Through The Marketing Wormhole

By | Business, Media, Uncategorized | No Comments

What a strange time it is to be a marketer. Last year, Forrester fielded hundreds of questions from brands and tech partners alike about the revelations that rocked our worlds: kickbacks, tech consolidation, opacity of even decades-old partnerships, measurement screw-ups from the world’s second largest digital advertising player and the possibility of a single tweet sending share prices tumbling. And yet…

The increasing importance of content—especially video, both live and otherwise—is driving a renewed dependence on agencies. Facebook had an absolutely insane Q4 and Snap went public. Advertisers didn’t shy away from Super Bowl buys even with declining NFL ratings; they’re just going cross-platform, even if they won’t be able to measure its effectiveness.

What is going on? Are we so optimistic that we’re ignoring the data in front of us that seems to say we should be taking a cold, hard look at our strategic planning? Is it that given the greater world context over the last year we no longer know if we can trust the evidence in the first place? Is it as simple as marketers following the eyeballs, proof of efficacy be damned?

Look, the marketing sky isn’t falling; but if we want to keep it that way marketers need to have the difficult conversations within their own companies and with outside peers. P&G and Coca-Cola are paving the way by going public with their renewed concerns about throwing money into digital without accountability. And Budweiser is facing its increasingly polarized customer base by trying to explain that its Super Bowl ad was never intended to be political.

Your own stance doesn’t have to be quite as bold or as public as these brands’, but you do have to have one to protect your brand reputation and relevance in these strange business times.

Via: Forbes

How to quantify a social media strategy

By | Social Media | No Comments

While many businesses invest in social media to tap into coveted target markets, very few can quantify its return on investment. With this ever-evolving tool becoming an essential part of marketing strategy, it’s imperative to show its value – not only to increase effectiveness, but to ensure dollars are spent efficiently. Here’s how to get started:

First, identify your company’s key performance indicators. To start, look at the KPIs your company tracks for other strategies (i.e., finances or growth). Then, align these KPIs with your social strategy so you can understand what metrics are important to impact the bottom line. With social media’s evolution, metrics have gone farther than how many likes you receive, and into engagement or conversions. At the end of the day, it’s not about impressions or reach, but about what converted these customers and delivered a sale.

Next, track your conversions to follow customers along the consumer decision journey. You can implement this through tracking scripts or Google Analytics. By setting up tracking scripts (through Facebook and Twitter, for example) you can easily monitor successes taking place during and post-campaign. One way we track scripts at Cousins Subs is through online ordering conversions. While we have a myriad of partnerships and campaigns, we attempt to tie in an online ordering element. Through tracking scripts, we can determine how many people converted to purchases/sales. To retain and convert your intended audience, you must be informed about their behavior. With Google Analytics, you can set tracking tags on the URLs you use in campaigns, while also monitoring completed actions and website behaviors. Through these tactics, you’ll be better informed of your target audience.

Lastly, upon completion of these campaigns it’s equally as valuable to follow up and report on the KPIs you set. This allows you to make improvements for future campaign success.

The spheres of social media and its users change daily. What may have worked for one campaign may not be effective for the next. To better understand what’s working now and what might work in the future, it’s necessary to benchmark and understand the successes/failures from each campaign.

Via: BizTimes

Facebook Reactions Will Influence Your News Feed

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Reactions turned one the other day, and have been used over 300 billion times. Facebook is about to use the information it has been harvesting, to update its News Feed once again. 

Facebook is constantly updating its News Feed algorithm, and has from time to time made some pretty significant changes. In its latest algorithm change, Facebook will be prioritising Reactions over Likes, when ranking stories on News Feed. In my opinion, Facebook knew what it was doing all along.

Moving from a system of “approval” on posts (Likes), to a more “emotional” indicator: Reactions. And from this, Facebook found that Reactions are a better indicator of whether someone was interested in a post and would be also interested in something similar. Better than Likes, that is.

The company says that it will “weigh” each reaction in the same way. However, it should also take into account the time a user spends on each post, and then “weigh” each reaction accordingly. Spending more time on a post, even if that means picking an appropriate reaction, shows that a person has “cared.” It would also be very interesting to know, how often users change their Reactions, within seconds, or over longer periods of time.

