Twist: Twitter Tool Identifies Trends, Conversations, ROI

twist-twitter-trends

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 3-28-09

Twist is a tool that allows users to search for trends related to keywords used in Twitter “Tweets.” The compilation of the statistics are presented in graphs and based on what Twitter users are tweeting about during a specific time period over a week or a month. These keywords can include products, services, and companies which make this tool a very solid research tool.

As the Business Director for Inner Architect, a social media marketing, strategy, and consulting firm, I am always searching for tools that will provide further evidence of ROI for social networks and tools. Susan Hanshaw, Founder and CEO of Inner Architect, comes from the direct marketing field where ROI is a constant and measurement is the standard and norm

Lead Generation Tool

  • Identify trends in user behavior for your products or services
  • Identify conversations around customer dissatisfaction of your products or services
  • Identify trends in user behavior for competitions’ products or services
  • Identify trends in conversations around dissatisfaction of competition’s products or services
  • Identify “Buzz” surrounding your industry, niche, or breaking news

Lead Generation Applications

  • Measure user “behavior” for your products and services to determine if your products and services need changes or if they are being received positively. If changes are needed this allows a company or entrepreneur to contact conversation participants
  • Seek out dissatisfied customers and offer them something of value, create a solution, and create the opportunity for retention and future sales
  • Identify who is using your competitors products and services as a list of prospects
  • Dissatisfied customers of your competition become the “low hanging fruit” in your efforts to convert them to your products or services
  • If “Buzz” is evident and aimed at your product, service, industry, or niche consider it a time to strike while the iron is hot. Whether the trend leads you to lead gen, customer service, or spin control opportunities, it’s best to know what is being said and why
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Twitter Strategies and Tips for Beginning “Twitterers”

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Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article 3-24-09

Post Tribune published this deansguide article 3-24-09


Twitter is a sensational social network tool for entrepreneurs, job seekers, and companies. Twitter is being used as a research resource, marketing tool, measurement source, messaging utility, networking facilitator, and broadcasting system. The following are some tips and basic strategies:

Strategies:

  1. Identify: Choose how you want to use Twitter: research, marketing, networking, creating audience, customer service and so on.
  2. Following: Avoid following hundreds of people or companies immediately as this tactic gives the impression you are spamming people with sales propaganda

Tips:

  1. Who: Identify people in the industry, business, niche, or company you wish to follow
  2. Keywords: Make a list of keywords that will help you find the conversations you wish to follow. Example: “San Jose jobs”; “Company names”;“Your job and Company name”; “Industry organizations, groups, or associations”
  3. Search: Input in your keywords or names into the internal search engine to tap into the conversations you wish to follow
  4. RSS Subscription: When you find a conversation that is important, use the RSS feed to subscribe to that conversation and set up in either your email or a Google Reader
  5. Auto-Follow Service: Perform your due diligence before following someone. Do not sign up for an auto-follow service
  6. Vary Message: For every 10 “Tweets” you write make sure 7 give “outside” value and 3 are about your products, services, or events
  7. Signal to Noise: Within your 7 value messages leave links to your resources
  8. Tiny Url: Utilize this super valuable site to shrink the size of your links so they fit within Twitter’s 140 character limit
  9. RT: “RT” stands for Re-Tweet. This is a form of recognition and the best strategy for networking. When you want to recognize someone’s Tweet content you simply place RT and then copy their Tweet. This provides your network with the valuable information and opens up a line of communication with that person
  10. @: This is another form of recognition. If you @person or company you can ask them a question as well as publicly recognize them for their writing

Okun Juror Speaks Out! Okun Guilty Could Face 400 Years: deansguide Odyssey Ends

FoxBusiness.com published my 500th article on 3-19-09

The following is an amazing comment sent to deansguide from a person claiming to be one of the  Ed Okun jurors in the Ed Okun criminal trial. The often sad and terrible case of Edward Okun has just ended in a courtroom in Richmond, Virginia. The verdict: GUILTY!

