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

How Do You Measure Twitter ROI?

Full adoption of  Twitter as the choice social media engagement super tool is still in progress. Although many first adopter business niches and industries harnessed the power of Twitter early in the platform’s development, without demanding  white paper or ROI analytical proof, many American companies still lag behind. When the light does go on, some very important steps often are overlooked before launching a successful Twitter presence. One of the examples of an industry that still struggles to understand how to measure the ROI of Twitter is the wine industry.

Steps to Measure ROI of Twitter in the Wine Industry

  • Direct Channel: understand that Twitter, as well as Facebook, is a direct marketing channel that can be measured
  • Life Time Value: realize that consumer purchases can be attributed to Twitter, as they are for traditional channels, creating a bench mark and life time value for each winery’s customer utilizing Twitter
  • Control: institute employee processes to capture consumer purchasing information in the tasting room
  • Train: train all tasting room staff, within the conversation with visitors, to uncover which channel brought them to the tasting room. Was it a Twitter offer, a Facebook page announcement, a telesales campaign, a email notification, advertisement etc.?
  • Integrated Database: the biggest challenge for wineries is to create one place where they can house all of their customer purchase information ie. tasting room, email, telesales, advertising, postal
  • Measure: even if the challenge of finding one database to hold all customer purchases across all channels is currently improbable, there is a set of services that can measure interactions, responses rates, and CRM campaigns within the Twitter environment

#Hashable the Future of Connecting Now

Who are you connecting? What promises to be the next generation way to connect people with synergy, former Quigo entrepreneur Michael Yavonditte launched #Hashable.com. Hashable, according to Techcrunch’s Erick Schonfeld, “lets you introduce any two people via Twitter or email, and then follows up to see whether those intros were successful.”

How’s it work with Twitter?

Simply include the Twitter handles of the two people you want to introduce as well as @hashable, and the hashtag “#intro.”

If  I want to introduce maverick wine industry veteran winemaker Cathy Corison to innerarchitect.com CEO Susan Hanshaw I would:

  • You tweet: “@CathyCorison meet @SusanHanshaw I think you both have common interests and synergy #intro cc @hashable”
  • Hashable would tweet to both parties with a link to their Icebreaker page with bio information for both people and fast way to reply on Twitter

How’s it work with email?

  • Send email: email both parties and Ccing post@hashable.com
  • Private introductions: email both parties and CC dontpost@hashable.com

Game Changer

The real fun begins as you accrue points for each introduction you make. The more people you introduce “successfully the more HashCred you get.” HashCred is a point system that rewards you for particular actions that lead to a successful introduction. Hashable will provide incentives and rewards like Foursquare but with a true altruistic intention.

For more information watch Michael’s interview on Techcrunch TV.

Are You Measuring Social Media Lifetime Sales ROI?

This is a guest post courtesy of Inner Architect CEO Susan Hanshaw:

LTV calc

In 1 Simple Ingredient for All Your ROI Needs, I discussed using a key code system to track the performance of individual social media efforts. While this practice is a great step towards tracking the sales performance of the social media channel, it is not enough if you truly want to learn how your social relationships are influencing sales in the long term.

What does it mean to measure impact on long term sales?

Think about it this way. Evaluating long term impact means there is going to be a starting point, a building up of history, and then a point where you measure what has happened since the starting point.

Starting point: Date of first sale

Building of history: Transactions made over a period of time

Measurement point: Recording cumulative sales that have occurred since the date of first sale

How do you apply this analysis to social media?

The goal here is to look at the buying history of the customers you have social relationships with versus those you don’t.  This requires that you:

  1. Identify which customers are Facebook fans and/or Twitter followers.
  2. Append this information to your customer database or marketing database for future reference.
  3. Segment your database into  groups based upon relationship.
  4. Further segment your groups into months or quarters based on first sale date.

In the example above, sales to Twitter followers is 14 points higher than average and 20 points higher than customers where there is no social relationship.  To fully load this analysis to get a total ROI, you would need to load in the costs associated with social media. I’ll save this discussion for a future post. Please leave a comment or email me if you have any questions in the meantime.

Hubspot’s Free Guide to B2B Facebook Pages

Facebook now has over 500 million users and growing. With that level of engagement and traffic, do you understand how to market your business on Facebook? Our friends at Hubspot have a new, free guide to marketing your business to other businesses. Here is what you get:

  • Five B2B Facebook page tips
  • 15 examples of successful B2B Facebook pages
  • Links to more Facebook resources

Visual Guide to B2B Facebook Pages

4 Reasons Why Twitter Will Thrive Despite Commercialization

SocialMediaToday.com’s 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.

Inner Architect’s Dean Guadagni Speaking at WITS July 13th

The 6th annual Wine Industry Technology Symposium returns July 13th and 14th. Billed as “Technology and Innovation Best Practices for the Wine Industry”, Inner Architect Business Director Dean Guadagni will be participating as a speaker-panelist in the day one afternoon workshop: “Embracing Social Media & Commerce: Cultivate Brand Loyalty.” The opening day activities include a Technology Showcase, CIO Round Table,  Technology Showcase and workshops:

Day One: July 13th

Afternoon Workshops

A. Embracing Social Media & Commerce: Cultivate Brand Loyalty

The session is about Cultivating Brand Loyalty and developing grassroots evangelists via social media with new and online wine lovers.

Moderator: Lisa M. de Bruin, National Account Development Specialist Hahn Family Wines

Panelists: Dean Guadagni, Business Director, Inner Architect; Judd Wallenbrock, President/General Manager Michel-Schlumberger Benchland Wine Estate; Hardy Wallace, Social Media Guru, Author, Dirty South Wine Blog, former Murphy Goode Wine County Lifestyle Correspondent.

B. Consumer Compliance: The Next Generation The Next Generation of Issues on PCI Compliance

C. Google Analytics and other Free or Low Cost Technologies

D. Apps Alley

E. Your System: “Not Guilty as Charged”

Workshop Times

The 5 workshops will be presented at both 2:30 – 3:45 and again at 4:00 – 5:15 pm (subject to attendance). For more detailed information on both day’s activities go to: http://www.wineindustrytechnologysymposium.com

Twitter Success: Do You Have Twitter SOL?

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

Twitter SOL

Strategy: Do you understand how to leverage Twitter to perform

  • Keyword searches
  • Prospecting for new clients
  • Networking
  • Monitoring your brand
  • Defending your reputation
  • Creating offers
  • Measuring ROI via keycodes
  • Broadcasting
  • Announcements
  • 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

Opportunity

  • 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

Luck

  • 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

Biggest Twitter Hashtag Mistake, Best Hashtag Strategic Solution

AnswerBag published this deansguide article 5-21-10

Twitter Hashtag events are strategic opportunities to network, communicate, recognize, and launch your brand. If done strategically and properly, your efforts will result in benefits for your brand. But beware. . . there are many mistakes and pitfalls of laziness. We have identified the biggest mistake and the best solution to fix this mistake.

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)”