Posts Tagged 'Twitter'



Brands are still not taking Twitter Seriously

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not nitpicking. But let’s talk about social media icons. We’re starting to see them on everything. Specifically the Twitter and Facebook icons. Just because we see them, doesn’t mean that those companies are “social”, that they are engaged, fully engaged or partly engaged. We can easily call it social media lip service, but when I checked the Twitter presence of some of the top 100 global brands according the Businessweek-engagement was little or none, and in a lot of cases, the brands didn’t even possess the Twitter handle.

For example, @Disney has over 140,000 followers and yet has only tweeted 210 times. I know it’s Disney and they might not have to care about Twitter, but that’s not the point. It’s 2011 and brands are going all in when it comes to social. Just look at this years Super Bowl Ads. This might be the year social takes the Super Bowl by storm.

Check out @Samsung 2500 followers and… a total of 8 tweets.  Meanwhile they have over 200,000 fans on Facebook. Was this the strategy they were told or did they come up with this internally? Should I give them the benefit of the doubt in regards to when they  launched their (new) social identity? Is it a work in progress? Take GAP, over 50,000 followers and yet a mere 400 or so tweets…

You’re probably saying it’s just Twitter, but for brands, Twitter makes more sense than it does for the casual user. It’s a better fit and it’s an opportunity.

With that said, I would like to say to brands, “Don’t be social because you have heard you need to be”. Yet we know that’s how some operate. Why not attach a strategy with some (not many) achievable decent KPI’s to your social initiatives? Weave your Twitter activity into your daily routine  the way you check email dozens of times per day.

Hey Brands, don’t hoard social, own it. Yet I know major companies that either go out and do nothing with their Twitter presence or worse, squat on their Twitter handle  so that others don’t it. For example. @Budwesier, @L’Oreal, @Heinz, @Colgate, @Chanel, @Wrigleys , @KFC, @Avon , @Adidas, @rolex , @Hermes, Tiffany, and ING, all get an F.  Hello strategy? You might be thinking or actually they might think that they don’t need to bother with Twitter-Guess what? Twitter is free and Facebook is free and the barriers of entry and engagement are absurdly low.

What a lot of companies fail to realize is that we consumers will search for them, or they will eventually come up in search because of a question, a customer service issue, or because prospects want to see who they are. We will click on your social icons. Then we’ll come to our own conclusions. Search and social are not strange bedfellows.  Your social results and personas will come up high in search and if you and your brand are coming up short, it’s an opportunity lost.And if you are there, don’t sleep walk through the chance to engage with your customers.

Social without a purpose is a waste. Brands who put the Twitter and Facebook icons on their site or on their marketing collateral with nothing to really show for it, is not very smart. Of course I also think having search results where a brand and its associated products does not come up on page one or position one is a major transgression, yet some major brands miss that opportunity as well. Positive search results are a win and always will be. Bad search results can be devastating.

Control the social aspects of your brand.

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7 Tips for Staying on Top of the Social Wave

Often times you have to step in it to realize you are in it. With social media, you would have to have lived in a cave on an island in the Pacific to not know how ubiquitous it is. It’s permeating every part of our daily lives. With that being said, here are 7 “things” you should be aware of as we go forward in this digital world that can carry you and your company towards Web 3.0.

1) Look for more content to be produced by “others”. This means look  for the rise of the professional content creators masking as citizen journalists. They will blur the lines so much-you won’t know where the value lies. We used to marvel at UGC, but what is it when large organization start to pass their content off as UGC? Think of Wal Mart or Astroturfing. Know the difference between “real” UGC and professional content.

There’s a reason why Twitter is killing Facebook in CTR rates. Marketers are realizing that Twitter is a consumption vehicle for content and thus they are catching on in continuing to push out content- but they realize they must disguise the content in a way that is appealing and doesn’t seem hook ladened.

2) There will be a continued increase in the value of communities but you will also see more splintering of those communities into niches. Face it, we all have a niche, and connecting to those people via an online community, certainly drives a good portion of our searches. Knowing that people are searching for their tribes will help you in your understanding of market segments. Focus on focus-Want to grow your product? Find the niche, it’s there.

3) Mobile will be THE social platform.The global mobile market is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2015. What are you waiting for? Your competitors? What are you doing about it? Get serious about mobile.

4) Social data will determine your next move in your future business engagements, don’t ignore it-Social data will be driving consumer engagement.

Companies are mining the social web to build dossiers on you. Information posted publicly on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, forums and other sites is fair game

5) Engagement strategies will be different on every channel because of the data returned from #4. Don’t assume that your social strategies will be the same across all BU’s. Each has it’s own nuance and needs. Be mindful that your social solutions will be different-understand their capabilities and their deliverables.

