Cotton Court Business Centre

Social Media

18 Practical Twitter Tips for Beginners

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Managing multiple social media platforms is often difficult. However, you can make the process as painless as possible with some quick Twitter tips to accelerate your social media marketing efforts. Why? You know that feeling when you don’t understand what somebody has said, but by the time you gather enough courage to ask them to explain it, too much time has passed? Some budding social media marketers can relate to this feeling when they are looking for tips for their social media marketing efforts.

While it’s so easy to gain a big picture understanding of platforms, including the ability to use them for your professional and personal needs, sometimes you’ve missed some crucial basics that can mean the difference between good and great engagement and reach.

We want to help you master Twitter marketing starting with some basic definitions and Twitter tips for beginners. To make this as easy as possible, we’ve rounded up a guide with 18 practical Twitter tips that will take your tweet status from offbeat to retweet.

Twitter marketing definitions

Before getting into the guide, it’s a good idea to set a foundation with some basic definitions for those of us who were wondering what all these terms meant, but were too afraid to ask. This “Social Media Glossary” provides a huge directory of definitions as well, but the main ones to know for your Twitter vocabulary include the following:

Tweet: A Twitter message. Tweets can contain up to 140 characters of text, as well as photos, videos, and other forms of media. They are public by default and will show up in Twitter timelines and searches unless they are sent from Protected Accounts or as Direct Messages. Tweets can also be embedded in webpages.

Retweet: A Tweet that is re-shared to the followers of another user’s Twitter account. There are two kinds of Retweets: the classic “manual” Retweet and the now-standard “web Retweet.” In a manual Retweet, you simply type “RT” before the @username and content of somebody else’s Tweet. This used to be the only way you could retweet, and it’s the still only way to add your own comment to a Tweet when you pass it along.

A “web Retweet” is what happens when you click the official Retweet button: the full Tweet appears in your timeline in its original form, complete with the author’s name and avatar. Since a web Retweet allows your followers to easily retweet or favourite the original Tweet, it’s generally considered good etiquette to use this method unless you have something valuable to add through a manual RT.

Feed: The main place where the steady stream of updates and information from other users is presented to you. On Twitter, your Twitter feed shows updates posted and shared by those you follow.

Handle: Handle is another way of saying your account name. Our Twitter handle is @CottonCourt and Twitter’s is @Twitter, for example. It’s important that you try and maintain consistent handles on all of your social network profiles, since people who follow you on Twitter might want to find you on Instagram or Pinterest. A consistent handle helps with discoverability.

Mention: The act of tagging another user’s handle or account name in a social media message. Mentions typically trigger a notification for that user and are a key part of what makes social media “social.” When properly formatted (for example, as an @mention on Twitter or +mention on Google+), a mention also allows your audience to click through to the mentioned user’s bio or profile.

Direct Message: A direct message (DM) is a private Twitter message sent to one of your followers. Direct messages can only be sent to a Twitter user who is already following you, and you can only receive direct messages from users you follow.



Hashtag: The hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the “#” sign. Hashtags are a simple way to mark the topic (or topics) of social media messages and make them discoverable to people with shared interests. On most social networks, clicking a hashtag will reveal all the public and recently published messages that also contain that hashtag. Hashtags first emerged on Twitter as a user-created phenomenon and are now used on almost every other social media platform, including Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest.

Quote Tweet: A way to retweet where a user can include their own comments along with the tweet.

Twitter Tips for Marketers


Now that you know the core definitions needed to navigate Twitter for marketing, we offer the following list of top Twitter marketing tips to help you get the most out of the social media platform.


1. Use keywords

In order to attract a specific audience, include discoverable keywords, with links to highly valuable content, in your Tweets. As explained here, “keyword targeting allows you to connect with users based on words and phrases they’ve recently Tweeted or searched for on Twitter,” which allows you to connect with your audience at the most relevant level.

2. Target influencers

It’s a smart idea to follow companies, influencers and like-minded individuals that you plan to engage with in the future on Twitter. As we explain here, when trying to find and connect with influencers, “the three attributes that are most important for marketers to  factor are relevance, reach, and resonance.”

3. Use hashtags

Hashtags are a no-brainer as they ensure that your content is as discoverable as possible, and enable you to connect with like-minded users. For help with hashtag best practices, Here’s a link to a great guide here.

4. Give credit

If you see content that adds value, give credit where it is due. You know how great it feels when somebody else gives your content credit? Share the love. Favourite, quote, and retweet Tweets that you find helpful to gain potential followers and build online relationships.

