Archives for posts with tag: Twitter

Recently, I’ve discovered that several people were following me (@nlinton) on Twitter. Of course, I clicked on their profiles to find out more about them to possibly follow them and I found out that they protected their Tweets. This has happened three times in the last week.

I can understand why. Kind of.

There are a lot of spammers, scammers, porn bots, crazies and people looking for casual, anonymous and STD-laden Internet sex-hook-ups on Twitter. I have been Tweeting for a year and I’ve come across all of these issues. But I can’t say that it has happened enough to compel me to protect my Tweets. Minors probably need to. I would not want my kids being contacted by just anyone online through Twitter.

I am much more selective on Facebook and LinkedIn, where I only accept requests from people I know or have met personally. For instance the other day I received a LinkedIn request from a woman who worked at a company in Marietta that I wasn’t familiar with and isn’t in my industry. I racked my brain for more than an hour trying to figure out if I met her somewhere or knew her from a past position. I logged into LinkedIn to look at her profile. No picture. One job listed and it was only a company and title, no specifics. No past positions. No schools. No shared connections. No information about her whatsoever.

I didn’t feel one bit guilty about declining the connection. LinkedIn is a work in progress, and I am always tinkering with my profile, but it is foolish to run around sending invitations to people and you haven’t put in the basics on your profile.

I also don’t feel bad about blocking my Tweets from people who follow me, but protect their Tweets. So, I’m telling you upfront that if you choose to follow me and I go to follow you and find out you protect your Tweets, you won’t be hearing from me anymore.

It just seems strange to me to use Twitter to follow people Tweeting conversationally, reading the links they share, yet not wanting to fully engage yourself. If you want a more selective social media experience there are forums to do this. I don’t think this is what Twitter was designed to do. And it makes me think that maybe YOU are the spammer or a bot or crazy, and have nefarious reasons for hiding your Tweets – like you don’t want to make too many people mad doing what you are doing, report you to Twitter and risk getting your account suspended!

If it is a personal safety or privacy violation issue, I think Twitter is far safer in this respect – without having to protect one’s Tweets – than say LinkedIn, Facebook or MySpace.  Tweeting conversationally and sharing links won’t open you up to serious issues.

As far as the spammers, bots and other crazies are concerned, regular pruning of the people following you can prevent a lot of issues. I do it at least once a month. Of course, people who come out of the gate being obnoxious (follow me!, retweeting the same crap over and over, obvious spam and other foolishness) get the boot immediately.

I’m still learning about this Twitter thing. If someone can provide me with a good reason for hiding Tweets, let me know, I am open to other’s opinions, etc. I just don’t see the point.

By the way, follow me on Twitter @nlinton. LOL! And have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

In the U.S., we are still exploring the possibilities of Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, but in Asia and South America, everyone is Bubbly.

Bubbly is a five-year-old mobile and social app developed by firm Bubble Motion, which is based in Silicon Valley and Singapore. Simply put, Bubbly is a voice-based Twitter. Its tagline is, “It’s like Twitter with a Voice.”

According to Bubble Motion’s CEO Tom Clayton, Bubble Motion explored a variety of mobile voice-messaging services when social media networks such as MySpace and Facebook launched. This led to the media of audio messages targeting a much larger audience of followers.

Launched in February 2010, with no marketing dollars used to push the service and early adoption by Bollywood stars to promote their careers and new projects, Bubbly currently has a total of two million users, 1.2 million of which are paid subscribers.

Anyone can sign up for Bubbly to follow a friend, family member or favorite celebrity or brand. Posting messages and following is free, and once a new message has been recorded and sent out, users get an alert. If they choose to listen, they pay for the airtime.

Most messages are less than 30 seconds long, and there is currently a cap of one minute.

To post on Bubbly, a user dials a short code, like *7, records a message and hangs up. To listen, tap in another code, like *2. It works on any handheld device, and messages can be posted to Bubbly while still withholding phone numbers for privacy.

Bubble Motion skipped launching Bubbly in North America and Europe to focus its efforts in Asia and South America, particularly India, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brazil. People in these countries typically have access to cell phones, but far fewer have access to the web, which makes this type of mobile blogging service an easy sell. India has the fastest-growing population of mobile phone users in the world, as cell phone operators add millions of new customers each month. By 2012, it’s estimated that India alone will have 650 million cell phone users.

