Twitter Tag

12 tips for live tweeting a conference

You know that feeling, when you’ve been concentrating so hard for so long that when you finally hit your pillow at night your brain still has a million tabs open and you feel like you sort of need a “control, alt, delete” function?

That.

Over the past two weeks Liz and I have been crazy busy live tweeting two very different, very interesting conferences: the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) in Cape Town, and the South African Impact Investing Network in Joburg.

Today is the first day we’ve been able to sit down, see each other’s faces, and fill each other in on February, basically.

Part of that “filling in” involved compiling our top 12 tips on live tweeting a conference – just for you. You’re welcome.

1. Turn on your Twitter analytics before the conference starts. *cough* Liz. *cough*.

2. Use a platform like Tweetdeck which allows you to see columns of ALL the things at once: your feed, your mentions, your notifications, the conference hashtag, replies, messages, etc. In the beginning it will feel like you’re sitting behind a control desk of a big plane. But you sort of are – do NOT crash the conference.

3. Make sure that the handle you’re tweeting from and the official hashtag are displayed somewhere prominent at the venue, and everywhere else you can get them – on the website, in the brochures, just in people’s faces. You don’t want to miss out on some tweets because people are using the wrong hashtag.

4. If the AV set-up allows it, use a programme like TweetBeam to project all conference tweets onto a screen. Just plug in the hashtag and you’re set.

5. Things will be hectic. Your fingers have never moved as fast as they will when you’re live tweeting. Do yourself a favour and schedule some tweets ahead of time, letting people know about upcoming talks, breakaways, etc.

6. Visual elements stand out in a Twitter feed. Make sure you tweet some photos of the event every so often and tag the speakers/delegates/sponsors if you know their handles. You’re more likely to earn retweets this way.

7. Live tweeting doesn’t mean you’re required to take a live dictation of the event. Know what to tweet and what not to.

8. Make friends with people who are tweeting well and see how you can complement each other (with an “e” – not as in “that is such an interesting hair colour…” Rather, how can you work together?)

9. Daily blog round-ups are a great way to sum-up the day and share on Twitter.

10. Make a plan to have back-up 3G. If the internet goes down, you’re screwed.

11. Where possible, avoid using a laptop that is on its last legs as it will overheat on your lap and you will get what feels like third-degree burns on your legs.

12. Be a boy scout. Always be prepared. You never know what’s going to be thrown at you – in terms of a logistical challenge or otherwise. Be creative in figuring out solutions. Case in point: This very profesh group photo taken by Liz at the AMI.

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How? Like this.
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What happens when a brand collaborates with its Instagram followers

There’s nothing quite like a hopping on a bike and feeling the breeze in your hair on a sunset bike ride along the picturesque Sea Point promenade. Childhood memories of riding with “no hands” for the first time, the flying sensation of high speeds, near-collisions and scraped knees come flooding back. You can’t help testing your bell – brrrrrring brrrrrrrring – for safety purposes, of course.

But how do you communicate that experience on a website? Having been long-time customers of UpCycles, we got chatting about their website and before we know it, that question was ours to answer. So we checked out UpCycle’s social media presence and found that people had such a blast that they LOVED taking photos of their joyrides. And you can see the what a good time they’re having. So we let them tell the story of what it’s like to rent an UpCycles bicycle by collaborating with them on the UpCycles website.

Here’s a taster of what Instagram users happily contributed to the Upcycles website:

The result?

We used a grid design because we were working with generally square pictures of a relatively low quality (having been shot on the fly with phones most of the time). We used a small slider on the homepage and built links to important pages around it. We got across the important information as succinctly as possible with maps and clearly listed rates and contact details. We also incorporated their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds to show off their online communities.

We had a lot of fun developing this site on a tight timeline and budget – and even more fun hearing how thrilled Jared and Shannon from Up Cycles were when we showed them the end product.

Upcycles website

My five favourite things about Hootsuite

When I first used Hootsuite, it felt like I was sitting at the control panel of a spaceship. So many columns, so many posts! What if I end up like George Clooney in Gravity!? But once you’ve got the hang of it – which doesn’t take long at all with this helpful beginners’ guide – you’ll never want to go back. It makes managing multiple social media accounts a breeze, but even for just one account, it helps you run your social media better.  I still feel like I’m in spaceship, but now it’s looking down at all the busy planets of Facebookland, the Twitterverse and LinkedInland.

