Twitter is the future, so make it your present: How your business can reap the benefits of Twitter

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In a world where new applications and technologies are being invented every day, it can be intimidating to venture into the unknown and incorporate these new developments into your company’s action plan. Ignoring them, however, is not the route to take.

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From increasing customer interaction to marketing, there are many  benefits to using Twitter for your business.

After setting up an account, it’s time to start reaping the benefits of your new social media tool, and here is how.

Broaden your audience 

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You already know your followers care about what you have to say – that’s why they followed you. However, to broaden your Twitter scope and get your message out to more people, use hashtags. Hashtag common topics or themes so that users can find your tweets and take in your message.

Another tip –  incorporate trending hashtags in your area into your tweets. By following an account like @TrendsOttawa, you can see what people are tweeting about and incorporate this into to your tweets in a creative way.

That being said, don’t simply use a hashtag just for the sake of using a hashtag. Using too many hashtags is not visually appealing and it can also cause the key message behind the tweet to be lost.

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Interact with your followers

When a customer takes time to personally contact you through Twitter, you should respond. If it’s a positive comment, retweet it, favourite it, or simply send a reply saying thank you. If it’s negative, send the individual a direct message to discuss what has been said. Replying in a respectful and professional way is a great way to show your customers that you care and that you value what they have to say.

On the other hand, if you want your followers to respond to  your tweet in a certain way then tell them! If you want them to retweet your tweet, then ask them to do so. But be careful how you phrase it…

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Link to your website

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Customers may have questions about your product or brand that can easily be answered by checking out your website. Make sure there is a link in your biography to your site, and don’t be afraid to tweet the link every so often.

On that note, it’s very easy to provide a link on your website for your Twitter account, as well as other social media accounts. Linking the two websites can increase traffic in both directions.

Promote your brand

Twitter is a great, cost-effective tool to be able to promote your brand, as well as anything associated with it. Keep your followers up-to-date on what is going on so that they too can reap the benefits of following you on Twitter.

If you’re hosting an event – tweet about it! If a sale is going on – grant your followers the first opportunity to hear about it. This way, your message gets out, but it also gives your followers a reason to keep following you.

Know when to tweet

People are more likely to click on your tweet if you tweet on weekends and if you tweet later in the day. If you find this a challenge because you don’t want to have to worry about tweeting after leaving work, set up an account on Hootsuite or Buffer. These applications allow you to easily schedule when your tweets will be published.

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This Twitter venture may seem intimidating at first glance, but companies like Dell, who increased profits by $6.5 million, are proving that when done effectively, it is very worthwhile. Whether it is as an interactive, promotional or traffic-generating tool, Twitter is the future and should be incorporated into your business’s present.

If you have any real life examples of businesses who are really reaping the benefits of Twitter, or any tips you and your business use, we’d love to hear about them in the comment box below!

If it didn’t happen on Facebook, did it really happen? – A Guide To Creating Your Personal Image Through Facebook

Although Facebook allows you to post your job information, it’s not useful or practical to use it as a professional online resume like LinkedIn. But that doesn’t mean it can’t also serve as a tool to show off how awesome you are.

Meaning, you should take advantage of Facebook’s encouragement of personal over-sharing to demonstrate how put-together and well rounded you are in your personal life (even if you think you’re not). Potential employers are looking!

Below are tips on how to make the most of Facebook’s various features to create your personal image.

Sharing Pictures:

Posting pictures on Facebook is a great way to form your personal image, because they give your Facebook friends a way to visually interpret who you are.

Your Profile Picture and Cover Photo:

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On Facebook, you can be a bit more casual than on Twitter and LinkedIn. Your profile picture doesn’t need to be a professional-looking headshot. Feel free to use a family photo or a picture of you and your friends. Just make sure it reflects an aspect of yourself that you want others to know about you, and that it doesn’t include anything that could be considered inappropriate (examples: nudity or alcohol).

Similarly, your cover photo should reflect a positive aspect of yourself or your interests that you want others to know about.

Your Photo Albums:

Uploading appropriate photos from various vacations or outings and events you attend will show your Facebook friends where you like to go and who you hang out with in your spare time.

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Keep in mind that there are some memories that are better preserved offline. Pictures from your 21st birthday party at a strip club, if you must keep them, should be kept on your hard drive.

Reminder: If you’ve linked your Instagram account to your Facebook profile, the pictures that you post and like on Instagram will show up on your Facebook Timeline and on your friends’ News Feeds.

What to Include in Your ‘About’ Section:

  • Work and Education: Include.
  • Birthdate: If you choose to include this information, don’t include your birth year.
  • Relationship Status: Not necessary, but use your own discretion.
  • Contact Information: Only include if you want to be contacted through those means.
  • Political views: Probably a bad idea, especially if you’re young. Your politics are likely going to change and develop as you go through life. Only do this if it’s also relevant to your professional life.
  • Religious views: Not necessary, but use your own discretion.
  • Favourite Books/Movies/Music: Include, but make sure they are reflective of the image you want to portray.

Posting Status Updates:

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Facebook status updates have a huge character limit, which gives you much more space than Twitter to post a lengthy heat-of-the-moment rant about how much you hate your:

  • significant other
  • family member
  • teacher/professor
  • coworker
  • or boss

Don’t do that.

If you need an outlet for your thoughts and/or frustrations, write them out in a journal (or word document if you prefer to type!) or call a friend.

