Tag Archive for Twitter

Trading Places: Swapping the Office for the Showroom Floor at the CV Show

Dan Stead – Digital Account Executive

This year, Acceleris attended The Commercial Vehicle Show (CV Show) at the famous NEC in Birmingham. As specialists in motor sector communications, we were there to support our exhibiting clients and to see what opportunities there were to bring their brands to new audiences.

With over 20,000 business in attendance last year, 2017 was set to be the biggest in The CV Show’s 16 year history. From trucks to tyres, telematics to trailers and tow bars to temperature controlled transportation solutions, we descended on the show to help our clients stand out from the crowd.

Our CV Show clients

Our clients exhibiting this year included Nexus Vehicle Rental, which was launching its unique HGV rental solution and Radius Payment Solutions, there to demo its brand new vehicle checker app.

Nexus – adding weight to the HGV market

Radius reveals its vehicle checker app

Part of our role on the day was using the event to create media ‘noise’ around the launches to trade media, arranging interviews and selling in the stories across client and partner social media channels.

While ultimately our clients were there to push sales, trade shows present a number of ways for businesses to promote their services to new and existing audiences. There are a variety of tactics which should be deployed by anyone attending a show.

Social networking

Growing online audiences should be an ongoing objective for every business and trade shows present the perfect arena to do this. There may be tens of thousands of potential customers at the show itself, but there may be hundreds of thousands following online.

For example, the hashtag #CVShow was used over 700 times in just 24 hours on Twitter during the last day of The CV Show alone, reaching almost 850,000 different accounts! To make the most of this ‘free’ publicity, sound social media strategies must be in place to ensure there is a constant stream of scheduled and reactive posts. This will not only grab the attention of those not attending a show but it may encourage customers on the show floor to swing by your stand in search of the latest live launches

When drafting social media posts, be mindful of which key terms people may be searching for. Similarly, to optimise your copy online for search engines (SEO), you can drop keywords into your social media posts to push people through to your own channels. Use of imagery is also imperative – Twitter spans 140 characters but a picture says a thousand words and gives people a taste of what they’re missing!

While focusing on perfecting your own posts is important, you should be following progress of trade shows throughout their duration via other accounts too. For example, on Twitter, a retweet or reply goes a long way. It’s an easy way to interact with others and presents your business as friendly and open to conversation online.   

A social nexus

Radius reels in the punters

Hit the headlines   

Building good relationships with existing customers is essential but many businesses attend trade shows to drum up new business. One useful tip is to see which representatives from your sector’s trade press may be attending and seek them out prior to a show. Journalists work to tight deadlines and have hectic schedules and it’s all too easy to be ignored. It’s always worth seeking the advice of a PR agency which can help put you pole position in the race to secure media coverage, allowing you to contribute to conversations ahead of competitors.

   

Nexus Vehicle Rental – HGV launch coverage

So there’s only one thing left, and that’s to share our top tips for social media use during trade shows.

Top Trade Show Tips for Shining on Social

  1. Pre-arrange your meetings – While it’s fantastic to stumble across a golden contact it’s always best to try and arrange a time and place to meet your chosen contacts before the show. Connecting through LinkedIn is a good way to introduce yourself to prospects and following key journalists on social media is advised
  2. Prepare, plan, react – Schedule social media posts throughout the duration of the show but be sure to keep an eye on live social streams before, during and after, responding to trends  and  engaging with others. Posting photos from any event is a must
  3. Tool up! – There is a plethora of free social media tools out there. Hootsuite allows posts to be scheduled from multiple social media platforms with surgical precision while Keyhole enables users to track hashtags, keywords and mentions in real-time allowing you to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not
  4. Get Creative – Canva is another great tool for bringing your posts to life through use of creative imagery

At Acceleris, we are constantly on the move. In fact, we are back in Birmingham as early as next week to promote another automotive client, Trusted Dealers, and its roadshows to increase awareness of Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs).

Follow us on Twitter to keep track of what we’re up to and visit our website to see how we could help boost your business’ profile in the automotive arena.

