Tag Archives: Twitter

Are you Lissted?

Journalists have adopted Twitter wholeheartedly, so wouldn’t it be useful to have them all in one place, accessible to PR professionals and businesses alike?

Lissted is an attempt to fill that need.

It is an easy to use tool that allows users to select on location (UK, USA as well as worldwide), sectors (which can be broken down in a number of subsets), by individual or outlet.  You can even see someone’s Klout score if you really want.

For those wanting to invest (between £99 -£ 149 a month) there are additional features such as tools to monitor key terms, sentiment and influencers – reputation management rather than media relations (no value judgement intended).

While it is quick amass a wealth of Twitter addresses that you can follow, is it really useful?

I like it and it is a short cut to acquiring journalist’s Twitter addresses although PR databases generally offer this information.  Nevertheless it is probably an easier to use method although some will prefer doing it while building lists and campaigns on their current systems.

However if a business believes this will give it access to millions of pounds worth of editorial coverage it could be disappointed.

Why Lissted is not a complete solution (at a basic level) for gaining coverage for businesses:

  • Journalists often do not talk shop online – I rarely see them asking for specific stories, people, companies etc.  It is often used as a personal social media tool.
  • Journalists have to follow you or your brand to find stories, they often don’t follow back, unless they have time to search.
  • If journalists do follow back can you provide good copy, do you know a good story?
  • Do businesses have the time to monitor and analyse in addition to their roles?

Listted is a very useful addition for those looking to expand their Twitter horizons in regard to journalists.  However e-mail and databases are still are the language for media relations communication although there will be stories of success using this approach.

It might be that the reputation management is the selling point (as the access to Twitter addresses is free).

Lissted is a useful addition and I have used it to follow several PR and marketing journalists all within 10 minutes of signing on.

Twopcharts – Twitter analysis tool

Twopcharts

Klout, Kred or Krud, that genre of Twitter analysis tools can make you cringe a little, raise a smile of incredulity or have a very passing interest.

They are a bit of fun and no more, expect for the odd, perhaps aprocryphal storyof some wayward HR or MD rejecting a candidate for low scores.

Twopchart is not going to decide if you win a job or not (and why would you want one with someone that really thinks Klout shows real personal qualities and skills and experience).

So onto Twopcharts

It is a pretty thorough Twitter analysis tool that will keep the curious or social media geek engaged…for a while.

Want to know who is not following you back?  No problem your indignant side can be satisfied.

Want to know when you tweet most?  Early afternoon as you ask.

Want to know when you will reach that 1,000 mark?  22nd October 2012

Compare following, who are the retweet champions, analyse how you feature on lists, and who is mentioning you the most?  It is all there on Twopchart.

It could have a marketing analysis application by finding out who engages most proactively with your client’s brand and could be used to help compile reports although it is not a dedicated tool for such purposes, and gleaning information this way is a little one dimensional like using Klout.  The big picture might be missed.

But for a bit of analysis it is more incisive than Klout, Kred or Krud.

For those that are still interested: today my Klout score is 40.46.

A few tips on getting more out of your tweets report

This is some of the advice Buddy Media is giving humble Tweeters after it surveyed 320 of the biggest brands Twitter handles to find out what worked best for them. The full report can be downloaded here.

Please let me know if your interactions go up as a result of putting the recommendations into action.

What’s your Klout?

Klout

While we are busy racking up followers, friends or connections, getting a re-tweet or comment here or there, how much do we analyse the effectiveness of our social media output?

Probably for many it is based on just that: amassing a large number of followers, with some nods towards interaction.  How else can you do it?

One free tool available on the Internet is Klout.

Simple and easy to sign-up with and use, it assesses the power of an individuals or company’s social media through algorithms that give feedback on three key elements:

How many people you influence (True Reach)

How much you influence them (Amplification)

How influential they are (Network Score)

If we take Twitter (there are other social media that can be analysed such as LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook) I have a Klout score of 37.88 out of a possible 100, up from 34.65 a few days ago.

My true reach is 286 (rather than the nearly 800 followers I have) although I am not sure if the lists I am noted on are included, there are about 50 and range from one follower to several hundred.  It is an important point as I have more followers on lists than the almost 800 cited.

Network influence is 41 and and amplification stands at 14.

I am also influential about “lawyers, journalism and Manchester.”

I thought I saw “Alan Carr” the other day in that list, but  it must have been my imagination.

It is quite fluid system, scores can go up and down.  When I looked at “I Love Manchester’s” scores, as a test, it went up straight after the riots when many wanted to show support for the city – so first test passed.

With a claim of over 85 million Twitter accounts assessed, you are free to compare scores, quite impressive as the majority of accounts are not signed-up to Klout.

