Last week, Twitter announced they are rolling out a new feature. Users are now able to record their own audio and share it on the platform as a voice tweet. It appears that “voice tweets” is currently an enabled feature for a limited number of users on Twitter for iOS but will be available to all iOS users in the coming weeks.
Let's look at some of the logistics of using a voice tweet:
With an eye toward how we can implement this new feature on behalf of our clients and our firm, our Founder & CEO @sjryanjr took to Twitter to crowdsource initial thoughts and reactions about voice tweeting and experimented with it a bit. Check out the feedback below:
Our CEO Steve Ryan (@sjryanjr) tested out a voice tweet and asked his followers for feedback. Overall, responses from Steve's followers were positive. Individuals responded about the sound quality and liking it more than they expected. Some users remarked that it reminded them of a podcast and others are hopeful that all Twitter users will have the opportunity to try this out soon. Twitter hopes "people will use this to make their voices heard and add to the public conversation."
Some Positive Takeaways for Using Voice Tweet
More Content: You can fit a lot more content in 140 seconds than you can in 280 characters; be careful you don't start rambling, though. You might even consider scripting yourself to ensure you fit your entire message within the allotted time. If you have a lot to communicate, Twitter provides the option to create threads with multiple voice tweets in a row, if you're looking for longer-form voice content.
Humanization: It's easy to scroll through Twitter quickly without stopping. You may find yourself unsure of who you are following, how you knew them originally, or what their priorities might be. Voice tweets put a name behind the face and a voice behind the name. This humanizes your Twitter account and your brand.
It's New: Who doesn't love a new feature on a social media platform? This is exciting and time to experiment, try something new and innovative, look for ways to make it work for your brand, and be a trendsetter as opposed to letting other companies push forward and leave your Twitter account in the dust.
Things to Consider Before You Jump All In
Visuals: As previously mentioned, Twitter pulls your profile picture and background color for your voice tweet. As a user, you do not have control over imagery/visuals to correspond with the voice tweet functionality. So, if you have particular brand guidelines, you have to be willing to budge when using this functionality.
Headphones: According to recent reports, 80% of active users access Twitter via mobile. Remember that they likely have their audio turned off or don't have headphones in, so they really have to want to listen to your content if they push play. This is why it's still important to introduce the tweet via text.
Text: Transcription or text overlay would be a great add-on to this functionality so that users don't have to listen but could still consume the content without audio (understanding it defeats the purpose of voice tweets).
Access: From reading between the lines, voice tweet functionality appears to be only available for iOS users in the initial rollout. You will need an iOS device that will allow you to record and utilize the functionality.
Ideas for Leveraging this Feature
Quick Hit Updates: Want to showcase yourself as a thought leader or have a quick update or mini tip to share? Voice tweets give you the time to put your thoughts together and talk through a topic.
Company News: If you have something newsworthy to share, use a voice tweet of your company spokesperson or senior leadership to share. Maybe it's reading a press release or responding to a crisis or sharing something fun, putting the voice behind a brand is powerful.
Mini Podcast: Don't want to commit to long-form content or in-depth recordings? Voice tweets could give you the solution you need to launch a podcast, maybe it's daily for 140 seconds or weekly or even monthly. Choose your topic, brand it, publicize it your audience, create a branded hashtag, and commit to trying it on a timeline that works for you.
Still not convinced or unsure how you might use voice tweets as part of your social media strategy? Schedule a free consultation with a member of our social media team.
Social media has become a digital marketing must for businesses across the globe, but if you didn’t grow up in the “social media age” or aren’t familiar with all of the capabilities, social media can be daunting to determine how to apply it to your business and even more so how to measure return on investment. There is a common misconception that to be on social media means you have to have a presence across all social media platforms. That is not the case. It all depends on who your ideal audience is and what your goals are. So where do you start?
IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE
Taking a deep dive into the nitty-gritty of identifying your audience is vital to the success of your social media efforts. Who is your ideal consumer? Where are they located? How old are they? Are they shopping online? What do they like to do? Where are they spending their time on social media? These are all important aspects to explore and consider when developing and executing your strategy. You may be producing great, creative content but if it isn’t relative to your audience, how will it convert?