In the one year they’ve been around, Reactions have taken over the way we communicate. And despite all the negativity on our News Feed, you’ll be happy to know that “Love” accounts for half of the 300 billion times Reactions were used. Heartwarming! The most expressive countries are Mexico, Chile, Suriname, Greece, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Belize, the United States, Brazil, and Uruguay. Surprised?

Via: We Are Social Media

YouTube Debuts TV subscription Service

By | Apps, Media | No Comments

Every day people spend almost as much time watching YouTube as TV. And now they can watch TV on YouTube.

On Tuesday, YouTube debuted a cable TV-style subscription service so that people can pay to stream live and recorded shows from the four broadcast TV networks and roughly three dozen cable networks through a new YouTube TV site and a new YouTube TV mobile app.

Called YouTube TV, the service will cost $35 a month for six accounts and will become available “in the next few months,” said YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who announced YouTube TV during an event at the company’s YouTube Space LA studio in Los Angeles. YouTube has published a page on its site for people to sign up to be notified when YouTube TV becomes available in their area.

YouTube TV will carry 40 total TV networks, including local broadcast channels and cable networks like Bravo, E!, ESPN, Fox News, FX, MSNBC, National Geographic Channel and USA Network. People will also have the option of paying an extra fee for Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus. And YouTube is bundling in the original shows it has produced exclusively for its existing YouTube Red subscription service.

Using YouTube TV, people will be able to watch live TV, check out an on-demand library of past seasons and record shows to watch later. People can only view recorded shows by streaming them through an internet or cellular connection; they will not be able to download them to watch offline, like they can on Netflix. There is no limit to how many shows people can record simultaneously, and setting a recording from YouTube’s mobile app won’t use the phone’s data or its storage, said YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan. YouTube will keep an account’s recorded shows for up to nine months.

In addition to the subscription revenue, YouTube will also be able to reap ad revenue from YouTube TV. While YouTube hasn’t yet pitched advertisers specifically on YouTube TV inventory, YouTube will “have the opportunity to sell some ads” appearing within YouTube TV’s shows, said Mohan. YouTube’s chief business officer, Robert Kyncl, likened YouTube TV ad sales to how Comcast sells some of the ads running on its cable TV service alongside the ads sold by the TV networks themselves. Mohan said that YouTube plans to sell ads for YouTube TV in all the same ways it currently sells ads for YouTube proper, including through the advertising auction system.

YouTube TV isn’t so different from YouTube proper, aside from a new “Live” tab cataloging shows currently airing. A home feed will list shows and categories that people might want to check out, like the videos YouTube features in its main app’s feed. People will be able to search for shows by title and keywords like the name of a sports team or a content category. YouTube TV will also work with Google’s Chromecast so that people can stream a live or recorded show from their phone to their TV. And people will be able to watch regular YouTube videos, in addition to the TV shows and YouTube Red original programs, on YouTube TV.

This isn’t YouTube’s first subscription service. In October 2015, YouTube rolled out YouTube Red that has people pay $9.99 a month to watch all YouTube videos without ads, gain access to some exclusive original shows and download videos to watch offline; YouTube Red will remain a separate service from YouTube TV, with only the YouTube Red original shows carrying over. And a year before that, it introduced YouTube Music Key, a precursor to YouTube Red that focused on YouTube’s music-related videos.

Via: Marketing Land

5 Simple Ways to Connect with Anyone

By | Self Help | No Comments

By: Antonio Neves

In my line of work — first as a correspondent and host with top television networks and today as a professional speaker — it’s critical to be able to connect with anyone and everyone.

When I was a broadcast journalist, I had to form an instant connection with anyone I was interviewing, from a top celebrity to the CEO of a billion-dollar company to a mother who lost her son to gun violence.

These days, as a professional speaker who delivers keynotes to as many as 3,000 people at a time, this means giving a speech that resonates with audiences of all ages, across various industries, with different types of personalities.

Over the years, people have asked me regularly about this: What’s the best way to connect with people from different walks of life for establishing trust and building strong working relationships?