Use the Facebook status update tool to post about your (mostly positive) thoughts on an event you attended, an occurrence that you witnessed, or about exciting things that have happened to you.

You should also every so often share links to articles that you think your friends will find interesting, and that will also make you look interesting.

Clicking the Like Button and Commenting On Your Friends’ Posts: 

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Always keep in mind that the posts that you like and comment on can show up on your friends’ Facebook News Feed.

So don’t like your friend’s ‘go make me a sandwich’ post (delete this friend instead), or comment on a post about Rush Limbaugh saying that you agree with everything that Rush Limbaugh has ever said.

Instead, show how supportive you are of your friends’ successes and life happenings. And like posts about jokes that are actually funny and clever.

General Tips: 

  • Be consistent with the image you’re portraying.
  • Use proper spelling and grammar. 
  • Be sure to not post any information about yourself wouldn’t want your boss (or your professors!) to know, even if you believe they’ll never see it.
  • Try to wait five minutes and read a potential post over a few times before submitting it.

And, of course,

  • Absolutely do not ever post anything that is in any way racist, sexist, homophobic, or elitist.

Do you have any additional tips on how to create or improve your personal image on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below!

Five easy steps to get you started on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is growing in popularity as a recruitment tool. Whether you are a student preparing for the world after graduation, new to the workforce, or looking to return to the workforce, LinkedIn can help you. LinkedIn will filter jobs tailored to your skills and education, and notify you of open positions. LinkedIn will also allow companies looking for people with your skillset find you for recruitment. Don’t you think its time to put yourself out there?

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More recruiters use LinkedIn than any other social media site.

Getting Started

Step 1. Go to www.linkedin.com and register for a profile. This will require an active Email account. Once you have done the initial registration, you can begin tailoring your professional profile. Ensure your profile is set to public so that recruiters can find you.

Step 2. Pick an appropriate profile picture. Your photo should be of only you and reflect professionalism. It can directly relate to your profession or be a simple headshot. If you’re a student or recent graduate your profile picture should reflect this in a professional manner.

Step 3. Write a good headline. Say who you are and what you’re interests are in 120 characters or less. Your headline should be simple and not too personal.

Step 4. Write about your education. List your majors or minors, classes taken, or skills learned. If you are currently a student, list skills you are learning as well as those you already have.

Step 5. List your experiences. Write about past and present employment, achievements or honors, and volunteer initiatives.

Once you have set up your LinkedIn profile you can start connecting to other people you know on LinkedIn. The more connections you make the more people see your profile, which leads to better chances of recruitment. You can also join groups, and follow pages, pertaining to your profession on LinkedIn. This will also help filter your connections and put your profile out their for others to explore.

You can also acquire recommendations and endorsements from your LinkedIn connections. Have professors, managers or mentors write about, or verify your work. This gives the second opinion most recruiters are looking for.

Now that you have your LinkedIn account set up your options will be unlimited. Remember to keep your LinkedIn account up to date as you develop new skills and experiences, and to check often for new recruitment opportunities.

Have other tips for new LinkedIn users? Are you a recruiter using LinkedIn? Have you been recruited on LinkedIn? Leave a comment in the area below and let us hear about it!

Classing up your Twitter act: 5 steps to creating a professional Twitter account

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Twitter is a very powerful social media tool that grants you the ability to connect, network and promote yourself or your brand. However, in order to achieve all of these positive results, it’s important to make sure you are using Twitter in a professional and effective way.

Take it from us –  it’s much easier to start your account off on the right foot!

If you are using Twitter for the first time, here is an excellent video to get you started.

After getting a general idea about Twitter is all about, or if you have experience with it already, follow these 5 easy steps to professionalize your account from the get go.

Step 1 Create an appropriate twitter handle

Chose your Twitter handle using:

  • Your name
  • Your brand
  • Your company name

Don’t forget, you only have 14 characters! Get creative, but not to the point where your handle cannot be associated back with you or your company.

Step 2 Pick a professional photo

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Use a professional looking headshot. By professional, we don’t mean taken by a professional photographer. We mean one that makes you look like someone who can be taken seriously.

Step 3 Write a biography

Your bio is an important place where you can tell everyone who you are and what you do, so that they know what kind of tweets they can expect when they  follow you. It’s also a great opportunity to do some self-promotion by adding a link to your personal or company website. If you don’t have a website, set up a LinkedIn account and use that.

Step 4 Pick a niche

There are several ways to make your make your Twitter account stand out. One of them is to pick a niche and stick to it.

If you are creating an account for your brand or company, it would make sense to only tweet about things relating to that said brand or company. The same thing goes for a personal account. You yourself are a brand as well, so decide on a topic or two that interests you and focus the majority of your tweets on those themes.

Step 5 Be active!

followmeIf you want your account to be effective, you can’t be idle! Start following people in your field or who share the same interests as you. There are two different types of tweets: informative and me-formative. Stick to informative. Your professional followers are sharing helpful information with you in the hopes that you will do the same.

Finally, start using #hashtags so that people who are tweeting about the same topic can find your tweets, check out your profile and network with you.

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These tips are all ones us, from Creating Conscious Content, have experience with first hand. Since applying these tips to our personal accounts, we have begun to contribute to Twitter conversations in a professional and effective way, gaining many followers and increasing our presence in the field of public relations. By starting off your account in this way, you can begin to take advantage of Twitter’s many uses right from the start!

If you have any other helpful tips for creating a professional Twitter account, either for yourself or your brand, we would love to hear them in the comment box below!