Category Archives: Twitter

Promoted tweets should be pitch perfect

I just happened across a promoted tweet from @Walmart that’s advertising Halloween items: Make us your one-stop shop for an affordable Halloween. And the tweet is promoting “Cups, candy and more.”

Since when are cups coveted, must-have Halloween items? You do need cups for parties, but still. Why didn’t @Walmart’s Twitter manager say “Costumes, candy and more”?

My organization is looking into paying for promotional posts on Facebook and promoted tweets on Twitter, so this observation makes me wonder how other organizations decide which posts are important enough to pay to promote and what kind of decisions are involved in the content of these posts.

Lesson: If you’re going to pay to promote a tweet, make sure that the content of the tweet is pitch perfect. My guess is that many more shoppers are looking for that perfect costume rather than that perfect holiday cup.

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Rebooting Your Content for a Mobile World

Several weeks ago I attended the 2012 Content Marketing World conference in Columbus, Ohio. It was packed full of great information, and for the first time at a conference, I live tweeted from each of the dozen or so talks I attended instead of taking notes on paper. My tweets can speak better (and more quickly) than any blog post can, so for the next several posts, I’ll share my takeaways from the conference, via tweets.

First up: the opening keynote session with Mitch Joel, author of Six Pixels of Separation and the upcoming CTRL ALT DEL, to be published in spring 2013. His talk was titled “How to Reboot Your Content for a Mobile World.”

(As on Twitter, the earliest tweets are at the bottom.)

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No Cards cover? Yikes, Sports Illustrated.

Update: As of 9:50 am 3:45 pm Friday, March 30, SI’s Facebook page still hasn’t officially said anything about the covers. Others, though, have posted on their wall, expressing their discontent. Many Louisville fans have said they’re canceling their subscriptions. Where are you on this, SI? There’s even a someecards about this!

The web is was abuzz this afternoon yesterday with the breaking news that Sports Illustrated created different covers to celebrate the NCAA Division I men’s basketball Final Four teams. Except there are three covers…and, well, four teams. The University of Louisville got left out.

[Disclaimer: I live in Kentucky, and I’m a U of L fan.]

That said: Come on, SI! The huge PR no no is that there’s no communication around this. As Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford), the Louisville Courier-Journal‘s sports columnist, blogged today March 29, yes, it’s in part a logistical and financial decision. SI publishes different covers for various U.S. regions with each issue (plus a national one), and “producing two covers for one region…really isn’t a good move financially.”

Why not combine the two teams on one cover? That seems like the logical solution if we’re looking at this in financial and logistical terms. Crawford agrees, as do a lot of folks on social media.

One tweeter captures my sentiments: “I think It’s pretty disrespectful to not have Louisville at least on the cover with Ky. Your marketing department dropped the ball.”

If you’re wondering why “Louisville” and “cover” are bolded, it’s because that’s the search term I used on Twitter to learn more about this. Hopefully, SI’s communication team is doing the same right now. A lot of tweets were found with those search terms.

Interestingly, as of 3:06 pm this afternoon, SI hasn’t address this issue on their Facebook or Twitter accounts. I’m sure (I hope) that’ll change soon.

Back to solutions: Why not bite the financial bullet, and produce two covers for one region? SI understands and appreciates the historic significance of the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville rivalry and the importance of this Final Four match up (check out their story about it). There wouldn’t be any magazines left on newsstands across the state.

It’s hard to say why SI made this decision. It would be fascinating to know what went on during the editorial meeting where this was decided.

At the very least, SI’s media relations and social media folks need to be responding asap to what’s happening on the web right now. A #boycottSI hashtag isn’t a good way to go into this basketball weekend.

P.S.: Good article on this from The Bleacher Report.

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Companies on Twitter: should you follow all your followers?

Should an organization follow everyone on Twitter that follows it? It’s a question I’ve been struggling with ever since I began tweeting professionally a few years ago.

When I worked in higher education marketing, I once had a follower who was not happy that the official school-sanctioned college account (that I managed) didn’t follow her back.

It raises the question, then and still now: what should our expectations be as followers and as followees?

First, let’s ask some more questions. Do we follow accounts on Twitter so we can hear what they have to say, or so they can hear what we have to say? Or both? It all depends, of course. Friends are a different matter; for now, let’s just focus on brands and organizations.

I follow marketing professionals, blogs and publications on Twitter for the purpose of learning from then, retweeting their content, and for throwing in my two cents every so often. I want to engage with these types of accounts. I also would hope that if I were to retweet their content fairly often and engage with them, they might want to follow me, too, since we’re talking about the same thing.

But, I follow Bolthouse Farms and Women’s Health magazine on Twitter because I want to know what’s going on with them, and I like the content they put out. I’m a fan of these brands. Regular engagement might not occur, and even if it did, I wouldn’t expect them to follow me. I realize that I don’t really say too much they’d want to hear.

Something to consider, though, is that because I’m in marketing, I understand these nuances. Someone following Women’s Health on Twitter magazine might really expect the magazine to follow them back. I was nice enough to follow you, you should show you appreciate me by following me, someone might say.

It’s a common social media guideline that if a Twitter account has a disproportionate amount of followees to followers, it could be a spam account, or it’s just not producing good content. For example, if an account is following 1,351 people and only has 33 followers, it’s a bad sign.

But on the flip side, most celebrities and huge brands have a disproportionate ratio going the other way. Look at University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari). He currently has 1,140,097 followers. He’s currently following 119.

Should the bottomline for Twitter be that there shouldn’t be a bottomline? It seems that a lot of guidelines for social media marketing on Twitter are situational and relative. Which clearly makes this blog entry one that doesn’t have a tidy conclusion!

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