Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How to Effectively Use Twitter - The Basics Part II

Where did we leave off??? Oh yeah...links are shortened and we can now address the subject matter contained w/in the actual tweet. 

So now we are getting somewhere, we have used 14 characters to shorten the link that we want to tweet. 126 left! Let's take this blog title for example as our first tweet. How to effectively use Twitter - The Basics. W/out the period it's 43 characters. That's 57 used and 83 to go. So we have the title and the link, but how can we reach outside of the small community who might be following, to a bigger community that we want to interact with on Twitter? Good question. We use Hashtags, or the # (pound) sign. Hashtags allow users to create a type of shorthand language that is searchable thru the twitter search bar. For instance, #SMB is shorthand for small business...#SmallBusiness is another as well as #SmallBiz or #WOSBWoman Owned Small Business. If you search for any of these, you can see the frequency of their use and how relavent they might be to your overall audience. There are also Hashtag search tools like Rite Tag by Saul Fleischman  (@osakasaul). It's best to choose hashtags that relate to the message you want delivered as well as occur frequently when searched. Also, do not over use hashtags. 2 is best, and garners a 17% more likelihood of engagement while any more than 2 or none at all decreases that likelihood. Here is the infographic on the stats discussed thus far from @linchpinseo.

Here is the tweet before insertion of hashtags.

How to effectively use Twitter - The Basics bit.ly12345678 

To effectively reach more people that I feel could benefit from this information I would put the following Hashtags "Good for #SmallBusiness #SocialMedia Marketing "

Now it looks like this: How to effectively use Twitter - The Basics | Good for #SmallBusiness #SocialMedia Marketing bit.ly12345678 #SMM

Ok that leaves us w/28 characters left...I chose to use 3 Hashtags but that's merely b/c the tweet is actually running a little shorter since it's my own copy and I am not retweeting someone. When you retweet someone, you copy their tweet and then say either RT @username or Retweet @username. Again you will get more engagement if you spell out Retweet but sometimes you don't have enough characters remaining to spell it out. That remaining character space is very meaningful, and if you want to give someone the chance to Retweet you w/out having to change your title (your copy) you need to use the "Magic Number" which is the amount of characters of your username + "@"+ "RT " (and + a space after RT) . Mine is 17. So if I want someone to RT me and not have to change some of my copy the best chance for that is to leave at least 17 characters left. In this case since 28 remain I can add the different part numbers ie: How to effectively use Twitter - The Basics Part 1 | Good for #SmallBusiness #SocialMedia Marketing bit.ly12345678 #SMM

That right there is how to compose a very effective tweet. Now that you know how to craft effective tweets you might start to see followers. If that happens, if you find commonalities w/them it's appropriate to follow them back. If not it's perfectly acceptable to not follow them back. However, you might notice an unfollow soon b/c many people like to get followed back and if you don't, again, people might unfollow you. The numbers are great but it's still much more about engaging w/the right people, so that decision is up to you. If your goal is only to get more followers then you should follow everyone back. It's best to remember though, people will judge you by the company you keep both in the real world and in the digital world of Twitter, so be advised of those you follow and follow back. 

That concludes our little synopsis on Tweet Efficacy. If this was even slightly helpful, and you could, retweet this, favorite this (which is a click of the star under the tweet itself, comparable to a facebook like), share it, or give it a +1 on google+ it would be very much appreciated. So we have covered setup, following, tweets, hashtags, retweets, favorites, hashtag searches, twitter clients, and magic numbers. Please stay tuned to Michlin Metals Blog and comment if you want to share any thoughts or concerns. Thanks for reading. 

Michlin Metals is a Woman Owned Small Business Aerospace Metal and Stainless SteelDistributor. Follow Michlin on Twitter @MichlinMetalsFacebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or on the Web atwww.michlinmetals.com. More on the author on Google+

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Michlin Metals, Inc is Scheduled to Achieve AS 9120A Certification in June 2013

Michlin Metals is one of only a handful of Woman Owned Small Businesses that distribute aircraft qualitysteel & specialty stainless steel to the Aerospace and Defense Industries. What makes Michlin Metals even more unique is their overall attention to detail. In today’s ever changing business landscape, a company must focus on its strengths. One strength that has allowed Michlin Metals to succeed for 29 years is providing a quality product, on time, at a competitive price to ensure customer satisfaction.

AS 9120A is a international standard that requires suppliers to focus on many different operational and quality aspects. Some of the more important ones are Traceability, Document Control (control of records) & Evidence of Conformance. A company does not need to be AS 9120A certified to provide customers with such measures, however, a company that gains certification can then offer verifiable proof of their attention to detail and conformance with the Aerospace Standard.

Michlin Metals has serviced the aerospace industry for practically three decades. Traceability has always been paramount as exhibited by almost all 30 years of records being retained on site. Even though the standard only requires 7 years of records, Michlin goes above and beyond expectations to ensure customer satisfaction.

Michlin Metals has set forth the following quality objectives in their pursuit of AS 9120A Certification: 100% On-Time Delivery and 100% Customer Satisfaction. After gathering data of almost 1000 shipments from the first quarter of 2013, Michlin Metals was on time 99.99% of the time. In addition to excellent delivery performance, Michlin was pleased to receive customer surveys that reported all positive feedback regarding how customers felt about doing business with Michlin Metals.

After having successfully completed their internal audit conducted by Parr Consulting, it is apparent that Michlin is in conformance with the standard.  Michlin Metals is confident that they will achieve AS 9120A certification in June and continue to provide the same customer service that has been offered for almost the last 30 years.

