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There are 465 million Twitter accounts sharing 175 million tweets each day. Twitter is where business professionals shares news and information, build and strengthen their network of contacts, generate leads, develop new business and even get hired.
If you want to leverage the fastest and most intimate online social network for business, take this course right now and learn to Twitter.
You don't need to be a techie to take this course. Whether you're a digital immigrant or a Facebook ninja, this course is for you!
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Desktop, iOS and Android.
Certificate of completion.
|Section 1: Intro|
Find out what's included in this course on Twitter for Business.
Find out what makes Eric Schwartzman's courses different.
Find out what previous attendees of Eric Schwartzman's social media trainings have to say about his courses.
Before you enroll for this class, make sure you can perform these basic tasks.
To watch the video referenced above, click here.
Newsfeeds, updates, tweet field and number of unused characters indicator.
Tweeting @mentions, replying to tweets, retweets, retweeting, identifying retweets in the newsfeed, advantages of Twitter over email, phone and snail mail, who to see who's recently followed you and who's retweeted you.
How to secure your Twitter account by activating the "HTTPS only" setting. U.S. Library of Congress decision to archive the entirety Twitter. Introduction to TwitPic, and the case in which a TwitPic served as the evidence by which Paris Hilton was convicted of cocaine possession .
Usage stats, value proposition, advantages over Facebook, adoption drivers, etiquette, Dell Computer case study, real time search and customer service as public relations. The book mentioned in this lecture isTwitterville by Shel Israel
|Section 2: Hands-On Training|
Screencast demos covers signing up for a new twitter account, uploading a profile picture, writing a bio line, following Twitter accounts, composing a tweet, introduction to @mentions, accessing account settings, attaching GPS info to tweets, introduction to security settings, introduction to retweets, who to follow recommendations and trending items.
Screencast demo covers sending @mentions and hyperlinks in the body of a tweet as way of engaging other Twitter users. Hashtags are explained, as is researching hashtags and event hashtags. Where to find permalinks for individual tweets. Comparison of Twitter to Facebook newsfeeds.
Practical applications of hashtags such as finding threading conversations and community mapping. The origins of the hashtag and Twitter are also covered.
Explanation of Twitter's direct messaging or DM feature. Advantages of Twitter DMs over email, phone and fax. Accessing and replying to DMs. Privacy aspect of DMs. Managing your attention of Twitter. DMs first. @Mentions second. And home feed third.
Saving individual tweets as "Favorites." Where to access favorited tweeted. Using favorited tweets as testimonials. Introduction to the Twitter Faves Widget.
Crowdsourcing breaking news by following a lot of people. Who to see who's following any Twitter user, and who they're following. How to see whether or not someone you're following is following you back. How to add Twitter users to Lists. How to block a Twitter user. And how to report a Twitter account for spam.
Using Twitter search, Google search and the open web to find and authenticate Twitter accounts to follow.
Using the #Discover to source popular breaking news items.
Screencast demo covers popular link shorteners and using Bit.ly to abbreviate links and count clicks. Finding previously shortened links and creating custom short links.
Introductory lecture cover tweet buttons, followed by a screencast demo which shows how to build and install a tweet button in a blog or website.
Screencast demo covers how to use Twitter advanced search, how to search Twitter by geography and how to use geosearch for community mapping.
Introductory lecture explains how Twitter "Follow" buttons superseded links as a best practice for encouraging follows on destination websites, followed by a screencast demo that covers how to build, customize and embed a "Follow" button on a blog.
Introductory lecture discusses using the Faves widget to publish testimonials from Twitter on a website or blog, followed by a screencast demo that shows how to build, customize and embed a Faves widget on a blog.
Introductory lecture covers how to analyze the influence of a Twitter user, how to use Hootsuite to managing a Twitter account and how to use Hootsuite's premium features to sort custom newsfeeds by keyword and Klout score.
|Section 3: Mobile Apps|
Screencast demo covers all the features in Twitter's mobile app.
Screencast demo covers taking a picture using the Instagram mobile app, applying filters and sharing the image on Instagram and Twitter. Also shows what a photo shared via Instagram looks like in the newsfeed of the Twitter app.
Introductory lecture covers the business case for location-based social networking, followed by a screencast demo shows how to use the the Foursquare mobile app to check-in at a location and share that activity on Twitter. Includes a screencast demo of what a shared check-in looks like in the newsfeed of the Twitter mobile app.
|Section 4: Best Practices|
Best practices for integrating Twitter into your daily business activities.
The busiest days and times on Twitter and best days and times to tweet.
The most retweeted words that appear in tweets, based on an industry study by HubSpot .
