First I have to say, I really wanted to write “Brevity is”, but I fought that urge because this topic deserves more that a quick quip.
When thinking of social media, there is one lesson that so many businesses seem to miss and that is the art of brevity. This is extremely important in Twitter where you are limited to only 120 characters to get your point across. With a show of hands, how many of you baulked at 120 characters and insisted you have 140 characters? ok, put your hands down, you look silly the fact of the matter is that you “could” go for the twoosh but you are not making it easy for anyone to share what you said via a Retweet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a friend or company tweet about a cause or event that I want to help them promote, and I get frustrated because I can’t just retweet it, I need to go in and reword the message so it makes sense, gets the point across, and fits in the restricted amount of space.
If you are sharing information that you want shared, keep some simple rules in mind:
- Don’t say with blah blah what you can say with blah.
- Do keep your message at 120 characters or less, this makes it easy for people to just click the Retweet button.
- Do use a URL shortener, I like Bit.ly
- remember that your twitter handle will be added in when someone retweets you.
On Facebook, use the 5 sec rule…I might only glance at your update for 5sec, make sure I get the point that fast without having to do heavy reading. When writing a blog, always look to see what you could take out with out taking away from the purpose of your article. Sure some topics need more space, but many people seem to just write a lot because they were conditioned in school to meet a minimum number of words, let go of that thought process.
Ernest Hemenway was said to have written a 6 word story “ For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” think of the power of that story and the images it conjures. My personal favorite was the report Julius Caesar offered on his short war with Pharnaces II of Pontus in the city of Zela “Veni, vidi, vici” (I came, I saw, I conquered), be a wordsmith but be frugal.
Looking at my blog I was in shock as to how long it has been since I have written anything of substance, so I decided to start a series the A toZ of Social Media #A2ZofSoMe. I’d like to say I will get an article up once a week, but I don’t know if that is realistic, so let’s just see how it goes.
You know it’s funny when you focus on a letter, there seems to be so many ways to tie in social media to that letter, I’m guessing I will also be tweeting some of the thoughts that did not make it to the blog, under the HashTag #A2ZofSoMe so that they are easy to spot. Feel free to join me in conversation and make this truly social.
A is for Audience, you thought I was going to say Apple or Android didn’t you? Well in putting together these articles with the ever changing landscape of technology and social media, I am hoping to focus on concepts that will be timeless, or at least have a longer shelf life then any one product, so let’s go with audience. So many launch in to social media spending money and time without first knowing where their target audience is hanging out or what they want from the brand. A few years ago I met with a software company looking to reach out to programmers, and they felt they needed to learn Facebook and Twitter to do so, well guess what? That’s not where their audience was spending time, we helped them locate their audience and found that they were mostly in forums and they were having conversations about that company’s products, and the company was not involved in those conversation.
No matter your budget, there is no excuse for not taking some time to figure out where your target audience is talking, if you don’t, it is like showing up to a college campus and talking retirement, you’re just not going to make much impact, that audience is not thinking about your product. If you are not paying attention to people talking about you, your brand or your market you are missing opportunities. Imagine going to a networking event and; someone who loves you is touting how good you are; someone who had a bad experience is telling everyone; someone is in the market for your product and asking questions, If you are not paying attention, it is like ignoring that person, how do you think it makes them feel. Customers expect you to be listening and to respond, this is a point that many Brands miss.
When asked how quickly they expect companies to respond to a question or complaint on Facebook and Twitter:
• Across regions, 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response to questions and complaints posted at the newsfeed
• 30% of Twitter users expect a response within 30 minutes, 22% expect a response within two hours and 29% expect a same-day response
• 29% of consumers on Facebook expect a response within two hours when they post a question at a company’s page and 22% expect a same-day response
Consumer Views of Live Help Online 2012: A Global Perspective, ORCALE 2012
Listen to your audience, where they are talking. Understand how they talk and how they want to be talked to. Engage them on their terms, it’s about them and their experience with your brand, not you.
