Engaging isn’t just about posting as many updates as possible then sitting back and waiting. You need to come back to your pages and help drive discussion. Find out what your audience is interested in, relate to your brand and consider how you can get them thinking and wanting to add their thoughts to the discussion. Being able to convert semi-interested users into followers and mini-ambassadors can have priceless long term results. We show you how to sow the seeds and how to avoid blockages.

From Beginning to Engaging

Be Up to date Know your current events and interesting news updates related to your business. It’s good to show that you know the relevant news circulating within your client’s area of interest and that your input is solid. Be sure to post about news shortly after it has happened and when your users are most likely to be online. See Twitter trend search advice.


Open Ended – Try not to have the ‘be all and end all’ opinion or answer in a post. It’s fine to add some of your thoughts but avoid choosing sides or finishing off your own question otherwise you’ll leave no room for others to join in. Even something as simple as “Thoughts?” will work better than “do you agree or disagree with this?”



Humour A great way to invite interest into what you’re posting is if you can be funny. By opening the door to comedians whilst still being relevant, you can potentially have an endless list of replies. As long as what you’re posting is seen to naturally come from your business it should fit in nicely.



Ask Questions – This isn’t just for inducing a response in general to give your pages purpose, but can give you some valuable information to use later. Things like “Did you pick up something nice from our sale?” or “What do you guys think of this new Xxxxxx on our site?” is very inviting to people who love to put their 2 cents in whilst being friendly at the same time. Remember though, not all your posts have to relate directly to your core business function.






Here is an example of an open question with an up to date news article.








Spotlight – This involves highlighting related achievements of your customers. Did someone take a picture of themselves at your workplace? Has someone completed some sort of challenge you laid out or won a competition? Be sure to post on how excited and glad you are that they did this, encourage the sharing and how happy you are to have them as a customer.

Simplicity – Be to the point. Around 80 characters is ideal. Balance out image use, links and occasional text only posts. Images get a lot more space in a user’s feed, but that isn’t an excuse to put in something irrelevant to the message you want to communicate.

 

Blockages to Engagement

Negativity – The need to avoid leading or allowing negativity can’t be stressed enough. A huge part of posting and also Community Management is keeping up a mood and attitude that represents your brand and the way you want people to respond. Don’t make complaints (even about competitors), don’t argue or highlight the wrongness of your audience. If it seems hard to avoid, think about what Mum always used to say; “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” :)

Ego – Never go into too much detail when posting anything about yourself on a company page. Remember, you’re representing your brand and that’s your starting point for getting people interested, replying and going where you want them to. Even if your company is named after a figurehead, that figurehead still represents a brand and a set of ideals not an individual.

Forcing – Don’t push people to join a conversation, if they’re not interested you need to leave it, learn from it and revise for next time. Repeating a similar idea or conversation in different spaces or times can work fine, but annoying people will do damage.

Overselling - You will lose people if you’re always trying to push products in their face without any tie to their values or drive to find out important information. Sharing promotions and points of interest is fine but make sure this is balanced out. 

Mundane Chatter – It might be ok to update with “Eating cereal” on your personal page but for a business this is a poor look and it doesn’t give people space to converse or use their imagination. Mix it up!

For HR and Small Business

For you, inviting ‘Spotlight’ activity will be a real winner. If you can entice people to share their experiences on your site or even have an ‘attendee of the week’ type of entry where people upload their own content things should grow smoothly. Apart from helping to create a fun and comfortable environment, this kind of sharing will be imperative for new users and visitors as using your service may be a fairly large decision for them and evidence from others can really help!


It’s easier than it looks fitting your Businesses into the Twitter culture. We show you how.


Where Facebook is the social network, Twitter is the quick information network. People want the catchy and to-the-point information as it’s happening from any and all sources of interest and they don’t want to wait around or spend too long searching to find it. For this reason, you need to be able to position your content and business updates in a user’s field of vision in the language they understand…
Twitter is more than just posting what you had for breakfast and reading about other culinary feats. It is a powerful information tool that is excellent at delivering short, sharp messages. Where Facebook employs its post ranking algorithm EdgeRank that filters out unpopular Facebook posts, Twitter has no filtering mechanism. The catch here is that it is harder to appear in a user’s stream.
 

