London’s Tate Modern welcomed more than 500 social media people earlier this year for a series of presentations and stories about how Twitter can be used to help campaigns achieve their full potential.
This post is for those who couldn’t attend and want to find out more. We’ve summarised ten key points developed at the #Twitter4brands event in true Twitter style –140 characters or less.
2. Tune in with #Twitter – Twitter is the second TV screen: driving discovery and engagement with TV advertising
3. #Twitter + TV campaign, what do you need? A hashtag , social profiles, connect ads w/ Tweets and engagement
4. A “moment” on #Twitter is about the intersection between interest and intent. Every time a user tweets, a new #marketing moment arises.
5. If #Twitter is the chatroom then hashtags are the channel. Hashtags enable brands to organise and steer the conversation.
8. Is your audience on the sofa, on mobile or online? Targeting Tweets by interests ensures brand presence at peak moments of intent. https://business.twitter.com/targeting
9. A range of targeting options ensures reaching customers, prospects and gaining more advocates.
10. What do people retweet? 1st freebies, 2nd pics, 3rd fun comment, 4th sales
Who’s tweeting in Antarctica? Hardly anyone apparently. After trying “The one million tweet map” you do wonder if the four tweets from Antarctica come from some super-developed penguins or some researchers or explorers tweeting in – 70° temperatures.
It turns out that the few tweets from the region come from a strange account called @googuns_staging which posts nothing but strings of letters and numbers, like b39e65fa00000000, every 5 minutes. Apparently, this has been going on since 2009 creating over 350,000 tweets. I’m not sure what’s behind it. Some have pointed at international espionage or maybe it is just somebody having fun.
Anyway, this introduces what “The one million tweet map” can do. TOMTM is powered by Maptimize and maps the last geolocalized tweets delivered by the Twitter stream API. The map is updated in real-time and displays the latest one million tweets that have been posted since your login. Each second, about 20 new tweets are added and the 20 oldest tweets are removed to keep the same number of points on the map.
One cool feature is the ability to zoom in on a cluster, which splits into smaller clusters until, once you’ve zoomed all the way in, you’re presented with a single tweet which you can click on and read. That way, you can explore your own neighbourhood or visit some remote village in Greenland to see what’s going on there.
You have the option to turn on the heatmap view and monitor the “temperature” of tweeting volumes worldwide. It’s quite interesting for instance to see how Twitter is popular in certain West African countries or in the Arab Gulf in comparison to North African or Central Asian countries .
Furthermore, this tool gives you the most used hashtags worldwide in real-time. The screenshot below was taken on a Friday and obviously #FF seems the most used hashtag of the day.
TOMTM is a good tool to have a quick snapshot of the world’s tweeting volumes and discover interesting Twitter facts. It is certainly interesting for mapping reports when close geographical details are needed. Definitely worth a look!
Written by @marcoRecorder
Timing is a key variable when analysing online publishing and promotion. While we try to make the best out of our social media channels we should not neglect the “t” factor and make sure we are posting at a time that would guarantee maximum exposure and visibility.
It is a common misperception to think that Twitter is a sort of guessing game, especially when it comes to timing. In particular, if you have a huge number of followers it is unlikely that will all display the same uniform presence on Twitter throughout the day or the week. For the sake or your social media strategy it is essential to know when you will (statistically) get the most exposure. If you want your followers to see your tweets, you need to post when they are online.
Compared to other social media platforms, Twitter users post much more regularly so it is easy for an individual tweet to get buried in the feeds’ waterfall. To get your tweeting timing right you can use Tweriod, a free tool that runs an analysis of your followers providing the best time to tweet.
To sign up you need to grant the service access to your Twitter account like any other app, without posting and promotional tweet on your behalf. Within 10-15 minutes, it generates a report which you can consult on your Tweriod dashboard but you can also receive it via direct message or e-mail. Unfortunately, free accounts can only generate one report every 30 days.
Tweriod’s dashboard is easy to understand and offers a number of interesting details about the timing of your Twitter account. The report shows you what times you have the most exposure, and breaks it out into weekends, weekdays, and specific days of the week. It also shows you what time most of your followers are online, and again breaks it out into weekends, weekdays, and specific days of the week. It even includes an hourly breakdown of your online followers.
See for instance in the analysis provided to @EU_Commission Twitter account:
- During weekdays the Commission’s account is statistically most likely to get best exposure between 12PM and 1PM and between 3PM and 5PM.
- Regardless the day of the week, we can see a trending curve suggesting that our posting would reach maximum exposure from the late morning to the late afternoon.
