Twitter

Jobs Loss for Social Media

The recent death of Steve Jobs reminds us that, while he didn’t have a direct impact on current social media, Jobs did help create the environment for social media to flourish. With products like iTunes and the rise of podcasts in the early 2000’s, Apple put an emphasis on sharing and creating original content before social media sites became popular. And with the iPhone and the iPad, Apple made mobile computing easy and encouraged users to share more of their lives through social media.

Apple—and the world of technology at large—finds itself at a crossroads. Will the loss of Apple’s leader impede their ability to offer more and better products? And, if there is a slowdown in innovation at Apple, will this have a similar affect in how people use social media?

The Medium is the Message

Apple has yet to create a social media platform of their own, but that’s because they don’t have to. Their hardware and other products were built to inspire creativity in the individual and to allow users to take control of their computer experience. Apple’s focus on their products has meant that their message—thinking differently—is carried to every Apple user.

For areas like education, this means that iPods, Macbooks and iPads used in the classroom can inspire new techniques and resources for teaching and learning. From podcasting to interactive iPad apps, Apple gives both teachers and students a chance to explore collaborative learning, online school programs, and interactive educational technology. Social media is becoming a larger influence in education right now—and Apple helped facilitate that new relationship.

The Next Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs influenced more than just Apple: with Pixar, he helped create a new genre of animation, and with the short-lived NeXT, Jobs and his company produced the first web servers. It’shard to imagine that there will be another innovator with talents as diverse as Jobs’.

Still, if something has to carry on Jobs’ legacy of innovation, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook come close: with more than 800 million users, Facebook is by far the world’s largest social media network. What Jobs did with hardware, Zuckerberg is doing with the Internet: giving millions of users a chance to connect to each other, to share activities and to exchange ideas. Facebook’s latest developments include the integration of apps that allow users to do everything from help each other with homework to find and share new recipes. By creating an open online environment that pushes people to share more, Facebook is changing the nature of the Internet. And with just five years online, the potential for Facebook is boundless.

The death of Steve Jobs has already had an impact on the tech world, but the innovation of other minds—both at the helm of companies and everyday end users—will continue to find new and original ways to advance technology. Jobs’ legacy is that he helped give each person with a computer the power to make a mark on the world. With Apple’s products and the inspiration of its users, that power will continue to grow.

Learning to streamline

Many business professionals begin their habits early in college. From the first time they pick up a Franklin Covey planner or buy their first mousepad made of detachable pieces of notepaper, they’ve developed an organizational routine they’ll carry through to the business world.

For many of today’s students, those habits revolve around social media. A smart student has cleared their profile of any drunken photos and chosen a business-appropriate photo by the time they turn 21. However, many business students are going beyond the normal social networking standards and are actively using each of their profiles to network and reach out to leaders in their area. It’s these students that businesses can learn from and utilize in their companies.

Students are juggling profiles on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Monster, Careerbuilder and often a professional network or two. The smart student is also involved in an internship while taking classes. Maintaining a positive, contributive social profile isn’t easy—after all, that’s a job description in itself nowadays. Students maintaining that many platforms on their own are likely utilizing apps and in-browser tools.

If you’re looking to become more social media savvy, take a page out of a college textbook, and look into some social media management apps.
One of the newest of these tools to come out of Beta is Yoono. It works off of the desktop and allows users to quickly switch between profiles and stay logged in to multiple profiles at once. In addition to that, it also posts updates on the bottom right of your screen. Unlike Skype notifications, though, they’re small and rarely in the way. Yoono’s major drawback is that it doesn’t connect with Google+, but it does hit the major players.

HootSuite is designed more with a business in mind, but students still regularly use it. Its main strength is that users can update their networks from their smartphones. You can also use it to set up an RSS feed and access the analytics behind your posts. If you think your business closely follows statistics, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a second-semester college student who’s looking for a job. Tweetdeck is another student favorite. It’s designed to handle around five profiles, whether they’re all Twitter or mixed in with Facebook. Tweetdeck is great for a single person managing multiple profiles.

So what can an established business professional get out of all of this? Chances are you’re learning to juggle your networks too. You can take a page out of the nearest college students’ book and try out a couple apps to see what will work best in your life or for your business.

Another takeaway is that it might be worth looking into hiring an intern to take care of your social media. They’re already experienced with juggling them, and they’re likely to know what the younger generations are looking for out of social media. In addition to that, there’s nothing wrong with learning from someone straight out of college. Because the venue for education has changed, many students are getting an online degree, which only add to their social media prowess. Try creating a position for an intern, and then asking them to teach you a few tricks. They’ll be excited to share their knowledge, and you can teach them about more traditional business aspects.

