April Fools and Social Media

Posted on Fri,Apr 01, 2011 @ 03:00 PM

No other holiday or observance is more suited for social media than April Fools Day.

From ZippyCart.com, here's a just-in-time infographic about April Fools on the Web.

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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Google, Social Media, YouTube

IBM's Twitter Use for Marketing

Posted on Fri,Mar 25, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

How does a huge company with an already recognizable brand use Twitter in their marketing efforts? Mitch Wagner of the CMO Site explains how big companies face a different challenge than smaller ones when it comes to Twitter.

Small companies do everything they can to be heard and to have their brand or products recognized. Big companies may have several brands they'd like to manage with Twitter, and many employees to do so.

"Our goal is not to have a couple of big IBM accounts; our goal is to have a couple of hundred thousand IBMers on Twitter," - Adam Christensen, manager of social business for IBM worldwide. IBM has hundreds of official Twitter accounts and tens of thousands of employees on Twitter. Individual brands within IBM manage those accounts. Official accounts can only be operated by those with permission to speak for the brand. Best practices are shared company wide. Metrics are tracked by several of IBM's own products.

IBM measures four categories in all social media:
Influence - Are market influencers being reached?
Action - Are people following links, etc.?
Reach - How many people are following IBM vs. competitors?
Preference - Do people approve or disapprove of what IBM is doing?

IBM only tracks employees Twitter use when they are discussing IBM business or are part of an IBM campaign. Employees also know that IBM discussion on their personal Twitter accounts will likely be caught by IBM's Twitter monitoring.

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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Metrics, Social Media Trends

Twitter: The First 5 Years

Posted on Mon,Mar 21, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

The very first tweet was sent five years ago today, by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey:

Since then, Twitter has enjoyed explosive growth. From the Twitter blog, a look at some of the numbers.

3 years, 2 months and 1 day = time from 1st tweet to billionth tweet
1 week = time it now takes to send a billion tweets
50 million = average number of daily tweets, one year ago
140 million = average number of daily tweets, last month
177 million = number of tweets sent on 03/11/2011
456 = tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died, 06/25/2009
6939 = current TPS record, set just after midnight in Japan on 01/01/2011

572,000 = new accounts created on 03/12/2011
460,000 = average number of new accounts per day in the last month
182% = increase in mobile users over the last year

8 = Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2008
29 = Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2009
130 = Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2010
350 = Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2011
400 = Number of Twitter employees in March 2011

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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Social Media Trends

Social Media at the Golden Arches

Posted on Wed,Mar 16, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

Mark Schaefer of {grow} interviews Rick Wion, Director of Social Media for McDonald's, at South by Southwest.

Highlights of McDonald's best practices with social media:
  • McDonald's uses monitoring tools to track conversations about their brand.
  • They tracked for over a year before reaching out and engaging on social media.
  • Their team combines employees from PR and from Customer Satisfaction.
  • Their tweeters have personal bios, allowing customers to connect the brand on a personal level. Specific tweeters have fans.
  • Conversations on social media have more than quadrupled in 18 months.
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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Twitter, PR, Customer Satisfaction

Balance Your Social Media Strategy

Posted on Mon,Mar 14, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

If you're trying to establish yourself as a thought leader and using micromedia (i.e. Twitter) as your primary tool, you need to add longer content to the mix. Jeremiah Owyang explains why Twitter, which he equates to "Shish Kabob", isn't enough. You need to add "Steak", in the form of blog posts, whitepapers, presentations, and other, "meatier" content.

Twitter has become overloaded. We consume smaller bits of information in greater quantity, and less long-form content. Tweets quickly lose value, given that they are hard to find after publishing, and searching old tweets can be difficult and frustrating. Investing a lot of time into Twitter is not a good investment. Also, given the design of Twitter, tweeting with great frequency is the only way to stay top of mind. Quality isn't a factor. Twitter is no longer enough.

Other tools are more robust for thought leadership, archiving content, sharing and connecting. Using them in an integrated fashion is key. (If you tweet 20 times a day, you should have just blogged).

Consider the following ways to add "Steaks" to your menu:

Appetizers: Source information in Q&A sites and Communities
  • Valuable in finding out where you need to focus your research, thought leadership and product roadmap
  • Trigger discussions, share your own knowledge, identify contacts
Entice The Market: Infographics are the New White Papers
  • Infographics are a key way to convey meaningful data to short consumption types and are easy to spread
Feed the Information Starved Slideshare Community
  • This tool has a thriving community already, so releasing higher quality content there makes sense
The Main Meal: Your Blog is an Central Platform, Use it Judiciously
  • Your blog is your master archive tool
  • Blog content is easier to find
  • Centralized in a location closer to your own owned domain
Finish With Dessert: Videos, While Limited In Consumption, Have High Engagement
  • Requires a lot of focus, but if you’re engaged, it’s the highest fidelity distribution on the web
  • Another permanent archive
To regain social media balance, send fewer but higher quality tweets. Other media continues to evolve. Don't ignore it.