Don’t guess your tweeting timing. Have this app help you know when your followers are online.
Written by Marco Ricorda @marcorecorder
Writing a 140-character-long bio is challenging. Not only you have to describe who you are in such a short space, but you must also be able to communicate how you want to be perceived. Besides, once you’ve managed to squeeze all this in, you’ve probably not managed to describe what your tweets are actually about. If you are a doctor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will tweet only about surgery, the flu or tropical diseases. The same applies to institutions. Mostly, people know who you are and know what you do, but your Twitter activity will hardly be understood merely by reading your bio.
One way to get a quick but comprehensive glimpse of what a profile tweet is about is to produce a word cloud. Word clouds are popular visualizations of words typically associated with Internet keywords and text data. They are most commonly used to highlight popular or trending terms based on frequency of use and prominence.
Word cloud generators are proliferating. Wordle for instance is a great tool to generate word clouds if you already have the list of words you want to play with. Online you can find a few platforms that help you generate word clouds based on a profile’s tweets. I have tested some of them using the European Commission‘s account. Let’s see what came up.
Cloud is created by a Dutch expatriate programmer in Australia. It provides a search string where you can type in keywords, profiles, hashtags etc… with the option of excluding some keywords (equal to the NOT Boolean function). It is pretty basic and the word cloud is quite big which makes it hard to then take a proper screenshot. The words in the word cloud then link you to the corresponding word cloud regenerated by the same platform.
This is what comes up if type in @EU_Commission
Tweet cloud is a more thorough tool than Cloud. Firstly, you can select a tweets timeframe which allows you to see your word cloud of the last day, week, month or even years. This brings great added value in performance assessment.
However, there are some pitfalls. For instance, if you type in another profile’s name, to see what this profile tweets about, you can’t see it. As an example I typed in “EU_Commission” from my personal account and according to Tweetcloud “If @EU_Commission is a username they probably never used Tweet Cloud before. If @EU_Commission is just a word it needs to be in someone’s top 5 words to make it on this page.” Ergo, this is not very useful to analyse other profiles’ interests.
It is a free tool but extra features are available if you pay them a Tweet, namely
- identifies people you mention the most
- shows related twitter users
- shows related clouds
- your account gets displayed when someone mentions or searches you
My Tweet Cloud allows Twitter users to get a tag cloud generated with hashtags used in their last 200 tweets. They use Twitter API to search hashtags in your tweets and tag clouds can be updated once a day.
The good thing about My Tweet Cloud is that the generated cloud links directly to the hashtags that are highlighted. This is very user-friendly in comparison to the two previous tools. I find the cloud a bit too long (in case you want to provide a screenshot) but it is a minor flaw on a pretty decent free tool. Plus the graphics are quite appealing too.
Tweet-cloud (Beware this is not Tweet Cloud. notice the extra hyphen in-between the two words)
Tweet-cloud is quite basic and, as it says, it’s currently under construction, but it might be just what you need when wanting to word-cloud a profile’s tweets. In fact, you just need to insert a Twitter profile (or a word, a hashtag whatsoever) and the number of latest tweets you want to look at. After that, Tweet-Cloud links the words that come up in the search directly to Wordle. This way, you have great flexibility playing around with the cloud and customize it as you like. Below you can see a sample made with the Commission’s account
This is the best free tool available to word cloud tweeting activities. Simple, clear, flexible. Nothing to add.
Written by Marco Ricorda @marcorecorder
It is true. Beethoven used the # to compose his immortal music and certainly wasn’t doing so with the intention of joining a Twitter chat or to check what people were sharing in the Hapsburg Empire in the late 18th century. He also had the choice of using other musical keys ♭ or ♮ and he knew how important it was to find the most suited to his music.
Memes apart, whether you are working on your next digital campaign, trying to attract buzz towards your latest online event or simply spread a message it is essential to create the best hashtag to achieve your goal simply. As bizarre as it sounds, hashtags are becoming an integral part of our lives. Just think that, the American Dialect Society crowned “hashtag” the word of the year, the French Commission Générale de terminologie de néologie recently adopted mot-dièse as an official new word and one couple even went as far as naming their child Hashtag…it is such a global social world.