5. Utilise scheduling

To save time, as well as enhance organisation, it’s a good idea to schedule tweets. By planning for Tweets to go out at peak times, you can ensure you are improving visibility. There are many different ways and approaches to scheduling tweets.

6. Encourage engagement

You’ve heard it time and time again–engagement is key to social media success. While of course connecting with mutual followers is important, to build credibility and audience we recommend engaging with your non followers as well. If you want to learn how to attract and engage more Twitter followers, follow hootsuite’s guide here will help you do just that.

7. Create lists

To get the most of your Twitter feed and keep organised, we recommend setting up Twitter lists to create groups with relevant users and organisations. As a guide to Twitter lists explains, “lists offer a way to see updates from specific people you have decided to focus your attention on,” and in doing so, allowing you to be more engaged and up to date on those who add the most value to your online efforts.

8. Optimize your profile

Your Twitter profile is where other users get their first impressions of you, so it’s important that you take advantage of this part of your online presence. Ensure your Twitter profile has a tasteful image that’s consistent with what you are using on other social networks, an accurate description in your bio, and a header image. Your twitter profile is the most important landing page for your brand,” so you want to make sure it’s helping, not hurting, your efforts.

9. Use images

It’s a fact that Tweets including images receive more engagement, which is reason enough to make sharing images and videos on Twitter a priority. Tweets with images generate 313 percent more engagement than those without.

10. Be consistent

Whenever I’m looking to clean-up my Twitter feed and unfollow users, I always seek out accounts that haven’t posted in awhile. Whether running a personal or professional account, commitment to posting is an important factor in ensuring you continuously add value to your followers. Experiment with posting more than that, and then pay attention to how your followers react to find the frequency that works best for you.

11. Exercise portion control

While one of the biggest challenges of Twitter can be fitting your message into the designated 140 characters, try your best not to use all of these just because they are available. As engagement should be one of your top priorities with your social media strategy, you definitely want to leave room for mentions and comments through retweets so that your content can easily and painlessly be shared.

12. Toot your own horn

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This advice also rings true for your highest performing Tweets. If you notice a Tweet of yours that continuously gets shared and sees engagement, keep promoting it. It’s also completely justified to pin Tweets to the top of your feed to bring more attention to the top-performers and further increase engagement potential.

13. Focus on quality over quantity

As with most things in life, when it comes to your Twitter strategy you should place more importance on quality over quantity. While it is, of course, tempting to focus on your number of followers, ignore this number and instead dedicate time to building quality relationships with other users of relevance.

14. Monitor closely

Social listening is an incredibly valuable asset to building and growing your Twitter strategy, and using a social media monitoring tool can help you do this as easily as possible. Being able to see what your customers and potential clients are discussing, whether it be directly related to your brand or just generally to your industry, has incredible value in your ability to establish marketing forecasts and initiatives.

15. Have patience

While we all love instant gratification, patience with your social media approach is key. In recognizing that you will not instantly gain thousands of followers, retweets, or favourites overnight, you are able to concentrate on building value through engagement and content, which will help your number of quality followers and interactions flourish organically.

16. Don’t be vain

If you want your Twitter strategy to be successful, it’s important to understand that it can’t all be about you. Not many other users will find value in the content you share if it’s only obviously self-servicing. Make an effort to focus on your audience and share, retweet and mention their content on a regular basis.

17. Keep it short

We’ve all seen those unfortunate tweets where the 140 characters are mostly used up by a lengthy URL. This is a preventable tragedy which can be simply solved by using a URL shortener like that provided in the Hootsuite dashboard. In doing this, you allow for more information to be shared, as well as increase the ability for others to share, retweet, and add their own comments to your content.

18. Initiate conversations

While it’s all well and good to simply favourite a tweet that somebody mentions you in, by taking it that one step further and initiating an actual conversation with that user you are showing a dedication towards engagement that many others neglect.

Even in offering a simple “thank you for sharing!” or asking them what they took away from your post, you are helping open up windows of communication that would otherwise remain closed, thus establishing irreplaceable rapport that will potentially help you in the future.

Vibe Tickets Launch on Android App

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Vibe Tickets have announced the launch of their software for the Android market, the Lancashire based ethical ticket exchange expects their customer base to double within the first 4 weeks.

Vibe Tickets was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur, Luke Massie, who wanted to give real fans the chance to not only buy and sell tickets, but also make new, likeminded friends at the hottest events.

The launch on android follows shortly after the successful launch on Apple, the app already has thousands of users buying and selling live event tickets at face value.


