Recycling Social Media Content is Getting Out of Hand

Tweet from 2013

I get it. I understand the need for more content to serve to an ever-growing flow of content consumers. The art of recycling content is important, particularly on sites like Twitter where a piece of content can and should be used multiple times in order to get the message out to everyone. It’s a chronological feed, after all, and posting it once will only get it seen by an extremely small portion of your audience.

With that said, it’s getting out of hand. I have been finding posts that are months old and no longer relevant hitting my feed from car dealers around the country. There’s a limit. Old news is old news. In the case of the Tweet above, the article posted on Twitter by a Toyota dealer on March 30, 2014, is a link to an article from July 4, 2013. That’s too long for this type of news.

When recycling posts on Twitter, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Is it relevant? Old posts are find if there’s context that makes it work today. For example, posting an article about Tesla’s early days in trying to launch with dealerships would make sense to post considering their current stance.
  • Is it timeless? Some posts, particularly advice posts that give the reader information they can use today, can be posted up until the point that they’re obsolete. An example of this would be a video that demonstrates how to change the batteries in a key fob. Until they change the way you open the key fob, it still makes sense to post for months, even years after the original.
  • Is it nostalgic? There are times when old posts are even better than new ones. A picture of an old Honda ad from the 70s would play well to show how far the company has come over the years.
  • Has it been posted very recently? This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If a post comes through today that is just a different wording on something posted yesterday, than it’s not acceptable. The exception: timely events. If you have a big sale or charity event this weekend, then posting a different variation of the same thing over and over again is acceptable and demonstrates focus on the event.

As more companies use content libraries to keep the feeds flowing, it’s important to keep in mind that the libraries must be refreshed. They must be pruned. In the case of the post above, it’s simply not acceptable. That was news for about a month. There is plenty of content out there in the form of current news about every manufacturer and the local area. Don’t get stuck beating a dead horse with your posts.

The Life of a Tweet

Life of a Tweet

Tweets have rapidly become a mainstay in most forms of entertainment. From sports broadcasts showing athletes’ tweets to news channels like CNN implementing live tweets from viewers, Twitter has been infused into society to the point where even technological illiterates know what it is. The primary form of content on Twitter is tweets — 140 characters at most. But what is the life-span of these concise messages? Let’s travel with a tweet in real-time to find out:

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Stop Ripping on @JCPenney’s. #TweetingWithMittens was brilliant.

JC Penney's Mittens

It seems like a lot of bloggers and mainstream media publications are talking about JC Penney’s #TweetingWithMittens stunt on Twitter. Most are saying that it was a misstep. As they complain about it, they fall into the trap perfectly. It’s being talked about by journalists, Twitter users, and even other companies trying to get their own clever Tweets into the mix. The jokes on all of them. This campaign worked beautifully. When you consider that they didn’t spend millions of dollars to advertise during the Super Bowl and are being talked about as if they had, the ROI is very apparent.

The biggest complaint I’ve seen is that it’s not like the Oreo brilliance last Super Bowl. That is irrelevant. Lightning didn’t strike twice and it didn’t have to. People are talking about it. Even while a huge chunk of people were embarrassed for their apparent “drunk Tweeting” escapades, they still talked about it. The only real mistake that JC Penney’s made is that they let the secret out of the bag a bit too soon. Oh well. Nobody’s perfect.

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6 Offline Tactics to Get More Twitter Followers

Twitter Pillows

By now, you probably already realize the vast marketing potential that exists within the Twitter landscape. With 231.7 million active users and 100 million people logging in every single day, there’s a huge attentive audience on Twitter that’s ripe for the marketing picking. And with a new report showing that promoted Tweets boost offline sales by 29 percent, it’s clear that if you take the right approach with your Twitter marketing, you can get some seriously impressive results.

 photo followers_zpsdfaf18db.jpg

Of course, the first step to getting your Twitter marketing campaign off the ground is to build an audience of targeted followers. The internet is flooded with articles that will tell you how to do increase your Twitter following, but you’ll notice that almost all of these articles focus on online tactics, such as using a Twitter management tool such as Hootsuite, promoting your Twitter profile in your email signature, getting followers from your blog, and so on. But what many people overlook is that you can go offline to build your Twitter following too.