Every hashtag has its own purpose and it is not a waste of time to investigate how you can optimize it. In the Social Media Team at DG COMM we often have to go on a “hashtag creation journey” where we gather for brainstorming sessions filled with question marks, possible scenarios, predictions and white boards full of suggestions. Nevertheless, at the end of the day there has to be only “one hashtag standing” (or maybe two). By thinking backwards to our most recent brainstorms, I could identify a few main principles we tend to stick to while forging a new hashtag, Namely, these are:
What will the hashtag be used for and who will be your target audience? As advocated in a previous post, audience segmentation can help you understand to who you are communicating to and how your target audience behaves in social media. This should be a two steps process:
Firstly, think about what you want to achieve. Are you looking for buzz, to gather a specific community, get scientific feedback, get your word out, be viral, etc…?
Secondly, think about who you want to target. Are you hoping to involve everyone, a few selected journalists, experts, pundits, etc…?
These questions largely depend on your target audience. If they are part of a small special interest group and are interested in closed conversations, creating a viral, trending tag would not be a priority so much as creating a tag that works well for the group members.
It is not compulsory to be unique but it is better to be original. If the hashtag you have in mind is being used already it will be hard to make it stand out of the crowd. You can make an exception if the hashtag you have in mind has been used scarcely. A number of free tools can help you check on the hashtag’s availability such as Hashtracking, Hashparty, or the simple Twitter search.
Always cover your angles. Before you settle on a hashtag, consider whether there might be any negative fallout. Even if the hashtag has never been used, it could be “owned” in the sense that it is already a common phrase familiar to others and being used in a context unrelated to your digital activity. If your hashtag is unintentionally offensive or inappropriate (also in other languages), it is unlikely to generate the outcome you look for.
Nothing kills a conversation quicker than running out of space. Don’t choose a long hashtag. There is not an ideal size for a hashtag but think how every character you’re using is one character less than the 140 you have at your disposal. i.e. #thisimyawesomenewhashtag will get you somebody’s attention but will kill the engagement. Less than 9 or 10 characters should do it.
It’s interesting to use initials, acronyms and abbreviations to keep your hashtag short. This works especially when your audience is already familiar with such form of shorthand like our recent #EUDeb8 or occasionally adding in the year like in #EYC2013.
Keep your goals in mind. Your hashtag will be promoted via other channels than your social media platforms. Whether you intend to use it continuously or intermittently it is good to consider how linked to your identity it is. Make sure your hashtags work as reflection of your long and short-term goals. Nevertheless hashtags are a user-generated feature of Twitter. Once you have your “newborn”, be ready to promote it via your traditional channels too and think of it as the “plaque” all users will identify YOU with.
By Marco Ricorda @marcoRecorder
Every time I come across the Wikipedia list of social networking websites, I am more and more surprised by the rapid development of social media proliferation. There are now a quarter of a million sites that call themselves social networks, up from 850 in two years. What only 7 years ago seemed to be a Silicon-valley-only phenomenon it is now a reality that communication professionals worldwide must be able to understand, control and use to their advantage.
For professionals working in the field of social media, and other social media enthusiasts, it’s common to be randomly hit by an attack of “online omnipresence” – the desire to be on all social media platforms. However, being everywhere just to be there may not bring the results you expect. My advice is to take a step back and start thinking about your audience segmentation.
Of course, there is no harm in experimentation. Experimenting let us gather new evidence, present new benchmarks, and could lead us to question our assumptions on what we think is effective or best practice for sharing content. On the other hand, while we get excited about playing with our new toy, we risk losing the focus on what we use social media for. While some social media accounts seem to be opened almost by default in order to be present on a platform, the stakeholders you are trying to target might not actually be there themselves.
What is audience segmentation?
Audience segmentation is the process of dividing a broad target audience into more specific subgroups, called audience segments. The purpose of dividing up an audience is to make sure you’re most likely to reach the right people with the right message, and this way using your resources as effectively as possible.
A strategy designed for the “general public” is often just that – general, and too general to interest any individual or group very much. By tailoring your efforts to a particular audience segment, using the most relevant communication channel, content and targeted messaging, you can greatly improve your impact. This way, your target audience will be more likely to be reached, pay attention and share your content.
For example, we interact and connect differently with different people on social media depending on our relationship to them – we make a distinction between professional connections, friendships, and more public communication in terms of both the content we choose to share and where we choose to share it. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ have acknowledged audience segmentation as a primary design feature. Below you will read how you can organize your audience appropriately via some of the features these platforms provide.
Value your audience
Research suggests that the idea of a broad, untargeted outreach will continue to decline in effectiveness. In order to get maximum results from your public relations efforts, you need to spend some time identifying the media channels that your audience trusts.