DEVELOP YOUR GOALS
Before you continue posting because you feel as though you have to be on social media, identify what you are looking to achieve. Each of your social media channels should have a purpose that directly aligns with your goals. You don’t have to be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or other social platforms if it doesn’t make sense for your business. Are you looking to social media as a customer service tool? Twitter is ideal for real-time, immediate conversation with your followers. Maybe your goal is product promotion? Instagram is a great visual platform to showcase your product and create engagement with your following. Perhaps you want to grow your customer base? Facebook engagement ads allow you to target your ideal audience and encourage them to follow and like your page to continue seeing your content.
PAID VS. ORGANIC
With social media algorithms changing frequently, businesses can utilize social media organically, with paid promotions, or a mixture of both. There is no right or wrong answer to whether or not paid or organic is the right choice. Often the most effective is a combination of both; however, it goes back to your goals.
Organic social media takes time, not dollars as the investment. By continuing to invest time in posting on social media, your audience wants to hear from you consistently. Organic content flows in the feeds of your audience to stay top of mind and keep your audience informed about events, promotions, and organizational updates. These are your regular updates, when you share a sale that you're having in your store, a photo of a new product that just arrived, highlighting an employee, or sharing an article about a local fundraiser you are supporting. It's also when you're engaging with your audience by liking and commenting on posts of other businesses and individuals. The investment is time.
Paid social media efforts allow you to hone in on and target specific demographics. With all of the sophisticated targeting capabilities, you can be sure that your content is being seen by your ideal customers; this is a monetary investment. One way to utilize paid advertising is if you have a major product or content push you want to be sure is being seen by your target audience. Boosting your existing organic content on Facebook allows you to reach more of your target audience who may not be following your page, but match the profile of your “ideal customer.” You can also create specific ads to promote awareness and increase your reach or send traffic to your website, if you have an online store. Instagram has similar advertising capabilities but allows for more creative visuals to accompany your ads. Twitter ads allow you to further promote existing content on your page but is more heavily used for creating engagement and soliciting clicks and traffic to your website. Paid social media can also be used to build up your following with real, relevant followers and increase brand awareness and traffic to your website. If you’re struggling with what sort of content to include in your paid advertising budget, try starting with organic content to see how your audience engages and that has proven successful for your business. Start with the content you are already seeing a return on with your audience.
It’s good to create a conversation with your content, but it is also important to join conversations already happening online about your business and industry by simply listening. Sprout Social defines social listening as, “the process of tracking conversations around specific topics, keywords, phrases, brands or industries, and leveraging your insights to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.” Social listening offers businesses the opportunity to monitor, analyze, and listen to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, Reddit, blogs, forums and news sites for conversations happening online about your business, brand, or specific keywords (like the many shoe brands you carry within your store or online). That being said, the insights gained go far beyond researching hashtags and manually scrolling through news feeds to gather data. With all this consumer research, social listening ultimately gives you the tools you need to develop and drive an effective content strategy to optimize consumer reach and propel your business towards a successful future.
Read, 'The Power of Social Listening.'
If you’re not seeing a return on your social media investment, oftentimes, it not because of your product. It’s because you’re not telling the story of who you are as a business in a way that relates to your customers. All too often we see brands promote products by saying, “We’re the best! Buy our product!” But why are you the best? Customers are so used to the same old, “We’re the best, buy our product” language. Differentiating your business in a way that is easy for your customers to understand will make them more inclined to give you a shot. Simon Sinek argues that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Social media has the power to reach a wide range of customers and tell the story of your business, why you do what you do, create a connection with your customers, and ultimately make them want to do business with you.
Read, 'Maintaining Your Social Presence During COVID-19.'
It’s important to keep track of your social media metrics month over month and year over year to ensure that your social media strategy is hitting the mark and that you are achieving your digital marketing goals. Some vital metrics to measure include engagements, followers, and of course conversions.