What does it all mean?

Twitter has its own vocabulary which can be daunting at first, however hopefully we will break it down for you.  Firstly, on your profile page you can see your ‘Tweets’, ‘Following’ and ‘Followers’. A Tweet is essentially a status update. Twitter limits this to just 160 characters and only text, fortunately links are easily shortened. ‘Following’ shows you the activity of other Twitter accounts you have subscribed to i.e. following, whereas ‘followers’ are the people who have subscribed to your twitter account. 



This is Psych Press’ Twitter profile. In a profile you are allowed to have a description of up to 160 characters, a location and a web address.





When looking at your tweet stream you will notice people using @ and # symbols in their tweets. An @ symbol is used to talk to or mention a particular person/profile through using their twitter username. When clicking reply on a tweet, twitter will automatically put who you are replying to as @username at the start of the tweet.


An example of a Tweet by Patrick stokes. NOTE of the use of @ and # symbols in his tweet.



So in this example @latrobe means that Patrick is both mentioning La Trobe as he is speaking there and informing Latrobe that he has mentioned them (you get emailed if someone mentions you in a tweet, unless unchecked in settings). 

As a result La Trobe has “retweeted” his post. A retweet happens when another user likes your post and decides to share it with their twitter followers. This way your post will appear in the feeds of people who are not following you but are following the user that retweeted you. The other users are informed who retweeted the tweet by the note under it.


Using the # hash symbol in a tweet is to hash tag the Tweet. In the above example the hash tag is #seewhatididthere. Hash tags make your tweets searchable, furthermore when clicking on a hash tag Twitter will show you a list of all other recent tweets from anyone in the world who recently used that tag. Using hash tags makes it easy to track and join in conversations, which is a great way to find people to follow who you may be interested in and vice versa!




Here is the Twitter Trend list. This can be changed to show any particular geography. As twitter is used in many different languages, what is trending locally is more useful than global trends







Twitter also trends current topics, and more often than not they are hash tags. An easy way to gain some publicity is to tweet using a hash tag for a trending topic and socialize with others in the trend (as they will with you, if your input is useful).

Your Business and the Twitterverse

The uses of Twitter for business vary dramatically. Some businesses use it to post all the latest current sales and deals. Others use it to post about general business updates. Then there are those who use it to post articles and interesting links. General Twitter guidelines suggest posting from 10 per day to 3 per week. The trick is to find something on a time budget that will work for you. There are services such as Triberr which you can use to automatically retweet other people’s content, however make sure you trust whoever you will be automatically retweeting if this is the avenue you chose, you don’t want to mention an advertiser or completely irrelevant material. 

Twitter Tips and Small Business Examples

Retweeting - You can click ‘retweet’ to repeat someone’s story exactly, although sometimes it can be truncated if it is too long. If someone says something about your business and you’d only like to repeat a part of it, it is widely accepted to tweet “RT” short for ‘retweet’ before their input.
Eg. @James - “My foot is feeling a lot better. @JTPodiatry is the best!”
@JTPodiatry “Thanks James J RT “@JTPodiatry is the best!””
Following - Remember to follow any happy customers and anyone who gives you good publicity. This should be done as soon as possible, that way they are more likely to keep in touch again in the near future, or thank you for following. It is also a good idea to follow anyone that follows you, but avoid any spam looking accounts or adult content profiles. If you are followed by someone who looks like a potential customer, follow them back and thank them e.g. “Hi @Barbara. Thanks for the follow J” Just be sparing with this, as you don’t want to appear desperate. Generally you would not follow competitors - it’s not a good look if people find an alternative service while surfing your profile. Other groups to follow are: opinion leaders relevant to your industry, publishers who make news stories related to your industry, any partners or affiliates of your business, adding staff and having staff add you is also a good idea. The key is to make it a frequent habit!
Tweets – At first, you will be very tempted to tweet content that focuses heavily on gaining attention such as adding on very general questions to the end of each tweet or appearing amazed at the news you’re sharing. Twitter savvy users will catch onto this behaviour immediately, see you as less of a ‘human’ business and ignore you. Instead, put a bit of humour into what you’re posting and only ask questions if there are obvious opinions to be had. You don’t always need to add a link or join a # hashtag, sharing something timely or interesting about the business can be just as good. Remember, many enjoy using shortened slang online but you’re a business so watch your spelling!
Trends – Popular trends will show at the left of your page for the selected country (or you can opt for global). There are many ongoing trends that people often use such as #nowplaying if you’re playing music or #ihateitwhen. Ideally, about half of your tweets will add to or include a # to increase your chances of being exposed to new people. Most trends are about entertainment or sports celebrities, breaking news or the funnies (#foodmovienames types are always fun). If these have little to do with your business you don’t have to avoid them completely but may need to search #yourparticularindustry in the search bar to find something that has been trended at least an hour or two ago that is still relevant. If you’re not sure what trends to join, have a look at what your opinion leaders are using, (shortened terms are common, especially for institutions ie. #MTVawards) look up events that are coming soon or checkout trend sites such as http://trendsmap.com/
Searches – People don’t always use a hashtag for the topic they are Tweeting about, so frequent searching is very important. Be sure to search for your business name (or similar variations that people may write) often, and reply where necessary. Be sure to search for key terms related to your business to see if anyone is looking for your services. Tapping into those “Hey, anyone know where I can find a good xxxxxx?” tweets can be priceless! As long as your tweets are called for you will remain relevant and helpful!

