5 Top Tips to Write the Perfect Tweet

LMAOOOOOOO... *send tweet*
Oh my god… *send tweet*
I can’t believe… *send tweet*

These are often how tweets begin, either on the keyboard or as a prior thought process. The inspiration can come from anywhere. Out of the blue, in the deep blue sea, when you’re feeling blue or when you’re in seventh heaven. It can be an all-encompassing feeling, the need to immediately blurt out the nugget of knowledge that has flown into your head. But, let’s put the keyboard down for a moment. Never tweet out of haste. There’s always time to form, proof and press send with a clear conscience. We’ll outline here the five ways in which we believe the perfect tweet is curated.

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  1. Think of your audience

The immediate audience for your tweet is clear, due to the ability to see who is following you. These are the people who will have your tweet show up on their timeline and they may even have push notifications enabled that alert them to the fact that you have just pressed send on a beautiful anecdote about the world.

If you use Twitter in a personal capacity, the odds are that these people are real-life friends, family members and acquaintances of yours. They are probably used to your ramblings in real life and so you will feel like this means your Twitter is a safe space for your thoughts. Stop. If your account is public, this is NOT the only audience that’s turned up for your sell-out one-person-life-story show. Your audience is the entire connected world. Your tweet can be picked up by anyone without your consent *cough Buzzfeed cough* and you are then wide open for your words to be misinterpreted, with the potential to come back to bite you. So, just keep that in mind before your fingers start firing away.

2. Formation

In case you forgot, we are on the internet. This means that information is significantly condensed, chopped, screwed and repurposed for easy consumption. Don’t attempt to write Shakespeare’s next sonnet in your 240 characters. It will look bulky, clunky and chunky.

For one, other users will scroll past it with an ‘urgh’ utterance, and you’ll probably get unfollowed. Write in clear, short sentences that are punctuated by paragraph lines. This style matches beautifully with the manner in which the eye scrolls a screen. Chances are that eyes won’t grace your tweet for more than a matter of seconds and if it’s split into easily-digestible lines, this makes the readers job a whole lot more natural.

A great way to get in the habit of this is to use emojis as discourse markers at the start of each line. We all love an emoji. Use them sparingly and eloquently throughout, don’t vomit them out at the end.

3. Retweetability

Twitter is meant to get yourself, your brand or your company, seen. A perfect tweet would be one that invigorates others to repurpose it, in the form of a retweet, which is essentially them approving what you have written and wanting to get some of the glory.

Humour works well, but if we’re on more serious matters, then doing things like @ing other accounts and singing their praises, works well too. You can leave prompts throughout your tweet that you desire a retweet, or want to spur conversation, but it’s more professional to keep these subtle. “WOULD PROPER DIE FOR A RETWEET” is a bit strong, try using retweetable words, using hashtags and asking questions. Also, practice what you preach. Don’t be stingy with your retweet button on other peoples tweets either.

4. Interactivity

The internet may make us condense our meanings, but it’s essential to keep your meaning intact. If you have a message to convey to others, you must work within the constraints of a tweet to make sure that others properly and appropriately interact with your message. Interactivity comes in the form of seeing a rise in the number of followers, tweets, likes, shares, comments, clicks, video views, post reach and so on.

Be approachable and never indulge a troll or engage in a profanity-splattered Twitter beef. Answer those who appropriately respond to your tweet and ignore those hateful responses if they come your way. Lay out your Tweet on a plate, in the most easily consumable way, and make it irresistible for others not to like and retweet it.

5. Grammatical perfection

Now that we have curated your tweet, please check that it is grammatically correct. That means no spelling mistakes, no unwanted punctuation marks and correct @ing of the relevant accounts. There’s nothing more embarrassing in the Twittersphere than @ing the wrong account, which often happens to @JohnLewis, who handles it with the utmost grace and humour, but you don’t want to drag an unsuspecting user into your conversation. You wouldn’t shout the name of your friend into a crowd and then drag out the wrong person who answers to it and ask them what you would have asked your friend.