Editor’s Note: I became aware of Ed Okun through a title insurance source who tipped me to the fact that a very nasty scandal was about to hit a number of investors in Silicon Valley in April of 2007. That tip led to my participation as one of the leading information sources for the Ed Okun ponzi case. In that time the following ocurred:

  • I met 16 of the original 350 Trainwreck members with Elizabeth Callanan leading the charge of information and a true force behind much of my writing
  • I  consulted with  Mike Maiello Forbes Magazine editor on the case
  • My mystery caller, from Miami, claimed to have inside Okun information (which he did) kept in contact with me throughout the proceedings
  • I was threatened by a powerful New York law firm where one of the principles had a very shady past
  • I was threatened over the phone by an unknown caller who claimed to be “connected”
  • I was approved as one of the only blogs, by the US Attorney’s office in Virginia, to move information forward regarding dates and times. This was the work of my good friend Elizabeth
  • I highlighted 3 Okun victims who lost their life savings and attempted to provide new information
  • I wrote upwards of 70 articles on the Okun case and surrounding path of wreckage in the number of lives effected, savings stolen, and retirements ruined

Okun Guilty

Although the laundry list of charges include, according to the Associated Press story, 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, bulk cash laundering, and making false statements, the following comment really says it best:

Christy Steensma
csteensma@aol.com
67.133.245.6

I served as a juror on the Edward Okun case in the U.S. Eastern District Court of VA. While we (the jury)found him guilty of all charges today 3/19/09, it was hard watching Okun as the verdicts were read. I am now able to see all of the stories that are out there about him and all the damage he has done to so many people. It helps verify that the jury made the right decision based on the evidence we were presented in court. I know that many lives were ruined, but am glad to know that I played a role in stopping him from harming anymore people.

Twitter’s Conversational Search: The Search Google and Facebook Seek to Emulate?

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 3- 18-09

The new buzzword in the world of search, and a concept being posited as the downfall of Google, is “conversational search.” The idea being that searching within Twitter, Linkedin, or other social media network search engines is a more robust and valuable search strategy than utilizing Google search. The thought is that the search results on Twitter could lead the searcher to conversation(s) that provide more targeted information, possibility of immediate communication, and feedback.

The following is a retrospective look at our original Twitter case study that highlighted David Murray’s successful job search utilizing Twitter.com as his main tool. Within Dave’s strategy were 5 major tips that any job seeker can use to begin the process of delivering their value to their strategically targeted audience(s). This is a fantastic case study for the value of conversational search: injecting yourself into your desired conversation resulting in an opportunity.

The case study of David Murray written by David Meerman Scott is a powerful example of how to utilize Twitter in your employment campaign. The article “How David Murray Found a New Job via Twitter” provides 5 advanced tips that are very important to consider—if you plan to utilize this free broadcasting tool:

  1. Use Twitter: This sounds easy but the first step is to recognize that if you want to stand apart, you need to begin to utilize social media tools your competitors may not be using–yet.
  2. Create Keyword List: List all of the keywords for the company, industry, people, and niche you wish to “follow” on Twitter. An example of David’s keyword list: “Social media jobs”, “Online Community Manager”, “Blogging jobs”, “Hiring social media”, and other keywords that fit his job search criteria.
  3. Twitter Search: Twitter Search is an internal search engine that you will input your keywords into to find conversations by people who are connected to the industry, jobs, companies, and niches you wish to contact.
  4. Google Reader: David then pulled the RSS feeds of his keyword conversations into Google Reader and “made it a habit to check these first thing in the morning every day.”
  5. Introduce Yourself: David found conversations related to his job interests and he “took the liberty of introducing himself via Twitter.”

The Results: David was hired as “Assistant Webmaster, Client Services for The Bivings Group.” And as David states “Many times when inquiring about the open positions, the jobs had not been officially posted” and “How cool that on Twitter you can express interest in a job opportunity that hasn’t even been announced yet?”

Win More Business: Tap Into Conversational Search Using Twitter

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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.

Wachovia Bank Update: New Twitter Strategy Matches “Connectivity” Goals

wachovia-dm-on-strategy

Direct Message to deansguide from our friends at Wachovia Bank

If you have followed the deansguide series of critiques on Twitter.com business strategies, one of the companies I outlined was Wachovia Bank: “Bank’s Twitter Strategy: Lack of Strategy Hurting Brand.” In this critique, I pointed out the following:

  1. They had no discernible strategy
  2. Their lack of strategy in following people (audience of customers) could be perceived negatively
  3. They were not being true to their Twitter Bio mission

Wachovia’s Old Strategy: Follow a minimal percentage of audience-clients on Twitter

wachovia-bank-twitter1

The results can be seen in the “follow” and “followers” categories where Wachovia was following only 11% of their audience.