Managing director Luke Massie said the expansion followed a £200,000 investment by technology entrepreneur Matt Newing. Luke said; “Vibe is operating a freemium business model, the service is free to use and the app is free to download. We are accelerating the growth of Vibe’s active user base while continually enhancing and developing the app. Our short term goals are to reach critical mass and enter new markets; the US and Europe. On top of directors capital we have raised £200,000 at a SEED round from Matt Newing and Elite Comms Group and we will be opening a new round of funding in the New Year.

The business model is based on peer to peer communication, growing this with a secure payments platform in the future. Everyone should have fair access to tickets and that is why we are strict about face value sales.

When the time is right Vibe will launch premium features and monetise at that stage, I am aiming forVibe Tickets to become the most disruptive presence in the secondary ticket market.”

Matt’s Newing, investor in Vibe and successful Tech Entrepreneur said;

“I share Luke’s passion about the business and the ticketing industry. Real fans are suffering at the expense of the secondary market, the real issue is that primary market are now buying secondary ticket sites and artificially manipulating the market. Ultimately, the power is in the people’s hands as the business model currently stands, but we are certainly looking to develop this.

Consumers have been crying out for a service like Vibe, I’d encourage everyone to join the cause and permanently change the market for the greater good”

The launch comes at a time when attention on the secondary market and touts has intensified.

Last week POP legend Prince (13/11) declared war on ticket touts by delaying sales of tickets for his forthcoming UK tour. Prince’s official Twitter feed became filled with references to online and secondary ticket websites, where tickets that have been bought can be officially resold.

Prince’s protest came as consumer watchdog Which? released a damning report on secondary ticket websites calling for action to stop them ‘reselling at inflated prices.’

Which? spent eight weeks monitoring four of the biggest secondary ticketing websites and found evidence that consumers were being cheated.

It isn’t illegal to resell tickets for profit, but Which? is concerned that many secondary ticket sites are denying fans the chance of buying tickets at face value and breaching consumer rights legislation.

The Vibe Tickets app which can be found on the following links:

Apple – Vibe Tickets

Android – Vibe Tickets

3ManFactory create video to get brands thinking!

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We first spotted this in the days running up to Lancashire Business View’s Young ‘Uns Awards. Low and behold we didn’t realise the advert lead to this very clever video from the team.

Marketing on Fleek from 3ManFactory on Vimeo.

Need to connect your brand with 18-30s or teens? Want to build brand awareness, get your products or services in front of them, or attract the best and brightest talent?

3ManFactory are experienced in delivering high performance cross-platform marketing strategies and campaigns to engage and excite youth demographics.

Our sectors specialisms include: education, fashion, technology, entertainment and consumer.

So if your brand needs to be in front of Generation Y, Z, Millennials or teens, get your marketing right or rather, on fleek. Get in touch with 3ManFactory today.

We Launch Digital Marketing Training

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Lancashire Digital Academy is offering a new funded training course to eligible businesses in the Lancashire area. The training course is about Digital Marketing Essentials.

On the 22nd May, I attended the first part of the new training course, which was run by Tom Stables from 3ManFactory.

Throughout the first session, I learnt about different ways of marketing on different social media. On the social media subject, I also learnt about social media as lead generation, brand monitoring and intelligence, and case studies to illustrate best practice.

The second part of the training was on the 29th May, in this session, I learnt about finding an audience when digital marketing, analysing current marketing activities and also looking at a digital marketing checklist development.

As well, we also discussed what language is appropriate to be used on Social media. For example, what tone you should be using when speaking to someone on social media.

At the training, the thing that I found useful was when we learnt about using different social media to market and advertise the business. For example, I learnt how to use Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest to advertise Cotton Court’s services.

This training was delivered in one of our conference rooms, here at Cotton Court.

Lancashire Digital Academy Launch

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Lancashire Digital Academy offers comprehensive and flexible training for Lancashire based businesses, which multiple members of staff can attend. The free-to-attend courses include modules like Digital Basics, Social Media and Community Management, SEO and Content Marketing, and Email Marketing, Word Press, and Analytics.



To celebrate the launch of Lancashire Digital Academy, 3ManFactory hosted an informative breakfast panel event at Cotton Court on 25th February. At the event, attendees got introduced to the company, and engaged in a panel that was designed to tackle issues about digital employment. As well as discussing and debating digital skills, we offered breakfast and coffee.

The four week programme for businesses is free and fully funded for all staff.

To register your interest in the programme, please fill in your details on the form via the link below.


Lancashire Business Awards 2014

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We are pleased and proud to announce that we have been nominated for ‘Best Social Media Presence’ and Jon has been nominated for ‘Best Employee of the Year’ in the Lancashire Business Awards 2014.


The Lancashire Business Awards is a business awards gala evening that rewards companies, business owners and entrepreneurs. There are 15 awards to be given out . This year, it will be hosted at the Stanley House Hotel on Thursday 13th November from 18:30 till late.