So, you perfect Tweeter, what’re you going to Tweet next?

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BY JAMIE GRIFFIN, JUNIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE AT CEW COMMS.

How to deal with negative feedback on social media

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We’ve all heard the fairy tales with a malicious troll residing underneath a bridge. You know, that demonic figure that lurks underneath your pathway, when you’re trying to get from A to B. These trolls never actually existed (we hope). But today, in the real world, we have many trolls. Living, breathing, monsters who hide under the many bridges online, spitting venom at unsuspecting - and often innocent - social media users.

If you have a public social media profile, by default, you are opening yourself up to the world. In the majority of instances, especially in personal accounts, positive interactions occur with your circle and a more condensed, wider population. However, running a business account on social media can make or break a company.

Customers or users can interact with each other and create a positive or negative image for your company or personal brand. A bad review or comment on social media could have a big impact on your company. From the vicious to the banal, we are going to show you how to deal with negative feedback on social media.

Don’t take it personally
If you’re receiving negative feedback to your business profile, remember that their comments are not personal to you, but to a product or service, your company offers. The internet has made this process a whole lot easier for the everyday consumer, who consequently has high expectations, with 42% of complainers expecting a response within 60 minutes. This attitude of expecting a close-to-instant response can cause some users to turn nasty. This is pretty daunting, as their post can be seen by everyone. And from the second they press ‘comment’, the timer starts.

Breathe. We know it can be anxiety-inducing, as it would be if you were being shouted at in person - but in front of the world. Keep your professionalism very close to your heart in your response and never stoop to their level if they have used profanities. If they go low, you go high.

And remember - verbal abuse or threats if ever received should be reported, not responded too and the account should be blocked.

As an admin on a business social media profile, you have the power
You can diminish the potential places that negative comments can be posted on your business profile by disabling posts to the page. This is not a sneaky option. It is the done thing for numerous businesses. It still enables users to comment on posts that you make on the page, which are easier to monitor from an administrative perspective.

On a business profile, it’s essential that you respond to all feedback - negative and positive! There can be dips in responses over the weekend but during the week it should be a priority to respond to customer comments as they come in. Your competitors are doing it and you should too.

BUT if the struggle is real - then make it very obvious when you're available to respond to online complaints and where people should really go to ask for help. Push to take the conversation private.

In the digital world, there are numerous ways that negative feedback can be dealt with:

1. Restate the complaint, apologise, propose an action and take it off the timeline. For example:

@AngryCustomer: “Can’t believe that my app has crashed, AGAIN!! @YourCompany. Seriously unacceptable”

@YourCompany: “We’re really sorry to hear that, @AngryCustomer. Please let us know what device you’re using in a DM and we’ll follow this up for you.”

2. Wrap up the complaint in positive comments about your business:

@YourCompany: “After hitting 2M downloads and 1.5M active users, our servers can get pretty busy! Would you mind dropping us a DM, @AngryCustomer, and we can look into this for you?”

3. Keep it light.

Humour is one of the best ways to handle trolls and negative feedback on social media. We’re sure that you have seen the responses from companies such as Tesco and Greggs, which have subsequently gone viral.

Social media audiences derive huge enjoyment from companies responding wittily to criticism, which turns the tables on the complaint and drives positive brand awareness to the company. By making light of the comments from the troll, their fire is acknowledged and extinguished.

But, we never advise our readers to play with fire. Be careful with this step and tread carefully following others. It’s crazy out there!

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* This post was originally published in our newsletter The Communications Workshop. Sign up to get more free tips on communications and marketing here!

5 tools to help you with PR

While PR these days is about so much more than being seen in the media, we thought it would be handy to have a quick refresh on the tools available to you to help you manage your PR and work with journalists. These will help you get organised in no time!

