Posts tagged ‘twitter’

Is Twitter Finally Ready for Its Close-Up?

3 May, 2011 | | No Comment

In this story:
Osama Bin Laden Dead, The Story Twitter Broke we learn that the first person to break the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death was Keith Urbahn (chief of staff for the office of the former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld). He posted it via his @KeithUrbahn Twitter feed 20 minutes before any other source confirmed the story:

But as it turned out, Sohaib Athar, a technology manager at Really Virtual, was liveblogging the raid on Osama without realizing what was going on. Twitter was the only medium to capture the action as it was actually happening.

And all this adds up to what Matt Rosoff describes as “Twitter having its CNN Moment” He says:

Remember CNN when the Gulf War started in 1990? Before then, it was watched mostly by obsessive news followers — people in finance and government, political science professors, insomniacs. Then Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and suddenly CNN was everywhere. Even in bars. That’s what’s going to happen with Twitter after tonight’s announcement that U.S. Special Forces killed Osama Bin Laden…

But, even more importantly, when our parents ask us why Twitter is useful, we’ll now be able to point to this example. Rosoff says it beautifully: “Twitter was faster, more accurate, and more entertaining than any other news source out there.”

Capturing Leads and Tracking Conversations on Twitter

19 July, 2009 | | 2 Comments

Here at VeriSign, we’ve proven that Twitter can be used to capture sales leads and make sales. But we are also seeing all kinds of other interactions that happen on Twitter. These include:

  • Requests for information / help with products
  • Suggestions for product features (e.g., “VIP iPhone app should work on iPod Touch!”)
  • General industry questions
  • Media inquiries and commentary
  • Customers needing some TLC
  • Interesting news articles or Tweets to share

Getting Started

Before you start, you’ll need to do a search on your brand to see what kind of mentions it is getting. http://search.twitter.com will find all mentions, which you may want to catalog in your own spreadsheet because it only seems to archive about a month’s worth of data. But you can still find a Tweet using more specific keywords on Google to find tweets, because, much like a diamond, a Tweet is forever! (even if you delete a Tweet from your Twitter stream, it’s going to show up on Google!)

Tools for Tracking Conversations

1. Bit.ly: Bit.ly can be used for shortening any URLs. You can even create custom Bit.ly Urls, but keep track of what you create because Bit.ly won’t track those for you. And beware the inflated Bit.ly stats which do not filter out hits from bots / spiders, etc. More on that here from Hutch Carpenter. And Tac Anderson is a great blogger to follow if you want to keep up on the latest cool tools – he is great filter for the (too much) information that’s out there.
2. Tracking Codes: We use Visual Sciences on our VeriSign.com so if we append an “SL code” to a URL that we send out, and someone visits the VeriSign.com site, we know where they came from. So, the URL we send looks like this: www.verisign.com/industrybriefs?sl=12345. Using these helps us keep track of traffic that we send over from Twitter.

Capturing Sales Leads

Our leads from Twitter were getting lost in the Siebel Sales database becuase we had no way of tracking. The “traditional” way of capturing leads is that a prospective customer fills ut a landing page. We persuaded the Direct Marketing team that people engaging with us on Twitter are in no mind set to fill out a form if they wanted more info, and they are allowing us to fill in the form ourselves, as long as the potential customer approves it. Now that’s progress! Now all we need is our own cool little “Twitter Leads” form. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.

Keeping track of Resources

Many of the interactions I mentioned above need to be shared internally with the right people, and then communicated back out. We’re talking a serious time commitment here. But how to show the “higher ups” what resources are necessary? I’ve worked with my colleague (@AllenKelly) to come up with a system that should help us with this. More on this after we try it out for a bit.

Making sense of the social media landscape…

5 May, 2009 | | No Comment

In February, a friend who is an excellent personal trainer asked me how she could use social media to improve her business and attract clients. “What’s the difference between a Web site, a blog, Facebook, LinkedIN, and Twitter?” she asked me. She already had a Facebook account to connect with friends and family. I remembered an anecdote I heard at a conference, a clothing analogy for some of the social networking tools:

LinkedIn is like your “business attire” for your professional contacts. Twitter is your “business casual” wear. For example, you can use it to make informal connections with colleagues you meet at conferences to get to know them better. And Facebook is “weekend wear” — flip flops and shorts, meant for your friends and family.

“Well why do I need a Web page?” She asked. I had to think about this one. Did she really need to register a domain name and set up a site, with all these tools at her disposal? The answer is a definite “yes.” I judge a business by the quality of their Web site. Maybe I’m a bit of a snob, with my roots in Web content development, but I usually choose the restaurant or a hotel with a higher quality Web site unless I have a strong reason to do otherwise. I don’t think I’m alone in this. So I explained to her that as a solo practitioner, she needed to establish her professional presence with a Web site. I even suggested “TrainWithJess.com” which she loved.

Then she asked, “why do I need a blog?” So I gave her another analogy. “Your Web site is like your office building, it’s your home base. Your blog is like the landscaping / garden out front that shows that this building is occupied and cared for.” And then, the final question:

“Why do I need Twitter?”
“Twitter serves as a way to meet new prospects and attract them to your manicured blog and professional Web site.”
“Got it.”

That was two months ago, and since then Jessica has created her own Web site, complete with a blog and Twitter feed. She even found some new communities to join, hosted on Ning. I am amazed at how much she learned on her own, and she is already attracting new clients who are finding her Web site via Twitter and Google, and complimenting her on “how professional it looks.”

Jessica is obviously a very smart, ambitious lady, but the fact of the matter is that in a Web 2.0 world, ANYONE can self publish and have a voice on the Web. All it takes is the desire to learn and the willingness to spend some time doing it.

Thou Shalt Blog and Tweet and Google Thyself

3 August, 2008 | | 5 Comments

And the Lord of Social Media said “Go forth and blog and tweet and link to others, and ye shall rise from certain obscurity.” And I did. And it was good.

I’ve been googling myself for eight years with very little satisfaction. I never ranked above the fourth or fifth page in Google. In fact, if any old friends tried to Google me, they probably thought that I ended up as a motivational speaker.

I don’t run marathons or do anything newsworthy. The other Karen Snyders have outshone me in every way: I get their email, I’m given their prescription glasses, my address is never the first one listed at the pharmacy and the local health club.

UNTIL NOW.

“What has changed?” you might ask. Well, I started this blog a couple of months ago. That bumped me up a bit (maybe page three?) But then, my Twitter friend Jeff Moriarty from Intel linked to my blog from his.

And lo, and behold, when you search on “Karen Snyder” it is I who appear on the first page of Google Results. If I wasn’t a believer before in the power of social media, I am now.