I will mention two more features.

The first is a grid, reminiscent of a marketing or business matrix.  This is an account’s “Klout style,” mine is between “casual and listening” and “focused and consistent.”  As with the other indicators comparisons with friends or rivals accounts can be made.

It adds: “You actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You’re exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you “get it,” we predict you’ll be moving up.”

I am getting falshbacks to school reports.

The other is “Klout perks.”  If you are an influential social media operative you can try or be given gifts,  with the aim of promoting the brand – being influential on journalists and lawyers might not be helpful in this regard, but Manchester might be.

So for any PR that has to justify social media or simply for interested parties who want the gratification that their hours of tweeting are changing the world, it is a fun, easy and perhaps a useful tool.

The impact of the media, including social, on the legal profession

Lawyers are no longer just professionals, they have to be marketers.

There is the temptation for lawyers to promote themselves through cases.  The issue of representing the client and self-promotion is a fine balancing act.

Then there is Twitter – is this leading to the mis-reporting of cases?  Are cases regularly reported in an unbalanced way?  The lines are blurred indeed.

The BBC’s Joshua Rozenberg discusses the issues of how the media is impacting the legal codes lawyers abide by in his regular slot: Law In Action.   Click here to listen.

Corporate marketing & social media – SAScon debate

The issue of who owns social media and how it is best applied is still being grappled with by larger enterprises.  So the SAScon debate on social media on this issues was particularly interesting.

The panel was:

Will McInnes of Nixon McInnes

Phil Jones of Brother UK

Neil Hardy of Co-Operative Travel

Ivan Croxford of BT

And Malcom Coles

I will start with a Phil Jones quote: “Social media is B2me.”

Will McInnes followed with “sustained conversation is expected with social media.”

Quite simple pronouncements, yet many big enterprises get it wrong, perhaps it is years of pushing through messages through mass media channels and not having to interact as much on a one to one basis in their marketing:  Sainsbury’s being one possible example of how difficult larger businesses fail to grasp this.

Maybe smaller concerns are more geared at establishing a one-to-one relationship.

On the question of who owns social media and how it should be applied, well, there was a multitude of answers.

I was surprised, not that I should have I suppose, that customer services was a strong candidate for ownership (as Ivan Croxford pointed out at BT customer services had embrassed social media).

My vested interests said PR.  It could be marketing as well.   But it really depends on the application.

Neil Hardy looks on Twitter as a helpline for instance.  The conclusion surely is that it it is a versatile instrument and will be used as best fits purpose?

Phil Jones again: “Social media should be integrated, should engage and lead to “marriage.”  I agree.

Malcolm Coles: “Social media helps engagement with customers that do not use current channels.”   In this alone is must be seen as essential.

What came out of the debate was a recognition – as you would expect – that social media has to be applied and that its exact role is still developing.

I will leave the last word to Malcolm Coles about the need to experiment to find out social media can be best applied: “Getting it wrong is not a disaster.”

An evening with Documentally: how to make Twitter work for you

Wow!: a cross between techie, photo-journalist and Sgt Bilko (in the nicest possible way of course – he is one of my TV heroes) Christian Payne, AKA Documentally, gave us an insight into how to get the most out of Twitter.

I thought it might be a run through and at a level for beginners (although Phil Birchenall had of The White Room had tried to describe how amazing Christian is in conveying the power of social media).  It did turn out to be a tremendously interesting hour.

Alright onto business: What did I learn?  Where do I begin?  Let’s see.

Christian is a one man media kit: he carries around a range of items to record photos / video / audio and this content is transmitted with almost immediate unhindered effect to Twitter.  From there an interview, for example, will be re-tweeted from his lists and followers.  The viral effect sounded tremendous, if not a little frightening in its potential.

Christian said that 75% of his activity was through Twitter, which he said was the most powerful and cherished tool he has because:

  • Of the feedback loop as alluded to above
  • Easy to access (no barriers like Facebook)
  • The potential for conversation

If you add the fact that Twitter is growing at 1382% a year (and these figures he quoted are 3 months old) then the potential gets more exciting; Facebook by comparison, if I have remembered properly has 182% growth.

Christian gave the following advice on using Twitter:

  • Lists are most important than followers because they help identify your interests and put like minds in contact – so check out your followers’ lists
  • Nurture your followers
  • Christian was very enthusiastic about using the iPhone, particularly Audioboo, to further how you harness Twitter.  His interviews are conducted through the phone although he puts a prop on it to make it look like a microphone.

And communication technologies to look out for in the future?

  • Augmented reality
  • Changes in search – but he didn’t expand on this point
  • Google deep-tagging for video and audio tagging – if you produce content you will be able to see who has infringed on copyright.