How to get more Twitter followers (Ethically & Organically)

twitter follow mePeople always want to know how to get more followers. Many people ask if they should buy followers? The answer to that question is definitely no. Buying followers does not get you anything but numbers. No engagement. No link clicking. No retweets. It does nothing for you.  Organic followers are always the best followers. But how do you get people to follow you?

  1. Have interesting tweets.
    This means tweeting more than your breakfast or pictures of your cat. You have interesting things to say, observations on life and general commentary. So don’t just think them, post them on Twitter.
  2. Follow other people
    When you follow people, they will often follow you back.
  3. Retweet
    When you see something you like, share it by retweeting it. This is a great way to tell them that you like their tweet and can open up further conversations. Plus your followers will appreciate it when you share interesting content from across the twitterverse.
  4. Jump into conversations
    There are a lot of interesting conversations happening across Twitter. If you see one, jump in. All you have to do is tweet to the people having the conversation. Add a few thoughts and you might make some new friends.
  5. Join a Twitter chat
    These are topic based discussions on Twitter. They are a great way to get involved in Twitter communities.

These are all great things that you can do. Interesting tweets. However these are not the only ways to get followers. Twiends, a Twitter user and app directory, has a great list of things you can do to ethically grow your Twitter following. Their recommendations are focused on cross platform and off twitter growth suggestions, such as webinars, Twitter widgets and blogging.

So if you are ready for your Twitter following to start growing faster, take a look at your engagement but then also look at the Twiends Guide for some off Twitter ideas.

 

Twitter Analytics are (Almost) Here

Article first published as Twitter Gets Analytical on Technorati.

Twitter Traffic TracksIf you use Twitter for business then you are painfully aware of one fatal flaw…tracking your Twitter traffic. Want to know your Twitter ROI? Love to dig into analytics? Want to know the details of your traffic sources? Well, Twitter has just made this challenge a little less challenging. They are now offering their own web analytics,

The problem with tracking traffic from Twitter has been:

Problem: Incorrect traffic source referrals

Have you looked at your analytics and seen traffic from unknown source, mobile device, or some third party app that you don’t recognize? Until very recently Twitter was not reporting their traffic as referral traffic. This prevented you from know exactly how much traffic was truly coming from Twitter or a Twitter manager.

Obvious (but not total) Solution: Link Shortners

These are great. A link shortener does seem like a solution to the tracking problem. However, it is not a total solution. Most link shorteners do offer analytics. If you only use the shortened link on Twitter, then any clicks on that link will be from Twitter. But that only tracks the links you post and retweeted by your followers. But if someone else is tweeting links to your site, you are still not able to account for that referral traffic.

 

Twitter offers its own link shortener, T.co. However this has not offered any benefit beyond providing a shorter link.  That was changed with a recent update that would automatically wrap any link longer than 20 characters in the t.co shortener. This big benefit to this was that it allows referral traffic to show up in your analytics as a t.co. Though it does not solve all the referral traffic issues, it does offer a significant improvement.

The new analytics being released will finally offer an answer to the question, how much traffic do I get from Twitter. The new tool promises to not only show you how much traffic you are getting from Twitter but effectiveness of your website Twitter integration and how your site is being shared across Twitter.

Right now the tools is only being offered to a select few, but roll outs to the general public will be starting in the next week. They are also going to release a website API for developers.

Will the new analytics, in conjunction with T.co, solve the traffic tracking problem? Time will tell.

 

Get to 1st, 2nd & 3rd base on Twitter

Twitter Valentines Card

You have likely gotten to first base and didn't even know it!

Have you gotten to third base on Twitter? I bet you have and you don’t even know it. Marketing has three levels: primary, secondary and tertiary. Each one has a specific audience and means something different to your analytics. But if you don’t understand these levels, you might be misunderstanding your site traffic and not giving your social media efforts the attention they deserve.

1st Base

These are your qualified leads. These are the clicks on the links in your tweets. First base is the clicks that are a direct result of your marketing tweets. You can track them through link shortners and see the direct results of your marketing efforts.

2nd Base

These are the results from your secondary efforts. 2nd base is the clicks from your profile. It is the clicks from other people tweeting your links. When you market on Twitter or Facebook people will often share your content. This is considered secondary marketing.  It is the marketing that other people are doing for you, as a direct result of your engagement, branding and primary marketing efforts.

Though this is not specifically trackable, it will often be sourced from within the social network you are using. So though it is not coming in from your links, you will be able to see in your web analytics that traffic is coming from the specific social network.  You can also track it by searching on Facebook or Twitter for the URL and see who is sharing your content. Likely they will be someone in your network, or connected to your network.