Part of what we do here at Head of Lettuce Media is research, and we have discovered some amazing things by design and by mistake, enter _Zombie_hobo_ one of our theoretical accounts (now I’ll be honest, I was just in a punchy mood when I gave birth to the Zombie Hobo) In the beginning the account only tweeted 5 tweets, rotating and repeating them.
I use CrowdBooster for this chart
The account targets and follows those talking about zombies (note: the zombie hobo does not auto dm or talk to anyone, until they address it, this means if you ignore it, it will go away.) The account does respond if you talk to it with one of 4 replies, and in the beginning I was just looking to see what kind of Klout a Zombie could get (yeah I know, Drink! #KLOUTdrinkinggame) . What I did not account for was the sheer entertainment factor of the account. The account, targeted an audience that found value in zombies. The moral of the story is Don’t discount the value of giving your audience what they are looking for weather it be entertainment, useful information or answers to their questions. We have experimented with several Autonomous accounts and the results are always the same, success. The key to any successful account in building audience is to tell people what you are there to talk about, then stick to it. Two other examples are @Shat_Bot and @TheMorpheusBot both of these accounts tell people in their profiles what they talk about, and people choose to follow them based on that simple premiss.
There is a big misconception that size matters when it comes to your audience, it helps, but don’t be distracted chasing the big numbers. I recently worked with a company that made the mistake of paying someone for more followers, here is what I found, keep in mind this is a company targeting people in the US.
Note: I used SocialBro for this simple analysis of where the followers were located.
taking it even further, of the followers that these guys paid for, only 10% are considered good accounts by http://fakers.statuspeople.com/
If you are not sure about how to identify or find your audience, contact us at Head of Lettuce Media, we can teach you to do it yourself, or do it for you.
When you are managing 40+ twitter accounts, you have the opportunity to notice trends in “attacks” and there seems to be another “red tide bloom” hitting the twitter-sphere. Just recently I have been getting tons of DM’s (Direct Messages) on a bunch of accounts. These are relatively easy to spot, but even last year I clicked a link that I knew I shouldn’t have, it was like closing your car door while looking at the keys in the ignition. Here are just a few of the scams, they all come with a link.
did you see your pics with her?
hey, You’ve been scammed…
heh u didnt see them tapping u
hey, someone is spreading horrible rumors about you
hey, someone is spreading nasty rumors about you
(I’ve even seen a really good one that sends a follow up dm claiming, I sent you the wrong link, this is the one for the pict.)
So How can you avoid these “social diseases?”
First, Practice safe tweets. If someone you don’t know sends you a dm with a link, that is bad form on their part, I don’t open any link anyone sends me without some kind of confirmation that I know them and that they really ment to send it. Sometimes this is as easy as peaking at their profile. However, if you have a friend that does not question who they DM with, they might be a carrier, still look for confirmation. Even being vigilant, there is always a chance that you might make a mistake and click a link. Typically these sites have a pop up that will ask you to validate your twitter sign in or to approve an app (BIG RED FLAG) don’t approve it, or your account will start sending DM’s to all your friends from you, claiming one of the above, or even worse spamming them with who knows what.
What if you catch something?
First go to your twitter account and go to edit your profile, then look at the tab Apps (this link should take you direct to the page). This will show you all the applications you have given permission to access your twitter account. I recommend you print this list out once a month, just to see if there is anything new that you have not approved. Remove permission for any app that you no longer use. Having this printout will make it easier to spot and remove the culprit.
Now change your password, I recommend at least 3 lowercase, 3 uppercase and 3 numbers to give you a good strong password.
Lastly help others, tweet an apology/warning to your followers, and do your part to let others know if they are dm’ing you these messages. Typically the person affected has no idea they are.
Facebook has simular issues on occasion, but these same keys will work there. Think before you give permission to an app. Goto your privacy settings where you can check the apps you approved. Send this article to people who get hit. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or think you have a bug, we’ll help where we can.