As a borderline introvert, this has never been easy for me. But I’ve learned five simple things I can do to establish a quick but meaningful connection with others.

1. Give them the most valuable thing that you can

Think about your last face-to-face conversation with someone. Whether it was in the office, over a meal, or at a business conference, odds are that one of you had a phone in your hand, especially if you consider yourself shy and use your phone as a social crutch. During the conversation, you might’ve looked at your phone on a few occasions to check email, see who sent that new text message, or scroll your social media feed. Sadly, this has become commonplace.

When you check your phone, even for just a second, this subtle (or not so subtle) action tells the other person that you’re not fully present. That there’s something more important than them and the conversation you’re having. That, put simply, you don’t care. I invite you to put away your phone and give people your undivided attention. It will go a long way in building trust and showing that you care. The most valuable thing you can give someone is your attention.

2. Confirm that communication has been received

If you’re shy when it comes to connecting with others in person, confirming that communication has been received is a powerful tool to add to your arsenal. When speaking with someone, all you have to do is repeat or paraphrase back to them what they said. This doesn’t require trying to be clever or thinking of something interesting to say. You just have to be fully attentive and listening intentionally.

Television journalists use this technique on a regular basis. Say a journalist is interviewing an expert who says something like, “We were able to cut the budget by $100,000.” A standard response from the journalist will be, “$100,000?,” repeating what was said. The expert will typically follow up with something like, “Yes, $100,000. When we did our audits, we found there was a lot of waste across the organization. Now we’re able to save that money and put it towards other important matters.” All that just from repeating “$100,000.” (And yes, a good journalist would respond to the last statement with, “What other important matters?”)

3. Influence a conversation without saying a word

We’ve all been there. You’re having a conversation with someone and you’re answering a question they asked you. However, you’re getting no response from them as you speak. They look at you blankly. Or, maybe their eyes are looking at anywhere but you. Maybe their body is angled away. They’re giving you no energy back and you’re starting to lose your confidence. Don’t let this be you.

You can positively influence a conversation without saying a word. When someone is speaking to you, directly face them with open body language. When they say something you agree with, if you’d like, you can make a point or say something surprising. But you don’t have to. If you nod your head, widen your eyes, or smile, this lets the person know you’re paying attention.

Test this in the next conversation you have with someone. First, don’t give them any energy back, just look lethargic and uninterested and watch how their energy fades. In another conversation, nod, smile, and use your eyes to show interest. Notice how the other person’s energy naturally picks up. You can influence a conversation without even saying a word.

4. Ask for help/expertise/feedback

If you’re looking for a way to easily connect with someone, one of the best ways to do this is to ask for their help, feedback, or expertise. By doing this, you put them in the position of being the expert. People love being the expert, and even more, in my experience, people love to talking about their journeys and solving the problems of others.

For introverts who are wary of networking, this is a great way to build rapport with someone, have them take a genuine interest in you, and learn something valuable along the way.

5. Be Inclusive – replace “I” and “me” with “Us” and “We” to create a deeper connection

The next time you have a conversation with someone, listen for how often you use the words “I” and “me.” If you use these words often, odds are you’ are creating a disconnect between you and the other person. Your opportunity is to be inclusive by instead using words like “we” and “us.” “I” and “me” creates distance. “We” and “us” brings people together and makes them feel part of something bigger. Along those lines, Further, being inclusive also means listening more than you talk.

Of course, the most critical and most important part of learning to connecting with others is being genuine. Whatever you do, it must come from a genuine place. If not, people can sense it and the opportunity is lost.

So whether you’re in introvert or extrovert, next time you find yourself in a conversation, remember to just be sincere and attentive. You’d be surprised how far this can take you in building long-term relationships.

Via: Inc.

Netflix wants to kill buffering dead

By | Media, Uncategorized | No Comments

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was in a good mood.

Hastings, after all, just saw his company win its first Oscar for the documentary “The White Helmets” on Sunday night.

On Monday, he was in Barcelona speaking at a keynote session during the Mobile World Congress trade show. “I’m so thrilled to see ‘White Helmets’ honored,” he said.

