Monthly Archives: April 2015

Tweeting ‘ell: Do’s & Don’ts of running a company Twitter account


Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you will know that using Twitter is essential for today’s modern businesses. Not only does it allow you to engage with your existing customers on a more informal basis, it is also a fantastic way to discover new customers! Twitter really is a social media shaped marketing wonder; however, incorrect use of Twitter can result in a brand alienating and even losing customers! To help stop that happening to you, here are some general do’s and don’ts to help you on the way to becoming a top tweeter!

twitter  Do…

  • Have a relevant profile/cover picture. This is the first thing that you should do once you have set up your company Twitter account. Accounts that do not have a profile picture and stay with the default twitter picture of an egg have a much lower chance of gaining followers and you could even run the risk of being reported as a spam account! Having a relevant profile picture (for example, your company logo or a photo of the people in your office) will look more professional to the Twitter community, increase your follower count and increase engagement with your brand. This also applies to your cover picture.
  • Follow relevant companies/bloggers/customers etc. Twitter is a community and it is important to get to know your neighbours! Not only will following people/companies that are relevant to your industry (such as fashion bloggers if you are an apparel based business) possibly get you a follow in return, but it will also boost your activity in the relevant social media circles.
  • Schedule your tweets. As a company, you want to be tweeting at least twice a day. If you are busy with other engagements throughout the day it is a good idea to use a piece of software such as Tweetdeck to schedule in your tweets for the day. You could always try and remember to do this on your own but you would be surprised how easy it is to get side-tracked and forget (and nobody wants to follow an inactive Twitter account). However, it is sometimes essential to be tweeting in real time, as the next point will explain.
  • Keep up to date with trending tweets. Once you are on Twitter, you will see a ‘trends’ section on the left hand side of your home page. This is basically showing you what people are tweeting about the most at that time of day. It is a good idea to try and tweet occasionally using these trending hash tags as there is a higher chance of more people seeing it. Obviously you can’t really schedule these sorts of tweets as they change as the day goes on. However, make sure that your tweet is still relevant to the hash tag (see more about this in the don’ts section!).
  • Respond to criticism. Social media is a wonderful tool that is used by millions of consumers to share their opinions and experiences. However, not all of these experiences are positive and it is important to deal with tweets criticising your business in a professional and timely manner. The temptation might be there to simply remove the criticising comment and use an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality. However, this will most likely only infuriate the customer further. Plus, unless you have noticed the comment within seconds of it being posted, chances are a lot of other Twitter users have already seen it, so deleting it will alienate those people as well as the comment’s author.
  • Remember which account you are tweeting from! Many of the most offensive and harmful tweets from company Twitters have been put there by accident, with the offending tweeters claiming that it was supposed to be from their personal account and not the company one. This is no excuse and you could seriously harm your company’s reputation if you make this mistake. Get into the habit of just double checking which account you are logged into before you tweet!

twitter  Don’t…

  • Use irrelevant hash tags. Back in 2009, a popular furniture store committed one of the cardinal sins of Twitter; they wrote vast amounts of tweets using trending hash tags that were irrelevant to what they were tweeting about. It was blindingly obvious what they were doing and they received a massive amount abuse from Twitter users as well as losing a lot of followers. Why did they receive abuse? Because hash tags should be used when you are tweeting about that specific subject (or you can at least link back to it). Using irrelevant hash tags just to widen your audience can result in your account being labelled as spam.
  • Use a trending hash tag without double checking what it is actually about. All too often, companies find themselves in the firing line of the Twitter community due to using hash tags to market their brand. You may think that this is an innocent enough act. However, in 2014, a leading pizza company used the #WhyIStayed hash tag to advertise their products without realising that the hash tag was related to domestic violence. The tweet was quickly deleted and the company apologised, but the damage was already done and the company lost a lot of followers and received abuse from angry Twitter users. Always double check a hash tag before tweeting!
  • Get into arguments over Twitter. As mentioned earlier in the post, you will most likely at one point or another have to deal with a less than satisfied customer on Twitter. Now, repeat after me: ‘I will never ever, even if the angry customer is throwing insults around, get involved in an argument over Twitter’. Repeat that five times. Got it? Good. By all means respond to criticism in a healthy, professional manner (we encourage this), but do not get sucked into an argument. Doing this will only serve to make your company look unprofessional and badly managed.
  • Tweet your personal opinions. Remember that your company Twitter account is representative of the company and not you personally. Whilst it is great if you can relate your company tweets to what people are talking about (reminding people of a nearing election, for example), it is not so great (and quite often offensive) for you to tweet your own personal opinions on the topic (your political views, for example). This is especially relevant if you have some extreme views. If you absolutely must share your views with the Twitter community, tweet from your personal account, not your business one!

