Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’


Is Social Really Earned Media? A Look at Impending Twitter Algorithm Changes

Monday, September 8th, 2014
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flickr user marek.sotak under CC BY

When public relations pros class their media by POE – aka Paid, Owned, and Earned media – social media sites like your Facebook and Twitter pages are generally classified as owned media. But with last year’s unpopular Facebook algorithm changes and the apparently inevitable introduction of a Twitter algorithm next year, brands could be losing even more social media reach.

According to Digiday, one of the potential changes to Twitter could be a change to the chronological feed, so it may become more like Facebook in that the algorithm chooses what it thinks are the most important tweets to share. Anthony Noto, financial chief at Twitter, told The Wall Street Journal that Twitter’s feed as it is now “isn’t the most relevant experience for a user” and may cause important tweets to get lost at the bottom of a feed.

Such an algorithm change could also be a blow to real-time marketing – you may still be able to do it, but it might not be free anymore.

Of course, there might be some changes that work in your favor; The Wall Street Journal reports that there could be a better search engine and group chats, features which enterprising social media users will be quick to leverage to their advantage.

It’s too early to know exactly what changes will be made, but it’s a good reminder that while you may “own” the space that is your Twitter or Facebook page in that you can control the content you share, you don’t control how it’s published or how many of your followers will get to see it.

Early speculation also means it gives you time to diversify your strategies. As brands that relied heavily on Facebook for marketing and branding before the algorithm changes can attest, putting all your social media eggs in one basket can make it difficult to recover when, inevitably, the social media platform decides it wants to make more money and changes everything you’ve known.

So while you can’t devise specific strategies just yet, having an early awareness means you can continue to do what you do while adding focus to other channels in the event that Twitter makes changes that would affect your reach and/or budget.

Do you have a strategy for dealing with algorithm changes? How will you adapt your social media strategy?

 

How to Host a Successful Twitter Chat

Monday, May 12th, 2014
#Hashtag, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

#Hashtag on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Twitter chats are great tools for motivating your Twitter-using audience to interact, and if you’re lucky, even get your hashtag trending for a bit. But as we saw with J.P. Morgan, Mark Emmert (president of the NCAA), and most recently, Roger Goodell (commissioner of the NFL), Twitter chats don’t always turn into the intellectually stimulating, informative fora marketing and public relations pros hope they’ll become.

So here are some ways to host a Twitter chat that doesn’t turn into a complete disaster.

Don’t be the subject of controversy

This tip may seem limiting since everything can be controversial, but if your organization or a prominent person therein is embroiled in scandal, controversy, or a communications crisis, it’s probably not a great time to host a Twitter chat. Of course, it’s rare that an organization’s image is squeaky clean, and snarky tweeters can always find something to rag on, but use good judgment. Also, you probably don’t want to hold a Twitter chat if your company was one of the harbingers of the banking collapse; people tend to have long memories on that one. Conveying your message in 140 characters is rarely easy, and complex issues should be addressed on a medium conducive to clear two-way communications.

Go in with the right expectations

Twitter chats will not sell more product, and they probably won’t create new customers; Twittter chats are tools for relationship and brand management. So don’t go in expecting to convert the coveted digital natives in one overarching hashtag. Instead, use your Twitter chat as a sort of real-time customer service help line and helpful resource. As such, tone down brand messaging and try to provide real answers to appropriate questions. Being a good resource of information and creating a communication vehicle to connect with potential customers is an asset in your marketing arsenal.

It’s OK to be funny

Chances are you and your staff can anticipate some of the snarkier questions you might get. So for the questions that aren’t outright rude or outrageous, have some witty but polite answers ready. Giving your brand a sense of humor can do wonders for fostering goodwill with your brand advocates. Taco Bell has proven to be a good example of wit and many millennials covet the Taco Bell RT. That said …

Don’t give in to the badvocates and trolls

It’s also OK to ignore the badvocates and trolls and focus on the positive, productive questions you’re getting. If your organization is high profile, it’s possible that some of the rude, ridiculous, and clever tweets will find their way onto online news sites.  That’s the nature of the Twitter chat beast, so …

Have your response plan ready

You’re probably going to get at least a few snarky tweets, and that’s okay – it’s the cost of doing Twitter chat business. Hopefully, your chat will go smoothly, but have a response plan in place just in case things take an undesirable turn.

