Tag Archives: twitter

Social Media Marketing

How To: Simple Social Media Posting

This is going to be a quick and painless posting about the simplest things to do when you are posting on social media for your business.

Here are some quick how-to pointers:

  1. Don’t post as your personal account.
  2. – If you are posting for your business, then you should be using your business’ social media account. You can always share your business posting via your personal account once you put it up on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  3. Use an image in your post.
  4. – People are more likely to see and engage with your posting if it includes an image. Embed the image right in the post, or make sure that your website is set up to display the images from the page when a page is shared on social media. If you don’t know how to do that, let us know.

  5. Include a link to the content that you want to promote.
  6. – If you’re promoting a product, piece of content or something else that you talk about on your website, link to the actual page of content. You ultimately want to drive people to your website, right?

  7. Use no more than three #hashtags in your post.
  8. – Don’t clutter things up. Use up to 3 appropriate and meaningful hashtags in your posts, should you have the character limit space to do so.

  9. Don’t tag yourself in the post.
  10. – You are already posting the social media update, so people will already see that it’s from you. You don’t need to tag yourself in the post.

    Like I said, these are just some simple tips to get you started posting the right way. If you want more help with your social media marketing, let us know.

    Do you have more simple suggestions for people? If so, post them below!

A Non-Definitive List About Twitter Lists

For how simplistic Twitter is, there are some amazingly productive things that you can do with it.  One of my favorites is creating lists.

  • You can break it down by topic: city specific, industry specific (ie: thought leaders, competitors, etc), frequent and/or regular customers, clients, employees, etc.
  • You can track important events.Twitter List
  • You can organize your thoughts.  This is especially helpful if you follow many people and/or many different kinds of people.
  • You can curate content.
  • You can track competitors (just don’t name your list “competitors”) and/or prospective clients (just don’t name that one “prospects”).
  • You can clearly prioritize your time spent online and optimize it.

You can do so much with the information that you’ve gathered from your Twitter lists.

  • You can interact with users more easily.  If you have a list dedicated to regular customers, you’ll be more likely to see a tweet and respond to them when you designate a listed category for them; they don’t get lost in the shuffle.  Remember-social media is social!
  • You can showcase the people you work with and align yourself towards.  When people go on to your Twitter profile, they’ll see all the Twitter lists you’ve created (granted, they have to be designated as public).  Then, they can see in your “Clients” list, who you’re working with, what you’ve done for them, and want to be a part of that list, too.  Exclusivity is a powerful motivator, my friend.
  • You can streamline your time spent on Twitter by clearly seeing everything laid out.  Instead of scrolling endlessly through your feed, you can just go to your “Thought Leaders” Twitter list, easily find their tweets, retweet, and respond to what they’ve said (thus stepping closer to being a respected leader in your industry as well).  You can catch up on what’s happening in your group of employees.  You can respond to complaints from customers in a timely fashion.

Here’s a fun post from Hootsuite about using a “Listmaker” account.  There’s a lot of really useful information there, so if you’re interested in furthering the power of your Twitter list, take a look.

And if the thought of all of this is too overwhelming for you, just contact theBrewRoom team.  They can set this all up and run it for you (or show you how) to reduce your anxiety.  Of course, you can always make a Twitter list of “anxiety-reducing people” that you follow.

How To Tweet

On Tuesday, I saw this tweet from Sam:

And I thought, “Tweeting about how to tweet is indeed a little pointless (good job there, Sam), but blogging about how to tweet isn’t!”  So I bring you Angelica’s Easy Steps for Tweeting, AKA: “How To Tweet”.
How To Tweet