Talkwalker Alerts

Think Google Alerts, but somehow better. The Luxembourg based team has created a free alerts system that will save you your most precious commodity: time. Simply add in your email and whatever it is you need alerts for, and Talkwalker does the rest. This is very helpful when it comes to tracking what the media is saying about you and your competitors.

ResponseSource

Yes, as PR professionals we spend most of our time crafting stories and angles, but the press is a fickle beast and when it comes to public relations you have to be able to hit everyday running. That’s where the wonderful people over at ResponseSource come in. Just on a basic level, journalists put together a synopsis of what they are looking for, you get it in your inbox and can then reply if you have something that relates to the inquiry. ResponseSource is also a very useful tool to get journalists contacts and get your media list shining and ready to go!

Journorequest.com

If you don’t have the money available right now for a ResponseSource account, or even if you do, you should still use this site. JournoRequest takes the time to filter out the ten billion #JournoRequests on Twitter and then emails the best ones that fit your categories directly to your inbox.

Twitter

Good old Twitter is great. Of course, it can be an echo-chamber but if used correctly it can be a very helpful tool to find journalists. Use it to start building that all-important relationship. PR is a people industry still, making friends and supporting others WILL come back to you. Be kind, be thoughtful, help people and they will, in turn, help you when the chance arises. Follow the threads and check Twitter on the way to work, you will learn so much!

Spreadsheets

Yep, we went there! If you have ten thousand emails to send, five different pitches, four hundred contacts and data, where do you keep all of this organised? No matter what the salesperson tells you about the plethora of different companies trying to fill this void, they are missing one thing: THERE IS NO VOID.

A well organised and constantly updated Google sheet, shared with your colleagues at work is simply brilliant. Yes, they take a little time to set up, they seem like a pain to run but all your contacts, all your to-dos and the likes are visible by all and editable. Never again will you have to Slack the person across the desk to check where things are or who has the contact for the BBC tech journos whose name you forgot. Spreadsheets rule!

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* This post was originally published in our newsletter The Communications Workshop. Sign up to get more free tips on communications and marketing here!

Pitch your startup perfectly with these five top tips

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Pitch perfection is not a process that is procured and polished by plainly purporting a plan or purpose. We need to unpack certain key factors that make up the pitch so as to dramatically increase the likelihood of it being covered by a publication.

Now, let’s unpack the components of the perfect pitch together: the sector that your startup is in, the relevant publications, the relevant contacts at that publication, why your startup is relevant to them and what angle you are going to go for in the pitch itself.

  • The sector that your startup is in

This may seem blindingly obvious to you. Since you were the originator of the idea, you’ve reared it from its inception and created it into a flourishing company. So, you know the sector that your startup is in, right?

Well, you’d be surprised. There is clearly one sector that your startup relates to, but when we are thinking about pitching to journalists, it’s essential that you open Pandora’s box and explore all the possibilities of what comes out. Think broadly, think niche, think creatively. If you’re certain that there is one clear-cut sector that your startup is in, then that’s absolutely fine too.

  • The relevant publications

The UK media landscape is vast. There will be a lot of publications that cover the sector your startup is in and lots that branch out from that publication. A simple Google search will pull various publications, but do not disregard the old fashioned way, of seeing what is on the shelf at a newsagents or book shop.

Securing coverage for your startup can sometimes be a case of: “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”. By this, we mean that any publication, from niche to national, can be the perfect place for a feature on your startup. You just need to find them, or they need to find you and then you have the basis for a great story. Searching high and low can yield unexpected results, and you never know until you try. So, why not?

  • The relevant contacts at that publication

It’s often said, it’s not what you know but who you know. And, for ill or for triumph, this is often true. This can seem daunting, as you are an early-stage company that probably does not have any connections to UK media journalists, and most definitely is not on coupla-pints-down-the-pub-on-a-Friday terms with David Pemsel, CEO at The Guardian. So how on Earth can we break down the traditionally high, and guarded, castle wall of The Guardian to get your startup featured in there?

