Reaching your audience with Twitter

With over 280 million active users worldwide, Twitter can be a great place to share your messages.

Here are four key tips for using this popular social media channel:

• Plan some of your content in advance and schedule it by using a tool like Hootsuite. But keep your Twitter feed up-to-date with some ‘live’, spontaneous tweets, too
• It’s easy to gain followers. But are they right ones? Use the correct

iStock_000045402090Small buzzwords and hashtags and look at the kind of content your customers like to follow. Look for what’s trending this week, or today
• 140 characters per tweet means just that. Keep it snappy. Use plenty of pictures, video links, and shortened links to other web content to drive up interest and gain followers. Use tweets to link to your own blog
• Remember, no-one likes to be sold to directly on social media. Entice your prospective customers by posting lots of interesting, relevant content, and start the conversation with them on Twitter. Then work to keep them engaged!

These are far from the only tips about using Twitter as a communications and marketing tool. Contact me for more thoughts or tweet me at @bennettwords.

• Did you know? The Twitter team are very fond of hard-boiled eggs. At their HQ, they eat 1,440 eggs a week.

Advertisement

Don’t be boring! How to write to engage your audience

Here’s a quick question. When was the last time a piece of business writing – be it copy on a website, some advertising copy, or a press release – really grabbed you?

There are some great examples of those kinds of writing out there, but it is also easy to turn your audience off in just a few lines.

So what’s the secret of great writing? In a nutshell – don’t be boring! There are many ways to engage your customers, company’s staff or the media. In fact, one of the worst marketing crimes is where a piece of communication goes unnoticed. That means your efforts have failed.

Here are a few tips to add some punch to your copy:

1. Be interesting. Maybe you think what your company does isn’t very intriguing. Well, there is usually a way of making it so. You manufacture paperclips? Well, how about adding a factfile on paperclips (where relevant) into your copy – for instance, calculating the number of paperclips it would take to reach from Earth to the Moon; who was the inventor of the paperclip and add in unusual uses the paperclip has been put to. Immediate interest!

2. Be succinct. Some of the best advice I saw was on writing for the web. Basically, write your article as briefly as possible. Then cut out half of what is left. Readers drown in too much text and quickly loose interest.

3. Thinking visually. Work with a good graphic designer. Whether for digital use – or print – great imagery and imaginative design concepts work wonders in getting your ideas across. And the copywriter should help generate them – does the phrase I used above about ‘adding some punch’ might give you a few visual ideas and conjure up any images?

4. Think customer. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in your own organisation’s achievements. But how do they reflect on your approach to customers and what you can do for them? Being a company founded 37 years ago and having eight directors on the board is all well and good, but, what does this tell your customer? And, without wishing to be rude – try applying the ‘so what?’ test to the statement above. See my previous advice on writing press releases for a further explanation, but this is just as applicable to other forms of business writing.

5. Imagine you are the reader. This takes point four a step further. It’s helpful to think of your intended audience as a real person. So, what are they like – male or female, young or old, where do they live, what do they buy, what work do they do, what interests do they have and so on? What do they like and what would turn them off – in short ‘what’s in it for them’ with your proposition? Don’t be afraid to cut to the chase here. If you can put yourself in the mindset of this customer, then you will be better equipped to tailor your words and images to their needs (give them a name, that will probably help).

I will be returning to the theme of engaging customers, the media, and other audiences, through great writing, in my next few blogs.

http://www.bennettwords.biz