Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

We recently discussed the latest Twitter profile updates and how to use them to your advantage. Now that you’re creating banner images and pinning tweets with the best of them, let’s dig a little deeper. According to Twitter Brand Partner Alex Ticas, Twitter has 255 million active users. Ticas also states that there are 1 billion tweets (yes, *billion*!) every two days. That’s pretty incredible. This doesn’t mean you can’t rule Twitter! You’ll just have to work a little harder to cut through the noise.

Here are 3 great ways:

1. Choosy tweeters choose GIFs.

Those often-hilarious moving images you see across the internet are called animated GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format). They were introduced by CompuServe in the late 1980s but have had a recent resurgence in popularity.

cat animated gif

This summer, Twitter announced that the platform now supports animated GIFs. Now you can delight your followers with short animated images of fluffy animals or your latest products or sale items. As with all other image-related marketing, the possibilities are endless.

Fun fact: did you know that GIF’s pronunciation deliberately echos the famous peanut butter brand JIF? CompuServe employees used to say that “choosy developers choose GIF” as a nod to the peanut butter brand’s slogan.

 

2. Embed photos.

Rule Twitter

If you aren’t attaching images to your tweets yet, now is the time to start! This is a great way to attract more views for your tweets, so reserve this feature for your most important messages. On Twitter, click the camera icon when composing a tweet to add your image. Hootsuite now offers the option to post images via pic.twitter.com as well so that your images will show in native Twitter feeds even if you aren’t posting directly from the Twitter platform.

Social Media Examiner offers a great article on how to prepare your images for Twitter’s automatic cropping and resizing.

 

3. Find Leads with Advanced Search. 

Twitter is a great place to meet people virtually and begin the path to real-world relationships and business exchanges. But what if you want to reach beyond tweets from people and businesses you already follow? That’s where Twitter’s Advanced Search comes in handy.

Do you want to see who is talking to (or about) businesses like yours? Type “to: @username” into the search box.

rule twitter

Only want to see conversations happening near you? No problem. Here is a search for all tweets within four miles of San Francisco’s 94102 zip code, tagged with #sanfrancisco:

rule twitter

You can also search for tweets based on subject and sentiment. Here is a query for people saying positive things about black shoes:

rule twitter

Get more tips for using Twitter’s Advanced Search function with Beth Gladstone‘s excellent and detailed post on Social Media Examiner.

Do you have Twitter tips to share? Let us know in the comments section!

In our last post we discussed recent changes to Facebook advertising. In keeping with the theme of always-changing social media platforms, we’re back with must-have tips regarding the latest Twitter profile changes.

Twitter announced their new profile format in early April. Though resistance to change is typical among those on social media, it was immediately clear that the updates really did provide an enhanced Twitter experience.

In today’s post we highlight Twitter’s recent profile changes and how they can be useful to you and your business:

1. Larger Banners

The large banner images we know so well on Google+ and Facebook have now made their way over to Twitter. Get the most out of this new feature by using images that show customers what your business is all about!

Caterpillar Twitter banner

image via hubspot.com

Apple App Store Twitter banner

image via hubspot.com

The examples above from Caterpillar and Apple show two very different ways you can utilize Twitter’s enhanced banner size to share eye-catching images with your audience. Be creative and have fun!

2. Pinned Tweets

Finally, we have the ability to leave an important message at the top of our Twitter feeds for as long as we want! In an environment as hectic as Twitter, it can be difficult to be seen–regardless of the importance of your message. With the new pinned tweet functionality you can ensure your latest news will be the first thing visitors see when viewing your profile.

nike pinned tweet

Simply log into your Twitter account, click on “Me” to go to your profile, scroll down to the tweet you want to pin to the top, click the three dots next to the trash can icon, and select “pin to your profile page.” The pinned tweet will remain at the top of your profile until you select a new pinned tweet.