6) Mitigating loss of control in social media will continue to be underserved and undervalued. What seems to be common is that people don’t do anything from a crisis communication and loss mitigation standpoint until after things hit the fan. Create your social media worst case scenario plan, don’t wait.

7) Search will still rule, but social search will drive future customer engagement. How are you currently addressing the fact that people will be using a mobile device and could be doing searches through their social network of choice for products and service and companies? For starters, think local and then learn how it works.

If there were a way to etch these in pencil, I would do it. Things change so quickly in the digital social media world that nothing is finite and everything is fair game. But as an organization, agency or marketer trying to make heads or tails over what might happen-this is as good a snapshot as any to start from.

The Ambient Conversations of Twitter

Last week I wrote about the diminishing return of relationships on Twitter. The gist being that what we call our network on Twitter is very loosely constructed and defined. This week, I want to focus on the ambient nature of most conversations in Twitter.

Here’s a quick short definition of ambient: “of or relating to the immediate surroundings”.

The New York Times referenced this “nature” on Twitter  by another name- “Ambient Awareness”, essentially saying that Twitter promotes — the feeling of incessant online contact…Yes and No. This feeling of connectedness via conversation does abound but it is almost one way for every one. You see here’s the thinking. I tweet, you read. Right? But, you only read if you are are currently staring at your screen right then. Sure you can peel back the time line to a certain extent-but the point is this:

There are conversations and then there is the rest of what is happening on Twitter.

The rest of what is happening is the self promotion or the marketing of one’s self or company. I know there’s more but talk to enough sage users of Twitter and that is what they will tell you. From a conversational standpoint, how many of those (conversations) are really happening? And to what depth and extent?

A lot of you are still big believers in the conversational benefits of what Twitter can do for a business and I am too for that matter, but the ability to rise above the noise takes a deft touch, a solid working knowledge of Twitter tools and applications, and an ability to understand how they are best utilized.

Without that foundation,  you’ll just swim in a sea of ambient awareness.

Twitter Isn’t Really a Network Anymore…

In the early days or say the first year or so of Twitter’s life it really was a way to get to to know people. The motives were pure. Twitter provided a way to get to know people. You could build a network.  Conversations were abundant. As the number of people exponentially grew, the number of “real” conversations exponentially decreased. Sure people still talked to each other but the conversations changed.

Why?

Because the perception and usage of Twitter changed without anyone really doing anything internally to change it. First the perception changed by the notion that the more followers you had, the more relevant or important you were. So when perception changed conversations were altered. It became a race to add people and not talk to them. The network or the notion of a network was altered.

Second, the usage changed from  a vehicle or platform for dialogue, to a vehicle or a platform to talk at people. Call it the great migration of marketing to Twitter. Relationships were not as important as a RT of a link. A funny thing also occurred along the way as well. The early adopters also fell into this trend as well. In fact if you ask the developers of Twitter, they themselves will tell you that Twitter is a media consumption platform. We all use it to push content.

That’s too bad.

Though the people that I follow on Twitter is not that large a group (About 850) I would like to think that I know 100 of them pretty well and could call them, have a cup of coffee with them, or sit down to dinner with them. Could you say the same?

The Most Effective Social Media Strategy… That I Forgot About

Call it an epiphany. Over the past few days I have gone back to my roots and I feel better about it. It’s almost as if I’m reading Naked Conversations again. What is it that has reinvigorated me? A new tool? A new app? Nope, it’s even more simple than that. It’s right there in front of us and yet I think we’re getting so caught up in a perceived race of sorts that it has caused us to lose sight of a stark reality.

Here’s what it is.

About 5 days ago I decided to start reading “other people’s” blog posts that caught my eye. Prior to that, I read the faves of my peeps and moved on. I was just consuming. In some cases I commented on the new blog posts I read,  in others, I would point out to others that this person is worth following on Twitter. If not that, I reached out to that person either publicaly or privately, and just told them that I thought they were doing great things. Simple.

The effect?

It felt good for starters. I was giving back again. The essence of social media-talking to people. It’s why we gushed about social media in the first place. The connections. The conversations. I think all of us, me included, sometimes get caught up in the chase, or the numbers, or the push for discovery and we lose sight of the thing that made it so great in the first place-and still do, the variety, the freshness and smartness of other people that you meet and get to know.

