The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Branding

Twitter Appealing CompaniesWhy would a business use Twitter? What’s so appealing about Twitter to companies?

Rather than tell you what we think (we’re biased – this is a social media blog, after all), we’ve put together a collection of facts and figures to show you just what’s so special about Twitter.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll know exactly why Twitter is appealing to companies.

Ready for the ride? Then let’s get started!

1. Tweets Mean Sales

When people follow your business on Twitter, the chances of them buying from you immediately increases. Research shows that two thirds (67%) of Twitter users are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on the network.

On the other side of the coin, 34% of marketers say they’ve generated leads from Twitter, and 50% of technology companies have acquired at least one customer through Twitter.

2. Your Customers Are Waiting to Follow You

Almost a third (30%) of Twitter’s half-a-billion users follow a brand on the network. That’s a lot of people your business could be talking to.

3. People Go on Twitter for Help Making Purchases

Over the past two years, the number of Twitter users asking for product recommendations has increased 663%. If you have a Twitter account, it makes it easier for people to recommend you – they can just link to your Twitter profile in a Tweet.

4. Your Competitors Are Already on Twitter

Seven in ten small businesses are already using Twitter. And 77% of the Fortune 100 have at least one representative on Twitter. If that’s not enough for you, consider that 93% of marketers use social media in their businesses. Stay away from Twitter for much longer, and you’ll fall behind.

5. You Don’t Need to Be Young to Be Social

Feel like you’re too old to learn? The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is 55-64-year-olds. The number of users in this age bracket has increased by 79% since 2012. If they can do it, you can, too.

6. Twitter Is Still Growing Fast

Want to go where things are hot? Head to Twitter. As of January 2014, over half (53%) of Twitter uses have been members for less than a year. On Facebook, this figure is just 19%.

7. Most Twitter Users Are Active

Want to talk to your customers and find out what they think? Then Twitter is the place to go. Three quarters (76%) of Twitter users actually send out tweets. This is up from 47% in 2010.

8. Twitter Is the Most Popular B2B Platform

Some 85% of marketers say they use Twitter to make B2B connections. There’s a good reason for that. Twitter is the networker’s social network. If you want to meet new people online, especially people with influence, there’s no better place to go than Twitter.

9. Twitter Means Customer Service

Consumers are increasingly turning to social media when they need help with a purchase they’ve made. And they expect to hear back quickly. Eight in ten (81%) of Twitter users expect companies to respond the same day to questions and complaints. You can’t respond if you’re not using Twitter.

10. You’ll Create Glowing Feelings Around Your Brand

Research shows that 85% of your Twitter followers will feel more connected to your brand after following you.

So what’s not to love? Head over to Twitter and sign up today. Don’t forget to follow Social Caffeine!

Sources:
* Social Media Stats You Need to Know for 2014
* Twitter for Small Business: Facts, Stats & Tips (INFOGRAPHIC)
* 103 Crazy Social Media Statistics to Kick off 2014
* 116 Amazing Twitter Statistics

Tennis Content Marketing

“Telling people the secret to content marketing is to create great content is like telling a tennis player that the secret to tennis is to hit the ball over the net.” – David Spark

You can’t game search engines any more. Quality matters. If you want to draw a crowd to your brand, your content marketing has to kill it.

The secret to content marketing is creating great content. Just like the secret to tennis is hitting the ball over the net.

Hitting the ball over the net takes practice. Working with a coach can make you better faster. There are practical strategies you can follow to improve your game.

The same is true for content. There are practical strategies you can follow to get you serving more aces in the content department.

With that in mind, here are our tips to help you get better at creating awesome content – you could say we’re your content coach:

How to Create Content Everyone Ignores

You really want to know how this is done?

Here you go: Write crappy headlines.

If your headlines suck, you might as well go home. Don’t bother creating content because everyone will ignore it.

The whole world is suffering from a severe bout of TMI. We’ve all got too much to do. We don’t need another article to read or another video to watch.

Your headlines must press the curiosity button in the brains of your audience.

Once you’ve got the click, you’ve won more than half the battle.

Top tip: Write headlines for social media. That means arousing curiosity without giving the game away. To see this being executed to perfection, take a look at the Upworthy Facebook page.

Want more? Check out our headline writing guide, so you’ll never write a weak headline again.

Learn How to Write for the Web

Remember at school when they taught you a paragraph must have at least five sentences? And you should never start a sentence with “and”?

Yeah, they were wrong about that. At least, if you’re creating web content, they were wrong.

The Internet has changed the way we read. That means content creators who want their articles read must write for the Internet.

When you’re writing content:

  • Shorter is better. That means short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. Shorter is always better because short sentences are easier to read.
  • Use visual cues. Headings, bullet points, and bolded text guide your readers’ eyeballs down the screen. Your readers should be able to summarize your article without reading every word.
  • Write like you speak. Don’t try to recreate Shakespeare. Write in a conversational tone like you’re talking to a friend. Avoid jargon.

Top tip: When you’re creating your first draft, write as fast as you can. Writing fast gives your writing a fresh, conversational voice.

Notice What Pushes Your Buttons

Not all content is original. In fact, we agree with Jim Jarmusch when he said, “Nothing is original.”

By all means, blaze your own trail. But if you’re planning to go places, you’ll get further standing on the shoulders of giants.

It’s not about where you get your ideas; it’s about the unique mix you create and where you take the ideas.

When you’re looking for content to inspire you, notice what makes your spine tingle. If it pushes your buttons, your audience will probably feel the same way.

Care About Your Craft

We’re all media creators these days. You might not feel like a pro, but that’s no excuse for producing content like an amateur.

