Tag Twitter

@sarahwefald

Twitter quietly launches access to account analytics

Twitter Analytics

I read this morning on Christopher Penn’s blog that Twitter had finally launched their own analytics platform — or, at least, made access to account analytics public, though you have to do some digging to get to them.

To access, click the gear icon from your Twitter timeline and select Twitter Ads. Once you’re logged into the Ads platform, you’ll see an Analytics drop-down menu in the top left corner. Click it, select Timeline Activity, and many curiosities will be met. Well, curiosities if you’re also a metrics / numbers nerd like myself. :)

The screenshot I included with this post is of my own analytics on @sarahwefald. Nothing too impressive there, though I am impressed with the reach multipliers Twitter tells me I’ve received. I spend most of my time on social media working on building the accounts and brands of my clients, so my relatively small numbers make sense to me.

If you want to get very granular with your Twitter data, this will not be the tool for you. You’ll still need Crowdbooster or equivalent if you want to find out the best times and days for you to post. Enterprise-level analytics companies shouldn’t be shaking in their boots just yet.

So, I guess it goes without saying that if you need me today, I’ll be pulling up the official analytics for all my clients’ accounts.

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Twitter launches new music service Twitter Music

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 6.46.03 PMAbout a week and a half ago, We Are Hunted announced they were joining Twitter.

This, of course, started a lot of chatter about Twitter’s plans in this space. We Are Hunted has been a much beloved music discovery app organizing and charting social media discussion about bands, and offering songs for download occasionally. Friday, the Twitter Music app went public.

Looking at the app this weekend, it seems that Twitter Music has borrowed from We Are Hunted’s design and, like its predecessor, surfaces what bands fans are talking about. Linking a Spotify or Rdio account allows for full-song streaming. What isn’t clear to me, however, is whether Twitter Music will start to offer downloads in partnership with bands and their labels as We Are Hunted did, or whether Twitter Music will have any curated tracklists. It’s also not clear to me whether the charts are determined by raw numbers of tweets in a given time period, or numbers of tweets by particular influencers, or some combination of the two.

Crowdsourcing has democratized a great deal of music marketing, but emerging artists still rely on curation and tastemakers to gain a toehold. I listen to new bands because my friends are talking about them, but my friends’ music tastes tend to be pretty varied. I have favorite music critics whom I watch for recommendations on what’s new and good. I didn’t start listening to Savages because of an algorithm; I saw Sasha Frere-Jones’ Instagram photos and posts to an email list describing how amazing their NYC show was, then looked them up.

I see a lot of potential in Twitter Music and will definitely be playing with it more in the coming days and weeks. However, I’m uneasy about the notion that something as warm and organic as finding out about new bands may be at least partially reduced to cold, detached data calculations.

UPDATE:

Thanks to Stephen Phillips, We Are Hunted founder turned Twitter engineer for Twitter Music, a little clarity on where the new app generates its charts:

ultimate-social-media-cheat-sheet

Cheat sheet: Social media graphics sizes

I’ve created custom designs for social media profiles and have made templates for myself here and there through trial and error, but this seems like a great shortcut. The less time you spend bumping graphic elements pixel-by-pixel around your Photoshop document, the more time you can put into pimping out your profiles!

The cheat sheet is courtesy Mediabistro’s AllTwitter blog.

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36 rules of social media

Fast Company asked social media power users for their rules of engagement, and Mediabistro’s AllTwitter turned it into a handy infographic. Did they miss any of your rules?

While I agree with the overarching theme that it’s high time to stop treating social media as a broadcast platform and more like a conversation platform, I don’t think it’s impossible to have a monetization strategy that provides a good consumer experience at the same time.

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I have a Twitter account…now what?

I hear frequently from people in Meetup groups that they’ve started a Twitter account, but aren’t sure what to do with it or what to make of the platform. There are so many options that the path forward can seem paralyzing. Twitter is a two-way communication tool, so in that spirit, here are some tips to get you started on the right foot:

Welcome to Twitter! Post something

It takes some practice to compose a complete, legible thought in 140 characters or less. Practice it now, before you start focusing on getting your name out there. Are you posting thoughts from your day, or are you repurposing content from your website? Post links you find interesting or provocative. The goal is to allow someone encountering your Twitter page for the first time to be able to easily get the general idea of who you are and what you do.

Follow some interesting people

Twitter provides many lists of celebrities and other well-known people to new users. You can follow some of those if you like. However, chances are you have deeper interests than what Kim Kardashian wore yesterday. Whatever your major interests are, make sure you populate your feed with people you’ll want to talk to. I recommend following those that people you admire follow for now. (There are some more advanced means of finding good people to follow, which I’ll save for a future blog post.)