3rd Base

This is the best and least trackable. Tertiary marketing is simply brand awareness. All of your efforts in branding, marketing, and engagement have built a presence and general awareness of your brand and likely your URL. Tertiary traffic is the traffic that is a direct result of these efforts. It is the direct traffic to your site when someone just knows your URL and types it into the browser. It is the traffic that comes from Google because someone knew your brand name and did a quick search for you to find your website link. It is the traffic that comes from someone bookmarking your site. This is the traffic that you cannot quantify but is the most valuable.

Tracking Twitter Traffic

Twitter AnalyticsDespite the obvious enjoyment of the alliteration in tracking twitter traffic. It is a common question that people have. How do you track twitter traffic.  Well the short answer is you can’t, or at least not completely. The longer answer is, yes there are tools to use and Twitter just made it a lot easier.

Shortners

The easiest way to track traffic from your Twitter account is to use a shortner.  Bit.ly, Goo.gl, Ow.ly are a few of the common link shortners that will also give you analytics. Personally I prefer bit.ly. I like the analytics they give. They let you know where you traffic is coming from and how many unique people are clicking your links. If you are fastidious, you can even check what time of day people were clicking if you look at the past 24 hours. Goo.gl has obvious benefits as far as SEO (though bit.ly is run through google analytics, and also receives SEO benefit), though I am not as fond of their reporting system.  Ow.ly is great for those of you who use Hootsuite to manage your Twitter accounts.

When you use a shortened link in your tweets, and someone clicks that link, it is very easy to track it through the analytics of the shortner. However, this does not account for all twitter traffic. You will also get traffic from your profile, from other people tweeting your links and from brand recognition.

Direct Traffic

This is the traffic that is going directly to your website. This could be from the link on your profile, or if you are putting your direct link in your tweets. This could also be from people typing in your URL directly into their browser.

Making it Easier

The bigger problem with tracking twitter traffic is through your analytics. When you are looking at your analytics though a site like Google Analyitics or Statscounter the traffic from Twitter was not always being credited from Twitter depending on the the device being used. For instance if someone when to your site from twitter, but they were using a mobile device, your analytics would likely report that it was coming from a mobile device and not Twitter, even though it was coming from both. Or worse, you would not show a Twitter referal at all, it would show up as direct traffic.

Twitter is now shortening all links that are 20 characters or more with their t.co link shortner.  This is meant to help with tracking traffic. It will also allow the analytics providers to properly attribute their traffic sources.

 

Though this newly integrated Twitter shortner is meant to help track twitter traffic, it is in part part of Twitters ongoing efforts to replace the need for third party apps.  Though it is unlikely that t.co will replace bit.ly anytime soon. For one, the true analytics of t.co is only available to a small selection of developers and not available to the public. So the only way to view link analytics is through your website analytics provider. For many marketers that is simply not enough.

On the plus side, in your analytics you should be able to see what t.co is directing traffic to your site. This means that you can track your site traffic down to a specific tweet, and that is a huge plus for marketers.

So now we just have to wait for the release of the full t.co analytics to see if they will get rid of the need for third party shortners.

Twitter Traffic Times Three

Twitter BirdsI love alliteration! Twitter traffic times three is not how to get three times the amount of traffic. Rather it is the three type of traffic coming from Twitter that you are generating. Understanding the source of your traffic will help you understand the power of Twitter to your marketing and branding.

1. Link

Link traffic are the clicks you receive on the links you put in your posts. When you tweet out a link and someone clicks on it, that is considered one of the most valuable kinds of clicks. From a sales point of view it is considered a “qualified lead”. It is qualified because the person who clicked on it is already interested in what you are tweeting about. By clicking the link in the tweet, they are saying they are also interested in the link. Now it is your job to convert the lead.

This is also the easiest link to track because you can use a link shortner which will allow you to get thorough analytics.

2. Profile

In your profile you have your website. Because this is your profile and part of your branding you want to make sure this is your dot com and not a shortened link. People will be able to click this link and go directly to your main website. This will be harder to track. If you are using a website analytics tool like Google analytics or Statscounter you will be able to see the traffic coming in from twitter, but you will have to go into your analytics to identify the source of your traffic, as opposed to the url shortner analytics that will show you the traffic from a specific link.

3. Direct Traffic

This is the traffic that is untrackable. Direct traffic is when someone types your URL directly into their web browser. It is also when someone knows your brand name and finds your URL by searching for it in Google.  In your analytics it may come up as a google search or just direct traffic.