Netflix has spent the last year expanding to virtually the entire world and has transformed itself from a DVD-by-mail service into a video streaming juggernaut with 94 million subscribers. A lot of those customers watch its library of videos on their phones, which is largely why Hastings was at the conference.

Here are some of the topics he hit in his wide-ranging fireside chat.

On buffering: “We want to make buffering a relic like that dial tone,” Hastings said, referring to the noise your old dial-up modem made when you signed into the internet in the early days.

Netflix has invested in network servers, codecs and the content delivery mechanisms to reduce the level of buffering. His goal is to make video on any device instantaneous.

“That really changes your relationship with the service,” he said.

Netflix has looked at adaptive technology too, and noted that YouTube has learned a lot. He said the industry is working together to improve the experience.

On data caps: Hastings complimented some of the new unlimited data plans that offer limits on speed as a way to contain the strain on the network. AT&T unveiled an unlimited plan today that restricts your speed to 3 megabits a second.

Netflix has invested in getting quality video delivered to a phone with just 500 kilobits per second of data speed, Hastings said. He’s shooting to get to 200 kilobits per second.

On piracy: Netflix can be the solution to piracy.

At least, that’s what Hastings believes. If Netflix can offer an affordable legal alternative, it’ll be an incentive to get pirates to stop stealing shows.

“We’re focusing on the carrot of offering a great service,” he said.

On competition: There’s competition from all side, but “they’re not trying to kill us,” Hastings said. Instead, everyone is trying to serve customers.

In the future, all video will be brought to you by the internet, and Netflix will just be one slice, he said.

On the future: Netflix attempts to learn about new trends and adapt to them rather than to commit to one vision of the future, Hastings said. If virtual reality takes off, the company will adapt to that trend. Or it might be smart contact lenses, he said, the same ones seen in “Black Mirror,” the tech-based sci-fi series originally on BBC, but now Netflix.

Longer term, Hastings has his eye on artificial intelligence. With all the debate about machines taking over one day, “it’s tough to think about entertainment.

“I’m not sure if we’re going to be entertaining you or entertaining AI,” he quipped.

Via: CNET

Futuristic Apple ‘spaceship’ headquarters to open in April

By | Technology | No Comments

The spaceship has landed.

Apple’s new headquarters — or the spaceship, as it’s been called — will open in April, a couple years later than originally planned.

The first employees will start to move into the 175-acre campus at that point, while building construction and landscaping will continue across the site, the company said in a statementWednesday. It’ll take six months for 12,000 employees to move from the existing headquarters and other offices in Cupertino, California, into the new campus nearby that will officially be called Apple Park.

Apple Park is the last product from co-founder Steve Jobs, who died Oct. 5, 2011, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The famously detail-oriented leader had envisioned Apple’s new headquarters as a beacon of innovation and a place for the company’s employees to continue their efforts to release groundbreaking products. Apple’s has ballooned since its early years, and it has outgrown its current offices at 1 Infinite Loop, which holds about 2,800 employees.

The new site has at its heart a ring-shaped, 2.8 million-square-foot building clad in glass. Jobs compared the building to a “spaceship” when he proposed the development to the Cupertino City Council in 2011. The idea was certainly outside the norm for corporate headquarters, and Jobs’ intense interest in design had an obvious influence on the architecture. He had planned for the complex to open in 2015.

In memory of Apple’s late co-founder, the new campus will include a 1,000-seat auditorium called the Steve Jobs Theater. The entrance to the building will be a 20-foot-tall, 165-foot diameter glass cylinder with a “metallic carbon-fiber” roof. The theater will sit atop a hill, one of the highest points on the campus.

“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world, and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”

A 17-megawatt rooftop solar installation on the site will be “one of the largest” on the globe, Apple said. The main building will also be the “world’s largest naturally ventilated building, projected to require no heating or air conditioning for nine months of the year.”

The landscaping will include 9,000 trees and two miles of paths for workers, as well as an orchard, meadow and pond. Employees can work out in a 100,000-square-foot gym or use the outdoor paths for walking and running.

