How to use Twitter to drive engagement

 admin  15/Mar/17  no responses.

Are you looking for more replies, engagement, clicks and retweets for your Twitter efforts?

 

Let’s be honest – any business that takes the time to network on this platform is looking for all of these things, and it seems images could provide the answer for each. Let’s consider some statistics. MassPlanner states, “Infographics are “liked” and shared on social media three times more than other any other type of content.” Buffer Social found that “Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images,” while Twitter states, “Tweets with photos get 313% more engagement.”

 

So now that we know why we should be spending time on images for Twitter, let’s move onto how we should be using them.

 

Images for Twitter – 5 top tips (and the mistakes to avoid)

 

Brand your visuals

 

Don’t allow your efforts to go unrewarded when your images are re-tweeted – use a tool such as Pablo to add a watermark to the images you create. This can also easily be done in Photoshop (with helpful tutorials found on the Adobe website) by using templates, ensuring the design and font is the same with each image.

 

 

Create original visual content for Twitter and Twitter alone

 

Don’t re-use images across all of your social channels – doing so will impact engagement. Buffer Social found that Tweets with Instagram images are 42% less likely to be re-tweeted, so in order to build engagement it is important to take different images for each platform you want to post on.

 

It is also worth remembering that images shared from Instagram to Twitter don’t actually show up on the Twitter timeline – instead the tweet includes a link to Instagram. If you were to remain sharing photos from the Instagram platform, it is vital to post them with an engaging line of description and relevant hashtags to influence people to click through. However, it is much more effective to simply upload using Twitter’s dedicated image uploader – this way the image will show up on timelines and stimulate far more interest.

 

Infographics – share-ability, engagement and expertise

 

Whilst written content on your blog provides you with a chance to demonstrate your industry knowledge to your fellow equestrian businesses, images are more digestible and grab attention more easily than content that must be clicked through to.

 

Infographics provide the best of both worlds – capturing audience attention with vibrant visuals, whilst also allowing you to provide value in the way of facts, stats or tips. For example, if you’re a specialist equestrian feed manufacturer, your infographic can demonstrate trends in the industry that your equestrian retailers will be interested in. This could include growth in the market for certain products and price rises and falls in percentages owing to trading conditions.

 

Nurture engagement by running a competition

 

Foster engagement by using your images for competitions and online contests. For example: ‘CONTEST: First three people that can guess where our filly is grazing wins…. #findthefilly.’

 

Competitions make for extremely shareable content and the addition of relevant images help broaden the audience as well as build attention. Again watermarks or some form of branding should be added to ensure all attention is focused on your company, and this also helps to build brand awareness with the online community you are targetting.

 

The key components of a succesful Twitter competition are having a defined goal with carefully selected plans. Make sure you track your campaign to learn what works well for your target audience. This includes looking at prize value, entry requirements, optimum tweet times as well as information about the entrants, such as age, location and potentially, some pointers on income.

 

Image size and composition – get your dimensions right

 

Twitter works to set measurement ratios for images – resulting in images that are automatically cut down, with images that are two tall or two wide having parts removed unless the user clicks on the image to see it in its full size. Whilst this may be ok for an image of a Shetland pony, you may find your Shire isn’t being fully shown unless clicked upon. To make sure your image displays as it should, edit it to be 800 x 400 or 1,000 x 500 — or any size at a 2:1 ratio (Twitter also has an upload limit of 3MB, and you need to work to a maximum image size of 1024 x 512).

 

Tapping into the equestrian community

 

Twitter is an extremely useful tool for sharing but more importantly, for interacting with your clients, potential clients and the general equestrian community. It’s ease of use and speed at which interactions can be made makes it one of the most user-friendly forms of social media. The number of equestrian users has also increased dramatically and finding out how to tap into this audience is very useful to improve engagement.