There are some instances where it makes sense for organizations to tweet under a branded, logo account, and there are instances where individual accounts work better. This lecture covers how to decide between which approach makes sense for you.
How to decide whether or not to include personal tweets on your professional Twitter account and how to use personal interests for business gain.
Benefits and drawbacks of using an auto-tweeting service like buffer to distribute tweets.
Follow up materials are available in the supplemental resources of this course. You can purchase a copy of "Social Marketing to the Business Customer" here .
|Section 5: Case Studies|
The Palms Casino says they're upgrading guests with high Klout scores. Find out what happened when I checked in.
Find out what happened when a top mommy blogger with a million Tweitter followers called Whirlpool cause her washing machine broke. Includes a discussion of the book "The Whuffie Factor" by Tara Hunt.
|Section 6: Supplemental Resources|
|Lecture 36||4 pages|
|How to reconcile between branded company Twitter accounts and personal Twitter accounts in business communications.|
|Lecture 37||1 page|
|Rationale for making sure employees retain ownership of their twitter accounts and followers.|
Corporate reputation management, identity management and social networking on Twitter with public relations pro Sarah Evans, who established #journchat, a popular, weekly, three-hour chat that occurs on Twitter every Monday at 6pm Pacific Time – 8pm Eastern Time between journalists, bloggers and PR professionals.
To participate in #journchat on Twitter, all you have to do is follow the conversation, which Sarah moderates, by monitoring the keyword #journchat in Twitter search or using Twitter apps Tweetdeck, Tweetchat or Tweetgrid. By posting comments with the #journchat keyword, or hashtag as they are known by Twitterers, you can add your remaining 129 characters (140-11 to accommodate the hastag) into the online conversation.
In this interview, Sarah talks about why #journchat took off, the Twitter apps she likes best for moderating her weekly chat on Twitter, best online reputation management practices for tweeting on behalf of brands and how early adopter brands can use micro blogging for corporate reputation management, crisis communications, social media optimization and lift search engine rankings.
2:49 – Sarah Evans on Twitter apps Tweetchat and Tweetgrid, two online social networking services designed for participating in group discussions on Twitter, which one she likes better and why?
3:42 – Sarah Evans on using Twitter apps for group messaging to block spammers from Twitter chats.
4:15 – Sarah Evans reveals her biggest surprises about moderating her weekly Tweet chat.
5:34 – Sarah Evans on the size of the community she’s built from moderating #journchat weekly.
6:43 – Sarah Evans on how and why #journchat grew so quickly on the Twitter instant messaging platform.
8:02 – Sarah Evans’ top three tips for leveraging social media to launch a successful, recurring online social media PR event.
9:15 – Sarah Evans on the level of support she received through the Twitter social networking platform when she first introduced #journchat, and how it served to validate her social networking event.
10:21 – Sarah Evans on social media strategy considerations for organizational communicators, branded Twitter accounts and personal Twitter accounts.
12:37 – Sarah Evans on best online reputation management practices for disclosing who the organizational communicator(s) behind a branded Twitter account are.
13:48 – Sarah Evans on the risks associated with letting an employee build their personal brand at the expense of a corporate brand. Eric mentions a previous episode in which Toyota revealed their social media strategy for putting their brand first on Twitter, while still acknowledging each employee’s contribution.
15:40 – Sarah Evans on pitching news stories to journalists and other media relations techniques via Twitter.
16:52 – Sarah Evans on her role as a guest writer at Mashable, the social media marketing tactics, social media SEO and social media marketing blog.
17:05 – Sarah Evans discusses Media On Twitter, a free, user-generated contact record database of journalists on Twitter which provides Twitter IDs for reporters and bloggers, much as Vocus PRWeb.
18:42 – Sarah Evans on social media PR strategy and social media engagement.
19:45 – Sarah Evans names the companies she thinks are doing a good job leveraging social media for communications.
21:15 – Sarah Evans on where we’re headed and future growth prospects for social media and online social networking.
22:57 – Sarah Evans gives out her Twitter ID and shares the best way to reach her.
24:04 -- End
Photo of Sarah Evans by Anthony Quintano
Twitter founder Evan Williams discusses the app platform @anywhere and Mashable Editor-in-Chief Adam Ostrow discusses location-based social networking news and more.
00:52 -- A summary of the news from this year's conference, including Twitter's @anywhere announcement, the rivalry between location-based social networking start-ups Foursquare and Gowalla, big changes in store for Digg.com and Google Buzz in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding their decision to integrate their new social network, a public facing system, with Gmail, a system that has always been very private.
01:31 -- At the Diggnation party, Digg CEO Jay Allison unveiled new.digg.com, a new alpha site available through invitation only, which expands trending news stories beyond just digs to include tweaks, Facebook status updates, personal preferences and your social graph. Mashable Editor Adam Ostrow calls it Digg's attempt to become the ultimate aggregator.