We wish we had the answer. To put it simply, there isn’t one. Even if you were chummy with Pemsel, there’s no guarantee that the story would run. But, let’s forget one of the largest newspapers in the world as a target for now. Unless your startup is a unicorn, you need to start at a grass-roots level and grow your way up.

Twitter is a fantastic place to find the relevant contacts at the publication that you want to pitch to. Even if their email is not listed in their bio, you can still, of course, tweet them. But, like an invitation to dinner to meet your significant other's parents for the first time, you don’t want to come unprepared.

  • Why your startup is relevant to them

Be ready to pour your heart out with how your startup is just the perfect fit for their publication. Take a theme, expand on it and do it with gusto. You need to give the journalist an offer that they can’t refuse.

Scour their recent articles, their tweets and so on to really get an idea of what makes them tick. If you can present to them a fully-formed story on your behalf, where they can add their ideas easily and form a collaborative piece, you’re already well on the way to getting coverage in the publication that they work for.

  • What angle you are going for in the pitch

Maths teachers often say that the only angles you need to know about are acute, right, obtuse and straight angles. Thankfully we are not in maths classes anymore, we are in PR, and so there’s an overabundance of angles that we can use. These are crucial to your pitch as they are the backbone behind the whole thing, the thread that binds it together if you will.

There are no rules here, you can be as creative as you like, within reason. The journalist that you are pitching to will likely have seen a startup from the sector that yours is in before. Ten, twenty, thirty or more times, easily. Spinning the ordinary is a sure-fire way to get your creative juices flowing when thinking about angles that you can go for in your pitch. What’s a part of your business that you could flip on its head, to get chins wagging, word of mouth spreading and social media users sharing?

Is there a high percentage of your customers or users that populate a certain area of London? Pitch to those local media outlets, perhaps relating to an event that’s going on there and how your startup could streamline the queueing experience, or your catering-finder platform could make their food needs simpler, and so on.

Your startup is as unique and brilliant as you are, so we will leave it up to you to think of some more angles that you could use in your pitch. Don’t be afraid to be creative!

BY JAMIE GRIFFIN, JUNIOR AT CEW COMMS.

CEW: Meet the Press - Our takeaways from the event

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Last night we delved into the ever-changing UK media landscape, and turned it inside out. We explored themes such as how to get the attention of a journalist, what makes a good story and how to successfully convey and adapt your message. We gave our audience members the chance to hear this invaluable advice right from the source: three different journalists working in the growing world of tech and business. Here’s our run-down of how the evening went!

We’d like to begin with a big thank you to all attendees, especially our star-studded panellists. In case you have been living under a rock, we rolled out the red carpet for Amy Lewin from Sifted, Graham Hussey from The Startup Van and Scott Carey from IDG.

The second edition of #CEWMeetThePress kicked off with a warm welcome from our founder and Director Cathy White, to an audience of startup folk and PR professionals. Cathy moderated the panel and gave us food for thought with leading questions such as “What are your biggest pet peeves when receiving pitches from startups?”, “ How important is it to have exclusivity on a story?” and “What makes your job easier?”.

The audience learnt that there is no one-size-fits-all model for a pitch to a journalist and it was incredibly interesting to hear the peeled back, straight-to-the-point and honest answers from the panellists. For a startup founder who is approaching a journalist to cover their story, it can be useful to offer exclusivity on it as a draw to get coverage. This sentiment was shared across the panel, with Amy noting that if “someone can read it from someone else, I’m less inclined to cover it” and for Scott it’s often that “umph” that he needs to get his engine revving, as it’s “a nice way to push a story over the top”.

But, if you can’t offer exclusivity, or your story isn’t revolving on it, then all hope is not lost. There are hoards of publications in the UK media landscape, and they are all different. Just take The Startup Van, for example. Graham offered an insight into how they cover a story, and illustrated how exclusivity is not the holy grail, saying that for him it’s less relevant and they “sniff out if there is another part to the story”, which there probably is.