Here are some of the most effective offline tactics you can use to get more Twitter followers.

 photo twitter_zpsf9e49820.jpg

  1. Add your Twitter info to your business card—You still have business cards, right? Despite everything going digital, business cards are still an important marketing tool, and you need to have professionally designed business cards that make a good first impression for your business. However, in this new age, it’s not enough to have the typical old business card with your name, job title and phone number. Your print business cards need to reflect the times we live in, and that means promoting your online social media presence on them. Put your Twitter info on your business card with a call to action to follow your profile.
  2. Put your Twitter link on all your print marketing materials—Your Twitter information should be on all of your marketing materials. That means it needs to be in your brochures, advertisements, flyers…everything. You can either put the entire Twitter url on there (e.g. www.Twitter.com/yourusername) or just your username (@yourusername).
  3. Give in store customers a special offer for following and interacting with you—One of the most often overlooked ways to promote your social media presence offline is in your storefront. Your customers should see information about your Twitter presence throughout your store. For instance, you could have a sign at your checkout stand encouraging customers to follow your brand on Twitter and offering them a special offer for doing so, like 10 percent off their purchase. Or if you run a restaurant or café, you could have little signs at each table promoting your Twitter page.
  4. Integrate Twitter into your direct-mail marketing—Think direct-mail marketing is dead? You’re wrong. When done properly, direct-mail marketing can generate a return on investment that exceeds nearly every other type of marketing. Now, integrating direct-mail marketing with your social media marketing can help increase your results. When sending out any direct mail, make sure to include your Twitter info and push any current social media promotions you might be running. With effective cross-promotion across channels, you can get better outcomes and a better return on your investment.
  5. Use QR Codes to direct people to your Twitter profile—QR Code marketing has become very popular over the past couple of years. Typically, companies use QR Codes to drive their audience to their website or a specific landing page with an offer, but you can also use QR Codes to promote your social media profiles. For example, you could have a marketing piece with a QR Code that says something like “Scan this QR Code to Follow Us on Twitter!”
  6. Promote your profile at networking events—If you attend networking events to build your business, these provide you with a great avenue for building your Twitter following. People go to networking events to connect with others, so meeting people and exchanging Twitter information is a natural fit. Ask for follows at the end of your conversations. This lets you keep the relationship going more easily.

With these six tactics, you’ll be building your Twitter following even when you’re not online. The key, of course, is consistency. It takes time to build a quality Twitter following. And remember, it’s not all about numbers. It’s about quality. Make sure you’re focusing your efforts on attracting targeted followers who will actually be interested in building a relationship with your company.

Twitter’s “Block” Might Not Work

Twitter Tweet

The idea of a “block” function is easy enough to understand and it is one that every Long Island social media agency can detail. Once you block someone – not only on social media but instant messaging, for example – that person can no longer get into contact with you. As a result, one would imagine that such a feature would be welcome on Twitter. However, judging by the details that were given, perhaps the many users on the site were right in speaking against it.

This past Thursday, Twitter seemingly had no choice but to do away with its “block” feature but what exactly did it entail beforehand? According to the details, even though a user might have been blocked on Twitter, the truth of the matter was that he or she could still see the tweet of the person who blocked them to begin with. However, it would be done without the victim being notified of such an action. To say that this drew a flood of criticisms from the Twitter masses would be nothing short of an understatement.

There were many messages that spoke against the change, one instance being user @edcasey who posted, “”New @twitter block policy is like a home security system that instead of keeping people out puts a blindfold on YOU when they come in.” When people sign up for a site that is designed for the purpose of communication, they want to feel safe. They want to know that, if anything were to happen that could endanger their safety on the Internet, they wouldn’t be short on options. The fact that an online petition went around in order to change this policy speaks volumes about its less-than-favorable stance.

Soon thereafter, Twitter made a change so that users would not only be able to do away with blocked users viewing or responding to their tweets but they will be notified once a user is blocked. Even though there was a vocal majority that spoke against the policy beforehand, it’s easy to assume that there was a minority that was for it. However, it should be understood that Twitter is, to put it simply, a business. Seeing as how Twitter has been viewed as being worth $10 billion, why would the company want to sacrifice this by not acquiescing to the gripes of the aforementioned majority?

Michael Sippey, the VP Product for Twitter, said, “Moving forward, we will continue to explore features designed to protect users from abuse and prevent retaliation.” One can only hope that this is the case without hindering the safety that Twitter users had beforehand. While it goes without saying that mistakes will happen in an industry, the most important endeavor is winning back the trust of its audience. Security can be brought to the forefront; it’s just a matter of recognizing the missteps from before.

Good and Bad Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

Automotive Social Media Image Marketing

If you’re reading this, you’re probably failing at social media image marketing. That’s not me being cynical. By examining dozens of business social media presences every week, I get to see what so many are doing and the unfortunate fact is that 9 out of 10 are doing it wrong or not doing it at all. I’m being conservative with that estimate.

The “unfortunate” fact really isn’t that unfortunate, especially for those who are reading this. You see, you can actually do it right, which means that you’re going to have a leg-up on the competition. When things are too easy or too well known, they have a tendency to become universally good. When they’re universally good, that means that everyone is average.

