Tag Archives: twitter

Twitter’s Newest Update: Enhanced Profiles and Tools for Better Engagement

The most utilized and prominent feature of Twitter.com is the timeline on your homepage. It consists of a stream of tweets, retweets, pictures and videos, supplying users with instantaneous news updates and information. This main, landing page houses most of the relevant information that Twitter is known for, and, from personal experience, the next most utilized feature is the Notifications page. Twitter is now attempting to change all of that and bring the “Me” page to the forefront. The company announced on its blog last Tuesday that they will be overhauling the look and feel of the personal profile page. The bio page is the only way to get a brief, personal description about the account and now Twitter is elevating it in the hopes that people can better utilize, visualize and engage with other users on the platform.

There are only a handful of changes, but there are major facelifts that will greatly alter the aesthetics and layout of the profile page. The enhanced header image now stretches the entire page and the profile avatar has also drastically increased in size. The bio text has been moved to the left column, while your account’s statistics—Tweets, photos/videos, followers, following—have been moved to a header directly under the banner image. Many websites and critics have noted how similar the new layout looks to another, prominent social media platform, Facebook.

Twitter

That being said, Twitter has not only made improvements to the size of the web profile, it has also made enhancements to elements on the personal feed to spur engagement and conversation.

The Best Tweets feature highlights tweets posted that receive more engagement—replies, retweets and likes— will appear in a larger sized font relative to other tweets in your personal stream.

Users can also utilize a new Pinned Tweets tool in order to “pin” one of your own tweets of your choice to the top of the feed, which will help followers to see it and engage with it.

As an effortless way to sort through the over 400 Million tweets sent per day, users can use the  new Filtered Tweets feature to choose the timeline layout they want to view when reading another account’s tweets. Options include: Tweets, Tweets with photos/videos, or Tweets and replies.

 

The First Lady Twitter Page

So far, reaction to this new layout has been mixed. One of the most common comments has been that it is way to familiar, since it is a pretty blatant copy of Facebook’s profile page layout. As of April 14th, a poll conducted by Mashable provided mixed feedback on the new design, with 700 replying “Yes” to liking the new layout and 571 replying “No”.

Twitter began rolling out the new layout and features on Tuesday, April 8th and all 241 Million users will have it by April 22nd.

In addition many celebrities and notable, verified accounts have gotten early access to the new layout. Additionally, all new users who register a new handle will have the new design.

To get a glimpse of the new profile layout, check out some of the following Twitter accounts:

Twitter – @Twitter
The First Lady – @FLOTUS
John Legend – @johnlegend
Kerry Washington – @kerrywashington
The Man – @KeepPassingOpen (Mashable’s Test Handle)

Source
http://mashable.com/2014/04/08/twitters-new-profiles-what-you-need-to-know/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=rss

Twitter’s Newest Feature!

Last week Twitter released an all-new feature for its multi-feed platform, TweetDeck. Now users can create custom timelines and handpick which Tweets to feature within them.  You may ask, ‘why would I want to handpick the tweets for my own feeds?’ The answer is simple. All feeds in TweetDeck are embeddable with a few easy clicks and basic knowledge of html.  

This update comes at a pivotal time when Twitter has the post-IPO itch to finally beat their bottom line and turn a profit. More and more ads are going to appear in users Twitter feeds. Custom functionality lets users decide what their audience sees; effectively allowing publishers to focus on sharing rich content and shuffle ads under the rug.

While it may seem overwhelming to be tasked with handpicking Tweets to load into the feed, the good news is that beta API access is available to chosen applicants. Those who receive access could potentially create scripts to auto-populate feeds usig the Logic functions within the TweetDeck Custom Timeline builder. These allow users to word match, filter users, and even filter types of Tweets that are shared (i.e. All Tweets, Tweets with images, Tweets with videos, Tweets with any media, Tweets with links, Retweets, etc.)

