Saturday, 15 November 2014

Twitter tips to get more retweets

A picture is worth thousand words. Interestingly, it works for Twitter too. A tweet with an image gets 150% more retweets, 89% more favourites and 18% more clicks than those without a picture.

A tweet with an engaging hashtag or two is 55% more likely to be retweeted. However, make sure that you don’t have more than three hashtags in your tweet.

Similarly, numbers and digits stand out in a tweet. A tweet with numbers or digits is most likely to get 17% retweets.

Humility always stands out and if you mention “Please RT” in your tweet, most likely it will get 3-4 times more retweets.

Brandon Gaille, CEO of the internet marketing company, which specializes in SEO, SEM/PPC, social media, and reputation management, has put together 15 useful tips that will help you get more retweets, favourites and eventually help you increase your followers.

Want more Twitter tips?

Check out the article 6 Ways to Improve Twitter Engagement With Psychology Principles by Beth Gladstone, Marketing Manager at Twilert.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Blogging styles, preferred post frequency and buzz creation

If you have been blogging for long, you must have noticed that certain blogs attract more traffic and some don’t even get a single share. It all depends upon your blogging style, frequency of your posts and the content that you present in your posts.

Rohit Bhargava, founding member of 360 Digital Influence group at Ogilvy and author of the award winning marketing book Personality Not Included, has listed down the 25 basic styles of blogging and when to each one.

Talking about each style, Rohit suggests frequency of the blog (the maximum times a week) to ensure that neither you have a stale content nor you overwhelm your readers. Then he talks about the buzz index – how likely your blog will be read, commented or linked to relevant posts. The difficulty level to create a blog of such style has also been discussed. 

However, before jumping down to the presentation by Rohit, let me talk about few styles of blogging that I like the most and find really engaging enough to attract more readers to my blog.

List blogging
This is the most preferred style of blogging for me. It arouses interest among readers when you start your blog headline by saying “10 tips for writing exciting blogs” or “7 famous destinations for hiking during the monsoon”. I do a lot of list blogging and found that for me they have been attracting more traffic than other blog styles.   

Insight blogging
This style of blogging, though difficult, attracts more readers. Doing such posts, I have noticed that people read and comment if they don’t agree with my opinion or second my views. 

Link blogging
It’s quite easy to search blogs and articles online to create an aggregated post. You can then add your views to the list of resources and publish it. As it is a collection of interesting contents, it is highly sought after by the readers. It is really good to find all resources at a place. Isn’t it?

Review blogging
Writing reviews of a product or service is not always easy. You need to be unbiased and share your honest feedback to your followers. People searching about the product or services will land up at your blog.

Bridge blogging
I am Nepal author for Global Voices and whenever I post a blog, I take care that I am writing for an international audience who don’t know even a bit about the happening and places that I am talking about.

The fives styles of blogging that I prefer make up only one-fifth of the styles suggested by Rohit. Find below his presentation on 25 basic styles of blogging.  

25 basic styles of blogging

So which styles do you prefer? Get acquainted to the styles of your interest and keep blogging.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

8 ways to avoid boring storytelling trainings

Have you ever trained your staff on storytelling?

While conducting sessions on story writing I generally come across a familiar set of questions. Most of the participants say they have taken numerous training on story writing and storytelling. And with the ubiquitous presentations on storytelling in Slideshare and Authorstream, everybody thinks that s/he can craft wonderful stories at a mouse’s click. However, when they sit down to jot down a story, they can’t even move beyond few paragraphs. That’s pity!

Stand-alone storytelling training is not interesting at all. However, when all the components of storytelling including story writing, photography and videography are combined together, it makes the session interesting. And if you add the social media component to it – to disseminate the stories written by the participants – it makes the training engrossing. 

The practical and do-it-yourself sessions keep the participants engaged and interested. Besides, the desire to outshine among the peers motivates them to learn and perform better. 

Another crucial factor needed to make the training effective is making participants work in groups. And if you can arrange to make it residential, it allows more discussion, dialogue and exchange of ideas among the participants. This in turn, makes the training more productive.

Content is the king and will always be. Don’t feel awkward to curate the best content from the available resources in the Internet. Slideshare and Authorstream are two sites where you will find loads of presentation on storytelling. And of course you can always Google for more relevant resources. Here’s one of my earlier pieces on storytelling.

Tell the participants how they can get their stories to a wider audience. After writing stories if they don’t reach the target audience, it’s of no use at all. So, provide guidelines on how they can get their stories published, either in an organisational newsletter or in an external publication. Knowing that they can pitch their stories even to international publications, the participants will be more interested to write better stories.   

Everybody loves challenges. Once the sessions come to an end, collaborate with the participants to sketch personal story writing plans. Coming up with a concrete plan to write stories on a regular basis and getting them to the target audience will keep the flames burning. Even after the training. 

To get the maximum output, the sessions should be long enough to generate interaction. The one-sided teaching should be avoided. And for it, you will need to spread your training to three to five days. A day each on storytelling, photography, videography, practical sessions and dissemination through various channels seems the best spread out.

Another important aspect of an effective training is the resource person. The participants get inspired by resource persons who are known well in their fields. Circulating a schedule with short bios of the trainers few weeks ahead arouses interest among the probable participants. 

I am sure the above suggestions will help you to plan an interesting and effective storytelling session. If you come across some more interesting ideas, add to the list. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Can social media change the world?

Can you imagine? There are more mobile phones in the world than toothbrushes.

Unbelievable? But it’s true.

A video produced by International Development, University of East Anglia has all sorts of staggering data convincing that social media can change the world.

And why not if 26 per cent of world’s population is using social media including 41.2 million Tweeters in Brazil, 90 million Facebook users in India, 3.6 million Facebook users in Kenya, 6.5 million Mxit users in South Africa, 600 million Weibo users in China and 46 million Vkontakte users in Russia.

Watch the engrossing video “Does social media has the power to change the world?”

How long should your social media updates be?

How long should your tweet be? Between 71-100 characters. So that people retweeting your tweet can add their comments to it before sending it to their followers. Tweets shorter than 100 characters have 17 per cent higher engagement rate.

Likewise, Facebook posts with 40 characters attract 86 per cent more engagement than posts with higher character counts.

Similarly, your blog headlines should not have more than six words. Limit your LinkedIn posts to 16-25 words and blog posts to 1,600 words if you want better engagement.

The below infographic taken from a post by Kevan Lee in buffersocial explains in detail the optimal length of your day to day social media updates.

The Optimal Length of Everything Online

Download the PDF of infographic.

Download the printable companion infographic.

Read the original post.