02:20 -- Google is in a tough position given the public and the media's reaction to their launch, but Adam has confidence that they will ultimately be able to overcome those initial missteps. He thinks Google will be a lot more exciting when they launch an official API so that third-party applications that already integrate with Twitter and Facebook will be available on the service. " I think the product might have been released a little too early in Gmail. I think there were a lot more things they maybe should have considered before launching it," says Adam Ostrow. But he also says don't count them out. Google has more than 20 employees devoted to developing their Buzz product. "It's clearly a very high-priority projects there," he says.
03:11 -- On the target market for Google Buzz, Adam Ostrow says, "The way they explained it to me, not dissimilar to Twitter and Facebook, they're really looking at both consumers and brands. Right now, I think there's a lot of issues that really make it prohibitive for brands and news organizations to really use the tool effectively. I think first off, it needs to be a standalone site, not just Gmail, which is in the works. So you'll be able to use it if you're a Hotmail user, a Yahoo user or whatever. But I also think they have some namespace issues. I think, obviously, if you've had your Gmail account for four or five years and your username might not be your business organization name, it's a very tough to transition accounts. So there's some issues they need to overcome. We've been using buzz pretty heavily at Mashable and I think it has the potential as a tool for brands and media organizations but they have a lot of work to do to get there."
04:07 -- In terms of hot new products this year at SXSW, Adam Ostrow says this year it's all about Foursquare and location-based social networking. But he thinks the imminent arrival of UK-based Spotify in the US market could make it a hot product at next year's SXSW.
06:01 -- A discussion of the panel session titled "How Not to be a Douche Bag at SXSW" featuring blogger Violet Blue who used "PR people" as stereotypical examples of how not to behave at this conference. According to Adam Ostrow, the key to not being a "PR douche bag" is simply being respectful of other people's time and, obviously, knowing who you're talking to and what they cover. Bue Ostrow has a positive attitude towards public relations. "PR people are important to what we do. They do provide us, sometimes, with relevant stories and people we need to talk to," says Adam Ostrow.
08:45 -- Eric Schwartzman tells Adam Ostrow about Jeremy Pepper's blog post entitled "I Don't Do SXSWi," recaps the conference highlights for him which includes Chris Messina's presentation about why activity streams need to evolve beyond the Facebook newsfeed, Danah Boyd's keynote on dealing with privacy in online spaces that are public, Joi Ito's talk about advocating intergovernmental information sharing and Kaiser Kuo's update on the trials and tribulations of Google in China. Eric asks for Adam's opinion as to how he derives tangible business value from a professional conference that is seen by many as nothing more than a debauchery fest.
09:48 -- Adam Ostrow uses SXSW mostly as an opportunity to cement relationships initiated online in the physical world. "I love to get that face time and really know who they are," says Adam Ostrow, who benefits from the personal relationships he develops at SXSW through as yet unknown story opportunities and potential business development deals. "For people in social media and the consumer facing web, it's the best place" to network.
11:09 -- The Mashable party at SXSW was intentionally designed to afford attendees the opportunity to network and party at the same time. The split level venue was divided into a section with a live bands and another section for networking.
12:51 -- Through a joint venture, Mashable is currently writing "B2B" content for American Express's OpenForum.com. They create similar coverage to what runs on Mashable.com, but for a small business community, primarily about how they can use social media to market to their customers, which may be other businesses, or which may be consumers.
13:06 -- When it comes to B2B applications of social media, how you set your organization's presence up online, how you respond to customers and devoting adequate resources to listening is key. "That's the point of being there. You can be there and just broadcast company news, and I don't think that's too interesting. It's a way for people to keep up with you. But the way we use it as a brand, and the way small businesses we like are using it, is to interact" with customers says Adam Ostrow.
14:50 -- Evan Williams announcing their new app platform @anywhere for integrating Twitter into websites. @anywhere will allow website visitors to follow Twitter users from any website. Hovering your cursor over a Twitter ID on any website using @anywhere will reveal a pop-up window that allows you to follow that account in just two clicks. You can also control how receive information from Twitter wihtout every going to Twitter.com or a Twitter client. @anywhere can also be used to allow Twitter users to use their Twitter account to sign in to a website. Thirteen different websites have been selected to beta @anywhere, including Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, The New York Times, Digg, Salesforce.com and others.
16:30 -- "The main thing that @anywhere does is reduce friction," says Twitter founder Evan Williams, who admits he's not sure how developers will ultimately wind up using the new technology. One of the more obvious features include the ability to tweet links directly from a participating website. But a bigger advance is the ability to follow a Twitter account directly from a website, instead of having to click through to Twitter.com and log in if necessary to follow the account. Discovery is one of the hardest challenges because of the sheer volume of content that's out there. So putting the ability to follow in the context of the individual or organization your following reduces some of the friction that's currently present in discovery.
