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Polish Your Twitter Best Practices

Twitter LogoTwitter is a powerful platform and with over 645 million active users there is no need for an introduction, but are you using it in the most effective way to promote your product? Here are some quick and easy ways to improve your tweeting habits.

Twitter recently redesigned their platform, and with that came new opportunities to promote yourself and your brand. In addition to the avatar (400 x 400 graphic) there is now a header image (1500 x 500 , but 1500 x 421 fits best) across the top of the page. This give the most space for promotion. Be careful of text placement on the graphic though as it will appear slightly different on mobile devices.

It is also important to remember that when clicking on individual tweets, the background image that was previously prominent on your page is still visible so make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. The bio section located under the avatar is a great place to include album pre-order or buy links. The new layout also allows you to pin tweets to the top of the page. This pinned tweet will remain at the top of the page so it is best to pin a tweet of importance i.e buy links, video premieres, tour announcements, etc.

Kina Grannis Twitter Design Example

When it comes to tweeting itself, some things to keep in mind are to vary your tweets with authentic content, content with links, retweets, photos, and videos. Engage your fans by replying to their questions and comments. Hold a Twitter Q&A if you want. There are some great platforms that can help you run these seamlessly like CrowdChat.

Always use handles. Unless you use a handle, the likelihood of that person/brand/publication seeing your tweet is slim. Tagging allows people to know when they have been mentioned and flag a tweet they may want to retweet. You would want a publication to use your handle if they were tweeting wonderful things about you, right? Keep it short and sweet. There is a 140 character limit for a reason. So now that you know what you should do, here are a few don’ts to remember.

Don’t over do it. Excessive selling, self-promotions and retweeting will clutter people’s feed and turn them off from what you have to saying.

Don’t link to other platforms. Twitter has its own voice and should not be linked with other social networks. If you tag someone on Twitter and your Twitter account is linked to Facebook, the tweet you sent will show up with an @ instead of tagging the proper person/publication. Take the time to give each platform the attention they deserve.

Don’t share important news without a link! “We are heading out on tour this fall, tickets on sale now!!!” Cool, but where in the world can you buy them?!?! If something has a link, make sure you include it within the post.

The next important don’t has to do with hashtags. Everyone loves them or at least everyone likes to pretend they do. The reality is is that they can easily take away from the text of your message. Hashtags can be a useful tool, but use them sparingly. Regularly including three or more hashtags in your tweets means people will probably start overlooking them, because they tend to look like spam and are harder to read quickly.

That about wraps it up. Happy tweeting!

Start Tagging on Facebook, It’s Time

label_tagTwitter and Facebook both offer the ability to tag people and pages. Twitter got us in the habit of using that @ sign early by offering the instant gratification of alerting friends and creating conversation. Facebook introduced tagging later on, though. Although tagging a page alerts the owner and might display the original post on a condensed sidebar, Facebook lacks the quick amplification of something like a retweet.

Well, it’s time to get in the habit of tagging relevant pages on Facebook. Big changes to the newsfeed algorithm will affect who can see the posts that your page makes. Facebook will soon be showing your updates to the fans of pages you’ve tagged whether they’ve liked your page or not. Here are some tips for making the most of this new feature:

googleplay tagged on faceook post1) Tag retailers

This one is simple. If your album is on iTunes and you’re sharing an iTunes link, tag iTunes’ Facebook page in the post (or Amazon or Spotify or Rdio, etc.). Just make sure you’re tagging only one retailer per post. Facebook won’t want to show a post including Spotify tags to Amazon’s followers since the content is inaccurate and irrelevant to the fan base.

2) Tag similar, relevant artists

Posting about tour dates? Tag the other bands that are also on the tour. If an album has guest appearances, tag the artist appearing on the track(s). Tag the director of a new video and tag the blog or website it’s premiered on. The information in your post is interesting to the fans of the pages you are tagging, so make sure you share this info with them, too.

spam facebook post3) Be relevant

Notice a word that I keep repeating? Facebook isn’t going to share just any tagged content with any page. Facebook wants to increase the reach of content by matching it to potential fans that will genuinely find the post interesting. Facebook doesn’t want a crazy spam situation where every band is posting a link to purchase their music and then tagging @Pepsi @LadyGaga @KanyeWest @Ford to try to get the post in front of everyone possible.

4) Be patient

Just like everything on the internet, this will probably lead to a lot of complaints. Algorithms need data to better themselves and there will probably be quick changes and less-than-perfect user experiences as this new feature is integrated into the newsfeed.

For more info on making the most of your Facebook posts, check out our best practices guide.

#HashtagsHere #HashtagsThere #HashtagsEverywhere

hashtagA few weeks ago, a client asked me what the best practice is when it comes to using hashtags. After looking into how we’ve used hashtags at The Orchard and digging up some good examples I’ve witnessed, here are the key takeaways I’d like to share… 

#WhatIsAHashtag

The definition according to Twitter:

The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keyword or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorise messages.

For example, “Headline acts announced for #Glastonbury2014.”

#HowToUseHashtags

No spaces should be used when writing/creating a hashtag. It doesn’t matter if your hashtag contains multiple words, you can still group them together. If you want to differentiate between words, use capitals instead, e.g. #RapGod. Uppercase letters will not alter the search results, so if you search for #RapGod you’ll get the same results as #rapgod.

