How to Use the New Twitter Moments Feature for Your Business

Twitter Has Launched Moments and You Can Use It for Your Business

When you logged on to your Twitter account this week, you should have noticed a new option in the tool bar. It’s the new Twitter Moments feature. (Look for the lightening bolt.)

Before adding Moments, Twitter users could see what was new in their own network or look at the trending hashtags and jump in on various conversations. But now the Moments feature shares the best of all across Twitter in an instant, according to the Twitter blog.

Twitter rolled out the feature in the U.S. and targeted iPhone and Android users, and offers as a desktop version.

How It Works

The Twitter Moments will work kind of like a breaking news feature. Twitter’s curation team will be in constant update mode and share what’s happening right now in the world. They are also allowing content from some of their content partners: Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue and the Washington Post. The contributors’ list is small for now, but they plan to expand it in the near future.

How You Can Engage

There are many options to engage with Twitter Moments.

Engage with a Twitter Moment

  • Follow the main stream, or choose a topic of interest like Entertainment or Sports.
  • Click on a particular moment to learn more about what is going on.
  • Moments are heavily tied to digital content like auto-playing videos, vines, GIFs, and immersive full-bleed images.
  • Twitter fans can embed the moments onto your website or blog, or share them as a link. You can also retweet, favorite or comment on Moments. Or send it along as a Direct Message.
  • Use the Follow feature to stay on top of the event. This is perfect for tracking your favorite game or a live event, or updating your followers on an industry topic. Following a moment sends updates right to your timeline.

How to follow a Twitter Moment

How Can Small Businesses Use Moments?

As Twitter expands its list of contributors, there will be more events for business owners to engage with, and connect with the event followers. But getting started, one of the best features about Moments is it brings your target audience right to your door. Look for topics that resonate with your target audience. Follow the Moment’s fans and begin connecting.

See a moment that highlights a problem your business can solve? Connect and share your solution.

Does your business offer more content relevant to the event or topic? Connect and share!

Embed Twitter Moment’s in your content marketing, blog posts, articles, newsletters, and email campaigns.

This article was written by Jo Lynn Deal from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Crisis Management: Help! My Facebook Page Is Full of Reputation Attacks!

Facebook can be a wonderful tool for business promotion. With a little bit of time and effort, you can share the silly and sassy side of your company culture with hundreds or even thousands of your fans, living close by or hundreds of miles away.

But, Facebook can also be an intensely dangerous site, in terms of your company’s online reputation. Those same people who could like, share or compliment your company could write nasty reviews, slap up unflattering snaps or curse through your comments. In short, you could log in one morning and find that your page is the nexus of a very serious reputation problem.

What should you do next? I’m here to help you through it.

Step 1: Gather the Data

Find out as much as you can about the person attacking you, and nail down when the attacker last had some interaction with your company. Is the attacker a former employee? A one-time customer? A competitor?

Then, gather the facts about the issue in question. If the person is complaining about a specific employee or staffer, talk to that person about the event. If the attack has to do with a product, talk to the supplier and determine if this is a common complaint.

As you research, get as much specific data as you possibly can. Look for dates, times, names, prices and locations. All of those facts can help you to combat a rumor, and that might shut the attack down, pronto.

Step 2: Block the Attacker

Once you’ve gathered your data, block the attacker from writing on your page. You’re about to go public with your side of the story, and you want to make sure that your responses don’t become opportunities to launch new and annoying secondary attacks. Block the original attacker, and craft a watch list of anyone who approved of the original attack.

Step 3: Issue a Response

Once you’ve created a safe space for your words, craft a comprehensive post that details exactly what happened to prompt the attack. Be as specific as you possibly can, and keep the language professional. You’re not trying to fan the flames, but you are trying to bring the truth to light.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you run a pet shop, and some of the fish you’ve sold to a customer died within a few days of transport. Your response could read something like this: “Recently, we saw posts about fish on our page, and we were just as disturbed about the issue as many of our customers were. So we did some investigation. On Saturday, this customer came to buy three fish from us, and after careful selection, we netted three healthy goldfish for him to take home. They were placed in a plastic bag with water at 65 degrees F. The customer was told to take the fish home and put them into his aquarium within 30 minutes, floating the bag for at least an hour before releasing the fish. The customer signed an agreement to follow the rules. But the customer left his fish in the bag for an hour in a warm car, and then did not float the fish in the bag. We’re distressed that these fish died, but we cannot be responsible for customer choices once they leave our store. We thank the community for ongoing support.”

This is a long post, but it’s the detail that makes the company seem reasonable and correct. The attack just seems silly now.

Step 4: Post Something Positive (and Pay for Promotions)

Once you’ve addressed the issue, create a post that has nothing at all to do with the controversy. Release a new promotional set of pricing, or share a photo of a staffer crafting something wonderful. Don’t address the original controversy anywhere at all in this post, and pay to promote it.