Turn your story on its head, hold it by the ankles and shake it until the loose change falls out of its pockets. Think of new angles that are not instinctually obvious, and pitch them. There are publications out there that are after a nuanced view, you just need to offer it to them.

Building relationships
If you thought that calling journalists was the best way to get in contact with them, then think again. Amy let us know her distaste for monotonous pitching phone calls and although this feeling was not shared entirely by the other panellists, they all did note that it can get quite annoying.

Meeting in person is better in most cases and it often builds a rapport with that journalist. The age-old trusty email pitch was heralded as the best way to contact our panellists. But, not just any old “Hiya, can you run this story, pretty plz?”. You need to send a squeaky clean and sparkling email pitch. This should include a fully functioning Press Kit (with great image options!), a clear subject line, an eloquent and completely informative pitch and full contact details to boot. Don’t try and find other ways of contacting journalists such as carrier pigeon, Hedwig or DMing them on their personal Instagram. It won’t work, it’s intrusive and email exists for a reason.

Throughout the evening, we were live tweeting the golden nuggets of advice that engulfed the room and these were warmly received in the Twittersphere. Some highlights were:

  • Amy exclaiming her adoration for our newsletter, The Communications Workshop

  • Scott expressing facts like “Don’t butter us up for the sake of buttering us up”

  • If you work in small business banking, or the founder mental health sector, for a company with good parenting policies, to a mattress company or for Babylon Health, get in touch with Amy!

  • Finding out that Scott’s pet peeves are the letters ‘ICO’ and pitches revolving solely around the premise that the founder is young or female. Make it more interesting!

Check out our Twitter for more content from the event and be sure to follow us to keep up to date with everything CEW. We will be hosting another edition of this event in the upcoming months, so stay tuned for details!

BY JAMIE GRIFFIN, JUNIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE AT CEW COMMS.

Meet the Press: Sifted, The Startup Van and IDGUK

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You might well have spotted on our Twitter, that CEW is hosting a meet the press event on the 20th of February. If you’ve ever wanted to understand how to work with journalists, grab a free ticket here and join us for the evening.

Why talk to the press?
One of the most important things to get right as an early stage startup, or a company of any size, is getting your name out there to those that matter. A great way of achieving this is to be discussed or seen in the media, and getting in front of the right publication and respective readership is of the utmost importance.

Our upcoming event might just help with that, as we host our second Meet The Presssession. We have some great journalist friends that are giving up their time to chat and meet you, joining a panel hosted by our Founder Cathy White.

So who are the fine writers entering the fray?  
Amy Lewin, Reporter at Sifted - Amy covers startups for the amazing team at Sifted, the new publication backed by the Financial Times. Before covering the startup ecosystem at Sifted, she was the Features Editor at Courier.

Next, we have The Startup Van Co-Host Mark McDonagh. Focussed on Entrepreneur Entertainment, Mark and co-host Graham Hussey interview startups, hearing more about what they do, how they got there, and hear great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.  Starting in the back of a VW van at Web Summit 2015 the team now records out of their very own studio, here in the heart of East London, delivering startup interviews on a daily basis through The Roundup and in-depth interviews with serial entrepreneurs on Behind the Curtain - both published through Facebook.

Our final panellist is  Scott Carey, Group Editor for IDGUK - the parent publication group for CIO UK, TechWorld and ComputerWorld UK to name but three. Prior to this Scott’s experience includes working as the Online Editor for London & Partners and the Editor of seatplans.com.

So if you want to hear about what makes a good story? How to get the media’s attention? How to build relationships? And many more important elements of pitching your startup… Come and join us.

As well as the upper echelons of tech and startup journalism being on the panel, there will be time for a Q&A where you can field your questions to our experts.

Want to ask a question in advance? Head over to Twitter and fire away - just add #AskThePress or tweet us @cewcomms. We will sift through them before the event and get your questions to our lovely panel. We can’t guarantee that all questions will be read out, but we will try our best.

