility on and deciding tweet by tweet if you want to share your current location.

 

If you’re local, you can come and meet our team at the ‘Tweetup’ on 8th October, from 7.15pm at Matthew’s Yard, Croydon. These are monthly social meet-ups. See our Events page!

What you can do with the iOS8 update by Apple

So, we’ve had a few days to play with Apple’s  iOS 8 up-date and here are our favourites and top tips to use regularly.

The double-click –  Use the double click on the home button from anywhere to see your favourite contacts now at the top.  You can also scroll through what apps you have open here too. To set up your Favourites or change the order so your top three or four appear first, go to Phone, then Favourites and edit them by dragging them up or down using your finger to the right of the screen.

Quick Reply –  For me this is an ‘at last!’ update.  You can now pull down the message and type a reply without having to load the messages app.  When you’ve replied you are straight back to whatever you were doing.

Taking photos – There’s a new timer and time-lapse mode.  Don’t forget our previous blog on using Pano mode too.

Edit photo  Now you can improve your photos right on your phone.  Change any skew by rotating in degrees and adjust brightness, contract and exposure etc.  It’s like having a little version of Photoshop on your phone.

Sending photos – It’s now really easy to send a recent photo you’ve taken without leaving the message screen.  Click the attach photo button, scroll along your recent photos to send, or tap to open your full photo library.

Predictive text –  QuickType’s suggestions of words or phrases can even now follow your usual written style, even down to the difference in the way you might type more casually in text messages and more formally in an email. The more you use it, the more it learns how you type and how to spell special words you use, names and phrases.  Personally, I’m loving this so do give it a good go but if you really don’t like it you can hide this QuickType bar by touching anywhere on the bar and sliding it down. You’ll see a line that you can swipe upwards when you want it back.  Apple say you can tap and hold the globe button on the keyboard to enable predictive input in any app. It doesn’t seem to be available in all my apps yet.

Quick voice and video clips in messages –  Now this is Inspector Gadget kind of stuff! In a message, hold the microphone or camera icon to record a quick voice message or video to send.  You can play them back and/or delete and re-record them before you send.  These messages will self-destruct after being played, unless the recipient saves them, in order to save storage space. I’m finding this a great addition. It’s ideal when you have something more complicated than a text to send, or want to show someone something but you know they might not be able to listen or answer their phone right when you are ready to send it.

‘Hey Siri‘ – When you’re phone is plugged into a power source you can just say ‘Hey Siri’ and talk to your phone. This is great if you are busy typing a blog and want to get planing a route to a meeting at the same time, or if you are in the car and want to look something up, or get directions whilst driving.  I still find it difficult sometimes to instruct Siri, but it’s learning and improving.

“What song is playing?” Siri is now Shazam so you can ask Siri what music is playing and Siri should be able to tell you.

‘Details’ in Messages.  From any conversation, top right you’ll see ‘Details’. Here you can see all attachments you’ve shared with someone by scrolling down, and share your location. This is very helpful if someone is trying to find you to meet up. You can permanently, or for a limited time, allow them to see your location.  This, for me, replaces the Friend Finder app I use with my husband so I know if he’s left work or how far from home he is etc without having to contact him.  I can even have the kids run to the window to see him walking home from the train station and excitedly open the front door to him!

From Details in Messages, the Do Not Disturb allows you to mute a text conversation if you don’t want to get involved right then and there and read them later.  This is useful if you’re in a group conversation that’s going on a bit and you’re busy!

There’s loads more.  Apple themselves feature, on their ‘Whats New‘ page, improvements to Photos, Messages, their smartest keyboard ever, family sharing, iCloud Drive, Health, connecting your apple devices, and new Spotlight features to find out stuff!

What have you found most useful about the changes or are eager to try?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reframing the same content to post it again

Reposting the same information on your social media channels will get you more exposure.  However, the best way to do this is to reframe the content to suit your audience.   For example, change the header, slant or tile describing the post, blog or article to entice different people to click to read or share your information.    According to Buffer’s blog, “9 Best Social Media and Content Marketing Tips from Buffer (see No 4)  they can get double or triple the amount of engagement by highlighting different elements of the content when they repost it!