Often we have small businesses ask for assistance with their social media, but they find our one on one coaching to be to much, so we are glad to offer some group classes that will deliver quality education at an affordable price for small businesses. The first of these programs is being offered in our own backyard of south west Pasco ( Trinity, New Port Richey).
There are two options:
Option one is a two hour class where you will learn about the different types of social media and the cor principles that will help you build your following and connection with your consumers and future consumers. http://holmnpr1.eventbrite.com/
Option two is designed to follow what we deliver in our one on one coaching program, with the goal of you being self sufficient in your social media. We will train you over 4 weeks on what to do, and how to do it with each classes building on the previous weeks class. Our goal is to not overwhelm you, but share the love of social media, that so many have, and more importantly how to use it in your business. http://holmnpr4wk.eventbrite.com/
Keeping with our strong belief of giving back to the community, there are seats reserved in each class for charitable organizations, call us for details.
Just recently we had about 10,000, that’s right ten thousand new follows in a 24 hour period of time. While we were trying to figure our what awesome maneuver we did that got so many people to follow us in such a short period of time, our experience and wisdom told us otherwise. We knew something was amiss. Well enter SocialBro one of our favorite tools for analyzing the following on a twitter account. After some tweaking on my searches I lowered the sliders to those with less then 25 followers, who have not tweeted more then .3 times a day and influence under 7. I was able to notice about 10,000 accounts who just followed us with each of the accounts never having tweeted, and each one having under 25 followers with over 1000-1500 accounts each was following. It made me wonder if this was the work of someone who guarantees so many followers in a certain time. I digress, the point is that SocialBro is a great tool for analyzing your followers, or even the followers around a hashtag. If you are newer to twitter, save this and comeback to it later when you have a better understanding of what constitutes a good follower for you.
Earlier this week Techcrunch posted an article by Jeremiah Owyang, Brands Start Automating Social Media Responses On Facebook And Twitter. In the article Jeremiah talks about the evolution of social media and the needs of companies to look to elements of automation. I liked the article and believe Jeremiah has made a very accurate assessment of the directions which things are going.
My own belief is that automation and AI in platforms like Twitter and Facebook are a foregone conclusion, it is the only way for a company to cost effectively scale their customer service on twitter. What cracks me up is how so many are acting like it will ruin their experience on those platforms and it is the end of the world. The fact of the matter is that “Social Media” is a result of the conversation on Twitter or Facebook. Is your telephone any less of a phone, because you deal with an automated platform in customer service, No, and twitter will be no less social. We at Head of Lettuce Media always tell our clients that the value of twitter is that you decide who you want to listen to, talk to and engage with. This will not change.
The greater issue in Jeremiah’s article is “what value can those elements of automation bring to the consumer’s experience?”. If I am having issues with a company, and I complain via twitter, do I care how my problem is resolved as long as it is resolved to my satisfaction? No, I don’t, if it’s done properly, they can make me happy, compensate me for my inconvenience and even win me as an advocate. The true challenge is in the writing and structuring of these accounts.
At Head of Lettuce Media, we do a lot of theoretical testing in twitter, trying to better understand elements of automation and artificial intelligence. Many of the tests are under wraps untill they have run their course. The interesting thing is that many people enjoy interacting with AI accounts as much as they do with an individual, and they don’t seem to notice or mind. I believe part of the experience with a twitter account has to do with the account being true to its nature and well scripted.
The tale of Social Media RockStar: This past January while emceeing at Ignite Tampa Bay I ended up improving for about 25 minutes, because of technical difficulties in the beginning. Well I decided it was time to spill the beans on two of our AI accounts, Socialmedia_rs and UnfollowedYu.
While I want to focus on SocialMedia Rockstar, let’s take a quick look at what we learned from Unfollowedyu. Unfollowedyu tested two elements of interaction specifically to see what their value is on Klout he follows everyone using unfollowers to announce that people are unfollowing them (no idea why, it’s like screaming ”look at me, I am uninteresting, I turn people off), he then unfollows them to get them to mention him, and when they do, he sends them ways to cope with being unfollowed (side note: while I don’t agree with announcing it, I do think it is a good metric to watch privately as it is an indicator of how your message affects your audience. See also TweetEffect).