Wachovia’s New-Improved Engagement Strategy

As of today March 12, 2009 Wachovia has aggressively fixed their follow strategy by following every one of their followers. By adopting this strategy, Wachovia now has created the following:

  • Open line of communications with audience via Direct Messaging
  • Created the perception that they wish to communicate with their audience
  • Provided their audience with recognition by following each person or company who follows Wachovia on Twitter
  • Demonstrated their willingness to listen to their audience
  • Quickly tap into customer conversations and solve customer services challenges that may exist
  • Demonstrate they are one of the leaders in the Banking industry in regards to social media and audience engagement on Twitter

Wachovia Bank March 12, 2006 Twitter Account

wachivia-new-strategy

Twitter’s Practical Uses for Today’s Business: Health Care Industry

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FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 3-10-09

Phil Bauman’s “140 Health Care Uses for Twitter” is a fantastic example of the sharing and brainstorming that is the power of social media and Web 2.0. This is a brilliant display of matching needs to solutions, giving value to those of us looking to understand how to utilize Twitter for practical business uses, and it provides a template for social media consultants when thinking of ways to use Twitter with other industries, niches, or specific company products or services.

Exercise for Consultants:

Examine Phil’s list and consider how you can create a list of uses for Twitter (or other social media tools):

  • Expert Knowledge: find an expert in the industry, niche, or business you are attempting to find Twitter uses for and learn as much as possible about your target
  • Examples: find examples of other industries or niches already successfully utilizing Twitter. What can you use from those methods that fit your target industry?
  • Ask, Ask, Ask: ask people what is practical or feasible. What Twitter functions will actually work and which ones are not suited for your target industry?

Phil’s 140 Heathcare Uses for Twitter:

