Twitter Strategies: Tell a “Tweet Tale” To Influence

Twitter hashtag events, #Winewednesday and #Followfriday, have been a mainstay in helping wineries network with their consumers and affiliates, raise awareness for their brands, and open lines of communication. The most important strategy to ensure success during these events is to understand how to write creative tweets that illustrate why you are recommending a person or brand. One such strategy is what we call a “tweet tale.”

Tweet Tale: A Short Story

What is a Tweet Tale? The object is to create a micro-story that showcases the people or brands you wish to recommend to your followers. The following example of a Tweet Tale:

This Tweet Tale is based on a question asking readers if they have visited the Bardessono Hotel a fantastic Napa Valley resort, dined at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, enjoyed St.Supery wines, danced at Napa’s newest event facility Uptown Theater, and visited vaunted Napa art gallery Cordair Gallery.

Tell a Tale:

If you get creative your  tale  will take the reader through a wonderful micro story, recommend your favorites, and create goodwill for your brand.

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

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.

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.

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.