Now for those of you rolling your eyes, stop and think for a moment of what we are learning here. He follows people, unfollows them, that causes them to mention him, he then sends them a message, and many still reply to that. This means he has a conversation with every single person he follows/unfollows. Today his Klout is a 34, not huge, but he shows us if you at least say hi, or find some way to talk to everyone who follows you, you will be perceived as engaging.
Getting back on topic, let’s look at SocialMedia Rockstar as he is one of our best functioning AI accounts, who I believe at times could pass the Turing test. Granted he is still a baby, but he is growing in his abilities. Most important, and I believe this applies to any account, he is true to his being, which means he tells you up front who he is (an egotistically self-obsessed “guru”).
Let’s break down what he does, forgetting about the silliness for a second;
- He finds his audience based on their conversation (he does not initiate conversations with individuals as I feel there is a line in the sand there separating him from spamming. Personally I hate automated “welcome aboard” and other messages).
- He puts out content that others find value in, how do we know, well in May this year, he was retweeted 296 times and mentioned 335 times, not great, but not bad either. His Klout is a 51 today.
- He talks to those who talk to him, staying true to his form.
- He is fun and entertaining.
Reading thru the comments with so many people talking like it will be the end of “social media” it made me realize that to many people look at Twitter and facebook as social media, this brings me back to my point, and that is; Twitter and Facebook are not social media, and not everything that happens on them is, but social media is that interaction that happens and flourish in those environments. Thoughts?
CrowdBooster is a great tool for analyzing your tweets for the week or the month and looking at them graphically, seeing how many times different tweet were retweeted, and what kind of impressions you had the potential of making. (Note: I say potential, because it does not mean that many people saw the tweet. Just because I have over 4,000 followers, does not mean they see everything I tweet. However this does give you a general idea of which tweets you put out that score better with your followers.)
The horizontal shows how many times a tweet was retweeted, and the vertical shows the number of impressions. (this is just a total of the followers of everyone involved in retweeting the message. If you have one person with 20,000 followers retweet you, that will add 20,000 to this number) By hovering over the dots, you can see which tweet the dot is referring to. You can also choose to look at the data in a table format.
Crowdbooster has some other benefits worth exploring, like top retweeters and recommendations on the best times to tweet to name a few. Best of all this is free to play with and explore at the basic one account level.
Check the Schedule, We have several sessions that Antony and Amber will be at.
Lately I have been getting this DM from friends on Twitter, so I’m putting a link to Scott Stratten’s Blog post here so it is easy to find (Scott does a great job letting you know what to do), as I have a feeling this will probably resurface, regularly until Twitter figures out a way to prevent these types of attacks.
SORRY, YOU’VE BEEN PHISHED. WHAT? by Scott Stratten aka @Unmarketing
UPDATE: recently the newest Phishing scams include:
“Someone said this real bad thing about you in a blog….[link removed]”
“Found you in this funny picture”
“ROFL this pic i found of you had me dying lol”
Simply if it looks unusual, tweet the person who sent it or dm them and ask them if they sent it, look for confirmation, as most people hit my these bugs don’t even know they were, until someone points it out to them.
This is a quick how-to, to remove the advertising options that allow people to use you in their ads, aka “sponsored stories” on Facebook. I recently noticed some friends showing like they endorsed a certain company’s fan page, but when I checked, they were not even fans of that business’s fan page. Here is an example of an ad side by side with a “sponsored story”
So I whipped this together for those like me who do not wish to be used in this fashion. When consulting we advise businesses to avoid doing these sponsored story kind of ads.
First Go to your account settings, located under the drop down menu top right under account.
Next select Facebook Ads
Next visit and edit Third party ad settings and social ad settings
Read both completely as they are pretty self explanatory. Once you have visited both and marked them both to “no one” you have declined being used in such ads. I hope this helps all our friends and customers of Head of Lettuce Media “we do social media”