Here are my five favourite things about Hootsuite:

  1. You can manage it all from one window.

    Research has shown that 42% of adults are using multiple social networks so your brand had better be there too. Hootsuite is essentially a dashboard which supports social network integration for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr and Mixi (I’ve never heard of the last two either) without you having to hop from window to window.

  2. You can schedule posts.

    This cultivates the practice of planning your content which is crucial to good social media management. Being able to schedule posts means that you have to think ahead: figure out what’s coming up, what you want to highlight, what kinds of interaction you want to foster and what content you want to share. This awareness gives your content structure, saves you time and completely eliminates the dreaded morning feeling of, “Oh crap, what am I going to post today?” which generally ends up being something lame, which helps no one.

  3. You can see action quickly and easily.

    All of your notifications show up on your dashboard so you can keep track of interactions immediately. You can also read through all of the feeds of all of your platforms in one place. Not only that, you can see your private messages, set up lists and see what you’ve scheduled.

  4. You can dip in whenever you like.

    While you can schedule your posts ahead of time, there is nothing rigid about the platform; you can jump in to share something spontaneous or join a conversation at any point.

  5. You can shorten URLs in a flash.

    For the times when characters need conserving, Hootsuite has a built-in URL shortener. Simple, quick, easy.

Quite simply, Hootsuite helps you work smarter. It’s integral to efficient working methods like How to Spend Only 10 Minutes Per Day on Twitter.

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Are you a social media addict?

Question: How many of you check Facebook, Instagram or Twitter before you even get out of bed in the morning? No? How about before you wash your face in the morning?

I am definitely guilty of this at least two or three days in the week. And that’s only because I actively stop myself from doing it on the other days.

Social media addiction is a real thing. I’m pretty sure I have it.

In a couple of weeks I’m going to Botswana for a whole week and do you want to know one of the things I’m looking forward to most? Sipping red wine in the bush under the stars? Um, YES. But also: no phone signal, no internet connection. An enforced break from all things social media. I can’t wait.

You may say that I could just give myself this break in the land of connectivity too – what’s stopping me except my own lack of self-control right? But the problem is, it’s my job now. I have linked myself inextricably to social networking sites.

Yip. That’s my story. It’s legit ok?

And I’m not complaining – I do love it. It gives me such a kick to watch clients’ followings and reach grow each week on various social media platforms, and to keep an eye on the latest platforms and trends. It’s all changing at a rapid pace and it’s pretty damn exciting to be involved in something like this. But, at times, it does get a bit much.

Do you know how many times I’ve checked Twitter while writing this post? I’m not going to tell you. Because it’s a few times too many.

I know I’m addicted. But I’m not alone.

Apparently an estimated 350 million social media users suffer from Facebook addiction syndrome. On average, people between the ages of 20 and 29 spend a full two hours a day on social media. 31% of people admit to checking social media while on the toilet. Yip. 31%.

Yes, these stats are a little scary. But, looking at my own life, I take solace in the fact that:

a)   My friends do not refer to me by my Twitter or Instagram handle. It’s not that dire yet.

b)   I don’t yet plan my day around the amount of battery I have left on my phone.

c)   A notification doesn’t bring me more happiness than a smile from a real live person. And that’s a win for real life, right?

d)   Being out of range for signal and internet connection for a whole week makes me excited rather than panicked.

So I can’t be that bad, right? There’s hope for me yet?

One last question: How many times did you check social media while reading this article? Mmmm. That’s what I thought.

Image source. You can buy this print here

sceptical baby social media

5 simple ways to engage your audience on social media

Ever wanted to have your own shop selling stuff you love or be a radio presenter recognised and adored for your sense of humour? If you’re active on social media, you’re already taking on roles like these.

Social media is space we all curate – whether it’s our personal brand (of life being amazing all the time) or a business’s brand (of the business’s values, products, lifestyle). Visual platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr can be compared to custom magazines and you could say that Twitter is like having your own transcribed podcast beaming out to followers who are tuned in. So what are you doing with your curated spaces? Getting people to participate is one of the best ways to build loyalty. Here are five simple ways to get followers to engage.

1. Polls

Polls are a great way to get feedback from your community while not asking them to make much of an effort. There are plenty of apps out there to facilitate them – just be aware of your settings: pranksters can have (hilarious but) devastating effects when you allow the public to add suggestions.

2. Competitions

For as long as society has used pronouns, people have loved free stuff. Facebook recently slackened the rules for running competitions which has made life a lot easier. By using an entry mechanism where ‘liking’ your page is a condition, you can build follower numbers quickly. After that, it’s up to you to keep them around.