Mayday: Handling social media during a crisis

Alex Whitaker, Senior Account Executive

Alex Whitaker, Senior Account Executive

On 3 August 2016, Emirates Flight 521, a Boeing 777-300, crash landed and caught fire at the airline’s home base and primary hub, Dubai International Airport. Thankfully, all 282 passengers and 18 crew survived the impact with only 14 people requiring hospitalisation for minor injuries (however, an Emirati fireman unfortunately did lose his life). Clearly, the accident presented a crisis for the company.

While an incident involving an aircraft could wreak havoc for an airline’s reputation, Emirates managed to completely preserve theirs. In the immediate 24 hours following the crash, the airline delivered a textbook example of how to respond to a crisis situation.

As with any incident of this ilk played out in the modern arena, the world knew within minutes. Breaking news alerts lit up phones across the world as the incident quickly became a trending topic on Twitter, with many tweets also featuring near-live video of the aircraft ablaze. When anyone with a smartphone (around two billion people[1]) can instantly provide raw footage of an incident to millions of people, companies have to be on perpetual guard – and ready and able to react quickly.

In order to respond appropriately and within an acceptable time frame, organisations need to have a pre-agreed crisis plan in place. Clearly, with Emirates’ first tweet acknowledging the situation being sent only twenty minutes after the incident occurred, this had been done. This first tweet set the tone for the exemplary PR response that followed.

Emirates were quick to make people aware of the incident

Emirates were quick to make people aware of the incident

Over the next 90 minutes, the company pulled off an important balancing act, providing new information quickly and regularly but without taking the risk of tweeting anything unconfirmed. The drip feeding of information in real time as confirmation was received showed the airline was well on top of the situation while also serving to inform the company’s most important stakeholders in the crisis – existing and potential customers. Within two hours of the incident taking place, the company confirmed all passengers and crew were safe.

In the 24 hours following the incident, the airline tweeted 31 times, maintaining a constant reassuring presence to those following its social media channels. The company’s activity in this timeframe handled a series of issues. While the initial incident was over fairly quickly, the airline then had to deal with a long delay to many flights departing from its key hub. Emirates deftly melded these crucial travel updates with messages expressing apologies and reassuring customers it was doing everything it could to resolve a difficult situation.

The airline provided as much information as possible on the crew and passengers

The airline provided as much information as possible on the crew and passengers

During this time, the airline also provided links to full statements (in both English and Arabic), pages with more information on expected delays and to a video of a press conference held by the company’s Chairman. In particular, this video was extremely well received. By putting the most senior figurehead of the company in front of the cameras, the airline showed how seriously they were taking the situation. That the Chairman was clearly well versed in giving statements only served to improve upon the video’s reception.

Emirates quickly called a press conference in both English and Arabic

Emirates quickly called a press conference in both English and Arabic

Many users posted replies to the company’s posts praising their response and highlighting the fact they are not concerned about flying with Emirates in the future – showing the airline’s already strong reputation remains intact.

Emirates’ response embodied the key tenets of crisis management. The company stuck to the mantra of ‘first, fast and frank’ and took control of the situation at an early stage, preventing the spread of any misinformation or unhelpful rumours. It provided timely and useful information on the issue while still showing it genuinely cared. Also, quick responses to customer questions on social media not only directly helped people worried about family members, but showed to the wider public that the company could be relied on.

Handling a crisis as it unfolds is never an easy task. Crises are by nature unpredictable, both in terms of when they first occur and how they may develop as the situation progresses. A pre-agreed crisis plan is a necessity, but companies also need to remain flexible enough to react to whatever may happen during the course of dealing with the situation. At Acceleris, we’re experts in both managing crises and developing robust plans ahead of time. A crisis can hit at any time, in almost any industry, so why not give us a call today to find out how we can help you?

[1] http://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/

Stay safe on social

Social media is now not only a key component of how companies communicate with their customers and clients, but is often the first point of contact between public and organisation beyond well-crafted marketing, advertising and PR messages cultivated to develop a brand. However, while these messages are the result of countless hours and financial investment, a brand can be severely damaged by one misfiring tweet sent in a second of misjudgement.