No, it’s not coming here anytime soon, but I think it is important for communicators to keep up on what is going on in the industry no matter where in the world it is happening. These new innovative services and applications not only tell us where we are currently with social media and how we use it, but where we are going.

For more information on Bubbly, visit http://www.bubblemotion.com.

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with learning more about Yammer. Yammer is an intra-company/enterprise version of Twitter, designed with the goal of helping companies and organizations evolve into more productive and integrated organizations.

Launched at TechCrunch50 in 2008 (also known as TC50), a conference and tradeshow that showcases the best Web 2.0 start-ups, Yammer won the grand prize, and now claims to have more than 50,000 companies around the globe using the tool. Yammer won’t drop names, but they state that Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood studios and many small to mid-sized companies now Yammer, and the Web site lists Fox, Adobe and Hill and Knowlton as users.

Yammer is the result of founder and CEO David Sacks and engineers at the other company he founded, Geni, wanting an internal communication tool to connect with employees throughout the organization.

How does it work? It all starts with one simple question: “What are you working on?” Co-workers post and share update on their projects. Company news can be sent instantly. People in an organization can send links, ask questions and get help from anyone in the company. Everyone on the network can see who is following who, who is the most followed, and ultimately, who are the movers and shakers in the company.

Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile, and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced.

Basic Yammer service is free, and companies can pay to claim and administer their networks. All communication within the company is completely private and secure – not even Yammer employees can see what is going on within individual organizations. The privacy of each network is ensured by limiting access to those with a valid company email address and information isn’t shared with third parties.

Yammer now has the ability to create groups within a company in order to communicate with different teams inside an organization without broadcasting what is said publicly. Companies can also host Yammer inside their corporate firewall. It is available on iPhone, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Android.

I think this is cool and this says a lot. I have worked at companies where they utilized internal instant messenger tools and I thought it was the biggest pain in the behind. The main reason was that I didn’t feel it used the way it was supposed to be used. What was supposed to be another tool in your arsenal to be more productive and help others mainly became a method of someone keeping track of when you turned your computer on and off, or firing off twenty-million questions a day when they could just pick up the phone and come over to discuss a project.

Not exactly best practices for workplace productivity.

With the appropriate buy-in from The-Powers-That-Be (Yammer can be started by any employee, but I wouldn’t recommend that unless that employee is THE decision maker and can do what they want), Yammer can help end the dreaded silos that occur in many companies, facilitate efficiency in working across various groups in an organization, and fairly and equally promote exemplary work among employees. Yammer could also serve as a blueprint for new employees entering an organization on how it operates, its culture and how to succeed.

An additional use, particularly for public relations departments in organizations that are reluctant to use social media to communicate to external audiences, is to introduce a tool used internally to showcase how, say, Twitter works, and what is can do. Baby steps are necessary for many in upper-management, and this could be a start to embracing social media.

I’ve been reading some great Twitter articles lately that have really helped me. So, because I want you to like me and think what I am offering is useful to you, I pulled my favorites together for you to use as you will – quick, dirty and satisfying.

Enjoy!

  • Retweeting occurs most frequently on Friday and in general 3:00 p.m. to midnight. Afternoons, evenings and weekends also yield high retweets.
  • “You” is the most retweetable word.
  • 19 percent of retweets have links.
  • The more frequently you tweet links, or tweet in general the fewer clicks you’ll get: Tweet once an hour for maximum results.
  • Don’t spam. Just don’t do it. Bad juju.
  • Watch your links. Do they work? Do they lead to nowhere? I personally hate that. Are you sure you attached one? I’ve done that. So embarrassing.
  • If someone hits you, hit them back, especially if you are using Twitter to develop meaningful professional relationships.
  • Kill off Hyper-Tweeters swiftly and ruthlessly without an ounce of guilt or a second thought. Don’t be afraid to use that unfollow button!
  • You don’t have to follow someone who follows you. You really don’t.
  • On the flip side, if someone unfollows you, don’t get bent about it. It can’t be personal because they don’t know you personally.
  • Manage your Twitter account. Even if you don’t tweet everyday, just take a quick look at who is following you and what they are posting each day. I found this out the hard way doing a client project. I was so happy tweeting and getting new followers that I didn’t stop to look VERY CLOSELY at who was following me. I did look one day and most of my new followers were legit. One, however, was a nasty porn spammer who had an avatar of Britney Spear’s mouth photo-shopped on something very large…and it wasn’t a microphone. Yikes!
  • This is a special message for those in my industry, particularly my PR peeps seeking to reach out to bloggers and other media: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT DIRECT MESSAGE (DM) SOMEONE YOU HAVE NEVER CONTACTED.
  • And this special message is for my junior and mid-level PR peeps that know not to do this, but will be told to do it by someone in “upper management.” They will even ask you to draft the message and send it to them “for review” before you DM someone on Twitter that you shouldn’t. Gently and tactfully guide them to some links that spell out best practices on using Twitter. Show them why it may backfire and offer alternatives. Don’t show them this post. I will help you out by posting a couple of good sites below.
  • Let folks know you are a real live person by tweeting regularly to maintain a presence. Twitterati recommends 10 to 20 tweets a day. NOT AN HOUR.
  • Just like in Kindergarten, being courteous and thoughtful will get you a long way.
  • Finally, don’t forget to thank your followers!