A few main uses come to mind when thinking of custom feeds:

  1. News Sources embedding a feed on their blog during a breaking story and having the ability add only Tweets from trusted sources.
  2. Highly followed content creators/sharers/aggregators who, for example, embed feeds to share their “Favorite Tweets in response to the Emmy award nominations.”
  3. Brand websites embedding feeds to feature real customers’ advocacy and praise of their products.

Regardless of how you choose to use a Custom TweetDeck Feed, it’s great to know that Twitter continues to innovate things that aren’t just to make them money.

Is Twitter Becoming a Giant Ad Stream?

Twitter is supposed to be about meeting interesting people and having conversation. At least that was what I loved about Twitter. I got to meet people from all over the world that I never would have met otherwise. There was nothing more exciting than having a dialogue with someone in Australia or Singapore, sharing ideas and passions around the globe was exhilarating.

But what happened to the conversation?

Of late, it seems like good old-fashioned chat is missing…all replaced by streams of brand messages, Twitter parties and giveaways. Yes, these are important to the survival of Twitter and it’s monetization and one can only imagine how much worse it will get once the IPO is finalized and even more focus will be put against sponsored content and adverting.

I wasn’t sure if it was just my imagination or something I was personally doing wrong, but I was missing the good old days when conversation was rampant. So I asked the question on Twitter.

The result? I blew up my Twitter stream for over an hour with many women voicing the same longing. I was not alone. We all longed for the days of chatting and sharing ideas, networking and meeting new people. The recent “Blue Line” feature did nothing, in my opinion to help conversation along. Most seasoned Twitter users know the beauty of hashtags for following group conversations so it added little value.

Twitter’s Challenge Will Be Balancing Profitability with Conversation

Twitter will need to create new tools that help balance dialogue, news, culture and real time ability to connect the world with advertising messages. If it turns into purely an ad stream, it will lose all credibility with its audience. And like all other advertising channels, users will tune out and ignore the advertising.

Brands leveraging Twitter’s dynamic stream need to balance sales and promotional messages with actual exchanges with their audiences that are personal and engaging.  Twitter parties can be great conversation vehicles if structured around topics that invite conversation that support what a brand stands for and are not just all about winning a prize.

If conversation leaves the Twitter stream, I believe that will bring about its demise and no amount of celebrity’s tweeting or advertising will save it.

Twitter Hashtags – Do’s and Don’ts

Twitter Hashtags

We see hashtags and use twitter hashtags all the time, but what is the best hashtag etiquette?

Hashtags on Twitter can be useful tools in helping us to:

* Find Information on specific topics
* Follow twitter parties
* Analyze data
* Follow conversations
* Find out breaking news

It’s no wonder that Brands would want to utilize the power of hashtags.  But what makes a good hashtag? One that will spark you to act on that tweet and click on the link? Isn’t that what the Brands want? They want you to see the post that explains their service or products, they want you to think about the product and buy it now or in the future.

There are two thoughts about picking a well known hashtag vs a unique hashtag

1) If you pick a well known hashtag that has a great following, your content will be seen by many more people. However, you can also get into trouble by people feeling you have “highjacked” the hashtag if you have too much content flowing into the stream. That will create a negative tone and could backfire on you.

2) If you pick a unique, unused hashtag, then it will be easy to follow the analytics, and your stream will be pretty clean of content not related to your topic, making it easy for you to follow along.

Rules of thumb for a good hashtag (based on data I have found and from thoughts from the shoppers who need to click on them)

1) Keep the hashtag short (Under 10 characters – remember you only have max 140 characters, and if you want RT’s, keep them to under 122   characters).
2) No more than two hashtags in the tweet
3) Make the hashtag understandable
4) The Brand Name does not have to be in the tweet
5) Don’t duplicate the #hashtag for the same twitter handle.
6) Make the hashtag funny and catchy if possible.

Some of our Social Fabric Community Weighted in with their thoughts. These are the people that will be clicking on (or not clicking on) the tweets.. so Brands – listen up.

Here are the questions I asked the community:

hashtags

 

Here are the responses I got… are you ready? I think they are great.

