#twitterforbusiness from PR pros | eNews from OWC

The first step in perfecting the art of Twitter is to make sure to share the most topical and genuinely informative tweets. Maybe that’s you already, and the feedback is great. But are you really enhancing your reputation with the target audience? Are your competitors tweeting even better? Twitter isn’t a private bubble, it’s a fish bowl. We’re on display, so we need to know how we’re doing.

There are plenty of analytics tools to gauge the value of social media efforts, but with so many options finding the best one for your brand is daunting. What’s the set industry standard for success? There isn’t one. We’re on our own in judging key measurements like engagement rate. We’re both the product and test laboratory.

Download PDF version of this issue: #businessfortwitter from PR pros

OWC advocates the following tactics, which we work hard to apply to our own Twitter account, @owcpr.

  • Get comfortable with numbers. Tweeting just 10-12 times each week can be outreach enough, but the effort isn’t worthwhile if nobody communicates back to your brand. Twitter Analytics is a free tool that offers basic tracking to start measuring your audience. It tells you what you’re doing well and instantly identifies the duds.
  • Know the facts. Engagement rate is the metric that matters to social media managers and enthusiasts alike. While some analysts argue for a benchmark of 1-3 percent engagement rate per post, the reality is that there is no industry standard. Competing tools use entirely different formulas to calculate rates, which makes comparisons difficult. The simple fact is: we want engagement. If we’re not getting it, something needs to change.
  • Take charge. With no set standards, the right tool for the right objective is up to us. Taking on the challenge is the first step towards finding the right metrics for your brand. Research the analytics tools – each has its benefits and quirks. At OWC we use Simply Measured for a more detailed look at engagement. We’re also trying out Sprout Social, a lower-cost alternative that uses mainly replies, likes, mentions, re-tweets, detail expands and hashtag clicks to come up with a basic engagement rate.
  • Play smart. Keywords are social media gold. You can use them again and again. Which keywords get a reaction from your audience? Analytics will tell you. Monitor industry insiders and experts and compare your performance to theirs. Copy their success. You already know that tweets with a link and a visual element outperform all other tweets. As you weave in pictures, videos and animated GIFs, check the engagement rate. Do more of what works. Do less of what doesn’t. Always do something.

Social media for organizations is about connecting, defining and analyzing how your brand presents itself. We want to grow and engage. We want more followers, more responses, more recognition, more action. Tweets should be the sharpest tool in your daily communications kit. Finding the right analytics program – and using it – will sharpen your Twitter approach to a fine edge.

April 11th, 2017|Categories: eNewsletter|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Usefulness of Twitter

For OWC, in the world of public relations, Twitter is a 140-character news feed. For public relations practitioners, this billion-dollar social media platform has become a lifeline for making news and in times of crisis, becomes our go-to for reaching our clients and reacting in a timely manner.

According to Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal, “it’s OK to use Twitter only as a real-time news wire, and only launch the app when you want to keep up with live events like the Oscars, presidential debates or the NCAA tournament. You’ll likely find it to be faster, franker and funnier than Facebook.”

Read the full article: How to Make Twitter Actually Useful. (The Wall Street Journal)

Twitter

March 21st, 2016|Categories: Commentary|Tags: , , |

How social media is changing the way we sell: Linsday Lohan and Lauren Bacall

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Lauren Bacall

It’s easy for celebrities and other individuals with a serious social-media Klout to pass off tweets and Facebook posts, which are created by marketing companies, as original, genuine and spontaneous thoughts. These celebrities might fool some of their followers, but they’re sure not fooling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

After several incidences where celebrities failed to declare they were being paid for their tweets, the FTC is demanding change. According to an article on The Wrap by Ira Teinowitz:

“After an incident when Lauren Bacall showed up on “Today” promoting a drug without disclosing she was being paid, the Federal Trade Commission warned celebrities — and the marketers that use them — about not disclosing paid endorsements. It afterward took steps to ensure bloggers disclose when they are being compensated for their comments. Now the FTC’s focus is social-media endorsement, most obviously through Twitter but involving any mobile message.”

Clearly this is a big step for many critics of Twitter who view the social-media platform as a beacon for fraud and misinformation. It also reveals a lot about the power of Twitter and the potential to market directly to consumers. Millions of users are paying attention to celebrities, athletes and politicians. They’re retweeting and “favoriting” everything from Justin Bieiber being upset about his dead hampster to the latest feuds between Taylor Swift and, I don’t know, Christina Aguilera. (Has this actually happened?) So naturally, why wouldn’t advertisers take advantage of this mass appeal?

Doesn’t it make sense to regulate the way advertisers use celebrity Twitter handles, especially if it’s similar to the example with Lauren Bacall, where she endorsed a drug without revealing she was being paid? Does this not create misinformation? Is this not the same problem with blogs and a lax approach to accuracy? Shouldn’t we demand honesty in terms of declaring fiscal partnership on social media?

Sure, it makes perfect sense that Bacall should declare that she was being paid by a pharmaceutical company. But where does this stop? What about product placements in movies? Do movie starts have to declare they are being paid during the movie to pretend like they just happen to be drinking a Bud Light? Where are the lines drawn? And does this make Twitter less appetizing to advertizes looking to brand their products into the unconscious minds of teenagers?