Engagements represent the number of clicks, likes, comments, and shares of your particular posts. Engagements are important to track as they affirm that your audience is interested in the content that you’re posting. You may be posting creative content, but if your audience isn’t resonating with your posts, it can prove to be unsuccessful. Maintaining a significant following across your social platform is also something you want to be aware of when measuring brand health. Having a substantial number of followers is a sign of credibility and trustworthiness when users come to visit your page. This data shows that people have an interest in your business. That being said, the quality of your followers and who you are following is very important too. A follow from a consumer to your page is a way of saying I care what you do. The same goes for your business. You want to be sure your “endorsements” are reflective of who you are as a brand, to maintain that credibility and trust with your audience. Conversions represent a response to the call to action you are soliciting with your message, turning that lead into a customer.
Your social media objectives and strategy is going to be unique to your business and will take time to develop and execute, but if done correctly can and will have a great ROI for your business.
FOLLOW RYTECH ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Eileen Kennedy, Social Media Manager
Many of us are looking for the “right” answers about how we should be handling coronavirus (COVID-19) and what we should be communicating to our clients. At the onset of the pandemic, many of us decided to pause our communications to figure out strategic next steps.
If you’re still in that phase, we’re here to tell you now is not the time to go dark.
Your doors may be closed and services may be paused, but there are plenty of things you can be doing on social media to foster connection and support within your community.
First things first, people are on their phones, computers, and other devices more than ever with shelter in place orders across the country. According to eMarketer, Facebook saw a 70% increase in its app usage in March. During this time of social distancing, people are looking to increase connections, so meet them where they are already spending most of their time - on social media!
Be transparent. The media can be very overwhelming and sources of anxiety for many and people are looking for distractions. Social media is the place for your business to share your truth, be a beacon of hope, and a place of information and inspiration for your audience. Let your audience in on what you are doing during this “downtime,” how you are supporting your employees, and share your plans for the future.
Any resources within your community or elsewhere that could be helpful for your audience (like work from home tips, at-home family activities, medical information, donation opportunities, etc) should be considered share-worthy even if it is not directly related to your business. Be discerning, don’t just share everything you find, but sharing accurate information from reliable sources or information relevant to your audience will be well-received. If you want more guidance, read our Top 5 Takeaways on Coronavirus Communications.
NO SERVICE? NO PROBLEM.
With many doors closed and some services on hold, the reality is we may not be getting as many conversions as we’d like to see on social media, but this is time to focus on growing and strengthening your community and brand sentiment. Your goal should be to frame your business as a resource and thought leader.
Social media “live” capabilities are a great, creative way to communicate in real-time with your audience, answer any question they may have, allow them to see your face, see that you’re working, and see that you are there for them during this unprecedented time. Don’t try to hard-sell your products or services - just be there to relate to your audience, educate them, and offer support.
If you have customers asking how they can support your business during this time, Instagram recently rolled out its gift card option. Stay tuned for more fundraising opportunities from Instagram.
KEEP YOUR FINGER ON THE PULSE
Instagram has created a sticker series for users to not only stay connected during this time of social distancing but also to gather important information on the virus.
There is also an abundance of hashtags that you can search or use to find conversations and connect with others during this time. This is a helpful tool for joining discussions already in progress.
Your customers want to hear from you. They want to see you and they want to know that you're optimistic about the future. Give them updates, resources, and support. Social media is a great tool to connect with followers and provide them with quick updates and valuable information.
Steve Ryan, Founder & CEO
After interacting with our social squad and reading through the content calendars they create on a weekly basis for our clients, I decided it was time to step up my personal social media game, especially after reading this Business Insider article about CEOs on social media earlier this summer. As a digital agency, we should practice what we preach to our clients and as I heard more and more that Twitter is a valuable B2B tool, important to humanize an organization, and it takes a lot of time and effort, I knew it was time to jump right in.