If my piece seems a bit confused, perhaps piecemeal, well the hour was a whirlwind. I think you can only get an insight into how Christian uses social media – it takes a little longer to take it all in.

If I could spend a day with Christian or if you prefer Documentally I think I would grow in my understanding of social media techniques at the rate comparable to what I could learn in a month of being self-taught.

Thanks to DMEX and North West Vision and Media for organising.

If the branding and page tool bar has gone on this page please let me know, it could just be my browser.

What’s wrong with Twitter

Heresy!

But there are a few points to back up search a wicked assertion. But it could be that I am being difficult.  And I am doing this without reverting to the boring “140 words is too short.”  Let’s see:

Intonation – Have you been misunderstood, got in trouble because the recipient of an e-mail could not detect the tone / irony / humour of a message?

Well Twitter can be just as bad – be careful!

Comments – a few months ago if you put my name or company name in a Google search you got lots of testimonials, references, blog posts, referrals to blog posts.  Wonderful!

Now I get comments, some blog, many Twitter.  So now every tweet I have to be careful in case it is a prospect researching me.

Just think a prospect looks for me on Google and I come up with some banter that makes me look rude without the context or a prattle on about Man City and it is a rag reading it, no offence.

And all that hard work building an online profile is being replaced by my inane prattling.

Mixing business and personal – If you have one account that tries to combine all facets of your personality and interests it might not really work all the time.

Of course I could make a business connection while talking cricket or football, but equally I might appear dull and irrelevant to followers (especially in the US for the above) that want to know what I am doing PR wise.  It’s hard to please more than one audience.

Multiple accounts might be the best way forward.

Tantrums – You are really annoyed and Twitter is there inviting you to lay the dirt on your employer / employee / shop you have been going for years / business associate and so on.  You update and calm down but its already there: time to back peddle / repair damage / hope no-one really noticed.

I was close today, glad I didn’t tweet in a moment of frustration.

Alcohol – I was at the Chorlton Beer Festival and had my iPhone and so Twitterfon was within easy reach.  Luckily only a misspelling resulted.

Is buying Twitter followers a good idea?

The BBC has published an interesting article about a company offering Twitter “followers.”  But is buying Twitter followers a good idea?

The “followers” can be bought in batches of 1,000, with 100,000 being the biggest amount available.

All have opted in to be a “follower,” so is it a problem?  All are profiled and those located closest can be prioritised, so it is targeted to some degree.

uSocial, which offers a paid service, estimates that everyone that follows is worth about 10 cents (Australian I believe) a month to a client.

I think even so big companies, indeed anyone that employs such as service, are missing the point of social networking: interaction.

Hard sell or just selling is not social media although there can be a place, from time to time, to sell.

I am sure that if up to 100,000 “followers” can be bought at a reasonably low price then a Twitter campaign could generate good returns on the investment.

E-mail was used in a similar way and I remember a claim in one magazine that as many as 10% of recipients became clients in its early days (mid 90s).  I am not sure I believe that ever really happened unless it was one heck of an offer to a really well researched target group.

Gone are the days when e-mail was ever thought of so highly.  Yet the humble telephone can be highly productive for sales and it is about interaction and conversation.

Yes buying “followers” will work for some, but it is going to become a jaded way to communicate if you only talk and don’t listen.

Habitat twits: how not to use Twitter

It never fails to surprise when a big concern like Habitat makes a mess of their social media.

Well maybe a story like this probably was bound to happen at some point soon – somehow some big corporates don’t have a feel for it –  but I am still shocked at how blatantly deceptive and poorly thought out this was.

Habitat are facing the ire of many Twitter folk at the moment after using hash tags inappropriately to drive traffic to a sales offer.  The fact that some hash tags were about the recent events in Iran did not help.

The thing about social media is that is gives the small guy a voice.  And many users see themselves as social media Robin Hoods: you cannot throw your corporate weight around or throw a big budget to get a result – you play by the same rules as everyone else.

Really, social media follows many of the same etiquette as face to face networking and other human interactions, so common sense, manners and a bit of thinking come in handy.  Three simple rules to start:

No hard sales – nothing turns people off you as being sold to, especially if they did not ask to be the centre of a sales talk

Be honest – try to fool people on social media sites and you set yourself up for a backlash

Listen and contribute as much as you speak and take, if not more – giver’s gain

Habitat say they are “sorry” and that this particular use of hash tags was “absolutely not authorised.”  Good so far, but as Habitat declined to name those responsible – in-house or agency – means that this will go on for a little longer than necessary.

Let’s be honest though, how many people enjoy something as big as Habitat messing up?