The engagement you do in Twitter will increase your brand awareness. Many people will go to your website because of your Twitter efforts, but because it is direct traffic you will not specifically know that it is a result of your social media efforts.  This kind of traffic is extremely valuable and not at all quantifiable. So we cherish it and get frustrated with its enigmatic essence.

New Twitter Photo…bucket

Twitter has finally made it possible to upload photos directly onto their website. Previously third party applications like, yFrog and Twitgoo had dominated this aspect of the application. But ever since the company bought out the primary third party desktop client, Tweetdeck, in May, they have been being more proactive in their use of third party technology.  It is looking like the company is trying to corner the market on total Twitter solutions. Though with their simple API and a host of companies trying to find bigger and better ways to use and harness Twitter, it is unlikely that they will be able to eliminate, or even dominate, the third party apps.

The user interface is simple. You just click the little camera and chose the picture you want to upload.

Twitter Picture

Twitter Picture

After you add the pic you will see it in the lower corner. This lets you verify what the image is. But it does post it as a link in the tweet, not an image in the tweet.

Picture Tweet

When you click the link it opens up a new window to show you the picture. Not quite a picture display in the twitter stream, but it still keeps you on Twitter.

Twitter Picture

Overall it is a nice addition to the Twitter mainframe.

ADD my Twitter

Twitter ADDThe problem with Twitter is that it can be a huge time suck.  Even if you do not have ADD you might find yourself distracted by every new and interesting shiny tweet. When I first got into Twitter, I found myself clicking links, following twitter profiles and looking at pics for hours. Every new person I found posted amazing links to interesting articles, videos and amazing pictures.  Before I knew it hours would have gone by in a blink. So how do you manage your Twitter ADD?

  1. Create Lists:
    Lists are a great way to categorize your Twitter feed. You can put people into lists (ie. groups) and make them topic related. For instance, I have a social media list and a friends list. This is a great way to keep on top of the information you really want to see and not have to sort through all the “other” tweets.
  2. Tasks
    Go through your twitter in tasks. The first thing I do is go through my DMs. Then I check my mentions, then I get back to everyone who was talking to me. After that I leave Twitter for an hour or so to get other work done, then come back and start going through my lists.
  3. Priorities
    You have to set your priorities for what you need to do. I have a lot of lists because I keep track of a lot of things.  But I only have a couple that are really important for me to look at everyday, and even multiple times a day. So if I am have a time constraint, I will only look at my high priority lists and come back to the others when I have more time.
  4. Twitter Will Wait
    Twitter is not a phone conversation. It is not an instant message, though sometimes it seems like it is.  You do not have to respond to every person who mentions you or gives you a retweet the very minute they retweet you.  You can come back hours later and continue your conversation.
  5. Turn off Email Notifications
    As great as it is getting an email every time someone follows you, mentions you, or sends you a DM, it is not a good use of your time. Turn them off! You can easily check all of these things when you log in to Twitter. The emails will just make you want to focus more of your time on Twitter and not on your other work. Let your time on Twitter be your time on Twitter.

Old Spice Guy vs. Fabio: A Marketing Bro-mance

Last year Old Spice made huge waves in the social marketing world with their Twitter campaign. The original campaign got 34.6 million views. Their new campaign modeled itself after the original but kept it fresh by bringing in Fabio as the challenger to the title of the official Old Spice Guy.

This new campaign has already gotten 22 million views on Youtube.

The Challenge:

The Twitter:

Like in the original Old Spice Guy Twitter campaign, the campaign is based around interaction with real twitter accounts. Here is one from @animalplanet where both Old Spice Guy and Fabio respond to the tweet.

The Story:

Old Spice Guy and Fabio did not just talk to big networks or famous people. They created videos for anyone who tweeted them, though obviously not everyone who tweeted them. The fact that they had video engagement with the public makes the brand, and the two of them as celebrities, seem accessible.

Beyond just answering questions on Twitter, they created a story line between Old Spice Guy and Fabio. At one point Fabio kidnaps Old Spice Guy and then replaces him with fake Old Spice Guys.

The story line continues, mixed in with more Twitter responses by Fake Old Spice Guy and Fabio, when the real Old Spice Guy has his dramatic return.

What is so excellent about the story line is they have added more depth to the marketing campaign. They are already creating interest by having a audience interactive contest between Old Spice Guy and Fabio. Then tapping into the highly successful and very funny model of the first Twitter based Old Spice campaign. By adding this additional level of drama and story line, it keeps the audience invested in the results of the story and the contest.

The Winner

The story and competition ended in a funny video that was both clever and campy.