17:47 -- The benefits of @anywhere to website operators is a connection to users that you didn't necessarily have before and a way to keep them coming back. "We hear from sites all the time that Twitter drives them tons of traffic. It should result in more followers for a site just sending out links. It should also probably result in more people who are your fans, who are your audience using Twitter, talking amongst themselves and talking about your content, so hopefully it becomes a richer experience.
18:54 -- @anywhere also brings user tweets into your site and gives the ability to create a whole community or sub community in your own site. The goal of Twitter is to help people and organizations build stronger relationships, and @anywhere is about lowering the barriers to achieving that. The keynote interview was conducted by Umair Haque, director of Havas Media Lab.
20:43 -- End
Photo of Evan Williams by Joi Ito
How to share social media is a question asked widely by businesses and consumers. Does your corporation or business know how market on Facebook or how to tweet and how to retweet compelling shares?
Are you writing the best Facebook wall posts? Do you know how to use Twitter for business? Do you find yourself asking the question why use Google+ when you’re still getting the hang of Facebook and Twitter? And how on earth do you please managers and clients who want to control the message and earn the trust of the online community at the same time?
Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan), best-selling author and renowned blogger, discusses how to share new media content from a business perspective, the benefits of Google+, and his experience as a thought leader in the rapidly changing world of social media.
With social media on the top of business minds everywhere, many are confused by how to share engagingly. Chris discusses why public relations professionals need to show their bosses that it’s better to be authentic and why the best Facebook wall posts could be those that reference your competitor instead of yourself.
How to share social media is becoming even more prominent in our lives and it’s time for people and businesses to start embracing and engaging with others, says Chris. With new social networking channels arising, people find themselves asking questions like, why use Google+ when I already have Twitter and Facebook accounts? This podcast skims the surface of that question, and goes deeper into the concept of how to share social media content.
Chris Brogan is President of Human Business Works; Co-Founder of PodCamp; New York Time’s Best-Selling author of Trust Agents.
2:11 Trust agents are the voices or faces of businesses, but they aren’t at the CEO level, Brogan explains and shares an example of how this is happening at Google. The trust agent knows how to share twitter messages and posts and stays engaged on social networking sites. A lot of companies are using social networking websites for business networking and to help humanize their brands.
4:21 We have to learn we’re never right all of the time online and must show our managers and clients that one of the parts of how to share social media content correctly is using the Three A’s: Acknowledge, Apologize and Act. In PR, professionals are sometimes compelled by managers to try and spin a silver lining around even the worst news, but that isn’t working anymore. On online social networks like Linkedin, Facebook, Twiiter and now G+, people talk whether you like it or not, says Brogan.
6:04 How to share social media as an organization authentically, understanding legally what can and cannot be said, acknowledging without endorsing negative status updates, wall posts, tweets, RTs, comments, likes and shares.
7:02 When sharing via social media, is there a danger of being too available? It is important for PR professionals to social media train their clients to tweet and share on Facebook effectively. Some people are avoiding their “handlers” and taking care of it themselves, like Kanye West who demonstrated how to share Twitter posts that reflect you in a better light.
8:00 The role of a PR professional is to educate clients or managers on how to handle things themselves by giving them social media training. There is a risk of people or companies being overexposed and it’s important to be able to explain the pluses and minuses to the client or manager and be able to handle the situation if that does happen.
8:50 What makes the best Facebook wall post? Joe Ciarallo (@joeciarallo) of Buddy Media discussed a study his company did on what makes an effective wall post and found that promotional language is usually the kiss of death. Brogan agrees with Ciarallo’s statement by saying that always promoting your own brand is not necessarily the best option. When in doubt use the 12 to 1 rule, promote other people’s or companies things 12 times more than your own, this is the best way to build and earn relationships.
9:19 Frank Eliason (@FrankEliason) of CitiBank has said that you can earn the right to sell once people know you. Because today is such an opt-in world with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all of the social networking sites, you have to earn the right by building relationships first.
9:58 The best Facebook wall posts or the best twitter posts are sometimes those where you recommend your competitor because your product isn’t the right product. When a company or person can do that it’s a huge opportunity to win the trust of the community and become an influencer.
10:45 What if your company is so large that there isn’t a lot of choice on the consumer side, does social media even matter? What if the company is essentially too big to fail? You have to take a different approach on how to post tweets or how to share Facebook wall posts in general. You don’t necessarily need to build relationships but you can use it to build future credibility and get positive press. Brogan points out Comcast as an example of this.
