Can brands overdo it + killer Twitter CTAs + a word from Serene

Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 48. LMTD has picked out some of the most interesting digital and social media stories making waves around the web this week, to keep you up-to-date with developments in the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing industry. Something else you’d like to see? Let us know at news@teamlmtd.com.

Can brands overdo it on social?

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Behind all the vitriol, this piece via The Next Web raises some interesting points about the ways in which brands use social media.

It’s clear from the outset the author has one or two issues with brand accounts….not least of all when they shamelessly jump on any hashtag going and offend large swathes of the online community (or, as in the case of a recent tweet from the English Football Association, choose their words so poorly that they completely undermine what they’re trying to promote).

Brands aren’t your friends, he says, and they should stop acting like they are. But do we really think corporate accounts should just be ‘functional’ and ‘answer our questions when we ask them and solve our problems when they occur’?

Well, no. Of course, answering questions and resolving issues in a timely manner are two very important aspects of how brands perform on social, and doing either ineffectively can stir up a great deal of negative sentiment. But no business can afford to just wait around for prospective customers to come find them. Whether they are ‘constantly blaring out at us’ from traditional media or not, as long as the ways to reach an audience continue to diversify, brands will follow.

So what lessons can we take from this article?

Maybe there is such a thing as overdoing it on social. It’s entirely probable that adopting the latest slang, appearing to be too empathetic or trying to get a little too involved in people’s lives can come across as false, and put off more people than it attracts.

Our takeaway: remember, above all, that you are a brand. If you have to spend an hour trying to wrestle a trending hashtag into your latest Instagram or tweet, it’s not natural enough to pass the audience test; for the sake of authenticity, consider another approach.

Killer CTAs on Twitter: a guide

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As a brand, your whole job on social is to persuade people to interact, find out more about your product or service, and purchase (see above…). But calls to action are tricky. Will someone click just because you ask them too? Do words like ‘download’ sound too daunting? This list via Social Times takes a closer look at CTAs on Twitter, compiling ten of the platform’s most successful, and telling us why. If you’re struggling to build up your following, or you can’t get them talking, this could just come in handy!

Our top picks include:

Make it urgent: Twitter is a fast-moving platform, and its users are almost all on mobile. You need to grab a user’s attention quickly, and compel them to act right away, before they’re distracted by something else. Particularly salient if you’re promoting a sale, or some other offer that is time-limited.

– Make the benefit stand out: why should people follow you, retweet you, or visit your website? What’s in it for them? Making your reasoning perfectly clear will persuade more people to do what you want them to do.

Be persistent: don’t be afraid to tweet often. The conversational nature of Twitter means users are accustomed to seeing plenty of messages in their feed. Keep your brand front and centre in their mind by tweeting 2-3 times in a day. Space them out, change up the language, but keep at it and you’ll see the rewards.

A view from the gallery: Serene

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LMTD Creative Director Serene Touma is out and about travelling in Europe at the moment, but she’s been thinking about sharing on social: where you should share, when you should share, and how often. Take a look here for the full picture. WARNING: she doesn’t pull any punches!

#ICYMI

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