“Steve invested so much of his energy creating and supporting vital, creative environments,” Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, said in a statement. “We have approached the design, engineering and making of our new campus with the same enthusiasm and design principles that characterize our products.”

Despite Apple’s infamous secrecy, the public can enter certain parts of the campus: a cafe and a visitor center with an Apple Store.

Via: cnet

A 9-step guide to increase your landing page conversion rate

By | SEO | No Comments

Landing pages are a crucial element of inbound marketing strategies. Companies that have increased the number of landing pages from 10 to 15 see 55 percent growth in the total number of leads, so with this in mind, you need to reconsider your marketing strategy.

What we’ve noticed over our more than 30 years of experience in the industry is that one of the biggest challenges marketers face is landing page optimization.

On average, a typical landing page converts anywhere between 1 percent and 3 percent. But the plethora of companies that are optimizing have landing pages that convert in the double digits.

The simple truth is that you don’t get it right the first time. Only after launching, testing, learning and optimizing can you improve your landing page conversion rate. But sadly, it falls under one of the five biggest problems B2B marketers face. To overcome such hurdles, we have put together a nine-step guide to help you optimize landing pages for improved conversions.

1. Understand your campaign goals

You’d think the goal is obvious, but what we’ve found is that one of the biggest problems with most landing pages is they lack focus on one particular goal or CTA. Many landing pages have multiple offers which confuse users and make them lose sight of the conversion aspect of the landing page.

It’s key to create landing pages that focus on only one offer or solution; this way, your users don’t lose sight or get confused.

The Velaro Live Chat landing page is a great example. To sell their service, they have created a guide that talks about how and why live chat is essential. The landing page’s sole purpose is to get users to download the guide and, in turn, generate a lead.

Take-home point: Create landing pages that focus on one goal to improve your conversion rate.

2. Write simple and straightforward headlines

Let’s face it — you have just a few seconds to grab a visitor’s attention. So it’s essential your headline is bold and straightforward. Inspectlet’s landing page heading is a perfect example. It’s clean and simple.

Take-home point: Keep your headlines bold and short to get your user’s attention instantly.

3. Craft a compelling flow of text

No one will dive into the details on a page if they’re not satisfied with what you have to offer from the outset. For better conversions, you need your landing page copy to be convincing, to get to the point and be genuine.

In Lyft’s landing page to recruit drivers, they have a clear flow of information that drivers would want before they sign up.

The FAQ section is a great addition, as the questions addressed are those that users might need clarified before they sign up.

Take-home point: However pretty your page is, users will not convert if your landing page content is not convincing.

4. Use the right images

Content is important, but images help bring out the necessary emotions to make users take action. It’s important that all images used in the landing page, from the header image to the those used within the page, are in sync with the content to make the messages stand out.

Let’s take the hero image for Codecademy. It’s simple, straightforward and spot on.

Also, Breather, a website dedicated to helping companies find their right meeting rooms, has a landing page that sports high-definition images coupled with cute icons to highlight their selling points.

Take-home point: The best image paired with the right content is all that’s needed for successful conversion.

5. Employ CTAs that make users take action

CTAs (calls to action) are the most important element of a landing page, as it’s the best way to get users to take action. It might seem like just a button, but everything about it matters to get users to take action.

Color — Ensure the CTA button contrasts in color to the background. We’ve found that usually orange, blue or green CTAs work best.

Size — Ensure the size of the button is not so small that users lose sight of it or so big that it scares them away. It should be the right size and sync with the layout.

Message — It’s the message that truly emphasizes the importance of the CTA. Try to instill a sense of urgency or need for the particular product/service to improve conversion rate.

Neil Patel’s webinar CTA is the perfect example of how a message can push customers into taking a much-needed action.

6. Highlight the value proposition

Let customers know the unique things you have to offer to get their attention. Value proposition should be something extraordinary they get by opting in for your service.

Uber’s landing page does a great job with their unique value proposition. We have heard stories about people who have quit their monotonous jobs to drive a cab for Uber. This landing page possesses the right value proposition to attract such people who are looking to have financial independence. Words like “good money,” “work when you want” and “no office, no boss” resonate with these users.

