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How to be a Rockstar When Live Tweeting

Live Tweeting while at an event can be a great tactic for a brand and doing it like a rockstar not only fosters engagement, it can drive traffic back to your site and ultimately add to your sales funnel.  So, what are the best practices when it comes to live Tweeting?  Check out these 10 tips:

How to be a Rockstar When Live Tweeting. heatherannemaclean.wordpress.com, taylormadecanada.com

Image courtesy of canadarocks.ca

1.  Establish A Plan

This is particularly important if you are live Tweeting on behalf of a brand.  You need to ensure that you have all your ducks in a row, or at least be prepared for all scenarios.  For your plan to cover all of the bases, be sure to think about all of the following tips.

If you are Tweeting on your own, you still need to put some thought into how, what and when.  The following points will also help you to do this well.

2. Have Your Playbook Updated and Ready to Go

This mostly applies to brands, but an individual could have his or her own playbook.  In any event, make sure that you know what to do in the event of trolls, hashtag hijacking, etc.  Be sure you know your workflow, who needs to be involved in any escalation and more.  While 99% of the time you won’t need this level of detail, being over prepared for such events is always worth the effort.  It also serves as a refresher for those listening and engaging on behalf of the brand.

3. Be Sure to Listen as Well as Engaging

This might seem obvious and would hopefully be addressed in your playbook, but for brands in particular you want to ensure that you have enough resources to not only be live Tweeting, but also to be listening.  Have one person focused on responding on behalf of the brand and let the other focus on live Tweeting.

4. Use the Right Hashtag

For a brand, you want to establish your own hashtag.  However, you should think it through carefully. Make sure that you don’t select a hashtag that when combined is offensive, embarrassing, or already in use by someone else. (See image above…I am sure that Susan wasn’t thrilled with this hashtag.)  Also be prepared that you could have other people hijack your fantastic hashtag for their event at some point.  It can and does happen.  Also share, share and share your event hashtag.  Make it easy for people.

As an individual this can be equally important.  Believe me it can be quite lonely Tweeting if you are using the wrong hashtag.  Do some research first and/or ask the event organizers what their hashtag is if they don’t have it on their website or in their collateral.

5.  Give Your Audience A Heads Up

Your followers will always appreciate the heads up when you will be Tweeting more than normal.  This applies to both brand handles as well as personal handles.

If your brand is live Tweeting and you want your followers to participate, be sure to let them know what the proper hashtag is and when you will commence live Tweeting.

6. Schedule Tweets

While this works really well for a brand, it can be quite useful for an individual to schedule some Tweets in advance too.  There may be specific points or pieces of information that you want to get out there.  Prescheduling can be great for this.  This also works well if you are Tweeting in more than one language.

7.  Remember Your Goals

As a part of the overall plan, brands should have goals and objectives of what you want to achieve through live Tweeting.  Is it to inform your customers, increase your network, drive more traffic to your website.  Make sure it is clear and understood by all parties.

As an individual you should also have goals.  Don’t just Tweet for the sake of Tweeting.  Be thoughtful and add value.

8.  Don’t Forget Photos

People love photos!  So, be sure to include a good variety of quality photos in your live Tweets. You don’t need to do it for every Tweet, but maybe try a 50:50 mix of text:text & photo.  For quality photos look at composition, lighting and the number of people in the picture.  

9.  Maintain Your Voice

Remember what your brand voice is.  This is not so important for an individual, but do remember to avoid becoming a robot.  Have fun with your live Tweeting.  Others enjoy that and are more likely to share your Tweets.

10.  Ignore Trolls and Hackers

While this can be hard to do at times, giving them an audience is exactly what they want.

Like this post?  Feel free to follow my blog and connect with me on Twitter: @MacLeanHeather

The #1 Reason People Fail at Social Media

I have been working in social media now for more than a decade and I have pretty much seen it all – from really nasty trolls to people still trying to using old school tactics to misusing channels and on and on.  In reality though the #1 reason people fail at social media is basic and completely avoidable and here’s how:

The #1 Reason People Fail at Social Media, heatherannemaclean.wordpress.com, taylormadecanada.com

Not knowing your audience is actually quiet significant.  If you don’t know who you are speaking to, it is hard to speak their language.  For example, if you have kids you know that each child has his or her own personality.  The tone and words you use with one child may not work as well with another.  The same is true for your prospects and customers.  If you only speak in your industry lingo and/or use terms that they don’t use, you might as well be speaking klingon.

Also keeping with this theme is the fact that if you don’t know your audience, you don’t likely know where they are hanging out, what they are reading, what forums they belong to, what social networks, etc.  In the good ole days, if we had big budgets we could throw a bunch of money at newspaper and/or trade magazine ads and we were likely to catch the attention of many.  This is not as effective today.  Instead, we need to be better informed.  We need to know and understand all of these pieces of information about our customers.  So, how do you do this?  Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Develop Customer Personas

Customer personas are fictional representations of your prospects or customers that help you segment them, determine what role they play in the buying decision, what interests they have, how they make decisions and more.  When done well, they really make a difference for marketing your product and/or service.

2.  Don’t Jump into Social Media

Ideally, you will seek guidance on how best to approach using social. But, if you can’t do that, never jump right in.  First “listen.”  In the “business” this means sign up for some networks and learn how to use the tool – I mean actually use it, but without pushing or promoting your business.  First just listen and watch to see how are others are using it.  Here are some quick reads to help you:

3.  Hire for Expertise 

On more than a few occasions I have met and worked with people who, for whatever reason, didn’t want to hire a person with marketing expertise.  Instead they hired believing that the person could acquire experience over time.  It didn’t work out.  Most people I know don’t have that luxury of time in their business.

