This is our revisit to one of the simplest explanations of Twitter.com on the internet. It was done by CommonCraft.com a truly brilliant training video company. CommonCraft’s tag line: “our product is explanation” is one of the greatest tag lines today. Enjoy and pass this along to anyone who asks: What is Twitter?
Steps to Targeting on Twitter
- List Building: begin your strategy by writing down the different categories of people and brands you wish to list on Twitter. Examples for the wine industry: “Napa Wineries” “Wine Sommeliers” “Tasting Room Customers” “Foodies-Restaurants”
- Segmentation: each category you turn into a list must segment (divide) your “paper” list relevant to your business. Examples: “Prospects” would be different than “Wine Club members” which would differ from “Affiliate partners.”
- Data Service: hire a company to perform a database enrichment where your list of current customers, who may be on Twitter-Facebook or 25 other social networks, can be identified through their email address.
Once you have built your Twitter lists, segmented them according to category, and identified your best customers who are on Twitter or Facebook, you are ready to build a targeted following as well as follow your targeted prospects.
Twitter lists help businesses from small to global segment, track, monitor, engage, and recognize their target audience. Whether you are monitoring competitors, establishing a new account, or creating campaigns for specific audiences, Twitter’s list feature is the best feature available in social media today.
In order to take advantage of the list feature, you must first know your targeted audience. One of the best ways to find brands and important niche specific people on Twitter is through Mashable.com’s Twitter List Directory.
Twitter List Directory: Mashable’s Top 5 Lists
There are thousands of lists on Mashable in dozens of categories- here are the top 5 lists on Mashable:
Top 5 Lists Links
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 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.
Robert Bacal’s “Twitter in a Corner- Facing Huge Challenges” is a smart look into Twitter’s challenge to monetize and survive into the future. Bacal points out Twitter’s initial steps into advertising and their deliberate roll out strategy. He correctly identifies Twitter’s concern with user experience and the possible alienation of users due to the advertising platform. Bacal gets most of it right but not everything.
Twitter User Experience: Bad Times Ahead?
According to Bacal:
“Can it (Twitter) hit the critical balancing point where it can maintain its user base, attract more users while using user eyeballs to generate money? It’s unlikely. There is a point where the commercial use will drive social and community users out of the space, or to competitors, and that reality, or at least possibility limits the revenue potential.“
“At the same time, there is the issue of commercialization from third party sources who aren’t paying anything for the free advertising they get from simply dumping tweets into the stream. They damage the user experience for those who are not there to buy things, the majority of users, and they don’t drive any revenue at all for Twitter.”
Twitter User Experience: Counterpoint
- Commercial Use: commercial use will begin to attract more users not drive them away from Twitter. In tandem with Foursquare, Twitter will be the “offer platform” consumers will flock to in order to find the best deals on products and services
- Research: according to a 2006 quote from Evan Williams:
“What we have to do is deliver to people the best and freshest most relevant information possible. We think of Twitter as it’s not a social network, but it’s an information network. It tells people what they care about as it is happening in the world.” Twitter remains one of the most vibrant and important resources for information on the internet and the fastest growing search engine with more monthly search queries than Yahoo and Bing- combined!
- Choice: Bacal’s thought that user experience is damaged by people or companies “dumping tweets into the stream” that either promote or advertise something is no different than the 50 years worth of television or radio advertising we have endured. We as users understand that we can ignore the tweets that promote or advertise because the network’s value outweighs the littered stream.
- Entertainment Value: Twitter has a plethora of celebrities, sports stars, business magnates, and other very interesting people and brands. It is the platform to learn about people and brands. No amount of commercialization will drive people away from the tidbits of gossip, insider information, and breaking news Twitter has to offer.
One of the most underutilized tabs on your Twitter home page is the Retweet tab. Retweets are vital to building a viral marketing wave that carries your links to a larger audience increasing your company’s reach. Yet with all of the benefits available, most companies don’t monitor this resource.
Retweet Tab Features
- Retweets By Others: this tab showcases users, not in your network, who have retweeted their network. Mine this tab to find new companies or people to follow, links for research, and conversations to follow
- Retweets By You: this tab showcases your Retweets. This tab provides Twitter users a history and information bank for their Retweets. Mine this tab for old Retweets of users you may have forgotten
- Your Tweets Retweeted: this tab showcases your Tweets that others have Retweeted. Use this tab to find new people or companies. Mine this tab to find old Retweets of your content and reward those people with a Retweet of their content
Johnny Cash was often perceived as a hard drinking, hell raisin, authority defying man- which he was throughout much of his life. Yet the true essence of Johnny Cash could be in the fact he wore black on behalf of the poor and hungry, on behalf of “the prisoner who has long paid for his crime”, and on behalf of those who have been betrayed by age or drugs.” Yet perception is reality and like Johnny said “life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue.”