Besides, social media is not free. Time, money and other resources are limited and you want to make the best out of it. Audience segmentation helps you make choices about actions that are really necessary and what effects on your communication are realistically bound to happen.
Starting off with segmentation
Marketing strategy has long studied numerous techniques of segmentation. However, they all converge into two main questions when it comes to kicking off with your targeting plan:
- Who is your target audience?
- Where are they?
Who is your target audience?
Think of your target audience as made of two groups of people:
- Those who are looking for you and just don’t know it yet.
- Those you want to make interested in your activities.
In the first instance, you must help them find you. You need to understand who it is that would be looking for the content, research, comments and opinions you provide. Information overload is the arch-enemy of segmentation.
In the second instance, you need to attract key influencers you want to engage with.
Where is your target audience?
Identify who are the people you want to target is not the end of your journey. You must identify where this people “are”, meaning which channels they use to communicate. This takes time but the advantages deriving from this preliminary work will pay off exponentially in comparison to the random opening of X accounts.
For example, there is no need to create and manage a Facebook page if the people you target are not there. Don’t get me wrong, with over 1.1 billion users it is very likely that some of your target audience is on Facebook, but under which affiliation? Are they using it for personal reasons, professional network or a bit of both? If you are looking to target these people in a strictly professional fashion you may want to consider LinkedIn instead.
Whether you are trying to verify a personal assumption or trying to convince your supervisor about opening an account on a new platform, empiric data will give you a straight answer. Check if your target audience is sharing content on certain platforms instead of others (i.e. Facebook vs. Linkedin or Google plus). If you ascertain an increasing trend of shared content via a specific platform, respond to that. This means that people interested in your product/content/research are on that platform and care to share it even if you are not actively there. Surely, creating a dedicated page will attract more visits to your main website and create interactions about you. (Keep in mind that before opening an account it is advised to prepare policy guidelines or “line to take” to manage these interactions.)
Now, how do we find your target audience? Below you will find some tips that can help you get started:
Sometimes we start off thinking how hard audience segmentation can be and forget the basics. Google should still be your first step when looking for your audience and find out which communication channels they use.
- Social networks’ search tools
Most social media have a search bar. Use it! You can search for people by name, job title or interest. If they list any of the details you established as your audience, you will be able to find them. For instance, Twitter provides a nice advanced search tool to find people based on what they tweet about even within specific zip codes. Via the Google+ search toolbar you can fine tune your search using many criteria based on what to search (Everyone, People + Pages, Google+ Posts, Sparks, Hangout), from (Everyone, my circles, me) and location (everywhere or within a specific location).
- Lists, circles, groups…pre-made is good too
Regardless their different names, most social media allow you to create groups of audience. This are “lists” on Twitter, “circles” on G+, “groups” on Facebook and LinkedIn. The advice is “use them“! Being able to organize, observe and interact with specific target groups will make your work way easier. You don’t need to get lost in infinite Twitter data streams or copious Facebook timelines. Place your viewfinder on the target.
Twitter helps us with that as you don’t always have to go through the trouble of creating a list. You can simply borrow one by subscribing to someone else’s public list or borrow a list from directories like Twibes, Listorious and ListAtlas. Google+ circles work somewhat like Twitter lists. Search for Google+ profiles that match one of the social profiles you’re targeting. Let’s say you’re looking for “finance” enthusiasts. Create a “finance” circle, share it and ask people to recommend others with similar interests.
- (Optional) Set up searches in your social media management dashboard
Sproutsocial, Tweetdeck and Hootsuite can be very helpful. Use the “Add Column” function to create real-time conversation streams by keyword and location. This will help you very much when it comes the time to engage.
Not all of your target audiences need to be informed about everything you do. Communicating everything and anything can mark you as a spammer, and undermine all the hard work put into your communication strategy. The same criteria you have used to divide your audience can help you target your content and messages – who will be the most interested in this information? How can I give this specific audience something valuable? Be selective and decide which content is the most worth-sharing, and where.
Keep yourself in the loop
While we keep thinking that strategic communication it all about Twitter, Facebook and G+ it is important to keep an eye out for social media proliferation. For example, though 20% of Facebook users say they check in on the social network once or twice per day, 52% plan to spend less time there in the future. Moreover, 73% of users believe that another social network will soon eclipse Facebook.
In 2012, the most growing social media platform was Pinterest which saw a 1047% increase in unique visitors and is aiming to surpass LinkedIn in 2013. Further interesting insights show the next platform per highest growth was Google+ that saw an 80% increase in traditional web users. These phenomena are hard to predict and show how communication professionals must keep in the lookout for the creation of new media platforms.
