Choosing the Right Twitter Hashtag for Your Marketing

Posted in: Blog by admin on August 16, 2011 | No Comments

Used to be you’d see a billboard advertising a product or service with a phone number underneath the company logo. Then the phone number became a website address, then a Facebook user name alongside the unmistakable blue square with rounded corners. Today, you are more likely to find advertisements that display none of these things as they are replaced by a hashtag and a simple word.

Take for example, recent advertisements for the HBO series, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” A title card displays the show’s name along with #curb. The show doesn’t necessarily want you to like a Facebook page or check out a preview on YouTube, but they want you to create conversation. The #curb tag in Twitter or other social networks gets you into an exclusive club of Curb fans – you can search now and see what people are saying, and generate your own buzz among your friends and followers. It’s a smart move by HBO and Curb to market the show in this manner, because who can better promote a TV series, book, music act, anything, than an active group of fans?

It’s one thing to have a Twitter account with thousands of followers, and another to have thousands of Twitter users actually talking about your products and services. At the end of the day, which do you think is more valuable: a thousand people reading your posts and possibly patronizing your business, or a thousand people each tweeting about your business to their followers, and potentially increasing your visibility? This is not to say you should stop trying to bring in new followers, but this is a great time to shift some focus in your Twitter marketing to encourage positive chatter.

The Hashtag VS. the @Mention

Even if you are new to Twitter, you know the difference between using # and @ in conversation. The @ mention often directly addresses another Twitter user, while the # addresses a specific topic in Twitter that is popular, or “trending,” or part of a pertinent discussion. Conference planners often set up hashtags for conferees to follow for information, and fans of TV shows and movies may add a tag to their tweets to generate attention. Fans of “True Blood” converse during the show – just look for #trueblood in Twitter to see the activity.

As you formulate a marketing strategy that involves Twitter, you will want to focus on a unique hashtag people can use when referring to your company. While an @ mention may alert you more easily, not all of these tweets may be visible to everybody, depending on the Twitter client used. Use of the hashtag is better to promote your brand to as many Twitter account holders as possible.

Selecting a Tag

In selecting a hashtag that will identify with your company, you want to be mindful of the following:

1) Make sure it’s not already being used. Play around a bit on Twitter and test potential hashtags you would use for your company identity. Your company name or a derivative of it may work, but have an alternative if you find it’s being used.

2) Keep it short. People should discuss your company with as much free space as possible. You have 140 characters per tweet, so try to keep the hashtag less than 10% of that.

3) Make sure people know to use it. Let people know the hashtag, and use it often in your own tweets. As followers go by your example they may soon converse on their own about you, and the hashtag allows for easy monitoring.

Having customers talk to you via Twitter is good. When they follow you, it’s great. When they talk positively about you on Twitter or anywhere else, you strike gold.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of  organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

What’s the Fuss About Google Plus?

Posted in: Blog by admin on August 10, 2011 | No Comments

So, Google Plus is supposed to be the big threat to Facebook, just as Google Buzz was to have been…something. In the frenzy to become early adopters of the latest social media trend, webmasters are coding the little +1 buttons on their sites, which turn blue when a user clicks them to give the content a boost. The trick to achieving success with this, of course, is making sure there are other Plus users out there to click the button.

Users of Google Plus may also adjust their accounts to cross-post to other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, yet there doesn’t seem to be a way to do the opposite. You can push Facebook notifications to Twitter and vice versa, but Google either does not or doesn’t plan to accommodate receiving notices. You can, however, upload photos and videos to your Plus activity stream and sort people you follow into different and unlimited groups, or “circles.”

Seems the notions of circles works more cleanly than Facebook’s grouping system, which requires users to sift through a drop down menu to find the stream of friends they wish to read. Plus chat functionality is also available as a carryover from GMail. What’s not to love?

More importantly, thinking as social media marketer, what’s the fuss? Is Google Plus worth an aggressive push now or is there the risk of waning interest like with Buzz? If you have established presences with Facebook and Twitter under your business name, you may think the addition of Plus can boost your brand. It is entirely possible, too. However, nurturing your Plus profile and connections will take time from your current social media strategy. If there is the chance Plus will fizzle out after the initial novelty wears off, how much of your energy was spent that should have been somewhere else marketing your business?