Perception is reality is an unfortunate fact when it comes to naming or branding a product or service. Social media has a history of snappy, silly, cartoon like names meant to inspire a smile rather than a knowing nod. Names like Google, Bebo, Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, hi5, digg, Bit.ly, del.icious, and Orkut do little to inspire the perception of serious business tools.
What would happen if the two largest and most successful social networks, Facebook and Twitter, had serious names?
Facebook aka CRMA
Facebook’s name does little to describe it’s versatility and powerful role as a business tool in today competitive economy. What would the adoption rate and acceptance as a sales and marketing channel be if Facebook was named CARMA? Facebook is one of the most valuable customer relationship management (CRM) tools available today.
- Customer: the focal point of every business
- Relationship: creating relationships which tether consumers to your product or service
- Management: showing up in the network to listen, respond, and offer help
- Aggregator: collect and aggregate your brand’s consumers in one spot where they can communicate, find answers, and express their love your your product or services
Twitter aka MUSCLE
Twitter is often perceived as a fad or game due to the perception the name evokes with many potential users. The reality of Twitter is that it is one of the most powerful real time lead generating prospecting tools available today. What if Twitter was named MUSCLE?
- Multiple: multi ways to prospect for new customers
- Utility: the satisfaction involved in Twitter’s multiple uses
- Sales: make offers in real time, close sales
- Channel: measurable sales channel with specific etiquette and return on investment
- Lead: keyword searches reveal real time consumer conversations providing leads for your company
- Equity: brand equity built through real time engagement, service, and offers
Do you have Twitter Sol? If you do then you are utilizing and leveraging Twitter for all it is worth. You are making friends, networking, and making a difference. If you don’t have Twitter Sol you are not being heard, you have not opened lines of communication, you are not leveraging the network, and you are not making a difference- you are just there.
Twitter Status Quo
Most people and companies do not take the time to learn all of the features, functions, and strategies the network has to offer. After a frustrating time trying to blast spam or Noise messages of sales, the final chapter is an abandoned account which creates problems:
- Perception: that the company or person did not take the time to learn or engage on Twitter could tarnish the brand in their consumer’s eyes
- Listening: that the company or person no longer cares about the consumer’s concerns, stories of using the brand, or problems with the product or service
- Communication: even if the company or person listens to the network they no longer have a tool they are willing to use to engage these consumers. Instead they will allow anything and every opportunity to pass all because they established a Twitter account before creating a strategy
Strategy: Do you understand how to leverage Twitter to perform
- Keyword searches
- Prospecting for new clients
- Monitoring your brand
- Defending your reputation
- Creating offers
- Measuring ROI via keycodes
- Creating a “viral army” of people or companies that will carry your messages forward
- Recognizing people and companies via messages
- Copywriting hashtag events
- Replying directly to your prospects
- Privately messaging
- Follow vs. Follower ratios 1:1
- Attract a targeted Following
- Segment through list building
- Find “Real Time” conversations
- Monitor multiple keywords
- Engage with prospects
- Create alliances
- Network with industry-niche Associations, companies, people
- Ask for guest post on blogs
- Set up meetings
- Contact from prospect
- Recognition by your industry or prospects
- Timing of offer or communication
- Right place at the right time
- Engage with prospect who do not communicate via email, postal, telephone or traditional channels
- Find employees, partners, contractors
- Discovered by online media, mass media, different countries or cultures
AnswerBag published this deansguide article 5-21-10
Biggest Hashtag Event Mistake
The biggest mistake made during a #FollowFriday or industry-niche hashtag event is the simple listing of people or companies being recommended:
Best Hashtag Event Solution: Write Compelling Copy
- Titles: create titles for people. Wine industry example- “Purple Elixer Fanatics”; “Grape Groupies”; “Bodyguards to the Vine” By creating a catchy title with personality, you embody what people want to be known for on Twitter
- Reasons: create copy that describes the reason someone should follow. Wine industry example- “Vine Pro’s Prose” aka a great wine journalist or blogger; “Wine Ambassadors”; “Vine knowledge & patience”
- Single Recommendations: the most powerful strategy is to create a recommendation for one vital and important contact you wish to make. Wine industry example- “@ChefChiarello innovative and rustic cuisine that makes a statement, sets the tone, satisfies the soul #FollowFriday (link)”