Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

Hashtag Abuse

August 11, 2010

This may be a bit of a rant, but only because it’s been bothering me for awhile.  There are several Twitter chats that are great and of course I would rank #tourismchat right up there as one of the greats.  Twitter chats are just a great, informal way to exchange information and I usually come out of them with something that I want to try with my business accounts.  So basically, holy learning experience.

What is event better about these chats is that you can monitor the hashtag during the week and still get tons of great information.  I’ve seen people ask for help or even volunteer an article that they found helpful.  It’s fantastic for all of us, because it’s helping us all raise our games.  Unfortunately, this learning experience is being hijacked from us and therefore, taking away our abilities to really embrace a medium that could be awesomely helpful.

The first group of people that are doing this I would like to think are not doing this purposely.  They’re the off-topic people.  I have become known as the mean #tourismchat person because I’ve started calling these people out.  With an hour every week during the chat, we have a lot to fit in and are usually crunched for time.  So basically, I am trying to make sure the topic is discussed in as much detail as possible for the people that came for that topic.  Yes, that is why I’m mean.  But I really wonder about some of the people that are doing this.  You have a whole two weeks where you can use the hashtag to publicize a plea for help and you choose the one hour where it’s not appropriate.  In fact, I won’t even say anything to you if you publicize it at 2:55 pm on the day of the chat.  So what are you doing?  Oh and can you please stop?

The second group are hijacking hashtags on purpose.  They’re the self-promotional people and are the reason why I have stopped following certain hashtags during the week.  For some reason, it has become a trend that people are using the hashtag to get more hits on their blog, regardless of whether the post is actually related to what the hashtag is about.  While that might be great to get immediate hits, you are essentially tricking the audience of that tag.  So you’ve broken trust and they will most likely not return.  Is that really audience building?

So yes, this is a rant, but I wrote it mostly because I am very protective of #tourismchat as well as disappointed in what I see on other hashtags.  I am just asking you to take a second, think of the community that you want to broadcast to and then decide if what you want to broadcast right now is appropriate time-wise and topic-wise.  Is that too much to ask?

#chatmixer

July 28, 2010

I think by now all of you know where my favorite place to learn is: happy hour.  A relaxed atmosphere, nobody putting themselves on a pedestal and a little bit of alcohol always leads to the good information exchanges.  And you get to see people in person!  I know.  Novel idea there.

My second favorite place to learn is on a Twitter chat.  The co-founder of a Twitter chat saying that Twitter chats are great places to learn?  Shocking!  I will honestly say though that the information that gets exchanged during #tourismchat is mind boggling and I always come away with something.  However, I’m not going to tell you much more about that today.

Despite our best efforts, all Twitter chats are faced with the same problem: the same group of people show up.  Although we can still get great information from these groups, sometimes you just want to stretch a bit further and seek new opinions from different people.  This is why I’m really excited by the idea of #chatmixer, a great concept brought to us by the ever fantastic Heather Whaling.  This is not just another Twitter chat.  It’s like the mother of Twitter chats.

#chatmixer is bringing together over 20 Twitter chats, so you will be able to find out information about other applicable chats and you will be able to make some new social media connections that can give you feedback on your ideas.  I mean holy win.  It’s going to take place on Thursday night from 8-9 pm EST.  So you can join us for #tourismchat at 3 pm EST, grab some dinner and then come back for more at 8 pm!

Hope to see you there!

How to Get Me to Follow You

July 15, 2010

I get some flack every now and then because I am not an automatic follower on Twitter and I don’t accept quite a few of my friend requests on Facebook or Foursquare.  Yup, I am pretty much the anti-social social media person.  For Foursquare, it’s a matter of safety.  If I don’t know you, do I really want you to know where I am?  For Facebook, I feel like you are asking something of me and do I want to give something to someone I don’t know?  Not really.  Most people can understand this, but it’s Twitter that gets people.

So what are my reasons against being an automatic follower?  I view my Twitter as being an extension of me.  The first intro to me is my Twitter name, which I have admittedly made boring.  Then you next move to my bio.  There you will find out that I am into several things, including #tourismchat, the Yankees and my cat.  And then you look at my feed where you find out that I’m a little nuts.  Finally, you might hit up who I am following… Yes, I do this, so it is very likely that others do too.  Don’t you think that it would make the most sense to make this just as much an extension of myself as every other part of the page is?  Shouldn’t who I am following only be filled with people that I am actually interested in?  (To be perfectly honest, I do have to do some housecleaning and am hoping to accomplish that soon.)