14:25 In social media, it’s not just about how to share new media content but who you are sharing it with. The problem of one-way intimacy arises for people who are successful on social media sites. You may follow someone on Twitter but they may not follow you back. It’s hard for people to keep up with everyone but there are some celebrities who find the time to get back to people, which in turn gives them a big payoff and helps improve their credibility online.
17:18 How to share social media without oversharing can be a problem. Exclusivity increases desirability. Many people don’t know what is ok to share and what isn’t. A lot of it depends on your business. If you work for a financial company or pharmaceutical company for instance, you have to work with your legal team to know exactly you can and can’t divulge. That happens by accelerating digital literacy by setting boundaries.
18:44 The most value in sharing comes in customization. If you give away as much as possible you will get the longer win. PR people should start thinking as sales people because if they’re adding to the bottom line then they can show their client they’re impacting direct revenue, that’s more important than showing them that someone clicked a Facebook like button.
21:01 Why use Google +? With the inception of Google+, the guidelines on how to share are changing, as are the rules of engagement. It allows you to search much more easily than other forms of social media and also allows a better opportunity to build more relationships. Brogan goes onto explain one of the major benefits that he’s seen so far in his use of Google+.
23:28 Another benefit of Google Plus: those who are early adopters to these new social media sites have a business opportunity that arises for them to show businesses and people what to do next.
24:29 Chris Brogan has taught us how to share social media content and how to share on Twitter but how does he stay so engaged on social media while also balancing his personal life? He explains the risks associated with being a first mover and the price he pays for his passion.
Thumbnail Photo of Chris Brogan by Mari Smith
How does a company like Coca-Cola -- which for years plied its trade largely through 60-second spots with heart-warming narratives and catchy jingles -- transition into the age of social media, where the value of a brand is determined by what its customers say about it on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr?
One of the things the beverage giant is trying is a novel program called Expedition 206. The Coca-Cola company is sponsoring three, hand-picked “happiness ambassadors” to travel to all the 206 countries and territories where Coke is sold to seek out what makes people happy around the world.
The happiness ambassadors Blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, YouTubing and Flickring their every step, equipped with iPhones, Laptops, air cards, external hard drives and SLRs. I caught up with two of the three happiness ambassadors Tony Martin and Kelly Ferris upon their arrival in Djibouti, Africa and we discussed what they’ve learned so far about gathering different media formats in different countries with different cultures, how they’re pulling it off logistically from a gear and gizmos standpoint and the foundation of authentic happiness.
Photo Caption: Coca-Cola Company CEO Muhtar Kent with Kelly Ferris and Tony Martin in the company’s Atlanta headquarters prior to their departure. (courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company)
One of the best books I read on Twitter is "Twitterville" by Shel Israel (@shelisrael). I found it so riveting and packed with useful information, that I simply couldn't read it without a highlighter in hand.
For a preview, listen to this in-depth, one-on-one discussion with Shel Israel about how organizations can use social media to sustain customer loyalty when things go wrong, human interaction as a replacement for the false image branding often conveys and the future prospects of Twitter as a company and a service.
01:30 -- Shel Israel agrees to let Eric Schwartzman publish his "Twitterville" book notes, the author's feelings about the book and whether the title sells it short.
04:45 -- At big organizations, employees are often encouraged to stay in their lane. From an operational standpoint, how does someone like Frank Eliason of @ComcastCares get the cable repair truck to show up on time, or get modifications made to someone's cable bill? Achieving buy in for social media customer service programs enterprise wide.
09:37 -- A discussion of the Motrin Moms backlash on Twitter prompted by Jessica Gottlieb in response to a commercial she found to be insensitive, and whether or not organizations are sometimes too quick to capitulate and rollover in response to customer protests, regardless of whether or not they believe the protests are reasonable.
13:06 -- The herd or pack mentality often pervasive when and where people congregate online, how it relates to individual and organizational behavior and what Motrin's real failure was in how they dealt with the #motrinmoms incident.
14:47 -- Frank Rose's article in Wired Magazine titled "Commercial Break" about the consumer generated advertising campaign for Chevy Tahoe, which is often hailed among social media pundits as a case study for what not to do, but which actually resulted in increased sales, market share and shorter sales cycles. Note: Frank Rose has been featured in a previous episode of this podcast.
19:17 -- Why and how the way organizations like @WholeFoods and @Starbucks approach to Twitter is more in line with the Land of Oz than with reinforcing and underscoring a commitment to transparency and authenticity.
21:17 -- Reconciling Julian Smith and Chris Brogan's claim in their book "Trust Agents" that organizations should "never leave an empty unused account anywhere because it's as much an indicator of neglect as a dirty desk" against the belief that logo Twitter accounts are, generally speaking, not as effective as individual accounts because who wants to talk to a Coke can?
