• TheDigitalJen
    Jennifer Stalzer on November 19, 2013

    Tough Lessons to Becoming a Socially Engaged Brand

    About 18 months ago, MasterCard set out on a mission to become the most socially connected and engaged brand in the payments space. As I look back, here's a look at almost ten hard lessons we learned.
  • ChristopherCarfi
    Christopher Carfi on December 9, 2013

    Five Trends That Are Going to Affect Marketing in 2014

    Agile marketing is now a common approach, and includes a healthy loop of building, testing, measuring, learning, refining and improving. There are five trends that you need to be on the lookout for when creating your marketing plans in the coming year, a combination of focus on results and a set of new channels that can connect directly to the bottom line.
  • JeffreyDachis
    Jeffrey Dachis on December 18, 2013

    Real-Time Marketing 101: It All Starts With The Trends

    Imagine you are a marketer in 1951. Harry S. Truman is president and Milton Berle is the most famous person on T.V., raking in 80% of all television viewers every night of the week. It’s the dawn of modern mass marketing. What if you were the first marketer to figure out how to use T.V. to sell stuff? You’d probably be in pretty high demand. The potential to sell your products would be effectively limitless. Well, an innovative, new marketing channel with the potential to rival television for its importance has arrived and marketers are starting to take notice.
  • Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on April 18, 2014

    Six Best Practices for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

    Content marketing is the linchpin of demand creation –the link between brand awareness and lead generation. Done well, it builds familiarity, affinity and trust with prospective and current customers by providing information that resonates – in the right format, through the right channel, at the right time.
  • IBM Social Business
    IBM Social Business on April 18, 2014

    Patterns in Achieving Social Business Success by Leading and Pioneering Organizations

    Here is an excerpt from “Patterns in Achieving Social Business Success by Leading and Pioneering Organizations,” an exclusive whitepaper brought to you by IBM. This whitepaper provides a step-by-step guide for determining your strategy to achieving social business success.
  • Spredfast
    Spredfast Business on May 1, 2014

    The Social Media Pocket Guide: Six Ways Marketers Should Use Social

    This guide walks through each of the “Big Six” objectives and provides a tactical overview of the business case, team considerations and actual content examples and templates to use for your social media initiatives. 
Download the guide now and use it as a cheat sheet on how to get started today using proven tactics and best practices.
  • Actiance
    Actiance Compliance on May 9, 2014

    The Forrester Wave: Social Risk and Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014

    Forbidding employees to use social networks because they may expose your business to risk is no longer a viable business strategy. According to its new report published today, “The Forrester Wave™: Social Risk And Compliance Solutions, Q2 2014,” Forrester Research, Inc. says “the practice of prohibiting social [is] no longer feasible.”
  • Spredfast
    Spredfast Business on June 9, 2014

    6 Blueprints for Social Network Success

    The Big 6 social networks offer tremendous marketing opportunities - but each one is very different from the next. That’s why Spredfast has assembled the 6 Blueprints for Social Network Success. In this quick-read collection, you’ll discover more than 50 constructive, actionable marketing tips and real-world examples from major brands like Hyatt, British Airways, Target, and General Mills. Let’s start building!
  • Synapsify
    Synapsify, Inc. on June 16, 2014

    Piecing Together the Story: Synapsify’s Annual Voice of Customer Industry Survey and Insight

    This eBook reveals the common practices and challenges faced today by social media managers/directors and brand insight analyst and conducted an online survey of 70 social media and content analysts professionally recruited for this survey. The survey results are presented as part of a complimentary eBook in which insight industry professionals shed light on their challenges and common practices they face in understanding the true voice of their customers.
  • Russ Fradin
    Russ Fradin on July 29, 2014

    An Introduction to Employee Advocacy

    Employee advocacy is an emerging new marketing strategy where companies empower their influential employees to authentically distribute brand approved content, create original content, and in turn earn recognition and rewards for their activity and participation.
  • BeverlyMay
    Beverly May on July 28, 2014

    4th Annual UX Awards are September 11-12 in San Francisco- get 15% off early bird tickets on us before July 31!

