Top 11 Twitter Social Media Resources

Don’t end up like the Fail Whale! Are you are an aspiring social media marketer, looking to learn and leverage social networks, and interested in enriching your knowledge base? If you are utilizing Twitter as the information engine it has evolved into, following  the best social media people and companies is a great place to begin your education.

11 Top Twitter Social Media Resources

  • Mashable: incredibly rich source of social media information
  • Jeremiah Owyang: the former Forrester analyst “fire” starter is one of the most important voices in social media
  • Brian Solis: another stalwart in social media with an anthropologists mind and gunslingers reflexes
  • Hubspot: creators of Twittergrader and tools for social media strategists; include Mike Volpe in your follow
  • Pat Kitano: social media strategist, former Wall St. investment banker, thought leader behind Domus Breaking News Project
  • Tim O’Reilly: true thought leader of Web 2.0 movement, social media maverick
  • Peter Kim: Peter Kim’s blog is full of incredible resources and ideas
  • David Armano: a big part of Dachis success and a true pioneer in social circles
  • Kevin Marks: Oxford educated Google’s expert in emerging technologies and their cultural impact
  • Robert Scoble:  self deprecating passionate blog pioneer and technology social media strategist
  • Tech Crunch: I am not a Michael Arrington fan but I am a fan of his site’s relevance and breaking news power

What is your take? Did we miss anyone? Is there a less than worthy person on the list? Give us your feedback

Twitter Strategy: Rate Your Recommendations with Exclamation Marks on #FollowFriday

Twitter hashtag events like #WineWednesday and #FollowFriday are powerfully effective networking events that allow participants to recommend people or brands to follow. These events are integral part of any Twitter launch in order to attract new followers, raise awareness for a brand, or begin to create goodwill within the network with your targeted audience. One effective new strategy to raise awareness is the utilization of exclamation marks within a hashtag message.

Exclamation Marks: Rating your Recommendation

A way to differentiate your recommendations of people or brands during a hashtag event is to place an exclamation mark after the Twitter “handle”

In this example for #WineWednesday, I placed an exclamation mark after @leesgreenberg. The results? Lee messaged the brand that he received an exclamation mark and that he was being recognized as special.

Benefits of Exclamation Marks

  • Rating System: exclamation marks can be used as a rating system for your recommendations
  • Recognition: using an exclamation mark is a method of recognizing people-brands
  • Open Communication: because you are differentiating a Twitter from others this can act as an opening of the lines of communication in many cases
  • Differentiate Your Brand: by utilizing an exclamation mark rating system you are showing your network that you are interested in them and putting maximum effort into your messaging

Twitter is a creative direct marketing channel. With an anthropologists’ zeal for experimentation you can begin to leverage the network as a tool for more than just simple broadcasting needs.

Win More Business: Tap Into Conversational Search Using Twitter

albert-einstein-pic

Courtesy Albert Einstein Wikiquote King of Observation

Chris Brogan’s latest post “How Hotels Can Win More Business Travel” is a look at how all social media marketers, social media consultants, entrepreneurs, and large companies should be looking at applying social media networks to their challenges. Implementing new processes in order to meet a business challenge is often a matter of observing and re-engineering. In Chris’s post, search is the main tool with an open mind to possibilities. Let’s take a look at 3 of Chris’s steps.

While Chris addresses hotels, I will plug in his first 3 Steps for restaurants:

1. Get Aggressive with Search: Chris utilized a Twitter search that found conversations surrounding lodging in Austin, Texas for the SXSW conference. He found folks who were having a problem finding accommodations.  Chris’s idea: “If I were an Austin, TX hotel property with open beds, I’d go after each and every one of them with a rate quote and an easy link to make the reservation.

Restaurant’s Strategy: (dg) If I were a Austin area restaurant, I would also tap into these travel conversations on Twitter. Here is how I would engage:

A.) Welcome each traveler to Austin

B.) Promote Hotel(s) that you wish to partner with by tweeting their facilities with a link to reservations with contact information

C.) Welcome them to my restaurant with an added incentive, give away, or special that makes them feel compelled to investigate

2. Improve Your Concierge Service: Chris’s idea here is simple yet few are doing it. He talks about chronicling and then databasing a travelers tendancies, wants, and needs. “How hard would it be to database your guests a little bit, and start to understand their recurring business travel needs? How difficult would it be to share them across properties?

Restaurant’s Strategy: (dg) Like inventory control when chef’s order their supplies, a customer’s preferences for dishes would be a database that could be very impressive to both local and business travelers.  With these tendencies, a restaurant could Tweet specials, special nights, or offers with confidence. Create a database of your customers.

Real Strategy to Connect: At the restaurant location, offer them the opportunity to actually login and sign up to be your fan on Facebook and connect on Twitter. This is the next generation version of those stale paper “How Did We Do” evaluation forms so many restaurants use.

3. Get Aggressive with Offers: CB “Right now, there’s no reason why not to build incentives into property loyalty. Hotels.com has a book 10 nights through them, get 1 night free (without any loyalty required to any particular chain). It’s a really clever offer. It could be countered easily and retain chain loyalty fairly easily.”

Restaurant’s Strategy: Due to the economic crisis we all face, eating out today is often a luxury for most people. Restaurant’s should consider leveraging their food as a commodity by offering special value items, menus, or incentives. Granted many restaurants offer value but do they do this strategically? Often the value offer is something that is seen as less value and more fluff. The free dessert, apertif, or side dish just isn’t going to get it in today’s world.

Restaurants must give something their customers actually want and give it to them with the idea that they can make up the costs in return visits, alcohol sales, and viral marketing word of mouth.