I'm on Twitter: Now What?


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"I\’m on Twitter: Now What?" - setting goals for Twitter, measurement, and avoiding "advanced mistakes" - presentation to Frederick New Media & Technology Conference (#FredNMT3), presented by Michelle Forman, APHL and April Finnen, DynPort Vaccine Company, February 24, 2011

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  • Audience poll: who’s on Twitter? Tweeting for less than 3 months?
  • Setting clear goals will help you know what to tweet about. (We still get this question a lot from people who are on Twitter, but struggling with finding their voice.) WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) doesn’t get you very far in social media. Give now. The rewards come later. (Sometimes much later.) 3:1 ratio – Provide at least three industry-related tweets for every tweet promoting the company directly, on average. Shows that you are knowledgeable about the industry, and provides useful information to your audience. Your company name is still in front of them with each of these tweets, so you’re still promoting your company each time you tweet.
  • Develop goals that make sense for you – what works for one organization or business might not for another. Be prepared to alter your goals as your audience takes shape. If your content isn’t right for your audience, it won’t benefit your organization in the end either.
  • (Michelle --) My initial audience was supposed to be our members – people who work in laboratories. But I quickly discovered that most of them are blocked from using Twitter and Facebook at work, which required me to reevaluate. The entire focus of our social media efforts had to shift to building an audience outside of our membership.
  • Ask questions, to find out if you’re on the right track. April’s audience clicks on industry events frequently, particularly BioBeers
  • The less clothing someone is wearing in their profile picture, the greater the chance they are a spammer. Also, if they’re following 10,000 people and have 12 followers, they’re probably not legit. (A reason you want to follow people and build your follower base slowly – you don’t want to look like a spammer!) Another good indicator is if they are following 10,000 but have zero tweets.
  • See what lists you are on on your Twitter.com profile page, under the Lists tab. You can generate a list of all the people who have added you to lists using Formulists. It’s useful to track over time to see that your “listed” number is going up – this is an indicator that people find your tweets useful. If you find you are on an undesirable list, blocking the person who owns the list will remove you. (Example: singles dating list)
  • It’s tough to measure, but online interactions can lead to more frequent real-life interactions. For example, a customer may come to your store more often, or a business partner may think of you more readily for an upcoming new business opportunity. Ask new customers how they heard about you. Write it down, so you can focus your efforts to what’s working. If it’s Twitter special offers, keep offering them. Measurement doesn’t have to be complicated (it’s not rocket science!).
  • April tried using some more complex methods to measure a new internal communication platform. The targets were: Ultimate success will consist of a majority of the staff (more than 50%) logging in to read the Weekend Update regularly (at least twice per month), with a smaller core group (12% or more) actively participating by posting comments, adding calendar entries, or participating in other forums. Note: ROI might work for some businesses, but be open to using Twitter for something beyond sales  community outreach, relationship building
  • This is a sample of metrics by objective that April used to track success of a new SharePoint platform for internal communication a couple years ago. I used a combination of outcomes, outtakes and outputs. Lesson learned: gut instinct and talking to employees provided ample evidence that we weren’t going to meet our targets. Taking the extra time to calculate certain metrics manually was not a good use of time in the long run. Measurement methods derived from: Paine, KD. True Tales from the Social Media Measurement Trenches – Using Research to Learn and Improve Our Programs [presentation]. 2008 PRSA International Conference. 2008 Oct 28. PRSA National Capital Chapter. Getting to Great: National Capital Chapter’s APR Prep Guide. 2008 Sept.
  • April also used this engagement index for the internal communications campaign. A similar method could be applied to Twitter, to measure awareness over time, for example, based on audience survey results. Again , it doesn’t have to be this complicated . Trust your instincts. Try new things, and write down the anecdotal evidence.
  • Here are some simpler ways to measure your progress – we recommend starting here. You should not measure success solely based on your follower count. This goes back to knowing your audience. (Did they autofollow you based on keywords you tweeted? Are they spammers?) Your follower count should go up over time, the more you tweet. If it’s going down or staying the same, examine your tweets from your audience’s point of view. (More on this in “advanced mistakes”) Michelle found that measuring retweets and mentions provided more information than just followers – it showed that people are listening and it showed what content is most popular. Key to measureable objectives is to say exactly what you’re going to do, and by when. Need a starting benchmark. Measuring awareness usually requires at least two surveys: one before you start and one at your endpoint.