    4th Annual UX Awards, the premier awards for exceptional digital experience, will be held in San Francisco on Sept. 11-12 2014!
  • Do you want to build out your content team? Find out how to hire a content marketing manager to lead the way.

    Creating content is much more than a full-time job — it requires a dedicated team. As many companies start to build this team, they may ask themselves: who should I hire to lead the way?

    The role of content marketing manager is still fairly new, so there’s no single educational or career path that automatically identifies a candidate as the right fit.

    Some hiring managers might be asking themselves:

    • Should I look for someone with a traditional newspaper or editorial background who knows how to tell a story in a timely and compelling way?

    • Should I seek out marketing pros with strong writing skills, who can create on-message content that converts?

    • Should I look for those who studied business and have a more holistic understanding of branding?

    For an inside look at what other marketers are looking for when they hire a content marketing manager, Software Advice analyzed a random sampling of 300 job listings for content marketing managers in the United States. Here are a couple of key findings:

    • Degree Requirements
      • ​Nearly two thirds of the listings set a minimum requirement of Bachelor's degree and 12 percent preferred an MBA or MA.
      • Marketing was the top requested field of study at 48 percent, followed by Communications and Journalism. Other degrees mentioned include English, business and public relations. Thirty-nine percent of the listings had no preference on the field of study
    • Professional Experience: Nearly half of listings required at least three to five years of professional experience and many requested six years or more of professional experience.

    • Screening Options:  Only 12 percent of the listings required applicants to provide writing samples or assignments.

    Click through the SlideShare for the complete report:

    As you can see, the required fields of study are varied and in many cases there's no preference mentioned in the job listing. But more than half of companies required a minimum of three years of professional experience, showing that experience trumps formal study.

    There are many different types of degrees and backgrounds that could make a successful content marketing manager, so staying open-minded about degrees and focusing on candidates who demonstrate an aptitude for content is a smart strategy.

    Since content marketing requires strong writing and communication skills, the small number of companies that require writing samples certainly surprised us, especially given the flexibility on the field of study. Successful content marketing managers need to understand content creation, so reviewing writing samples or having candidates complete an assignment is a great way to gauge those skills.

    Beyond writing ability,  a content marketing manager should also understand the brand’s voice and be able to articulate the role of content within broader marketing objectives.

    Before starting your hiring process, look through our Content Marketing Interview Questions and Content Marketing Traits that are Crucial to Success to ensure you make the right decision.

    Employee advocacy is an emerging new marketing strategy where companies empower their influential employees to authentically distribute brand approved content, create original content, and in turn earn recognition and rewards for their activity and participation.

    The following is an exclusive excerpt from "An Introduction to Employee Advocacy" an exclusive eBook brought to you by DynamicSignal. This eBook provides a general overview of employee advocacy and tips on how to get started.

    What is Employee Advocacy?

    Imagine all of the employees in your company sending out positive messages and attracting new customers. Every day, employees are singing the praises of your brand: generating referrals, recruiting great hires, and effectively messaging your brand’s goals.

    What if your company’s most engaged employees - the ones as committed to your brand’s success as you are - were also on the front line of your marketing efforts? What if they were reaching out to their social networks and spreading your brand’s message, organically and exponentially? Sound far-fetched? It really isn’t.
    [[{"fid":"124756","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]
    Employee Advocacy is about channeling the passion and knowledge of employees so they can reach out to their social networks and amplify your brand’s goals. It’s a low risk, cost effective approach to overcome marketing constraints that can drive leads, revenue, and profitability for your company.
    Why Use Employee Advocacy?
    When you provide employees with a brand advocacy solution, you create concentric circles of trust: your employees trust you, their social networks trust them, so your company’s message is authentically reaching new people. You already have invested tremendous resources in your employees: partner with them by recognizing and rewarding those who are most active in helping your company succeed.
    [[{"fid":"124761","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_caption[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

    Employee Advocacy can have tremendous impact across many parts of an organization, be it lead generation for sales, reaching more customers for marketing or simply sharing that your company has made the top 100 places to work, which HR would appreciate. For every 1,000 employees, companies can easily gain over one million dollars in earned media value, $500,000 in recruiting cost savings and millions in incremental sales per year.
    Not sure where to start? Most marketing budgets will need some sort of financial investment in digital tools. Start by checking the freebies off your list. Then decide if your marketing goals are strategic, branding or lead generation and base your decisions on your end goal. The most important step is to monitor your investment and make the necessary changes.

