Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Twitter for Beginners - Part Two

So, following Twitter for Beginners - Part one I'm moving onto part two...

One of the many things I like about Twitter is that we're all still learning and over the last year or so, a number of companies have proved this by doing some questionable things on Twitter. My favourite (which I had to add my 2 cents to) was Super Liquor's Twt4Turkey campaign which I think was flawed, and which they refused to apologise for, they simply kept making excuses.

Thing is, because we're all still learning, the Twitter community is quite forgiving. Put your hand up, admit the mistake and move on. For example, yesterday, writing my blog about Twitter I was corrected on one of the terms I used - so I corrected my post; I acknowledged I was wrong and moved on.

The nice thing about making mistakes, it means your learning.

So, how to interact with Twitter in a way that will make it as easy as possible to include Twitter into your life.

Don't use the web to run Twitter. Use a Twitter client. There are lots of Twitter clients that you can use: Seesmic, Chromed Bird (to run on Chrome), Brizzly, and many more no doubt, but my favourite is Tweetdeck.

So when you first download Tweetdeck and connect your account, you are going to see 3 or so columns: 'All Friends', 'Mentions' and 'Direct Messages'. All friends is your feed of all the people that you follow, mentions are when another Twitterer is talking to, similarly with direct messages.

Quick side note on using Twitter:
People can talk directly to you. An @ reply (this is when you use an @ symbol directly in front of a username without a space) is a conversation between one (or many) Twitterer/s and you. Please be aware that if you @ reply to someone, any of your followers who follow both you and the person you're talking to, will get your conversation in their Twitter feed. If you want the conversation to remain private, use a direct message.

EDIT (3/5): If you want to @ reply someone when in Tweetdeck, mouse over their avatar (the picture) and click on the curved arrow - it will automatically put the @username in the text field. Sorry - that was probably an important piece of information I left out. Similarly, for a direct message, when hovering over the avatar, click on the icon that looks like an envelope. This will have a D in front of the username.

So this is what my tweetdeck looks like:

The 2 right hand columns show the way I filter Twitter. When you start to follow a large number of people the tweets can come thick and fast, so you need a way to make sure that you see information that is relevant to you without having to read every single tweet that comes through. So you set up lists:

So I have public lists nz-digital and nz-adagency. Anyone can follow these lists. The other lists, are just for me. There is a grab a seat list (so that i can get immediate notification of grabaseat deals) friends list (for Twitterers that I know personally) then the rest of my lists are separated by topic, food & drink, fashion & magazines and music. These allow me to get a snap shot of what is happening rather than searching for information.

It all looks a little like this:
And within the settings function you can decide what kind of alerts you receive from tweetdeck as per below:

This means that when I get a 'mention', 'direct message' or someone from my 'friends' list tweets - I get a detail notification box:

For all other tweets, I get a summary:

It lets me know at a glance what is coming through and can alert me to things I might want to look at more closely.

Personally, I think that a Twitter client is the only way to absorb and utilise Twitter efficiently. People often ask "how do you have time for Twitter" but the thing is, once this is all set up, I would estimate Twitter takes up less than half an hour out of my entire day. That includes checking Twidroid on my phone on the way to work, whilst at work - which includes checking my search lists (will cover this in part three) - and once I get home. Really, honestly, not that much time.

Right, so I have covered setting up an account and how to use a Twitter client to make Twitter easier, part three I will cover off tweeting photos, short URLs, Retweets, searches and I will tell you why people do want to know what you had for lunch...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Twitter for Beginners - Part One

So I am a bit of a Twitter fiend. I love Twitter, I think it is a phenomenal tool for learning, sharing information, networking, crowd sourcing, news gathering, venting, solving problems, showing appreciation. I use Twitter for so many different purposes, that I often find it hard to explain to people the point of Twitter. I get in a bit of a jumble and tend to not explain it very well.

This way I get to edit, so here's hoping that it goes a little better. Please be aware however, you are going to have to read all parts to this to understand fully why I love Twitter and how you can utilise it best. I'm not sure if it is going to be 2 or 3 part... We'll see how much I can cover off.

So Twitter is classified as a micro-blogging tool. 140 characters to get out what you have to say. In the text message age we live in, this is actually not a hard thing - we're accustomed to abbreviating and finding new ways to express ourselves these days.

So, you set up a Twitter account. Then what? What I hear more than anything else from new twitterers is "no one wants to know what I had for lunch" but actually, they couldn't be more wrong. I promise I will explain why, later. In the meantime, let's say, no, they don't. So what is the point.

Like many things (including Facebook) Twitter is something that takes a little time to get into. At first you feel like a bit of a dick, following people, when you have no followers, and you have to hunt them out, it is all a little overwhelming. Where do you start?

Step 1: Set up your account. You don't need to use your real name in your user name, but I would highly recommend using it when setting up your account. When followed by some random username and fullname which is not recognisable, I pretty much ignore them and don't even bother looking to see what they have to say, which means no returned follow. Because of the number of spam accounts out there, anything that makes you personable (as that is what Twitter is about, having conversations with other real people) helps to build your followers which gives you people to start having conversations with.

I would also recommend that you put actual information about yourself in the bio area (don't use mine as a reference) and utilise the option of including a website if you have a blog or in fact your own site.

Next issue, who to follow? Well, here's the thing. Most people jump on Twitter because someone they know is on Twitter.

Step 2: Find the people who you know are already on Twitter:
Step 3: Once you find them, check out who they are following. If you know them there is a likelihood that they are following other people that you know, or may have heard of. Check under 'following' on the right hand side:
Step 4: If they're a pain in the arse like me who follows like 550 odd people, then see if they have utilised the 'lists' function on Twitter. I find that this is the most underestimated tool on Twitter. What a user can do is create their own list of followers and even people they do not follow and categorize them. In this instance, I have a list titled 'nz-adagency' where I have listed people I follow, and a few others as being in the agency world in NZ:

Say you are also in the agency world, this list would potentially be of interest to you, and you could either follow the list, or all the people on the list.