Remember the payoffs

At this point, thinking about a Twitter chat may seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but remember, there are benefits to hosting a Twitter chat. Not only will it help you connect with your brand advocates (a vital aspect of brand management) on a group and individual level, but you can use it to share knowledge about your brand, product and common interests. It’s also a great time to promote upcoming events, giveaways, sponsorships, and shine a spotlight on creative people in your organization. Some of our favorite PR Twitter chats include, in no specific order, #prstudchat, #measurepr, #blogchat, #commschat, and #PRprochat.

Networking: Keeping Contacts as a New Professional

Monday, February 24th, 2014
flickr user klynslis under CC BY license

flickr user klynslis under CC BY license

You studied hard, joined PRSSA, did multiple internships, networked, graduated, networked some more and got a job. Phew! Now, you no longer have to worry about your LinkedIn activity, participate in that Twitter chat or attend local industry events, right? Wrong!

In case you haven’t already figured it out, the PR industry is like a big small-town. There aren’t six degrees of separation, in many cases there are barely three. It seems everyone knows everyone (or knows someone who knows someone). This tight-knittedness is capable of swinging the pendulum in your favor–or not. The choice, really, is yours.

How do you hold on to that network you’ve worked so hard to build? How do you continue to build that network, and make it work for you?

1. My first suggestion is to not just attend your PRSA chapter meetings, but volunteer and get involved. As current president of the PRSA-St. Louis Chapter, I can tell you that having new pros on our committees are just as important as having senior pros. You provide a different perspective, and we need all viewpoints represented. In addition, You will work side-by-side with seasoned pros, who will get to know your solid work ethic first-hand and meet people you may have not have had access to otherwise. Volunteering is work, and creates work experience.

2. Participate in Twitter chats. Not just #NPPRSA, but other industry-related chats, such as #PRprochat started by Carrie Morgan, or the #SoloPR chat spearheaded by Kellye Crane. Not only may you meet your next recruit, but many senior pros participate in those chats as well. Doing this keeps you in front of your network, expands your network, and may even provide informational content you can later expand into a blog post!

3. Join applicable LinkedIn groups and participate in the discussions. Don’t feel like you can’t contribute if you don’t know the answers–ask questions, there may be others with the same question.

4. I’m sure you have certain industry-leading blogs to which you subscribe. Don’t just read those posts, comment and reply to other comments. Add value to the community. Warning: be careful to not over-do it; you don’t want to comes across as a stalker.

5. Finally, swinging back to #1 – involvement in your local PR organization. You should at least set a goal of attending one event per quarter (4 per year).  And don’t just attend; make a point of introducing yourself to at least three new people at each event. Then, within a couple days of the event, connect with them on LinkedIn—reminding them where you met and thanking them for the conversation, then follow-up. The follow-up doesn’t have to be often but does need to be pertinent and professional.

A case in point: a while back I wrote a post on mentoring for BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. In it, I mentioned that Lori George Billingsley, director of issues communications at The Coca-Cola Company and past PRSA Multicultural Communications Section chair, claims her mentor has been instrumental in helping her secure all of the PR jobs she’s held.  That’s a pretty powerful testament to her networking, diligence and professionalism!

There’s no doubt that social media makes it much easier to keep in touch with people. However, no matter how much you keep in touch electronically, nothing beats face-to-face conversations to build your network!

Share what you’re doing to build and strengthen your network in the comments below.

This post originally appeared on the blog PRNewPros.