So, I spent some time thinking about my Twitter strategy, what I hoped to achieve, why was I doing this, and then began implementing my plan. I had to start with updating my Twitter bio to make it more about me, who I am, and reflect my personal and professional life.
What did I find out? Let's dive right in.
Interested in learning more about Twitter? Read, “How to Get More Twitter Followers.”
More to Say
As I thought about and defined my Twitter strategy, I realized that I had more relevant content to share, more individuals in which to engage, and more thoughts than I had originally thought. I could share personal stories, content that was relevant and I found interesting/applicable, share updates about our company, retweet others, and become part of different conversations.
Engagement is Key
While I was engaged within Twitter and sharing regularly, I also found myself looking through my Twitter feed more regularly throughout the day, jumping into conversations by replying to others, and reading tweets around specific hashtags. For example, I spent more time reading about the latest hurricane on Twitter than I did in regular news outlets online or on television. I was consumed by the content that was coming out.
To further my engagement opportunities, I spent time creating different lists on Twitter so that I could ensure that I took the time to engage with various groups. I created a list of the nonprofit organizations which we support or I serve on their board of directors. I edited a list of current clients with whom we work to stay on top of their messaging. I developed a list of RyTech team members so I could see who was using their Twitter accounts as brand ambassadors and amplify their messages.
People want to see the human behind the Twitter account. I took this very personally, and I'll admit was slightly nervous at first. I have a public Twitter account -- do I really want to share personal insights, photos of my kids? I wasn't sure at first, but my family is an important part of who I am and I needed my Twitter account to reflect it in order to fully implement my strategy. I quickly found out that my personal tweets were the ones with the highest engagement, so I continued to be personal on Twitter.
Hashtags and Tagging
As a means to amplify my tweets, I explored how to share with a larger audience aside from my followers. I made a concerted effort to look at hashtags that were relevant to the content in the tweets and that had a larger conversation. I also made sure to tag individuals who I thought might be interested in the content, originally wrote the content if it was curated, or was a follow up to a previous conversation. These tags brought tweets in front of others - it was interesting to see who responded, who didn't, and what their engagement was with the content.
While I had some significant takeaways, there were also some challenges to kickstarting and continuing this Twitter strategy. There were only one or two days when I thought to myself late in the day that I hadn't said anything on Twitter and rushed to find something relevant to share or retweet. I needed to ensure I balanced the content - it couldn't all be about marketing RyTech. So, I started using Sprout Social to pre-schedule certain tweets that I knew I could share on specific days or times.
In 60 short days, my tweets were seen more than 57,000 times, I had nearly 3000 engagements, and I increased my followers by almost 7% (thanks Sprout Social for tracking my activity within Personal Mode).
Of the 145 tweets I sent (that's more than 60, just saying), it is interesting to look back and see the types of tweets, as I relied heavily on photos as part of my strategy. I also wanted to develop conversation and not just be posting to post - that's something we advise our clients to think about as part of their strategies, so I took it to heart. An area that I can continue to work on is engagement with new contacts. I want to expand my messaging aside from those who I follow and who follow me, so what can I do next to focus on new contacts?
I'm going to continue my Twitter strategy, refine it, and see where it takes me professionally and personally. If you want to follow along and see if I keep up with my posting, you can find me @sjryanjr. My next project? My personal LinkedIn profile. Stay tuned!
Are your leadership team members on social media? Do they have an active social media presence? If not, it is time to get them on social media, engage with their followers (even your customers), and share their thoughts within their industry conversations online. RyTech can assist with strategy development, analytics, training, or management.
Steve Ryan, Founder & CEO
Brands have flocked to social media and social media advertising as an extension of their brand, showcasing product, telling their story, and trying to increase conversions; however, they are still struggling with high-level customer service. According to the Q2 2017 Sprout Social Index, only 1 in 10 messages receives a response from a brand on social media, taking an average of 11 hours to respond. Social media is not a one-sided conversation and brands need to realize that as they push content into the feeds of consumers. Brands need to be listening and responding to the conversations.
