Twitter Tips & Twitter Chats

Monday, July 30, 2012 – Social Media Monday

Marilyn - For my contribution to social media Monday, here’s a link to an interesting infographic produced by Nanigans about business advertising on Facebook. http://bit.ly/Q5drKA

According to Facebook advertising platform Nanigans, retail is the highest-spending sector in online advertising, projected to represent 22 percent of all online ad spending in 2012 after growing 24 percent during the year.

Richard - Very informative. I liked all the visuals below the report except I didn’t understand the graph for Ad Engagement vs. Cost by Country. What does it mean when the cost & the click through rate goes below the line. Do they get paid to place ads in those countries?

Marilyn - This is the really interesting part of the infographic. For example, in Canada the cost per click is a bit higher than in the US, but the click through rate is far lower. The US has about the closest ratio between cost and click through rate. Then looking at a country such as India, the cost per click is very low and the engagement or click through rate is incredibly high, based on the global average. It’s interesting to me that Canadian engagement seems to be far lower than I would have expected, especially compared to the US. I would like to do far more research on this, since my business is located in Canada and Canadians are noted for being super connected. It does reflect an experience I had with a client, though. I do need to know more.

Richard – so the line does not represent zero?

R J – The infographic was awesome… gonna post your link to Pinterest as well for cross platforming and more readership to your page Marilyn. great post!

Marilyn – Thanks, R J. Come follow me on Pinterest too. You can find me thru my FB page Pinvolve app, an app I recommend for increasing Facebook engagement. The infographic is on my All Things Social Media board. In answer to your question, Richard, the baseline is the global average engagement. I know some of these infographics can be confusing, as they try to make pretty pictures out of stats. That’s one reason I want to know more about the info on this graphic.

Richard – That’s what I thought. They are playing with the basic rules for graphs in order to make them more eye appealing. Sorry I have opposing thought patterns. I have my creative loving side & then I have my analytical, theoretical & engineering side. Both are strong in me & sometimes get in the way of each other.

Christine - Social Media Monday: If your looking for customer loyalty & recommendations they say Twitter is where its at. Do you agree? http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008447 I’m still partial to Facebook. For example of all the product recommendations I have asked for… only 1 has received a response or comment on Twitter.

Here is one “proving” Linkedin is most important. But I have to ask myself… are my customers using this social media platform to determine their purchase? Where do you get the most interaction? http://blog.performics.com/search/2011/06/new-social-media-study-nearly-60-percent-say-linkedin-is-most-important-social-network-account.html

Veronica - I find that Twitter is very impersonal, to me it is just a bunch of people tooting their own horns and not very much interaction. I closed my Twitter account a long time ago. I never got a single customer from Twitter a lot of my business comes from FaceBook.

Marilyn - I think you nailed it, Christine, when you said “are my customers using this social media platform?” You’ve got know your customers. by the way, if brands only produced status updates monthly, they’ d be nowhere on Facebook.

Miller - B2B generally works better on LinkedIn, but all platforms can funnel your visitors to your website, especially if you have an easy-to-use shopping cart on it. I agree Marily, I’m seeing a lot of dentists and other professionals only posting once a month because that’s what the ready-made cookie-cutter website builder sends out. One blog post for $X a month and they send it to all platforms. It’s absurd on so many levels! Posts/Tweets must happen at a bare minimum of once a DAY. At that, the content must be spectacular to generate interest, comments, etc. And you know it’s these folks who will say social media doesn’t work. BAH!

Miller - Veronica, try joining in on some Twitter chats. You’ll get lots of interaction and may make a few friends. I know I did. :)

Veronica -Miller I used to work for a Social Media company and had many twitter accounts to take care of and there was never very much interaction on any of them. Just a lot of people talking about themselves.

Miller - Yes, that happens on Twitter a lot. But back and forth convos can happen if you ask someone a question or comment on their tweet or retweet them. Ice breakers. That’s why the tweet chats were so neat, you could interact with a group instead of broadcasting. It’s tough though when you rep a client, tho it can be done. The Comcast guy did a lot of chats, as did the Ford rep.