That brings us (in a very long winded way) to our topic today: How to get me to follow you.  I am not writing this in an egotistical way.  I understand next to none of you care if I follow you.  I am writing this so that you understand that work you should put in to actually get followers.  So here we go:

1.  Attend social media events

If you are local and you say something interesting to me in real life, I am going to want to get to know more about you.  This is kind of a no duh thing.  Of course, I don’t tend to talk people unless forced, so I do not find people to follow this way as much as I like.

2. Talk to me

This is another no duh directive, but don’t just try to talk to me once.  I probably won’t follow you back the first time.  Any time that you see that you can add something to my conversation, do it.  Make sure you are staying on topic and well…

3. Don’t be creepy

Although I could on and on about what creeps me out about some people on Twitter, we probably don’t want to go into personality trait problems.  There are many ways you can inadvertently look creepy on Twitter.  The biggest is not having a picture.  This doesn’t mean just any picture.  I am talking a picture of you.  The best is to have a closeup of you with a warm and friendly smile on your face.  Next, you absolutely must have a bio.  It doesn’t have to list every single accomplishment you’ve ever achieved.  Just give us a few things that will give us an idea of what you tweet about.  Finally, list your location.  In my case, I don’t really care where you are.  I look at that as a clue to how you found me.  So maybe it is personal preference, but it does creep me out when someone doesn’t have a location.

4. Don’t just push

When I’m trying to decide whether to follow someone, I skim their tweets to see if they have talked to anyone.  If there is absolutely no sign of that, there is absolutely no chance of me following that person.  This is social media.  Talk to others.  Promote the good work others are doing.  Be a person.

5.  Be interesting

This is kind of hard to define.  Basically, take some time to read through your tweets every so often.  Are they interesting to you?  No?  Then no one else cares about them either.  There is no magic wand beyond this, since the formula for interesting is so different for all of us.

In my case, you could do everything right and I may still not follow you.  Like I just said, the formula for interesting varies and you just may not be all that interesting to me.  That does not mean I will not tweet back at you when you talk to me or that I will not like you if I ever meet you in real life.  It just means that overall, we are not Twitter matches.

I would also note that I don’t do all of these things myself.  But as I continually tell people, I’m also not that interested in getting Twitter followers.

So what are your thoughts?  Am I Twitter snob?  Did I miss anything that would make you follow someone?

Unplug Your Twitter & Let It Run Free!

May 12, 2010

There is someone going around telling people to plug their Twitter account into their Facebook account to save time.  If I find out who this person is, I plan on hitting them.  Yes, hit and it will be hard.

Here’s why this is the lamest time saving solution of all:

  1. It generates a link that ties the Twitter post to the Facebook post, so when someone goes to find out more information about the event you are talking about, they are directed to, not the event page, but the Facebook post.  In other words, you are making consumers click twice.  This is especially annoying for comsumers that check their Twitter on their mobile phone.
  2. Most people that do this do not check their mention feed.  In other words, you are not seeing when people try to engage you in conversation over the event or when they are asking for a tip about your location.  You are missing out on BIG time opportunities to engage your followers and make them lifelong consumers.
  3. You are most likely not actively trying to engage your consumers and are only engaging in push marketing.  And by actively trying to engage, I mean doing Twitter searches for when your business is mentioned on Twitter and talking to those tweeps that are talking about you.  You are missing out on opportunities to correct misinformation, bad experiences or to direct them to where their questions can get answered.  Once again, missing out on making lifelong consumers.

If you are really concerned about time limitations, I have a solution for you.  Schedule your tweets ahead of time.  There are many solutions out there that will do this for you and you will be able to do it when you have those free minutes.  What is even better is that this will then provide you the ability to have a Twitter strategy that is planned ahead rather than flying by the seat of your pants.

After your tweets are scheduled, you can then concentrate your social media time on checking your mentions, your Twitter searches and engaging people.  This last part is where you win at social media.  So who is going to unplug their Twitter account first?