3. Videos

Generally, we’re a pretty lazy society and there’s no better example of this than our internet habits. We would much rather watch a short clip than read a paragraph of text. Film is a multi-sensory experience and, while it’s expensive in relation to writing text, the impression it gives is incomparable and you can get a lot of mileage out of it. A short, captivating clip to introduce your brand and a number of key points can be used in presentations, on your website, and shared on all of your social media platforms.

4. Links

Your curated space doesn’t have to be made up exclusively of original content. While a certain amount is crucial, your brand’s online presence can also be a hub for relevant and useful content. You can be the go-to place for all things [insert your field here].

5. Photos

Because they communicate immediately and powerfully, images are some of the most shareable content on the internet, especially when overlayed with text. There are plenty of easy-to-use, free tools out there such as PicMonkey which make creating this kind of content a cinch.

If you’d like to take your social media to the next level, check out 26 Facebook Fan Engagement Tips or get in touch about our social media workshops and social media management.

vine

Rise and Vine! Get the low-down on this micro video app

Over on our Facebook page, we recently launched Vine Vednesdays (Wine Wednesdays are still alive and well, remain calm). Named after a ‘Vignette’, a short impressionistic scene, this mobile app enables its users to create and post short looping video clips.

Why it works

The limitations of time (7 seconds) and editing (the camera records only while the screen is being touched) has forced users to become increasingly creative and to plan their precious moments. The result? Some really original entertainment.

In terms of watching Vines, the brevity of the looping clip makes the app mesmerising.

What people are doing with it

1.Capturing moments: watch cute kittens getting tickled or the view from  parasailing over turquoise waters.

2. Making moments: check out guys pulling off amazing tricks and some slightly bizarre theatrical moments.

3. Dorseying: founder, Jack Dorsey loves to take a selfie (usually half a selfie actually) with a scene, landmark or moment going on behind him. Dorseying has inspired many an entertaining parody.

For a taste of what’s out there, check out Vine’s Twitter account or just keep an eye on our Facebook feed for the best of the best every Vednesday.

vine infographic

Sources: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100807818,
http://eggboss.com/technology/10-facts-probably-didnt-know-vine/

10 amazing social media stats (to make you sound like you know what you’re talking about)

I wasn’t a huge fan of numbers at school. Maths was my worst. WORST. The day I wrote that final matric exam was possibly the greatest feeling in my life to date. Ok, let’s call it top five…

However – as I’ve grown older and wiser, I’ve come to appreciate the power of a good statistic. Here is a little fact for you: quoting an (accurate and current) statistic makes you sound like you know what you’re talking about. It just does.

So I’ve compiled a little list of 10 amazing social media stats for you to quote in your next meeting/dinner party/awkward conversation that descends into silence and badly requires you to make words.

1)    72% of all internet users are now active on social media. My mom is one of them. The other day she invited people to like a page. It’s happening guys!

2)    5700 tweets happen every second. Every. SECOND.

3)    As you might expect, the majority of Pinterest users are female, but those demographics are shifting. Right now the divide stands at 68% female and 32% male.

4)    There are currently over 1.15 billion Facebook users, 23 percent of whom log in at least five times per day. (Where do you stand here? More or less? Be honest…)

5)    Approximately 50% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 check Facebook immediately after waking up.  More than half of these individuals check their Facebook pages on their smartphones before getting out of bed. (Guilty)

6)    Instagram now has 150 million active users, and the most followed brand on this platform is MTV.

7)    Facebook users share 2.5 billion pieces of content each day. I can’t even wrap my mind around that number…

8)    Twitter has 560 million active users. It’s not quite Facebook’s 1 billion, but it’s growing at a rapid rate – particularly in SA. Not one to be ignored!

9)    79% of LinkedIn users are 35 and older. Let’s be honest – this is not the most exciting platform. But I know a few people who have been offered jobs through LinkedIn or generated leads. It has its place for sure.

10) 71% of users access social media from a mobile device. So often, in fact, that it’s hard to go to dinner with friends without someone picking up their phone mid-conversation to check a tweet or Facebook update. New game? Upon arrival, everyone puts their phones in the middle of the table. First person to touch their phone buys dinner for the table.

[Sources: Mediabistro, jeffbullas.com and lifementalhealth.com]

[Feature image source]

Make your presence felt: Pomegranite workshops

Why do I love running workshops? Apart from the snacks (obviously), I really enjoy helping people craft their voice online – whether it’s through helping them go back to the core and articulate their brand or teaching them the skills to use social media platforms effectively.