Then again, Plus could take off and give Facebook a run for the money.

As you approach a new social media outlet for potential marketing success, it is good to note specifically how others are using it. If you find within your circles people have not updated their activity streams in weeks, it could mean your circles of influence are experiencing social media overload, or find the structure is not to their liking. Addition of +1 buttons to promote your content can provide a good idea of whether or not people find your content worthy of sharing – remember to have other social buttons available as well. A gradual entry into Plus may yield good results for your company’s visibility in the long run.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of  organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

Twitter Connections – How to Establish Connections on Twitter

Posted in: Blog by admin on June 10, 2011 | No Comments

What can a business do on Twitter to improve their social media clout and click-through rating? As somebody who works in social media, I’m asked this often. Where Facebook and YouTube appear to offer businesses a clear understanding of how they work and how they benefit others, Twitter remains an enigma. Business marketers know they should at least have their brand established in a profile, with the proper links in their bios, but beyond that… what? Do you fear Twitter is useless in business for the noise it creates and the saturation of users trying to market to you? If you believe this, perhaps it’s time to step back and approach your use of Twitter differently.

If you have dabbled in promotional tweeting to tout your products and services, you may have noticed other businesses follow the same path. Tweeting turns into repetitive sales pitches that get lost in the ether. Of the people you follow, the majority of re-tweeted messages come from comedians or companies taking advantage of paid tweeting, and only they know the effectiveness of such campaigns. To succeed in using Twitter as part of your online marketing, you need to focus not on how many people will get the message, but how many people will do something about it.

In other words, rather than blast out sales and codes ad nauseum, take a personal approaching to using Twitter and reaching people individually. Convert to sales one Twitter user at a time.

Okay, so how do you achieve this? First thing you want to do is set up a feed that tracks specific key phrases relevant to your business. Whether you are searching for people looking for hotel rooms, shoes, books, car rentals… eventually somebody is bound to ask the Twitterverse where he can find something. Check the feed regularly and weed out possible leads, then approach the user with a friendly greeting and an offer to help.

Now, as you use Twitter you want to have a client in place that alerts you immediately when you receive replies and direct messages. This allows you to remain timely in your one-on-one marketing. If you respond to Twitter users and disappear for eight hours, you aren’t much of a help. What if a reply goes unanswered and a competitor picks up the ball? For heavy-duty Twitter use, somebody on the team needs to watch the account.

When you are not directly approaching people on your account, use Twitter to humanize your business. Talk about what you are doing, what the weather is like outside the office… keep the narrative light-hearted, and even include an occasional third-party link to something interesting. Retweet followers where applicable, and always respond to mentions, regardless of whether they are friendly or harsh. People need to know there’s a person behind your social presence, and putting a genial attitude in your social media works to establish trust.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of  organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

 

Can Social Media Ruin Customer Relations?

Posted in: Blog by admin on May 25, 2011 | No Comments

Once upon a time, if you had an issue with a particular vendor or store, you did one of three things. If the business was local, you probably drove to the location to lodge your complaint or extend your compliment. If you wanted to deal with a national company, you might have written a letter or called an 800-number for a customer service department. Two of the three options for contact may have yielded an immediate response or resolution, and one might believe in this age of e-mail and online social interaction the turnaround time should be faster. Perhaps, but does satisfaction come as quickly?

Think about how you use social media in your business. What is the purpose of your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, your YouTube channel? The primary function for all, at first thought, is to disseminate information to current and future customers – videos demonstrate products and services, while short status updates alert people to last-minute deals and changes in shipping or availability. In addition to promoting your business, social media is an important tool for promoting your ability to handle your business. Direct answers to customer queries and feedback shows that not only are you perceptive to people’s needs, but you are willing to take action when needed. Given the immediacy of social media and the potential for viral PR (consider how quickly a complain about a business burns through Twitter now as opposed to the grapevines of old), you may have convinced yourself that social media does nothing but good for your company’s image.