Michlin Metals is proud to be a Woman Owned Small Business who distributes Aerospace Steel and Specialty Stainless Steel. Follow Michlin on Twitter @MichlinMetals, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or on the Web atwww.michlinmetals.com. More on the Author on Google+.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How to Effectively Use Twitter - The Basics Part I

How to Effectively Use Twitter - The Basics Part I

Michlin Metals has gained valuable insight over the last 2 months that has helped transform our Twitter presence. We feel it's important to share how to construct an effective tweet over a 2 part blog post.

Having been on Twitter for almost (or only, depending on how you look at it) 2 years, Michlin Metals still has plenty to absorb. However over the last 2 months our follower base has doubled due to a few things learned that we feel could help others better utilize this amazing form of communication and engagement. Here's a quick snapshot: Twitter is only 6 years old, it was formed in 2007 and currently sees over 400 Million unique visitors a month. Those users now generate 1 Billion Tweets every 2.5 days. That's a ton of traffic both in and out.

Here is why we had only 300 followers after using Twitter for almost 2 years. 
- We Tweeted AT people, not WITH people. 
-Effectively yelling at our followers to look at what we were posting. 
- We put barely any emphasis on actually engaging with our community.
- We simply pasted article titles/links thru a daily tweet via facebook that auto posted to Twitter
- We didn't shorten links,  therefore never saw retweets or favorites.

These are some reasons we had only achieved a somewhat modest following of about 300. Then about 2 months ago, we did a little research on what makes an effective Tweet and how to Tweet properly. That knowledge was transformational. Our presence on twitter is now almost 600 strong and that's after only 2 months of applying knowledge gained from tweeting properly and engaging w/people. Let me add this...The sheer number of followers isn't the point, it's the value that you add and get by engaging. It's imperative that in order to draw people in, you reply, comment, retweet and engage w/other people's content in a thought provoking way.

Michlin has doubled our follower base in that short time frame by listening to what people are saying and by replying to their tweets. We are shortening our links to a specific character length to allow for a retweet w/out the need to change our copy. We use hashtags to reach out of our community to draw others in as new followers and lastly, we started using more relevant information in our Tweets. Such as social media, new technologies and current events. So let's break down the previous paragraph and discuss what some of those terms mean and HOW to Tweet properly.

First and foremost, even before you create an account it's best to have a strategy or a goal in mind (if you are using Twitter for Business) so that you can Tweet with focus and stay on track. Once you build a follower base they are going to hopefully come to you expecting the same content for which you garnered their follow in the first place. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves. First you have to create a username and password. Once you have created an account, viola, you can now use Twitter. From the home screen you can search for relevant or interesting topics and start to follow people that tweet about things you enjoy reading or learning about. Once you have followed a few people your home page (time-line) will start to fill up w/their tweets and you can begin to see what all the fuss is about. In the Tweet entry field at the top right of the screen (if working on the desktop) you hit the compose Tweet button. This is where all the fun starts, and you have a maximum of 140 characters. You might think that 140 characters isn't many letters/characters to use and you'd be right, it's not. However, it's not the limit of characters that defines the tweet, it's the value you place w/in those characters to craft small, micro-blog statements that define the essence of your message.  

There are many ways to actually tweet, most Social Media platforms offer the ability to post your sentiments to other networks thru their own, but in order to ensure you are getting the most out of the 140 characters you have, it's best to either tweet thru twitter directly or to use a Twitter client like HootSuite or TweetDeck. These clients are amazing tools but their purpose serves a slightly more advanced user who is following and is followed by many people, has lists, (Lists are ways to separate people into categories that are of interest to you, they are needed b/c once you follow more than a couple hundred people you will see that keeping up w/your timeline is nearly impossible...and that's only a couple hundred...imagine a couple thousand, or even more) and a client also allows you to pre-schedule your tweets for anytime you see fit. If you start tweeting regularly it's best to space your tweets out to about once an hour. There have been studies that show once an hour is a good frequency when tweeting often. However it's not recommended to tweet 10X in a few minutes and then wait 24 hours or longer b/c all that does is clog a persons timeline for a minute which is not a great idea b/c again it's almost like yelling "Hey check me out, check me out, check me out!!!!" and then you vanish again no where to be seen. Best to be consistent and space the tweets apart.

Back to crafting the perfectly effective tweet. You will need to use a link shortener like Bit.ly or Ow.ly again there are studies that show the use of these 2 methods above any other option could garner you as much as a 6% better chance of people clicking that link. The opposite holds true for tiny.url. That same study says that people are 6% less likely to click on your link if tiny.url is used. So we have chosen to stick with Bit.ly. That takes your link from tens or hundreds of characters and makes them about 14 characters. Here is the infographic on the stats discussed thus far from @linchpinseo.

This wraps up the first installment, if this has been even slightly helpful, and you could, retweet this, favorite this (which is a click of the star under the tweet itself, comparable to a facebook like), share it, or give it a +1 on google+
 it would be very much appreciated. So we have covered setup, following, lists, twitter clients, favorites and link shortening. Please stay tuned to Michlin Metals Blog for Part II of How to Effectively Use Twitter - tweets, hashtags, retweets, favorites, and hashtag searches will all be covered. Please comment if you want to share any thoughts or concerns. Thanks for reading. 

Michlin Metals is a Woman Owned Small Business. Follow Michlin on Twitter @MichlinMetalsFacebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or on the Web at www.michlinmetals.com. More on the author on Google+