This post looks at a creative competition that DG MARKT has launched as part of the events surrounding the 20th anniversary of the Single Market and in particular Single Market Week.
DG MARKT is inviting all twenty-year-old Europeans to get creative and voice their views on the single market through a competition entitles ‘Generation 1992′, running from April to September 2012. The Generation 1992 creative competition marks twenty years since the creation of the single market, enabling freedom for the movement of goods, capital, people and services in 27 EU countries. Besides creating awareness on the European Single Market among young Europeans, the aim of the competition is to encourage reflection and discussion on the role of the single market in young people’s lives. Read the full entry
Barry White is one of those rare artists that can make your whole room vibrate. You don’t even need an expensive sound system to enjoy his rich and powerful vibes. As we love to listen to a large body of social media buzz, preferably for free, we wonder: ‘Does a web-based version of Mr White exist?’ Yes it does and it’s called Netvibes. This platform actually is my one, my all, my everything dashboard. In real time it keeps track of tweets, comments, RSS feeds, chats, Facebook updates, photos & videos, etc. For those who can’t get enough, the list of features goes on and on. In short this ‘Walrus of Social Media’ manages it all.
Screenshot of the Central Library portal ‘European Union in social media’ after this post was published.
- Blogs of EU offices, agencies and institutions
- Twitter accounts of the Commissioners
- Twitter accounts of EU offices, agencies and institutions
- Twitter accounts of EU policies and projects
- Facebook pages of the Commissioners
- Facebook pages of the Institutions
- Facebook pages of EU policies and projects
- links to useful tools for Media monitoring
This is only a selection of feeds. You can find an exhaustive list of social media accounts of EU offices, agencies and institutions on Europa – Connect with EU on social networks. Check out these videos if you like to find out more about Netvibes or need help.
From the Owly Gallery
Did you know, Belgians organise one of the most bizarre contests? We judge the twitter of birds and call it a sport; “finch sport” to be exact. Prizes go to the bird that tweets a particular mating call the most times, makes the most beautiful tweet, etc. Although we won’t make it a contest, this is what you’ll find next. We’ll judge the two most popular Twitter apps which we already reviewed in our blog posts Tools Tuesday: Hootsuite & Hands On TweetDeck. Both of these apps offer great features and are used by millions of people. However which one is best suited to you is a personal choice and depends on several factors:
Hootsuite … the free version offers adequate features which allow you to start immediately. Yet for a small monthly fee you’ll get unlimited social profiles, enhanced analytics, access for 1 additional team member and more.
TweetDeck … it’s 100% free yet you can only have basic features, e.g. no analytics tools.
TweetDeck … to get the most out of it you need to download TweetDeck and have Adobe Air installed on your computer. For this reason it can be a bit of a drain on system resources.
Hootsuite … less intuitive than TweetDeck but you’ll get the hang of it pretty soon.
- + your profiles are in tabs instead of in a single window which allows you to focus
- + easy to drag & drop tabs where you want them and to save custom search columns
- - tab limit of 10 columns
TweetDeck … seems to be a bit more user friendly, clear and easy on the eyes.
- + column based interface a.k.a. multi-column view: all profiles are viewed in 1 screen giving you more of an overview of what’s happening
- + more freedom to personalise the look & feel
- + not only audio but also visual notifications of updates
- + custom URL-shortener, e.g. bit.ly
- + as many columns as you want
- - you can move the columns only one space per click to where you want them
Photo taken from TweetDeck
Updating Multiple Social Networks
With either of these apps you can easily schedule updates for the major platforms like Twitter and Facebook. So how do they differ?
Hootsuite … likes Facebook more.
- + also supports professional Facebook pages
- + shows you a preview before you update your Facebook wall so you’re sure it will look the same
- + more open to other platforms than Twitter, e.g. WordPress
- - you need to specify to which account or several accounts you want to send every update which means you spend more time clicking your mouse
TweetDeck … follows Twitter better.
- - only personal Facebook profiles
- - shows your Facebook updates without a preview of the link, only as you can read them on Twitter
- + you can post to multiple accounts at once and the accounts you select stay active till you deselect them (be careful because updates can end up in the wrong account if you forget to deselect that account)
Accounts and Users
Hootsuite … only 5 accounts for free but it’s unlimited when you pay the fee.
- + you can also collaborate with your team when you pay for the pro-version
TweetDeck … no limits on accounts but also no team collaboration.
Hootsuite … offers basic analytics tools for free and more in-depth ones for a fee.
