Leverage Twitter “Favorites” Like Brian Solis

Are you strategically utilizing Twitter? Would you like to identify, understand, and successfully utilize the same strategy that thought leader and social expert Brian Solis uses? If your answer is yes, then the following post will help you take the first step. This post was complimented by Brian and received 173 retweets, 75 Facebook likes, 71 Linkedin shares, and 17 Google+ +1s. Consider the following post a road map into how Brian has successfully taken one feature on Twitter and made it his own recommendation channel.

Twitter’s most underutilized, outside of lists, and most valuable opportunity is the “Favorites” feature.You all know how it works but do you understand how to strategically utilize favorites? Do you use Favorites for anything other than to “bookmark” important tweets for research and future reading?

Brian Solis is a formidable thought leader in the digital space, author, and genuinely willing participant who engages with many who seek his help. Brian’s use of the Favorites feature is the reason for this post- it’s simple and simply brilliant.

How Does Brian Solis Utilize the Twitter Favorites Feature?

Granted, the vast majority of us, me included, do not have the name recognition, authority, and influence of a Brian Solis in the digital marketing space. But that doesn’t mean we can not utilize Brian’s strategy. Brian’s strategy is to Favorite the wide array of compliments, positive references to his work, and referrals he receives on Twitter. Like many websites that provide customer referrals, in quotes, Brian is leveraging his deserved popularity with people on Twitter.

References to Brian Solis’s Expertise

An example of people’s perception of Brian’s expertise:

Referrals to Brian Solis’s Work

An example of people’s referrals to Brian’s work, books, speaking engagements

People Quote Brian Solis

In what has to be the most flattering and effective use of Favorites is the collection of people quoting you, your book, or your speaking engagements. Here are some examples of people’s reaction to Brian Solis:

3 Ideas How You Can Utilize Twitter Favorites

  1. Showcase Retweets: every time you receive a RT that is about your work, favorite (save) that tweet. People who thank you for your work including writing, speaking engagements, or opinions sought should also be Favorited. This stream will provide prospective followers with reasons to follow you
  2. Tweet Your Favorites: as you begin to build your Favorites “bank” of goodwill, start tweeting the link to this section. Promote what people are saying about you
  3. Tweet Other Users Favorites: help recognize people’s work by tweeting the link to their Favorites section as I did above with Brian Solis. This will also place you on the map as a person willing to share content and help other users. In addition, you might catch the eye of a user by promoting their work

Twitter Strategies: 2 Steps to Attract Foursquare Check-ins to Your Business

Twitter hashtag events #FollowFriday and industry niche events such as #TravelTuesday and #WineWednesday are fantastic opportunities for brands to recognize, recommend, network, and create awareness for their products and services. These events are often the best first step to begin to open lines of communication with their targeted prospects and consumers. The following strategy is a way for a brick and mortar brand to recognize their customers, prospects, and the power of Foursquare.

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Step 1: Create a “Foursquare” List

The most important feature on Twitter is the list building feature. Create a Twitter list  titled “Foursquare.” Place people who have checked into your business in this list.  Note: You have the option to make this list public or private. The benefit of making your list private is that you will keep your list of consumers or potential consumers private and away from the prying eyes of your competition. The benefit of a public list is the fact that you are recognizing an individual and they are very likely to notice you have placed them into a list. Listing people or brands provides those Twitter users with more exposure to a larger audience

Step 2: Recognize Check-ins

One of the most important advantages to Foursquare is the ability for consumers to “check-in” at a business’s location. This check-in provides a brand awareness by telling everyone, in their network, where they are enjoying their time. Savvy companies that understand how to mine these check-ins can create “tips” aka offers that are automatically delivered to people who are checking-in at a business near their own.

Recognize your customers or prospective customers who check-in at your business by:

  • Copy: write copy that rewards people for checking-in at your business. Ex- “These folks support U by Checking-in on Foursquare @winesoiree @JillDever @susanhanshaw @Cordairgallery @BobMc #FollowFriday
  • Offer: create an offer that compels people to check-in at your business. Wine industry Ex-  Our reward 4 your check-in Complimentary Tasting for 2 @napavalleyrogue @pkitano @evenanerd @MichChat @vinogirlie @sharayray #WineWednesday

Twitter Lists: Twitter’s #1 Advantage Over All Social Networks

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

1. @Mashable/Mashable

2. @Mashable/SocialMedia

3. @Mashable/Marketing

4. @Mashable/Tech

5. @Mashable/Media

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.