Date: 20 February 2019, from 6 pm to 8.30 pm
Venue: Mindspace Shoreditch - Floor 8, 9 Appold St, London EC2A 2AP

Or, gold star if you can get there using just three words. ///brand.bricks.employ

BY DOUG HUNTER, ACCOUNT MANAGER AT CEW COMMS

The basics of building a media list

Behind any good PR strategy, there’s a thorough Media List.

Not sure what a Media List is? Well, think of it as your secret weapon. It is a list compiling all the contacts of journalists and publications that are relevant to the sector your business operates. And its value is immeasurable whenever you need to make an important announcement for your company.

Before we kick off, here’s a list of different areas of the technology sector that end in -Tech. It will cause you to think along the lines of a Media List.

Can you think of a company for each sector? Let’s see how many you can get in 10 seconds:

  • PropTech

  • InsurTech

  • FinTech

  • EdTech

  • HealthTech

  • PetTech

  • MarTech

  • EdTech

  • BioTech

Of those nine companies that you have thought of, there is a mass of journalists, reporters, bloggers, producers, freelancers and editors across print, online blogs, radio and television covering each one. You need to find the needle in the haystack. The perfect contact at the perfect publication, which will place your company as a thought leader in that sector and evoke a buzz for that business.

Whether you have never made one before, or if you are a Media List aficionado, this blog post is going to have your Media List poppin’ pronto.

DO: Consider all your audiences.

How do you start?

- Think about your business objectives

- Each objective has an audience, so if funding is part of your next 12 months, then getting in front of an investor audience is key. If you're expanding then press could include titles potential talent read. Growth? You need customers, what do they read?

- For every potential audience, there are different publications you can approach.

You have many audiences, and you have different stories, all of which contribute to media list development. Write a list of all your audiences and the sectors that you are a part of, and this will act as a guide to building your database.

Remember when it comes to your audience, you aren't limited to traditional media. Your customer might consume their information through social media more than the papers or online publications. If they do, then widen your list to include social media influencers, podcasts, and Youtubers.

DON’T: Blindly add contacts to the list without checking them.

A search using one of the many media databases available in the market - such as ResponseSource of Cision, for example - or even the good old internet may pull a lot of different contacts from one media outlet.

It is up to you to go over each one of them to see which contact is the most appropriate one. Make sure that the journalist’s role and publication are relevant to your story. Often, their job title will hold the information that you need, you just need to be eagle-eyed.

DO: Delve further into a contact or publication.

A good way to find relevant contacts is to search for relevant articles and note the name of the journalist who wrote them. Vice versa, you should look up articles written by that journalist before you pitch to them, too.

Another tip? Set up Alerts using Google or Talkwalker for your competitors or key search terms. Anywhere they're mentioned, you can add to your own list.

DON’T: Think that once a media list is built the work is over.

Journalism is a dynamic industry so it’s normal that professionals move around publications quite frequently. Job roles often change and so will the destination of your pitches. This means your media list might become outdated every few months.

In order to avoid that, make it a habit of always updating it. You don’t want to miss the opportunity of getting your story covered because the person you had as a contact left the publication. Follow the journalists you're most eager to engage with, and learn about their moves through social updates.

DO: Approach this list with a militaristic organisation.

Doing the groundwork in the early days pays back dividends later on. The best way to keep your Media List organised is to keep it as an Excel sheet. Essential categories are the name of the media outlet, contact, job title, email address, phone number, and Twitter handle.

Also, label contact types (Property, Technology, Business) in the first column on the sheet. From our experience, it’s best to not keep them on separate tabs - this way is easier to spot duplicates!

Using your Media List well, you will gain good relationships with journalists and a succinct knowledge of the UK media landscape. And in PR, that’s truly invaluable.

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* This post was originally published in our newsletter The Communications Workshop. Sign up to get more free tips on communications and marketing here!