    A marketing budget can be tricky to define in the B2B environment. While all items in your budget should contribute to your Return on Investment and overall marketing success, you should know how your budget is broken down and how much of your budget goes towards digital marketing expenses. For example, I know that every year between 50-60% of my budget goes towards event marketing expenses. About 30% of my budget goes towards digital marketing, so I need to be sure every penny counts. Therefore, how do B2B companies know what marketing tools to be investing in?

    Before considering the options below, make sure you know:

    • What your overall budget number is
    • How many people are responsible for implementing marketing activities
    • Timelines for executing marketing activities (you don’t want to invest and then not have time to carry out your plans)
    • What are my main marketing goals (strategy, branding, lead generation) and which are the priorities?

    The Freebies
    If your budget is tight, and like most companies in the past decade it probably is, take advantage of all the “freebies” you can. This includes free versions of LinkedIn, Hootsuite, Twitter, Slideshare and YouTube. There is no reason your company shouldn’t at least have LinkedIn and Twitter. Implement Hootsuite, which lets you manage up to 5 social media accounts for free, to manage your social media platforms from one website.  

    The only investment you need to make here is time. Just because it’s free doesn’t mean you don’t need to dedicate time. Make sure your marketing people are maintaining your social media accounts with quality content.

    Small Investments with Big Impacts

    Sometimes making a small investment in a digital marketing tool can make a big impact – either for strategy purposes, branding or lead generation.  Here are some smaller digital marketing purchases that are worth the investment:

    • LinkedIn Premium Account (Lead Generation): LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for B2B marketing. For $30/month you can upgrade to the premium account and access features like InMail and sales lead generation lists. It is a great way to get marketing and sales on the same team.
    • SurveyMonkey Select Monthly Account (Market Research & Branding): For $25-30/month, SurveyMonkey is a great marketing tool for both strategic market research and branding. I’ve used SurveyMonkey to build customer and industry surveys for market research as well as registration forms. SurveyMonkey is also free, but the added benefit of a paid account is for branding such as personalized themes and the ability to send more surveys. It also has some added features to make your surveys very professional.
    • Email Marketing tools (Branding & Lead Generation): if your company focuses heavily on email marketing, consider upgrading from a free plan to a monthly subscription. This will generally allow you to send more email campaigns per month to more subscribers. With companies like MailChimp, it allows to remove the logo from the email footer, therefore avoiding emails that look too “spammy”.

    Bigger, Riskier Investments with Bigger Potential Rewards

    Finally, there are those digital marketing tools that will make an imprint on your budget. These are the tools that require a strategy before investment, and if you choose to invest, require time. However, these tools have the potential for big pay-offs if used strategically.

    • Google AdWords (Lead Generation): the great thing about AdWords is that you decide how much you want to invest. Obviously the smaller the investment, the less Google runs your ads. But this is a perfect tool to invest small and then grow your investment as you strategically monitor your campaign. If you’re starting out it’s recommended to go with a budget of $4/day. This is the max you can spend, and Google makes it easy to monitor the progress of your ads so you know whether to increase, decrease or stop your investment.
    • Website Development and/or Hubspot (Branding & Lead Generation): website development is not cheap, but it should be part of your annual budget. Websites need to be continuously updated to refresh content and move at the pace of your customers. Hubspot is a great tool for lead generation by implementing landing pages, doing keyword analysis and optimizing your website for search engines. But, it can cost you – from $200/month to $2,400/month. Here’s a tip: if you want to save money on website development, ask your developer to implement an administrative panel that’s editable by your marketing person. Invest in Hubspot only when you have a firm grip on your digital marketing strategy and you know you are ready for your website to take off.
    • SalesForce (Lead Generation): yes, this is a CRM tool but it’s a great tool to connect Sales and Marketing. Marketing can keep a database of contacts, build fields useful to them to generate email marketing lists, run reports, log and track campaigns and much more. Again, it’s costly but it’s a worthwhile investment for those who have a handle on their sales and marketing process.