To Do

o    Once your account is setup, explore trends and searches
o    Follow relevant accounts, retweet and respond
o    Utilise hashtags that are in use and add something of interest
o    Fit your Tweets and regular checks into your Social Media schedule

For those in Allied Health + Small Business

For you, joining in on discussions and news updates related to health and then linking it back to your product is quite easy. There are always new findings and updates going on related to your profession that will undoubtedly hit Twitter. If you can get into these updates or trends and add your own expertise you will reach new crowds and hopefully focus on a centralised group closer to your location! 
 



With over a billion users, Facebook is not one to ignore. However many fall into a pattern of letting their page get left behind, either by not responding to questions or not updating important features. As a golden rule – to make Social Media work, you must be Social. We look over the basics and important setups that you may have missed even if you do have a page, to make sure you’re on a strong ongoing path of connecting to others!

Create a Facebook page

From an already active account create a new page for your business. Once you have created a page you can access and edit it from the drop down at the top right hand side of the window. To go back to your personal profile just repeat the same process.

 

Get to know the Admin Panel

Facebook provides an admin panel for managing brand pages. It gives you a notification panel which has all the activity that has recently been occurring, and a panel of all your most recent likes. The insights box provides you with a timeline of the effectiveness of your posts and like demographics, this can currently only be accessed after 40 likes. Hovering your mouse over the data will show the numbers of people who are talking about your page and the number of people reached by a particular post, and the dates and times of posts.

Look and Style - Tick all the boxes

If you make sure you’re satisfied with how your page starts you won’t have to constantly worry about and attempt small updates. Ensure that you make your profile look aesthetically pleasing. Ensure you are using high quality pictures for the cover photo and profile picture, Facebook can auto crop these though if it doesn’t fit well be sure to resize the originals. Fill in all the relevant information, especially in the about area and the link to your website.

 




Here is an example of a fantastic facebook brand page.  Notice the likes to talking about this ratio. Roughly half of little cupcakes fans are engaged by their page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you should do this, vital signs to stay on track

Strategically, Facebook is great for developing your community and forwarding people onto your website and blog in a natural manner. Due to its reach potential it is excellent exposure, and with good content that gets shared it is basically free marketing.  Here are a few insights to think about when monitoring your Facebook numbers:

Likes – The total amount of people who have liked your page. It is just as important to see if this number is dropping, which could mean you have annoyed or misled people with your posts.
Talking About This – The average number of people creating a ‘story’ about your page, meaning they have commented/ liked or otherwise interacted with your posts. This is a good weekly indicator of generally how popular your output is.
Were Here – This is more of an option for those who visit your physical location, some businesses heavily reliant on foot traffic will run promotions to push the use of this so that customer’s friends can see they were there. If it is not relevant or if you don’t think people would like to post that they “Were Here” then it isn’t completely necessary.
Post Likes and comments – Don’t fret, it may take some time for these to reach a higher pattern and develop a healthy number of ‘regulars’ who might always have something to add.



