Twitter.com’s growth flattened last year. More people are using apps BUT also some people have come and gone. Twitter has limited utility and is best used for finding influentials and dialoguing with the types of supporters who can lead others.90/10 rule = 10% of Tweeters tweet 90% of tweetsTwitter will stay important for those who want the news first – that includes journalists, bloggers, activists and politicos!Soon, there will be a “twitter for normal people” so best to understand now how information spreads and power wields influence in this type of environment.
Links to Note: http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/cheryl-contee/fission-strategy/turbocharging-your-twitter-power-6-rules-roadhttp://www.deannazandt.com/2009/02/26/a-non-fanatical-beginners-guide-to-twitterhttp://www.twiangulate.comhttp://www.twittorati.comNotes:Be informative. Burnish your reputation or that of your organization by tweeting useful, relevant links that you find while surfing. Use bit.ly to easily create short urls that you can track. Just because you've read a thought-provoking article or blog post doesn't mean that others have. They might appreciate the link. Avoid tweeting the weather or what you just ate --unless it's unusual, cool and you have a picture. Use hashtags and keywords. There's often a misperception that the only people who are reading your tweets are your followers. Not so. Experienced tweeters also search for topics of interest or create hashtags (e.g. #marketing) to find other people who are tweeting about the same thing or attending the same event. Even if you only have a handful of followers, you can potentially reach hundreds, thousands or millions of people if you are being smart about using the keywords and hashtags others are using to search for the latest info. Marketers often try to spread a particular hashtag so that it appears on Twitter.com's trending topics list to generate buzz. If you're looking for a job, try searching the hashtags: #job, #jobs or #hiring.Talk to people. In most Twitter interfaces (including Twitter.com), you can click a button to see your "replies." Whenever someone uses your twitter name along with the @ symbol, this is a "reply" e.g. @ch3ryl. Good Twitter citizens review and respond to those who are tweeting about them. This starts a dialogue and you'll find that some of the followers of the people you are talking to will start to follow you too.
Notes:Re-tweet. You may see people on Twitter use terms like "RT" or "retweet" or "(via @so-and-so)" e.g. RT @ch3ryl. This means that someone else tweeted something interesting and you are sharing that with others, while giving credit where credit is due. This accomplishes several objectives at once: it makes you look smart and in-the-know, it gets on another person's radar, it furthers dialogue and it spreads valuable information. Thank people. When someone says something nice about you or re-tweets something that you've tweeted, say Thank You and use their Twitter name. People love to be mentioned in Twitter and you'll find that folks will be more willing to follow you, recommend following you to their followers and RT your missives. This is how you tap into the magical powers of Twitter.Join the “In” crowd. Follow strategically. Be sure to follow the type of influentials that you would prefer would be reading your twitter feed – journnalists, policymakers, bloggers, discussion leaders on your topic. They will both provide interesting info that you can share via RT (which they can track) and also 20-30% of them will follow you back. Use Twitter tools: Sophisticated tweeters don’t use Twitter.com to tweet. There are lots of free or inexpensive tools to help you both tweet and track how your tweets are performing. A few of note include:Twirl – allows you to see lots of small windows for multiple accountsTweetDeck – a powerhouse that is great for tracking hashtags and search terms in real timeHootsuite and Co-Tweet – great if you have multiple people tweeting on the same accountBit.ly – convert your urls to Bit.ly links so you can track their spread and clickthru rates. Find your supportersBe sure to make sure Twitter is not just a one-way conversation with links to your press releases. No one wants to go to that party. Instead be sure to check your @mentions, join the conversations, thank your supporters and RT them. You’ll see results.
Notes:Pure Brand100% branded with primarily Foundation related content. These accounts, which are often sporting the logo and name of the Foundation are used to provide news, grants information, and information resources like research studies, job announcements. There is no indicator of any individuals involved. Pros: This account can be managed by a team, could be set up to automatically stream content. There is d less risk of an individual being co-branded with the Foundation and potentially violating a policy, going off message, etc.Cons: This may be perceived as a just an extension of Communications, PR or the Foundation website with little human interaction.b) Nonprofit with PersonalityEstimated with about 80% foundation brand and 20% personal/professional brand this account may be a branded account, although it’s clear there’s an individual participating. The content stream is more interactive with conversations happening between the nonprofit and "followers.”Pros: This account maintains the face of the nonprofit brand, yet shows a human element, building trust with the community.Cons: The account may be limiting itself as the community may come to expect and rely on the individual person to participate or may have difficulty scaling if it is only one person.c) Staffer with Nonprofit AssociationIn a rough estimate this account consists of 20% corporate related content, and approximately 80% personal information. The personal information more "professional" in that it relates to the individuals subject matter expertise.These are accounts that are individuals and don’t “officially” or “formally” represent the nonprofit, but they don’t hide the fact that they’re an employee of the nonprofit. Pros: These personal accounts are often organic and are a great way to build connections with a community.Cons: Even if a disclaimer states that “these opinions only represent me, not my employer” they still are representatives of the brand. When it comes to issues like lobbying, there may be legal issues.d) Pure Personal Account These accounts are 100% personal content and have no tie or mention of organization or branded information. These personal accounts, either created by an individual that doesn’t want to be associated with their employer –or their employer won’t let them is void of any corporate ties.Pros: This account has no tie or risk to a brand. Thought leadership is focused on a core “spokesperson” yet there’s some safer distance between the tweeter and the org. Can be great for an ED or President who is a media figure or wants to be.Cons: Although the risks are reduced, so are the opportunities. If this person leaves the organization with them, they take their followers.From: http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2009/08/foundations-that-tweet-profile-patterns.html
Notes: Profiles are for individual people – not for organizations. For orgs – create a Page. Many orgs also have Groups and Causes. Be aware of search engine optimization when you are setting up your page’s title and description; include both the acronym AND the full name of your org along with a link back to your main website.Walls have their own newsfeeds where Page activity and threaded discussion are shown. Pages also have tabs for Page Info, Photos, Notes, Applications, and other customizable boxes. You can also use FBML (like HTML) to customize your page tabs.You can create Facebook applications that appear both as a tab on your page and elsewhere in FB.