Making the most of #KLHour

We’ve had a bit of an influx of new people to #KLHour recently – our local Twitter #hour here in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Tuesdays from 8.  Here are a few tips to help people make the most of the hour…

The Basics

Use #KLHour in your tweets to get them noticed.  It was once called #KingsLynnHour but that took up too many characters.  Although it’s nominally called an hour, it usually isn’t.  It’s often slow to get going in the summer, and it rarely finishes on the dot at 9.  This is Norfolk, after all.

twitter logoBe Social

Of course you’re here to sell your business, but here’s an interesting fact from Asda: they do 10 non-commercial tweets for every salesy one.  Basic principle is that people do business with people they like – and trust.  So be sociable, and don’t expect immediate results because people need to get to know you.  It’s social media.

Don’t Be Shy

A few of us in the #Hour try to keep an eye open, particularly for new people, and try to include you in conversations.  When it’s busy, though, the timeline is whizzing past and we don’t always spot people, so don’t be afraid to jump into the conversations.  You’ll soon make connections, and we’re quite friendly, honest!

ReTweets

RTs fuel the reach of your messages.  They dramatically expand the number of people who can see a message.  One of the key aims you will have in #KLHour is to achieve as wide a reach as possible, so you’ll want other people to RT your messages.  One key driver in achieving this is reciprocity – if you’re RTing them, they’re more likely to RT you.  Not always, of course!

Reach: what it is

It’s defined as the ‘potential number of people who can see your message’.  If you have 100 followers, and I have 500 and I RT your message, the potential reach for that tweet is 600.  Of course not everyone sees every message, which is why it’s ‘potential’.  The reach of the #KLHour hashtag varies week on week.  One recent week during the summer, which wasn’t so busy, achieved a weekly potential reach of 44,000 – more than the circulation of the Lynn News.  And we know – and you will soon find out – that a lot more people watch #KLHour than actually join in, so it is an effective way of spreading your message to local people.

Measure your own impact

Twitter Analytics tells you your own reach.  Click on your profile, choose Analytics, and then Tweets, and you’ll see how many people have had the opportunity to see each tweet, plus the number of interactions you’ve had.

Key message

It’s a social thing, so it’s got to be fun, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be commercial as well.  It’s a balance, and some weeks tend to be more ‘banterful’, some more serious.  It’s up to all of us to make it work, so join in, RT to your heart’s content, and watch your reach mushroom.

Any other tips I’ve missed out?  Do let me know…

Quality: a subjective notion…

We all want high quality content on our timelines.  It’s just I’m not convinced I want Twitter deciding what is quality and what isn’t.

That is what’s happening to your Notifications.  Where before you just had All or Mentions, there’s now Settings.  Click this on and you’ll see they have already decided that you want the Quality filter switched on.

Twitter tells us that “when turned on, it filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated — it does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with”.  So it does filter content from accounts I’ve not recently interacted with.  I don’t want that, I’m happy to put up with duplicates, and I actually want to see some automated stuff because it’s our business!

We say #TakeControlOfYourTwitterTimeline but it will never catch on as a hashtag as it’ll probably be filtered out!

Give a Bit: Social Media for Social Change

GiveBit is a charitable fundraising tool for the social media world. Re-tweeting one of their registered charity posts won’t just spread the word to your followers, you’ll also be donating £1 to the chosen cause.

givebit logoThere are some controls – we all know how easy it is just to hit the RT button. At the end of each month, GiveBit will tell you how many times you’ve RT-ed, so you can check you haven’t over-committed.

For a charity with any size of Twitter presence, this looks like a great idea. Not only is it free for charities to sign up, they get 100% of what has been donated. GiveBit do take a 5% slice, but this is added to the person donating’s bill – for every £1 they donate, they are charged £1.05p. It should also help to build your Twitter following and interest will build.

And for any business looking to beef up their own Corporate Social Responsibility angle, promoting GiveBit to your employees or your own Twitter followers makes it an easy win – win!

Go here to register as an individual or a charity, or find them on Twitter here.

Direct Message – direct from your website…

Have a look over on the right.  Under our Twitter feed, you’ll see a Direct Message button – a brand new feature from Twitter.  Direct messages are a key battleground for #socialmedia platforms – Facebook is now handling an astonishing 60 billion messages a day.

Twitter, keen to keep up, now gives us the ability to offer a direct messaging option from a website.  And it’s easy.  Follow the steps in this Social Media Today article, and you can’t go wrong.  When it’s up, ping us a DM to check it’s working!

The Age Gap…

Another batch of impressive ‘A’ level results last week will send a new cohort of learners off to university this autumn.   Come three years’ time or so, what skills will they bring to the marketplace?  Or rather – what will they be lacking?  A study of recruitment managers in the US  identified the top 5 gaps in graduate skills as being:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Writing proficiency
  • Leadership

We’ve been reviewing our website (again!) and these are the very themes which we keep coming back to.  Our approach to social media is focused on using effective communication to help businesses meet their marketing objectives (which we go into more detail on here).  It’s been a while since I graduated!

What’s in it for us?

We look at how charities and business can develop profitable 2-way relationships…

Charities have had a hard time in the media recently for pressurising individuals to donate cash.  With falling incomes, and increasing demand on their services, it’s perhaps understandable that many charities respond with aggressive hard-sell sob-story techniques.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  We have worked with 2 charities here in Norfolk to re-position their offering to make them more attractive to local businesses seeking to develop their corporate social responsibility stance.  Whilst many businesses are still prepared to donate to good causes, there is an increasing number responding to requests with ‘what’s in it for us?’ Continue reading

The Cringe Factor

There are so many things on #socialmedia that make my toes curl.  A recent article on Hootsuite got us thinking about those posts which have the opposite impact to that intended. Social media is all about positive engagement with people so the last thing we’d want is to switch people off.

The cringe factor is personal, so demographics are at play and have an effect on how the message is interpreted.  We run a number of social media accounts for very different businesses, and adopt a specific tone for each.  What is cringe-worthy on one account may not be on another.

Top of my current list of cringe-making references is a social media Twitter guy with the following profile description: “some people describe me as a social media guru. I don’t correct them”.

What’s your personal cringe maker?