Penny - I agree with Veronica, I’ve tried jumping in on Twitter and I feel like I’m just broadcasting to the nowhere zone. There seems to be no interaction just broadcasting. I really have trouble getting into it.

Miller  - Here’s an article with info on Twitter chats, with the Google Doc link in it. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/twitter-chat-guide/

The Chat Schedule: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhisaMy5TGiwcnVhejNHWnZlT3NvWFVPT3Q4NkIzQVE#gid=1

Penny -Thanks Miller, I’ll check it out!

Miller - Social media is intended to be social, and just as we comment here, twitter chats are the way to meet people in order to interact with them. One thing I would suggest also when participating in a chat — where streams can fly super fast — is set up Tweetchat.com with your Twitter name and the hashtag of the chat. Have regular Twitter also open so you can see more info on a fellow chat person, and also have Hootsuite or Tweetdeck open so you can see who send you an @ message. It’s like being at the helm of a ship and all systems are go!

One last thing, DO NOT start with Sunday’s #Blogchat! It is like a firehose it goes so fast! #custserv. #socialchat, #leadershipchat, #Linkedinchat, #SMMannerschat are all good ones to look into. Many good ones happen on Tuesday nights, so you can go from one to the next! Each chat is one hour, but they over go over and people hang around still chatting.

Marilyn - Thanks, Miller, for all the good info about tweetchats. I haven’t jumped into any yet. This information will help.

Charity - I haven’t really used it much. I have tweeted a few things but not consistant and haven’t really fig it out.

Penny - Not a big twitter fan, although I do have an account. Sometimes I use it more often than others, but it goes so fast and I don’t find that much real conversation on it. That being said, I have joined in on a few twitter chats and really like them. Thanks for all the information Miller, I’ll give twitter a another look.

Christine - I find Twitter has been useful for my other apps such as Foursquare. I find its an easy way to send a direct message or reply to someone’s tweet… and a good way to get the word out on giveaways or news stories. However I would rather have more personal interaction vs spam before committing to Twitter. For example I posted a picture on FB about herbs and one about my daughter fishing… both received comments and a response of some sort. Where as on Twitter nothing. I also occasionally post directly to twitter and I’m lucky to have one response or a re-share. Is there a program that will figure out which days and times MY followers are on for the most interaction?

Melissa - Such great questions and really good answers. This has been great to follow for someone who doesn’t know twitter, but was planning on joining for my business.

Miller - It is better to have 2 Twitter accounts, one personal & one for business. If you have just the one, it becomes a mashup and nobody knows what your “message” is. So Christine, if you tweeted a pic of your kid on a business acct, nobody really cares. But when you post the pic on FB, #1 the pic is visible – no need to click on anything – and #2 those are your friends. Putting that same kid pic on your FB business page would not generate much interest as it does personally. Same is true for Twitter, tweet business info along with helpful & interesting stuff on your biz acct. and if people like it, they will RT. Be sure to leave space in the tweet that they can do so. Leave at least 20 extra spaces. If you use all 140, they move on since no room to RT.

Miller - For knowing when your followers are on Twitter, spot check a few good ones and see when last they tweeted. In general, see how fast your main twitter feed moves. The faster, the more people that you follow are on it, but it will give you some idea of popular times.

Marilyn - I’m not sure I’d agree there’s a need for two Twitter accounts: personal and business. I don’t put photos of my family on Twitter. None of my friends and family would even see them, since few are on Twitter. I keep Twitter mostly business, but do include some personal tweets and also interchanges that are not strictly business beyond thanking people for RTs, etc. I find people don’t want to tweet with information. They want to tweet with other people and get to know you, too. Besides, managing different Twitter profiles, unless they really relate to separate channels of your life and businesses, are a lot of work.

Miller - It depends on what you want to use Twitter for and how many accounts you want and what is juggle-able for you. I started with a personal one and added the business one later.

