Tag Archives: Twitter

Link Friday: The User Edition

Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 by Alan

As avid social media users, we try to keep up with the who, what, where, and when of social media usage. This week, we will focus on the who to provide insight on how we target our social media accounts.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your weekend!

Traveling: A New Adventure Thanks to Social Media

Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 by Kate

It wasn’t so long ago that planning a trip involved spending hours doing research on your destination at the library, ordering visitor guides via snail mail, chatting up travel agents, and plotting your routes on paper maps spread all over the kitchen table.  Now, that research can be done in minutes online.  You can visit the websites for potential destinations, compare costs and book your own itineraries in just a few clicks, and print out turn-by-turn directions with the most up-to-date information on road construction.

Travel planning has come a long way but it continues to evolve.  Enter social media.  We see our friends’ photos posted online and it inspires us.  We need to see that for ourselves!  Or should we forge our own trail?  Now we’re dreaming of a trip.  So we log on and ask our social media friends for help deciding where to go.  We’ll investigate their suggestions by visiting the destinations’ Facebook pages (52% of us will “like” the page for the location we choose) and following them on Twitter.  We’ll search out visitor (not corporate) reviews for hotels, restaurants, and attractions and most of us will trust what we find.  Nearly 85% of us will go on to book our itineraries online, and many will download apps specifically for our upcoming trips.

Once the destination is chosen and the details ironed out, nearly 60% of us will post a Facebook update about our upcoming fun.  But social media’s role in today’s travel doesn’t end there.  If something goes awry while we’re en route, we can lodge a complaint on an airline’s Facebook page or Tweet our problems and we’ll often get a response faster than we would by waiting in line at the ticket counter.  Once we arrive, nearly 75% of us will post more vacation related status updates and upload photos of our adventures to our social networks before we even get home.  And those photos will inspire someone new to start the process all over again.

But a word to the wise, vacation social media overshare can aggravate some of your friends who aren’t out traveling the world with you.  Limit your Facebook use, share photos sparingly, and you can still live the high life without looking like a braggart.

Link Friday: The Why-Aren’t-You-Watching-College-Basketball? edition

Posted on Friday, March 16, 2012 by Alan

Well, you’re probably not watching college basketball because it’s like 75 degrees in March in Madison, which is just downright freaky.

So, I’ll keep Link Friday short and sweet today so you can get outside and enjoy the weather. Since this is Wisconsin, it just might snow next week.

On with the links…

That’s all for us. Stop reading! Get outside and enjoy the weather!

Link Friday: The Don’t-Say-I-Never-Gave-You-Anything Edition

Posted on Friday, February 17, 2012 by Alan

Well, we’re a little past Valentine’s Day, but I’m still giving out gifts. (Spoiler alert: the gift is Link Friday.)

Just what you always wanted, right?

I thought so. Anyway, on to the links…

Link Friday: The Welcome-to-February edition

Posted on Friday, February 3, 2012 by Alan

We’ve seen lots of disagreements this week among the predictive rodents of the country RE: how much longer winter’s going to last. Punxsutawney Phil says six more weeks of winter, but Jimmy the Groundhog in nearby Sun Prairie and Wynter, the groundhog at the Milwaukee County Zoo, say spring is on its way.

In any event, Link Friday is here whether winter lasts until June or not. On with the show:

Happy Super Bowl weekend, everybody!

Link Friday: The OK-We-Get-It-It’s-Winter Edition

Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 by Alan

Old Man Winter finally showed up here in Madison this week. Apparently, he was cranky from having to wait so long, so he made it extra snowy/windy/blah-y and reminded us Wisconsinites of the downside of winter. At least it looks and feels like January out there now; I was getting a little weirded out by 50-degree days.

Winter rant over. Time to move on to our favorite things from the last week.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the snow and cold (yeah, right), fellow Wisconsinites!

Link Friday: The I-found-too-much-stuff edition

Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 by Alan

Christmas came early for your fearless Link Friday leader, as I found far, far too much stuff to fit into a manageable blog post. So I’ll just whittle it down to the best of the best, and you’ll just have to wait until the next Link Friday to see what makes the cut then.

On with the links!

