Twitter, Twitter, Twitter... seems that nobody here at SES can get enough of Twitter and its implications on the search engines going forward. Everyone wants to know how to best utilize Twitter not only within their social media marketing, but within their entire marketing plan. Twitter has evolved so much in the past year that it's become necessary for businesses, both small and large, to start communicating with their consumers online; but not only listening to them, but actively participating in engaging discussions and developing relationships with their customers. The goal of this session is to take a look at the emerging power of Twitter, how businesses can make the most out of Twitter, and finally how retweets, follower counts, and mentions on Twitter should be factored into the search algorithms of the very near future.
Li Evans, Director of Social Media, Serengeti Communications
- Twitter is a great community tool that enables you to engage with your audience. First thing you need to know as a business owner is to find out if your target audience is actually on twitter. She brought up the example of a local plumber, whereby they may not get any value out of using a twitter. As a business owner, you need to stop and think - "Is my audience on Twitter?" "Do we have the resources to engage in Twitter?". She brings up a good point that although Twitter is free, the resources it takes to have a strong profile definitely aren't free.
- Describes the importance of establishing goals within Twitter, and the necessity to pre-plan your Twitter strategy - need to monitor employees for e.g. and ensure that tweets don't negatively affect your target audience.
- Essential to constantly listen to your customers, and actively respond to their tweets, both negative and positive, for any successful twitter account for businesses
- Many different uses of Twitter - alternate product feed, reply to upset customers, but it all comes down to actively engaging in conversations!
- Another key takeaway: Listen first - understand the conversation before you just start spamming with promotional offers and other non-engaging tweets.
- Once again reiterates to set a strategic plan and do some research first to find out if your customers are actually using Twitter before you invest into tweeting as a business.
Mark Evans, Principal, ME Consulting
- Talks about how Twitter has done a pretty poor job of releasing good applications and tools to assist Twitter users, also very lacking as a search engine currently. As a result, there are many great open-source tools online that can help make you a power tweeter, some of these include:
- Twingly - Neat tool that combines both twitter and blog search results.
- Twazzup - Another helpful tool to help find relevant results in Twitter.
- Tweetdeck - Gives you the ability to use different streams at the same time; great for business owners who want to get a quick look at the "big picture". Only drawback is that you can only use it for one Twitter account.
- Splitweet - Free tool which allows you to run multiple twitter accounts at the same time.
- Easytweets - Can manage up to 100 twitter accounts at the same time; paid service though mainly for heavy duty corporate users of Twitter.
- Twitterberry/Ubertwitter/Twitterfon - Twitter for mobile applications.
- Twitterfeed - Useful free tool that automatically publishes your RSS feed into your Twitter account.
- Tweet Later - Lets your create posts that can be scheduled to appear on Twitter in the future.
- Mr. Tweet - Lets you find people to follow on Twitter and is interactive as well.
- Tweepler - Allows you to process new followers quickly and weed out the spammy followers.
- Twimailer - Enhances e-mail notifications by provoding new follower's name, profile and other vital data.
- Twellow - The Twitter yellow pages. Also helps you find new people to folow by having a directory style to search through.
Mark Jackson, SEW Expert & President/CEO, VIZION Interactive
- Describes how Twitter is more like the search engines of old - easy to manipulate through keyword stuffing, spamming and some of the old techniques that have now come to pass with the search engines.
- Doesn't think we should all jump on the "super-fresh results" - the search engines need to show the most relevant content, not just the freshest.
- Explains that many of the factors that are accounted for in Twitter results can be easily manipulated through automated processes - e.g. number of tweets per day can be manipulated if you have multiple accounts. Predicts that it will still be a while, and that Twitter will need to get smarter, if they are to truly compete with Google and the major search engines for market share.
Rayanne Langdon, Marketing Coordinator, FreshBooks.com
- Talked about how Freshbooks uses Twitter to engage with their customers, and underlies that Freshbooks strives to provide extraordinary results (see my last live blogpost for more details on the 4E Mantra).
- Great tool to connect with customers individually and have some fun. They often have Twitter contests that are fun, light-hearted and is very engaging for their customers.
- Don't try to "fake it" on Twitter, need to be genuine and act from the heart, easy to detect Tweet spammers; Twitter is all about making connections and engaging with each other.
Well I'm just about spent, with all these Twitter tools fresh in my head I think it's time to check out a few of these out before I head out for some drinks at the SES party tonight! Keep tuned for more live blogging from SES Day 2 tomorrow!