How can it help? Does it suit my business? What pages should I invest time in?

Nearly all companies without social pages (and even those with them) have seasonal discussions and arguments about the viability of this ever popular tool. Usually the end outcome is something along the lines of “Fine, make a page but don’t spend too much time on it!” or “Don’t make a page, when we see the dollar value we’ll do something then”. Unfortunately, neither of these answers really helps reach a sustainable outcome. With small and allied health related businesses in mind, we’ve put the below ideas together to help your next Social Pages discussion, whether you have none or need to improve what you’re currently doing!

How can a Facebook or Twitter page help a small business?

With a low budget, you would be stimulating and aligning current interests and social activity to your business with relevant content. This means liking pages where your audience aggregates, joining trends that link to your offering and sending out both original and interesting external material to set yourself up as an expert and reliable ongoing source of information.
Once you’re established, you have firm grounds to share updates about your website and anything else that your returning fans will be able to find value in (including using your products / services).

Is my business the right business for Social Media?

We would like to tell you all businesses need Social Media in some way but it’s important to be realistic. A cement mixing plant will find it nearly impossible to start and increase trending activity on Twitter when tweeting about the current climate of cement mixing materials. Why? It just isn’t as important as celebrity gossip or funny videos to the masses. We believe that all businesses (yes, including cement mixing plants) have a place somewhere in social media and can contribute as well as receive interest from the outside world with their content, but it’s all about relevance and commitment.
Relevance – If you’re strictly B2B, start with a LinkedIn company page and see how you go. If your advice and instructions get some traction, extending with YouTube, blogs and other newsletter materials will empower what you’re already doing, without ever needing to delve into the Twitterverse.
If you cater to consumers, no matter how niche, there is a place for you on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Getting attention from short and catchy content will be easier for you, as long as you have something to offer that stands out and the benefits of subscribing to your pages are clear.

Commitment – putting in minimum time to get maximum output

This is a goal that we all have. Ideally, we should all be spending a little more time on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (and even others) to really get the best idea of what our audience responds to and finds interesting and then build a well-backed framework that drives activity and sales through your website. Until this becomes more possible for a lot of us, we need to spend more time on our core responsibilities, but below is a basic framework you can use to get more from less!

“I have an hour a week to do Social Media activities”
Week 1 – Create Facebook and Twitter pages (B2C) or a LinkedIn page (B2B). Fill out all necessary details and make sure the links between the pages and your website are clear.
Week 2 – Now that you’re happy with how your page looks for now, start following and liking aggregated pages where your audience “meets”. Also be sure to add the link to your social pages to your website and online outgoing materials. Make a post that introduces your business and what people can expect on the page.
Week 3 – So that your posts aren’t purely about you, share recent industry news updates that’s of interest to your audience. Make note of your news aggregators, Google alerts is a good starting point. Be sure that you’re not directing users to mounds of irrelevant advertising.
Ongoing – Mix up your news posts with interesting updates or promotions from your business. If your business aligns to the advice side of content, be sure to circulate this regularly! Just make sure you don’t ever outweigh social posts with ‘product push’ updates or users will feel alienated. Keep an eye on what is getting more views, clicks and comments, and share around your updates with other staff so that they are sure to make good sense to fresh eyes!
-          Still not sure? Don’t worry, we’ll give tips on how to post well and manage different communities soon!

To Do

o   Decide which pages you will utilise or add to early on
o   Decide who will check and update these pages
o   Organise a preferred timeframe that can be dedicated to social media activities

Coming Up: We will take you through different social media options with advice on how to make the most out of each of them for your business. We will also give you that golden knowledge on how to manage your online communities as they grow to align your brand effectively!


How to – find the right needs for your audience, cater marketing messages to the right audience, then use great writing tactics to entice them.

 

Connecting messages to needs


Going beyond a basic feature or aspect of your business and connecting to what your customers need in the long term will have long term payoffs. If you can identify that your product or service fulfils long term needs that customers may not have been aware of then you are also educating them, potentially making them more valuable and loyal to your cause! Tying this in with what we’ve discussed in our SEO articles, if you are expanding on the basic benefit of your offering by introducing other relevant subjects and outcomes on your webpages you are also doing favours for your organic traffic! With that in mind, here are some methods for catering your message to give customers (and by extension, you) more!


