5 Pro-Tips To Up Your Twitter Game

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1. Mention to Engage

You can optimise engagement on Twitter by @mentioning people, brands, etc. inside of tweet. Tweetdeck is a recommended tool for finding twitter handles easily due to the auto-complete and comprehensive search result feature.

2. Queue ‘Em Up!

You can easily create queue slots on HootSuite and Buffer and just queue up tweets ahead of time to deal with issues like lack of WiFi/internet access, low battery, etc. With the Buffer app you can have up to 10 slots on the free version and unlimited on the paid version, while HootSuite suggest when best to schedule your tweet based on when your followers are most active.

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3 Social Media Tools For Better Performance on Twitter

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Twitter happens to be my all time favourite social network as it makes the case to immediately connect with any user when you know their @twitterhandle. It sure goes up from there to being able to send a DM (if they follow you), follow and participate in conversations via #hashtags, and simply sharing photos, videos, http://weblin.ks, and text in 140 characters (or less).

However, how do you take your twitter game to the next level? Well, here are 3 tools I’d recommend you check out:

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#icebucketchallenge: 5 Recipes for a Successful Social Media Campaign

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This has been siting in my draft for quite a while now and it’s high time I pushed the publish button, but make no mistake, this is not the last you’d read about the #icebucketchallenge, in fact so many other social media campaigns have started to model after it and more will come after.

However, a closer look at the viral online campaign allowed me identify 5 main recipes for a successful social media campaign. So let’s get to it:

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The Social Chef

My name is Nubi Kay’ and I’m a foodie.

It’s pretty rare to watch interesting movies that have glaring lessons for small businesses and brands but this was not the case with the movie — Chef.

I’d recommend every business owner, marketing department, and aspiring start-up founders to watch the movie as soon as possible. In the meantime, here are 5 social media takeaways:
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How to get your $5 social media plan

Came across any awesome web service, Fiverr, and saw it an opportunity to help startup brands and business with their social media plan.

With a good number of inquiries been made especially on clarification on a pro bono deal that seems too good to be true, I have decided to make it clear and simple for you to opt-in.

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How To Build Your Online Community

Happy New Year Everybody! Glad you made it. 2012 was a good year for social media (incl. social giving), and having looked at the Nigerian Facebook landscape for 2012,  with focus on Engagement Rate (ER) for brands and pages, I have decided to delve-in to how you can optimize ER for your online community – whether it be a personal brand, project, company, etc.

This decision came about, having gotten a comment from my last post. I did mention the importance for brands to focus more on ER as compared to the size of the community, and this is applicable to any social network: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog, etc. The comment reads:

Does this change how individual content creators interpret their engagement when seeking sponsors? Rather than submit pure quantitative metrics, should one analyze their own info and include this in a narrative. I wonder what others think – Patricia Patton

And my reply:

Yes, that’s right. ER is more of a qualitative metric, showing you have a right audience ever ready to engage with you and that’s a winner for any sponsor. Not to say quantitative metrics should be thrown out of the window. Numbers matter a lot, as that gets the attention of the sponsor too. I suppose my next post will be on how to best strike a balance – quantitative and qualitative metrics (especially when trying to win a sponsor over).

In my next series of post, I will attempt to show how to best have that balance. However, I believe it’s best to go through how to build your online community first – and yes, that is quantitative, and then ‘how to engage’ in my next post. Let’s get started.

3 steps to build your online community:

1. Create Social Accounts And Have A Presence

It is not good enough to have social accounts but to be active on them, i.e., have your presence felt though your activities. Cast your seeds in many places, be on as many social networks as possible, as long as you can manage them – you don’t want to be active is some and dormant in others, a first time visitor on one of your dormant account may perceive your brand as been nonchalant.

Some social account you should consider having: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, YouTube, SlideShare, Scribd, RebelMouse, Blogger, WordPress, Nairaland, NaijaPals, Vimeo, etc.

2. Always Build Big Data

Make it a priority to always gather data of some kind, especially users or prospective users that get to interact with your brand – product or service.  For Nigeria, three things you want to get from any body showing some sort of interest in your brand are: Email address, Telephone number, and BlackBerry PIN.

It’s highly recommended you allow people to voluntarily give up this information, as you get to build an audience of people that are really interested in your brand. Do not go buying email, and telephone databases from third party vendors, as that leads to building an online community where a large chunk may have no interest in what you are selling or communicating, and in turn very low engagement rate.