Happy tweeting!

Flackchick

P.S.:  And because I love ya, a couple of good links:

I am writing this blog post out of love. Honestly.

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Banana Republic. If you go into my closet, you will find most of my clothing comes from there. I love Banana Republic because I feel I get good quality items for my money, the store has excellent sales and it sells not only long pants BUT LONG SHIRTS AS WELL! Perfect for tall girls with gangly arms and legs.

My relationship with Banana Republic did start out very rocky several years ago. I was just starting out in my professional career and would wander into the store looking for work-appropriate clothing and leave empty-handed. I found the clothing boring, and I perceived the items as out of my entry-level public relations professional salary league.

But maybe five or six years ago, Banana Republic’s clothes took a more stylish turn, at least to me. I do suspect the clothing prices have gone up, but I was making slightly more money at that point and able to invest more in my work attire. I started to shop there and would eagerly await new collections.

So, as I got more into social media recently, of course I jumped on the bandwagon and “friended” my favorite store on Facebook and followed it on Twitter.

But why am I so disappointed by their social media presence?

I have written to the company before about the Web site. While nice and easy to navigate, I wanted more information on certain items, particularly accessories, and I thought adding reviews would be helpful. Obviously I am not the only one who directed these suggestions to them, because the site now has these features.

But what’s up with its Facebook and Twitter efforts?

So disappointing! I barely hear from Banana Republic on Twitter, and on Facebook, I get PHOTOS of its product offerings and announcements about sales. That’s it.

Out of love, I have suggestions for Gap Inc.’s leadership about Banana Republic’s online presence. You guys can do so much better!

Facebook

Today, I went to Facebook and Banana Republic recently had a fashion show for its new collection. Instead of posting video of the show, someone posted PICTURES! What? I can see that on the Web site. I want to see the actual show!

Brands such as MAC Cosmetics do Facebook right – I see videos of make-up artists using new collections to create innovative looks with make-up, working back stage at fashion shows and giving make-up tips. And they don’t post this stuff all the time, but they do it enough to keep me engaged.

I would love to see Banana Republic do the same. While sales announcements are great, since I visit the Web site frequently I know about them before I see it posted on Facebook. Give me more. I want to see the designers for the store’s collections talk about what inspires them, what is in, what is out, and why. I would also be interested in seeing how the stylists take the pieces and create different looks. There is so much that can be done here.

I would also like for the public relations staff to interact more with the folks who do comment on Banana Republic’s page. People are on there all the time professing their love for the store and its clothes. Why not reciprocate?

Twitter

I didn’t even get a tweet on the new collection or a link to see the images.

On Twitter, I would love to get tweets from their designers and stylists with fashion tips and advice, and see more interaction with followers in the form of answering questions, asking questions, etc.  Banana Republic specializes in fashionable work attire. With so many job seekers out there that need to look on point for interviews, and those with jobs seeking to polish their professional image, the company should and can be an expert in this area.

I would also love to see tweets on where Banana Republic is featured in magazines, such as InStyle.

I believe that if you are going to invest the time and money in social media that you should take full advantage of the opportunities that exist for you with these tools. I am sure that a company such as Gap Inc. has the people, resources and budget to really engage its customers in meaningful online dialogue.