How to reddit: Marketing Through the Anti-Social Feeding Tube of Social Networks

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

rHow to reddit Marketing Through the Anti-Social Feeding Tube of Social Networks Sebough Gemdjian BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas eddit has earned a high-profile reputation for viral content; even President Obama answered questions on the Ask Me Anything subreddit the day before his State of the Union Address last year. At first look reddit can be off-putting to the uninitiated.  It does not have the slick, user-friendly layout of Twitter or Facebook, and it’s reminiscent of the old pre-social media message boards.

reddit and Twitter

When Louis CK self-released his Live at the Beacon Theater comedy album and posted it on Twitter, two hundred thousand of his over three million followers downloaded it for five dollars each and made him a million dollars immediately, proving the value of Twitter. On the other hand rock journalist Chuck Klosterman told the Trip City podcast that Twitter does not work, because when he tweeted about his new book, I Wear the Black Hat, his sales actually went down. He said he feels the ever-vigilant young techies on Twitter saw through his tweet as a “commercial.” About figuring out what works in general creatively and what doesn’t, Klosterman says he has learned that “there is no metric and trying [to figure it out] makes it worse.” Perhaps with Twitter Louis CK was just better at appearing like he was not trying.

Twitter tends to be an excellent resource for a personality or institution that already has a place in popular culture. It’s also a tool for reaching fans immediately with information about events. Trying too hard, as Klosterman puts it in his example, seems to leave followers a bit weary. The reason may be that there is a blurring of the lines between friendship and business on social networks, and despite what telemarketers may be taught, most people do not want their friends acting like salesmen, or vice versa.

So how does one gain popularity on Twitter without already being popular? Vetted content. Those who do not market on Twitter are obsessed by finding something undiscovered and evaluating it. They are young, tech savvy, but not yet financially successful. They go to reddit for raw content. reddit worked for me when promoting posts on different platforms, to which I still get clicks, and in the case of a music gear post I did, I still get referrals seven months after posting it from people interested in equipment. Warning: Even on a relatively successful post like the one I just mentioned, not all comments will be pretty.

One answer to the question “Why does reddit work?” may be that it works because it is not a social network. redditors go there to vet content, not to make friends.

How to be successful on reddit:

Up-votes (akin to Facebook likes) make you visible. Comments seem to be mostly irrelevant. Of course, overwhelmingly negative reception can have a detrimental effect, and a completely positive reception can theoretically create an instant hit, but this is rare.

Find the subreddit most relevant to your content. A subreddit is what the pages on reddit are called. You will see a menu on the homepage with the most popular ones, but there are thousands. Think of any topic and write it in the url after www.reddit.com/r/. If no one started that page, you can. Keep paraphrasing the topic, as in www.reddit.com/r/marketing or www.reddit.com/r/publicrelations until you find one that serves your purpose. The more popular a subreddit is, the more up-votes you will need to get higher in the queue of posts, and perhaps get in the “rising,” ”controversial” or even “hot” categories. The more specific the subreddit, the less popular it is likely to be, but you will need fewer up-votes to be seen.

It’s a balancing act. For a list of the 5,000 most popular subreddits, go to http://www.redditlist.com. Interesting note: When I promoted a brainwave therapy MP3 download that I produced for one of my clients, the post received no up-votes or comments, yet the posting resulted in sales. This is not the norm, but it does happen.

Post when few people are on. Then very few up-votes will go a long way. Once you’ve done that you can post on the larger, less specific subreddits before everyone gets on at 7pm EST, but your post may get trampled by an avalanche of content when traffic spikes.

The most important thing is that the title gives redditors an accurate idea of the content at the other end of the link. The title of a successful reddit post has to act like a skilled tour guide—it has to point at things and know their names. It’s not the same as creating an SEO-friendly headline, it’s about being clear what the content is.

Data scientist Randal Olson has posted an in-depth statistical analysis of reddit on Business Insider Australia, which includes a word cloud of the most popular words in reddit titles. Cross post (x-post) is the most popular one, and it means that you’re posting something that has already been posted. It is important to let redditors know that you’re doing this, or they will down-vote you.

Once you become familiar with the workings of reddit, it can be a great place to help drive traffic to your content and reach an audience you can’t reach through traditional social media. How does reddit fit into your content marketing strategy? What results have you seen from interacting with reddit users?