You’re not trying to hide the issue with this post. What you are trying to do is point out that your company is more than the terrible thing your attacker is claiming. You’re trying to remind your fans that you do good things and that people tend to like you. It’s a way to shift the conversation in a much more positive direction.

Step 5: Hide or Delete Secondary Attacks

If you see more attacks on your page, either as responses to an original attack or as new responses to new things on your page, delete those comments and block the commenter. You’ve addressed the issue already, and there’s no need to keep repeating your innocence. Simply delete, block and move on.

Step 6: Repeat as Necessary

Hopefully, with this approach, you’ll neutralise the original attack and get your page moving in the right direction. But it’s possible that you’ll see new attacks in the weeks and months that follow. If you do, follow this same set of steps to clean up the damage. And be sure to watch your page closely, so you’ll see new attacks as soon as they start.

To learn more, download our ebook Media Intelligence for Crisis Communications.

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This article was written by Jean Dion from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


How to Use Hashtags on Social Networks Other Than Twitter

The hashtag has proven to be an effective model for businesses and individuals to keep themselves engaged in relevant conversations while tracking their social media reach. Though most people associate the hashtag system with Twitter, it wound up becoming so effective that a myriad of other social networks have adopted this scheme. To jump on the bandwagon, it helps to understand the way hashtags are supported on common networks you may use.

Hashtags on Facebook

Facebook hashtags are a little more unique in how they unite concepts. You can theoretically add an unlimited amount of hashtags to any post. While this sounds like it’s excellent for maximising your reach, that’s actually a little bit deceiving.

Facebook doesn’t allow a direct search for hashtags through its search bar. The only way to find posts related to a hashtag is to click on the hashtag when you see it. There is a shortcut, although it’s not promoted. If you manually visit facebook.com/hashtag/(search term), you will then be directed to a page where you see all results in aggregate, with posts by those in your network showing up closest to the top. Facebook hashtags tend to work best when you’re attempting to cash in on something that’s already viral.

Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram caps hashtags at thirty per post, which is more than enough to get your point across. If you left out some hashtags you feel are important, you can retroactively place them in the comments section of your photo, and Instagram will consider them valid. Instagram’s search results display in ascending order, so newest posts will show at the top.

On Instagram, people utilise hashtags to find people they have something in common with. There are also a number of games and challenges that involve posting with a specific hashtag, and the people who participate in those often look at what others have posted. They’re also interested in finding people in their own areas, so using hashtags that reflect your current location will also boost your visibility.

Hashtags on Tumblr

Tumblr is essentially a blog site, so hashtags work like general post tags. This makes Tumblr’s hashtags unique, because you’re able to include numbers, spaces, and characters which are forbidden by most other social networks.

Tumblr is a big place to investigate trends and curate content. Because of this, people will often spend a great deal of time looking at the things that have been posted under a specific hashtag. If you’re following Tumblr’s trends, just adding the proper hashtags can direct tons of visitors to your blog.

Hashtags on Flickr

Flickr supports hashtags, but they don’t actually seem to make a difference. They don’t do anything to improve your presence and are mainly used as an organisational tool. You can add hashtags for your own personal benefit, but they’re never going to reach other users.

Hashtags on Pinterest

Much like Flickr, Pinterest supports hashtags, but you really can’t do anything with them. The search function turns the hashtag into a broad search term that won’t necessarily direct you to the content you’re looking for. It’s never a bad idea to use a hashtag for branding, but the hashtag only really serves as decoration.

Hashtags on Google Plus

This is the only network that will automate hashtags for you. When you’ve posted an update, the system will take the liberty of adding hashtags it believes are relevant to your content. These hashtags will unite you with a broader group of people that you may not already be connected with. In function, hashtags on Google Plus serve as an exploratory tool rather than a promotional trend.

This article was written by Sophia Beirne from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Why You Suck at A/B Testing

At this point A/B testing is a marketing tactic we’ve all heard of. When business owners look to optimise their website these kind of experiments are usually the first place they turn. So why beat a dead horse? Frankly, most businesses do A/B testing wrong. To be fair, it’s not really their fault. We’ve all been told to A/B test one thing on our website at a time so we can see how every alteration affects conversions. That makes sense, right? Sure, but it’s still a poor approach.

Let’s take a look at the stereotypical A/B test: a button color experiment. We want to know if the green or blue button converts better. We create two versions of the button, wait for a few weeks and at the end we have an inconclusive result that tells us blue increases conversions by .43 percent. Are you excited by that progress? Yeah, me neither. The reason this type of test doesn’t create real results is because most businesses haven’t refined their website messaging enough to test these granular details and get more than marginal gains.