Never before have brands needed to be so personable. To stand out in the virtual cocktail party of social media, individuals and businesses need not only to be competent at using social platforms, but also something far more alluring: themselves. It’s easy to be safe, to hide behind generic advertising speak, but when brands go for it online and show some character, it’s magic.

Brand strategy

We work with small and medium-sized businesses – people who started with a great idea and have thrown themselves in and grown it into a viable business. Often, it’s only when they come up for air to consider marketing elements like a website or social media that these businesses realise how important it is to be able to articulate clearly who they are, what makes them different, and how they’re going to communicate that personality. Clients often want to have a brand workshop before we build their website or run their social media for them.

Social media training

Our social media training caters to everyone, from wary individuals to corporate teams. What I’ve learned is that everyone gets a kick out of becoming comfortable with a new way of expressing themselves. Some of our clients are individuals wanting to develop their voice online in order to make their mark in an industry; some are businesses wanting to use their team (who better?) to represent their brand. -One thing is clear across the board: a strong voice online is valuable currency.

If you’d like to chat to us about booking an affordable workshop, just pop us a line – we’d be happy to see what we can do for you.

 

 

‘GIRLS’ talks to its viewers in their language

Love it or hate it, GIRLS is back and they’ve developed a great online presence ahead of the launch of their third season, which aired on Sunday night. I’m an unabashed GIRLS fan, so move on over if you don’t smile with fondness at these ladies (I’m a lady, you’re a lady, she’s a lady, we’re the ladies.)

 

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Wednesday night

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The show hasn’t gone without criticism – indeed the above images show a group of well-off twenty-somethings staring at their navels – but if you happen to be a twenty-something ‘girl’, it reflects your messy existence better than anything else out there. It’s refreshing to laugh at your own ridiculous naivety and self involvement through this group of undeniably hilarious characters.

The show’s target audience is of a similar age and that market is online. All the time. “For us, this is an increasingly challenging demographic to reach with traditional means,” Sabrina Caluori, HBO’s vice-president of social media and marketing, told Mashable. In the lead-up to the release of season 3, HBO has made some great marketing choices, reaching viewers through a range of current platforms.

Because the show is so quotable, an early mark online was the ‘GIRLS’ Tumblr page (previously WhatShouldWeCallGirls), which posts a bunch of GIFs, memes and fan-art, allowing fans the satisfaction of in-jokes and reliving moments from the show. Their Facebook page has run a fun campaign giving character portraits through emojis (Shoshana’s signature mode of communication) accompanied by translations. Over on Twitter, it’s a family affair with cast and crew members live-tweeting during the show, and answering fans’ questions after the show, starting with episode three using #GirlsFYI. These strategies have been adapted for emerging platforms such as Instagram, Vine and even Snapchat, as well as the usual social suspects like  Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The biggest move so far has been the release of the double-episode season premier on Youtube just 12 hours after its release on HBO.

While the show may not speak to everyone, GIRLS is doing a great job of using online platforms to reach its audience.

Social media cocktail party

The art of working the room: The social media cocktail party

Being a brand on social media is a lot like being at a cocktail party where you get to hobnob with people from various walks of life, admire photos and comment on the latest articles.

There are some very influential people in the room – CEOs, academics, NGOs, government representatives and media personalities – as well as average Joes.

You can listen to the conversations that appeal to you, and you can repeat what other people are saying, but to be heard above the hubbub you need be sharp and worth listening to.

So here’s the million dollar question: who do you want to be at that party? The person with the corny jokes, a retiring wallflower, or someone who knows how to work the room? Someone informed, accessible and perceptive – the person people look to for comment and insights who steers the conversation?

I think you get my point: go forth and be George Clooney.

[Image source]

Should you be on Twitter?

As far as social media platforms go in South Africa, Twitter is way up there. In fact – it’s third, with 5.5 million users, as of 2013. (In case you were wondering, Facebook is tops with 9.4 million users, and Mxit is first princess in the pageant with 7.4 million users).

The growth rates of active Twitter users in South Africa are phenomenal, jumping from 2.4 million in 2012 to 5.5 million in 2013. Saffas post 54 million tweets a month. I’ll give you a minute to get your mind around that figure.

Impressive stats aside, if you aren’t already on Twitter – in a personal or professional capacity – the big question you need to ask yourself is: Should I be?

To make your life easy, here is a flow chart to help you solve the conundrum. Because we’re nice like that.

If your answer is ‘yes’, and it terrifies you – give us a call. We’re happy to help you as much as you need, whether it’s with a few tips and a kick-start, or taking the whole thing off your hands entirely.

Twitter infographic