3. Highlighting Your Best Content

Twitter now gives your most popular tweets a larger font size, which both encourages users to post quality tweets and makes it easier for profile visitors to see your best content. More favorites and retweets than you typically receive for a tweet is all it takes to activate the larger font.

Stay tuned for more Twitter tips on the blog next month!

Twitter Statistics in 3 Ways

Knowing and understanding your Twitter Statistics is a good way to motivate yourself to continue posting quality content on the Twitter network. Posting on Twitter is as much about knowledge sharing and listening, as it is about having conversations and networking in up to 140 characters at a time.

Until a couple of weeks ago, we used to be able to track our Twitter Grade using a free tool which was offered by Hubspot called Twitter Grader. Sadly, this tool has been retired and replaced with Marketing Grader.  Marketing Grader has some benefits, but I know there will be a lot of people missing Twitter Grader. That’s the problem with free tools though, the developer may decide to discontinue offering them at any time.

So where do we go to measure the success of our Twitter presence?

1. Twitter Counter will show you how long you’ve been on Twitter and allow you to compare your twitter handle with one other handle at a time. It will also show you your worldwide reach and provide simple charts showing your growth.  If you want to track your Twitter follower growth you can do that with a free version of the account as well.  The pro version offers a lot more detail including historical data, number of mentions and retweets, and PDF reports. The pro offering looks like a great option for agencies.

2. RetweetRank will allow you to measure yourself up with a retweet rank number and percentile. If you log in with your twitter account, you’ll see how many retweets you’ve received and tweets you’ve posted over the past week. If you want to specify a date range to get more of those statistics, you’ll need to upgrade to the pro version, which starts at $5/month for a personal account. There is a 14 day free trial though, and I believe the best way to learn is to through playing, so I encourage you to try it before you buy it and get to know your Twitter retweet ranking statistics quickly.

3. Tweetstats has lots of pretty charts for you to drool over and all it requests is a donation. This one is well worth exploring, just know that it may take a bit of patience before it shows you all of your (or your competitor’s) Twitter statistics and charts.

Twitter Statistics on TweetStats.com

There is also a new analytics feature that Twitter itself has recently rolled out. See http://analytics.twitter.com It started out being only available to Twitter advertisers, i.e. people or businesses who advertise on Twitter. Stay tuned to see if Twitter rolls out analytics for individual accounts holders who are not yet advertising.

What are your favorite tools for measuring Twitter statistics? Do you miss Twitter Grader? And what do you think about Marketing Grader? Please share your thoughts in the comment area below.

 9 Tactics for Twitter:

How to Get Started and How to Get Followers on Twitter

  1. Create your Twitter profile making sure you have:
    1. A smiley profile photo of yourself (or your logo)
    2. A customized background for your Twitter page with showing all your social media links. See http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/how-to-make-a-twitter-background/
    3. Follow five other people and/companies in your industry and/or with interests similar to yours.
    4. Search on Twitter for keywords related to your industry or interests. Follow 20 of those people each day.
    5. Tweet about topics related to your business and/or interests.  A good plan for tweeting is:
      1. Action, i.e. a link to an interesting article
      2. Action, i.e. a link to something entertaining
      3. Random thought, i.e. something you are thinking or something you did
      4. Action
      5. Question
      6. Start at item a again and keep cycling through the list
      7. Tweet about other people 12 times more than you tweet about yourself.
      8. Unfollow people who are not following you back unless they are highly valuable for some reason. Use http://www.justunfollow.com or http://manageflitter.com
      9. Participate in conversations on Twitter by tweeting at people in your industry and retweeting tweets that may be interesting to your followers.
      10. It’s ok to post about yourself occasionally, but make sure it’s 20% of the time and not 80% of the time.

Don’t just take it from me, read the following great articles as well:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/katieheaney/how-to-actually-get-more-twitter-followers
http://diythemes.com/thesis/get-more-twitter-followers/
http://www.wikihow.com/Get-More-Followers-on-Twitter
http://danzarrella.com/

Twitter Tips

What’s tweet worthy, or tweetable in your world? Since tweeting became mainstream in 2011 and even for many years before that, techies have been inventing new t(w)erms related to Twitter. I tweet (post) to my tweeps (Twitter followers) several times a day and there are several tw words that have been used to brand new Twitter related products.