If you follow these do’s and don’ts you should be able to prevent yourself making avoidable mistakes. Before tweeting always ask yourself: ‘is this the kind of tweet I would expect to see from a professional company?’ If the answer is no you should probably bin the tweet altogether!




4 Top Tips for Writing Engaging Content


You may or may not know that today is William Shakespeare’s 451st birthday. Shakespeare is often referred to as the greatest writer of all time and so, to celebrate, I have put together a guide to help you to get the best out of your content writing. As a content writer and blogger, I often get asked for tips on how to write good, effective content. Well, I can’t make you into an overnight sensation, but here are some tips to help you along the way.

Use Language and Tone that is appropriate to your audience

There is more to keeping your content appropriate than just choosing an appropriate subject to write about. Using the right language and tone to suit your audience is essential to the success of your content. A good technique is to picture the type of person in your audience. How do they talk? How do they dress? What is their job? “But what do these details have to do with content writing?” I hear you ask. The answer is, once you get to know a person, you get to know how to communicate with them as an individual; you know how to pander to their individual needs when you talk to them. You wouldn’t talk to a potential client on a Monday morning the same way that you chat to your mates down the pub on a Friday night would you? I think not. Obviously it would be impossible to get to know all of your readers on a personal basis, so you need to figure out what kind of person you are writing for, and ‘get to know them’ in your mind. The types of language and tone you use in your content piece should be directed towards this person. If you don’t ensure that your language and tone is appropriate, you run the risk of alienating readers!


Be Confident in what you are Saying

For your readers to truly believe in what you are saying, you also need to believe it. You have to portray confidence throughout your content piece to maintain engagement from your readers throughout. Look at these two statements:

‘I think that our business is doing well.’

‘Our business is doing well.’

Needless to say, chances are you’re going to take the second person more seriously and trust their information more. Remember: your use of language is the key to your readers’ opinion of you, and if you use language which makes you seem uncertain of what you are saying, you run the risk of the reader assuming that you do not know what you are talking about. This is even more important if your content is on a business blog or company website as you will need any potential clients or customers to trust you and your knowledge of your industry. If they think that there is the slightest chance that your knowledge and/or experience is shaky, there is a decent chance that they will take their business elsewhere.

Keep up to date with Trends & Use a Content Calendar

Having lots of interesting and engaging content is vital for your business to succeed in the digital world. A great way to ensure that your content is read by larger amounts of people is to keep up to date with the latest trends on social media sites such as Twitter. If you look at what is trending, incorporating it into your content (or even just relating it to a Twitter hash tag) will increase the amount of people who see your content.

Another good way of keeping your content relevant and up-to-date is by relating it to various holidays. I simply typed in ‘holidays UK’ into Google and was greeted with a calendar of various events and holidays in the UK. This would also work in whatever country you are based in. If you are going to do this, then you are going to need to create a content calendar. Trust me; this will make your life much easier. I actually use two calendars, a digital one to share with my workmates and a printout one to keep on my desk. It is a good idea to keep a printout one so that it always there to be glanced at, this will minimise the chances of a content deadline creeping up on you!


Draw Upon your Own Experiences

I find that content is most effective when the writer draws upon his/her own experiences when writing about a topic. This does not necessarily have to be a long-winded story about how or why you perform a task. It can be as simple as giving a quick but relevant example of how-why you do something. Not convinced? Here are two examples:

‘Mentos fizz when they come into contact with Coca-Cola.’