  • Have something interesting to say.  Like I preached talked about in last week’s post, Social Media Needs To Be Social, you can’t just talk at people.  They’ll tune you out. Have something interesting to say and listen when others have something to say themselves.
  • Provide useful information.  I guess this is just another way of saying have something interesting to say.  If you have an event or a promotion coming up, the first place someone will turn to learn about it is through social media.  So tell your followers about it!  Give them pertinent information in a style that works for you.  Are you a restaurant with a new menu item or concept?  Tweet a teaser photo of the dish.  Are you a retailer?  Tell people about your new shipment of scarves and show them a few examples of how to wear them.  Bonus points if you include photos to enhance your message.
  • Take your followers behind the scenes.  We all know that one person who relentlessly tweets out every move they make.  True, it’s interesting to get a BTS look at your favorite brand; in turn, it’s fun to share with your customers what you’re up to, just don’t become overbearing.  This isn’t Facebook, so please don’t brag about your fantastic new car (okay, you can do it once).  Give your Twitter followers something with a little more meat (pictures of dinner are usually okay).
  • Reply, favorite, follow, and retweet often – and responsibly.  Again, this is a social medium; interact with your followers.  Reply to messages promptly.  Read your followers’ tweets and engage with them.  Favorite tweets that you find funny, interesting, or that you want to go back and reread and tweet about in the future.  Follow users whom you find interesting and also follow people who follow you, especially if they constantly interact with you.  Retweet what you think your followers would be interested in learning about.  Remain active throughout the day so that you stay visible in feeds – try to shoot for a handful of tweets a day so you don’t tip the scale of too much, but are still out there just enough.
  • Create lists.  This is especially helpful if you follow a lot of people and/or you tweet about different topics.  Organize lists by category, users, keywords, etc.  More on this next week!

So there you have it: some easy steps to follow that will show you how to tweet.  A tweet is a powerful tool if you know how to use it properly.  If you need help creating a strategy or using Twitter for social media marketing, just ask Sam!  He’s very active on the Twitter machine.  What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re tweeting?

PS: You can follow Sam above or @theBrewRoom.  (#ShamelessPlug)

Social Media Needs to be Social

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that social media is, in fact, social.  Every time that certain car commercial comes on (you know, with the rep reading tweets and their hashtags), someone in the room with me asks, “What’s a hashtag?”  It’s a link to all the tweets in the world with said hashtag.  Then the inevitable, “But…..why?”  So you can see what people are saying (and jump into the conversation, of course)!  We’re so focused on using the Internet to throw information out into the universe that we forget the best way to use it; no one wants to be talked at, they want to converse.  Social media, and the marketing that goes with it, is virtual word of mouth.  It’s a conversation.  There are people constantly talking with and engaging other people.  If you want your business to be successful, you need to engage as well.

Let’s say I work somewhere like “Office Space.”  I have 3-5 on any given day asking me to tweet something, usually a promotion.  Of course, they all think Bill Lumberghtheir message is the most important one to disseminate (so it must be posted NOW).  Well, when you overload people with text and they aren’t getting anything meaningful out of it, guess what will happen to your message? It’ll get tuned out (or they’ll just unfollow you period).  Now, when Lumbergh comes back 5 minutes later to ask if anyone is talking about it, he’ll be let down because the answer is no.

Long story short: be social.  Show you care about the community that you’ve built:

  • Ask questions.
  • Answer questions.
  • Include comments when you retweet whenever possible.
  • If you need to promote services or events, do it in a way that’s natural and not pushy.
  • Mention people to get the conversation going if you have a piece of information that you think is of interest to them (just don’t be spammy; no one likes that).

And don’t forget to “listen” to the conversations.  It’s a two-way flow of information.  Don’t expect to get a response if you are not responding yourself.

7 Things To Remember When Posting For Your Business

Inspired by a list published on AdAge.com by Simon Dumenco, “9 Media Things That Should Be Immediately Regulated,” I hereby give you my list of 7 Things That Should Be Regulated When Posting For Your Small Business (or any sized business for that matter) on social media accounts.  Posting for your business can be tricky to navigate at first, but it gets easier with practice (and remembering these reminders).  Please note: there is no particular order because these are all important.  Well, except for No. 1.  That’s pretty important.

7. Henceforth, your posts shall only contain one punctuation character in a row.  If you’re announcing specials, you’re understandably excited.  As they say, “Use your words;” so, use your words to show your excitement, not your punctuation.  Exception: ellipses…http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/250x250/37006275.jpg

6. Henceforth, you shall use effective descriptors.  As Stephen King says, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”  Please refrain from making a three-line chain of really awesome, super-great, exceptionally excellent words to get your message across.  Pick one that best describes what you want to say and use that (and only that) word.  Vary them between sentences if you just can’t play favorites and want to include them all.

5. Henceforth, you shall not ramble.  The ratio of number of characters per post to percent of increased engagement varies between Ragan, Short Stack, and Linchpin SEO infographics, but they agree that posts clocking in around 100-150 characters (3 lines of a Facebook update) see more interactions on Facebook.  Similarly, about 80-100 characters are ideal for a tweet.