Twitalyzer, for analyzing your Tweet stream, Tweet This, a bookmarklet for sharing posts on through Twitter, Twitteriffic, a Twitter client, Tweety, another Twitter client, Tweetdeck, a Twitter client/app for pro Tweeters, Twellow, a place to connect with other Twitter users, Twitzip, a zip code based Twitter messaging service, and the list goes on and on.

One of the most valuable things about Twitter for me is the knowledge sharing. People share links to interesting and unique content on Twitter all the time and we have definitely entered our teenage years in the era of content curation on the social net. While surfing around and finding tweetable content, I like to call posts that are tweet worthy, “Tworthy.” Please forgive me for adding to the Tw lexicon, but certain sites, articles, video and Pinterest boards are certainly more tworthy than others.

What’s your most tworthy post? Is your tweet retweetable? And what’s your favorite twitter related t(w)erm? Please tweet about it with the hashtag #tworthy or add a comment below. Tweet on, Tweetsters!

If you haven’t read The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson, read it.  The book is much more entertaining that the Wikipedia definition.

I was just referred to this blog titled “Social Media Will Change Your Business” from one of my favorite Facebook contacts.  She’s not really a friend and I don’t even remember how I am connected to her, but she posts really great quotes on Facebook and I am inspired daily.  Thank you @claudiaguzman who I just today discovered that you are on Twitter.  I’m really going to enjoy following you on Twitter too.

The blog (and introductory video) mentioned above, was last updated in February 2008.  Yes, that’s a long time ago, but the story was first published in 2005 and the post is still receiving comments.  That’s the power of the long tail.  Post something once and it may just live on forever.  If it’s on the web, people can find it, link to it, share it and help it spread.  This is a great example of that and also the power of crowd sourcing.

What’s your favorite Long Tail story?

Google recognizes the power of the social connectors (aka social media) by showing real-time search results including content from Facebook and Twitter. Google is unveiling the “Latest Results” which will show tweets from Twitter streams, updates from Facebook, answers from YahooAnswers and more. To me this indicates the power of real-time results. The freshest content and opinions are what searchers are interested in. Google obviously respects the power of the crowd and continues to believe in us. After all, we are the people who power Google. Google both serves us and we serve them by clicking on ads. It’s a symbiotic relationship.  I wonder if they will start showing Aardvark results as well.

On Sunday, I gave a presentation on Social Media for Market Research in Michaela Hayes‘ Market Research class for the Green MBA Program students at Dominican University of California.

In working on the deck, I came up with a new way to remember your what your social media plan should include.  And it’s so easy to remember, because it spells the word LOVE.  We all love to be loved, to be in love, to give love and to get love and that’s what social media is all about.  It’s about LOVE.

L = Listen
O = Offer
V = Visit
E = Engage

Listen
Listening is one of the best ways to show your love for someone.  You can’t have a conversation unless you are listening to the other person, (think your ideal audience) and asking them questions about how they are and what makes them happy.  If you haven’t started listening in the social media space, a good place to start is with Google Alerts.  Simply enter the name of your product, business, favorite person or project, and alerts will send you emails detailing any mentions of your interest on the web.

Twitter’s search allows you to see what peeps are tweeting about in the Twittersphere. Enter a few keyword phrases into search.twitter.com and see who is talking about it in on Twitter.  Find the people you want to follow and join the global conversation.

Collecta.com is another way to get real time results and listen to the buzz about your product or industry online.

And a little out of the box, but still part of listening, is asking questions of your network:  On Facebook, I dare you to ask your friends their opinion of __________ and on LinkedIn, pose a question to one of the groups you are a member of.  You’ll be amazed at the number and quality of responses.

