Tag Archives: Twitter

Using Social Media: Part 6 – Measurement

Copyright 2007 by noblelgnoble

Copyright 2007 by noblelgnoble

 

This is the sixth post in a 6 part series on how I using social media. In this sixth installment, I discuss measurement.

 

 

Measure What Counts

There has been discussion about how to measure social media and can it truly impact your bottom line. The same could be said of public relations. In the end, it’s measuring what counts for your business.

 

Personally, I think it’s important to determine your baseline measurements to gauge the effectiveness of your strategies over time. Consider keeping it simple, selecting 3-4 points to track. As you gather more information, you can better refine and expand your measurement criteria. Here are some basic points to measure:

 

Tweetburner

Tweetburner

  • Subscribers, Followers, Fans: One way to track the success of your programs is by the steady growth of subscribers to your blog, followers on Twitter or fans on Facebook. Feedburner is a nice way to track subscribers to your blog or any RSS feed that you create for corporate updates, such as press releases, newsletters, etc.

  • Audience Reach: The key aspect of social media is tracking “word of mouth” or the reach of your content to your key audiences.

    • Twitter – Tweetburner allows you to create a short URL for Twitter and then tracks who has retweeted the link or clicked on it. You can keep your stats private or public. While this is a great tool, I’ve found that people will create their own short URLs for the content, so you may want to actively search on your Twitter ID for possible retweet. I then add up the number of subscribers for these individuals to get a “number” regarding reach.

    • Online Reputation: Another way to determine reach is to track who is talking about you online. I wrote a bit about this in my second post – Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds. The added component is determining the reach of these online outlets. While ad equivalence can be used too, I’m not a fan of this method as I point out in my next bullet point.

  • Incoming Leads, Inquiries: There are a couple of free tools such as Quantcast and Google Analytics that provide good detail about your incoming traffic. The key is to closely track the referring sources for the incoming leads and the conversion rates. For example, Twitter is quickly becoming a driver of traffic to my blog or answering a question on LinkedIn can lead to an inquiry about your services.

  • Increased Links: Before you start your programs, take a quick snapshot of sites that link to your website. While a basic stat, this can have huge SEO implications for your site, which in turn, increases your visibility on search engines. Check to see if your efforts increase this basic stat.

  • Conversation Index: Steve Boyd discusses the Conversation Index as a way to determine which blogs are successful. Basically, successful blogs are those have a more comments than posts. I would think that the same value can be applied to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The more that people interact with your company and messages, one can assume the more engaged they are with you.

 

Conclusion

No matter what you do, measurement has to be an integral part of your program. Identifying the key data points relevant to your business, you can better justify these programs to your executive management. And who can argue with a program that has a low cost per lead and high conversion rate for sales?

 

Other posts in the series:

Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds

Using Social Media: Part 3 – Social Networking Sites (updated link)

Using Social Media: Part 4 – Linking Strategies

Using Social Media: Part 5 – Blogger Relations

 

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Using social media by @csalomonlee: post 6 of 6 on measurement: http://twurl.nl/zi26zx


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All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

twitterUpdate: I’ve edited this post to provide a more objective view of social media and how it can be applied.  

There has been a lot written about how to use social media and what the ROI is from using the various tool. Instead of trying to reach all audiences, I view social media as another communications avenue to expand the reach of your company’s specific audiences and customers. 

 

If I was in an agency, I would list my key objectives and list the tools that would help accomplish these objectives. Since I’m not, I did what was easiest – listing the different tools I use and bullet pointing how each helps me. See how lazy I got going in-house…=)

 

I originally was going to have one post but I realized this would be too long. As such, I will have a multi-part series focusing on one segment of separate tools. In this first installment, a look at microblogging.

 

Twittering a Twhirl

twhirl-logo

I use Twitter as my main microblogging platform, with Twhirl to manage personal and corporate accounts. Check out my previous post on Twhirl for more information. 