‘Mentos fizz when they come into contact with Coca-Cola. I once did this experiment myself and was cleaning it out of my kitchen for days.’

As you can see, the bottom statement has more oomph to it! When you draw upon your own experiences, your content becomes more personal and, therefore, more believable to your readers. Your audience wants to read something that has substance to it, something that is based on a real opinion or understanding and has not just been thrown together. If you draw upon your own experiences it automatically lets your reader know that you have spent time on your content and that it is relevant to you on a personal level.

Final Thought…

So there you have it, 4 top tips to help you along the way to content writing greatness. If you bear this information in mind, your content will be enjoyable to read as well as fun to write! Happy writing!











How to Welcome a New Employee: Part 1

Starting a new job role can be a nerve –racking and sometimes stressful time for any new employee. A first day at any job is usually an array of new information, introductions and paperwork – and all of this is usually prior to them actually starting their first task! Here are some handy tips to bear in mind prior and during your new employee’s start date (and beyond), to make the transition into their new role as easy and stress-free for your new employee as possible.


Meet & Greet

To make things less complicated for the new employee, it is important to make sure that it is the person who did the hiring who greets them and gives them a tour of the building on their first day. Starting a new job in a brand new team of people that you have never seen before is a huge facing, and being greeted by someone that they have seen and spoken to before will make them feel more at ease. It is also important to stop whatever you are doing to greet and welcome your new employee, avoid keeping them waiting.

Introductions are of paramount importance so make sure you introduce the new employee to the rest of the team prior to anything else. It is a good idea to make your team aware of the new starter prior to their start date. Justin Pettie, a client services manager believes that people are the key to positive onborading. He recalls his first day at a new job and states that ‘I found out that the previous week my Manager had made an announcement regarding my engagement and what I would be performing within my role. I felt valued and respected that this had been already done before I arrived. I felt that the team already partially knew me. It was a great feeling.’

DO: Arrive at work prior to your employee’s start time. Remind your team that the employee is starting today.

DON’T: Ask the new employee to wait outside whilst you finish a task.

Make sure everything is ready for them

It is important to remember that an employee’s first day is all about first impressions, and this goes both ways. Just as your new employee will want to make a fantastic first impression on you, it is just as important that you make a great first impression on them. Make sure that everything is ready for them prior to their start date. This includes a computer and password, email and a desk (this may sound like an obvious one, but I have heard of employees arriving to find that a desk hasn’t even been prepared to them). Making sure everything is prepared is of paramount importance; there are not many things less welcoming than the impression that nobody could be bothered preparing for your arrival.

Sujan Patel, in his article ‘How to create an effective onboarding experience at your startup’, writes that ‘Nothing is more demotivating for a new hire than being assigned to a disorganized, dirty desk that seems like an afterthought. By preparing a great space for your new hires up front, you’re telling them that they matter to you and your company.’

DO: Double check that everything is ready for the new employee. Consider having a welcome card signed by the team waiting on their desk for them.

DON’T: Think it is acceptable for a new employee to be waiting days for their computer logins.


Give them a task to complete

It is important that a new employee feels that they are useful and needed within the team from day one. After you have got the formal induction out of the way (building tour, health & safety etc.), give your new employee a relevant task to complete. This not only means that they will not succumb to boredom, but it will become apparent that they are an integral part of the team which in turn will have a positive impact on their productivity. It will also give you first-hand knowledge of how they manage tasks and responsibility within the workplace.

Jeff Schmitt, regular contributor to Forbes Magazine states that, as a hiring manager, you should ‘Show confidence in your new hires early. Earmark some tasks for them before they even arrive… make sure they have a chance to shine early. That confidence will carry over as the stakes get higher.’

DO: Ensure the task you give the new employee is relevant to their job role and seniority level.

DON’T: Throw them in at the deep end.


Ask for their input & give feedback

If you have any team meetings or discussions on the employee’s first day, ask for their input. Doing this will let the employee know that you value their opinion and will make them feel more involved in the team from day one. If their input is exceptional, tell them!