If you shouldn’t just be testing one web page component at a time, what should you be testing? To find out, let’s look at a website doing the kind of A/B test we’re all used to.

same1

Version A

Version B

A simple headline test. What’s the problem here? Well, to your website visitors these two versions are the same. Yes, they have different words on them, but they evoke the same emotion. Instead, experiment with something different.

diff

New Messaging

This test is going to create a clear winner and loser because it appeals to your target customer in two very different ways. To figure out what connects with your audience most, keep experimenting with different messages that utilise a variety of emotional and logical appeals.

Once you’ve found the theme that’s most effective, exaggerate the concept to see if you can improve conversions even more. To get a feel for this, let’s look at an A/B test the talented team over at Copy Hackers did for their client Dressipi.

dressipi1

Original Messaging

Above is the message that most effectively connected with Dressipi’s ideal customer. With that knowledge in mind, the CopyHackers team dove deeper and researched what women were saying about their bodies and finding clothes online. By sifting through blog posts, forums and returned clothing reviews, they were able to “steal” new copy straight out of a potential customer’s mouth. Armed with the words women actually use to describe the shopping experience, they formed an exaggerated headline and call to action that authentically reflects the way Dressipi’s customers talk about clothes.

dressipi2

Exaggerated Messaging

Although the frankness may seem daring, this version of the website converted 14.3% better than the previous version. Amazing! If you want to create more authentic website copy, try looking at reviews of a competitor’s (or your own) product to see how people describe the positive and negatives. Honing in on key words and phrases will help you craft the type of headline that feels authentic and pulls in prospective customers.

At this point most of us would leave the website alone. Conversions have already increased considerably after all. Instead, the CopyHackers team created one more version that combined the original headline with the more daring call to action.

dressipi3

Conversion Champion!

Just the difference in button copy generated 130% more clicks to sign up than the original!

The takeaway?

Refining your message is the most important A/B test you can do on your website. Forget about button color until you have the essentials nailed down and don’t be afraid to go bold!

To learn more about the basics of data-driven marketing, download our ebook The Keys to the Kingdom: Making Marketing More Data-Centric.

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This article was written by Arielle Hurst from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


The Changing Nature of the Press Release

The press release is dead; yet it continues to be one of the main vehicles of corporate communications. New forms have emerged such as the news release, as online marketers recognise the benefits of the old PR staple. As marketing pundit David Meerman Scott puts it in The New Rules of Marketing and PR:

“The Internet has made public relations public again, after years of almost exclusive focus on media. Blogs, online video, news releases, and other forms of web content let organisations communicate directly with buyers.”

Especially for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the news release provides a cost effective, easy to manage comms tactic to market themselves on the web. But it also opens a can of worms with regards to the traditional rules and etiquette of media relations and distribution. Understanding the pros and cons of the news release strategy helps organisations balance PR objectives with broader marketing goals.

New Press Release Strategy Pros

    • The times when press releases were exclusively read by journalists are over. Today, anyone can subscribe to company updates on the news wires and corporate newsrooms. In many cases, companies don’t have a choice; they merely comply with their disclosure requirements. They can as well embrace it and being more conscious of non-media audiences, cater for the demand with regular updates on activities and achievements.
    • Not all news is hard-hitting enough for media coverage. By publishing updates directly to buyers, investors and other stakeholders, businesses can take a more targeted approach with their messages and contents. They also make their news available to bloggers and other influencers that might not be captured through their traditional media relations program.
    • The online newsroom is often the most frequently updated and as such, SEO-friendly site of an organisation’s website. The news release plays an important role in the overall success of the online marketing strategy, and also provides much needed content for social media channels and other forms of marketing communications.

New Press Release Strategy Cons

    • Distributing news releases directly to marketing audiences and the public can diminish the news value of the announcement. Cutting out journalists as the traditional “gatekeepers” can not only impact the quantity but also the quality of media coverage as there is less time for clarifications and analysis. Conversely, distributing updates to media that are mainly intended for customers, partners or investors (but don’t meet traditional news criteria) can also negatively affect your PR program.
    • Press release templates vary from industry to industry, across countries, and depending where the company is listed, but they have certain attributes in common, such as the dateline, a pyramidal structure and above all, a more fact-driven, neutral tone. In contrast, taking its inspiration from blogs and online entertainment, the news release is less standardised. The excessive use of animated GIFs (see ZDNet op-ed piece on the topic) as an example of the more experimental forms demonstrates how this can render news releases unsuitable for the media, and even invite ridicule.
    • Even with its less rigid format, the news release should be reserved for actual news updates. Consider other communication channels such as a company blog, video or slideshows for opinion pieces, company backgrounders or product information.

 

This article was written by Isabel Wagner from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.