This epiphany has also extended to using Twitter in a more conversational manner when I can. It’s really easy and convenient to watch the tweets roll by and click on links of interest and leave it at that. But far too many of us have preached to others about using Twitter to have conversations with brands and customers etc. etc. Well guess what? Try it. Try talking to people instead of just pushing info out. The effect has been nothing short of really cool again. Quit consuming so much and start conversing.

Somewhere along the way the conversation has been trampled upon. But it still has a vital and vibrant pulse. You will get more out of your experience if you go back to having conversations. Period.

Is Twitter really working for you? 10 questions

Have you ever thought about who sees your tweets?  I often do. I was reading an article in The New York Times Sunday Magazine titled, “I Tweet, Therefore I am” in which the author Peggy Orenstein ruminates

How much, was I shaping my Twitter feed, and how much was Twitter shaping me?

She goes on to say that “The expansion of our digital universe has shifted not only how we spend our time but also how we construct identity”. She’s right you know. We tweet for others. Or do you tweet just to tweet? No, you tweet so that you can be heard by others…To have conversations, to network, to create business opportunities. But do you want to know something that might make this a losing proposition?

 The others that we tweet for, really consists of about 1% of the total number of people following you at any given time. In other words, if you have 126 people following you (which is the average) chances are when you tweet something, 12 of them are reading it or might read it. Let’s knock that number down further and say of those 12, 2 may respond.

Depending on what you say and when you say it, the audience that you are playing to, really consists of a minute few at any given time. Which means depending on your professional background for instance, what you tweet may truly be shaped by that small group of people that a) decided to follow you in the first place and b) actually decided to respond or aknowledge your tweet.

Consider this: According to Harvard Business Review study from last year  the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets which implies that the pattern of contributions on Twitter is more concentrated among the few top users which further implies that Twitter resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.

So if you have 126 followers,

  1. Who is really deciding what you tweet? 
  2. Are you being heard?
  3. If so, by how many at any given time?
  4. What is the net result of your tweeting?
  5. Does this mean that although we talk about Twitter being about quality, it is truly driven by quantity to be effective?
  6. Do we need to define or redefine what being “effective” on Twitter really means?
  7. What do your tweets consist of?
  8. What are you hoping to get out of what you tweet?
  9. If your 126 followers are for business purposes, is your Twitter strategy really that effective with such a small number?
  10. Since joining Twitter what have you gotten out of it?

It might be time to step back and evaluate what you are doing on Twitter.

What Happens When the Mega Personal Brand Leaves the Company?

This past week something occurred that seems to have slipped by people rather quietly. Frank Eliason is leaving or has left Comcast. For those of you that have been dialed into social media for awhile, this is significant for a number of reasons and you’ll know why.

The biggest reason is that we, the social media community lose our poster child/case study of how one person with one tool/platform can transform how a company operates in the social media spectrum of customer service. Can some of you even count the number of times you might have used ComcastCares as one of your social media “examples” 2 years ago.

If you don’t know who @Comcastcares is or was, it was merely one of the first  large companies/individuals to take Twitter and use it as a direct bridge or line of communication into Comcast customer service for real time/any time help of customer service issues.

When social media case studies were few and far between, Frank’s work at Comcast was our shining example of Twitter and customer service. We name dropped Comcast along with Zappos and Starbucks and Jetblue.  So much so that Frank’s personal brand grew, and grew and grew. Not because he was promoting himself, merely this was just the effect of his social media success.  @Comcastcares was as much Frank as it was Comcast. They were synonymous with each other-interchangeable if you will.

Which lead to an interesting conundrum as well as the second reason why Frank’s leaving is significant. It’s something in which a lot of us in the social media community had often talked about, tweeted about, written about and speculated about, and that’s this:

What happens when the personal brand behind a company becomes larger than the company because of social media? What does the company do? One of the other questions we threw around early and often as well was, What if that personal brand leaves the company, what happens then?

Well guess what? It’s finally happened. Frank, little did you know but you may be  creating another case study for all of us. Good luck, and thanks for setting the table, taking chances, and leading the way for a lot of companies and people that will have no idea that you might be reason they are using Twitter for customer service. :)

If You Could Use Only One Social Media Solution, Which Would It Be?

Given that most of us claim to be too busy to do anything anymore-and it is somewhat true. Traipsing in and bellowing to anyone who will listen, that the tranformative nature of social media will change the way you do business for the better, is a lofty claim.

Let’s do a hypothetical. What if you could only use one “social solution”? Which would you use? and why would you use it? Let’s say you’re a consultant, which social media solution would you suggest and why? Which one is going to have the largest impact on your company? On your business? For your client? What if you’re boss said, “Pick one”, and given that that’s  a minor miracle he said that-which will give you the firm footing to do more later on down the line? The most impact? Results?