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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Content Marketing

Getting the Most Out of 140 Characters

Posted on Fri,Mar 11, 2011 @ 11:00 AM

If you use Twitter for business, you should feel compelled to provide your followers with smart, savvy information. What does it take to write something worth of retweeting? Here are some tips from ThinkTank Blog.

Be provocative.
Pose a thought-provoking question. Your goal with Twitter is to start conversations. Find a relevant news story and pose a question about it.

Do a "how-to" or list.
Even if you link to an article you didn't write, you'll still seem like someone in the know.

"Retweet" something you found interesting.
If something was interesting to you, it probably will be to other people. Twitter is all about information sharing.

"Reply" to that something interesting and add your two cents.
It's a good idea to reply to other tweets you read so you don't seem purely self-promoting.

Remember you're writing a headline, not a story.
Tweets filled with abbreviations and lingo are hard to read. Don't try to say too much.

If you're really good with Twitter, try a mini-narrative.
Unfolding events can be covered in real time with successive tweets by adding "(more)" at the end.

Finally, use Twitter wisely. Constant self-promotion will turn off your followers and you won't get new ones. For every promotional post, post two that promotes something else.

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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Social Mention as Currency

Posted on Wed,Mar 09, 2011 @ 11:30 AM

"Pay with a Tweet" (PWAT) is a recent, effective form of viral marketing that revolves around the concept of paying for a product or service with a mention in some form of social media. Originally, it was used on Twitter to promote digital products like e-books. An e-book seller  would require a user to tweet about the product, and in return, the user would be able to download the product free of charge. The tweeter's followers are, in turn, encouraged to pass along the message if they want the product too.

The site www.paywithatweet.com formalizes the process and tracks when a tweet has been made. Here are some other potential platforms to use the model.

Facebook Wall Post - Given the similarities it shares with Twitter in terms of network structure and user interaction, Facebook is a logical extension of the model. Marketers would require Facebook users to pay by posting a product URL on their walls. Or, marketers could simply require a "Like".

Blog Post - PR and marketing professionals have been sending key influencers free products to review for years. The key difference with the PWAT approach is that it isn't limited to influencers. Any blogger is eligible, and while not all will be high quality, it has the potential to reach a lot more users.

Social Bookmarking Sites - Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, or Delicious. The more social mentions you get on these sites, the more visibility you receive.

Monitoring mentions is possible, but can be time-consuming. Expect more tools to be created for time and cost-effective monitoring. As long as you can offer social users some form of value in return for their mention, you can market anything alongside this value.

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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs

Twitter for Business

Posted on Tue,Mar 08, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

Twitter recently revamped business.twitter.com to provide the basics on how businesses can use Twitter effectively.

Best Practices:
  • Share
  • Listen
  • Ask
  • Respond
  • Reward
  • Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how
  • Champion your stakeholders
  • Establish the right voice

Go to Twitter for Business for additional resources.
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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Twitter

Find and Engage with Journalists on Twitter

Posted on Fri,Mar 04, 2011 @ 11:00 AM

The value of publicity can be enormous. One of the best ways to get publicity is to first connect with reporters by commenting on their stories online or on Twitter. There are a few resources online to find reporters.

MediaOnTwitter is a straight forward database of journalists on Twitter. You can search by name, Twitter ID or media outlet.

Muck Rack takes a more curated approach to aggregating journalists on Twitter. Applications are reviewed for inclusion. You can browse by beats covered or news source. Muck Rack also offers a daily email digest of journalism on Twitter.

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Tags: Twitter, PR

InboxQ Moves Q&A to Twitter

Posted on Wed,Feb 23, 2011 @ 11:00 AM

InboxQ is a free browser plug-in that delivers a persistent stream of questions from Twitter by keyword and other factors. Those search results can be leveraged by businesses and brands looking to connect with customers (i.e. lead generation). A company can engage with potential customers by finding questions relevant to its core business and offering immediate answers via Twitter.

The founders of InboxQ realized that Twitter was more valuable in terms of user engagement than similar Google searches. They plan to offer premium access to analytics and data.

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Tags: Search Engine Marketing, Twitter, Lead Generation Software

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