    Not sure where to start? Most marketing budgets will need some sort of financial investment in digital tools. Start by checking the freebies off your list. Then decide if your marketing goals are strategic, branding or lead generation and base your decisions on your end goal. The most important step is to monitor your investment and make the necessary changes. If you made a bad investment, get rid of it! Keep investing in what has paid off for you in the past. 

    Tying social media marketing the bottom line, through multichannel attribution and powerful (and even free!) tools like Universal Analytics, we can backtrack sales and return on investment to specific marketing channels to repeat what works and change what doesn’t. This post will prove true what many companies are coming to know: Social media marketing isn’t just child’s play, it’s big business!

    Marketing technology bandwagons are a great thing, especially when businesses can get in front of them. From the first companies in the 90’s Dot-Com boom to the first campaign on Pinterest, there’s a huge value in going into uncharted marketing territories with a vision. That vision, extended to all marketing mediums, presents a real opportunity for the winners of tomorrow. Today, these “uncharted” territories tend to fall into three categories: social, local and mobile.

    Once just a playground for teens and college kids, social media has evolved into a pillar of communication in life for nearly every one of us. It’s no surprise that social media marketing quickly followed suit, ingraining itself into the business models of both the platforms (Faceboo, Twitter ect.) and the advertisers (anyone looking to have their message heard). At the core of this dynamic is content (including organic, native and paid) and investments are booming, as shown below.

    social media marketing spending chart

    Via http://www.emarketer.com/Article/All-Eyes-on-Native-Advertising-Despite-Uncertainties/1009895

    The reason social media investments are booming comes down to three core driver: Ecommerce, Customer Lifetime Value and the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). Simply put, social media marketing allows companies to build an owned following and have the ability to reach out to customers without interrupting them like a radio commercial would. This reality is why social media cannot be matched by mediums like PPC, SEO or content marketing alone.

    Social media now even allows companies to sell products beyond their websites and on Facebook or Twitter, a revolution for ecommerce and a great reduction in friction for conversions and sales. Social is growing into a powerful tool, and in the right hands, it produces both short and long term value for businesses.

    In a world where businesses are judged by the quarter, it can become easy to neglect long-term revenue drivers like customer lifetime value and the zero moment of truth. Resultantly, companies typically tend to focus more on proven “must-have” methods such as SEO and content optimization, leaving social as a side-project. Although short-term revenue drivers like social ecommerce are still in an infantile stage, social media currently plays a huge role in the early stages of the customer lifecycle and ZMOT, or word of mouth marketing as it pertains to digital media.

    To consider the value of social, we need only see how company praises and criticisms can spread like wildfire on networks like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, and the resultant booms and busts that tend to follow because of the bandwagon effect. When a customer is happy or unhappy with a product or company, they don’t just tell their friends anymore- they tell the world and people respond.

    Resultantly, opinions are then aggregated and shared online and reviews are combined and sorted for potential new customers in an Amazon-like style. Due to social factors, the tides of customer and industry blessings can change in an instant, necessitating flawless conversion marketing, value delivery, conflict resolution and amplification of positive experiences on the business end. Whether a customer is in discovery to post-purchase, social can now play an important role in the entire buying cycle. For businesses, certain tools like social suites and remarketing platforms, can help to move customers along this cycle, boosting satisfaction and the bottom line of social ROI.