Marilyn – I know this is social media, but since Twitter is trending here, I thought I would post some links to studies about the best times to tweet, etc. Note: there are contradictions in the data, so you want to also monitor your Twitter mentions: http://mashable.com/2012/07/12/best-time-to-email-tweet/ http://forms.buddymedia.com/whitepaper-form_strategies-for-effective-tweeting.html

Brad - Marilyn, you allude to an interesting aspect of this, and it’s not just Twitter specific. There are really three types of “users”: personal, professional, and those for whom the two are the same. By way of example: I have my personal account on Twitter and I have 13 additional accounts in varying stages of activity (ignoring the dormant/future use accounts). My personal account gets fairly random (from geek stuff to fiction to philosophy to politics occasionally). The various “professional” accounts still get my voice, but they have their own audiences and their own applicable scope. If I started regularly talking about casino gaming on @EmpoweringLocal, I’d lose the interest (and the followers) pretty quickly, but the reverse is true if all I talked about was small business strategy on @playerspot. There needs to be first an *identification* of who you want to attract. Know your audience (market).

The cross-overs are those for whom celebrity (in a more natural definition) *is* the business. Radio and TV personalities, journalists tend to fall into this category (though it’s not automatic). Mari Smith is one in the social media world who probably would cross over, as is Robert Scoble (tech mainly), particularly since RS doesn’t seem to believe in online privacy. The difference in the cross-overs is that their audience is appropriate to have both.

Each person needs to look at their SM interaction goals (and personal reservations about “voice” and privacy) see whether separate accounts are appropriate. The level of work may seem like an important indicator, and it’s not something to ignore, but intent and expected result really should weigh more heavily.

Miller - Well said Brad Brighton. You have identify who you are first to determine what type of tweets/posts to send. As to the studies on best times to post Marilyn Kay, Buddy Media has one, Hubspot has one, and there are others. And they all say something different. For example, Saturdays oddly enough are great time for interaction on posts. So you can go by the studies, or check your insights as to what posts got traction, or TW for what got RTd and at what time. Gauging the feed/ticker speed is a quick & dirty way to determine it.

Marilyn - I would agree that you need to know your audience and use the media accordingly. I did allude to the need for more profiles for more business channels. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s necessarily needed to have more than one Twitter feed, unless your audience warrants it. I think there are plenty of examples of crossovers, besides celebrities, Mari and Robert. I’m not sure what you mean, Brad, about privacy on Twitter, unless people have protected tweets, which I’ve never understood, same as using Truetwit.

Brad - Privacy meaning the topics discussed more than anything, on Twitter. (And yes, any business with a protected account is just as insane as using TT.) There are many topics that simply don’t belong in a business stream; generally speaking, politics is one of them. There is no firm answer to this question, but “do you want to unnecessarily alienate part of your prospective market” by discussing hot-button topics in a business+personal common environment (or the alternative, self-censorship)?

I very much recommend against mixing the business and personal accounts on ANY platform unless you make an informed and intentional decision to merge them. The opportunities for “fail” far outweigh the opportunities for “succeed” in the general case, IMO.

That doesn’t mean that a motivated follower can’t find out who you are or potentially dig up “offensive” (to them) opinions/positions, and there are people who don’t discuss flashpoint topics on social media, but all these characteristics are really exceptions. If I am ever asked (and a few times when I don’t wait to be asked ;-) ), the answer is always the same: prove (to yourself) that you need to unify your accounts, because a default of assuming a separate professional (whether as a brand or as a more formal version of yourself) and personal persona will give you the flexibility to keep your themes and messages on-track (and does nothing to hamper your human voice **in context** in the process).

Marilyn - Definitely every business needs a clear social media policy.

Brad - Except, Marilyn, unless I’m misunderstanding you, we’re more talking about individuals who wear multiple hats than a more formal employee role. Yes, there still needs to be a “social media policy” but I’d be surprised if any solo folks actually have it written down or have even taken the time to intentionally decide what the internal policy is. Having separate accounts by default helps encourage the thought process of “oh, I’m X now” even if X is “on the clock” vs “off time”. For those folks who *do* intentionally bring it together, that’s what I refer to. Taking the time to understand what you are and aren’t going to post, how to keep various topics out of the stream (or acknowledge their presence), and so forth.

Elli – Twitter is by far more used than facebook. Ever since Timline appeared more and more people have left facebook for Twitter and Tumblr. Tumblr is good to share your photos on but Twitter is more used by people to promote what they do as a living or a hobby.

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