Where we share our insights about all things web design, development, and marketing.


How To Use #Hastags

You may notice the # symbol being used a lot on social network sites, but do you know what they mean or how to use them?

Hashtags are keywords with a hash (#) symbol in front of them that makes them searchable and linkable. They have to be one continuous word with no spaces. These are typically used on Twitter, but have been seen on other social networking sites as well. The idea is to get a lot of people talking about one specific topic by using the same hashtag word. For instance, using #awesomewebsites to talk about your website design from TWG.

Hashtags help you target a topic and an audience. If you want to search for a trending topic, use the hashtag instead. Your search results will show you all posts with that same hashtag. It gives you more related search results on a specific topic. In addition, if you use a hashtag about a specific topic, you will target those people who are also interested in talking about that topic.

Using hashtags for your business’ posts, you can drive traffic to your products, services, and website by getting people to talk about what you do. People will become more interested and use the hashtag to help spread the word about your business.
Try not to go hashtag crazy, but if you use these wisely, it could help to increase your social following and ultimately your business following.


How to Better Manage Your Social Media

Social media management can be quite time-consuming—and who has time to spare?  For those who want to put forth the effort to effectively utilize business social media outlets, but who do not have time to do so regularly—help is on the way.  Two major options, both offering very similar solutions, are gremln and Hoot Suite.  These two media management tools allow you to pre-schedule posts for the three major social platforms; Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Additionally, each option offers other tools and options to assist in other ways, too. 

The basis of gremln and Hoot Suite are the same—each provides the ability to schedule through their dashboard your posts for the three major platforms listed above.  Both offer additional tools and features to help you set goals, track metrics, and maximize your social media efforts.  The key element of being able to schedule posts ahead of time is the most attractive feature of each, though---allowing you to take a small chunk of time once a week and convert it into multiple posts and interactions across a variety of outlets.

To determine which of these two would be the greatest benefit to your business, check each one out.  They both offer free 30-day trials, and Hoot Suite offers a free version beyond just the 30-day trial,of their services and each have websites with very good and easy to understand information on the details of all of their services and products, and how they can be implemented for improved success within your business.

Social media management can be tackled----with a little luck…and some pre-scheduling! 


How a social media strategy can help your franchise business

Social media marketing can be looked at as a stand-alone marketing plan, and should be approached with the same attention to detail as your overall marketing plan. While this type of marketing strategy is important for any business in today’s world, it is extremely essential for franchise businesses.
If you own a franchise of a company, you are typically stuck with pre-made marketing plans that usually have a national reach in mind. The corporate company may provide you with marketing materials and plans for new products and campaigns, but it is still important for you to focus on your local marketing and advertising. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is with social media marketing.

Your corporate company probably has a website for your brand, and may even have your location information listed, but it doesn’t give you much (if any) freedom to personalize it for your location. There are features of your business that probably vary from location to location, and you want to be able to reach your specific customers and target audience to market those things.

Benefits of a social media strategy

  1. Allows you to connect with your local audience on a personal level
  2. Gain insights and feedback directly from those you serve
  3. Present your business as a trusted local resource


How to get started

  1. Custom Facebook Page for your location – creating custom pages allows you to have more control and more content available to your local customers.
  2. Twitter – connecting with your customers on twitter can help you to gain feedback directly from the people you serve and help you to improve your products or services
  3. Google + - create circles to target market niches as well as boost your social search engine optimization.

If you have the opportunity and resources to market your franchise locally, take advantage of the social phenomenon. It is a great way to connect directly with consumers and market your franchise as an individual business as well as a corporate entity.


Want to run a Facebook contest?

You have to play by the rules.

Promotions and giveaways are great ways to interact with your fans and gain more visibility for your business on Facebook and other social networks. But if you are going to do a contest, it is important to play by the rules.  Developing a social media promotion takes some research and planning before you can share publicly that you are giving something away.


Before you launch a Facebook promotion, check out Facebook’s rules and guidelines https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php. There are certain things you are and are not allowed to do on Facebook. For example, you are not allowed to collect entries through Facebook comments or photo uploads, but you can use an official Facebook app to announce and run your contest. As the admin of a page, it is your responsibility to read and understand these rules before starting a contest or giveaway on your page. Facebook has the right to reject or remove any page that does not follow their guidelines.

5 Tips to Create a Successful Contest:

1.    Define your goal
2.    Come up with a creative and interesting idea
3.    Utilize other social networks
4.    Keep the length of the contest in mind (typically 2-4 weeks)
5.    Measure the results

By taking the time to prepare your contest and make sure that you have followed the guidelines set by Facebook, your contest or giveaway may be a successful promotion for your business or company. You could gain valuable interaction and feedback from your current customers and even gain some new customers and fans.

For more on this topic, see this article posted by Mashable http://mashable.com/2012/03/05/facebook-promotion-guide/

Graphic Designer Rachel Green of TWG Design Studio
"Rachel has a love for all things creative. She is passionate about what she does and loves to create new things."


Do You Have Klout?

Social networking has gained tremendous ground as a significant element in any business’ branding and marketing strategy in recent years.  Did you know, though, that the benefits to social networking on your business may actually reach further than you realize?  In fact, your Klout Score can tell you a lot about the impact you currently have, and may help drive you towards goals you wish to reach, in your own social networking.

“The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action.  Every time you create content or engage you influence others.” (www.klout.com/corp/kscore)

So, what are the benefits to uncovering and studying your Klout Score?  The Klout Score is based off of information from social networks and gauges 3 basic trends:

  • True Reach (the number of people you influence)
  • Amplification (to what degree you influence these people)
  • Network Impact (the influence of those in your True Reach—how often they share and respond to you). 


The Klout Score itself is based on a scale from 1 to 100. 
An individual Klout Score is determined by a business’ ability to drive action.  The scoring does not come from follower totals or counts taken from friends and likes.  It focuses solely on the ability of your social networking strategy to drive action. 
To sign-up to use Klout, you must connect through a social network—currently Twitter and Facebook are the primary methods available on the Klout website (www.klout.com).  Once you have signed-up and begin using this scoring method, you will be eligible for Klout Perks, Klout information, and even Klout widgets and badges to share your Klout Score. 

For anyone looking to capitalize on their business impact through social networks, Klout is at least worth a second glance.  Klout is a great way to rate your business on your ability to drive action and influence rather than numbers of followers, friends, or likes you may have.  To gauge the true impact your social networking has for your business, as far as leads, interaction, and maintaining your customer base, you may get a lot from just a little Klout.