    The chart below illustrates the percentage of total web generated traffic by popular channels (including SEO, social and direct), where you’ll noticed inbound mediums received a disproportionate percentage of marketing investments given the traffic generated. For social, considering:

    1.       the amount of web traffic it drives

    2.       the ability to quickly communication with customers

    3.       the ability to disseminate information

    4.       the ability to resolve disputes

    5.       the ability to drive sales

    Social starts to been seen as the core marketing pillar that it is.


    social media traffic as a percent

    via http://socialfresh.com/inbound-traffic/

    Yet, as any marketing professor will tell you, we must always be mindful of the need for a strong marketing mix. As overreliance on any one channel can become a competitive weakness, diversification into other marketing mediums such as SEO, PPC advertising and site and content optimization becomes critical. Because the digital landscape is ever changing, companies with the foresight to experiment translating messaging across new customer-connected mediums will own their territory online and grow over time.

    Tying it all back to the bottom line, though multichannel attribution and powerful (and even free!) tools like Universal Analytics, we can then backtrack sales and the return on investment to specific marketing channels to repeat what works and change what doesn’t. Over time, this will prove true what many companies are coming to know- Social media marketing isn’t just child’s play- It’s big business!

    Share in the comments section down below how your organization is using social media and the results you’ve seen over time.

    Originally posted at the MITX Innovation Blog.

    Image via Flickr

    Do you find Twitter to be an indecipherable mess of characters and abbreviations? Here's an overview, along with some important notes, to help you get the most out of Twitter's common processes.

    So how do you do the Twitter? It’s one thing to have a Twitter profile, but it’s another thing to be active on the platform. And once you are active, it’s another thing again to utilise Twitter to best effect. While every user has a different approach and different goals for their Twitter presence, it’s worth noting the various types and uses of tweets to help guide your own process. Many things are still being tried and tested, different practices will have varying levels of success, but here are some basic Twitter protocols, along with the how and why of their most common uses.

    RT (Retweet)


    Re-tweet example

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] 

    Retweets and favourites are the most commonly used Twitter processes, outside of tweeting itself. In the first iteration of Twitter, there was no actual ‘retweet’ function - it was created by users, who started re-posting tweets with ‘RT’ at the beginning. Some still see this as the best way to retweet, logic being that if you press ‘Retweet’, it shows up in the notifications feed of the person you’ve re-tweeted, but they don't have the option to reply or favourite the tweet – they have to respond to you separately.


    Re-tweet in Notifications stream

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] 

    Even worse, if you re-tweet something that’s been re-tweeted by several other people, your re-tweet goes onto a list - if the originator doesn't click on that list, he/she will be totally unaware that you’ve re-tweeted them.


    Re-tweet list

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

    This is particularly relevant for social media marketers, as you’ll often use the re-tweet as a means of connecting with a potential client: if your name ends up on a list of re-tweeters, using a RT for this purpose is pretty much pointless.

    Using the original RT process - copying the tweet and putting ‘RT’ at the beginning - ensures the originator will always see that you’ve re-tweeted them, and they’ll be able to respond and engage with you easily.


    Manual RT example

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] 

    That may not always be your aim when re-tweeting, but something to consider in your process.

    Another aspect of this to keep in mind is that if you never actually re-tweet anyone, your feed will only ever show your own tweets:


    No re-tweets in stream

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

    This is the first impression people are going to have when they visit your profile – having just your own tweets in your stream may give the impression that you’re only a broadcaster and could lessen your appeal to those looking to connect. Breaking up the feed with some re-tweets can look more inviting for people scanning through your output.


    Re-tweets in stream

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

    MT (Modified Tweet)

    Sometimes you want to re-tweet someone but you want to add in your own message. In order to do this, you may have to lose or modify some of the original message to fit into the 140 character limit, but you still want to credit and acknowledge the tweet originator. You can do this by copying the original tweet and putting 'MT' at the start, along with your modifications or additions:


    Modified tweet

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] 

    MTs are generally used when you want to share the original tweet, but add only a small modification – if you’re changing the original tweet wholesale, you can just re-write it and forget the original wording – though crediting the source tweeter is always best practice.


    I read a description once that said ‘favourites are like a nod, re-tweets are like a high-five’. I’m not sure that’s always true – some see re-tweets of your own @mentions as self-serving - but I do agree with the characterisation of Favourites. It’s like a nod of acknowledgement, a thumbs-up to the originator. Favourites are your basic, minimum acknowledgment – if you want to say thanks with no fuss, just click on that little star and let the sender know you appreciate it.