It’s possible, but as with any other marketing method there are risks to take. One of the most important maxims to remember about online communication is that nobody can truly hear your voice over a computer – you can type out a status intending to be humorous and one person is bound to take your words the wrong way. That’s why it’s important to note how misuse of your social media can do damage, and know how to keep that from happening.

1) Don’t neglect your profiles. Answer comments and questions in a timely manner. This is not to say that you need to be on Twitter and Facebook 24/7, but if a customer has a question about a specific product it’s best not to leave them hanging for days on end. If you worry about missing new posts, there are ways you can set up for notifications to push through your mobile device or e-mail. That way you can keep track of any activity.

2) Don’t get defensive. You may have a number of people maintaining your social pages, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it may open the door to the occasional shot from the hip when responding to a complaint. It is important for every administrator of your profiles know that every word posted represents the company, not one individual. As such, if a customer or potential customer is offended by an off remark he/she will only see your logo, and associate the bad experience with you. It is important, therefore, to handle delicate online situations with grace, expedience, and tact.

3) Don’t delete. Nobody likes a black mark on a Facebook wall – it’s the closest thing to an ugly bruise, and your first inclination may be to delete the post. Think about it, though – if the complaint is valid and not a trollish call for attention, you should use the opportunity to address publicly what you intend to do to resolve any problems. The plantiff will see how you are attentive, and others will realize that you are a company of value, one that listens.

Can social media ruin customer relations? Not if you know how to handle various situations, and use your profiles for more than straight advertising. Well-rounded profiles lead to the conversions you need.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of  organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

 

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Building a Twitter Following

Posted in: Blog by admin on May 18, 2011 | No Comments

You may at the point now where you have nursed your Twitter account for weeks, months, longer. You’re playing by the rules: you follow relevant accounts and managed to get close associates to follow you back, you provide quality content and don’t bombard the stream with ad after ad. Despite being good, however, the organic approach to attracting clicks to that follow button isn’t working like you’d hoped. Your followers number in the double-digits, and you’re desperate. Maybe a low Twitter headcount hasn’t directly correlated to any challenges you currently face in obtaining business or sales, but such a lackluster performance isn’t helping. How can you remedy this?

Your first reaction might be to either get on your account and start recruiting, or outsource the job to a Twitter-centric firm that guarantees “thousands” of followers in days. If you’ve studied social media long enough, you’ll know that getting to thousands here means following thousands, and who knows how many of the accounts showing up on your screen are A) people actually interested in what you have to say, or B) people. Most of the time, you’ll find these accounts serve to nothing more than pump the Twitterverse full of links to affiliate marketing opportunities and SPAM.

Still, you wonder, is this better than nothing? Is there hope that from this lot one person will convert to a sale or lead?

Well, it’s possible. One thing to understand about using Twitter as part of your marketing strategy is that unless you are a mega-celebrity (or even a B-lister who happens to have a strong social media presence), the explosion of followers who don’t expect reciprocation is unlikely. By now, you probably have your Twitter handle prominent on your print media and websites so people know the account exists, now it’s time to massage your account and work toward building a stable of people who seek your information.

Log in to your account. Take note of who is already following you and see who else is on their must-read list. Do any profiles look appealing, and likely to return the favor of a follow? One way marketers speculate is to look at the gap between follows and followers. If the numbers are about even, or if the profile follows more than is followed, there is a good chance you may benefit. Keep this in mind as you cruise Twitter.

Other ways to work toward building your numbers:

1) Check to see if you’ve been added to any lists, and determine if any of your list-mates are relevant enough to follow.

2) Search for potential followers via hashtags associated with your business and gauge the profiles that use them.

3) Follow competitors. While you might think is counteractive to your goals, consider that people who follow business rivals may come to discover you as well.

Investing a small amount of time daily toward these activities, in addition to continued quality posts and re-tweets, just may yield favorable results that affect your business for the better.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of  organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

How to Turn People Away From Your Social Media Campaigns

Posted in: Blog by admin on May 4, 2011 | No Comments

Right now, at this very minute, a company is advertising a product or service and imploring people to visit not their website, but their Facebook page.