Allow people to opt-in via subscription forms that can be embedded on your site or shared via a URL. You can also put in place a referral system for existing subscribers to invite people in their network. Moreover try to implement call-to-action features e.g. social buttons such as Twitter ‘Follow’ button, Facebook ‘Fan’, button, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, WordPress, Google+ share buttons. Feedback and download button should be put in place.

3. Your Landing Page

This is not necessarily your home page but could be if it can double as one. This page should be able to give brief information, using text, photo or video, about your brand, as well as capture all of the above: collect data, allow users opt-in for update, and call-to-action.

That said, try not to have the page cramped up, and this is best linked to your share buttons, and web ads. I have taken the liberty to share a landing page I recently help make for a friend at Genii Games.

As seen above, the page holds all mentioned in #2. This a good format for a landing page, and not necessarily a home page since its just one product from Genii Games.

What’s The Takeaway?

In summary, plant your seeds in many places with your social account and presence; always think of building big data, as it gives you guaranteed reach to people interested in engaging with your brand, and finally, have a good landing page – that’s your go-to place where a first timer can get the important information, and a means to engage with the brand via call-to-actions such as: subscription, download, feedback, social share, etc.

Next post will be on ‘How To Engage With Your Online Community‘. Till then, try out building your community, and be sure to ask your questions, and share your recommendations using the comment box below.

How To Engage With Your Online Community

Let’s take a step back, especially if you missed the previous post on ‘How To Build Your Online Community’, as you can’t engage what isn’t in existence.

In brief, plant your seeds in many places with your social account and presence; always think of building big data, as it gives you guaranteed reach to people interested in engaging with your brand, and finally, have a good landing page – that’s your go-to place where a first timer can get the important information, and a means to engage with the brand via call-to-actions such as: subscription, download, feedback, social share, etc. You can get more information on these here.

As the popular W4 saying goes – ‘Unto the next one‘. How then do you engage your online community?

Lucky for all, it’s a one word, all encompassing answer – Content!

There is nothing more important than content when it comes to engaging with your online community. In fact it’s all you’ve got, so you have to continually invest time and a little funds in sourcing and creating content  as video, photo, text, info graphics, newsletter, slides, etc.

Keep the content flowing and Engaging:

Blog: I tell people the best way to blog non-stop is to explore. You want to surf the web a lot and you are sure to find something you have an opinion about, and want to share. There is almost always a way to tie things you stumble upon to what your brand stands for – whether a product or service you offer. You also want to be on the look out for thought leaders in the area you brand plays, and have them feature on your blog via interviews, and guest posts.

Commsourcing: This is almost same as crowdsourcing, except you are now sourcing from the ‘community’. Here is where you ask the community for content – directly or indirectly, e.g. Photo Contests, Questions and Answers, Trivia, Polls, etc. You can then adapt some of these for content.

No such thing as boring brand, Think Wide

Yes, this is a very easy excuse to make up when dealing with a not so funky brand like soda. Imagine if you are trying to engage a community about taxes, or as a project management and consulting firm, it seems to be more difficult right?

Well, not really. Social media allow for the most unpopular topic to trend. All you have to do is adapt fun, and interactive ways of engaging the community. For example, infographics, short films, and beautiful slides can be used to share information about taxes, while giving  people the avenue to participate: asking questions and making comments. Again you may need to invest some resource in achieving this but it pays off.

Furthermore, look at your target group and study their social habits. What do they do online, Where do they go, What are their interest, and What tone in language do they hold? Most of the time, you’d end up with clusters and not just one group. Next step is device a means of getting through to these different groups; not just to inform but to engage, i.e., make room for them to respond, and give feedback. Most of the time, a good study of social habits of your target group allows you have a very seamless execution when it comes to engaging.

In a nut shell, while building your online community with people that have a certain degree of interest in what your brand represents and offers, you want to go all out to be like that friendly neighbour and welcome them with cookies, i.e., get to know them (via questions, trivia, polls) and collect data (via forms) with which you can always reach them (via SMS, emails,newsletters, social networks), and engage with them.

I hope with these few points of mine, I have been able to share how to build and engage your online community. For more, you can ask using the comment box and I will like to invite you to join me and a few friends during the Social Media Week, as we look at Social Media For Startups: How To Build And Engage Your Online Community on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at the Co-Creation Hub. More info and registration can be gotten and made here respectively.