 

  • Brand awareness: Twitter is gaining traction as viable avenue for brand awareness. I anticipate seeing more company brands using Twitter as a viable communications vehicle. Similar to a website, they will need to have a Twitter handle; otherwise, we’ll start seeing “Twittersquatting” happening.
  • Customer Engagement: Twitter is another way for your company to connect and engage with customers by following the customer’s brand, a specific department or individual for updates. This is especially true if your customers tend to be early adopters of technology. I recommend responding to appropriate tweets, especially when your company is mentioned or if people are discussing a related topic.
  • Industry Conversations: I recommend following key individuals, such as reporters, analysts and industry luminaries, who are relevant to your company. In this way, you can keep a pulse of topics important to them and provide insight from your company’s perspective.
  • Competitive Intelligence: Consider following individuals from competitive companies. This is one way for monitoring what competitors are doing and who they may be speaking with.
  • Corporate Marketing: And I purposely put this last. The first tendency is to only tweet updates about what your company is doing – new webinars, white papers, etc. While this is important, you need to balance this with tweets about industry topics that would be of interest to your followers or links to interesting articles. Remember, participate in conversations. It’s not a one-way marketing channel.  

Conclusion

While microblogging is still “new” to many marketers and public relationships professionals, it is quickly becoming a de facto need like a website. Since microblogs are bite-sized updates, a more intimate environment is created between the Twitterer and her followers.

 

A company that engages its audiences with microblogging can further increase its brand awareness, while creating a stronger community.

 

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To make is easy for you to tweet this on Twitter, copy and paste this snippet:

RT – Using social media. Part – microblogging: http://twurl.nl/rorux8

 

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All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Additional Twitter Tricks – Twhirl

twhirl-logoSince I first started tweeting on Twitter (thanks Jeremiah!), I have learned some additional tricks for maximizing my time and presence on Twitter. My main difficulty was how to manage more than one account for person and work related tweets. That is until I found out about Twhirl.

What a time saver!

I had tried using my instant messaging tool as a way to receive and send out tweets but that wasn’t as elegant as Twhirl is. With Twhirl, I no longer have to constantly refresh my browser for updated tweets. Here are some of my favorite features (updated image 11/20/08):

twhirlStarred items are unread tweets. I can either click on tweets to indicate read or mark all tweets as read.

 

Mouse over someone and be able to send a message, direct message, mark a tweet as a favorite, or retweet something with just a click of the mouse.

 

Shorten URLs automatically. While Twitter does this too, if you go over your character limit, you can’t shorten it. With Twhirl, I have three different options to shorten a URL before inserting into a tweet

 

Twitpic – I haven’t tried this but can see this as a valuable way to share images.

 

Search is actually integrated with the solution versus having to go to a different page to find people. And while Twitter has disable people search recently, Twhirl has not.

 

If there are specific tweets I want to favorite, I can do this. Especially useful for saving links people have tweeted about.

Give Twhirl a Whirl

Overall, I am loving Twhirl as a way to manage multiple twitter accounts for personal and business purposes. One thing to keep in mind is tracking the clicks of the links posted on Twitter. Mack Collier just wrote about Tweetburner and Ellie of HubSpot commented on other ways to track the links in the comments. I would also check out Dave Fleet’s article on tips for new twitter users.

My previous posts about Twitter:

Brave New World of Media Pitching: Twitter

Twitter Experiment: Why Follow?

 

 All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Brave New World of Media Pitching: Facebook

I have only been on a Facebook for a year or so. I mainly use it to keep in touch with personal connections, and rarely use it for professional reasons. I believe that the “casual” aspect of Facebook does make it more difficult for business-to-business companies to leverage the full potential, with early success for consumer related companies.

 With that said, I do see the potential of Facebook from a PR perspective:

Fan Club or Group?: Before setting up a group, you have the option of designating it as a group or fan club. Groups have membership limits while fans clubs don’t. It’s a small distinction but quite important depending on the size of the community you’re seeking to tap into.

