Category Archives: Twitter Tips

Social Media Tips from Debbie Friez of BurrellesLuce

Discovered this terrific Slideshare presentation from local social media expert, Debbie Friez, Vice President of Major Accounts at BurrellesLuce.  She offers terrific tips for getting the most out of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  Check it out!

Is your company Twitter profile up to snuff?

Fletcher Prince offers its clients a variety of marketing services, including branded Twitter profiles, consultation, and planning services.

Fletcher Prince is a small but top-rated Washington, DC area public relations firm.  We offer personalized service to our clients.  Check out our 27 LinkedIn recommendations!  Follow Fletcher Prince on Twitter

For more information, email or call (571) 269-7559.

Is it good form to ask for followers?

Occasionally, you will see the administrator of a Facebook Page or Twitter profile post an update asking for followers.  Often, it’s associated with a goal, e.g., let’s get 10,000 followers by such and such date or time.

Does this tactic work?  And more importantly, should it be used?  Can it backfire for your brand?

I was thinking about this as I read the response of some fans when the Facebook Page owner of a Page I follow, Daym Drops, posted a request for more Twitter followers on his Facebook Page.

Now, this guy recently vaulted to YouTube viral stardom — which can be a short-lived and wild ride — so it’s easy to understand why he’s trying to make the most of it, quickly.

Fam, as I look at my Fam Follow on Twitter; it is all types of nappy and unhappy. (1,759)..Can we hit 2,000 before midnight? Let’s DO THIS!

Well, for one thing, asking for Twitter followers on Facebook is like assuming people like sushi if they also like Chinese food.  It’s not necessarily so.  And one of his Facebook fans didn’t hesitate to tell him, in a nice way, that she preferred Facebook.

I don’t have a twitter account.. dint like it .. I don’t like to feel restricted… n u know us Latinas have a lot to say 🙂

I’ve emphasized before that Facebook and Twitter, while both are social networks, are two different entities with different personalities and uses and these should be approached and treated differently.  And this just illustrates how you cannot give someone sushi when they want kung pao chicken.

But back to the ask.  Calls to action (or CTAs, for short) are tricky on social media. Are they necessary? Yes.  But there is a way to make the ask, and maybe this wasn’t it.  And who knew?  We are all learning.  Often, it’s the community that tells us what works, and what doesn’t.  What struck me were the kindly intentioned but direct responses of two of his Facebook Fans to his ask for Twitter followers (please pardon the crude language):

Hey man, you are f’ing awesome and sh!t… But don’t get greedy on followers. Just be your awesome self, and followers will show up anyways 🙂


Yeah, keep having fun with it and everything else will come along. The second you start thinking you deserve things, you start losing the respect of the people already following you.

Significantly, he did not make his 2,000 Twitter follower goal.  So, maybe there is a lesson here for businesses and nonprofits.  Don’t push your luck too quickly, too soon.  Let the fans come to you.  Do what you do best, and you will earn the reputation.  Focus on what you already have and on engaging your current fans.

Does this mean we stop using advertising, or PR, or social media to try and attract more attention for our services, products, or missions?  No!  Especially for other types of brands, a more assertive approach may be warranted.  Just — keep it real on social media.  It’s important not to lose sight of the fundamentals, or force your hand.

But it’s also very true on social media that if you have earned the love and respect of fans, then they will forgive the fumbles you may make occasionally.  And we all make those fumbles, self included!

Congratulations, Daym Drops, on your new success!  Count me among your fans 🙂

Just for fun, here is one of his funny fast food reviews…

To live tweet, or not live tweet: that is the question

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Just put away the smartphone!

Joan Stewart posted a great opinion article on her blog, The Publicity Hound, last week on live tweeting.  Joan made the points that live tweeting during a presentation takes away from the experience, as a participant.  For example, while live tweeting, an attendee can miss points made during the presentation.

Live Tweeting Can Throw Off a Presenter

You know, giving a presentation is not easy!  It takes a lot of focus and nerve.  That’s the reason why I request that people not take photos during my presentations (although they usually do, anyway). But live tweeting is worse.  When I’m up there in front of an audience, it is slightly unnerving to see people bent over their Blackberrys and iPhones.  I don’t know if they’re live tweeting, or bored and checking their email, or what.  As a speaker, you need nonverbal cues and facial feedback from your participants — are you losing your audience?  Should you pick up the pace?  Did they get that last point, or do they seem to need clarification?  So I think paying attention and being in the moment is respectful to the speaker.

Live Tweets Lack Perspective of the Presentation as a Whole

In my experience, looking at the live tweets that have posted after my talk, I have also found that people who live tweet my presentations often focus on superficial details, and I can see where they’re missing points mid-stream.  They are basically missing the forest for the trees by focusing on the micro, instead of processing the whole.   Live tweeting can get a little “high school.”  It’s the digital equivalent of passing notes in class.  I’ve had people live tweet about my appearance (in a complimentary way, still, it’s beside the point of my talk), or about the kinds of pictures I use in my slides.