Janet from Going Crazy

hashtags

Chrysa from Thrifty Jinxy

hashtag Chrysa

Carolyn from This Talk Ain’t Cheap

hashtag Carolyn

Christy from Insanity Is Not An Option

hashtag christy

Christine from The Cupcake Bandit

hashtag Christine

Amy from As The Bunny Hops

hashtag amy

Jackie from Aging Backwards

hashtag Jackie

Mallery from Mallery’s Deals

hashtag Mallery

April from Aprils Cooking and LifeStyle Show

hashtag April

 

Diane from Turning The Clock Back 

hashtag Diane

Michelle from Honest And Truly

hashtag Michelle

Heather from Living On Love and Cents

hashtag heather

 

I think the most key take away points are to keep the hashtags that are fun, clever and short.  If you want to draw someone into your tweet, to engage, RT and click on the link; then they’ve got to be interesting and worth clicking on.

Now We’re Cooking Social Media…With Gas!

BradLawless, CollectiveBias, social media, marketing, shopper marketing

Last week I had the privilege of speaking about social media to a group of marketing and communications professionals at the Southern Gas Association Marketing and Customer Experience Conference.

I’ve given similar presentations a number of times in the past and led a discussion not dissimilar from those we have with clients. Social media and content marketing are not the tools like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest that get all the attention from mainstream media. Effective social strategies create real relationships between your brand and your customers or clients. Companies who understand this leverage those headline-generating tools to add value to their customers’ lives.

At the SGA event, I found myself in a room of 30 or so folks all wondering how to use social to talk about more than utility rates and service outages in a heavily regulated industry. We discussed the role that Twitter can play in crisis communications; in times of true emergencies, companies and citizens alike publish news via this microblogging platform at lightening speeds compared to the broadcast news. Pinterest also came up as a highly engaging way to add value for gas customers. Imagine a company that posted photos of innovative kitchen designs (that featured gas appliances) or that showcased new homes with the latest energy efficient technologies (many of which may have nothing to do with natural gas.)

Companies that move in this direction will win as they transform in customer’s eyes from a standard provider of a commodity product into a trusted resource for inspiration and information. As our session ended, the attendees left the room with more questions than when they arrived, and that was a good thing. Instead of seeking the next new widget to put on their website, they left thinking about how to engage their customers in a conversation…one that leads to real relationships and adds value for everyone.

Shopping Begins Online

More than ever, the shopping process begins online. Average people search Google to find product reviews before ever leaving their home. They go to retail websites, blogs and ask their online friends looking for opinions about the product they are looking to purchase.

The other day I received a text from a friend who is not a blogger and is typically very un-techy. She had gone online to research and read product reviews on a blog before choosing a particular makeup product. She thanked me profusely and said that without my influence she would have not known to do that.

That incident reinforced everything I believe about shopping today; modern consumers value information about products before they purchase and not just information provided by the company.  They look for real reviews by real consumers and see bloggers as a trusted source.

Although the consumers reading blogs may not know the blogger personally, the relationship cultivated through the blogger’s product reviews, recipes and personal stories become real to the consumer. Bloggers interact with their readers either through comments, email or social media outlets. (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest are primary traffic drivers today.) When a consumer connects personally with a blogger, they become loyal to what the blogger promotes because of a relationship built on trust.

Brands have become increasingly aware of content marketing and are scrambling to keep up with this change in consumer behavior. Recently, the Harvard Business Review did a piece on this sharing, “…today consumers are more promiscuous in their brand relationships: they connect with myriad brands, through media channels beyond the manufacturer’s or retailer’s control or even knowledge”.

This market shift benefits the consumer, but many brands have been slow to respond to it. Brands that have succeeded during this change have gotten on board with blogging and the social world, reaching out for honest opinions to be shared with these micro-publishers’ loyal consumers.

Relationship Killers: Four of the WORST Mistakes Brands Make in Social Media

The biggest goal for any brand delving into social media should be to develop quality, productive relationships. That’s the bottom line. However, many brands still “don’t get it,” and consistently make mistakes that are damaging to them in social media and therefore damaging to their brand. In my opinion, there are four big no-no’s that not only kill those all-important relationships, but also tarnish your reputation:

1. Broadcasting:  Blasting out sales messages rather than listening and engaging has got to be the number one relationship killer of all time. Bar none. People hate to be sold—especially on social channels, where their main objective is to talk, get opinions, relax and have fun, or find answers to pressing problems. When a brand spends the majority of its time broadcasting, it’s a clear message to followers that they’re not interested in real, two-way communication.

Listening should be your first priority, followed by engagement. Don’t try to sell to people until you’ve earned their trust!

2. Taking Followers Offline to Resolve Issues:  If someone has a problem and comes to your social presence to try to get it resolved, the worst thing you can do is shunt them off to a customer service contact with a “form letter” response. Too often I see… “follow us so we can DM you,” on Twitter, or a quick move to traditional customer service channels on Facebook. People have an innate need to be validated—and “showing them the hand” is the fastest way to sour a customer relationship. Sometimes there are things that have to be resolved offline for legal issues, but the majority of complaints or requests for help should be addressed promptly and publicly in social channels. At the very least, if you MUST send them offline, do so in a friendly, personal manner. Address them by name, thank them for bringing the problem to your attention, and so on. Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes—how do you feel when you’re ignored or made to jump through hoops by a company you deal with?

Responding publicly has another important, beneficial, and cost saving benefit. Other people with the same issue, and you can/should assume there are many more, can receive resolution via your response, and see how you interact… and then make their own judgments about your brand character based on those interactions. If you’re doing it right, you will build brand advocates in the process, and when/if needed your best brand advocates will support you when they see that kind of open, honest communication.

3. Having No Brand Personality:  People who spend time on social media like to spend time with people—not logos. If you have a team of employees handling your social responses, don’t make them hide behind the brand logo when they interact with followers—give them a voice and a face. Ford does a great job of this with @ScottMonty building his personal brand along with theirs. Scott interacts with followers as himself, not the Ford brand. This humanizes the brand and fosters good communication. Being able to see the team members behind the company and interacting with them personally makes a big difference in fan loyalty.

When a company censors its employees and doesn’t allow them to participate in social discussion surrounding the brand, it’s usually because they’re afraid of “what might happen if…” They’re afraid they’ll spend too much time on social or say the wrong things. These issues can be resolved with a comprehensive social media policy so all employees know how and when they can and should interact. Remember, your employees should be some of your best advocates, and a natural extension of your “public face.”  You can’t do social right with employee censorship. Your people are your company’s personality. Let them shine for you. And… if you don’t trust your employees, maybe you have the wrong employees, or a business approach that will be difficult to sustain in this hyper-connected world.

4.  Making Social a Direct Marketing Channel:  Can you develop a relationship with a piece of direct mail? A TV commercial? A newspaper ad? An email blast? Of course not! Yet many brands treat social as an extension of their direct marketing efforts—mainly because that’s all they know. They’re used to handing off their marketing to an advertising agency and having them run with it so they can get on with their day. They think in terms of ROI formulas, but falter when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of one-on-one networking.  If that’s you, don’t feel too bad—it’s a habit that’s been drummed into you and hard to break. But you’ve got to break it! Adopt a whole new mindset around social, and think in terms of building relationships and an emotional connection to your brand, or you’ll always be frustrated with your results. Remember… Social Media drives engagement, engagement drives loyalty, and loyalty correlates directly to increased sales. Return on Relationship™ = ROI.

This goes back to the “Broadcasting” mistake I mentioned earlier. Think in terms of providing helpful content, fun ways to communicate, sharing information and asking questions. Leave the direct marketing stuff in traditional channels. Get a sense of who your audience is and give them what they’re looking for in your social communications, or you’ll get “un-followed” or ignored in a hurry.

What other “relationship killers” have you come across when dealing with brands online, and how do you think they could be avoided? Conversely, which brands have you noticed that are “getting it right” in social media when it comes to Return on Relationship™?

Originally posted at TedRubin.com

Twitter basics… In My Humble Opinion

Written by Ted Rubin

The mistake I see being made is trying to measure Social engagement with the same tools we measure every other digital touch point. In my view email, search, even banner ads, have spoiled marketers into thinking everything can be and must be measured with the metrics used to gauge success in other mediums. I am not sure of what the next stage will be for you, but in the beginning, when you are building your Social Media audience, and testing, I have three stages with which I measure… #1 is Audience growth, #2 is Reactivity… getting them to take an action, and #3 Stickiness… keeping them coming back, engaged and interacting. After you achieve all these I feel measurement will easily follow, depending upon what is important to you and your brand.

If you want to continue to reach your market in this social media age, the marketing focus needs to be on building relationships, and metrics need to expand beyond ROI (Return on Investment) to include ROR: Return on Relationship™. If you are not engaging in your field of expertise on Twitter someone else is, so the first issue is that you are missing that opportunity and handing it to others. Second… if you are not talking about your business, your customers and prospects probably are, and you are not there to participate, engage, interact and most important for your business… listen and lead.

My philosophy is that Twitter is a tool that leads into other forms of social sharing. I consider Twitter a place to lay the groundwork where other people pick up things. Twitter is a seeding medium and a place to build engagement and interaction… it is not a broadcast medium, so it is not about the quantity of people listening at once, but the ability to lay it out there for those whose attention are drawn to what you have to say at any given moment.

Twitter is a river that continuously flows and flows. You add content one second, and the next it is gone. Tweet to keep your personal brand on your followers’ radar, increase your following, and provide value that keeps followers listening and you top of mind. Send the same tweet often multiple times in a day and send valuable content repeatedly over the course of time.

How you do that?:

  • I suggest picking a hashtag for a brand to use on most tweets and encourage anyone involved with you to add that hashtag to their tweets.
  • This allows you to track who is tweeting about you, more importantly for you to retweet, and to make your hashtag top of mind and used regularly by others if possible.
  • Periodically check out your followers sites to find interesting posts and RT’s and show you are paying attention.
  • Ask your team members to send you tweet ideas regularly.

 

How do you get/maintain followers?:

  • Twitter has a cap to the number of people you are allowed to follow (gets particular around the 2,000 mark) There is a bit of a process to follow, to grow the accounts.

 

The process:

1. Sign into Twitter Handle

2. Make sure you are following back everyone who is following you

3. Search for a relevant and reliable Twitter Account

-Example: If you are in the Cooking vertical, search a celebrity chef or a cooking mag/site, and follow all of those followers, etc.

4. Twitter will stop you when you’ve reached the maximum limit of following

Sign into JustUnfollow (an unfollowing and follow back application)… http://www.justunfollow.com/unfollow.html

-Unfollow those who don’t follow you back.

-Unfollowing should be done every few days- not every day. You want to give all the people you just followed a chance to follow you back. If they don’t within 72 hours+ depending upon what level you are at and how quickly you hit your follower ceiling, you want to unfollow them to give you more room to find followers that WILL follow you back. People who do not follow you back have no value as far as building your presence. If you are interested in what they have to say you can simply follow them from an alternate handle that you only use to garner info, create a list using Twitter’s list functionality… or have a list of those you want to check daily and do so manually (which is a more efficient way of seeing what they have to say anyway). With JustUnfollow it is also possible to “whitelist” these people to avoid unfollowing them.

Email address & Passwords:

I suggest setting up handles with email addresses such as handle@gmail.com (i.e. cbFamily@gmail.com)

All passwords, if you are using multiple handles, can be the same for ease of use (or simply keep a spreadsheet) especially if you are inventorying handles for future use so you never forget how to log in.

Always remember: If you think nobody is tweeting about your products or services, think again. If you’re not tweeting about your business–someone else is. If you’re not setting your own business message on Twitter–someone else is. But more importantly, if you’re not listening to what your customers (and potential customers) are saying on Twitter –someone else is, and you are missing an incredibly valuable opportunity to engage and interact.

  • Track Mentions: The major thing you should be tracking is mentions of your twitter name. Anytime somebody mentions your name, it’s an opportunity to start a conversation and acquire a new high quality follower.
  • Track Retweets: You should also pay close attention to the people who are retweeting the tweets you have written. It’s obvious that they like your content, otherwise they wouldn’t be sharing it.
  • Create a List: Have a list called your inner circle. Anytime somebody mentions or retweets you, make a point to add them to that list.
  • Engage with the People on that List: Simply creating the list is not going to be enough. Once you have created your inner circle list, you need to start engaging with them.
  • Have periodic conversations.
  • Retweet their stuff and look to periodically RT others to get their attention and interact. I often choose some randomly and make a point at conferences, whether I am there or not, to RT many. If you follow event or group hashtags, and check in on them, you can RT those and it makes it easy to interact.

 

Where to Start When You Are at Zero: If you are starting at zero, some of the above might seem more challenging, but it’s not. Just start with bloggers who you have been reading. This is why it’s important to read more than just the a-list blogs. Find people you think are interesting and just reach out to them. They’ll be happy to hear from you… Bloggers, marketers, brands, etc.

Where Your True Value Lies Online

Written by Sandy Jenney

Outreach and networking can make you feel like you are navigating a tangled web. Submit a blog post, then be sure to tweet it, place it on Facebook – what about Pinterest? Did you tweet out your Pinterest link? Are there buttons on your blog that lead to all your verticals? Do your verticals connect with each other? Did you tag this person or that blog post to twitter or Facebook? Are you checking in on Foursquare or Path? It goes on and on.

There are so many ways we can connect and so many ways we can interact, but if there is no one behind all the outreach what is it worth? You might get all the “connections” correct so that your web isn’t so tangled anymore, but are you in the web? Are you connecting and engaging?

We get so caught up with getting the information out to as many people as are willing to read it, but we often forget to talk to those people. That is the best way to have people read what we have to offer, to trust us and come back to us. It is also the best way for us to get to know who we are talking to, learn new things ourselves and find value in their resources.

Time seems to be the biggest obstacle we face. There isn’t enough of it. To learn everything we need to know about every app, download, plugin and social media tool. To utilize them all to their fullest abilities. To discover the person behind each twitter handle or Facebook page we chat with. To look at their blogs and really understand where they are coming from.

In this busy tech world, we know we can’t “do it all”. We might want to, but if we overextend ourselves in too many social networks, too many communities, too many apps and other tools we will be spread too thin to be effective.

Find your niche, enjoy social media, always be looking to learn more and stay open to new things, and most importantly – ENGAGE!  Talk to the people behind the avatars, twitter handles and Facebook pages. That is where your true value lies!

20 Important Twitter Goals and Objectives for Business

Written by Ted Rubin

Many are asking what ROI they can get from Twitter. I believe when reviewing the following goals and objectives you will get a better understanding of the potential value. The basis of this list was posted by my friend and business associate Cheryl Burgess. I have expanded and edited with my input.

1.     First and foremost is to grow an engaged and relevant following

2.     Almost as important as #1 is… if you haven’t started already, start NOW!

3.     Generating brand awareness and business leads

4.     Servicing customers and lowering customer service inquires via traditional channels

5.     Expanding reach and creating buzz

6.     Sharing thought-leadership & participating in industry conversation

7.     Gaining competitive intelligence

8.     Monitoring your brand’s reputation in real time

9.     Building relationships with community

10.  Distributing rich SEO content

11.  Offering special discounts, white papers, blog posts

12.  Crowdsourcing ideas, products, etc.

13.  Finding, cultivating influencers and brand advocates

14.  Obtaining customer feedback on potential new offerings

15.  Developing relationships with bloggers and other micro media producers

16.  Establishing relationships and getting on the radar of journalists

17.  Recruiting for freelancers, permanent hires and interns

18.  Establishing brand leadership position by communicating, reinforcing vision, purpose, differentiation, relevance, etc.

19.  The Ability to proactively build a personal brand for Founders/Executives to represent your Brand/Business.

20.  Return on Relationship™… simply put the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI is simple $’s and cents. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through loyalty, recommendations and sharing.