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Tim Peter

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July 29, 2013

Which Social Networks Should Marketers Be Worried About?

July 29, 2013 | By | No Comments

Are Pinterest and Foursquare in trouble?

Consider the following social media services:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • TripAdvisor
  • Yelp
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Goodreads
  • Instagram
  • Foursquare

One of these things is not like the other.

Well, two, actually.

At least two of these sites likely are on the decline. And that definitely affects your marketing for next year.

Which two? And why?

Well, let’s take a look. Most of the major social players have either expanded their services (LinkedIn added significant content, Twitter now allows users to post videos and images, TripAdvisor and Yelp recently added functionality to let you book hotels and make restaurant reservations, respectively), been acquired by one of the major AGFAM players (Instagram by Facebook, Goodreads by Amazon), or both (Tumblr and, yes, Yahoo’s looking to join the AGFAM-ily). And while I’m not terribly bullish on Google+, I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

By contrast, it’s pretty clear to me that Pinterest and Foursquare don’t fit this pattern. When you get right down to it, they’re not companies. They’re features. One lets you collect images and share them with other people. The other lets you tell your friends where you are.

I realize I may be giving these two somewhat short-shrift here. They offer somewhat more functionality than just that. Their problem stems from the fact that, in both cases, it’s only “somewhat.” According to comScore data, Pinterest’s monthly traffic growth has fallen since January and lags the trends seen by Twitter, Tumblr, Yelp, and LinkedIn over the same period. (January and June data available here).

As you begin planning your social media strategies for 2014, take a look at where your customers increasingly spend their time. And look at where you spend yours. While I don’t recommend trying to pick winners and losers ahead of time very often, I do recommend you look at which activities continue to drive results for you. And I suspect you’ll find Foursquare and Pinterest falling from that list.

Interested in learning more about the future of marketing? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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April 2, 2013

Tweeting for Results: 3 Tips for Using Twitter Effectively for Your Small Business by Megan Totka

April 2, 2013 | By | No Comments

Tweeting for resultsSocial media marketing can be a powerful tool, or a waste of your time. It all depends on how you use it. Twitter is one of the fastest moving and most influential social media platforms out there—but unfortunately, it’s also misunderstood by many businesses.

Neither occasional, random tweeting nor a constant barrage of promotional messages is an effective use of Twitter. You need to find a middle ground that mixes business with social interaction, yet doesn’t force you to spend hours combing feeds for relevant information or reply to tweets nonstop. While this may seem like a headache, your twitter strategy is actually easier than you think.

Here are three tips to help you make the most of this popular platform.

Give Them Something to Tweet About

Twitter is all about sharing. Mention something that is cool, different, brand-new, entertaining, or engaging, and people will be interested enough to follow you. Since you only get 140 characters to grab attention, you should be tweeting more links than straight messages.

However, make sure the links aren’t all about your business. It’s great to tweet a link to your latest blog post—but if that’s all you ever talk about, people are going to unfollow you pretty fast. Share relevant content from a variety of sources—and, of course, make sure to credit the source. If your credit includes a Twitter handle, the source will probably see your tweet and follow you to reciprocate for the mention.

If You Follow, They Will Tweet

Getting a wide distribution on the Twitter network isn’t so much about tweeting, as it is about retweeting. A retweet, or RT, sends your message to a whole list of people who wouldn’t otherwise see it. And if they like what they see, they’ll probably follow you.

How can you get more RTs? To better your chances of a RT, increase the number of people you follow. Of course, it’s important to follow customers and potential customers—but you should also follow industry leaders, many of whom have large followings of their own. When you start joining in their conversations and retweeting their messages, they’ll likely reciprocate with RTs for you.

Tweet Smarter, Not Harder

It’s important to make sure you’re working smarter in digital marketing. You can do this on Twitter by automating some (but not all) of your tweets, and organizing your conversations.

If you use an automated tweet service like Tweetdeck or the Tweet Old Post plugin for WordPress-based sites, make sure you’re scheduling them sparsely, and tweeting live in between. It’s easy for experienced Twitter users to spot an account that is entirely automated, and one of the fastest ways to lose followers.