  • Some of these tools, like Hootsuite and TweetDeck are valuable outside of measurement as well (example: scheduling tweets) Note about Hootsuite – add a column just for RTs (mentions does not include new Twitter-style RTs) Nothing is perfect.
  • Sample HootSuite measurement dashboard (free version). Use to track popular tweets, clickthroughs, mentions. Limitation: must use built-in URL tracking for clicks. Doesn’t include content from others that you retweet (but generally bad form to re-shorten another’s already shortened URL to track it yourself – it messes up their metrics).
  • The value in using services like Klout comes with comparing your numbers over time. As long as they are going up, you’re fine.
  • EVERYONE hates auto-DMs. Don’t do it. (If you do, expect to be unfollowed.) It’s OK and helpful to schedule or automate some tweets, but you still need to check @ replies at least daily and interact with people. Be a real person. (But not this guy.)
  • You know how to talk to people in a business environment… Twitter is no different. Talking about yourself (your business) constantly on Twitter is like standing in your chair at a business function yelling “I’m great, look at me!” Remember, every time you tweet, your followers see your brand name. That’s very valuable, and they won’t tune it out (or unfollow) as they would with a steady stream of blatant sales messages. Be generous. Help others and start building relationships. It takes time, even on social media, but your generosity will be remembered.
  • Keywords allow more strangers to find you so be aware of them. In a hashtag, you cannot include a space or punctuation. When you say “public health” it will show up in a keyword search; using #publichealth will not because it is now a different word.
  • Scheduling tweets can be very helpful, as can an editorial calendar. Just don’t overdo the scheduling, and remember to check @ replies and respond.
  • The Bartholomew article contains a sample ROI calculation, including what inputs would be required. (Lots of estimating…)
  • I'm on Twitter: Now What?

    1. 1. I’M ON TWITTER… NOW WHAT? Frederick Chamber of Commerce New Media & Technology Conference February 24, 2011
    2. 2. SO YOU’RE ON TWITTER… NOW WHAT? <ul><li>Nuts and Bolts </li></ul><ul><li>Measurement </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding “Advanced Mistakes” </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    3. 3. NUTS AND BOLTS: SET CLEAR GOALS <ul><li>Sample goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DVC: “Enhance DVC’s reputation as an industry/thought leader.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How? 3:1 industry vs. company info. ratio (minimum) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DVC: “Support recruiting and retention efforts” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How? Tweets promoting positive corporate culture, jobs </li></ul></ul></ul>“ What’s in it for my audience?”
    4. 4. NUTS AND BOLTS: SET CLEAR GOALS <ul><li>Sample goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>APHL: Increase awareness of what public health laboratories (PHLs) do to promote the public’s health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How? Share news, blog posts, and other bits of information that help people become familiar with PHLs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Become a trusted source for public health news </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How? Post news stories that are of interest to the public; establish relationships with reporters, bloggers, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. NUTS AND BOLTS: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE <ul><li>Ask questions periodically </li></ul><ul><li>Know what works. Keep track of popular tweets  offer more of that type of content </li></ul>
    7. 7. NUTS AND BOLTS: SHAPE YOUR AUDIENCE <ul><li>Be willing to block people </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to invite others to follow you </li></ul><ul><li>Consider third-party apps to clean up your business account </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FriendorFollow.com – See who is following you that you aren’t following back, and vice versa </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. NUTS AND BOLTS: SHAPE YOUR AUDIENCE <ul><li>Keep track of where you’re listed </li></ul>
    9. 9. MEASUREMENT: START WITH CLEAR GOALS <ul><li>Clear goals = easier measurement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you trying to accomplish? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate your progress for each goal monthly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make adjustments where you’re not seeing results </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. MEASUREMENT: WHAT ABOUT ROI? <ul><li>ROI is probably not right for you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial term </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Return on investment = % of dollars returned on a given investment (cost) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have to make up a lot of numbers to measure ROI, is your measurement really meaningful? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May work for online retailers (conversion tracking) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think about how you measure more traditional media channels. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you putting undue emphasis on measuring social media? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure what is important to you – This will help justify your social media presence at this point. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11.
