Posts Tagged ‘Online Communities’

This blog is for all those who have not yet signed up for Twitter but want to get started. If you are a savvy Twitter user, don’t read this blog; but you might be interested in my “Top 5 Dos and Don’ts for Twitter” blog. 

I frequently get asked “how do I get started on Twitter” – and in future, I want to be able to simply forward this blog as an answer. It’s my passion to get people excited about social media and to share the things that I’ve been lucky to learn.

Here’s “How to get Started on Twitter in 10 Easy Steps”: 

Click here to read the full blog.

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Previously submitted on Forbes.com

Age is all about perspective.  At 40, I am ancient, old to a 20 year old, but I am delightfully spry to a 60 year old. It all depends on your vantage point.  So, what is your perspective when I tell you I vividly remember an episode of The Twilight Zone that has stuck with me to this day.  In it, a man dies and is greeted by an angel who tells him he has died and he can have whatever he wants.  He wants to go gambling – he wins every time. Luxury accommodations, beautiful women on his arm – done.  He was a thief in life, so he asks to rob a bank.  Arrangements are made and he gets away with the money – no problem. But after a short while, he gets bored and wants to lose at gambling, get caught at the bank, not have every woman he sees, etc.  The angel is confused and doesn’t understand.  The man says that maybe he doesn’t belong here and should be “in the other place” (early television code for Hell).  The angel tells him the memorable catch phrase “You don’t understand, you are in the other place.” (Insert insidious wicked laugh and fade to black).

Hell is getting everything you ever wanted.  Or, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Having just attended a few conferences and events with denizens and practitioners of social media, I heard from many of them that they just got X installed (new software, new listening platform, new campaign management software, new iPads, you-name-it) and now don’t know what to do with it.  Be careful what you wish for . . .   In the mad dash for social media excellence, we jump at the next new shiny object or get talking into spending valuable budget on something we yet do not understand.  This isn’t even a training issue on how to use these tools and technologies.  This is a fundamental issue about setting clearly defined goals and objectives, appropriate utilization of resources, effective measurements, and communicating updates and milestones.

Social Media Goals:

Congratulations, you just got that $3,000/month listening platform that has been on your wish-list since Santa last visited. Now what?  It is installed, you are trained, you have sold your boss on all the great things you are going to do with it.  Now what? You cant effectively measure if you don’t have your goals firmly in place.  This holds true for anything you have acquired to help you along the way, the tool or technology is only as good as the pathway you lay out for it.  If you don’t know where you want it to go, it cant take you there. Where is your audience? What do you want them to do? What do you want to do to help get them there? Do you want to improve your reach? How about audience engagement and what does that mean to you? Do you want them to take some action? Do you know who your key influencers are and what they are saying about you now? How do you change that?  If you cannot answer or address these questions, these new toys are only going to get in your way, slow you down.  It is a car without a steering wheel – it doesn’t matter if it can do 120 miles an hour if you cant steer it.


New tools and technology is great and can certainly be helpful, but you need the right resources in your organization to utilize and help.  Social Media is not free – there is a heavy pricetag for social media resources.  These people need it in their DNA.  I was recently at the Radian6 conference in Boston. Keynote Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel) joked about clients finding 25 year olds to run their social media programs and then being devastated with the lack of results. This isn’t an young person vs old person game.  It is about using resource appropriate to your goals and objectives; then, using that new technology effectively.  Just because they are 25 and have stubbly facial hair does not alone make them effective social media marketers.  Conversely, it doesn’t make them bad, either. Find the right resources to help you with your tasks.  Are you selecting them because the “look” hip or “are” hip?  Does your program require hipness?  Do you need seasoned veteran or do you need new thinking? For what tasks do you need these lenses?  Finding the right types of resources for your program is in many ways more important and more overlooked than any new technology.  A great staff of people with basic internet access and free accounts can run a great program.


“If you cant measure it, it’s not successful,” an old boss of mine used to say.  I am not sure I fully believe that, but it is an effective guidepost.  Social media has evolved past the heady days of no accountability and now requires marketers to “sing for their supper.”  You have to measure your programs, benchmark success, evolve and grow.  But what do you measure?  Again, if you just received your first bit of technology to help you run your programs, or to measure your programs, do you know what to measure?  Is 100 tweets good for an event?  How about 400 retweets?  Are 10k “likes” a good number? How about going old school and measuring page views – what is a good number here?  The answer to these question are “yes, those are good numbers, if that is what is important to your program?” Is it important to your program? Do you know?    We tend to rush and start with big harry audacious goals (BHAGs for those who are acronymic).  Start small, measure what is important, set a baseline and grow.  It is – at its core – pretty simple.


