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.
Head of Lettuce Media is giving away 2 Tix for the +Tampa Bay Lightning Season Opener comment for a chance to win #BoltsAreBack #HOLM We will be randomly picking one winner for 2 tix. You may enter via Facebook by commenting on the thread for the contest, same with Google+. You may also enter by retweeting @HOLMedia including “@TBLightning#BoltsAreBack #HOLM” Good Luck, winner will be announced Friday at noon and will be able to pick up their tickets at will-call. You can also enter by commenting on this post. You may enter once via all 4 methods. Good Luck
Head of Lettuce Media has scored a Family 4 pack for, Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey, BUILT TO AMAZE! In Tampa, January 2-6, 2013, which includes 4 $15 tickets, 4 small lemonades, 4 small popcorns, and 4 lollipops. This offer is valid for any performance except those on Saturday, and we are giving it away. To enter just comment on this blog article telling us what you love about the circus, and you will be entered. We will be drawing a random winner from those registered, December 14th at noon est, and will announce and contact the winner that afternoon.
To increase your odds we will also be monitoring Twitter for the Hashtag #HOLMRBBB Tweet some love with a link to this article as well as the tag and we will double your chances. You must be at least 18 to enter, Winner is chosen randomly at the discretion of Head of Lettuce Media.
We have also been given a discount code:
Get a Family Value Pack for just $88.00. This includes 4 $15 tickets, 4 small lemonades, 4 small popcorns, and 4 lollipops. This offer is valid for any performance except those on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at the Tampa Bay Times Forum ticket office or ticketmaster.com using code FAMDEAL. Here’s a PDF file of a flyer highlighting this special offer.
We will be covering opening night on January 2nd, and tweeting that night on @TBAthingstodo using the hashtag #BuilttoAmaze be sure to tune in and/or join in the conversation.
This past week I attended the National Association of Realtor’s annual convention and expo, and I was amazed to see how few of the 200+ booths were taking advantage of social media and QR codes, less the 10% had QR Codes. What I found interesting is that I was told by many of the exhibitors that 2 years ago, almost every booth had a QR code. This begs the questions; Are the exhibitors assuming that the attendees still don’t get QR codes, or do they no longer care if they do, because they don’t understand the value of this simple tool. I thought I would share some of the “opportunities” I spotted to help those of you planning a booth for upcoming expos, of course your best bet would be to hire Head of Lettuce media to help you integrate the social media into the design, we have gotten quite good at event promotion and building conversation during an event (end shameless plug).
What’s the goal? First you need to consider the goal of your expo experience and your booth. Are you selling product at the booth? Are you looking for leads to follow-up on after the event? Are you looking to establish brand recognition? I know that in many cases you may be doing more than one of these. Consider how Social Media might come into play, in the mix of your booth. If your booth is crowded a well placed QR code could give attendees quick access to your information preventing them from walking away in frustration, because they could not get answers to their questions. I noticed one company using the QR code to allow attendees to enter to win a Kindle.
While their booth may not have been the most impressive, EXP Realty scored a home run in my book with a large QR code, easy to scan which took you to a mobile site which loaded fast (right picture) where you could register as well as get some questions answered. Unfortunately they were in the minority. The majority of QR codes went to websites, and typically they did not use a url shortener the result was very pixellated codes that are hard for some phones to read, if they are not large enough.
This one, while very detailed was made large enough for a quick read, I did give them the free advice to use a url shortener next time, so that it is easier to read. After this, QR codes just got less and less prevalent. Here are some I spotted.
My personal favorite was the use by Century 21 with the QR code at the top of the really tall banner and the others in their booth, hidden by the giveaways. If you are going to go through the effort of using a QR code, don’t tuck it in the corner like you are embarrassed to be using it, instead make it prominent and easy for anyone to scan from anywhere on the floor in front of your booth like EXP Realty did. Don’t make attendees crawl on the floor like some of the examples above. Keep in mind that even though I am mention these companies, good and bad, they all score for at least trying. Over 90% of the booths at the convention had no QR code at all, and even fewer mentioned their Twitter handle or Facebook page, other then having the logos on their booth artwork, you can only assume that their name is their handle. So I do applaud these few for making the effort.
I should mention that the National Association of Realtors did do an excellent job promoting a #hashtag for the event, my measurement using SocialBro on the #NARannual tag showed almost 500 individuals in the conversation, not bad for an audience thought to not understand QR codes.
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.
This week Linkedin added a new element to their platform, Endorsements. They are a way of saying amen to the bullet point skills that one is hoping to be seen as skilled in. I have a feeling this will be the new game in town; I’ll endorse you if you endorse me. Who can get the most endorsements, will popularity win? HR folk will have to decide how many endorsements equal one recommendation. Maybe we can add points, 1 per endorsement per subject, and 25 for a written recommendation? I joke, but I know it is only a matter of time before we hear someone trade endorsements and recommendations to build your Linkedin value, vs earning it. Your picture shows as having endorsed someone, does this encourage or discourage you to endorse? Notice what happens when I hover over my picture on a friends endorsements (snapped the picture from a 3rd party account, as your own picture does not do this for you)
T his could be a good way to be noticed. Now you need to recognize the difference between endorsements of those who really know the person, and people blindly endorsing everyone to increase the possible links to their own profile. I really don’t have an answer for this yet, these are just things to consider, let me know what you think. Feel free to endorse me if you feel I deserve it, and I will reciprocate if I can do it and feel good about it:)
With the #RNC2012 (Republican National Convention 2012) kicking off this week, it begs the question, how do you take your politics, or social media for that matter. As one who makes a living from studying Social Media I love when anything major happens, because it gives us a chance to study elements of social media at an accelerated pace. A good TV show promoting their hashtag can have the same effect check out #AGT (America’s got Tallent) or #SYTYCD (so you think you can dance) on their respective nights, their audience is very engaged.
I watch the conversation using a few tools, and thought I would share them with you as this week is a great chance to test drive them and find your favorite.
TwitterFall This is one of my favorites, you can enter a few search terms, and each will appear in a different color. I often use this to observe the 45+ twitter accounts I manage personally. Their are simple options, and you do not even need to be on twitter to watch this one.
SocialBro, as I have mentioned before, I like. They are great for monitoring a Hashtag and seeing who the influencers are in the conversation or where the conversation is taking place. They also let you select people from the conversation for following or putting on a list.
Bottlenose is a newer tool in beta that lets you look at a great diagram around the topic, showing the other related tags and you can also tweak it to see topics and who is a leader in the conversation. This is great for spotting conversations that might be related to your primary hashtag. Check out the other tags, as there is a good chance not everyone in those ancillary tags are following the main tag also.
You can also view the data in a few formats, like live
Tagboard another new comer gives you a great newspaper style format. This one is simple to use and great for reviewing material.
SeeS.aw is like Tagboard, but will let you save searches and the stream keeps flowing where Tagboard seems to need to be refreshed (which has its own benefits).
Geofeedia another Beta provides a map of tweets around a location, or a newspaper format. This helps you see also the conversation in the area of an event, when not everyone is using the event hashtag. I used the Tamp Times Forum as a location, even tho the screen shows St.Pete Times Forum (its name changed).
SocialMention offers a nice clean feed with highlights showing Sentiment, Top keywords, hashtags, users and sources. Great for seeing everything involved in the conversation.
Tawlk another beta is great for a live newspaper feed
Hashtracking is another favorite of mine, they are great for showing you the potential size of your audience as well as a ranking of those involved in the conversation.
These are still just a few of the tools available out there, feel free to share any I missed (my goal here was to give some tools you can use during the convention to follow the conversation).
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.