To frame the right value proposition for your product/service, you need to understand your target audience’s pain point and craft marketing messages stating how you can help them.

Take-home point: Highlight value proposition to get your user’s interest.

7. Loading time matters

You can spend hours crafting the right landing page with the perfect images and content, but all of it won’t matter if your loading time is high. It’s mandatory for your landing page to load within a few seconds — or else bid goodbye to your user.

To reduce your page loading time, Google PageSpeed Insights will give you the necessary suggestions. Ensure you fix the issues it reveals to not only improve your page speed but also to help SEO.

Take-home point: Your landing page speed is a deal breaker; ensure it loads within a few seconds.

8. Optimize your form fields

The sole purpose of a landing page is to capture a user’s contact detail, and that’s impossible to do without a form. All your convincing content and images will be useless if users don’t trust the form.

A general rule of thumb is that if you’re not targeting an enterprise client, just stick to asking for the customer’s email address.

Using a multi-page form helps smooth the transition of users to leads. The logic behind this is that you ask the customer to take an action without asking for any of their details, and once they are committed, you get them to give up their contact information.

Bills.com, a debt management system, makes use of a multiform in a smart way by asking its customers to choose their debt amount and then goes ahead and collects their information.

Form placement also plays a major role, since visibility and actionability are two main elements when it comes to landing page conversion.

Take-home point: Users are more liberal in giving out their email address when compared to their contact number.

9. A/B test your landing pages

Testing is a mandatory step for improving your landing page conversion rate. Remember, when you use the right tool to target and test your landing page, you get the chance to increase the landing page conversion rate by up to 300 percent.

The biggest problem is that marketers lack the right tool to test their landing pages. A/B testing lets you test various landing page layouts and content to understand which works best for your target audience. You may try A/B testing by segregating your audience, but adopting a dedicated tool lets you analyze your results better.

Take-home point: It’s hard to determine what triggers your users, so A/B testing is the best way to find it.

Landing page optimization is indeed a tough task, as there’s no proven formula for getting it right. The above nine-step guide should give you a foundation to frame each element of the landing page, leading to improved conversion.

Via: Marketing Land

What Do I Need To Do To Become A Top-Rated Computer Programmer?

By | Technology | No Comments

If I say I want to be a top rated programmer, what would you suggest me to do? originally appeared on Quorathe place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Ian Brown, Almost 40 Years as a Software Developer, on Quora:

If you want to become a top programmer, you are going to have to do a lot of writing programs for many years. There really is no shortcut to becoming one.

A programmer needs to be able to find an opportunity or problem, figure out a solution, design that solution, implement that solution, debug and test it, and at least be able to make it available to be delivered to customers.

Knowing a computer language, data structures and algorithms simply means that you have the tools to become a programmer. It doesn’t make you a programmer, and it is far from making you a good one. You need to actually be able to create programs that are useful to customers (who could be the general public, other programmers, other people in your organization, whatever).

My general advice to anyone wanting to become a good programmer is to write programs. If you have a programming job, that’s one way. You can also write your own – come up with a project idea and carry it through to completion. Write a game, an app, a framework, a library, an API, whatever. Make it available to users. Take their feedback and try to make your program better.

Get other programmers to review your code. Listen to their ideas and try to understand where they are coming from, even if you don’t agree with them. Work with other programmers on a project. Having to deal with other people’s code is a good way to learn a lot – both things to do and things to avoid doing.

Expect to make mistakes. Embrace them as an opportunity to learn to do better next time. Don’t be afraid to use other people’s code or ideas (if they make them available). Be open, even eager, to learn. Even people with less experience than you can sometimes have great ideas, so consider the ideas on their merit, not based on their source.

This question originally appeared on Quora. the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on TwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Via: Forbes

Would Public Relations Survive Without Twitter?

By | Social Media | No Comments

It’s no secret Twitter is a great tool for publicity.

More than 500 million Tweets are sent each day according to this very cool counter on Internet Live Stats. Most, if not all, tweets are sent by publicists trying to promote their products or embedding links to press releases. (Just kidding, it’s probably only 400 million.)

