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August 20, 2008

Facebook, Feeds and Micro-blogging

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Hey, hey, kids! It’s time for some more social media. Hopefully this one is actually on topic.

Kevin Ryan is here moderating a panel that includes some of my search favorites. We have Andy Beal (Marketing Pilgrim), my buddy Dave Snyder (JRDunn.com), search wonder boy Neil Patel (ACS) and Brian Morrissey (AdWeek).

Up first is Andy Beal.

Andy is going to help us avoid being a twit on Twitter. I wonder if Michael Gray is paying attention. Kevin interrupts Andy’s presentation and makes him pose for a picture. We’re off to a great start here, kids.

When you first sign up for Twitter, make sure you get your name right. Nicknames are mostly for teenagers. Use your real name. And even if your site isn’t ready yet, still secure your brand name so no one else takes it. Twitter profiles get Google-juiced quickly.

Break the monotony. Don’t use the default profile template. Get something pretty (shinier, Andy?) to help you stand out from the crowd. You want to pimp your profile or, if nothing else, change the default colors. You can find backgrounds and templates at http://www.twitterbacks.com.

Don’t Just Sit There, Tweet

Twitter Basics:

  • @andybeal: Directs your message to that user
  • D andybeal: Send a direct message to that user.
  • #olympics: Hashtags. You can “tag” your tweet for that particular topic.
  • Favorite your favorite tweets.
  • You can delete your tweets, but they may still end up in someone’s RSS feed.
  • Change your replies setting so that you can see all @replies.

Don’t Use Protection: There’s a setting where you can protect your updates so that others can’t see them unless you approve them. If you’re using it as a marketing tool, Andy says not do make your feed protected.

Learn the Language

You only get 140 characters so you’re limited in the way you can speak. You learn to shorten your words.

Common Terms: Tweet (a message), Tweeple/Tweeps (your friends), Follow/Follower, ReTweet (reposting what someone else has twittered).

Follow The Leader

Don’t follow everyone. If you follow 5,000, you’re going to get updates from 5,000 people and you won’t be able to keep up. It’s not a popularity contest. Follow peers, press, employers, influential industry people, important customers, etc. Bring people who bring value to your company.

One Big Cocktail Party

Watch for interesting conversations. It’s dynamic. Don’t send Twitter spam. Use @ conversations to build new followers. Don’t always expect a reply. And know that sometimes a direct message will fall on deaf ears.

Start Sharing

Why should someone follow you? Be the first to break news. Live-tweet events. It’s 80 percent social, 20 percent business.

Cross promote carefully. Use Twitterfeed.com and combine Twitter with your blog. If you’re going to get heavy with promoting your business, then create a business profile where you can do that.

Online Reputation Management Meets Twitter

Your Twitter reputation is YOUR reputation
Don’t get pulled into negative conversations
Monitor your reputation on Twitter on http://.search.twitter.com and http://tweetbeep.com.

Neil Patel is next at bat to talk about Facebook.

  • What is Facebook? He shows his Facebook profile. It’s a place to connect with other people, interact with others, etc.
  • Who uses it? It’s not just college students. People of all races (73 percent white), people who make a decent living (30 percent make over 100k) and people who have never attended college.
  • Why should you care? There are over 90 million people on it. You can connect with others, build relationships, great for branding and you can spread messages to the masses.
  • Connections with Others: Neil’s part of an SEO group in his area. He can meet up with them and network. It’s taken the online Facebook and brought it offline.
  • Building Relationships: It tells you when it’s your friend’s birthday.
  • Great for Branding: He shows a picture on Facebook of Chris Hooley kissing him. Heh. You have to be careful of what people put on Facebook.
  • Sharing Information: There are feeds that alert people to what you’re doing. There are also applications that can connect your blog to your Facebook profile so they know when you update.
  • The Facebook Effect: There’s a lot that can be done. You can create an application to tie your site in with Facebook and get a huge explosion of visitors.

A heckler is talking about how Facebook is useless knowing there’s a Facebook rep in the audience. It’s getting combative. Hugs and unicorns, everyone!

Next we have Dave Snyder. He’s my favorite. Wait. Now he’s talking about Tamar and not me. Hmm, maybe we’re not friends, Dave. [pouts]

What is FriendFeed? It enables you to keep up to date on the Web pages, photos, videos and music that your friends and family are sharing. It’s a social aggregator. It’s an RSS feed on steroids. It’s an RSS feed you can interact with. It brings all the RSS data into one place and lets you communicate with it.

What can you do with FriendFeed?

  1. You can create news and content streams that will basically replace your feed reader: With FriendFeed you can easily create News and Content Streams using feeds of your favorite blogs.
  2. You can track topics of interest of you: Go to the Advanced Search page, type a search phase and choose “shared by everyone”. This will allow you to search your topic as its being discussed on the platform.
  3. You can interact with Your Network Information: You can comment on every item in a FriendFeed stream. This allows a real time engagement with a users entire social media Web.
  4. Monitor your Reputation. Use it to establish your network, for RSS monitoring, mobile reputation management, creating social media profile for SERPs and building brand advocates.
  5. Monitor who is monitoring you: After you login to FriendFeed, go to the Stats Page and you can see a list of people who admire your content.
  6. Utilize Third-Party Tools: Help you to manage noise and make engagement real.
  7. Mashup videos, photos and other content into your stream, allowing instant engagement with content with feedalizir.

Brian Morrissey is up and will hopefully stop Kevin from his rambling. He has no PowerPoint.

He says everyone has presented really great examples of micro interaction. Twitter is really small. There are maybe a few million people on Twitter. A lot of times we think things are a lot bigger than they are. Facebook has 90 million people. That’s a lot larger. But the power of Facebook is in these small networks. The thing that’s interesting about these tools is the peer-to-peer recommendations. These tools are helping to surface that.

He’s found that in using these tools it’s a lot easier to find things. As Google made sorting through a mass of information easier, we’re seeing these tools bring a human element to how brands are built.

Brands used to be built through one big thing. Now it’s these micro interactions. He talks about Zappos on Twitter.

Andy says that Twitter is an enabler. It’s a catalyst for getting the message across. Stories can break into mainstream media very quickly. It’s not the size of your network but who’s following you.

Question & Answer

Your all coming from self-promotion. I work for a company where I’m not the spokesperson. Advice on how to broaden that? How do you make it not an individual?

Dave: There are some great things going on in the space with people using Twitter. There are some good case studies like Comcast Cares. You can actually sit there with your company’s name and see what people are saying about you. Dell has seen revenue come through this stream. Comcast is doing it to fix their reputation.

Brian: It’s about figuring out how people are interacting with your company and trying to solve their problems. The least successful stuff is when companies are using it as just another way to put out marketing messages.

Dave: People are engaging with your brand and engaging real-time. That’s the takeaway. It’s here and it’s happening.

[The Angry FB Heckler is given the mic and he starts ranting. He’s angry that when someone starts poking him or sending him a gift it’s just a nuisance. People are creating applications that are just garbage and it makes the site less useful. He’s angry. Someone needs to tell him that you can turn that stuff off. Maybe he’d be less angry and less likely to kick puppies. I don’t know.]

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One response to “Facebook, Feeds and Micro-blogging”

  1. Andy Beal writes:

    You’ll never let me forget “shiny” will you. :-)

    BTW – didn’t you just give me a hard time for not linking? :-P

    Thanks for blogging the session. Good to see you!



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