 

The online equestrian community has organised dedicated daily hashtags, creating a huge conversation for all who use the relevant hashtags. Mainly held from 8 – 9 pm each evening of the week, these hashtags include:

Monday: #HorseHour

Tuesday: #DressageHour and #PonyHour (9-10pm)

Wednesday: #EquestrianHour

Thursday: #RiderHour

Friday: #HorseBizHour (4-5pm) and #TackRoomFriday

Sunday: #EquineHour

 

Joining the conversation with relevant hashtags not only brings your tweets onto the timeline of interested users, but it also brings opportunities of free advertising as well as collaborations. The users that run the main hashtag accounts (such as #HorseHour) organise regular sponsorship opportunities for companies, which benefit the company by displaying its content to a wider and completely relevant audience. This can be in the form of a competition, simple hashtag or regular mentions to send users back through to the company’s official Twitter account.

 

Twitter and images go together like a horse and cart – however that’s not to say that this platform, like all other social networks, aren’t without their challenges. The need to keep up with the latest trends, tips and changes is a must – and to make the most of this medium, you may need a professional helping hand. If you believe that we could help you, feel free to get in touch to find out more about our social media marketing.

 

Twitter basics

 

For those of you yet to explore all that Twitter has to offer, here is a roundup of all the basics you need to know before sending your first tweet.

 

What is a tweet?

 

A tweet is simply a Twitter message. It can contain up to 140 characters of text, as well as photos, videos, locations and other forms of media. Public by default, tweets will show up in Twitter timelines and searches unless the account is private.

 

What is a Retweet?

 

Retweets are tweets that are ‘re-shared’ to the followers of another user. You have the option to either ‘Quote Tweet’, which allows you to add a comment or image along with the original tweet, or just a simple Retweet that repeats the original tweet onto you timeline. Retweets are a great way to add your voice to a topic, show support and it enables you to connect to the original poster while furthering the message.

 

Does my handle matter?

 

Your handle is simply your user or account name, such as @PressPointMedia or @EBTrade. It is important to use consistent handles across all social media networks, so try and use the same name across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – it really helps with discoverability.

 

Been mentioned?

 

Twitter allows you to tag another user’s handle within your tweets, otherwise known as a mention. Mentions notify the users that have been tagged, enabling them to respond. Mentions work like hyperlinks, allowing users to click the tagged user and visit their profile.

 

Going direct?

 

Direct message (DM) allows you to communicate privately with other users, but DM’s can only be sent as long as the two users follow one another.

 

If you need expert advice on how to make Twitter work for you, PressPoint Countryside & Equestrian is here to help.

 

 

Dirty Menus and branding for rural businesses

 Vanessa B  22/Aug/16  no responses.

Does this ring any bells?… You pick up a menu, but you don’t get as far as looking at the enticing meal options as the first thing you notice is that the menu is stained with traces of dried food from previous diners.

The image that you form and the emotions that you feel are exactly the same when you come into contact with brands, and sometimes it’s just as negative too! Has anyone got anything good to say about a train company?

But the best brands have a purpose and they have a personality, they breed loyalty and they have value. Think about Barbour, think about Land Rover, think about John Deere, and then think about the premium price they can charge because of the properties which are invested in those brands.

But don’t ever think that this is unattainable or just for the big boys.

An effective and attractive brand is useful in so many ways for rural businesses in the UK, one of PressPoint’s clients is using the brand we created as a signpost to its quality, and to successfully sell their products into the regional arm of a major multiple retailer. In effect, his brand has opened the door to a whole new revenue stream. The retailer really bought into the brand and into the product, and the results are now on its shelves. It’s stories like these which emphasise the need for rural businesses to take their branding much more seriously.

When it comes to thinking about your brand, start at the very beginning. What drove you, or the founders of the business, to start the business? Of course time moves on and businesses change and adapt all the time, but the reasons behind the formation of the business are often at the root of what a business should stand for today.

Our client Allen & Page was founded as a limited company in 1936 but had been producing and selling feeds for a number of years prior to that. Their commitment to only using the highest quality ingredients in the feed they produce, to ensure healthy and happy animals, is as strong today as it has ever been. 

Animal nutrition has changed immeasurably since Allen & Page started manufacturing its feed and the company has kept on innovating to stay ahead of the competition, but each time they have developed or improved a product they have endeavoured to keep it as natural and wholesome as it can be.