So, what does my target need?


Let’s reuse what we’ve already learnt in previous articles to substantiate an informed, lasting decision.

In searching for your audience’s trend and keyword activity in Google, you can gain an idea for what people are looking for. This should be your first step in identifying needs related to certain products / services that you are working on or already have. Is “cheap” or “quick” often associated with your category search? This may not always give you an immediate answer but in any case should help cancel out needs you don’t have to address.

Once you’ve done this initial research, it’s time to dig a little deeper and use your existing channel learning to frame what previous experiences have taught you. This involves utilising online and offline communication results to form ideas on what your audience needs.

Finally, one of the most important steps involves a competitive analysis. Using what you’ve picked up on from above (and the competitors you already know of) search Google and determine how effectively your close competitors are addressing needs. Most often this will come up at the top of their explanation of a particular product or service, what you want to do is take note of the needs they are paying most attention to and how they are doing it. No, we don’t want to ‘copy and paste’ what they’re doing, but you absolutely do want to decide how your service can instil an edge on theirs in the eye of the consumer. Remember, valuable consumers may see your webpages and your competitors’ in the same search, so make a plan on how you will stick out.



Benefits of emotional vs. technical language


It is very tempting to simply list each nook and cranny of a product or service, but this may actually make it harder to stand out and will ultimately affect the memorable aspect of your website. Technical elements are good when you are reselling (ie passing on an external product that the audience already recognises clearly), which can help the customer make quick comparisons and speed up their purchase decision. However, introducing personality and beneficial outcomes to your services can be powerful tools to make your audience picture themselves post-purchase, and give a sense of reality to your product. In essence: use your customer’s imaginations to your benefit!



Here are some tactics to use whilst writing that can adhere to the needs of your audience and help you connect with more persuasive language.

Emotional – reader fears or foresees the consequences of not enlisting your help, or anticipates feeling better about themselves or helping others by using your product.


Example: “Web marketers that are not frequently researching new advice and ideas run the risk of losing many key website visitors and customers to those that do.”

Case study using previous (and ongoing) satisfied customers as evidence


Example: “Psych Press’ SEO advice has been hailed as always helpful in various ways by service firm SEO marketers themselves.”

Credentials Using your expertise and statistics as evidence


Example: “We use the advice we give in these articles ourselves, since writing these articles earlier this year we have experienced over 3 times as much organic search growth.”

ComparisonWhat other services tend to do or have done in the past and why you’re better


Example: “There are many fantastic web marketing advice columns out there, although their suggestions often don’t cater to the niche needs of those in small Australian businesses new to web-marketing or allied health clinics.”

Put them in the picture tell a story using the reader or their business as an example


Example: “We’ve all been there, you have a very limited time and budget to work with to get more customers to your website, and you’re not sure where to begin…”

Humour and Social Language Helps build trust by relating to the audience and showing you’re real people, also helps balance out Emotional or Comparison communication tactics


Example: “Opportunities to persuade and educate your audience are everywhere. Take the above examples which give a great idea, but are also a ‘subtle’ hint that if you’ve read this far you should probably give Psych Press a call!”

 



Hit List


        In my written pieces the customer needs are clearly identified

        Each written piece has a target and a tactic of how to satisfy needs

        I have run the writing past other people and have done a keywords check



For those in HR / Small business


When connecting your services to a need, it is worth considering going beyond price needs even when you know that your users are searching based on price. Eg. “Feeling better and living better each day is a worthwhile investment” instead of “We give you top quality for your dollar!” connects on a much deeper need whilst still addressing cost. This idea can be applied to needs other than price such as – time required, distance to travel, trustworthiness etc.

Unsure about how this can boost your traffic?


Remember, we don’t only help out when it’s time to put together materials for a job or event ad, we also use our arsenal of web-marketing skills to help your website or any other net-based projects you’re working on! For more info on what we can do for your next challenge be sure to email info@psychpress.com.au or call 03 9670 0590.