Don’t overuse hashtags, use a maximum of two or three in your posts. Use too many and your followers may think you are spamming.

Try to keep the hashtag short, for example, you can shorten #TheMarshallMathersLP2 to #MMLP2.

You can define your hashtags by using directories like tagdef.com. In addition to giving your hashtag a definition and listing, tagdef also allows you to search for the meaning of existing tags like #oomf.

Numbers are supported e.g. #Glastonbury2014. However punctuation marks are not.

Hashtags can occur at the beginning, middle or end of your post.

#SupportingPlatforms

Some of the social media platforms that support hashtags include:

Twitter: Twitter is where the concept of the modern hashtag began. Twitter hashtags are mainly used to denote specific topics of conversation, the “Trends” sidebar of your Twitter feed curates a list of hashtags you might be interested in, based on your tweets. Clicking on a hashtag word in any message will show you all other tweets marked by that keyword.

Facebook: Facebook added hashtag support in June 2013. Hashtags on Facebook aren’t used as much as they are on Twitter. Nevertheless like Twitter, using hashtags on Facebook turns topics and phrases into clickable links in your post. When you click a hashtag, you’ll see a feed of posts that include that hashtag.

Instagram: Hashtags can be used to accompany photos shared on Instagram and help you discover new accounts and gain followers.

Vine: Hashtags on Vine are used to complement your videos to maximise sharability.

Google+: If you click on a hashtag in Google+, the search results will include the original hashtags as well as posts with similar tags and keywords.

Tumblr: Tumblr has a specific “Tag” section where you can add tags. These tags work in the same way as Twitter hashtags, organising post by topics, but the hash symbol is inserted automatically.

Pinterest: Pinterest hashtags can be used to mark and search for content.

… Continue Reading

The Elephant In The Room: Instagram Video > Vine

July 8, 2013 Marketing No Comments

vine-instagram-200pxCan we all just call out what everyone is thinking… Instagram Video wins.

I’ll actually start with why I am not too thrilled about admitting this. Instagram from its inception has been simple, clean and user friendly, and in my opinion part of its success can be attributed to catering to the insanely short social attention span of its users. You can scan through your Instagram photos and glean insight into what your friends or your favorite brands/bands/artists are doing within a matter of seconds. With the addition of Instagram Video, depending on how many of your friends are posting videos (5 million clips were loaded the first day of Instagram Video’s release), this will exponentially increase the time you have to spend on the App to check in on what’s goin’ on. I tend to feel like I have been spammed when I’m scrolling through my feed and see a video (Instaspamming? Sorry, had to).

All that said, Instagram still wins. It has better video quality and given the incredible success of Instagram already, has a built in scaleable fan and user base. It is also more viral than Vine, as it allows you to share on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Email and Foursquare. As with most social tools, no one wants to feel left out so if all of your friends start to post videos on Instagram, you will eventually do it — I’ll give you a dollar if you don’t. Lastly, the 15-second format is a pleaser among the majority of agencies and brands as it is familiar ad-length/promo-length territory.

Let’s let Vine have some time to shine (after all we did write a nice blog post about this already which still holds true): its videos are embeddable, which is great, and Vine is far less imposing than Instagram Video is. Vine users know what they are getting with the App… now, Instagram is a crapshoot.

Finally, let’s discuss music marketing with video. At this moment in time, I think both of these vehicles are great ways to tease new content and convey your true personality within your social activity. If you have learned anything from this debate, it is that people are using and consuming social video content — if I were you, I’d use both until you see the scale tip completely (even though it’s on it’s way).

Cut the “Ribbon” on Your Digital Store

February 11, 2013 Marketing No Comments

Ribbon LogoSo you’re a band with a new digital track, T-shirt, or sellable product and you want to get it out to your fans? But there’s a problem. You don’t have a strong digital storefront and your followers constantly have to jump through a series of hoops and login forms to buy your stuff. Well, fear not idle salesmen. Ribbon, a payment startup company that recently closed a $1.6 million seed round, is here to cure your selling woes.

The AnglePad-backed company, based in San Francisco, allows you to sell to fans via Facebook, Twitter, your website, personal blog, or any other social media through a one-page checkout system. Whether you’re looking to sell digital, physical, or service products, Ribbon makes it simple. For digital products, the company hosts all of the files as well as the delivery of the product at the end of every sale. Both physical and service items are given simple checkout pages that can be linked to from anywhere on the web.

So, if you have a strong Twitter base, you can now leverage your feed to sell your swag. Simply include the Ribbon link in your Tweet and your followers will be able to preview and purchase your product directly from your stream. The service also provides sellers the ability to embed a “Ribbon Button” on their website or blog, allowing visitors to purchase items with a click of a button — e-commerce has never been so easy.

But just as e-commerce becomes even more manageable, the letter for digital sales is changing… to F-commerce. With the launch of Facebook in-stream payments, Facebook users now never need to leave the website to make a purchase. And with payment services like Ribbon, this means easier purchasing for your fans from your Facebook page. Paul Wall has already embraced the service, selling songs with the Ribbon Button on his website.

The best part about Ribbon is that sellers only pay the company when they make a sale (5% + 30 cents per transaction). Check out the Ribbon website to create your own account and get more information on the service.

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About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

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