Image marketing on social media is not about taking advertisements and posting them as images. It’s not about talking about your big sale next week in the form of a banner that you post to Twitter or Instagram (though there’s a way to do that which I’ll demonstrate below). It’s not even about taking pictures of happy customers in front of their latest purchase jumping in the air with the caption, “Oh what a feeling!”

Proper image marketing should accomplish some of the following goals listed in no particular order:

  1. Improve branding
  2. Promote an upcoming event
  3. Demonstrate a lifestyle advantage associated with your product
  4. Connect with the community
  5. Make a statement
  6. Drive traffic to a landing page

It doesn’t have to do all of these. It can do one of them really well, a couple of them very well, or knock out three or four of them with a single post. To highlight this, I’ll use examples that I found in my Twitter feed just in the last couple of hours. This does not only apply to Twitter; Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and Facebook can all work nicely here.

It should be noted that size and aspect ratio are extremely important and arguably the biggest miss by most. Twitter has an aspect ratio of 2:1 while Instagram is 1:1. Small images don’t do as well. on any of the platforms. Pinterest is the only platform that does vertical images well. Appearance on mobile is more important than appearance on desktop. These and other technical aspects of image marketing will be covered in a future post. For now, let’s just look at the content…

 

Bad Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

These ones are bad. Don’t do these. I blocked out the business that posted one but I kept the one posted by Ram only because as a manufacturer, they should know better by now…

Bad Twitter Image Marketing

The image quality is poor. The car is cut off. There’s no visible branding for the dealership in the image. Overall, it’s extremely boring. This is not going to get anyone’s attention and nobody who sees it in their feed will care.

* * *

Bad Twitter Image Marketing 3

It’s a nice image of a mountain. Wait. Is that a truck at the bottom peeking up over the edge? It’s good that they are getting their fans involved, but the picture should have been edited to appear properly on Twitter before posting it. This is the lazy way out and accomplishes none of the goals.

 

Decent Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

These aren’t bad. They aren’t good, either. They’re good enough to get listed here just to show the differences between them and the ones further below so you’ll know what mistakes to avoid.

Decent Twitter Image Marketing

The attempt by Nissan is pretty strong. They’re trying to do well on Twitter and they’re doing an above-average job at it. This particular piece is missing something: impact. The message in the image means nothing other than stating a minor incentive. It gives no reason for people to actually click through to the landing page other than the boring message itself. With image marketing, you need to make a statement in order to get clicks. They should have put more creativity into the messaging rather than state the offer plainly.

More importantly, the offer itself is designed specifically for those who already plan on buying a Rogue, so the incentive is in the reservation itself. At first (and second, and third) glance, this appears to be another rebate offer because it looks like another rebate offer. There are brighter minds than mine that could have fashioned a better message, but it should have been less statement of the facts and a bit more mystery and uniqueness to draw people to click.

  • This Rogue wants to be reserved (and it will pay you to reserve it)
  • What do reservations and $250 have in common? The 2014 Nissan Rogue.
  • Early Bird gets the cash on their Rogue
  • No Reservations Necessary (unless you want an extra $250)

* * *

Decent Twitter Image Marketing 2

This isn’t bad because it does accomplish one goal – making a statement. The only thing keeping this at decent rather than good is that the message is a personal one and should have been delivered in a personal manner. While the picture is cool and the message in the text is strong, it would have been better to have a member or former member of the military (there’s probably some working at the dealership right now) by a car or the dealership’s sign with an American flag in hand. This is a bit generic but a good attempt – still better than 9 out of 10.

 

Good Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

Here are some good ones. These are nearly great but are missing a couple of minor components. If you did your marketing like this, you’d be ahead of 99/100 others.

Good Twitter Image Marketing

Great aspect ratio. Hot car. Good message and most importantly there’s a link to the inventory search for the vehicle itself!

* * *

Good Twitter Image Marketing 2

This one is much like the previous except a different variation for two reasons. First, it uses a stock image, which is only good if the image is as good as this one. The thing that brings it up from “decent” is that the link takes you to a vehicle specific landing page which is more appropriate on Twitter than a straight vehicle search. Remember, if they want to search, they will. Putting them on a page with information about the vehicle is better for higher-funnel customers that you’ll get through social media.

 

Great Examples of Social Media Image Marketing

These are the best that I’ve seen so far… after searching four hours back in my Twitter feed. There are better ones. There are plenty of worse ones. They aren’t perfect but they’re pretty darn close.

Great Twitter Image Marketing

This one hits goals 1, 5, and 6 nicely but it really nails home #3: Demonstrate a lifestyle advantage associated with your product. It doesn’t need to show the whole car. It doesn’t need a beautiful background. It has a simple, elegant four word message that can reach the target audience where it hurts.