According to the 2019 Hanapin State of Paid Social report that was recently released, "97% of marketers are investing in social advertising, up 10% from last year." If you're paying for social media advertising, you should be investing in customer service on these channels as well. Customers who have questions, positive reviews, or complaints found you on social media and likely want to communicate with you directly from that channel. Customers want to speak with the brand from the channel they're on - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat.
If you're looking for a brand that does customer service and engagement well on social media, look no further than Southwest Airlines. They must have a behemoth social team - actively responding to customers (happy and not so happy) every hour of every day. Each team member signs their responses with his/her name and adds a slice of humor or personality with each engagement. Their customer service social strategy is done right.
Let's talk about a real life experience, turned social media experiment. A brand that runs a sale for two weeks. The day after the sale ends a follow-up email goes out to their database extending the sale and sweetening the deal by adding free shipping on all orders placed that day. Nice thought, but what about all of the customers that bought during the sale and paid the shipping cost?
Unhappy customers turned to social media to express their frustrations. Customers commented on the post announcing the extended sale and free shipping expressing their displeasure without a response from the brand. As a fellow unhappy customer that was charged shipping, I tried to resolve the issue privately by DMing the brand on Twitter. 24 hours later, I didn't have a response and my frustration was growing. I followed up with a DM on Instagram. Same situation - no response. I followed up with an email. No response.
According to the Sprout Social Q3 2017 Index, consumers take action when a brand does not respond to their social media message. Nearly 40% of consumers will move along to the next social channel, as illustrated above, to seek resolution.
While trying to resolve the issue privately, a friend publicly tweeted at the brand directly expressing her frustration and almost immediately had a DM from the brand offering to refund the shipping cost.
This brand cares more about the public outcry than those that tried to handle it privately. Their email marketing team might have messed this one up a bit, but their social media team took an even bigger hit by leaving their disgruntled customers without a response.
What do consumers really want? They want to be heard and have some sort of resolution to their issue and often times a simple response will go a long way. A brand is going to answer the phone when someone calls (during normal business hours when the next available agent is ready), so why wouldn't you respond on social media? Show your customers that you care and are willing to respond to their needs it will turn into real dollars.
If your team doesn't have the time or bandwidth to have a dedicated social media customer service team member on staff, you run the risk of losing important customers and business. Partnering with a third party social media company allows you to focus on the day to day of your business operations while they handle the customer service responses in an effective and timely manner.
Still not convinced? Read Why You Need a Social Media Customer Service Plan from our friends at Sprout Social.
FOLLOW RYTECH ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Do you get tired of liking the same photo on Instagram that you already saw on Facebook or vice versa? Do you find yourself wondering if you already liked that photo as you are about to double tap on Instagram? Do you have social media fatigue? YES .... I DO .... Pick Me!
This doesn't mean throw in the towel and shut down your social media accounts. It means it's time to start being strategic about your social media activity and leveraging it for your bottom line.
According to the 2019 Sprout Social Index, 77% of consumers said they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media.
Read our blog post, 'How to Tell Your Story on Social Media.'
We regularly talk to businesses and business owners, marketers, and communications directors about their social media strategy and hear similar pieces of feedback, which typically fall into two different camps:
Too Hard/Not Enough Time
Time is always going to be a constraint (and not the topic of this post!). For those struggling with finding the time, consider outsourcing a component or hiring someone to help you develop a strategy. You can also spend a few minutes each day or block out a few hours each week to devote to your social media strategies.
For those of you thinking that it's "super easy" because you can post the same thing everywhere, THINK AGAIN. While the functional task might save you a minute or two, you run the risk of alienating some audience members and causing a lackluster response on at least one channel.
YOUR AUDIENCE CARES ABOUT YOUR BRAND
If you're humanizing your brand, your audience becomes brand ambassadors to help you share your story. You want to encourage them to follow you on multiple different channels so they can further understand your company, share your message, and engage. This can lead to user generated content through audience involvement. By posting the same piece of content on all channels, your audience does not have a reason to follow you in more places than one (and if they already do, they'll likely unfollow).