Talk to those interesting people on a regular basis

When you log into Twitter or open your Twitter app, you’ll see a ton of posts from all the people you’re following. Clicking the Reply arrow lets you send a reply back to that person. Replies starting with someone’s name (like @sarahwefald) don’t go out to all your followers; they’re only visible in the news feeds of anyone following both you and the person you’re writing. Keep in mind though that your comments are publicly readable, so take care!  I try to reach out to 3 people each day. Some ways to do this are to read someone’s blog post and reply back with thoughts about it, or answer a question someone asks. Make sure to reply to everyone who sends you an @reply message as well.

If you build it, they will come

Don’t worry about your Follower number for right now. Just concentrate on posting good content and having good conversations.

Keeping up with your own social media when you’re a social media professional

The saying goes that the cobbler’s children are the worst shod. As a marketing professional heavily involved in social media, I prioritize my clients’ social media feeds over my own. This shows, quite glaringly, in my fits and starts of sharing content and resharing the great posts that others create, and in the bags under my eyes when I do finally have the time and inclination to buckle down and contribute to the online community that has given so much to me…at 2 AM. No one wants to be the one everyone sees posting like a madwoman in the wee hours of the morning. Thankfully, there are a lot of great tools out there to help organize and streamline the approach.

Most important in my toolbox is Buffer. Buffer is an app that acts like a bank where you can compose messages for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and App.net whenever you have the inclination. Once each post is saved, Buffer will automatically send them out at predetermined times. I have mine set to post four times a day, but you can set it up to post less often or more often. This way, I can plan out days of content when the house is quiet at night, and post it on my chosen networks while I’m doing work for clients during the day.

The pitfall of Buffer, though, is that it’s a broadcasting tool. I built my first community on Twitter by having conversations with music writers. Many of those writers (and friends of those writers) became good friends offline as well. To find new and interesting people, I look at Klout’s topic lists for “influencers,” and I look at the Twitter accounts of people I admire and follow some of the people they look up to, and I read and respond to what they have to say. Twitter is often misused as a portable RSS feed. Engage others, or perish.

It’s always a good idea to play games with yourself. For a long time, I felt like I had nothing worth saying in a blog format, and I was dragging my feet on getting my portfolio in shape. One day, my friend Oscar posted in the Social Media Mastermind of Orange County Facebook group about a blog challenge for November – 30 posts in 30 days. I signed up, and all of a sudden I managed to have a functioning website up with blog posts on it. I already wanted to be more active in my community online. Now I have some peer pressure to keep me honest.

I’m experimenting with Triberr as well, after hearing about how easy Triberr makes it to find great, relevant content worth sharing, as well as getting your content in front of people who might find it relevant and interesting in turn. I’m looking forward to seeing how this experiment turns out.

In the end, though, the key to making all of this work is consistency. Without it, I am working solely for my clients and not for myself. Noble as that may sound, you can’t get water from a dry well. The stronger my personal community is, the higher quality of work I can do for my clients, and I strengthen my community by actively participating.

Follow me on Twitter to see how all of this turns out!

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Why should I use social media?

The obvious answer is often the right one — if you don’t know why you should use social media, you probably shouldn’t be using it.

I often speak to people running businesses or trying to make it in a band who tell me they’re on Facebook because someone told them they should be on Facebook, but no matter how often they use the site, it all just seems rather pointless, not to mention fruitless.

Perhaps you’re one of those people who tells others their business or brand should be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Pinstagram, Faceyspaces…the list goes on. It’s a common misconception that we are obligated to engage all the new, shiny objects we hear are “hot” or “the next big thing” in social media. The truth is that you’re likely doing far more damage to your brand by trying to shoehorn social media into a workflow it wasn’t designed for.

That’s not to say that social media can’t help everyone. It most certainly can. However, it has to be done well to do so. If you’re one of those people I mentioned in the previous paragraph, knock it off already!

Brands should be online, and should register all the usernames and domain names necessary on all relevant social media platforms just as a matter of trademark security. How far that brand engages in social media depends not only on the brand but on the stakeholder’s appetite for using the platform or platforms of choice.

I’d love it if all the bands I’ve ever worked with were natural Tweeters or Facebookers. More often than not, it just doesn’t come naturally. They can entertain a room full of hundreds of paying customers for over an hour, but put a smartphone in their hands and they just don’t know what they’re supposed to say. This is not their fault; there is a message and you just have to find the method of transmission that works. Instagram has been incredibly useful for this. Being able to communicate in short, visual bursts is just what many creative people need to share of themselves authentically.

While you’re working on your “why” of social media, take care to understand what works for you and your business, and know you don’t have to do it all. If you’re struggling with the why, and you don’t need the leads or customer service platform or community, you don’t have to do social media at all.