Journalists love Twitter and use it to break news, promote their articles, blogs, opinions, upcoming and already aired TV appearances, and more. Since PR professionals need to follow the media, it’s obvious they must master this tool as well. We covered how PR professionals use the social media platform in a previous column, and these tips include:

  • You want to tell the public something about you, your business or your client such as a new product, an award, an upcoming event, or introduction into a new market; or to keep your audience updated during a crisis or emergency.
  • Find out what your competitors, clients, friends, media or influencers are tweeting about.
  • To meet new influencers, clients, friends, competitors or reporters and follow them and get them to follow you.

A well-written article from TrendKite adds some additional tips including “monitor for journalists looking for a source” and “monitor and protect your reputation.”

But Twitter may not last forever, at least in its current form.  In October, Twitter (TWTR) announced they were looking for a buyer. As of today, it hasn’t been purchased, and the stock continues to bounce around from $15 to $18 a share.

Since Twitter is so important for the practice of PR, and because it is used so widely, that begs the question: if it does get sold, or decides to fold, or it mutates into something else, how will that change how publicity professionals do their jobs?  I asked four professionals in public relations and the media industry for their thoughts on the subject.

“I’m a big fan of Twitter, but much of that is because it brings me so much enjoyment personally. I use my Twitter feed as a news feed, as a public square to learn what people are saying, and to connect socially with friends and acquaintances.

A Twitter blackout would do some damage to the way I do PR. I have a dedicated professional account, @sciencewriter, and I use that to deliver research news to the public, to interact with journalists, and to find journalist whom I haven’t met who appear to be interested in the topics I’m involved with. Because Twitter is a social medium, it has a casualness and—with the great majority of people who aren’t part of the angry troll mob—a friendliness that you wouldn’t always get in an email exchange.

Journalists, by and large, tend to enjoy Twitter, too. So as a PR professional, I want to be where the journalists are. To make Twitter work for you professionally, you do need to achieve a critical mass of interactions, which is this case is measured in number and quality of followers. You build this up in two ways: by providing good content, and, just as important by putting in the time to read and interact with your timeline, and to curate your follow list.

The ROI of this won’t make sense, or will always run in the red, until you hit this critical mass. After that Twitter is absolutely worth doing for PR, but the question is, do you have the resources available to build up your Twitter critical mass?”

– Steve Tally, Purdue University, Senior strategist for STEM, Purdue Public Affairs @sciencewriter

“As PR professionals, being flexible and adjusting to change is like second nature. Twitter is an amazing communication tool, especially because it gives us PR pros a great opportunity to have quick chats with media and learn more about them, personally. However, if it was no longer around, we’d figure out another way to learn more about media and stay connected. Instagram is a great back up for that purpose. As a professional, I used to use Twitter as my news feed because I follow all my favorite media folks on Twitter. However, Snapchat’s Discovery tool has become a great way to quickly catch up on national news and I certainly see myself using that tool more in the future, as media are moving towards Snapchat to get in front of younger audiences. ”

– Nicole Rodrigues, CEO, NRPR in Los Angeles, @NicoleRPR

“If Twitter disappeared tomorrow I’d dust off my fax machine and go back to how things were done in the 90s. Twitter’s fundamentally altered how journalism works in an irreversible way. Journalists demand a platform to send and receive information in real time, and the PR industry needs to be there for the party.”

– Greg Galant, CEO, Muckrack, @gregory

“Part of me would shed not one salty tear if Twitter receded into memory as other vital communications tools, like the Etch a Sketch, did.  Don’t get me wrong — I still feel awed at how Twitter has allowed PR people to self-publish quickly and cheaply, reaching thousands of people at once.  But with or without Twitter we need to pitch stories with sentences and storytelling, not just micro-bursts of 140 characters.”  – Peter Winicov, Director, Media Relations, The Wharton School,

University of Pennsylvania, @pwinicov

Any more thoughts? Tweet me at @robwynne.

Robert Wynne owns a public relations agency in Redondo Beach, CA. He is a former journalist who wrote for Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times.

Via: Forbes

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