YOUR AUDIENCES ARE LIKELY DIFFERENT
By thinking strategically about your social media strategy and leveraging your accounts, take into account that the audience demographics will vary by channel. Social media analytics will quickly inform your strategy by identifying what your audience is looking for on each specific channel. Your Instagram followers are likely younger and looking for something that is completely different than your Facebook followers. If you post the same content at the same time, you'll see engagements plummet and little return on investment.
THE MECHANICS ARE DIFFERENT
On Twitter, you don't want to see an Instagram link that takes you to Instagram to see the full post. A business or person that you tag might be on Facebook but not on Instagram and then it looks like you do not know what you're doing on social media. If you're not taking the time to post different content, you aren't maximizing the potential reach and engagement on each post and each channel.
As you look to refine your social media strategies, make developing each social channel and audience its own top priority. You don't have to be on all social media channels to be successful with social media. Your primary audience might only be on Facebook and the rest of your efforts might be lost completely. Be strategic. Do your homework. And spend the extra few minutes to generate content that is unique to each channel.
connect with rytech
Ashley Anderson, Social Media Associate
“It’s no longer a matter of discussion whether a nonprofit organization should be active on social media networks—because they should. That is, if they want to keep up.”
A 2018 study done by Donorbox concludes that nonprofit organizations need to keep up with social media trends in order to connect with their audiences in a way they never have before. A few social media tactics that nonprofits should be using include keeping consistent with messaging, making sure to showcase the impact of their organization, and making sure they connect with their audience. However, many nonprofits struggle to keep up with the changing social media trends. In this article, we lay out a few social media mistakes that every nonprofit should avoid.
5 COMMON MISTAKES NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS MAKE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
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Follow RyTech on social media to stay current with new social insights and trends for your industry!
At this time of year, summer interns flock to businesses, offices, nonprofits and other organizations to embark upon a summer long process of work (the lucky ones being paid!). Internships are largely structured processes that allow the intern to learn specific skillsets throughout the tenure of their time. Especially unpaid interns, they are not meant to replace the workforce nor be responsible for major components of an organization’s mission.
That being said, as a business owner, you turn to the knowledge of a millennial to assist your navigation of the digital space. They are here for the summer and should be utilized. Each millennial intern appears light years ahead of you in their knowledge related to social media. So, why not capitalize on their knowledge and let them dictate your social media strategy for the summer?
Well, we have three major reasons why it would be beneficial for you to think twice about letting your summer intern drive your social media strategy.
#1. Limited Expertise. Summer interns are typically high school or college students. Their experience is limited, even though they’ve grown up in the digital space. The knowledge that they have is limited to what they know and more than likely that’s solely Instagram. Instagram isn’t always the best avenue for businesses to be successful online. While they have some experience from their core curriculum, this is more theoretical than practical. Odds are that the intern doesn’t know the idiosyncrasies of each social media network, what is compliant, how to navigate, and the like. Additionally, strategy development is high level and takes a fair amount of research to better understand an organization, the mission and the goals. Not something that an intern can develop in the first week or two of them being in the office.
#2. Legal Pitfalls. When you give an intern the proverbial “keys to the kingdom”, they begin to act without any oversight. Tweeting on your behalf, liking pages on Facebook, and sharing photos on Instagram, but how do you know what they’re posting? What happens when they tweet from your business account a controversial issue that opens up a large discussion and the intern responds without knowing exactly what to say? What happens when the intern posts a photo on Facebook that is copyright protected and the owner takes action against your organization? Social media is an intricate space that shouldn’t be left in the hands of an intern.
#3. Limited Engagement. A summer internship is just that - a summer experience. If you transition all of the work of developing your social media strategy, executing social media, and responding on your behalf to the intern, what happens in August when he/she goes back to school full-time and someone has to pick up these tasks? Relying on a summer intern to implement and execute strategy is something that only has a short term time limit. Then, what does your organization do?
Think about these three components before you hand over the reins of your social media to an intern.