I see other drawbacks with live tweets, in addition to the ones you mentioned. Some people approach live tweeting like court reporting, recording every point, and I think that’s a mistake.  Once, I reiterated a point, and someone made a snarky tweet that I was repeating myself — but he was tweeting almost every statement I made!  But in presentations, repeating main points is important.

Live Tweets Are Not Effective Communication
I also think live tweeting can be a disservice to your Twitter followers.  Your followers may appreciate your insights from a presentation they can’t attend, but when that report is coming across the stream in disjointed bits and pieces, interrupted by other tweets — well, that’s just not effective communication.  (This is the same reason why I don’t like Twitter chats.)

Live Tweets Do Not Help Your Personal Brand

When I think about activities that enhance your image and raise awareness of your personal brand online, live tweeting is not one strategy that comes to mind.  That’s because Tweets have such a short life span, and almost no search engine results value at all.  That’s a lot of effort that could be diverted into blogging.  How much better would it be to take a few notes, snap a photo afterwards (with permission), and then write a blog post about your takeaways, which would elevate both you and the speaker (and wouldn’t evaporate from search engine results, the way tweets do).  Then you could tweet the link to your blog post.

Live Tweeting May Make You Less Social

To be sure, live tweeting can be distancing.  One thing I’ve noticed: live tweeters rarely come up to me and introduce themselves, before or after a presentation.  But bloggers almost invariably do.  It could be just my personal experience, but in a way, I think live tweeting can make you less social.

Live Tweeting is Probably Here to Stay

As a speaker, I can’t really do anything to discourage live tweeting.  It’s something people are going to want to do, and I don’t think collecting phones (some do!) or asking people not to live tweet is practical.  But I may think of ways to give preference to bloggers who connect with me, such as recognition, preferential seating, good quality photos, and special attention.

What are your thoughts on live tweeting?  Do you feel it adds to the experience, or takes away from it?

How to Measure Your Engagement on Twitter and Pinterest

Red Pinterest logo

Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week, I posted about a basic approach to measuring your social media results.  But I omitted to mention the tools you can use to measure those results.

For YouTube, Facebook, and WordPress, you can use their built-in analytics.  But Twitter and Pinterest do not offer analytics to their subscribers.

For Twitter, try Twoolr. You can discover how many people mentioned you, and retweeted you, for example.

For Pinterest, try Pinreach.  You can measure engagement metrics such as Likes and Repins.

Both are free and easy to use 🙂

Engagement Guidelines for Individuals and Brands on Twitter

When using Twitter for marketing, you are naturally concerned with appearing engaging to your followers.  But what makes for an engaging Twitter account?  What are the best practices?  For example, How often should you post on Twitter?  How often should you retweet?  How many people should you follow?

While the attribution of engagement is a matter of opinion, TwitCleaner has developed an algorithim that identifies Twitter accounts you follow that are less than engaging (so you can unfollow them).  I use it, and I think these guidelines are very useful, especially for brand accounts on Twitter.  I’ve blogged about that before, but I think it bears repeating, as more and more brands are moving onto Twitter.

On Twitter, you have to give people a reason to love you.  Read the rest of this entry

Public relations ethics: remember to disclose client relationships on Twitter

Most public relations agencies and professionals I observe on Twitter are conscientious about disclosing client relationships when tweeting.  It’s easy to do: all you have to really do is add the hashtag #client to the tweet. Like this:

However, one prominent D.C. agency’s employees have been really missing the boat on this.  They keep tweeting about their clients, without disclosure, e.g.:

They do this a LOT.

So what’s the big deal? Read the rest of this entry

Do you spend too much time on Twitter?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Twitter is fun, fast, and easy.

But is it effective, as a marketing tool?  Is it the best use of your company’s time and resources?

I believe most companies and organizations should have a branded presence on Twitter that is monitored daily.  But I also observe that many place too much emphasis on Twitter.

When you look at engagement on Twitter, it’s important to keep the facts about its impact in perspective.  Twitter is still not representative of the general public.  It can be easy for communicators and the media to over-estimate its reach, since communicators and the media are two professions that make up the largest segments of active users on Twitter.

Edison Research found that while most Americans (97%) were aware of Twitter, only 8% of Americans had a profile on Twitter (20 million Americans), and of that 8%, only 3 out of 10 used it every day.  Compare that to the 51% of Americans with a profile on Facebook.  Only about 40% of registered Twitter accounts globally are considered “active” and of those active accounts, barely half have posted an update, reply or retweet in a month or more.

Most tweets do not get engagement — they do not @replies or retweets.  Less than 3 out of 10 tweets see any reaction, and that only in the first hour.  Only 6% of tweets get a retweet.