Today you might open a newspaper or magazine and see an ad with a Twitter icon and handle to follow.

This evening, you will watch your favorite news channel and likely see a scrollbar rolling any number of tweeted opinions from viewers around the world.

Everywhere you turn, social media is integrated into the news you read, the shows and movies you enjoy, and the music you buy. While some statistics may try to convince you that younger audiences are not regularly using Twitter and Facebook, the fact remains that social media has become the primary setting for many marketing campaigns. Social sites not only service as resources for finding products and services, but for providing immediate reviews and feedback…publicly. If you want to make a good impression on your target audience, be ready to respond to tweets and wall posts with tact and the right information.

If you want to really tick people off, here’s what you do to see your friends and followers decline rapidly:

1) Add people to a Facebook Group without asking their permission. One feature of Facebook Groups allows the creator to add friends automatically. Groups are handy to have if you want to create a forum that takes customer service concerns off your page, but if you add people without securing an okay the feedback you’ll receive is likely to be negative. Not only that, people go on to tweet about the inconvenience.

2) Constantly direct message ads through Twitter. Perhaps recently you tweeted a hot keyword that netted you a flood of @mention spam messages. Irritating, huh? Imagine how your customers feel to be bombarded with direct messages and mentions with information about your products and services. It’s one thing to parse sales and purchase info to your feed, another to ping people directly on a regular basis if they didn’t ask for direct contact. Be social, but don’t hustle.

3) Start a blog then neglect it. Blogs are important in that they capture the attention of search engines. Most major news outlets create their websites via blog publishing platforms now. They are easy to use and help get timely updates to the world as they occur. If you plan to use a blog to accompany your social strategies, the best thing you can do with it is A) blog regularly, and B) don’t slack off. Should a customer come to your blog and discover it was last updated in 2009, he may get the feeling not to expect any customer service soon. You don’t have to blog by the hour, but do keep it current.

Social is the keyword in social media marketing. You can be social online without beating your message over the heads of your target audience.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of  organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

eBooks as a Social Promotion Tool

Posted in: Blog by admin on April 15, 2011 | No Comments

Your website works to establish your brand, and your Twitter and Facebook profiles update customers and clients on last-minute news and sales. In order to keep people at attention in the long run, and to maintain a lasting archive of helpful information, your blog allows for people to consult you any time of day for advice on products, services, and other issues relevant to your business. When people are away from the computer, though, it’s important to have a reminder available that is taken away from your site – the rise in digital publishing gives you the edge.

Publisher’s Weekly recently reported that sales of eBooks rose dramatically in February while mass markets fell. With the Amazon.com Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook reading devices dominating last Christmas’ gift market, it stands to reason that eBooks will remain a popular purchase in the future. It is not uncommon, too, for publishers to offer free downloads as a means of attracting future customers, and this tactic also works for businesses interested in extending their brand beyond online social interaction.

Creating the Business eBook

What does your business bring to your community, and do you reach beyond your city to a national audience? When customers approach you, what information is sought, and how do you consider yourself an authority? You may not believe that you can produce a book to accompany your business, but if you look deep enough into your mission statement and inventory, or catalog of services, you will find it simple to put together relevant information that can be packaged into a giveaway.

A retailer of memorabilia, for example, can write up a brief guide on how to build a collection, spot counterfeit autographs, and preserve rare items. Accountants can offer a free digital booklet on preparing for retirement or maintaining financial health, while a retailer of gourmet foods can put together a book of recipes or entertaining tips. Find one aspect of your business that suits a book and get it written – it doesn’t have to be the length of Gone With the Wind, nor does it have to give away company secrets. Provide helpful points for customers and clients and information to bring them back to your site for the conversion.

If you are not certain how to create file suitable for digital readers and applications, check out the free program Calibre, which is designed to convert documents for use on most eBook readers. With the .ePub format fast becoming the standard, it’s helpful to have a file available to distribute.

