Manchester-based Freelance B2B PR professional and copywriter

Posts tagged ‘Social Media’

Who owns your Twitter account?

You automatically assume the answer to that question is you – but don’t be so sure, especially if part of your role at work is to tweet.

I read an extremely interesting article in Marketing last week on this exact subject. For example, a legal case currently going through in the US is against an employee of the mobile phone site ‘PhoneDog’, who left the company and took his 17,000 followers with him. Dropping the brand from his Twitter handle could cost him somewhere in the region of $340,000 if the case is successful.

It got me thinking, is this yet another consideration that is going to have to be included within employment contracts and social media guidelines? But what happens if when you arrive at a company you already have 1000’s of followers? Who owns those followers you or the company? Where do you draw the line?

The more you think about it the more complicated it gets. The article in Marketing also gives a great example of journalists – most of whom have a large following on Twitter. What happens if they move to a rival media outlet and simply change the company name on their profile (afterall it takes just seconds)?

Many brands are keen to add some personality to their social media accounts, and rightly so, but perhaps now is the time for companies to put some thought behind guidelines as to who exactly owns what on Twitter? Save some large legal bills!

Getting Social Media Write

As a B2B PR professional the written word is my main tool of the trade (ok and the ability to talk endlessly!) so I thought it was just me that got annoyed by the amount of spelling and grammar mistakes on social media platforms but apparently not. I read a great piece on Fresh
Business Thinking
the other day professing how much it grated on the author too.

Yes, yes I know that on Twitter you only get 140 characters and I don’t mind a few abbreviations to get the point across and I am not that old that I don’t appreciate the fact that it’s supposed to be a more casual form of communication. But surely that doesn’t excuse a poor grasp of the English language and over use of punctuation?!

Personally, I think it’s particularly prevalent in the B2B arena – if you’re managing a company’s social media presence or using any platform for professional purposes then shouldn’t one of the main aims be to get your key messages across in an appropriate and eloquent manner? Building relationships is a key element of social media but would you trust a firm of solicitors, for example that couldn’t spot a typo in their LinkedIn profile? You get my point so my top tip and one that I feel like shouting at my computer screen sometimes is:

Social media is another marketing channel, treat it in the same way you would an e-shot or brochure – proof read the copy!

It’s important to remember that all the little things combined form your online reputation – don’t fall at the first hurdle. I’d be interested to hear other people’s comments on this subject so tweet me @deegoldstraw.

Can Twitter help you grow a business?

My answer to this question is of course: Yes!

Everyone in business is aware that one of the best methods of growing a business is via referrals but can you do this on Twitter? Mark Shaw (@msrfr) is a leading authority on Twitter, and is trying to do just that by using #rfr – request for recommendation. At present it broadcasts about 100 business leads throughout the day.

So what are you waiting for? Follow @msrfr and see if there are any requests for products or services that you can provide – hopefully it should prove that Twitter is an effective and valuable tool for lead generation and it’s free!

This got me thinking about how I use Twitter for my own business and over recent months I have found hashtags such as #journorequest, #ukjourn and #prrequest incredibly useful putting me in touch with specific journalist requests. Therefore, I would be interested to find out how anyone else is utilising Twitter and hashtags in their daily business life – please leave your comments.

Ensuring your online marcomms comply with ASA regulations

As of 1st March the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) started to regulate marketing communications (marcomms) on websites and that includes blogs and social media sites too. This means the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (the CAP Code) applies in full to any marketing messages online.

A time to worry? Or a time to give your online marcomms a once over? Fear not, it can only be a positive for online marketing as it brings it in line with the rules that apply to offline media. Put simply it is a crackdown on the crazy promises that are made by some unscrupulous traders, as a result trust in online marketing should increase.

Here are a couple of points to consider:

  1. Know what on your site constitutes marcomms: it’s not just the obvious large adverts but also subtle claims about products or services or delighted customer testimonials that aren’t quite true that could fall foul of the regulations.
  2. Check your social media platforms: as the rules apply to sites such as Facebook and Twitter too, don’t make any unsubstantiated claims about your products or services. Instead engage followers in industry debate or comments on issues in the news.
  3. Keep an eye on your blog too: especially as it is one of the most informal parts of your website it can be easy to slip up. Do talk about your products or services’ benefits but only if they are true and can be substantiated.

I hope that goes someway to helping you understand what the new regulations mean – in conclusion just make sure that everything you write online is truthful, transparent and not likely to mislead or offend.

Top Tips To Market Your Business On Twitter

Twitter or tweeting … we all know we should be doing it but I am encountering clients on a regular basis that are unsure of how they should be using it to market their business.

So in the essence of keeping it short and tweet, here are my top tips for gettting the most out of Twitter:

  1. Keyword target: peform searches on your keywords and reply to relevant tweets. Remember to include # of your keywords too so they can be found easily.
  2. Getting a response: phrasing your tweets as a question is one of the best ways to provoke a response and instigate a two way dialogue.
  3. Be real: show some personality with your tweets and avoid spaming your followers with constant sales messages – remember its a conversation.

Happy tweeting.