3 Lessons Learned About Using Twitter for Business

Yesterday, I attended Boston Women in Finance’s Tweeting with the Stars event at The Algonquin Club, where our EVP of PR Karyn Martin, along with The CFO Roundtable Executive Director Becky Blackler and HubSpot Content Strategist Brittany Leaning, shared their best practices for how to get the most out of Twitter.

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Digital Presence: Top 5 Things Customers Look for in a Company Online

Staying competitive in today’s market can pose a challenge to many companies. But really, it’s not that hard to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds. Just give them what they want. Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to being an unforgettable and sought-after company!

1. Online Presence: Duh, this is 2012. How do you expect to attract customers if you can’t even be found in a Google search? It’s important for your company to be found online and in order for that to happen you need to start practicing a few basic marketing techniques: SEO & social media. Your customers are on Facebook. If you’re not, you are missing opportunities.

2. Interaction: Ok, so you’ve created a Twitter account, optimized a press release, and developed a Facebook ad – what now? Use your social media platforms to engage with your audience through discussions, comments, and promotions. Develop a company voice and personality by asking questions and responding to comments. Promote your press release on your website. Interaction promotes engagement. Engagement enhances relationships. Relationships turn into business! Cha ching!

3. Edginess Factor: What makes your company different from a competitor? This is key in distinguishing your brand and separating yourself from the crowd – aka competitors! Be unique!

4. Innovative: You’ve heard it before, we’re going to remind you again… Be a leader, not a follower! Brainstorm and develop ideas that will be new and exciting. Whether that means developing a new tool, or simply having a catchy slogan. Think outside of the box!

5. Relationships: We’re going old school with this one. Relationships are so vital to any business no matter the industry. Customers like to have a connection, feel appreciated, and most importantly respected. Show your customers that you care. These things don’t need to cost money. Budget friendly customer appreciation ideas can include a Facebook contest, telephone call, dropping by to say hi, or even an email thanking customers for their continued loyalty and business. Use a combination of traditional and digital tactics to stay relevant and real. It’s not rocket science – treat others how you want to be treated.

Time to rate your company. 4 out of 5 is good, but not enough. Anything less and you’ve got work to do. How does your company match up? Do you find some some of these strategies to be easier than others? Which ones present challenges to your company?

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How Social Media Enhanced the Academy Awards

The 84th annual Academy Awards was a chaotic event to say the least. Between Sacha Baron Cohen dumping “Kim Jong Il’s ashes” on Ryan Seacrest’s designer suit, the cast of “Bridesmaids” presenting their Martin Scorsese drinking game, and J.Lo’s debatable wardrobe malfunction, viewers gave up their regularly scheduled Sunday night programs to see what other vagaries might ensue. While I’d like to congratulate everyone who walked away with an Oscar on Sunday evening (congrats Meryl Streep!), we should also acknowledge one noteworthy contributor to the show’s success that made their “speech” through a different channel…social media!

According to Bluefin Labs, the Hollywood, CA event generated some 3.8 million comments on Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites during its ABC broadcast (compared to last year’s 1 million). This statistic places the Academy Awards just above last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, which produced 3.1 million social media comments. The only award show having received more commentary through social media was this year’s telecast of the Grammy Awards, which had an astounding 13 million comments!

An estimated 57% of the Oscars’ comments were made by women, with the remaining 43% coming from men. Bluefin Labs further analyzed the results to determine that 22% were positive, 16% were negative, and 62% remained neutral.

 

High-traffic moments occurred somewhat predictably throughout the evening:

 

1. The most-talked about moment was the Best Picture announcement for the nearly silent film, “The Artist.”

Last year’s Best Picture: An English dude who couldn’t speak. This year’s: A French dude no one could hear.” – Andy Borowitz author/comedian

I am officially announcing that I am re-making THE ARTIST with sound.” – Alec Baldwin actor

 

2. The second peak of social media commentary took place when crowd-pleasing comedians, Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper presented three awards. Cooper’s mustache created a lot of buzz while fans encouraged The Academy to consider Fey as next year’s host.

Tina Fey should host next year.” – Kelly Oxford writer/famed tweeter

Bradley Cooper is just in from robbing a train. #Oscars” – Hulu online service for ad-sponsored video streaming

3.  Octavia Spencer’s emotional acceptance speech claimed the third most popular spot for social media discussion. Spencer’s comments additionally ranked highest in positivity ratings.

Congratulations to @OctaviaSpencer for her Oscar win! You truly deserve it! God bless!” – Kelly Rowland singer

Yes!!!! Welcome to the family Octavia !! Congrats!!! Amazing!!” – Jennifer Hudson singer/actress

Other unique moments during this year’s Oscars generated additional online discussions, and continues to prove how real-time social media platforms are changing the face of awards show commentary, as well as television watching in general. One such example was the somewhat controversial exposure of Angelina Jolie’s right leg. Viewers immediately shared opinions of Jolie’s wardrobe choice and, almost instantaneously, a Twitter account was created for “AngiesRightLeg.”  The Twitter account currently has close to 35,000 followers and about 30 tweets.

The above statistics and results only reinforce existing research in support of the effectiveness of social media. Clearly, with active individuals across such a broad spectrum, sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. can all assist in amplifying anything – whether that’s celebrity limbs or your brand. Celebrities who utilize social media for public relations’ benefits also have the opportunity to translate the increased popularity of their profiles and pages into potential business success. Advertisements cost $1.7 million per 30-second commercial, but given the popularity of the 2012 award show, it’s likely that this was money well spent.

Were you commenting on the Academy Awards via social media last Sunday?  What was your favorite part of the show?  Do you think social media is changing the face of television commentary? Tweet us @451Heat or share your comments below!

-Katie O’Brien, 451 Marketing Marketing Intern

@KGOBrien

Katie is a senior at Boston College majoring in Communication.

Thanks for the images:

1. www.gradley.net

2. www.laist.com

3. www.hollywoodreporter.com

4. www.blogcdn.com

5. www.cbswbbav.files.wordpress.com/

6. www.laist.com

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