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Friday, 22 October 2010

Why use Twitter?

Twitter is often referred to as ‘micro-blogging’ as it is used to share views and opinions quickly and concisely.

And there’s no doubt that it’s effective: it currently has 3.7 million UK users, an increasing number of which are businesses.

But why has it become so popular and why should you be using it?

Twitter accounts are useful because they:

• Are excellent for disseminating your news stories quickly – When you log in to Twitter, how many times have you seen a Tweet from someone saying that they’ve seen a celebrity a few minutes before at a station or an airport? The point here is that Twitter is instant. Type in a short message, share it, and everyone following you knows about it immediately. Think of it as like sending a text, but to lots of people.

• Have the potential to reach influential people and groups – Worldwide, it’s estimated that around 106 million people or organisations have Twitter accounts: that gives you a potentially huge audience. Try to follow as many people/organisations as you can, but if you’re a business, be strategic – focus on finding similar businesses, clients, subcontractors or decision-makers who you already work with or are targeting – don’t just follow everyone and anyone.

• Create a sense of community – A crucial thing to remember when using Twitter or any social media tool is that online, people congregate around areas of interest rather than demographics. It’s an excellent place to meet and engage with like-minded individuals or businesses.

• Can be used to comment on issues relevant to your industry – If there’s an issue or topic that’s current in your industry, Twitter is a great place to air your views and also find out what your contemporaries think too. Find something topical, Tweet it and ask your followers for their views – the more regularly you do this, the more likely you are to get a response.

• Are a great way of sharing best practice – If you’ve found a method for doing something successfully that can help others, Twitter is an easy way of sharing it. For example, if you’ve put together a presentation about a particular subject, you can send a link to it out on Twitter so that everyone can see it.

Friday, 15 October 2010

FACT: You are 500 times more likely to read an advertorial than an advert…

Advertorials are back in fashion and for good reasons too. Surveys suggest that people are 500 times more likely to read an advertorial than an advert. That’s because they’re informative and they look and read like a real news or feature story.

Advertorials are paid-for ‘adverts’ which resemble an objectively-written editorial. Magazines, e-zines and newspapers love them because they generate income. Savvy businesses love them because they sell products and services. What’s more, they can be used for a myriad of marketing purposes from magazine features, to web-based ‘information sites’.

81 per cent more orders than adverts

Research by Reader’s Digest revealed that an advertorial which looked like a magazine article generated 81 per cent more orders than the same copy presented in a traditional advert format.

With an advertorial you also have full editorial control over your business messaging. That’s important if you need to clearly communicate the benefits of a new product or service, or, explain a complex or technical concept. Advertorials give you the ability to base the content directly around your key messages without the threat of the messages being diluted or used out of context.

Advertorials educate and build trust among customers and stakeholders

This is why more and more smart businesses are choosing to invest in well-written and targeted advertorials to get their messages out into the public realm.

A typical advertorial will be 600 to 1,200 words with space for photos and contact details – but avoid using logos!

Don’t expect one advertorial to suddenly result in a flood of calls and emails. If you want to convince people to buy into your business then you need to educate them by communicating your messages regularly. This will build the relationship between you and your customers. And, with many national and local newspapers now offering a range of off and online deals and packages, it really is a good time to start giving the advertorial a bit more of your attention.