We all report to someone.  Do you have a strategy for communicating your successes?  How about your failures? This is all new territory so you will fall down and scrap your knee a few times.  It’s ok, we’ve all been there.  The point is that you have to develop a strategy to prove your new tool and its worth.  You need to show what you are doing, how it impacts the business, why it matters.  Guess what, your co-worker down the hall is doing just that for their program, plus you just received a big gift with this new technology or tool.  It is time to repay it.  Develop a dashboard from your measurements and show it off. Come up with a nice infographic and really engage in some graphical storytelling.

Be careful about getting what you wish for, it can be hell to pay for it.

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Recently, I discovered some “dirty truths” about Facebook that I found somewhat disturbing, even though the situation can probably be explained with personal and cultural differences. Nevertheless, I find the practice offensive.

In a nutshell, it’s become more and more popular for people to create “levels” or “castes” of Facebook friends who they give different “access rights” to content on their FB pages.

If you are not familiar with Facebook lists, here is a quick tutorial. This feature allows you to create lists of “friends” and to then limit their access to your Facebook content through settings in the profile area.

Read the full blog here.

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By guest blogger Petra Neiger

Tweet chats are not new but they are still a relatively new phenomenon in the Business-to-Business (B2B) world. Why is that? Maybe it’s because a group tweet chat requires more effort to organize and conduct than simply asking a social media enthusiast to share a few thoughts on a particular topic.

Additionally, many marketers still wonder about the value that social media offers to B2Bs. The fact is that more B2Bs are beginning to embrace social media as a way to expand their reach and engage with their audience. According to a MarketingProfs.com article citing SPSS’ 2010 B2B Customer Engagement survey, 64% of interviewed companies are now using social media to engage customers. This is the story of a group at Cisco that regularly uses tweet chats for business.

The Cisco Collaboration Solutions Marketing team (@CiscoCollab) was the first group at Cisco to launch a series of monthly tweet chats. The nature of their solutions – collaboration technologies – implied an audience that was already more online savvy than some other segments.

Therefore, tweet chats seemed like a natural extension of their existing Twitter activities. Since the first Collaboration tweet chat launched in March 2010, they have created a repeatable process to increase their efficiency around logistics and merged this program into their larger customer and influencer outreach initiative. The results: well-attended sessions month after month and increased name recognition for #CollabChat, the organization’s tweet chat program. To date, the team has had 4 sessions with an average of about 1,200 community post views each.

Kira Swain (@kiraswain) and Laura Powers (@powersla), the Social Media Managers behind these tweet chats, sat down with me a few days ago to help demystify group tweet chats. Here are some best practices they shared along with some additional notes from yours truly.

1. Find Your First Guinea Pig.

If this is your first group tweet chat, do a quick survey among your subject matter experts (SMEs) to see how many of them are on Twitter and what they do there. Those people should be your low-hanging fruit, partner with them first. Not only will they be more comfortable answering dozens of questions at the speed of light, but they will also bring their own followers into the conversation, thus giving this program some viral buzz.


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Matthias Steiner | January 14, 2011

Reply to: http://marketingaccelerator.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/the-top-five-dos-and-donts-for-tweeters/ 

During a coffee break I stumbled across a blog post by Natascha Thomson on her B2B marketing blog and wanted to reply right away. Yet, instead of writing a lengthy comment I opted for replying to her on my own blog – continuing our interchange on social media.

In fact, Natascha was among the first people I “got to know on Twitter first” before enjoying meeting her face-to-face during TechEd and Palo Alto afterwards. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Natascha-2-TechEd tale by now, don’t you Since that time we both have been exploring the twitterverse and for me it still feels like a a rewarding learning experience… the netiquette keeps evolving as do some of the rules.

Sure, some basics have established by now and one is well-advised to understand them, so it’s best to do a little of basic reading first before getting started. I’ve been strongly promoting twitter and its value for information gathering in this high fidelity business for a while now as well as sharing my own insights on a regular basis (with anyone willing to listen.) In this tradition, I just can resist the temptation to reply to Natascha’s post and share my own views… a 2nd opinion so to say. Here it goes…

Read more at http://www.inscope.net/post/1290.

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It feels to me that the honeymoon phase of Twitter is over – or at least it should be.

While there are still thousands of users joining Twitter every day, many of us have now been using the tool for years, which means that rules and conventions have developed. Most of them make the use of Twitter more effective and enjoyable, some of them seem to clog up space that could be utilized for more meaningful communication.

Here my personal list of “The Top Five Do’s and Don’ts for Tweeters“:


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