That’s pretty amazing.  So, don’t forget to keep re-posting and reframing your content, mixed in with interacting with others on your social media as always of course.

Here’s an example of how we’ve done it for you to see how you could do this too.  These are Tweets about one of our other Blog posts:

How to see ALL the activity on your Facebook page – good to know !”

“A Facebook blog – how to see all the activity on your page in one go – by

“This is really helpful, a way to see ALL activity on your Facebook page – NEW blog by Wendy. It also works on

The example by Buffer was using Facebook and explains how they also use imagery to create more ways to repost the same content and increase engagement as well.

If this blog post was helpful to you please comment, and follow and ReTweet for us @DotSocialise.

Scrap the iPhone 6 – this is even more exciting!

If you aren’t an Apple fan then maybe you haven’t waited with baited breath for, or watched in full the Keynote about the new iPhone 6.   However, there is something we feel is even more exciting about this launch, and that is the Apple Watch.

It’s interesting to note that this doesn’t look any bigger than my husband’s current Gadget Show-style watch, a Phosphor e Ink.

Phosphor e Ink

Phosphor e Ink watch

Apple say there’s an Apple Watch for everyone.  It certainly seems so if you are ready for it in early 2015.  You need an iPhone 5 or 6 to be able to connect and interact with it, but it is stand-alone too.   If you’ve got other Apple gadgets like Apple TV, then you’re able to interact with all that too.

The Apple Watch is waterproof and screens are protected by sapphire crystal or Ion-X glass for the sport version, and, of course, there’s the Edition version in gold!

It does look amazing and suddenly it feels like we really are now experiencing that fantastical stuff from the film Back to the Future.

Are you an Apple fan?   Have you watched the Keynote or looked at the capabilities of the new products?  We find it fascinating and can’t wait to see who will be wearing one in 2015.

If you haven’t seen it yet, go and have a look at the Apple Watch and/or watch the Keynote.

A great photo mode you could be using on your mobile

To create a great panoramic photo we used to use an image-stitching software tool for creating panoramic photos.  Basically, you take a set of pictures of the view, which is normally a big expanse before you, and use software such as AutoStitch to merge them into one panoramic shot afterwards when you get back to your PC. 

However, there is, for most of us, a great mode on our phones to do this right then and there.

The Pano setting is brilliant.  Find it!  It should give you basic instructions or guidance.  Sweep across the view to get the same effect.  The above picture was taken with an SLR camera and stitched, but with a good camera on your phone you can get a great Pano shot easily with no faffing around.   It will even, in some instances, cope with people moving around as you sweep across the scene.

This Pano mode is also great for a group shots close-up as well as for views.   You can even use it vertically to capture tall buildings.   You don’t have to all the way, you can stop where you want. You can get a bit of distortion depending on how wide a view, how close you are etc but do go and have a try in various situations if you have the pano setting.  It’s great for catching a group or crowd close together (preferably if they’ll stay still for a moment!) when ordinarily you couldn’t fit them all in, taking a picture of someone posing at the bottom of a tall building, and panoramic views.

You may find uses with this to show of your next exhibition stand, crowd at an event or workshop if you are running a business too.   Tweet them to us @DotSocialise

iPhone Pano

iPhone Pano

News: Twitter launches ‘Flight School’

in 2014, people are no longer asking Why Twitter? they are asking How Twitter? And as if by magic Twitter has followed the lead of the likes of Facebook, Google and Buzzfeed and has launched it’s very own learning hub – Flight School to help agencies use Twitter more effectively as a marketing tool.

Twitter say:

“For marketers who want to reach consumers during today’s biggest live, public and conversational moments, there’s no better place than Twitter. Flight School has given us added expertise to leverage Twitter’s real-time marketing platform to create impactful campaigns for our clients in the evolving digital media landscape.”

The online tutorials will cover maximising content, tailoring campaigns for specific clients and promoting messages at the right time to reach a target audience.