22:31 -- Branding as a creative, false image that companies manufacturer to try to convince you that their products, brands, and services are something they're not, and how Twitter presents organizations with an opportunity to replace that model with a more authentic, legitimate experience based on human interaction.
25:08 -- Identifying the friction between subjective and objective Tweets, and whether or not some sort of distinction between the two could suggest a practical, reasonable governance policy for organizations that are on the fence about whether to Tweet under branded or individual accounts.
27:45 -- If organization's embrace a Twitter strategy that encourages employees to use their individual accounts, how can those organizations preserve the relationships employees establish on their behalf after they exit the company?
29:07 -- Shel Israel's experience working withThe MCI, which at the time was engaged in an aggressive telemarketing campaign, to explain why the effectiveness of organizational communications cannot be measured by raw data alone, and the notion that social media may, for the first time, present organizations with a more fiscally-responsible channel for expanding marketshare.
32:18 -- Customer service as the new PR and solving problems via social media in full view of everyone.
33:00 -- A discussion of how automaker Toyota has set up and organized their twitter presence under a branded, logo account @Toyota but with the employees tweeting on the companies that have listed in the sidebar are custom background JPEG.
34:29 -- Using Andrew Sinkov who tweets @evernote and Apple Computer as a backdrop, a discussion about the importance of good conversation versus product performance.
35:31 -- While superior product performance and qualified employees may render social media less important, sustaining customer loyalty when things break is going to be much more difficult for opaque, secretive organizations that have no goodwill in the online community.
38:08 -- The future prospects for Twitter as a company, micro-blogging as a communications channel and concerns about twitter as a single point of failure.
42:45 -- Shel Israel's new book, about the software company SAP, which he is co-writing with Mark Yoltan, SVP of the SAP community network. Note: Thanks to Shel, Mark Yolton to has been featured in a previous episode of this podcast on B2B Social Networking.
45:56 -- End
Photo of Shel Israel by Eva Blue
I know. You've heard it a million times. The social web is not a vanity press. It's a place to develop relationships, where give and take rules and conversations thrive. Sounds great, right?
But how does that work in practice? Just because you have a way to introduce yourself, doesn't mean people are going respond. What's the right way to use online social networks to get someones attention?
If you've ever wondered, "What do I do when my @replies and emails go unanswered?" then this episode is for you.
I originally thought it was going to be pretty much just about the real time web, and the first half is, but you're going to hear some very useful, practical tips about how to actually break through and start conversations with people you may want to know -- even the ones who are so popular they're literally inundated with requests -- through social networks.
You're going to learn about leveraging preferred communication channels, how to cross-pollinate social networks, where the VoIP industry is headed, whether or not government regulators should be looking beyond net neutrality to search neutrality and what it all means to a 15-year old.
It's the Social Networking Jedi Training episode with the father of the VoIP industry, Jeff Pulver (@jeffpulver) of jeffpulver.com and the 140 Character Conference.
01:00 -- In the financial markets, brokers and investors base their buying and selling decisions on real-time information, and in some ways, the real-time web offers us the same fast, breaking information, and its new found availability, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz and Google Wave, has a flattening effect on competitive markets, by democratizing information, giving everyone access to information at the same time. The archival web gave everyone greater access to information, but some people were still at an advantage because they got it first. But it is the real-time web, where individuals echo one anothers voices, which has had a leveling effect, in the transfer of power from the few to the many.
04:46 -- The 140 Characters Conference, its purpose and the rise of Twitter among individuals in the mainstream media, politics, entertainment and advertising.
05:15 -- Using the analogy of financial markets once again, Jeff Pulver uses the gap in time between an earthquake that occurred in Northern California and amount of time it took for that information to surface on Google as representative of an information arbitrage opportunity, reminding us that just as a 5-second advance on world events can and does constitute a significant trading advantage, the real-time web may afford us advantages in business, politics and culture that not all entirely known.
7:01 -- Tim Street (@1timstreet) asks via Twitter how Jeff manages his database of personal contacts, which is mentioned in the book "Trust Agents" by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, though not in enough detail to be actionable.
11:48 -- Eric reads Jeff the following line from "Trust Agents" which says "The lesson Pulver told Chris at the time, was that one's personal database is an asset as valuable as gold, if nurtured and maintained" and then asks him specifically how one nurtures his personal database, which Jeff says is based on tailoring the message to the individuals preferred media channel. "If I understand that someones communication device is a Blackberry, then I make sure my subject of my e-mail is less than 16 characters. Some people, who will never respond to an e-mail, will respond immediately to a tweet. Some people who ignore e-mail, will respond to a direct message. There are people, who for some reason, will only respond to Facebook messages." Our default communications channels are different. The future of direct marketing rests in the marketer's ability to identify, remember and connect with each individual through their preferred communication channel, whatever that may be.
