Tips for writing effective Twitter ads

Advertising on social media is somewhat of an art. You want your ads to be engaging (visually and content-wise)—but at the same time they need to be clear, with a strong call to action.


If you’re not seeing the traction you’d like from your recent Twitter campaigns, this blog post—posted by the social media giant itself—offers five pretty good tips for writing effective Twitter ads. In our experience, many of the tips highlighted in the article—such conveying a sense of urgency, offering something for free (particularly content) and phrasing ads in the form of a question—are all effective strategies to garner likes, responses and retweets. That said, we have a few things we’d like to add to the list:


  • A consistent, memorable and (in some cases) unique hashtag—particularly when you’re advertising an event or report—can go a long way. In these cases, your hashtag should be a tool to help your readers learn more about the thing you’re advertising (and help you keep track of who’s Tweeting about you).


  • Don’t be afraid to lighten things up. A little bit of humour and wit can not only make your ad stand out but—if it’s funny enough—it can also stick in your reader’s mind.


  • Include interesting visuals. An engaging photo—or interesting gif—can really make a good ad great.


Do you advertise on Twitter? If so, what content tips/tricks keep your readers coming back for more?


How strictly should you stick to a content calendar?

When it comes to content marketing, a calendar is essential—but how often should you stick to it, and when should you stray?

4 Social Media Secrets You Can Learn from a Billionaire

Elon Musk is one of my favorite entrepreneurs.  Not only has he hit it out of the park multiple times, the companies he built are downright cool. The two I am referring to here are Tesla and SpaceX (oh yea, he also co-founded PayPal).  On top of this he is also a savvy social media practitioner.

In a recent article in Fast Company, Musk lists 4 lessons we can all benefit from:

1. Own your executive brand – If you don’t somebody else will

2. Humanize your brand

3. Don’t show up and then fall silent

4. Use Twitter as a leadership tool

Learn more about these secrets and read the full article here.

Tweets, Facebook Posts and Headlines – Is There an Ideal Length?

According to a recent article in Fast Company Magazine, there are , in fact, optimal lengths for our various missives on social media networks.  The article also provide some backup research.

Here are the highlights:

•    Perfect tweet length was right around 100 characters, resulting in a spike of re-tweets
•    Facebook posts of 40 characters or less receive 86% higher engagement
•    Six word headlines increase the chances that the entire headline will be read (Yes, the research showed that our attention spans have decreased to the point where we not only scan the body of an article or post but the headline as well).

For more fun facts, read the full article here.  Once you do, let me if your own experience backs the research up and how you are addressing it in your own marketing campaigns.

Your Company’s Social Data – Do you have a Clue?

In an informative piece in Social Media Today, Ben Harper discusses how social data must be a core component of your content strategy. He also points to three tools you can use to gather insights in-house. These include:

Followerwonk: Followerwonk allows you to analyze any Twitter audience by age, location, and bio word clouds to give you a flavour of your audience. Combine this with the most influential followers and see who they are and what you do to give yourself a headstart

Unmetric: Unmetric allows you to track your competitors’ social media content and get alerted when there are spikes in engagement levels, allowing you to react or use historical data to plan future activity

Twtrland: this tool allows you to delve into the Twitter data of any profile to see their most influential tweets, top followers, and basic demographics

Read the full article here.

Are you tracking your company social data? If so, what tools are you using?

Dollar Impact of Social Media – How does a Cool Trillion or so Sound?

One of the most frequent questions we hear from clients relates in one form or another to the dollar ROI from social media.  As the industry matures, more data is becoming available to shed light on this question.

A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute examines the current usage of social technologies in four commercial sectors:   consumer packaged goods, retail financial services, advanced manufacturing, and professional services.  It concludes that the potential value to be unlocked by leveraging these technologies across the four sectors could potentially contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value.

Although the value that can be captured varies from industry to industry, all of them can benefit.  The key to success? Creating the conditions for the full and enthusiastic participation of employees.

Click here for a copy of the study. Click here for a review of the report in Fast Company Magazine

For the latest information on, and best practices for, Mobile and Social Media marketing follow me on Twitter at

B2B – Which Social Media Platform Rules?

Many of our B2B clients use a number of platforms when it comes to their social media marketing efforts.  In these (relatively) heady days of social media marketing efforts, that’s a good thing.  As this marketing channel matures, however, focusing marketing efforts on the social networks that deliver the best ROI becomes increasingly important.  According to a report by BtoB Online, 30% of the marketers surveyed  ranked LinkedIn as the most important social media channel.  Here is how the others stacked up, as well as some other helpful statistics.

Social Media Network Used Most Often

•    LinkedIn (83%)
•    Twitter (80%)
•    Facebook (79%)
•    YouTube (60%)
•    Blogging (50%)

Social Media Use by B2B Marketers

•    32% are "very" or "fully" engaged in marketing via social channels, up from 21% in 2011. That number is expected to increase to 53% by 2013, according to BtoB:
•    35% began marketing via social media in the previous two years alone
•    Only 13% report using social media marketing for more than 4 years  

For an excellent summary of the report click here. For related information go here.

For more mind blowing research and insights on social media and mobile marketing follow me on Twitter at or email me at michael at

OMG, is Social Media just a fad? Part I

September is on the calendar and school back in session.  While enjoying the sunshine by the lake, I still received a steady stream of questions about this crazy world of social media.   One of the more common ones – Is this thing here to stay? Is it worth investing marketing dollars in? Will it be a distant memory come next year or the year after?

My views are on the record but I think it is important highlight a number of points:

First, is social media marketing based on completely new principles?  No.  The fundamental principles of sales and marketing that have been with us since we started selling to each other still apply.  What social media does is provide us with a revolutionary set of tools to apply these principles with.  These tools deliver nuggets of timely relevant information – a perfect fit for the ADD society we currently live in.

Second, you don’t have to take my word for the impact social media and networks are having.  You need simply look around you.  What other companies in history have accomplished what Facebook, LinkedIn, or Groupon have in the same amount of time?  Many other companies over the years have also had a great impact, but none that fast.  This does not mean that these companies will be around forever but the speed at which users have adopted their services is nothing short of astounding.

I’ve heard it said in the past by business experts that really successful companies are great for a generation and then begin to fade or have less impact .  It is possible,  given the speed at which some social media/networking companies have grown, that they may also see their influence diminish faster.  Assuming that’s right, does that mean you should keep your company out of the social media world for the next few years and wait until it all shakes out?  Good luck with that.

Third, you can also take a look at recent studies from respected organizations to get a third party view of where the social media world is at.  In my next post I will give you some highlights of a recent study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

In the meantime, for the latest on social media and Web marketing for corporations follow me on Twitter at