This is kind of important for a number of reasons-not the least of being that some solutions are just not a good fit for some types of organizations.  The reasons could be limited resources, limited time, money or whatever-but you just don’t go and jam a generic social solution into every company just because they want one. You’re going to set yourself up to fail if you do that.

Just because a company can set up a Facebook fan page for example- does that mean that it will give them the biggest bang for their efforts? Maybe, maybe not. What is going to give them the biggest return, the biggest impact? You can only choose one.

Let’s short list 11 high level social media solutions and tools right now.

Each of the above have specific bells and whistles that allow you to do certain things.  Remind me again, what’s the goal of social media? To have conversations? To sell stuff? To grow the business? To enrich Customer service? HR? Competitive intelligence? PR? Collaboration? Which one could do all of those?  I got a better idea. Maybe you should just concentrate on one  specific social “thing” that will make your organization better?

Ahhhh haaaaa…  That’s it! Which one can do one thing that can make your organization better at what they do? You don’t need to try or “do” every social media solution to be successful. Just one-Doing one thing really, really well, will work.

Your customers are not using Social Media-Case Study

I was talking to an SMB owner the other day who is doing everything that he is supposed to do in regards to social media usage for his company, and doing it seemingly correctly. By correctly I mean he has a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account which he updates semi-regularly. He is transparent, authentic, and he shares content and advice liberally when he can. He reads and comments on other blogs when he has time and he is thinking of starting  his own blog. He loves what social media can do and is a champion of it. There’s one problem tho.

His customers are not on Twitter and Facebook.

Or are they? The back story: It has not been a year of engagement for either platform that he’s on and thus the growth of fans and followers has not been consistent or completely measureable. He still loves it, but his perception that social media could be a game changer for his business is waning.

My thought? He may be echoing a larger sentiment of SMB’s far and wide. More and more businesses are walking away from social media because they are not seeing “the immediate results”.  Perhaps the first mistake is coupling the term “immediate results” with social media-Social is not a quick fix.

If we look under the hood of  the SMB owner, we would see that though he is on multiple platforms, there is minimal engagement. His usage of both is scattershot and not very consistent. The effort that he puts into both is casual at best and he measures nothing. If we add a dose of unrealistic expectations coupled with zero strategy, then he is ripe to walk away and say that social media did not work for his business.

So are his customers using social media or not? He doesn’t think so. What do you think?

Using Twitter to grow your business-Webinar

Using Twitter to Grow Your Business
Live Webcast June 23, 2 PM ET / 11 AM PT

Twitter describes itself as “a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now.” And with over 75 million global users generating over 50 million tweets per day, there’s a lot to share and discover.

Small and mid-sized businesses have discovered Twitter and are using it to raise awareness of their business, engage and support customers, generate leads, drive sales and much more.

Presented by MyVenturePad and SAP, this live interactive webinar will explain how small and mid-sized businesses can quickly and easily get started on Twitter, as well as advanced tips and techniques for using Twitter to grow your business.

This free, one-hour session will cover how to:

  • Establish and build your Twitter presence
  • Use Twitter to engage and support your customers
  • Generate leads and bring in new business using Twitter
  • Use Twitter as part of your firm’s marketing mix
Featuring:

Brian Solis is author of the new book Engage, the complete guide to build, cultivate and measure success in the new Web. He is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has influenced the effects of emerging media on the convergence of marketing, communications, and publishing. He is principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning New Media agency in Silicon Valley, and has led interactive and social programs for Fortune 500 companies, notable celebrities, and Web 2.0 startups. BrianSolis.com is among the world’s leading business and marketing online resources.

Marc Meyer is the Director of Social Media and Search at Digital Response Marketing Group in Naples, Florida. He frequently speaks, writes and evangelizes on the emergence and convergence of social media into our lives, and his blog is ranked in the Adage Power 150, the top 5 of all social media marketing blogs ranked by Post Rank Analytics. Marc is also a featured writer and member of his favorite “go-to” site, Social Media Today. In recent months, Marc was nominated as one of the top 100 online marketers of 2009, has won a Hermes creative award for co-creating a Tweet Town Hall on healthcare, and has been recognized as one of the top social media strategists to look out for in 2010.

Steve King, moderating for this event, is a partner at Emergent Research and a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Steve’s research is focused on identifying, analyzing and forecasting global trends and shifts impacting small businesses, including the growing small business role Facebook and other social media are playing. Steve is the blogger in residence at MyVenturePad.


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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