How to supercharge your Instagram

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Instagram now has over a billion users and has infiltrated all areas of life, from work to play and everything in between. Some travel agents are even offering Instagram holidays for demographics that cite sharing photos whilst away as a key factor to their choice of destination.

Whether you use Instagram in a personal or professional capacity, this blog post is going to have your ‘gram glittering in no time. Today we’re supercharging your Instagram!

Instagram is a perfect marketing tool if used correctly. You can reach an audience in a variety of ways, for example - raw posts, sponsored posts and through embedded links in a Story. There’s a strain of human being known as an 'influencer', who will promote your product (for a fee) to their audience.

It can seem over the top to pay through the nose for someone to tap a few times on their phone screen. But, see it as an updated version of a billboard. A company does not need to advertise in Piccadilly Circus in the hope of catching the eye of a relevant consumer, they can now directly target those beady eyes through influencers and their sector-specific followings.

Firstly, let’s think about your handle.

Is it catchy? Will it stick in people’s minds? Can you invert letters for numbers, but not make it cheesy? Short and sweet, rhythmic names, with as little numerical influence, are great. But as we are on one of the most popular platforms in the world, this can be tricky. A good @ will set the tone for your profile from the outset.

Does it reflect your personality? It does not have to be your name (in fact far from it) and it’s a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd with an evocative pseudonym. Intrigue someone with your handle and beckon them down the rabbit hole to your page. Now that you’ve got them, let’s make sure they tap ‘follow’.

Look at your profile in the same way that a painter looks at a blank canvas. This is your place to showcase yourself with ultimate creativity. Composition matters. Spruce up your iPhoneography skills. It’s time to put that professional camera in your pocket to use and bring out your inner photographer!

You can have individual images and videos or you could connect them all to show a beautiful mosaic when someone scrolls down your page. An instantly recognisable theme will attract more follows from more relevant accounts. These can also be achieved by tagging brands or accounts that reflect your style, too. You should also add a deluge of hashtags, which will get you onto likeminded screens, in a deletable comment under your picture.

Instagram Stories were introduced in an update in August 2016. After this, the average daily time spent by a user on the app jumped from 24 to 32 minutes. Stories are now so much a part of the furniture that it seems bizarre to imagine the app without them. Do not see them as fodder as they disappear within 24 hours - save them and pin them to the top of your profile.

Derive meaning from everything that you post and your profile will be instantly more engaging. If you don’t value what you’re posting on your story enough to save it as a Highlight on your page, then why should an audience?

Stories are perfect for growing brand awareness and traffic to other areas of your business, such as a newsletter. You can also solidify your brand voice with stylistic choices, such as gifs. Not only do they appeal to the ever-diminishing attention span of an online audience, but they also log who has viewed them, and in what order. Bad news for your ghost followers, great for quantifiable analytics that you can bring up in your next marketing meeting.

If you’re still stuck on how to supercharge your Instagram, there’s a living, breathing example of how one should look here.

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* This post was originally published in our newsletter The Communications Workshop. Sign up to get more free tips on communications and marketing here!

How to boost your profile on LinkedIn

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Love it or loathe it, LinkedIn is a big deal when it comes to promoting your business. The world’s biggest business social networking site is where people find jobs, make connections, and further their careers and businesses. But at times, it can feel simultaneously confusing and intimidating, like a really tough board game. Fortunately, there are targeted strategies you can use to make the most of it.

Figure out what you want to accomplish
As social networks go, LinkedIn is a bit of a Swiss army knife. Is it a blogging platform? Is it a newsfeed? Is it an online resume? All of the above? None of the above?

To get the most of LinkedIn, try and clarify what it is you want to get out of it. Do you want to be regarded as an influencer or thought leader? Pen some blogs. Looking for a new job? Brush up your profile. Otherwise, anyone looking at your profile is going to get confused about what it is you actually do, and you’ll come off as unsuitable for anything! Focus your message for your best results.