    12. 12.
    13. 13. MEASUREMENT: START WITH THE BASICS <ul><li>Examples of things to measure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most clicked tweets (Hootsuite, bit.ly) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-tweeted tweets (Patterns? Popular topics?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offline/ personal interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>@ replies and DMs may lead to new customers/business partners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Expert” requests (media interviews, guest blogging opportunities, editorial board positions, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of followers (with caution) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Example measurable objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase RTs per 1,000 followers from 0.5 % in Q1 to 10% by the end of Q2.* </li></ul></ul>*Example from Don Bartholomew ( link )
    14. 14. MEASUREMENT: FREE TOOLS <ul><li>Some popular options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hootsuite – track clicks, mentions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TweetDeck – track mentions, retweets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Klout – scores for reach, amplification and network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OneForty.com – social business hub </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitalyzer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cautions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General consensus is that none of these tools is a catch-all (yet). Use a couple of them, but trust your own criteria first. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free tools may not remain that way, and there’s no guarantee they will continue to exist. </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Hootsuite measurement screenshot
    16. 16. Klout measurement screenshots
    17. 17. “ ADVANCED MISTAKES” <ul><li>Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should </li></ul>
    18. 18. “ ADVANCED MISTAKES” <ul><li>Don’t overthink Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t just talk about yourself </li></ul>
    19. 19. “ ADVANCED MISTAKES” <ul><li>Know who you’re talking to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Starting a tweet with an @ reply means only you, the person you are mentioning and your *mutual* followers will see it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Add a . in front if you want all your followers to see your reply </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Hashtag mania </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hashtags categorize tweets – they link tweets together into one conversation. Use wisely! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad Tweet: 1st #rabies case in #AlamanceCounty , #NC this year was confirmed by the #publichealth #lab in #Raleigh http://bit.ly/fqmEOc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keywords allow users to search Twitter for tweets using certain terms similarly to a Google search. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good Tweet: 1st #rabies case in Alamance County, NC this year was confirmed by the public health lab in Raleigh http://bit.ly/fqmEOc </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. REFERENCE: TWITTER TOOLS <ul><li>Helpful Tools to Improve the Twitter Experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TweetDeck – www.tweetdeck.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HootSuite – www.hootsuite.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twhirl/Seesmic – www.seesmic.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile Apps – search for “Twitter” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>URL shorteners – for example, bit.ly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OneForty - http://oneforty.com/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These tools make it much easier to navigate the Twitter “stream.” You can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize people you follow into categories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See DMs at a glance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Receive audio and/or visual alerts for @ replies, DMs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Streamline your Twitter experience </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. REFERENCES <ul><li>Bartholomew, D. Social Media Metrics: 5 Things to Learn in 2011. 2011 Jan 11. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.ragan.com/SocialMedia/Articles/Social_media_metrics_5_things_to_learn_in_2011__42617.aspx </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Paine, KD. True Tales from the Social Media Measurement Trenches – Using Research to Learn and Improve Our Programs [presentation]. 2008 PRSA International Conference. 2008 Oct 28. </li></ul><ul><li>PRSA National Capital Chapter. Getting to Great: National Capital Chapter’s APR Prep Guide. 2008 Sept. </li></ul><ul><li>Finnen, A. and Luck, L. “Using Twitter for Business.” Presentation to Frederick New Media & Technology Conference. February 19, 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Finnen, A. Be Human: Building and Measuring Profitable B2B Customer Relationships Through Social Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.csc.com/dvc/news/52009-be_human_building_measuring_b2b_relationships_with_social_media </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. QUESTIONS? (AND HOW TO FIND US) <ul><li>Michelle Forman </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Association of Public Health Laboratories www.aphl.org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>@APHLnews and @eatniks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>April Finnen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DynPort Vaccine Company LLC, A CSC Company www.csc.com/dvc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>@dynport and @AprilFin </li></ul></ul>