  • I shared a similar story a couple weeks back, but Mashable has now posted the results of its eye-tracking study for Facebook brand pages (like the ones we run). As it turns out, the wall captures most everybody’s attention, more so than apps or even fancy profile pictures.
  • Speaking of Facebook, the social network rolled out its much-ballyhooed (and much-delayed) Timeline feature this week. No word on whether Facebook will do the same sort of feature with brand pages, but I’ve read a few things that seem to indicate it will happen sometime down the road.
  • Continuing on the social media front, Twitter topped digital marketing agency Zeta Interactive’s list of buzzworthy social networks. “For culture, breaking news and celebrities it is the social network,” CEO Minna Rhee said in an interview.
  • Still not done with your holiday shopping? (Me neither.) The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a good list of gifts for the traveler in your life, including (and, no I’m not making this up) disposable underwear.

Have a good weekend, and we’ll see you back here next week!

Link Friday: The Welcome to December edition

Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 by Alan

December has arrived here in bucolic Madison, bringing with it complaints about cold weather that likely aren’t going to stop until July, when people will start complaining about hot weather.

Here’s what’s notable and newsworthy this week, at least according to us:

  • Looking for a great gift idea? While I was perusing Little Luxuries (just steps away from our office) for some Christmas gifts, I stumbled upon City Tins, a set of 20 coasters that double as $10 gift cards for locally owned restaurants in Madison and Milwaukee. A great promotional idea, and I love the vintage look.
  • Another great gift idea for travelers: Lytro, the focus-free camera.
  • The thing about December? It’s cold. What better way to stay warm then to jet off to Europe? But do you know your way around, say, Spain? No fear: just consult these awesome illustrations of Spain that were done for the global affairs, business, culture and design magazine Monocle.
  • Wonder what people look at most on your social media profiles? Hint: profile pictures are eye-catching.
  • And speaking of social media, here are Twitter’s top 10 remarkable tweets and Facebook’s 40 most-shared stories from 2011. (Hope nothing interesting happens in December…)

That’s all for us this week. Have a great weekend!

Why pages on Twitter is horrible news for marketers

Posted on Thursday, April 7, 2011 by Alan

According to various sources, including this post by Mashable’s Stan Schroeder, Twitter is considering changing the way brands will appear on the social network. Reports indicate that Twitter will give brands “pages,” similar to the way brands appear on Facebook now.

From Stan’s post:

The initiative, which Marketing Magazine reports is being lead by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and President of Revenue Adam Bain, is to give brands their own space on Twitter — a page they could point to and use to deliver content, while encouraging Twitter users to follow them.

For Twitter, which has been looking for ways to monetize the site for years, this change makes a lot of sense. Giving brands a more official-looking platform on the site will offer Twitter’s designers new opportunities to gain revenue, instead of relying solely on promoted tweets, accounts and trends.

But while the news may be good for Twitter’s bottom line, how should we in the marketing community react?

First, the good news:

More official looking pages mean more customization, new opportunities to present content in different ways to our fans and followers. Think of all the cool things we can do with Facebook pages (the apps and contests and custom tabs), and the value we’ve gained by having dedicated marketing opportunities on the platform.

Now the bad news:

When I help our clients build their brands on Facebook, one of the mantras I like to repeat is: “think of your brand as a person.” It’s a branding philosophy built partly from the science of marketing (people trust messages from other people more than they do a branded message), and partly out of what P&B’s clients want to be to their customers (they want to build a personal connection with travelers). What that translates to on social media is a personal, fallible, human approach to social media marketing. If Black River Falls were a person, for example, P&B thinks that person should be someone who really loves Black River Falls, who posts photos of trips, and shares anecdotes and reminds fans what they love most about the community.

On Twitter, this brand/person merge has been much easier than on Facebook. Until now, our destinations’ pages have always looked like any other account. And that’s made our job easier.

But even if our clients are doing a great job of being human on social media, the separation of brands from people that Facebook (and now Twitter) are implementing, is making the distinction between real citizens of the community and brands clearer. When a fan interacts with Black River Falls on Facebook I want that fan to be as at ease and convinced of the authenticity of that “brand/person” as he is of his best friend. But the more separation the designers at Facebook and Twitter put between brand accounts and people accounts, the harder that job becomes. Our clients’ brands may talk like people and interact like them, but now they won’t look like them. Users who visit these accounts are alerted immediately (or at least subconsciously) by the brand-specific page design that they’re interacting with something less than a full member of the community.

Are brands people? Of course not. But if a brand presents itself authentically, honestly and openly to a community, and has real friends, fans and followers who enjoy that brand’s appeal and message (just as they enjoy their friends’), the distinction begins to fade away.

I’ve been reminded more than once as a social media marketer of the story of Pinocchio. All he wanted was to be a “real boy.” And all my clients want is the chance to present an authentic, real, human face to the world. Unfortunately for them (and for us), that job continues to get harder.