16:26 -- Jeff also says time of day when that person individual is active on a particular channel is also a determination. For example, if he is soliciting speakers for a conference, and he's unable to get a referral from someone, he may just contact that person on twitter. But before he dies, he'll go to their Twitter page and see if there's a time they're typically active, and contact them then.
16:46 -- if Jeff Pulver were designing a CRM tool today, the information he would record on each customer card would be: cell phone number, corporate e-mail, personal e-mail (Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail), Facebook ID, Twitter ID and preferred method of contact.
19:11 -- Eric tells Jeff about one of his favorite podcasts, Marketing Over Coffee by John Wall and Christopher Penn, and recalls a discussion in which they explained how to use a Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail e-mail account address book to synchronize contacts in Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Flickr and other social networks, and asks whether or not Jeff has ever used this method.
20:46 -- The role of e-mail in promoting conferences hasn't really changed, according to Jeff, other than the fact that e-mail is no longer everyone's preferred communication channel. So effectively leveraging e-mail means knowing who prefers it and who doesn't. But when Jeff wants to build a list of current contacts, he'll start by exporting his Linkedin contacts, next export his Plaxo contacts and his Gmail contacts and put it all together in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. He'll also go on to Facebook and Twitter and promotional publish links to his events and conferences, noting that this is where your number of followers is valuable. He also creates Facebook events and groups and direct markets those who RSVP and join.
24:27 -- One of the primary reasons Jeff Pulver uses Microsoft Excel to build his lists is the issue of data portability, or the concern that if he is forced to rely solely on Facebook or Twitter to access his social network, it's possible those services might someday lock him out, restrict access because of a terms of service violation or even change to the terms of service someday and limit the number of contacts a user can maintain.
26:22 -- Eric recommends Shel Israel, featured in a previous episode of this podcast about Twitter Strategy, humanizing brands and building loyalty, as a speaker at Jeff's upcoming 140 Characters Conference.
26:56 -- Freedom Voice marketing communications manager John Lincoln asks via Twitter about the latest VoIP phones with video conference abilities, and what's on the horizon. And Jeff says what's next is high-definition voice, since currently, our voices are so filtered and under-sampled that we are required to spell out our names phonetically, and often struggle to understand speakers with heavy accents or small children, which is a direct result of poor quality audio.
29:17 -- Why VoIP conversations often have audio dropout or interference, what, if anything, individuals can do about it and why net neutrality is a key component to the future of VoIP.
31:16 -- Eric reads Jeff an excerpt from a guest column titled "Search and You May Not Find" by Adam Raff who runs a company called Foundem, that appeared in the opinion section of the New York Times, suggesting that regulators need to go beyond just net neutrality and insure search neutrality as well.
"The need for search neutrality is particularly pressing because so much market power lies in the hands of one company Google. With 71% of the united states search market, Google's dominance of both search and search advertising gives it overwhelming control. One way that Google exploits this control is by imposing covert blank penalties that can strike legitimate and useful websites, removing them entirely from its search results or placing them so far down the rankings that they will in all likelihood never be found. For three years my company is vertical search and price comparison website found them effectively disappeared from the Internet in this way."
34:30 -- Jeff's 15-year old son Dylan, who Eric saw seated in the background during the interview conducted via Video Skype, shares his perspective on how the social media is changing the world.
38:23 -- End
Finally, there’s a way to grow your social network, increase engagement and site registrations without having to Tweet and Facebook 24/7. Through a relatively new type of service called a user management platform for the social web, you can invite visitors to your destination website to use their Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, MySpace or Open ID credentials to register or log in when they visit.
So rather than have to fill out some lengthy form, they can log in with one click. When they do, you get the opportunity to capture and keep much of their profile data and check out their social graph. The result is a huge increase in site registrations, a much more engaged community and nine times the referral traffic.
In this audio resource, Tore Steen, VP, Marketing and Business Development at Janrain and former VP of Business and Corporate Development for WebTrends explains the concept of a user management platform for the social web on non-technical terms, makes the business case for implementing the service and the future of marketing on the social web.
01:24 -- An explanation of the Janrain user management platform for the social media, which offers a way for visitors to your website to use their Facebook, Twitter and 14 other social networking credentials to register for your website.
03:03 -- The benefit of having visitors use Facebook or Twitter credentials to register when they visit an organization’s destination website.