Offer
Having something to offer the love of your life is always a good thing, so think about what you can offer your ideal audience in your social networks as well.  Are you sharing links to valuable content with them?  Are you posting humorous videos, inspirational quotes, or even just quippy remarks.  Whatever you are offering keeps you top of mind for the people that see your posts and that is always a good thing, because when they are thinking of referring a friend to an expert in your field, hello, you’re it.

Visit
What would a relationship be without visits?  You have to spend time with someone in order to get to know them, silly.  So go and visit some blogs about your favorite product, or topic.  Post a comment or two and join the conversation.  It may not lead to your next million right now, but it will make you feel good and allow you to practice sharing the love.

Engage
Yes, you’ve reached that point in the relationship when it’s time to pop the question.  Is this a relationship with long term potential or mutual benefit?  To engage your ideal audience, you need to add value, spark their attention, keep them informed and be top of mind.  You want your ideal audience to think of you as an expert, a friend, a confident and someone with whom having a long term relationship will be good, so treat them with respect and show them some love.

Contests and giveaways work well for engaging as does plain old GOOD CONTENT!

So, my friends, here’s my advice to you:  For best results in social media, think L.O.V.E.
Susan

P.S.  I love you.

I just learned through Twitter than Jeremiah Owyang is leaving Forrester research. I have admired his tweets and posts over the past several months so I am very interested to learn what he will be up to next. More importantly though, Mr. Owyang is an valuable role model for building your own personal brand even while working at a very well known company in a high profile position.

My favorite quote from the article “Why Jeremiah Oywang Left Forrester Research” is his response about how he works, why he blogs and how he has built his online brand:

“My use of social media and my career advancement are intrinsically tied,” Owyang told us by phone today. “I started my blog as a practitioner at Hitachi. I budget time every morning to read and blog. I do that before I check my personal email or work email. I believe you have to pay yourself first. When you open your email you pay someone else, because it’s usually people reaching out to ask you for something. Taking the time to read blogs, synthesize and add value, that builds your community. That’s paying yourself first.”

Clearly, Jeremiah was making a conscious effort to build his own brand on Twitter and through his Web Strategist blog and Forrester is losing a superstar. He says he is excited to be practicing more about what he knows than analyzing it, so I’m particularly curious to see where he’s going.

The only constant (especially on the web,) is change. This one should be particularly interesting.

In mid-July I did a series a posts on Facebook or Twitter?. According to yesterday’s eMarketer article: Marketers Embrace Twitter Over Facebook,

“Burson-Marsteller, in a July 2009 study of Fortune 100 companies, found that more companies had a presence on Twitter (54%) than on Facebook (29%). “

eMarketer Chart showing Fortune 100 Companies favoring Twitter

Furthermore when resources are limited in terms of time to spend on various social media channels, 21% of Fortune 100 companies use only one channel and 76% of those companies were likely to use Twitter, with only 14% choosing Facebook and 10 choosing blogging.

Why?

  1. Twitter means business, where Facebook is entertainment.
  2. Twitter is a place to connect around specific topics, where Facebook is a place to connect with friends and family.
  3. Twitter is about following people you respect and being followed by people who respect you. Facebook is about having friends, sharing photos, events and having fun.
  4. The twitter platform enables sharing of good links more freely and with a bigger reach than Facebook. Repeating on (and retweeting) on Twitter is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged, where repeating on Facebook makes your brand across as annoying.
  5. Picture 1

  6. Twitter is faster than blogging
  7. Tweets are more easily digestible than blog posts. Think “byte” sized chunks of valuable information.
  8. Tweeting a link to a blogpost is the norm
  9. Twitter combines the fun of Facebook with the information and knowledge value distributed in blogs.
  10. Twitter is more mobile and easier to do quickly than Facebook and blogging.
  11. Twitter requires more listening than Facebook and blogging and that means the people that embrace the medium are better conversationalists, because dialog means listening and responding.
  12. Twitter is real-time, blogging is as soon as I can get to it and Facebook is whenever.  Time means money and money means business.