OK. So, hopefully after those 4 steps you can set up an account and start making your way around Twitter a little. I would suggest sending 1 tweet which does acknowledge that you're just getting started so that when people check you out it gives them hope that there will be more to come.

The next most important thing to do on Twitter as far as I'm concerned, is to download an API so that you don't have constantly log into Twitter on the web (and constantly refresh the page) it is a waste of time and you can make it work for you much better.

I am going to cover APIs and the ways you can use them to make your Twitter experience more seamless in Part Two. I promise that Part Two will be up this week. I'm aiming for tomorrow, but no guarantees.

EDIT: In case you are RSS'ing this and haven't read the comments - apparently I don't mean API, I mean a Twitter client. So, tomorrow - or today - Twitter clients. Yay!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back on keywords

So, last week I was talking about negative keywords but the unfortunate fact is, sometimes you just CAN'T control these things.

Case and point number one. This was in sideswipe in the Herald. The content talking about the ANZ World Visa campaign and placing adshels insinuating that the placements were less than the a perfect world. No way avoid this unfortunately. No way around it. Simply bad luck. (I do agree with the complaint however, kinda poor form on ANZ's behalf.)
Similarly this ad came through from @maxgen as unfortunate advertising placement. Now, I am going to have to make a couple of assumptions on this one.
Assumption 1: This eDM is sold as a 'sponsored' newsletter and the advertiser simply provides the creative.
Assumption 2: The 'most popular stories' is automatically generated as per the most popular stories - not something that is actually loaded by a human being (who would hopefully notice the issue here and alert someone).

Taking those assumptions into consideration, I am guessing this couldn't be avoided. Automatically generated content... stink buzz.

In other news, please tell me qantas, WHY are you not geographically targeting your ads? I live in Auckland - so why are you showing me sale fares for Wellington? What a complete waste of ad spend. (FYI - yes, this was a flash ad and it rolled through more that once, but both promo fares were for Wellington).

You can geo target on NZ Herald right?? I'm sure you can.

Stink about Eric Watson too. That's not so cool.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Behind the Vines

This is freaking AWESOME.

Rhythm & Vines are doing an incredibly awesome and interesting promotion to give away tickets for R&V2010 this year. I gotta say, its one of the most impressive marketing campaigns that I have seen in a little while and massive props to whomever is behind it. Totes impressed.

So, what the hell am I going on about.

You can read about it in full here, but basically following the success of the brilliant Parisian Love ad for Google:

Google and You Tube have created Google Search Stories where you can input what you want searched, overlay music and upload your own search story to You Tube.

Fun fun fun.

So R&V have put it to their public to create their own search story to win 2 x 3 day passes for Rhythm & Vines 2010. No bands have been announced yet, but you can guarantee that its gonna be a good one.

At any rate, here is my one:

There was something very satisfying about watching this screen load:

Anyway - what are you waiting for? Go. Make your own. SO MUCH FUN. (Yes, I know I am a geek - what about it?)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Play with NZ Herald and Nokia

So this is something new, a little different and a nice little toy to play with. I think it was launched some time last week within the entertainment section of NZH.

Rollover images and they expand with additional information. Visually, I quite like it. It wouldn't work for national, world or business news, but for entertainment it works really well.
Of course, it wasn't until I clicked on one of the stories (yes, one of my favourite topics) that I started to realise that this might not have been an NZH initiative and looks like it has been driven by Nokia.

Lets be fair, the thing that gave it away was the MASSIVE banner at the bottom of the page:
All up, it is an amazingly branded page:

At any rate, I think it is pretty choice and a nice exercise for Nokia no doubt.

What I think I like about it the most, is that hopefully they are using this as an online branding exercise and are not using Cost Per metrics for this campaign.

When you click through to the website you can get product information and check out where to buy, but there isn't an opportunity to purchase online, which in turn means no cost per acquisition.

I'm going to guess that there would have been some significant investment in this so I really like the idea that measurement cannot be drilled down the way so many online campaigns are; instead banking on online giving the same kind of brand exposure that print, television or other 'traditional' mediums can deliver.

Yay Nokia. Yay NZH. Go you guys.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Negative Keywords People

OK, come on. This Internet thing, it's not new. Advertising online, it's not new. So why (oh why) are people not taking advantage of negative keywords when purchasing display space on news sites? It's really not a difficult thing. Honest.

Just tonight (I am talking in the last hour) 2 different people have tweeted unfortunately placed display, both of which were banks.

There is this one which was posted by Clarke Gayford. Awesome, 2 banks advertising across a story about a guard being attacked while filing an ATM. What I like about this the most is the 'easy money' statement on the BNZ ad. Classic. At least neither ad was ANZ (the bank which ATM was being filled...)
As a bit of an aside, Stuff - what on earth are you doing allowing 2 banks to run display next to each other. I would not be a happy camper if I was running either one of those campaigns...

Then there is this little gem which was on the Herald site, but was brought to my attention via mikiszikszai. I'm going to admit, I can understand how this one happened a little easier than the above, but oh my goodness, what an unfortunate coincidence!It's one of those times, where you kinda have to think about worst case scenario, you know? Just like airlines and travel centres have to put negative keywords up for plane crashes, people should be thinking about the content of their ad and all possible ramifications.

I mean, come on people, they same way that you target with keywords - you can make sure these sorts of things don't happen with NEGATIVE keywords. Do it!

Other than that though, how freaking awesome is it that there are no pigs in the BNZ ads anymore? YAY! You have no idea how happy I am to see this shift. Freaking awesome.