Cotton Court attended the awards at Stanley House last year, where we presented the ‘Best use of Social Media’ award. Some of the winners from last year included Michael Finnigan from i2i and Lis Smith, the Principal from Preston College.

We are very happy to announce that our good friends at Glovers Bar have been nominated for ‘Best Hospitality Venue’.

To vote for us & Jon, please click on the link here: VOTE 

To buy tickets for this amazing event, please click here: BUY TICKETS

Scrap That Selfie with Cotton Studios

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In this digital age, your headshot is often the first thing your clients, peers and business contacts see when dealing with you, making a professional, strong photo paramount.

So, instead of introducing yourself with a selfie, why not take advantage of our brand new professional headshots package and get your own pictures, suitable for online accounts as well as print media, for just £25 per person! Available every Monday, our introductory offer won’t last forever so take advantage now!

Here’s the new staff team shots we have had done!

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Our friends at Cotton Studios, we understand the importance of a high quality photograph, that’s why we’re working with esteemed photographer Heather Nelson. Having worked with brands such as John Lewis and Boots, photographing famous faces such as sporting legend Ryan Giggs, alongside having her images featured in national magazines, campaigns for leading clothing brands and the Paris fashion show runways, Heather knows what it takes to deliver a serious headshot.

Because first impressions matter, book yours now by calling 01772 367 500

World Cup in Social Media Terms?

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Well the group stages are over, here at the office we have a sweepstake running with customers and staff eager to see a potential winner! WOW has there been some upset!

So while the World Cup is taking a breather we thought it’s an excellent time to look back at a tournament that has already produced some eye-popping, record-breaking statistics.


Please note, this is only the story of the group stage! We still have two more weeks and 16 action-packed matches left to go! including the final on July 13. We are pretty confident we will see a lot more records fall along the way. Here’s the story so far on the pitch and on social media.

Approx 300 Million Tweets!
The number of World Cup-related tweets sent so far, according to Twitter. For comparison, the entire London Olympics in 2012 only saw 150 million tweets.

The number of goals scored in the group stage, an all-time record!

The number of times the most retweeted tweet of the World Cup, according to Twitter. The tweet in question? Italian star Mario Balotelli jokingly demanding a kiss from the Queen if Italy beat Costa Rica, which would have kept us in the World Cup.

bal up

2071 passes! The number of passes made by Italy, the top team for passing  both in the number of sheer passes and the pass completion rate (85%). This still didn’t help them going home at the group stage!

So enjoy the rest of the world cup! For the staff at Cotton Court we are pretty much out of it! Best of luck to our customers who are still in the sweepstake!

Social Media: Doing It Like A Boss Seminar

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Nathaniel Cassidy of 3ManFactory this week went through their short social media do’s and don’ts to help you hit the grounding running and avoid making any major mistakes. Plus some awesome tips and tricks on how to get more out of all the major social networks. If you want to achieve social media mastery then you need to attend the next event!





Social Media: Successful Strategies

Signed up for Facebook? Mild Twitter addict? Instagram junkie? Are you using social media but without a strategy? Then this event is for you! Tom Stables and Nathaniel Cassidy of 3ManFactory will go through their 10 successful social media strategies showcasing some of the simplest and most effective ways for you to engage with your connections and get more business!

The social media series are all fast paced presentation sessions followed by a Q&A panel giving you the chance to get your questions answered by industry experts. These sessions are being hosted by Cotton Court and are a perfect way to network, soak up some knowledge and even get a bit of breakfast – they fill up quickly so make sure you book in advance!

The Next instalment is Tuesday 29th July 8:30am – 10am

Book your place now!

We agree Corporate Social Responsibility – West Lancs Scouts

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Cotton Court is proud to be working with the West Lancashire Scouts, who this year announced a tenth consistent year of growth with 836 more members in Lancashire than in 2013. Made up of eight districts between Ormskirk & Lonsdale, including of course Preston, the West Lancs Scouts boasts the biggest growth in the UK with figures of 7.5%. Chorley were the largest growing district specifically, showing growth of 33%.

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Here at Cotton Court we maintain a close relationship with the organisation, helping to aid their ongoing growth by providing training space for both youths and adult volunteers, as well as meeting facilities for planning and paving out the future for West Lancashire Scouts. We also aid in their online presence, curating social media content and assisting their communications team.


The Scout Association seeks to transform the lives of young people through provision of training programmes adventure, and is consistently committed to increasing the number of young members year on year. If you’d like to find out more about the work we do here at Cotton Court in the community, get in touch with us via