Their feed products today contain no GM ingredients, no animal by-products and are manufactured in a drug-free mill. Whilst other feed companies have fallen by the wayside in terms of the composition of their feed, Allen & Page has gained and maintained its accreditation from the major food production and quality control organisations for their feeds, including the Soil Association, the Vegetarian Society and ISO.

This highly ethical stance underpins everything they do – from the way they do business, to their team of animal nutritionists who are meeting people every day and giving people truly unbiased advice on how and what to feed their animals. 

So when we create anything for Allen & Page; an advertising campaign, a product launch, a website or even a humble leaflet we understand that whatever we do create, must be true to Allen & Page’s core principles and crucially, convey to the audience that Allen & Page are still true to its own principles.

We like to think that if the founding fathers of Allen & Page could see their business today, they would very proud of the brand which has been created from the ethos they instilled all those years ago.

Whether you’re looking at your brand for the first time or looking to bring it up-to-date, don’t get too caught up in the marketing speak we agencies use as shorthand for common sense marketing principles. In future blogs we’ll attempt to demistify the jargon which surrounds branding for rural businesses and give you some hints and tips to help you understand how you can create a successful rural brand.

The difference between iconic branding and fashionable trends

 Vanessa B  29/Sep/15  no responses.

When developing your brandING you need to know the difference

Brand development is a process which should be handled with a long term strategy. Unfortunately, many brands emerging into the current market are not geared to the iconic but to the fashionable trends of the current market. These brands are currently seeing a draw to their products and services but once the fashion trend shifts, the branding will become obsolete. Understanding the differences between iconic branding and fashionable trending is essential to any business’ success.

Iconic branding is more than just a logo

One of the biggest mistakes with current branding trends is that the branding focuses primarily on the logo. Yes, you need a strong logo, but let us consider that if the logo is developed to current trends instead of proven sustainably, the logo is subject to revisions in the future. You can see that there are a few major corporations which have jumped on the logo branding train. Where a company may have a logo that has fonts and branding, if the logo of the branding is consistently having to change to keep up with the shifts in the market, then that brand is not iconic but fashionable. Worse, the branding is based upon a logo which is based upon fashion trends. Such a methodology in creating your branding is doomed to fail as the trends in logo design are consistently changing. Something as subtle as a trend shift from a specific color could cause your whole brand to falter.

Fashionable trends follow companies which are popular. Icon companies follow the successful ones

When planning branding strategy, a company needs to focus on the most successful companies, not the most popular. Branding and company worth is quickly established by some companies because they have a gap, which they can fill for a time. Do you remember how popular the Duck Dynasty and Duck Commander branding was a few years ago? Many outdoor companies focused their branding to mimic that of the company. But where is the popularity in the brand now? Many of those companies which followed the trend have to re-envision their branding strategy.

Modeling your branding after an iconic brand increases your chances of having an iconic brand yourself. Companies such as Coke, Apple, Caterpillar, and Microsoft have stood the test of time in their branding. Those which are establishing their brand should look beyond the logo and see how these companies have established their brand. How has the company used mobile marketing? What PR strategies have been used to build the brand? By understanding the mindset of these iconic companies, you can implement successful techniques to set your business a head above the others.

There is a difference between being modern and relevant and being “trendy”

Though it may upset a few companies, it is worth stating. Windows 10 branding for other companies is a fashion trend. Every Dick, Jane, and Sally is using the monotone colors in their branding so that it will “look good” on the OS and mobile devices. While companies should not abandon the desire to have such a graphic “accompanying” their branding, building an entire branding and marketing strategy based upon this trend is a dangerous and (quite frankly) cliché move. Establish a brand that will be sustainable when the minimalistic trend is over.

So, how do I determine if my brand is iconic or trendy?