4. Henceforth, you shall not post willy-nilly.  Everyone (yes, everyone) will tell you to make a schedule of posts and stick to it.  Users will know what to expect on each day, and you won’t realize it’s 3:30 on a Monday afternoon and you haven’t posted anything yet.

3. Henceforth, if you must automate posts, know who/what/where/when.  Remember those companies that forgot to “un-schedule” their posts when the tragedy in Boston occurred?  Make sure you know what’s going where and when.  Also, try your best to be available to make a quick change should something disastrous occur.

2. Henceforth, you shall not bombard the general public with updates.  Remember the schedule I spoke of earlier?  If you use it, you shouldn’t be guilty of this.  Nothing turns people off faster than overloading them with too much content too quickly.

1. Henceforth, you shall be interested in others instead of trying to get them interested in you.  As the owner of the YaJagoff blog will tell you, you can get more people interested in you by showing interest in them.  Think about the last time you were at a networking event and someone was insistent upon forcing their accomplishments on you faster than you could suck down your watery, one-drink-ticket-per-person drink.  Don’t be that person online.

Using Twitter for Small Business Crisis Management

Recently, Twitter has been the bearer of bad world news.  It can also be the bearer of bad news for your business.


More often, people are turning to social media to vent their displeasure towards products, businesses, and people (#JustinBieberSlams).  It’s important to remember that transparency is key when running a successful crisis management campaign online.  Does everyone recall the February Burger King hack?  If you don’t, you may also be shocked to learn that Michael Jackson died.  Anyway, it’s old news, but we can learn from that hack.

Lesson 1: Be Transparent

Let people know what is happening as it is happening.  Show them that you’re doing what you can to manage the situation.  Diverging from the BK example for a moment, take a look at an article from the WSJ talking about entrepreneurs and Twitter.  One businessman’s webpage was hacked. Mr. Vaynerchuk, who owns New-York based Cork’d LLC, shot a video explaining the problem, linked it on his Twitter account, and also replied or DMed it to each person who tweeted or DMed him about the site.  He didn’t run away from the problem; rather, he explained it and updated his followers as to what is going on.  If you do anything, at least be transparent.

Lesson 2: Work Quickly

BuzzFeed shows that after an hour and some change, the BK account was suspended.  Some say this wasn’t fast enough.  Granted, an hour is an eternity for a company as gigantic as BK, but in reality, that’s pretty good considering it happened on a “national holiday”.  To put it into perspective, Cork’d didn’t get back to running until 8 hours later.  Make sure you’re thorough yet put the fire out as quickly as possible.  A fast response to the problem, shows that you care.  This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway..a quick reaction also quells the spread of who sees the mistake.

Lesson 3: Apologize

Both BK and Mr. Vaynerchuk apologized for what happened.  Be sincere, but if you can, laugh at yourself a bit.  At the very least, don’t take yourself too seriously.  If you pretend to be perfect, no one is going to buy it, especially when handling a catastrophe.

Lastly, don’t just use social media when something bad happens.  Shel Israel, author of “Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods” says to WSJ,

If you just go to Twitter when you have a crisis, you will have no followers and no credibility. […] The key to using Twitter effectively is to build trust with people who are relevant to your business.

So don’t shoot the messenger; put them to work instead.

Hashtag Twitter Takeover

twitter hashtagThe lines between virtual and reality are constantly being blurred.  It seems as if the only thing separating these two entities is a finely-erased line.  Every TV show has a badge in some corner of the screen with the proper “hashtag” to use while “live tweeting” about the show.  TV shows don’t have exclusive rights to that–there’s the ubiquitous Twitter and Facebook logo included in every commercial, movies now have their own branded hashtag where before they just had a branded website, and even junk-mail-post-cards have some social media insignia displayed proudly.

Don’t get me wrong, last summer when I watched “Master Chef,” it was incredibly helpful to have each person’s twitter handle displayed under their real name during one-on-one interviews and an official hashtag to use so I didn’t look like I wasn’t “in the know” and a total twit (pardon the semi-pun).