Convincing much?

Convincing much?

You may be surprised how many major companies have had their fair share of Facebook fiascos and Twitter troubles – take a look at a few of the worst and see where it’s all gone wrong!

Don’t underestimate the power of Twitter

While tweeting plot snippets may seem a great way to drum up interest for an upcoming video game, live-tweeting a hyper-realistic, but thankfully fictional, terrorist attack definitely isn’t. However, this is exactly what the Call of Duty Twitter account did in a series of tweets that detailed an unfolding ‘attack’ in Singapore.

Not only were the tweets closely modelled on the way real news organisations tweet about terrorist attacks as news rolls in, but the account had convincingly rebranded itself to mimic a real news site.

While the tweets did progressively become more far-fetched, leading many to realise this was a PR stunt, the initial shock fooled quite a few of the account’s 2.8 million followers – a good example of the importance of understanding the power Twitter can hold and how quickly something can spread!

Use common sense!police

Tweeting about serious matters is something which should always be handled delicately. One definite no-no, however, is piggybacking on a tragedy and its related hashtags to try and sell a product.

You’d be surprised how many big brands have fallen for this one; from Build-a-Bear’s tweet featuring a bear in combat fatigues on the anniversary of 9/11 to Kenneth Cole’s tweet during the Arab Spring suggesting that the uproar was due to the release of its new spring collection, it’s shocking how often companies have trivialised serious events in an effort to promote themselves.

However, social media gaffes of this ilk are not always a crass attempt at selling products – sometimes badly misjudging a response can be even worse. After Everton defeated Sunderland 6-2 a Twitter user, in a poor attempt at humour, decided to tweet to the official Merseyside Police account.

For an institution such as the police to trivialise something as severe as rape with an insensitive joke is nothing less than shocking and led to a huge backlash. Of course, the individual in question has been sacked, but the damage to the organisation had been done.

Check and double check

Disney Japan fell foul of a lack of due care when a seemingly innocuous tweet referencing the lyrics of an Alice in Wonderland song turned into a nightmare due to a combination of unfortunate translation and poor timing. The offending lyrics “A very merry unbirthday to you!” seem harmless enough in English – however in Japanese this read more like “Congratulations on a not special day.” Coupled with the fact that this was tweeted on the 70th anniversary of the US nuclear bombing of Nagasaki it created a rather awkward situation. While there was no intended malice or insensitivity in this tweet, a bit of thought would have saved a few red faces!

morrisonsSpelling

While it may not cause offense in the same manner as the above examples, getting your spelling wrong makes your brand seem amateurish and unprofessional. Morrison’s attempt to tweet about Bonfire Night last week was a bit of a facepalm moment:

 

Of course, it’s not all bad news! A well-managed social media account is a crucial arm of developing an approachable, human face for companies. These bad examples are vastly outweighed by stories of social media being used to an organisation’s advantage – often generating excellent results, both commercially and in terms of public goodwill.

Here at Acceleris we’re experts in developing and managing social media accounts to ensure our clients are engaging with their target audience in the best way possible. Why not give us a call to see what we can do for you?

Social media and the election

Mike Renton, Senior Account Executive

Mike Renton, Senior Account Executive

When the polling stations close, and the ballot boxes are finally opened, there is only one thing that will be certain on the 8th of May and that is the incredible effect social media has had on this general election.

59% of the UK population has a social media account, so the choice has been simple, you can either tweet your message in 5 seconds and it can reach 300 people or you can try and talk to 300 people in 3 days.

So acknowledging the importance of social media to the election, the main political parties have put an incredible amount of effort into reaching the electorate electronically.

The Conservative Party spent double what Labour spent on Facebook advertising in the run up to the election, as a result, it has 61% more likes than its main opposition.

Mike Renton - 06.05.15 - 6

But Labour, who hired some of Obama’s digital strategists for the election, is the most followed UK political party on Twitter, with 26 per cent more followers than the Conservatives. This is hardly surprising when out of the 1,440 tweets there are an hour using #GE2015, Labour is mentioned 26% times more than its main opposition.*

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