    Favourited tweet

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

    Favourites are also a good way to make subtle contact – for every favourite, you’ll show up in the originator's notifications feed, which may prompt them to click on your profile and, eventually, connect. But just like re-tweets, if you Favourite a tweet that ends up getting several favourites, you might end up as another profile on a list that may never get seen.


    Favourites list

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] 

    For instance, don’t bother clicking favourite one of Justin Bieber’s tweets if you want him to let him know you care:


    JB - Popular guy

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] 

    Favourites also show up in a separate list on your profile, so people can get a better idea of what you’re into by looking through that list – but be wary, if you’re trying to present yourself in a professional manner, maybe best not to favourite the latest semi-offensive joke tweet from that comedian you really like.

    Pinned Tweet

    In early 2014, Twitter introduced a new Pinned Tweet feature which allows you to select your favourite tweet and pin it to your profile. This means every time someone visits your Twitter home base, the tweet you’ve selected will be the first they see.


    Pinned tweet example

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

    This is particularly handy for bloggers who want to promote their latest posts – you can pin it and leave it up, updating it whenever you post a new piece. You can also use it to showcase your most popular tweets to ensure people get a glimpse of you at your Twitter best.

    Tweet Length 

    Tweets are 140 characters long, right? Not much room to work with, but best practice is to try and keep your tweets shorter than the limit – even down to 100 characters if you can. Why? Leaving more room gives other people space to add in their own comments when they quote or re-tweet your stuff. Like with MTs, people like to be able to add their own take on tweets they share. Leaving space at the end of your tweets allows them room to do so.


    Hashtags are linked conversations – you click on any hashtag and you’ll be taken to a listing of every mention of the same hashtag on Twitter, showing you the wider conversation around that particular topic. Hashtags are still widely misunderstood and mis-used, but applied correctly, they can greatly expand your tweet reach and help you connect with specific communities on the platform – but any more than two tags and you’re running the risk of over-doing it.


    Tweets and Hashtags - Buffer blog

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

    A common hashtag mis-understanding? Hashtags are not an extension of your tweet. There’s no point making up a hashtag if it’ll never be used by anyone else. You see people doing it all the time, adding odd hashtags to add context to their description:




    Some people make up tags just for the fun of it, but if you’re seriously trying to utilise hashtags, putting an # in front of a random phrase or word is not particularly helpful. If you need to know which hashtag to use, visit Hashtagify and enter in any term you like – Hashtagify will come back with the most used hashtags in relation to that term, along with a number to indicate how popular each is. You pick the most relevant one, add that to the end of your tweet, and there you are.


    If you enter someone’s @username in a tweet, that tweet will appear in that user’s notifications feed, giving them a chance to respond. If you enter an @username at the start of your tweet, that tweet will ONLY be seen by that user and any users that follow both you and that person. A common mistake people make is that they’ll enter an @username at the start of a tweet, thinking it will be seen by everyone who follows them. It won’t. You can avoid this by putting a full-stop before the @username to begin your tweet – this will ensure it’s seen by all your followers.


    .@mention example

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]


    There’s been a big focus on visual elements of late, and for good reason – figures show that tweets with images are re-tweeted at a significantly higher rate than those without. For every tweet, you have the ability to add in an image that will appear with your message. In fact, you can add up to four images to every tweet – they will appear in box format, in the order you uploaded them.


    Four images in one tweet

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] 

    Adding in images is a great way to increase engagement, and there are clever ways to utilise Twitter’s image options to create additional context for the info you’re sharing. You can also add in videos that can be played in-stream with your tweet.


    Embedded YouTube video in Twitter stream

    ","field_file_image_caption[und][0][format]":"filtered_html","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

    These are the basic functions of Twitter that you need to know in order to mix it with the tweet elite. Understanding these functions will help fast-track your performance and expand your thinking on what’s possible in 140-characters or less.