Tag Archive | twitter

The Value of Twitter at Conferences

Do you tweet at conferences?  Have you been a speaker at a conference and noticed people typing on their laptops or seemingly texting on their phones – how have you felt?  Is it rude to tweet/text/use facebook at a conference?

I’ve been to many social media conferences where at least half the audience is tapping away on a netbook, ipad or smartphone busily using the hashtag provided by the conference organizers.  I love multi-tasking, love being able to listen to the speaker, type a tweet, check what other tweeters are saying about the conference by checking the hashtag and engaging with them.

However, I’ve also been to conferences where I suddenly felt slightly uncomfortable (and the odd one out!) for tweeting.  At a women’s conference last week, as a member of the committee I was all ready to tweet and update the facebook page from the speaker’s content and the MC explained that I wasn’t on the laptop because I was disinterested but because I was tweeting.  At  a conference in April, the organiser asked people to desist from texting as understandably, it can be offputting to the speaker. I had been merrily tweeting away on my phone! I did stop, partly because the conference was so good I sat back and listened fully, partly because no-one else was tweeting or using a hashtag and it became a bit boring texting in a vacuum (not able to engage with other delegates) and partly because I felt a bit uncomfortable (and naughty!)

As an ex-secondary school teacher, I’d have loved to have handed an obstreperous 14 year old a gadget to use while sitting at the back of the classroom if it kept them quiet and stopped them distracting the other kids but instead I had to resort to other means!

Why You Should Tweet At Conferences

I was therefore intrigued when I saw the subheading of an article in Toastmasters magazine which read ‘Don’t be put off by those who text or tweet when you speak’, written by Tim Cigelske @TeecycleTim.  Be different – don’t tell people to turn off their mobile phones. Follow the example of Chris Brogan, as cited in this article and tell people to send tweets, post to facebook, do what they have to do.  Here’s the reasons why and I agree with everyone of them:

  • This relaxes the audience, rather than feeling they are in a schoolroom situation
  • Increases the size of your audience – their followers/fans/friends will also be hearing all about your presentation
  • Those tweeting will concentrate more as they summarise your content into soundbites for tweets/updates.
  • You’ll get instant feedback after your presentation by checking the hashtag.
  • You can build on the relationship with members of your audience by following them, thanking them for their tweets and by responding to tweets.
  • Some people listen best when doing something else while listening such as doodling with a pen or using a phone so assume their best intentions if you see them using their phone – do not presume they are bored!
  • If the audience are involved by tweeting (or another means), they are more likely to be engaged.
 As Tim argues, with more people using gadgets and becoming aware of the value of hashtags, speakers are going to have to become accustomed to it and need to understand how to use tweets to benefit their message.  If you are organising a conference, decide on a hashtag before the event by testing it and tell the delegates about it.  Provide the usernames of the speakers so that they can benefit from increased followers. Embrace technology, learn from it and benefit from it.
However, do know your audience.  Speaking about blogging at a recent seminar where there were at least 40 people present, there were only 2 people using twitter.  No harm mentioning the hashtag for those two people but don’t labour it.
If you would like to book a training session on how to maximise the effectiveness of your business blog or your other social media platforms, do get in touch with Marie or I.

How to create an infographic with visual.ly

Following on from my post last week on creating infographics, I have been road-testing some of the recommended creation tools and will share my results with you over the coming weeks.

First up – visual.ly. You can explore an extensive showcase of infographics which you can upload to your own website or blog or you can create your own data visualisations, and share them to the site if you wish.

A user generates content through publicly available data such as information from a Twitter hashtag or a Facebook feed, and then selects a template  to instantly visualize it. The site will grow over time to include additional data feeds, designs, stories, and themes in the areas of sports, politics, economics, food, and more.

Visual.ly is very simple to use – a quick sign up process and I created my own personal Twitter infographic in a matter of minutes. Good to know that I am a Twitter Trailblazer 😉

Have some fun and create your own infographic with visual.ly, then post it to your website or blog. Don’t forget to share a link with us to your creation either in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

Get creating!

How to buffer your social media updates

Buffer Account

I recently starting using the Buffer tool for my Twitter updates.  Buffer is a scheduling tool for Facebook and Twitter, (they have recently added LinkedIN) which lets you pre-programme times for your updates to be posted. I think it is one of the easiest and most effective time-saving social media tools for small businesses, and I encourage you to give it a try.

How much does it cost?

There are three pricing plans with Buffer, but as I have just started using it I am happy to go with the free plan for now. This allows me to add 10 updates to my Buffer, 1 Twitter, 1 Facebook and 1 LinkedIN account. The paid plans extend the number of updates and accounts you can add.

Buffer Analytics

You can gain valuable insight with Buffer analytics into how many times you have been retweeted and how many people conceivably see your updates.

Buffer Analytics

Scheduling vs Automation

I would emphasize that I use Buffer to schedule my updates, not automate them. I am no fan of automation, but I am a great believer in scheduling, especially as is the case for one of my social media accounts, your audience is global.

It’s very simple to use. You just type in your update and Buffer automatically schedules it to go out at a time that your audience is most engaged. You can easily change the times to suit yourself if your prefer.

I choose not to add Facebook to my Buffer account, as what I tweet and add to LinkedIN are different from my Facebook updates. Again I would caution you not to fall into the automation trap, but consider which of the platforms you would gain most from pre-scheduling.

Harvard research shows you need to blog and tweet more to succeed in business

Graham Jones reports on the latest research findings from Harvard University which shows that the more you blog and post on social networking sites, the more successful you will be online because your social group of customers and suppliers will act much more co-operatively with you. Reduce the frequency of your updates, the study concludes, and you will also reduce your levels of co-operatively working with your network.

I am not sure I would agree with Jones when he says you should blog several times a day and tweet once an hour, but I do agree that you need to blog and tweet far more than once a week (read my recent post on how often you should blog).

I also find merit in his statement that “no longer can you think of the Internet as just one marketing channel which you “do” when you get the time after finishing your “real work”. What this study suggests is that if you want to benefit from the online social world, it is activity in this world which is your “real work” nowadays.”

What has been your experience of online engagement? Would you agree with the Harvard study findings? Or does all of this make you groan in despair at the thoughts of all the work and effort it would require? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Brand managers adapt as social media sites put power in hands of consumers

Interesting article from Siobhan O’Connell of the Irish Times on how Irish firms are using social media to their advantage.

Social media is of most relevance to transactional websites. Social features integrated on the website can improve e-commerce revenues and boost consumer loyalty. Such features include Facebook like, follow or share; e-mail to a friend; share and follow links; product reviews by customers; Twitter tweet or follow and Facebook store.

Web consultancy Amas recently reviewed 100 Irish e-commerce sites, ranking them by how many of 10 social features the websites were deploying. On the Amas criteria, the most social websites are Amazon, HMV, CD Wow and Littlewoods.

Among Irish retailers, the most sociable are Dabs, Elverys, Carrolls Irish Gifts, ESB, Meteor and Micksgarage. A fifth of the sites surveyed had no social media features at all, including, ironically, Bord Gáis, sponsor of the Social Media Awards.

You can read the rest of the article here.