Before setting up a fan club/group, consider these two points first:

1) Research what groups/clubs already exist in your area. Does it make sense to set up another page if there are hundreds of similar ones out there?

2) Participate in existing groups/clubs to network with people in your target audience. By “friending” these folks, you’re able to pull in your existing network if you do decide to launch your own group or fan club. 

Share and Share Alike: With Facebook’s “share” function, you can provide a steady stream of company updates and information to your friend network. For example, my company recently received media coverage in Forbes and San Jose Mercury News. I shared this news to my connections.

I recommend sharing information that is relevant to your industry. Since you can add a comment, this helps to position your company as an expert on a specific topic. And is much quicker than drafting a blog post from scratch =)

In the end, you never know what information will catch a reporter/blogger’s eye for a possible article or posting.

Friending Reporters and Bloggers: If a reporter or blogger has agreed to be friends with you, the implication is that you’ve created or have an existing personal relationship. Depending on your level of “friendship,” you can send pitches via Facebook’s internal email system, which may break through the noise of emails. Just confirm that the person prefers to receive pitches this way. He or she may want to keep Facebook on a personal level while want “business” correspondence to be received in another format.

While I have not personally done this yet, I would just recommend being very careful of how and when you do this. As I wrote recently about HARO spam, the purpose of these tools is to create connections, not harvest emails and contact information. By doing so breaks the trust you’ve created.

Promote Events: Facebook enables people to send out event invitations to your friends. Great way to promote attendance for live events or webinars. Be sure not to over promote an event with multiple reminders.

Applications: As an open platform, Facebook offers different types of applications. These applications range from the silly – sending a beer – to useful – free VoIP phone calls or Twitter updates. For me, I’ve added the Twitter app to tie all my external personalities into Facebook. Determine which apps to incorporate based on the types of information your generating and which are appropriate for your company.

Some have even created complimentary applications within Facebook which have become wildly popular. As long as it’s relevant to your Facebook audience, is easy to use and understand and is relevant to your business, apps can be one way to get your business to your target audience.

Face Book Case Study:

I was seeking B2B examples of using Facebook and couldn’t find any Mike Nierengarten of (company?) did forward me this description of how they leveraged Facebook to drive students to an online animation school (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Animation-Mentor-Online-Animation-School/14719464771):

Animation Mentor, an online animation school, is perfect for Facebook because it has tons of great content (video, events, pictures), a strong (current) student presence on the site, and our target customers (potential students) use the site regularly.

For Animation Mentor, we set up a profile to connect with current students. From there, we added a Facebook page and rolled those students into fans. We then created a Prospective Animation Mentor Student group for individuals who were interested in the school to connect and share thoughts. Finally, we promoted the page off of Facebook using an Animation blog.  

Results: Facebook page ranks for targeted keywords on Google (e.g. #23 for “animation school”, #9 for “character animation”), we have over 700 fans with a mix of currents students and interested students interacting online, and we have an area for prospective students to address their concerns and interact directly with someone from the school in their space. We have also seen a near 3% conversion rate (i.e. complete an application) from the Facebook page.

Summary: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

I posted my question on Twitter and LinkedIn. I decided not to ask my Facebook network as my previous questions have received no answers. I overwhelmingly received more responses via LinkedIn. Why?

Twitter seems to elicit a lot of responses depending on the interest of your audience to that question and what other conversations are happening at the time. With the cacophony of voices, it’s very difficult, at least for me, to pose a question that elicits response. I did when I discussed the role of PR agencies but not for this question.

For LinkedIn, people are leveraging it as a business networking tool. The Q&A section is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in a specific topic, as I outlined in my previous post.

I think Lewis Green of BizSolutionsPlus said it best in his response: “I think LinkedIn and Plaxo Pulse are better social networking sites for non-invasive marketing and PR, which is the only way we should be promoting our brands within the social networking and social media worlds. We should be giving, not making an effort to get. That’s why providing free information, such as this Q&A offers us a chance to do so.”