Those shaky videos you shot with a home camcorder back in the 1980s? Watching them might give you a warm glow, but it’s the 21st century now. We’ve got access to high quality, affordable equipment. As such, the content you create must ooze quality.

That’s not only true for videos. Your writing must kick ass. Your photos must be visually stunning. Your podcast must sound like a national radio show.

Sound intimidating? There are plenty of tutorials online to get you started.

Top tip: If you still feel overwhelmed, consider hiring outside help. Creating content that kills it takes skill and time. You can’t do everything on your own.

Tell Your Audience What You Want Them to Do

Creating content is pointless if it’s not leading your audience down the path toward your brand.

Content marketing isn’t about selling. Mix sales messages into your content, and you’ll scare people away. None of us like to be sold to.

But content marketing is about engaging your audience. An engaged audience reacts to what you do. They leave comments. They share your content with their friends. They sign up to your email list.

Whatever action you want your audience to take, tell them about it.

When you tell people what you want them to do, they’re more likely to do it.

Give Away Useful Stuff

If you’ve read anything about content marketing, you’ve probably seen the word “value” being kicked about.

To create good content, we’re told, we must create value.

But what the heck is value?

You create value whenever you do something useful for your readers. Maybe you teach them how to do something. Or your inspire them. Or you make them smile.

Value is making people’s lives better.

When you create content, you can’t hold back. If you’re not willing to give stuff away, then content marketing isn’t for you.

When you create content, a scarcity mindset will get you nowhere. Share your best ideas today. Trust that you’ll have an even better idea tomorrow.

Be a Content Architect

Let me tell you another secret about writing: at school, they teach you that writing is all about spelling and grammar. Perhaps they teach you a basic structure, like Introduction, Main Body, Conclusion.

That’s good to know, but it’s not really what good writing is about. Spelling and grammar are the last things you need to think about.

Good writing is about grabbing your reader by the eyeballs and taking them on a journey. You do this not by spelling correctly but by constructing your content in a powerful way.

Structures that work well include:

  • List posts. Numbered lists are priceless for getting attention. Just take a look a Buzzfeed for how it’s done.
  • Problem-Solution. Start with the problem and the impact it has on your readers’ lives. This shows them that you understand. Once they’re hooked, bring out your solution.
  • Step-by-step. Hold your reader’s hand through learning a new skill.
  • The rant. Controversy always draws a crowd.

Top tip: When you read a blog post that holds your attention, go back and read it a second time, taking apart the structure. You can learn a lot by seeing how other people structure their writing.

What Will Google Think?

The best way to hit the first page in Google is to create awesome content. You’ve learned how to do that.

But just because you’re focused on making great content doesn’t mean you can ignore SEO. Keywords and links still matter, so make sure you include them.

Top tip: Writing with search engines in mind helps you focus on the needs of your readers. After all, keywords are just the words real people use when they’re looking for stuff online.

Over to You

Here’s where we practice what we preach and include a call to action.

What strategies do you use to create amazing content? Go ahead and share your tips in the comments.

Magical Brand Story

Stories are the marketer’s equivalent of the Swiss Army Knife. With stories in your pocket, you can do everything. If you can tell stories, you don’t need anything else.

Stories are powerful because they grab us by the gut. They pull us in and they make us feel something. That’s the magic of story. And you don’t need a fairy godmother to cast the spell for you.

You can do it yourself, as long as you’re a decent storyteller.

What are the keys to telling a magical brand story?

1. Give Yourself Some Name Love

Jenny loved going to Pat’s house after school, because Pat had a pet lamb called Larry. Every week, Larry got bigger, but that didn’t make him any less cute.

Then one week, when Jenny and Pat arrived at Pat’s house, Larry wasn’t there. Dinner was a tasty leg of roast lamb.

When Jenny worked out what had happened, she burst into tears. It wasn’t that she’d never eaten lamb before. Roast lamb was one of her favorite meals. It was that she never expected to eat Larry.

When we name our pets, we create an emotional connection with them.

The same is true for your brand. Your brand name creates an emotional connection. That emotional connection is the first thread in the yarn of a story.

2. Know Your Hero

All good stories need a hero. Who is the hero in your brand’s story?

Maybe you think it’s you. Or maybe it’s your brand.

Wrongo, wrongo.

The hero is your customer. Let’s take a look at why this is.

In any story, the hero is the person with a problem. In crime stories, someone has been murdered (problem), and the detective (hero) has to find who killed him. In romance stories, the heroine is lonely (problem), so she goes on a journey to find the man of her dreams.

In your customer’s story, they’re facing a problem in their life. From their point of view, it’s their job to solve it. Not your brand’s job.

If anything, your brand is the sidekick. Maybe you provide the magnifying glass that helps the detective solve his crime. Or you make the gorgeous dress to help the heroine win her lover’s heart.

Your customer is the hero. Got it?

3. Show, Don’t Tell

Ask any writer the secret of powerful stories that grab readers by the heart, and they’ll tell you:

Show, don’t tell.

In other words, don’t say “She was gorgeous”. Write about her big blue eyes, her perfectly coiffed hair, her luscious red lips.

How does that translate for brands?

Don’t toot your own trumpet.

If you go around telling people how great you are, why should they believe you?

Instead, show how awesome you are. Make fantastic, reliable products that your customers need. Offer excellent customer service. Have a beautifully designed website that reflects the values of your brand. Make it as easy as possible for customers to place orders with you.

Then you’ll get people talking and tooting your trumpet for you.

That’s when the real magic starts.