The new demand from the FTC brings a lot of questions to the forefront of social-media marketing, and I’m not trying to answer them in this blog post. I’m merely trying to explore the questions. Just let me leave you with this story about Lindsay Lohan.

Today, Lindsay Lohan had to appear before a court in Los Angeles for a misdemeanor. Of course, the crowds were swarming around her as she entered the court. Cameras were on all sides, and she was “glitter-bombed” on the way inside of the courthouse. The attention surrounding her was immense. Now, as the media is talking about her courtroom appearance, we’re also looking at her tweet, which is showing up on several publications across the country. So this is what she tweeted on the way to L.A. Shouldn’t this be clarified? Shouldn’t she be following FTC rules? Or is she just participating in brilliant marketing? What about an exchange of gifts or services? Mr. Pink is a Ginseng infused beverage. Let us know what you think.

March 18th, 2013|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , |

The Different uses of social media: What is best for you?

The other day, I had a chat with Joseph, our social media strategist, about the different uses of social media. The conversation started with how differently we viewed Facebook. Joseph uses Facebook to connect with more and more people, to engage with them, share opinions and articles, etc. – the more, the merrier — in order to start conversations and share content.

marie-pc

Marie Ebenezer has been interning at OWC, writing about social media and cultural differences.

I, on the other hand, only use Facebook for private purposes. I have about 150 Facebook friends, and these are the people I actually see or communicate with on a regular basis. Seeing private photos of someone I barely know, for instance, seems odd to me. I guess keeping my Facebook profile quite private is just a personal preference, and I might be an exception. I would feel violated if someone, who I don’t really know, looked at my private pictures and knew where I was spending my holidays, and I, therefore, do not want to have as many Facebook friends as possible. This does not mean that I’m unfriendly or reluctant to make new acquaintances — I am actually very opened and extroverted.

This conversation I had with Joseph is just part of a much larger trend I have noticed while working in public relations. I have talked about Facebook with a lot of different people, and I have found that almost everybody uses it differently: some wish to have thousands of friends and interact with new people constantly, whereas others use it very passively, just to stay in the loop (e.g. know about upcoming events). Facebook alone has many different uses, and I started wondering what people used all the other social networks for. Do each of them have a specific purpose? Well, here are my thoughts on this as a meme.

People use Facebook in many different ways.

My approach to Facebook is just one of many ways to use it.

Facebook is the largest social-media platform, and it is the one I use most…by far. I use Facebook to write messages, to chat, to share photos, videos and articles and to stay connected with my friends. I also have a LinkedIn profile, which I created for professional purposes. It is useful for networking, even though I still have two years of university ahead of me before I can start looking for a job.

I do not have my own Twitter account or blog, but I have tweeted and blogged for OWC lately – and really started to like it! Twitter is great for getting your thoughts out there quickly and having them seen by a large audience. If you tweet well, your number of followers increase, and Twitter becomes very effective. Blogs are a good tool for creating a voice and elaborating interesting topics. Another emerging platform is Pinterest, an online pin board where you can collect and share items such as recipes, ideas and designs. Pinterest has a predominantly female demographic (80%), and it is expected to gain more and more influence on the social media market.

And then there is Google+. Did you know that Google+ is the second largest social network? I was surprised when I read this statistic, but as I looked more closely at this site, I became more and more convinced that Google+ has some very successful years to come. I have only ever used Google+ for hangouts, and in my opinion this tool was cleverly marketed.  It’s definitely the most prominent feature, and not only can you hang out in private (like you would on a Skype video call); but you can also join public hangouts, which are being held quite frequently. Barack Obama, for instance, has used this feature just last week for connecting with the public. (The hangout was entitled “Barack Obama answers your questions,” and it was publicized on the Google homepage).

The advantages of Google+ are not restricted to hangouts though. Another great trait is that you can use this network like Twitter by writing short posts with a hash tag (“Google+ trends”). You also have the option of chatting with your connections like you would on Facebook chat, for instance. Connections on Google+ are divided into different “circles.” These are great, because you can choose which items you share will be visible for which circles (friends, family, colleagues, etc.). You can also join a Google+ community (e.g. “Breaking Bad”, “NFL” or “Baking”) , which is similar to liking a public page on Facebook. Finally, you can create or join a Google+ event, where all the invitees can contribute to a shared photo collection and where you can share photos instantly with the so-called Party Mode.

Google+ 2

Google+ trends, hangouts, events and chat are just a few of its great features.

These are just a few of the features I discovered on Google+, and I’m sure Google is working on elaborating this network even further. If you are looking to have your presence known on the web, then this social media site is great, because your profile will show up on Google searches and lead people directly to you. Google+ borrowed some great aspects from existing sites and services (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Instagram) and made them work together. This social media site looks quite promising to me, and I’m curious to see how it will evolve and how big of an influence it will garner. And let’s not forget Pinterest, which is also on the rise – some very exciting social media trends ahead!

February 21st, 2013|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , , , |