Recent news shows that Twitter – chirp chirp – has acquired Posterous. So now for the obvious question, so what?
The move has many speculators suggesting that Twitter will eventually shut down Posterous. After all, Twitter’s own message hints that the reason they made the purchase was to gain access to the engineers working on the Posterous platform:
Posterous engineers, product managers and others will join our teams working on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.
If that’s the case, then don’t be surprised if you do see your Posterous account suddenly in jeopardy. But Twitter is trying to be sensitive to your needs:
Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption. We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we’ll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks.
It think it would be wise to take them up on their offer and back up your content. There’s the possibility that Twitter will allow Posterous to continue, but I doubt it. These types of acquisitions generally lead to closures, and it’s understandable why. They are a drain on resources and an expense, not to mention a distraction from the purchasing company’s primary mission. So, the business philosophy is to cut the fat.
Should you ditch Posterous right now? No, I wouldn’t say that. You should adopt a “wait and see” approach. Keep posting as before, but be prepared to take your content elsewhere should Twitter decide to close the service.
In social media and Web marketing, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
What is the most popular social media website for business-to-business marketing? If you guessed Twitter, then you’d be right. But which social media site actually delivers more leads? According to Mediabistro, that would be LinkedIn.
The sad part is most small businesses aren’t using any kind of social media measurement tool, so how would they know where the majority of their leads are coming from? Twitter might be more popular, and easier to use. But it isn’t more lucrative. The ROI is actually coming from the social media site that specializes in B2B networking.
But LinkedIn doesn’t just beat Twitter for lead generation. It beats ALL social media websites. Even blogging.
While most small businesses are using social media and have a strategy for it, most of them also don’t use any kind of social media metrics. That brings to mind an age-old question: If you aren’t measuring it, how can you change it?
Businesses who do business with other businesses need to figure out how to measure their social media marketing campaigns. And it helps if you use the social networks that your target audience is using. If you are targeting consumers, that might be Facebook or Twitter. If you are targeting other businesses, it is more than likely LinkedIn.
One thing is for sure – we live in a social media age. But don’t just do it because your competition is doing it. Doing it because it is right for your business.
Pinterest is the new kid on the block and already it has surpassed Twitter in traffic numbers. But don’t get excited just yet.
We’re only talking about one month. Was that a fluke or is Pinterest still trending upward? Will that trend continue over time?
And if it does, will traffic from Pinterest convert?
It’s best to understand that Twitter and Pinterest are two different social networks and therefore have two different sets of demographics. That might make it unfair to compare the two.
For instance, Twitter is mostly women and mostly younger people. Twitter, on the other hand, is mostly male, but only slightly. Twitter is also heavily used among the African-American and Hispanic demographics. It’s also a mostly younger crowd.
Any time you use a social media site you should take some time to study their users. Who else is using that site? If your targeted audience doesn’t use the site, then it doesn’t matter how much traffic you can potentially get from the site.
If your target market is mostly women, then Pinterest is a good bet for you. That’s not to say that you can’t use Pinterest if your target market is mostly men. But you have to understand how to reach the men who are using Pinterest, so familiarity with the platform and its limitations is also necessary.
Most marketers can effectively use Pinterest and Twitter side by side, but don’t try to use them the same way. They are different social media services and your audience will require a tailored approach.
McDonald’s decided to spend its money buying a hashtag on the popular social media website Twitter.
First, I’d like to know how you can buy a hashtag, but that’s an aside. The real issue is what happened after McDonald’s changed its hashtag from #MeetTheFarmers to #McDStories.
The original hashtag was meant to introduce McDonald’s Twitter followers to the company’s promotion of fresh produce. It worked well. Then, in a flash of brilliance that turned out to be not so brilliant, the company’s social media manager decided to open the door to the universe by expanding its Twitter promotion. Enter #McDStories.
Who doesn’t have a positive McDonald’s story, right? Indeed. And who doesn’t have a negative one. Duh.
You can probably guess what happened next. Followers started using the new hashtag to relate their own McDonald’s stories – chipped molars, regurgitation, food poisoning …. The list goes on.
I think the big lesson here is not how to respond to negative reactions on Twitter or some other social media site. Rather, the real lesson is how to prevent it from happening in the first place. This all could have been prevented had McDonald’s not insisted on opening the door to the universe. All they had to do was keep running the promotion that was working.
When things are going well, don’t change them. Rule #1. Rule #2 is, always ask what might go wrong.
Had McDonald’s social media manager lived by those two rules we wouldn’t be talking about them right now. That second question is particularly important. In social media – and on the World Wide Web in general – once something starts spiraling out of control, it’s hard to get a handle on it. If it’s out there, it’s out there. So put some thought into your moves before you make them. Ask, what can go wrong with this? If the answer is something too big to control or too embarrassing to let go on, don’t make your move. Do something else, or nothing at all.
On February 1st, you’ll be able to buy yourself a Twitter brand page – if you have $25,000. I don’t know about you, but that price seems a little steep to me.
Twitter had originally accepted a minimum of $2 million from 20 large companies on the scale of Coca-Cola and Disney for the privilege of being the first companies to have brand pages on the microblogging platform. The pages look quite nice.
The big question is, when will the rest of us gain access to Twitter brand pages and how much will it cost us?
It’s obvious that Twitter is using this opportunity as a way to raise operating funds. But the problem, as I see it, is that the companies spending the most amount of money and getting in earlier will have an advantage over companies with smaller pocketbooks. They’ll effectively be the Twitter users that set the policy for the rest of us. They could use Twitter to shut the door on their competition, and may already have.
Has Twitter sold out to the highest bidder? Has it become a haven for big brands? Will it go by the way of eBay and alienate its smaller, less wealthy users?
Only time will tell or provide any answers to these questions. Meanwhile, if you’ve got $25,000 in your pocket, then you can buy yourself a Twitter brand page. Someday, you might be allowed to establish a Twitter brand page for your company for a monthly or yearly fee. Average that over a lifetime and you could very well spend $25,000, or more, for the privilege of tweeting 140 characters at a time.
Let’s hope that Twitter doesn’t become the social media website of the rich, for the rich, and by the rich.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. A lawsuit over who owns the Twitter account of an employee (technically, a former employee) who used the account in part to tweet on behalf of the employee. Sidebar: There was contract.
In the absence of case law, a case like this is far from open-shut. In fact, it could get dirty. But I suspect that PhoneDog Media saw an opportunity to bully for money.
Ask any lawyer and he’ll tell you that a business should “aggressively” protect its trademark and other business interests. Otherwise, the company could lose them. It’s a standard line, and its one that is often interpreted to encourage business owners to pursue litigation for even the most extraordinary and awkwardly absurd situations.
I’m not saying this situation is “extraordinary and awkwardly absurd,” but if you read the company’s response to The New York Times, it smacks of legal double-talk.
“The costs and resources invested by PhoneDog Media into growing its followers, fans and general brand awareness through social media are substantial and are considered property of PhoneDog Media L.L.C. We intend to aggressively protect our customer lists and confidential information, intellectual property, trademark and brands.”
When employers and employees begin to make handshake agreements regarding the latter’s social media accounts and using them on behalf of company business, it’s an area of law is very murky. It is in both party’s interest to get a contract. It could save a lot of headache in the long run and spell out the particulars that could make a lawsuit unnecessary and avoidable.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to be legal advice. Seek an attorney before making decisions about your social media accounts.
First, Facebook rolled out brand pages for businesses. Then Google+ hit the scene and within three months had introduced brand pages. Now, after several years of successful operations and climbing usage, Twitter is introducing brand pages.
Unfortunately, not everyone can have one just yet.
But with 76% of small businesses saying they use Twitter, that open-to-public launch could come soon.
Currently, Twitter brand pages are only open to a few big brands such as
- American Express
- Best Buy
- General Electric
- Verizon Wireless
- and Paramount Pictures
just to name a few.
Once Twitter’s brand pages go public, it looks like small businesses will have a troika (triumvirate?) of social media brand pages to promote. So the big question is, what will be the most effective way to promote all three brand pages for maximum effectiveness?
It’s become apparent that each of the social media websites cater to specific personality types. Marketers have discovered that Twitter audiences and Facebook audiences do not line up as the same. Therefore, promotions to each service need to be unique.
That will undoubtedly be the way going forward as well. When you run your brand page specials, you’ll have to have one for Twitter, a separate one for Facebook, and then one for Google+. Are you ready?
It’s been just a couple of weeks since Google+ went public. Before then, you had to wait for a user to send you an invitation and then you entered a waiting list. Well, now the waiting list is gone and so are the invitations. But what kind of world has it left us?
In its first two weeks of being public, Google+ saw 2 million new users. Its servers slowed down and some users experienced a few minor glitches while using the service. That’s a good thing.
No outages. Nothing stratospheric in terms of hiccups. But it was noticeable.
Google+ still continues to grow at a steady and highly noticeable pace. Many users are anxiously waiting for business accounts to be introduced. That will add another level of competition between Facebook and Google+, a competitive landscape that is already pretty tough. But what about LinkedIn and Twitter?
At last count, Google was somewhere in the neighborhood of No. 5 or 7 in traffic for social media websites – right behind Twitter and LinkedIn. It won’t take much growth to pass them both.
I think we may be leaving the world where social marketers proclaimed Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter were the most important social services for businesses. In the future, you will likely hear that Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the most useful services. Do you agree?
Did you know your tweets have a half-life of three hours? According to Bit.ly, you’ll get half the clicks on your tweets in 2.8 hours and then from there it’s all down hill. With Facebook, you have 3.2 hours.
That doesn’t mean those links are dead. It means you’ll see a gradual decline in links after that half-life has expired. The recommendation is for you to submit “second chance” links to allow other followers who didn’t see the first one an opportunity to see your links. That’s a suggestion made by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land.
There’s another reason you want to send out these “second chance” shares as well. You want to test another teaser message.
Remember, what you say (the reason you give for your followers needing to click a link) about a link determines to a great degree whether or not a link is clicked on. With a second chance share, you can test another teaser and capture clicks from people who saw the first link but weren’t intrigued by your teaser message.
Either way you look at it, tweeting and sharing the same information more than once is becoming a common practice. I’ve seen marketers share the same message across multiple days. The reason they do so is because they get more click-throughs.
Twitter has become all the craze. Even small business owners are getting into it and trying to figure out how to make the most of their 140 characters. Here are 12 guaranteed ways to build value into every Twitter message.
- Use short URLs. Bit.ly, ShortURL, TinyURL, and Is.gd are just a few of the services you can use.
- Optimize your tweets for keywords.
- Include a hashtag and make your hashtag a part of your message (for example: Why didn’t I #think of that?)
- Make your message sing like a news headline.
- Retweet your favorite Twitter users and do it often.
- Build relationships using the @mention feature.
- Tweet different items than what you would share on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks. Keep your audience in mind.
- Don’t add more than one link per tweet.
- Keep your Twitter messages on topic. Don’t send out frivolous tweets about topics you are not passionate about.
- Don’t tweet too much. Spread your tweets out throughout the day.
- Shorten your messages to leave room for your shortURL link and a hashtag.
Keep these 12 tips in mind when using Twitter for your business social networking. Remember your audience and what they are following you for. Build value into every tweet.
I have no doubt you’ve likely heard of Twitter, but have you heard Paper.li?
Paper.li allows anyone to become an instant publisher by creating a daily newspaper that republishes tweets based on the publisher’s preference. When you establish a newspaper on Paper.li, you choose a set of keywords and triggers that Paper.li uses to find information to publish in your daily newspaper. Then, when each issue is published, it tweets your newspaper with @mentions of all the news spotters who have contributed to your edition. It’s an awesome social curation tool.
Social curation is something new. It essentially means that you “curate,” or compile, content from the Internet inside of a social media platform. Paper.li is the perfect example.
You can benefit from Paper.li without being a publisher. All you have to do is continue tweeting interesting links and Paper.li publishers will pick those up and run them in their newspapers. How does that benefit you? A lot.
As a news spotter, you get an instant profile on Paper.li. No need to even sign up for an account. Your profile lists all the stories that you find and tweet which get picked up by Paper.li publishers. Through that, you can gain new Twitter followers and even more readers to your blog. From that, you hope more business.
With Paper.li and Twitter you have the potential to create all the social buzz you can handle.
Google+ has been getting a lot of attention lately. After breaking a growth record of 25 million visitors in its first month, some Internet marketers are speculating that it could siphon traffic away from Twitter and/or Facebook. But will it?
I suppose anything is possible. Maybe Google Plus’s privacy features will take some of Facebook’s traffic away, but I doubt that it will have a huge impact. Maybe its commenting and interactive features will lure people away from Twitter, but I doubt it will do much of that either. There are reasons to see Google+ as just another social media site to add to your current stream of meeting places.
But then you have to ask the question, How much time do I really have for social media? Can you manage a Facebook profile, several Facebook pages, a Twitter account, LinkedIn, and Goolge+? That’s a lot of media.
The best question for any social media site is “Where is my audience hanging out?” Answer that and you’ll be able to see where you should hang out too.
Google+ has a lot of value. I think its uses will grow and transform. And I think it will attract a lot of users. But I don’t think it will replace what we’ve already been using. But that’s just me.
About a month ago, Google and Twitter decided to part ways, though no one is clear as to precisely why. The result has been the end of realtime search at Google.
It seems that Google has plans to resurrect realtime search with Google+ as a prominent feature. I have two things to say about that.
- First, adding Google+ to a product that was useful and helpful is a good idea. After all, the product was owned by Google. So I’m all for adding Google+ to realtime search. However, in its current form, Google+ won’t be able to carry the weight of realtime search. Include it, but don’t rely on it too much.
- Secondly, realtime search was – and is – valuable without Twitter. I understand that Twitter was a huge contributor, but Google couldn’t figure out how to make realtime search work without it? I think any service that relies upon one dominant player for success is doomed to failure from the beginning.
The bottom line is this: Realtime search is important. But it shouldn’t be reliant upon one service for it to be successful. Search engines that employ realtime search should think about diversity. And that goes even – maybe especially – for Google.
If you’re looking for good reasons to use Twitter (and I mean reasons you haven’t thought of yet), here are three good reasons to hop aboard Twitter right now.
- By following the A-list bloggers and your favorite Twitterers, you can often find great blog ideas just by reading what others are saying. You can check out the latest trends and get blog ideas as well. Twitter is an endless source of ideas for your blog. Just don’t plagiarize.
- No matter where you are located, you can always find interesting people to follow (and be followed by). Use your Twitter stream as a networking tool and discover who is in the know. Build relationships that lead to new business.
- The search engines now return real-time search results. These are results that are returned within seconds and include Facebook status updates, Twitter messages, LinkedIn updates, and other social media interactions. Your published tweets have a real good chance of appearing in real-time results if you optimize them for search engine traffic.
Social media is an ever-changing landscape. Twitter is a fast growing social media publishing tool and it’s become more and more relevant by the day. Start using Twitter today.
You can count on one thing for sure: Social media is going to keep getting better.
Here’s a fun fact: Twitter has recently acquired Backtype.
So what does that mean?
Given that Backtype owns Backtweets, the Twitter analytics service, it can only mean one thing. Twitter is headed for a major innovation that will involve the use of analytics for its users.
If you are a current user of Backtweets, then you’ll be allowed to continue using the service for free. New signups, however, have been put on hold. So here’s the question: How long will new signups be on hold and when will the new Twitter-run Backtweets go full time? Also, will it be a paid service or free?
My bet is that Backtweets will offer a free version, but there will be a paid version for businesses, and if you are business Twitter user it would likely be in your favor to pay for the analytics so that you can measure the effectiveness of your tweeting.
Another thing that is likely to happen is the integration of short URLs with analytics. You’ll have to be able to track and measure the click-throughs on your links whether they are short URL links or long URL links, and if short URL, you’ll need to be able to track and measure your effectiveness whether you use Tinyurl, Bit.ly, or another service. Backtweets might also be able to offer analytics for Facebook and LinkedIn as well.
What do you think? Is this a good acquisition for Twitter? Will it improve your social media marketing efforts?
A new report based on a survey of social network users says that LinkedIn is the most important social network for 59% of the people who use them. That’s LinkedIn, not Facebook or Twitter. That might seem unusual considering that Facebook and Twitter get most of the hype.
But, frankly, I think it makes a lot of sense.
Facebook is still a place for personal networking for a lot of people. It’s where they go to connect with friends and family. Yes, they also can set up a page for their business and network with people to attract new business. But being that Facebook is a personal space for a lot of people, and it is the most trafficked social network in cyberspace, the threshold for a high ROI is rather low. In other words, there are challenges in turning a Facebook networking plan into a profit. But it’s not impossible.
Twitter has become much more of a micropublishing platform. And it hasn’t quite caught on with the mainstream just yet.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a business social networking tool. People who use it use it for business. Period. So it makes sense that it would deliver the highest ROI. What do you think?
Debra Mastaler lists several “new” linkbuilding methods, but it seems that these methods aren’t so new after all. In fact, if we run through the list, we’ll see some pretty common strains:
- Document sharing (used to be directory submissions)
- Retweet buttons
- FutureTweets (or scheduled tweets)
- Use tools to determine when your Twitter audience is most active and schedule your tweets and retweets for that time.
- Use Twitter Search to find hot topics (or Google Trends) and write about those topics on your blog, then retweet them during peak Twitter times for your audience.
- Grow your Twitter base.
- Use linkbait.
- Run your pages through Copyscape and request content thieves to link to you (and I’d add, if they don’t do so, ask them to remove your content).
Essentially, what Debra is suggesting that link builders do today is the same as what they’ve always done except that the tactics are updated for a social media world – particularly Twitter (isn’t that the same as saying that social media IS SEO?).
Here’s the bottom line: Keep building links, but you don’t have to abandon the old ways of doing it. Just update your methods to take into consideration current popular and trending social patterns. Let the search algorithms take care of the rest.
In social media terms, your signal-to-noise ratio is the amount of valuable content that you provide versus how much idle chatter you engage in. Is your noise level too high? If so, then you can increase your social reputation by lowering the noise and improving your signal-to-noise ratio.
The question for anyone interested in improving their signal-to-noise ratio is, How? How do you go about this?
It might seem like a no-brainer, but there are two ways to improve your signal-to-noise ratio. You can increase the amount of social media content you produce focusing on value; or you can focus your efforts instead on reducing the noise. But to do either, you must first be able to measure your signal to noise. How do you do that?
Panorama has a list of 100 social media monitoring tools, but most of them have to do with measuring what other people are saying about you. What you need is some measure of what you are saying through social media and how much of it is valuable. This will tell you whether your signal-to-noise ratio is high or low.
Klout is one social media monitoring service that measures your influence across Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, the three largest social networks. But it does have its limitations. The first limitation is that your influence is measured on the basis of your interaction with your friends on those networks, but if your friends aren’t using Klout, then it won’t be accurate. You can invite your friends to join the service, which is free, and I recommend that you do.
But to truly measure your signal-to-noise ratio, look at how much influence you have on the social networks and compare it to the number of your followers who interact with you. Do you have 1,000 Twitter followers with only 15 of them who retweet your messages or respond to them? If so, it could be because the bulk of your followers don’t see value in your messages. What can you do to change that?
However you measure your signal-to-noise ratio, the important thing is that you increase your signal and decrease the noise. Are you doing that? How?
How do you use Twitter? Or, do you use it?
If you’re like most people, you’ve flocked to Twitter to see what the big fuss is about and you’re not quite sure how to use it. What is this thing called Twitter? There’s so much going on yet you haven’t quite figured out what to make of it, or how to use it.
Rest assured, there are as many ways to use Twitter as there are people using it. It’s a very flexible and versatile social media tool. That’s one of its strengths.
I know people, for instance, who simply use Twitter to listen in on what is being said in cyberspace. They use it for competitive intelligence. They also use it to hear what their customers are saying. They follow who they want to follow, then listen.
There are other people who just can’t seem to say enough. Any time something happens around the world, they have to tweet about it. They tweet their blog posts, they tweet the natural disasters, they tweet their grandma’s pea soup, they tweet other people’s blog posts, they tweet industry insider news, and the list goes on. Which way is the best way to use Twitter?
In truth, there is no best way to use Twitter. Most business owners and managers can benefit from using Twitter in a variety of ways, and that includes both listening and shouting. The key to effective Twittering is to figure out your strategy before you start, and to be consistent over time. But don’t be afraid to change your strategy midstream either.
If you type “I don’t get” into the Google search field, the second topmost recommendation the search engine will give you is “I don’t get Twitter.” There must be a lot of people who don’t get Twitter in order for that search query to be the second most recommended by the search engine. Go ahead and click on the result and you’ll see 1.7 million search results for that query. Wow!
That could mean that something is broken with the social media website. If there are that many people not getting it, then perhaps something needs to change.
Seriously, though, I don’t really get why people don’t get it. It’s a social networking website where people follow people. Other people follow other people. And everyone following anyone can see all the “tweets”, or messages, that all the people they follow post. The problem is, your Twitter feed is updated in real time so if you follow 100 people and 50 of them post a message within 30 seconds of each other, then you’ll see all 50 messages run by like a ticker tape. What’s to get?
You can pretty much consider Twitter an opt-in/opt-out message forum, or newsreel. I think what makes it difficult for most people to get about Twitter is that none of the messages you read in your feed are related. They just seem random. I kind of see it as Facebook without the threaded comments or the game applications.
So here’s the question: What does Twitter need to do to make people “get it?” Or is Twitter just fine the way it is?