Twitter can be a very useful tool for reaching special interest groups, keeping tabs on legislators, government agencies, and political candidates, and connecting with the news media (use Twitter lists to organize your contacts).  It can be a useful monitoring and customer service tool, so maintaining a branded presence on Twitter is important.

But don’t over-rely on Twitter to reach the general public with important messages or promotions.  Monitor daily and be responsive; incorporate outreach on Twitter as one element in an integrated marketing strategy, but remember what it’s good for.  Don’t neglect result-netting tactics, such as  blogs, advertising, email marketing communications, print (and for some businesses and organizations — Facebook.)

Event organizers, recognize the value of a Twitter hashtag

I learned something very interesting this week.  From my unscientific sample of event organizers, there seems to be a lack of appreciation  — or perhaps the word I want is


understanding — for the simple power of a Twitter hashtag (#).

Every month in 2012, I plan to write a post about notable events for content marketing.  I like to include recommendations for Twitter accounts to follow and hashtags to mention.

This week, I contacted the organizers of several events, some of which get national broadcast placements.  In speaking with the public relations staff in charge of these events, I had to explain to some of them what a hashtag was, so let’s just state really simply what it is and what it can do for an event.

A hashtag is a keyword term you put into a Tweet that you precede with “#.”  This action makes the term searchable.  It can help the term become promoted on Twitter.  People like to use hashtags when they attend events.  So, for example, people who are attending Social Media Week in DC, or talking about it now, are using the hashtag #SMWWDC.

Hashtags should be short, so they don’t take up too much valuable Tweet room, but easily recognized.  You can’t use spaces, and you can’t use any characters other than letters and numerals (so hyphens and underscores are out).  Hashtag creators use either use one word, multiple words strung together, or acronyms.

There’s a real art to coming up with a great hashtag.

So far, so good right?  They’re free to create, and the only thing you need to create one is a Twitter account.  You just have to remember, as a planning group, to append that hashtag to all your tweets before an event, so they get traction.

Social Media Week DC does that very well.  Another event organization hosting their own “week” event, not so much.  I contacted “Let’s- Just-Not-Name-Them-Publicly Week DC” to inquire about their official Twitter account and hashtag, because I couldn’t find it on their website or in search.  I wanted to promote the event in my blog.

The staffer informed me that there was a Twitter account, but it was primarily for the director’s use, that it wasn’t updated that frequently, and that they really didn’t want people to refer to it.  I mentioned to the staffer how people attending their events would most likely want to to tweet about them, and for that, a hashtag would be a great idea (in case they were thinking of creating one I could include in my article), but he told me they were not pursuing that.

I can’t tell you too much more without revealing them, but I can assure you, their audiences are on Twitter, and so is the media covering their events.  Most definitely.  And other, smaller cities who are doing this type of “week” event do have their social media accounts set up and are promoting them.  But not the organization in our Nation’s Capital.

So, you know it’s hard to purchase a decent print display ad for less than 3 grand.  Now I’m discovering there are event organizers who choose not to use virtually free promotions, and I’m really perplexed.  I can understand how some people don’t recognize the value of hashtags, yet.  But to dismiss Twitter completely for a high-profile event?  That, I find surprising.  And suffice to say, they didn’t make the cut for inclusion in my article.

To their credit, PR people from two other organizations recognized the value of a hashtag immediately after our discussion, promised me they would meet about it and decide on a term, and get right back to me.  Now, that’s responsiveness!  And I will promote them.

Creating a Twitter hashtag is a simple, quick and easy, no-brainer tactic that can drive potential followers to your Twitter account, and from there, to your website and event.

Hashtags are worthwhile learning about, and incorporating in your public relations and engagement plans.

If you need help with understanding and making the most of social media for your business, nonprofit organization, or association, please contact me (571) 269-7559.

Writing for engagement: tips and best practices (video presentation)

I had the opportunity to speak at the RHED Pixel annual Open House last week on best practices for effective social media updates, and wanted to share the video with you today.

I enjoy this event because the speakers are terrific, it’s informal and interactive, and free!  So mark your calendars for the Open House next year.

Thanks so much to Richard Harrington for inviting me to present and to Adam Martray and the terrific RHED Pixel team for coordinating and taping the event (which featured a lot of other speakers, including Richard Harrington).

If you didn’t have a chance to go (the room was packed!) or watch the presentations live on UStream, I’ll share the link to those recorded presentations when they become available online.  Meanwhile, the folks at RHED Pixel have generously shared the video of my presentation and if you have the time, check it out.  I’m sharing tips for marketing your business, nonprofit, association or govt. agency with blogs, Facebook Pages, Twitter profiles, YouTube and more.

These are my highly subjective opinions about what has worked for me and what I have observed.  If you concur, or you believe differently, or have tips to share, please leave a comment.  I would love to hear your views.

For more creative and affordable marketing tips, please subscribe to the Fletcher Prince blog

Presentation recorded October 25, 2011 in front of a live audience at RHED Pixel, Falls Church, Virginia.

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