04:14 -- The top three preferred identity providers today in order of importance are Google, Facebook and Yahoo, but business-oriented sites tend to draw more Linkedin registrations and visitors to consumer oriented-sites tend to use their Facebook identity to login.
05:24 -- The richest profile and social graph data that a website can receive is from a Facebook user, because Facebook has the most information because of their “like” button and the information user’s store on theirs profile page. Other identity providers are currently jockeying to find a way to capture and provide a more detailed portrait of their users.
06:43 -- There are ways to determine who the most influential people who’ve “liked” your organization on Facebook are. You can see what other brands they’ve liked and when they publish to your Facebook Page. On average, for every Facebook Page post that someone makes on your Wall, there are an average of nine inbound referrals generated to your Facebook Page from that person’s network of friends. Looking at whoever brings the most referrals to your website is a great way to see who your most influential Facebook friends are.
08:02 -- If you’re using a user management platform for the social web, every time someone uses their Facebook credentials to sign into your site, you get a list of their friends so you get an understanding of their social graph. On the Mahalo site, if you use Google to authenticate, you can bring your address book and invite your friends through an automated pick list.
09:18 -- Given that Facebook is known for random terms of service changes, organizations can mitigate the risk of relying solely on Facebook for access to their constituents by capturing and storing the registration data in their own contact management database as well.
11:48 -- Making it easy to share web pages or content was the rage a couple of years ago, but today, it’s about making it easy for users to share activities or the ways they participate online. CitySearch uses Janrain to allow visitors to post a link to the restaurant reviews they write to their Facebook newsfeed, driving richer engagement. Other activities that could become advocacy or public relations opportunities through integrated sharing include e-commerce transactions, white paper downloads, charitable donations or any other online activity that someone might want to share with their friends and followers online.
12:48 -- Responding to the growing interest of their customers in fortifying their presence in the mobile environment, Janrain optimized their user experience for a variety of mobile browers first, so smart phone users would have a positive experience logging in with a handheld device. They also released a software developer’s kit to embed the Janrain user management platform for identity management into custom apps. zoday, Janrain supports iPhone and will release support for Droid in the fourth quarter of 2010.
13:57 -- Because they’ve seen greater adoption of apps by Droid users, Janrain decided to offer Droid support next, though they intend to eventually support Blackberry as well.
15:24 -- The old metrics were quantity of site traffic, time spent on site and passive page views. But the new metrics on the social web are about quality of site traffic, interactions that occur and active sharing. it’s a shift from measuring traffic, to measuring actions. The easiest way to calculate the ROI of a user management platform for the social web is to compare the number of unique visitors that registered prior to deployment, to the number of registrations that occur after deployment.
16:25 -- The second new metric to monitor is the referral traffic from the social sharing feature and see how many of those referred visits result in some sort of transaction, be it a CPM, e-commerce or lead generation.
17:49 -- User management platforms do require a web developer to get up and running, but the products have thus far been largely embraced by web development community, because it solves a very specific need for marketers, and insulates developers from having to innovate a solution from scratch.
19:06 -- Janrain does have WordPress and Drupal plugins available, but they require some coding to get up and running. They’ve also partnered with Kick Apps and integrated their user management platform into that solution as well.
21:24 -- End
If you're a marketer, it's something you've probably wondered more than once. Until now, there has been very little research conducted to answer that question.
In this audio resource on the Science of Timing Facebook status updates tweets, social media scientist Dan Zarrella (@danzarrella) talks about his research on the best times to Facebook and tweet, using two-years of quantitative research as a guide. Dan, author of The Social Media Marketing Book, studies social media behavior from a data-backed position enabling him to teach marketers scientifically grounded best practices.
Dan's research covers when to tweet, when to Facebook, when to email and when to blog. This podcast just covers when to Tweet and when to blog. Originally, we had planned a secoind episode on when to email and when to blog, but the quality of the interview was unaudible and unfortunately, despite a few too many attempts, we were unable to get Dan to agree to rerecord part two.
I believe the audio problem stemmed from the fact that the recording was conducted via Skype Out to a VoIP landline in a room was extensive background noise. The resulting audio was thin, with the level going in and out, so if you're a podcaster, one more thing to think about when you record interviews over the phone. Avoid VoIP landlines. Cell phones are better. Even after significant filtering attempts, part two ot this podcast was unusable.
In fact, this episode was recorded under the same circumstances and the audio -- which was filtered as well -- is less than stellar as a result. Still, the information is valuable, and I hope you enjoy it.
I'm an entrepreneurial project manager and digital product developer currently managing the Center for Digital Innovation at Howard Industries in Santa Monica.
I have a lot of experience in big data analytics and digital compliance, as well as a background in sales and marketing. And I cowrote the best-seller “Social Marketing to the Business Customer" with Paul Gillin.