* * *

Great Twitter Image Marketing 2

Remember, it doesn’t have to nail several goals to be effective. This time, it does a wonderful job of branding but keeps it touching the community with the localized weather factor. This is exceptional and if the following is engaged, it’ll resonate.

* * *

Great Twitter Image Marketing 3

Simple and powerful. This is what Nissan missed when they promoted their message. Well done, Mr Potratz and Mr Ziegler.

* * *

You don’t have to be a professional photographer or a creative genius to get it right with social media image marketing. You just need to have a good strategy, solid execution, and a willingness to know the “rules” well enough to break them ever so slightly.

On IPOeve, the Twitter Buzz doesn’t look Good

Twitter IPO Concerns

If you believe the trends, the speculations, and the odd lack of true hype surrounding the Twitter IPO, you’ll probably be asking yourself if this is going to be more like Facebook or more like Zynga. If it’s like the former, than it will only plummet at the start and eventually rebound. If it’s like Zynga, it may never recover despite their recent gains.

Those are the questions that are circulating the day before the IPO. Will investors bite? According to Digimind Social, there may be a reason for the concern.

On the eve of Twitter’s IPO, wanted to pass along data insights and graphics into what potential investors and consumers are saying about it on social channels. Digimind, a social media monitoring company, examined online conversations over the past week (Oct. 30 – Nov. 5), and found:

  • The buzz is negative: People are overwhelmingly negative about Twitter’s valuation price. More than 76% of online mentions were unfavorable in relation to Twitter’s share price or valuation. When looking at conversations just on Twitter itself, that number skyrockets to 94% of comments being negative.
  • Visual: View a full graphic analysis of the keywords people are using to talk about the IPO along with sentiment graphs here.
  • “TWTR” enters the vernacular: People are grasping onto Twitter’s stock symbol, TWTR, which has increased in volume by 419% over the past week within discussions online.
  • Under the shadow of Facebook: Out of the top 40 topics associated with Twitter’s IPO on social and online media, Facebook is the fifth most discussed concept.

The top one is the most concerning. Whether investors are willing to admit it or not, they listen to things like hype and buzz. If the hype is strong enough, the buzz should be strong as well. With the buzz as negative as it is, apparently Twitter hasn’t done a very good job at their dog and pony show. Facebook had a much better dog and pony show before their launch and it took a year to recover. This doesn’t bode well in 140-characters or less.

Twitter Considers Overpricing IPO

Twitter Fat

Good news came a week and a half ago when Twitter said they were wanting to be in the $17-$20 range to start their IPO. That didn’t last. Whether it’s their ego, poor advice, or ego fueled by poor advice, they’re now looking at the next price bracket of $23-$25.

We officially change our stance. You should not buy Twitter, not at first. The 20-25% bump in starting price means that they are likely going to go through the same rollercoaster that plagued Facebook for a year. The price over the next few months will likely dip below $15 because of the negative sentiment that will be created once it starts to fall under $20.

The sad part is that if they started in the $17 range as expected, they would have never dropped below $15. Now, our advice is to wait until they drop, even seeing if they approach single digits, then buy.

Here’s what Techcrunch has to say about it.

Twitter could price its IPO well above the new $23-$25 range it set earlier today, according to MicroVentures CEO Tim Sullivan. The pricing range was originally set at at $17-23.  Though he’s providing no guarantees, Sullivan says that there has been strong interest in the private market for Twitter shares over the past few months, which indicates that Twitter could price as high as $25-28 when it finalizes its S-1 this week.

Read More: Techcrunch

Top Brands and How They Use Twitter

Twitter Pillows

Twitter often gets the shaft from a certain type of large company. Those who believe it is too frivolous, spammy, or noisy may avoid it as a marketing tool and simply use it for defense when bad things arise from a public relations perspective. This is a huge mistake.

Some big brands are doing Twitter right… very right. In this infographic from Etsy, we get to see exactly what five particular brands are doing. Specifically, we get to see what challenges they had and how they used Twitter to find solutions.

Top Brands on Twitter Infographic

Twitter and Bing Stay in Bed Together

Bing and Twitter

It’s not that we expected any different. It’s just good to know that it’s still alive and well.

The two second choices in their respective niches have continued their firehose relationship to help Bing keep an advantage over Google and to give Twitter the added exposure and additional search filtering. It has been a symbiotic relationship for four years despite Bing’s relationship with Twitter. Google had a similar relationship with Twitter at one point before going all in on their Google+ network.

Here’s what Search Engine Land has to say about it:

Tweets are primarily available and searchable at Bing’s social search page, bing.com/social, but they’re also showing up in Bing’s main search results.

Read More: Search Engine Land