An effective Twitter account follows a lot of people. However, this makes it hard to keep up with your home feed, as tweets can amass by the second. To make sure you’re not missing important tweets, create lists within your Twitter account and sort people into them as you follow them. For example, you might make lists for Customers, Prospects, Industry Leaders, Competitors, and Media Sources. Concentrate on scanning one list every time you log into Twitter, and respond to the most relevant tweets.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be tweeting like a pro in no time.

Interested in learning more? Register to receive a free copy of my new special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals. And, if that’s not enough, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web, including:

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.(Photo Source)

Tim Peter

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February 13, 2013

How to Pwn Social Media Like Marco Rubio and Poland Spring

February 13, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

Social media marketing smallI gave a lot of props last week to Oreo’s epic SuperBowl tweet, applauding the company’s wonderful response to a real-time conversation in social media. So, I’m kind of obligated to talk about what happened last night during the Republican response to the State of the Union and what you can learn from it.

During Senator Marco Rubio’s response on behalf of the Republican Party, the senator clearly got a little parched. He reached for an off-camera bottle of water and, instantly, an Internet meme was born:

Marco Rubio grabs a drink of water
  1. Know when to keep quiet. Poland Spring water hasn’t tweeted since July of 2010. Jumping on this moment now, particularly when dealing with a political figure widely assumed to be a presidential candidate in 2016, risked alienating up to half the country (i.e., the Senator’s supporters if the message was too snarky; his detractors if not snarky enough). Instead, the company updated their Facebook account this afternoon, poking gentle fun at their moment of media celebrity. Which leads to point #2…
  2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Poland Spring obviously demonstrated this with their Facebook message, but the senator also demonstrated an excellent sense of humor about the situation, sending the following tweet almost immediately after his speech:

    And this one later today:

    Well played, Senator. Well played.

Now, there’s a few things Poland Spring could have done better, but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. For one, I assume the company has stopped using Twitter because they’re not getting value from the service. But, they could have done a better job responding to their followers given the high volume of comments aimed their way last night. Again, they didn’t need to engage with humor or take on the risk of offending anyone, but a simple “Thanks for noticing us!” or something would have been a nice touch.

For another, I’d recommend their CEO ask whether they didn’t respond due to conscious choice or because they didn’t know how much their brand blew up during the evening. The former is fine; the latter, not so much. I’ve mentioned before how important it is you know what your customers say about you on social media sites and how your business can suffer when you don’t.

I’d also recommend you (along with the Senator and Poland Spring), review the 2 simple questions to avoid social media failure. But, you can learn a lot from what these two did well during this discussion and apply those to your own business.

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy.

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Tim Peter

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October 14, 2012

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-10-14

October 14, 2012 | By | No Comments

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October 7, 2012

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-10-07

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September 30, 2012

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-09-30

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Tim Peter

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September 28, 2012

Social Success? 9+ Tips to Think About This Week (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – September 28, 2012)

September 28, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social marketing success tipsIt’s been a huge week on the social, local, mobile web. What, you think the NFL referees are the only big story this week? Seriously, there’s lots to talk about, so let’s dive right in:

  1. Leading off, Business Insider has a good look at the ROI of social media for direct sales.
  2. On a related note, MediaPost shows how social media leads to email and search conversion.
  3. Of course, not everyone’s a fan. The Wall Street Journal talks about CEOs on Twitter and how fear makes some executives leery of social media.
  4. What’s to fear? Well, Techcrunch reports Facebook is deleting lots of fake accounts, leading many Fan pages to lose followers.
  5. Privacy is another challenge on Facebook. But I argued earlier this week that Facebook’s supposed privacy problem may not be this big a deal (this time).
  6. Chris Abraham has a great post on Biznology explaining how business tweeting is a life-sentence.
  7. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic details Urban Outfitter’s recent switch to iPads and asks whether this is the end of the cash register?
  8. Speaking of Apple, CEO Tim Cook has issued an apology for its disastrous Maps app. Thinks looked at the what you can learn from Apple’s Maps mess earlier this week and also dug into the issue in more detail during this week’s podcast.
  9. Mashable is reporting that Instagram now has more daily active users on mobile than Twitter.

And I’d like to welcome back the regular NFL refs. It’ll be fun to boo the real officials, instead of the replacements, for a change. Hope your weekend rocks, Big Thinkers! And I’ll see you back here next week with more social, local, mobile marketing goodness.


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Tim Peter

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September 23, 2012

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-09-23

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September 16, 2012

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-09-16

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September 9, 2012

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-09-09

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