Initial Conclusions

1) LinkedIn great for professional networking and developing expertise with LinkedIn Answers

2) Twitter great for quick updates and breaking information to your company

3) Facebook is like a mini-site that has a social networking component. You need a wealth of relevant information to feed into the pages, while actively working to develop and maintain a community.

Other posts in the “Brave New World of Media Pitching” series:

- Brave New World of Media Pitching: LinkedIn
Brave New World of Media Pitching: Twitter
- Read LinkedIn responses to “How do you use Facebook for PR?”

 

UPDATE: Forgot to thank everyone who responded: Mike Nierengarten, Lewis Green, G. Niki Foust, Andrew Miller, Thomas Ahonen, Joyce Schwarz, Jocelyn Brandeis, Alysha Cryer, Dylan Conroy

 

 

All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Argh – Twitter Going Crazy

At what point will people finally get tired of all the screw ups with Twitter? Sigh.

Brave New World of Media Pitching: Twitter

I have a page about how to pitch a blogger, but I’m realizing that this goes beyond pitching bloggers vs. traditional media. It’s how do we pitch people in general?

 

The traditional standards still apply: get to know the person you’re pitching, understand his or her preferences for pitching, and make sure you’re pitching something relevant. The questions now is, which is better? Twitter, facebook, linked in, RSS feeds, etc.

 

I’ve seen a lot of writing around new ways of pitching. In a first of a series of postings, I will look at different ways to “pitch” reporters and bloggers. For this issue, it’s how people are using Twitter for media outreach and relationship building.

  

Twitpitch: I read about this on Read/Write Web regarding Steve Bowd, a consultant. Consider it the online version of an elevator pitch. With only 140 characters, there’s only so much bullsh*t that a company can give. It forces you to be succinct and get to the point. Steve’s initial experiment is now the only way he wants to receive pitches.

 

Conference Conversations: In an email exchange with Chris Parente, he highlighted how his clients were able to get in front of journalists by following key analysts and reporters at the RSA Conference via Twitter. Chris was able to keep his client updated on issues being discussed and debated during the show, which helped their client be smart in front of key influencers. I see this being a huge trend, especially in early adopter/technology conferences.

 

Follow Key Influencers: Connected to “conference conversations,” I recommend that you start following key influencers now. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the person’s personality and topics of interest. It’s also an opportunity to participate in conversations with the analyst or reporter, especially when they ask a question. You never know when one of these mini-conversations becomes fodder for a blog posting or article. Just don’t get caught in the trap of trying to follow everything 24/7.

 

Update – Create Your Own Conversation: TechCrunch wrote about an interesting use of Twitter for a project wine tasting via Twitter. The company identified key twitterers, sent them some bottles of wine, and invited them to taste the wine and provide feedback online. What made this work? Making sure that the wine tasting conversation ocurred on a specific day and time. And I assume the wine tasted good as well.

 

What about you? Have you used Twitter for media/analyst relations? If so, share your stories below in the comments.

 

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Twitter Experiment: Why Follow?

Twitter Experiment I usually follow people on Twitter that have something to say and is related to my career. I always found it interesting when people just followed everyone.

So when this twitterer recently “followed” me, I was intrigued. he or she (I’m assuming she due to the image) is trying an experiment. She is trying to figure out how many people just blindly follow people without checking out the content of twitterer.

When I last checked, this person was following over 5900 people with 155 reciprocating.

This raises an interesting question about the psychology of following. When I first started Twitter, I felt that I had to follow everyone who followed me. Otherwise, I would be dissing someone.

Now I don’t necessarily follow everyone – I just don’t have the brain power to process that many people. I will also occasionally unfollow folks who haven’t really participated in conversations.

I think it’s key to recognize that social media can increase one’s social network. Just remember, you can only create a nework that YOU’RE comfortable with. YOU create the network. It doesn’t create you.

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