- How you can find out more about your audience and make reports, you can read in Tools Tuesday: Hootsuite.
TweetDeck … doesn’t provide you with the analytics tools to put you on the right track and report back.
Hootsuite … apps operate very smoothly on mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android).
- + you can quickly open articles and videos on any type and speed of connection
- + simple and easy to use interface
TweetDeck … has apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
- – less stable and you’ll have trouble on a slow connection even when you calibrate its custom refresh rate
However for the best support look to the people close to you. Many of your colleagues have encountered and resolved similar problems or had to deal with the same needs as you. Use their thoughts to make an informed decision. Please also feel free to comment on this blog, share your experiences, … tell us what works for you and why.
From the Owly Gallery
This post looks at some of the efforts made by the Enterprise Europe Network to use social media to promote its work and services. To get started, here are three questions (and answers) to help give you some background.
1. What’s the Enterprise Europe Network?
It’s a business support network bringing close to 600 organisations from 51 countries together to help small companies seize business opportunities in the EU Single Market.
2. What kind of support does the Network provide?
The Network helps businesses go international by finding new business partners or providing information on expanding abroad. It also helps companies to source or license new technologies. Access to EU finance and funding is also one of its key services. For example, we’ve helped match up food scientists with skincare producers and have assisted jewellery designers find new markets for their products.
3. Who is involved?
Some 600 member organisations provide the support to businesses at local level. These organisations include chambers of commerce and industry, technology centres, research institutes and development agencies. Here at the Executive Agency for Competiveness and Innovation (EACI), we manage the Network for DG Enterprise and Industry.
Learning from the best
Last year we decided to try using social media to help us with our two main communication objectives: promoting the Network and providing support to our member organisations to communicate effectively.
We came up with an internal plan outlining what we intended to do and how we’d do it. We wanted to promote the Network through social media to our audience of small businesses, professional associations and EU decision-makers. In addition, some of our members had been thinking of using social media and so we sought to give them guidance and also provide content to reuse. We also aimed to highlight some of the great work that other members were already doing.
The natural place to start looking for inspiration was the Network itself. Some of our members have been active in social media since early 2009. At a Network event in 2010, members from Scotland and South West of England (@stairwaytoseven and @EENSW) gave a great workshop on social media basics and even prepared a Twitter guide.
When planning our LinkedIn group, we decided against creating a new one because several already existed. We started co-managing the largest one with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), one of our UK members in North East England (@EENNORTHEAST).
What we communicate
So far, we have used social media as an additional news channel. We have announced three new countries joining us, close to 30 tales of Network success and many brokerage events taking place throughout Europe. We also post videos from our YouTube channel and any relevant European small business news from DG Enterprise & Industry and beyond. Some of our most retweeted posts have been based on simple facts and figures behind the Network’s services – how many companies we have helped, how many company missions we’ve organised, how many questions we have answered.
Our member organisations have a different audience because they are in direct contact with local SMEs. As a result, besides Network news, they will sometimes publish more general European news and local business news.
We are always impressed by our members’ creativity. Some use social media to publish offers of technology and business cooperation partnership opportunities – online business dating at its best. The Network in Scotland produces an Enterprise Europe Network podcast which gives practical information on our services with a very healthy dose of Scottish humour.
Behind the scenes, we have created a resource page on the Network’s extranet. Here, our members can find useful guides, tips and links to all members active in social media.
Our efforts have shown promising results. Traffic from social media sites to our Europa website was very low before we started and now we have several hundred visits per month.
We can’t claim to be the direct cause of getting more members on social media but we are there to support them. Since May 2011, the number of members with a Twitter account has increased by around 35%.
What we have learned
Social media in a large international network has its challenges. We have focussed on Twitter and LinkedIn but these are not as popular in other countries of the Network. For example, our members in some parts of Eastern Europe are more likely to use Facebook to connect to small businesses. This has raised the question of whether we should be on other social networks, but we have to balance geographic coverage with available resources.
What languages to use is another issue for us. So far, we have only worked through English. However, on Twitter, Spain is the country with our largest number of followers. We have tweeted once or twice in Spanish but are considering doing it more often. Once more though, we have to balance this type of action with the resources we have available for social media as well as our other projects.
We’re approaching our first year social media anniversary and we have already started to review our initial plan and see what could be improved upon. Different social networks? More languages? Definitely more interaction with our audience. The next year will be an interesting one for the Network online.
Enterprise Europe Network communication team
Executive Agency for Competiveness and Innovation (EACI)