Sharing the eBook

Once the eBook is formatted and available, you will find there are different ways to distribute. One popular method is collecting opt-in information from your website that allows you to e-mail a code when somebody gives you an address. Right away you have an attentive audience interested in your expertise, and hopefully your products and services. Keep the offer for a free eBook in a prominent spot on your website for best exposure.

There are document sharing sites, too, that offer non-exclusive hosting and sharing of your eBook. With Smashwords, for example, one can covert a document into several digital format. Other potential sites that enjoy heavy traffic include Scribd and Wattpad. The key to successfully distributing free works through these sites, however, lies in strong use of searchable keywords in the title, description, and tags. Consider using the Google AdWords tool for ideas.

Most importantly, any eBook you offer for free promotion must have all pertinent information included: all site URLs, blog addresses, Twitter and Facebook handles. Include e-mails and mailing addresses where necessary. If you don’t, you might as well hand out blank paper.

As eBook readers gain popularity, so does the demand for reading material. Offer visitors to your site a free takeaway item that stays with them for reference, and you may find new customers and client will stay, too.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of cloth diapers and organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

 

Social Media Firms Should Work With You and For You

Posted in: Blog by admin on April 4, 2011 | No Comments

Depending on the scale of your business, and the need for promotion with certain products and services, hiring a social media firm sounds like a great idea. You stick with the business at hand, your employees can focus on getting those products and services done, and your firm of choice handles the social PR. Provided you have a quality company on hand with a reputation for skilled rapport with your customers, you can expect to see your reputation grow through real-time positive feedback. While you are the best authority for your company’s mission and progress, by outsourcing your social media you stand to enhance the knowledge you bring and make it more palatable to a society that gets its information through abbreviated news bytes and videos. With this under control, though, it shouldn’t mean you can send your social media firm adrift.

Eventually, you will come to a point in your relationship with the firm you hire when you will find it necessarily to shoulder some of your social responsibilities. What does this mean?

For one: customer feedback. There may be questions on your company’s Facebook wall that only you can answer. For two: after hours work. Twitter and Facebook don’t shut down at five o’clock, but there’s a chance the people in your firm are not able to work after hours to keep the buzz active. As you check into your personal accounts, you’ll want to see what people are saying about you after dinner. That is why it’s essential to make sure you or somebody in your company has administrative access to your social accounts. Activity at all hours lets your customers know you are readily available.

As you make room to your schedule to integrate yourself into socializing online, you might think you no longer need to outsource. Think very carefully about doing that. Promotion of your business requires as much time as it takes operating it. You’ll still need eyes to monitor inappropriate comments and check statistics. If you are running PPC, a professional firm can handle your spends so you maintain a strong ROI. As you become comfortable with a schedule that allows you better familiarity with your social media while your outsource firm handles the legwork, you’ll find you become more comfortable moving into the social age. Your customers, recognizing your ability to adapt, will follow.

Spring Clean Your Twitter Account for Optimal Use

Posted in: Blog by admin on March 25, 2011 | No Comments

It is understandable that when you set up a Twitter account for the purpose of promoting your business, you want to maximize its potential by bringing on many followers – hundreds, even thousands to start is ideal. Unless you are already an established brand with the means to bring customers and clients over to this platform with ease, you may feel it’s necessary to resort to gray-hat tactics to build up your numbers – the core of which is the practice of following accounts that follow back. Often, these accounts may not be genuinely interested in your tweets, but are working with you toward the same purpose of building their followers. This may work to your advantage at first, as it may entice true followers to sign on after seeing an actively followed account, but eventually you’ll need to do some cleaning.

What does this cleaning entail? Periodically, you’ll want to change the way your Twitter pages looks – use a new icon and background, alter the bio slightly, perhaps use a customized follow button on your blog and main site to bring more attention to your account. Ultimately, you’ll need to look at the list of people you follow to determine who stays and who goes. Some will view this as an arduous task, especially when it’s possible that an account you unfollow will unfollow you in retaliation. If that happens, you honestly have nothing to worry about, because it’s likely that person was not interested in what you had to say in the first place. You want followers who are truly interested in what you have to say. If you are seen merely as a number on a roster, your message was never getting through – you will attract the right followers through your posts.