  1. Tissue recruitment (for kidney and other organs, including blood)
  2. Epidemiological survey
  3. Disaster alerting and response
  4. Emergency response team management
  5. Supportive care for patients and family members
  6. Diabetes management (blood glucose tracking)
  7. Maintaining a personal health diary
  8. Adverse event reporting in the clinical setting and other pharmacovigilance functions
  9. Emitting critical laboratory values to nurses and physicians
  10. Alarming silent codes (psychiatric emergencies, security incidents)
  11. Drug safety alerts from the FDA
  12. Risk management communication
  13. Augmenting telemedicine
  14. Issuing Amber alerts
  15. Issuing alerts for missing nursing home residents
  16. Exercise management and encouragement
  17. Weight management and support
  18. Biomedical device data capture and reporting
  19. Nutritional diary and tracking
  20. Coordinating preoperative, perioperative and postoperative care (among pharmacy, nursing and surgical services)
  21. Medical service collaboration in the clinical setting
  22. Triage management in emergency rooms
  23. Census management/monitoring
  24. Arranging outpatient care
  25. Crowdsourcing for health care resources
  26. Shift-bidding for nurses and other health care professionals
  27. Mood tracking (for patients with bipolar and other mood disorders)
  28. Patient care reminders in the clinical setting
  29. Prescription management, including pharmacy refill reminders
  30. Daily health tips from authoritative sources
  31. Location awareness during crisis
  32. Occupational safety response
  33. Hazardous materials communication
  34. “Quick and dirty” diagnostic brainstorming between physicians (e.g. ’symptom clustering’)
  35. Clinical case education for (residents following attendings)
  36. Physician opinion-sharing
  37. Promoting Domestic Violence awareness
  38. Raising Child Abuse awareness
  39. USMLE preparation for medical licensing
  40. NCLEX for preparation for nursing licensing
  41. Recruitment of health care staff
  42. Alcohol and other substance abuse support
  43. Issuing doctor’s orders
  44. Environmental alerts: pollen counts, pollution levels, heat waves, severe weather alerts
  45. Remote wound care assistance
  46. Rural area health care communication
  47. Micro-sharing of pertinent patient information
  48. Micro-sharing of diagnostic results (blood tests, echocardiography, radiological images)
  49. Internal facility customer service (a hospital equivalent of @Comcastcares – c’mon hospitals!)
  50. Publishing health-related news
  51. Psychiatric “check-ins” for patients
  52. Nursing mentoring and collaboration
  53. Publishing disease-specific tips
  54. Childcare support
  55. Fund raising for hospitals and health-related causes
  56. Updating patient family members during procedures
  57. Live-tweeting surgical procedures for education
  58. Rare diseases tracking and and resource connection
  59. Reporting hospital staff injuries
  60. Tracking patient trends
  61. Tracking disease-specific trends
  62. Checking hospital ratings with other health care consumers
  63. Providing around-the-clock disease management
  64. Connecting genetic researchers with physicians
  65. Publishing the latest advances in biomedical devices
  66. Tracking antibiotic resistance
  67. Real-time satisfaction surveys with immediate follow-up for problem resolution
  68. Issuing asthma alerts
  69. Data collection for tracking facility patterns (process-performance, supply-chain and staffing problems)
  70. Live-tweeting medical conferences
  71. Keyword-tracking of health-related topics via Search.Twitter
  72. Posting quick nursing assessments that feed into electronic medical records (EMRs)
  73. Improving medical rounding systems
  74. Clinical trial awareness
  75. Hospital administration
  76. Sharing peer-to-peer reviews of articles of interest
  77. Connecting patients with similar disease processes
  78. Enhancing health-related support groups (e.g. buddy-systems for depression)
  79. Providing smoking cessation assistance
  80. Medical appliance support (e.g. at-home: colostomy care, infusion-pumps, wound-vacs)
  81. Reporting medical device malfunctions
  82. Tweeting updates to facility policies and procedures
  83. Arranging appointments with health care providers
  84. Product safety alerts
  85. Food safety alerts
  86. Information on women’s health
  87. Pain management
  88. Hospital reputation monitoring
  89. Publishing hospital-sponsored events in local communities
  90. Community health outreach
  91. Bioterrorism awareness and preparedness
  92. Issuing updates to hospital services to the public
  93. Insurance claim management
  94. Ethical, permission-based following of patients
  95. Micro-sharing consent for surgical and other procedures
  96. Patient-sharing of health-related experiences
  97. Posting ‘bread crumbs’ of facility experiences (”I had a bypass at this hospital and it went well but the food almost killed me.”)
  98. Patient searches for others confronting similar problems
  99. Stress management
  100. Mental health awareness
  101. Posting homeless shelter needs
  102. Food bank resource management
  103. Transmitting patient data to patients who are traveling abroad
  104. Generating streams of authoritative health care content online
  105. Exposing medical quakery
  106. Micro-sharing documentation for advanced medical directives
  107. Discussing public health care policy
  108. Developing stronger patient-provider relationships
  109. Tracking the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals
  110. Following health marketing
  111. Tracking influenza alerts from the CDC
  112. Exchanging/soliciting scientific validation of alternative health claims
  113. Following ad-hoc conferences on eHealth like HealthCampPhila
  114. Tracking toxic diseases
  115. Tracking HIV news
  116. Issuing/exchanging dietary tips
  117. Tweeting what you eat
  118. Comparing nursing home performance
  119. Coordinating clinical instruction
  120. Communicating with nursing supervisors
  121. Public safety announcements
  122. Tracking FDA guideline updates
  123. Tracking the progress of developing pharmaceuticals
  124. Broadcasting infant care tips to new parents
  125. Publishing vaccination/immunization services locations, hours and reminders
  126. Reporting adverse events to FDA (currently not available via Twitter: why not?)
  127. Obtaining information on Medicare and Medicaid
  128. Case management functions
  129. Clinical education coordination
  130. Facilitating patient-transfer processes
  131. Patient-information retrieval
  132. Reporting breeches of universal precautions in health care facilities
  133. Posting daily nursing tips
  134. Exchanging physician humor (we’re all human)
  135. Closing the digital divide with respect to health care information
  136. Coordinating allied health care services during patient admissions
  137. Coordinating patient discharges with all services
  138. Post-discharge patient consultations and follow-up care
  139. Helping device technicians to communicate directly with manufacturers
  140. Discussing HIPAA reform in the age of micro-sharing