Remember: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Write, and Write Well
LinkedIn can often feel exhausting because of the constant puffery and braggadocio. People want to put their best foot forward. Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn exists to build credibility to an audience of potential employers and clients.

The easiest way to undermine your credibility is to make spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Before you publish something to your network, maybe consider running it through Grammarly first.

Be sure your writing is geared toward your chosen audience. When targeting a broader audience, it’s best to steer clear of any jargon that might be hard to understand. If you’re only looking to attract visitors within your industry, they’ll understand what you mean.

Give (and receive)
Speaking of credibility, endorsements and recommendations can boost how others on LinkedIn see you. While endorsements vouch for your abilities in a certain area, recommendations are in-depth and personal reviews of your character and competencies. They are the currencies that fuel the LinkedIn economy.

Typically, if you give someone a recommendation or endorsement, they’ll return the favour – and that’s important since they’re publicly listed on your profile. Taking a few minutes to tap out a recommendation has huge long-term returns, and makes your profile look even more complete. Not to mention you’ll have a backlink to your own profile connected to any recommendation you give.

Look your best
LinkedIn doesn’t give you much to work with when it comes to customising the aesthetics of your profile, but you do have control over your profile image.

If you’re using a grainy mobile phone image, or a photo from years ago, you’re missing a trick. Try and raise your game with a professional headshot. If you can’t afford to pay a photographer to take these for you, you can often get them for free at jobs fairs.

BY KATHERINE HUGHES, JUNIOR AT CEW COMMS.

How to build a network of contacts

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As John Donne once wrote, "no man is an island," and nowhere is that truer than the world of business. In the interconnected era of 2018, your strength is only as good as your LinkedIn connections.

Building a network of contact is a tricky, nuanced business, and the stakes couldn't be higher. After all, your industry peers are those you'll hire, learn from, and work with. That said, there are strategies you can use.

Offer value

If you do something for someone, they're more likely to remember you later down the line. In all your business relationships, consider how best you can offer value to the other party. This could be something as simple as a LinkedIn endorsement, or a link to an article you think they might find interesting.

If they go above and beyond for you, an email to their boss expressing what a wonderful job they’ve done is always appreciated. A kind gesture goes a long way.

Celebrate their triumphs

Has your contact gotten a promotion or a new job? Is it their birthday? Say congratulations!

It suggests that you actually care about them, and elevates your relationship from something superficial to something more meaningful. Calendar reminders are quick to create, so make notes when they mention an event coming up online. They will be happily surprised you remembered.

Make time to meet up

The Internet has facilitated millions of new relationships, and thanks to platforms like Twitter and Instagram, it's easier than ever to meet people in your vertical. That said, there's nothing quite like meeting someone over lunch. Having a meal or a drink with your local contacts regularly is a fun way to check in if you haven’t had time to speak with them.

If you’re a remote worker, when you are travelling, see if you’ll be near a potential contact. It’s always worth pinging them to see if they’ll grab a coffee with you. Connecting online is one thing, but getting the face time with someone and seeing how you work together is another.

Someone who might be a bit shy over Twitter might actually be gregarious over a few cappuccinos!

Ask for their expert opinion

Everyone's experience is different. Different situations result in different lessons, each with their own value. If you're stuck on a problem, reach out to your network and see what they can do for you. They might have the answer you've been desperately looking for.

Be sure to ask about their work, not just your inquiry, and show your gratitude. No one can ever be too generous, and that generosity needs to be remembered.

It’s also helpful to know your strengths, so you can offer your own professional advice. Find out what your new connection may need help with, and see if your skills match up!

Follow them through their career

In the world of PR and Communications, it's not unheard of for people to change roles every few years. It's far too easy to lose track of those in your network. It's not easy, but try and keep track of those you've met throughout your career journey. You might be thankful you did.

KATHERINE HUGHES, JUNIOR AT CEW COMMS