Although, the strategy has to be, well, strategic.  They say that one negative review ensures that 10 people will hear about it.  With social media and the rabid dissemination of all sorts of messages, that number is more likely to be some exponential integer.  In an article on the AdAge website, “CW’s ‘Twitter Party,’ or the Upfront’s Hinging on Social,” CW’s VP of integrated sales and marketing, Alison Tarrant reflects:

CW was careful not to bombard fans with irrelevant or aggressively promotional content […] You have to be very thoughtful and strategic about whether it makes sense for brands to play in social media. If users feel they can’t get anything of value, they will ignore the promotion or, worse, discuss their annoyance with friends and followers.

Using social media to connect and extend the reach of traditional media will provide a closer connection to the brand.  This isn’t just for television shows, either.  Think about it: if you go to a local restaurant and they don’t have some sort of social presence–Twitter, Facebook, no one monitoring and responding to Yelp reviews–you think they just don’t care and some teeny tiny part of you may start judging (or is that just me?)  We’re so used to being connected everywhere all the time, like Jessica Brown wrote while exploring Pittsburgh using apps.

I encourage–nay, implore you to set up social media accounts for your business yesterday if you haven’t already, and make sure someone actually monitors them.  Nothing is worse than going on a Twitter account for a company that hasn’t been updated in months, especially if they have the Twitter bird, whose name is Larry by the way, splashed all over every poster, post card, and menu page.

So it seems that we’re stuck with the hashtag in the corner of the screen during any given episode that’s broadcast.  Go forth and use it wisely.

Becoming a Local: Using Apps to Discover Your City

Once upon a time, if you were a new resident in a city and wanted to find out the best place to catch an off-Broadway show or grab a slice, you had limited options. You asked friends, family and neighbors. You looked in city guides. And then this amazing thing called the Internet happened, and all of a sudden, all of the information you needed was just a Google search away.

But search isn’t enough for us anymore. We want information from people we can trust, but we want it instantly. We don’t just want to experience our surroundings, we want to share them. And so, we’ve adapted to using the best city guide we can find: our smart phones.

I moved to Pittsburgh in Summer 2011. For a year, I lived with two roommates in a house in Shadyside before branching off on my own in Highland Park. While during my first year of living in Pittsburgh I focused on my career and trying not to get lost on one-way streets in my neighborhood, I now claim the city as my own and find myself wanting to explore its culture more.  My quest to become a real Pittsburgher has led me to tiny dive bars on Carson street, vegetable stands in the Strip District, yogurt shops in the North Hills and more. I’ve been checking things off of my list like lightning… all with the help of the iOS app store.

Pittsburgh art is highlighted on Penn Avenue during Unblurred.

On Friday night, I decided to go check out Unblurred for the first time and wanted to grab a bite first. Unblurred takes place on the first Friday of every month in the Penn Avenue Arts district and highlights local artists throughout venues on Penn Avenue. Taking a liking to the reviews of Brillobox on Yelp, I searched for it on Facebook to see if any of my friends liked the page. The menu, Yelp reviews and seal of approval from my Facebook friends cemented my decision. And I’m not alone in using Yelp to review or learn more about a business. According to the site, they had more than 36 million reviews at the end of Q4 in 2012.

After dinner, we set off down Penn Avenue to check out eclectic works of sculptors, photographers, performers, painters and artists of various other mediums – all who call Pittsburgh home. It felt amazing to be walking the streets of such an amazing city, and I wanted to share what I was seeing with others. So I checked in on Facebook. I checked in on Foursquare. I tweeted about the art warehouse I ended up in, which I took photos of and uploaded to Instagram.

While I’m not sure if I chose Pittsburgh, or if Pittsburgh chose me, I’ve used Google Maps, Urbanspoon and other apps to make it feel less like I’m visiting and more like I live here. Part of the beauty of choosing a city to live in is sharing the intimate and amazing parts of it with the world. We no longer need to see a pristine shot from Mount Washington to want to explore the area. Instead, we’re drawn to the places in the photos our friends post online.

Features like the Facebook Graph Search have made falling love with the city even easier, as I can now search for friends who have been to all of the spots I’d like to check out and ask their opinions. Or, I can do a search for all of my friends who live in Pittsburgh and choose who I’d like to come along.

Just like those Pittsburghers before us, we experience the culture of our neighborhood by getting up and seeing all of the amazing parts on our own. We just simply have a GPS to get us there and 40 photo filters in order to share it with the world. We live in a beautiful city. It’s time we started using all of the tools we have in order to see it from a new perspective.

Which apps have helped you discover your favorite parts of your city?