There are a number of tools that exist to help you determine the best way to cull your follow list. Once you find one that suits you, you can begin cleaning. Your first order of business should be clearing away accounts that have been inactive for over a month. While they won’t clutter your feeds, their numbers inflate your follow statistics, and removing them gives you a better balance.

Once the dead weight is removed, take a look at accounts that seem to exist primarily as billboards. Is every tweet an advertisement for something? Do they have the same style (e.g., “Check out how I made six million dollars in a month!”)?

Chances are these accounts are set up only to show in search results, and are not really used to respond to people. Whoever owns these accounts is not using them to read their followers, so why continue reading them? Pare them away and leave your feed to accounts relevant to yours. This gives you ample opportunity to find good posts to re-tweet, which will get your account noticed by others.

Twitter cleaning is a necessity in order to stay fresh on the social network scene. Clean up the clutter and take on quality follows, and you’ll find your account gains authority.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of cloth diapers and organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

How to Recover From Twitter Mistakes

Posted in: Blog by admin on March 11, 2011 | 1 Comment

Recently we have seen news of various organizations come under fire for what people have deemed “inappropriate tweeting.” The Red Cross and Chrysler both fell victim to cases of mistaken identity, in which those managing their social media accidentally pushed personal tweet messages to the official Twitter profiles rather than to their respective personal accounts. This happens more often than one realizes, especially as social media firms take on the responsibility of monitoring multiple accounts through systems like TwitIQ or Hootsuite. It’s only human to make the mistake of sending a tweet through the wrong account, but sometimes it can cause an uproar in the social universe.

As the manager of a Twitter account for a business or organization, you are essentially the protector of the brand in that realm. Every post sent is representation of company behind the avatar, and while not everybody following the account will agree with every tweet, it’s important to maintain a high degree of professionalism and tact, particularly when dealing with negative feedback that comes back to you. Therefore, in the (hopefully rare) event a tweet you push out should spark a massive backlash, you want to do everything you can to smooth all ruffled feathers and handle damage control. You may or not receive guidance from your company – if you are the boss, it comes down to you.

So let’s say the offensive tweet is out there and getting noticed. People are upset, perhaps even threatening to unfollow or end business with you. What now? Can you recover? It is possible. Damage control has existed long before social media, but bear in mind you may need to approach differently so it translates well online. Here are a few things to consider:

1) Should it stay or should it go? Depending on how inflammatory your tweet is perceived to be, you may be inclined to delete it from your feed. It is an option, but it’s not uncommon for people to take screen shots of updates and display them on blogs and sites. Mashable, for example, has such a graphic displaying Chrysler’s Twitter error – so even people who didn’t follow them before know it exists. It’s possible, too, erasing from your account won’t entirely remove it from users’ feed readers. If you feel the tweet should go, follow up with an explanation that it is gone, with an apology.

2) If you do leave the post up, you definitely should apologize, and as soon as possible. Though you only have 140 characters in which to express your mea culpa, make the most of the space. Be sincere, but don’t expect the anger to subside instantly. Keep a watch on your Twitter mentions to field comments. If possible, try to keep everything contained to Twitter. You might think it necessary to post lengthier explanations and apologies on your Facebook page, blog, and so on, but remember that not all of your Twitter followers read those sites, and those on your Facebook may not follow Twitter. Best not to arouse new interest in the bad tweet.

3) Where applicable, introduce an offer to your Twitter followers like a deep discount on products, free shipping, whatever you have to give. You want to regain trust in the brand, and such gestures may help heal any rifts.

Some would say the only thing worse than a rogue tweet gone viral is a rogue tweet ignored, because that means nobody is paying attention. However, if you do slip up, have a plan ready.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include vendors of cloth diapers and organic mattresses, travel companies offering cheap European hotel reservationsVirginia health care servicesNorfolk Realtorsglobal trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.