Jeff Schmitt writes that a great leader ‘provides regular feedback on performance, knowing that the best people crave candidness and loath sugarcoating’. Being honest (but not brutal) with feedback right from the beginning will make your new employee aware that you value their work and are willing to invest in their personal development, which will increase their engagement and productivity within their new role.

DO: Encourage your employee to be creative with their input. Be constructive with feedback.

DON’T: Forget that it may take some time for a new employee to be completely confident with giving an original input, especially in team/company meetings.

This blog post is part of a series on welcoming new employees. Keep your eyes peeled for part 2!


6 Benefits of Having a Loyalty Card Scheme

Loyalty Card

Here at 123 Print UK, we want our customers to have the best possible knowledge of our products and how they can benefit your business. We offer a range of colourful loyalty cards to suit any type of business in any industry. If you have never considered introducing a customer loyalty card scheme to your business before, here are six reasons why you should.

  1. Customer Loyalty & Happiness

Picture yourself as one of your customers. You have been loyal to the company for an extended amount of time and have purchased a variety of products across the price range. However, your loyalty seems to be being ignored as all you can see across the company website are offers to entice new customers into making a purchase. How would you feel? My guess is frustrated and ignored. You may think that attracting new customers is vital (and you would be correct!) but rewarding existing customers is just as important to ensure that they remain loyal to your business and do not take their custom elsewhere.

Remember: A rewarded customer is a happy customer, and a happy customer is great for word of mouth referrals!

  1. Increased Profitability

A recent study by BIA Kelsey showed that a repeat customer spends 67% more than a new one. With these figures, it seems obvious why more and more companies of all sizes are introducing loyalty cards into their businesses. Coffee giant Starbucks praised their loyalty program as the main reason that they had a 26% rise in profits and an 11% jump in total revenue in 2013 ( Having increased profitability means that you will be able to use new and improved resources to spoil your customers even more, and enable your business to grow and go from strength to strength!


  1. Attracts New Customers

Any company that is known to have a loyalty card system is always going to look appealing to potential customers. Knowing that they will be looked after once they have made a purchase will be just as enticing as those all important new customer offers. In a recent survey, 93% of consumers think that rewards are a very important part of the customer experience. This is especially beneficial for smaller or newer businesses as having a reward system in place can mean the difference between a potential customer making a purchase or going elsewhere.

  1. Customer Relationships

Having a loyalty card campaign in place means that you can get to know your customer’s spending habits and product preferences and enables you to offer a service that is personally tailored to suit their individual needs. Providing your existing customers with a service that is more personal means that it will be easier to form and maintain relationships with them, which will ensure that they keep using your company again and again. According to a recent survey, 29% of customers like to change brands for the sake of novelty. Building and maintaining relationships with customers will help to minimise this brand hopping and ensure customers  want to use the same brand again and again.


  1. Reason for Contact with the Customer

Having a loyalty card means that your customers will most likely be entitled to more special offers, and this is a great reason to have more contact with your customers! As we all know, communicating with your customers is a key part of relationship building and profitability, so the more reasons you have to contact them, the more engagement you will have from them, and the higher chance there is of them making a purchase. Customers that feel entitled are more likely to be enticed into buying a product, so make sure that you let them know that the offer is only for customers that have a loyalty card.

  1. Stand Out from the Competition

Offering a loyalty card scheme will make you stand out against other businesses that do not offer this service. For example, if you were a loyal customer being tempted to buy from a competitor due to an enticing welcome deal, an existing loyalty card scheme could be just the thing that inspires you to make the purchase from the original company. Having a professional looking loyalty card that is pleasing to the eye, like the ones we offer here at 123 print, is essential for making your business stand out from the competition and sets you on your way to becoming the go-to company for customers, every time. We also give our customers the option to upload their own loyalty card template, to make it even more unique to their business.

 Did you know…

Here at 123 Print UK, we offer a professional loyalty stamp bundle to get you started! As if that wasn’t enough, you can also choose your own loyalty stamps from a range of different designs. Having unique stamp designs makes your loyalty card stand out even more!