That’s where I came in.  As a Marketing Practitioner with a great deal of experience, I and people like me can at the very least, guide you through the process and help you make SMART hiring decisions.  I have helped more than a few business owners through this process by developing their strategy with them, including policies, processes, etc.  Then I helped them hire people who while not having all the experience and expertise, have the potential.  As a result, the new hires have a higher probability of success.  They have the road map, policies and processes to guide them through the initial days.  I also prepare a learning plan and act as mentor during a set and agreed upon period.

There is of course more to marketing that what I am eluding to above, but it is a starting point.  And, if you have additional points or insight to add, please chime in. Comments are of course welcome.

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3 Tips on How HGTV’s Timber King’s Conquered the World

In Part 1 of this two part series, I interviewed Bryan Reid Senior, founder of Pioneer Log Homes and learned how passion, people and relationships built this world class business.  In this post, we will learn about Joel Roorda, one of the brilliant craftsmen of Timber Kings and the 3 proven tips on how HGTV’s Timber King’s conquered the world. HGTV Timber Kings Conquered the World

If there is one thing I learned from interviewing Bryan and Joel, its that these guys love what they do.  It all starts with passion.   If that is the only thing that readers take away from these two blog posts, I think that is a great.  However, we can learn some very important things from them to be truly customer-centric.  These guys just aren’t just Timber Kings, they are royalty when it comes to understanding the customer.  So, let’s jump into what I learned from Joel.

1. Listening is An Art Form

There are tons of business books and even courses that tell us that we need to be good listeners to be successful.  Listening is work.  Regardless of what people say, listening is a lot of work.  You need to focus on the individual or individuals, tune everything else out and pay attention.  Listening to Joel, I have a new respect for doing it the right way.  In fact, it is listening with your eyes, as well as your ears.  Here’s what Joel had to say about getting to know his clients:

“I always spend time before each project to learn about the client. It is my personal mission to try to satisfy each client with the style of log home that he or she is dreaming of.  Not only do I ask a lot of questions and really listen to what they are saying about everything, but I pay attention to things like what type of vehicle he or she has drives, what types of clothes they wear, etc.  These details outline the type of person they are and the type of life they live.  These are important details to match the house we build for them, to the dream they have for their house.  Like Bryan said, we aren’t just building houses, we are building dreams.”

After hearing Joel’s approach to getting to know his clients, I can certainly see why the homes he builds are so spectacular and special.  Each home is a piece of art, and as unique as the owner.  No wonder their clients come back over and over again.

2.  Building Relationships is an Extreme Sport

Again, there are tons of blog posts, books and gurus that tell us that we need to build relationships in order to be personally and professionally successful.  What these resources don’t convey however, is that building relationships is more of an extreme sport or a lifestyle.  Here’s how Joel approaches it.

“All my clients have my personal contact info, know me well and can contact me at any time. In fact, most have come to my home, spent time with my family and walked through my home.  They experience my dream of my log home and how I achieved it through hard work.”

The other thing that really impressed me about Joel is that over and above this being a lifestyle for him, you know it is authentic based on how his clients treat him.

“We work in countries all over the world and on every job I have the homeowners giving us gifts and cooking us meals.  On a recent job in Moscow, our billionaire client prepared a traditional meal for me and my crew, and then he gave me a very expensive bottle of Scotch. I truly feel blessed to meet these incredible people and to get to know them and their families.  I feel blessed that we remain great friends and I always have a place to stay, regardless of where I am in the world.”

3.  Achieving Implicit Trust Can’t Be Faked

It struck me when speaking to Joel that he and all of his colleagues are not only expert craftsman, but really, there is a lot more to what they do.  While we didn’t speak of trust specifically, Joel and all of the Timber Kings are experts at achieving implicit trust.

“I love the challenge of the big unconventional and complicated projects that are logistical nightmares. I have built homes all over the world from mountain tops to islands, secluded lots to fly in type resorts.  I truly love my job and it is actually a lifestyle.  I work a lot of long days and last year did a stint of sixty-two days straight.  I don’t need to work this much but, it drives me, and it satisfies me.  It is a great accomplishment to build a complicated home from raw logs that you shape, mould and cut to create a client’s dream home. I do not think I could do anything else, except maybe be a fishing guide for myself and Bryan.”

When you dissect what is being done when building these homes with behemoth logs and complicated structures with weights that would scare us all, it really does come down to implicit trust.  Joel and all the Timber Kings are being trusted with the most precious commodity of all – human life.  They are building dream homes for people – families, young and old.  Maybe this is a little more at the forefront for me after experiencing the winter from hell and looking out at the still present mountains of snow that normally would be long gone by now.  Maybe the recent collapses of roofs on commercial buildings and homes that are no longer safe to live in, is this part of my psyche right now, but regardless, the fact that their customers keep coming back and welcome Joel and his colleagues into their homes and lives is completely indicative of implicit trust.  That can’t be faked!

I sincerely want to thank both Bryan and Joel for taking the time to answer all my questions – it was a true East-West Canada Connection – From New Brunswick to British Columbia.  I can’t wait for the next season of the show to see some more spectacular homes.

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