The best way to determine if your brand is iconic or trendy is to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is my branding dependent upon my logo?
  • Is my branding modelled after a company which has not been established for decades?
  • Have I focused on marketing strategies and PR?
  • If the desired market were to shift tomorrow would my company’s future be in danger?
  • If you were a customer and presented with your branding would it be unique or would it look like everyone else’s? Are you distinguishable?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the odds are that your branding has been mismanaged and developed to meet the current trends. Whilst your business will not fail, it is predictable that you will have to redesign your branding in the future. As we have seen, even if you are successful with your product, if you do not have a strong branding there is no way to tell you apart from all the other businesses out there.

We are here to help

If you find that your branding is less then iconic and want to establish a brand for your company which will stand the test of time, or if you have any enquiries as to the branding services offered by PressPoint please feel free to contact us.

7 Reasons why the Mobile Market is where you should target your branding

 Vanessa B  01/Sep/15  no responses.

How modernisation of your branding into new technologies will help your company.

When it comes to branding, there are many strategies which are effective. Yet, a great deal of the strategies fails to see the golden vein of mobile marketing. Recent research has shown that one out of every three people on the planet have a mobile tablet or smartphone. Facebook has reported that they have user accounts for one out of every seven people, and YouTube has stated that over a million videos are streamed each day. Now, consider traditional marketing and branding. You will see that although it is still important, that there has been a paradigm shift away from such mediums. Here are seven reasons why you should focus your branding on the mobile market.

Number One: mobile branding markets to the current masses

Branding which is geared to the mobile market maximises a businesses exposure. Where it may be that word of mouth carries a great deal of weight concerning a business’ brand, the internet is the new voice in which it is done. Internet usage on social media sites in the UK averaged 35 hours per month per person (As reported on thegaurdian.com )

Number Two: you have to have a website anyway, why not integrate it?

Any professional business needs to have a website. Due to the algorithm changes implemented in April 2015 by Google, those sites which are mobile friendly will receive higher SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) than those which only have a laptop or desktop oriented page. Google is also discussing the integration of the social media into their algorithm. So to help your branding and SEO it is best to have it geared to the mobile market.

Number Three: mobile market branding establishes your business as modern

Businesses which use mobile technology, specifically in building their brand, are seen as being modern and up to date with the latest methodologies of business. Consider, if a business is relying only on business cards, a nice sign outside their business, and some local advertisement, their brand is really not saying “Hi, we are modern, we embrace technology”. Rather you are giving the message that you are set in your ways and that there is no bit of technology which will change that. Whether this may or may not be true, you do not want to convey that in your branding.

Number Four: branding through mobile media builds trust

One of the keys in having a great brand is having transparency with your business. If the consumer is made to feel like they can contact you through social and mobile media your businesses brand will become stronger, especially if you have a dedicated way in which for your customers to do so. Businesses which have no mobile and social integration are often seen as being distant and as trying to “cover something up”. If you want to establish a great brand for your company you need to be connected to the customers to whom you are selling your products and services.

Number Five: mobile marketing in your branding gives you quicker feedback for your business/services

Customer engagement and response time in the mobile world is almost instantaneous. You can quickly gauge how your brand is performing using customer engagement surveys, social media, apps, and so on. On the other hand, if you are not targeted to mobile marketing strategies in your branding, you have to rely upon field studies and analysing hard data. This is tedious, and realistically becomes outdated by the time it is completed. By allocating a great potion of your branding and marketing to the mobile market, your feedback upon your products and services will be guided quicker and more efficiently.

Number Six: brand accountability is maximized on the mobile market

Accountability is among the top things which make or break a business. If a consumer believes that a business does not care about their product or services, the business will fail. If a business has great services they need to build customer loyalty for the product or service. Whether you like it or not, your business is already being held accountable online. Posts and shares about your business are already on the internet. It would befit any business therefore, to ensure that they are focused on creating the branding that they want (and not give the power to the customer to create your brand) online.

Number Seven: mobile marketing is the least expensive and most extensive methodology to expand your brand consciousness

Where you may have a great brand and a great marketing team (which I hope you do), nothing will come close to reaching the market that your brand will reach if it is made for mobile marketing. With mobile marketing you can have apps for easy access to your brand, others can share and comment on your branding, the base is global, and you do not have anything but time that usually has to be invested.

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