Tag Archives: Twitter

How Twitter has ruined our ability to spell

So Twitter users can’t spell? Well there is no big surprise there then. With only 140 characters per tweet to compose your pithy message, you haven’t got much choice. You have to to truncate your message – or commit one of a whole host of grammar sins.

imageResearch by Brandwatch and a cool infographic shows that we can not spell. Twitter is the worst offender when it comes to spelling. Users are almost twice as likely to deviate from official English than they are on Facebook and 25% more likely to misspell than on Google+.

The US are slightly worse at spelling than UK Tweeters. Females are worse spellers than men with 1 in 169 misspelling words compared with 1 in 192 males.

Interestingly though, females tend to elongate certain words such as ‘looool’, ‘ohhh’ and ‘awww’ whereas males on the other hand shorten words. Males use words like ‘kinda’, ‘gotta’ and ‘wanna’ in their tweets.

The top five grammar errors highlighted by the study are: im, wont,dont, cant and id. The missing apostrophe  is obviously down to the limits of 140 characters in a tweet.

This limit has also encouraged us to use acronyms liberally such as ‘lmao’, ‘lol’ and ‘omg’.

We also misspell words on Twitter. Words we tend to get wrong are: definitely, weird, surprise, separate, embarrass, government, argument and achieve.

We are however becoming slightly more literate in our online conversations – but only by 0.01% per year. At least we are moving in a positive direction.

It is difficult to get your point across in such a succinct way on Twitter when limited by characters. Having to abbreviate words and missing out vowels is not new. We have been using mobile phone ‘txt spk’ for years when texts were limited to 160 characters per message. We have happily transferred our abbreviated language onto Twitter.

But this short form language is now prevalent our day to day verbal interactions. Listen to your children and your friends.The spoken word is now peppered with WTFs, OMGs and LOLs  We are using verbal emoticons to describe how we feel instead of using the longer description.

Twitter and texting has provided us with new language forms and it is not surprising we are adopting these shortened forms of language as our lives become busier and busier.

Perhaps blog posts will start to go the way of the tweet becoming shorter and shorter to avoid the curse of the ultimate blogger insult, TL:DR

Credit: Sammy0716

Eileen is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

Twitter dumps auto-following — but not auto DM’s

Twitter has turned around and tightened up restrictions on its api. It has announced that automated following or bulk following is now prohibited. From the following rules and best practices document it says:                                              

"Aggressive following is defined as indiscriminately following hundreds of accounts just to garner attention. However, following a few users if their accounts seem interesting is normal and is not considered aggressive."

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Twitter removed the automated feature that permits automated follow-back for a reason. Twitter prefer that users ‘manually review their new followers and then choose whether or not they would like to follow back individual accounts’.

It also has prohibited the ability to automatically block numbers of accounts as a method for unfollowing them.

Application developers can provide follow back features – provided that they are totally manual. Twitter says that this will improve control:

‘This allows for greater granularity and control for brands and users, and greater opportunity for developers to build social analytics around potential followings: by highlighting the best, most relevant users to follow-back manually this provides a greater potential user benefit than indiscriminate auto-follow-back’

This is good news for curation apps such as Storify which requires manual intervention to create a story and publish it – less good news for hundreds of app developers that sold services to buy you new followers

Twitter is not reciprocal by default. It offers users the choice to decide whether to follow another user back. Some users do feel pressured to follow back, but if a user follows everyone that follows them, their feed would soon be filled with content that is not particularly interesting to them.

You might be trying to buy followers to make you look more interesting to your followers.  However, if not all of the accounts which followed you contained content which was interesting, then you would soon become disenchanted with Twitter and its useless noise.

It is important to choose carefully who to follow and prohibiting auto-follow back will stop the ‘ I follow back’ crowd.

Auto following isn’t a good idea. People who tweet should have some value to me. I don’t want spam or abuse.

I want to engage with people who tweet regularly, say in the last 45 days or so. Manage Flitter helps me to keep track of who does not tweet .

I want to engage with real people.They should have an interesting Twitter bio, profile image and link to another site. It’s an added bonus is if they have a background

I want to engage with people that can respond to my questions within a reasonable amount of time. Automated quotations lessen the value of the whole of your Twitter stream. Give me commentary, links and interesting observations, not just quotations – no matter how good they are.

Have a look at the Developer rules of the road and Automation best practices for more information on developing your app..

Image Credit: Dennis Jarvis                                                                           

Eileen is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

Tweetdeck adds engagement metrics to search

Twitter has added a useful feature to its search icon on Tweetdeck. Now you can add engagement context to your tweets.

Here’s a screen grab from Tweetdeck showing a search for the phrase ‘EverydaySexism’ and tweets that have been retweeted over 100 times:

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So why would you use this feature?

Getting context for your campaigns are important. After a campaign has started with its designated hashtag statistics start to appear. You can tell which of your messages resonate the most with your customers.

You can check which offers have been rebroadcasted, which messages have been marked as favourites. You can track messages that have generate the most responses to the brand.

You can tailor your messages based on previous popular tweets and generate a higher hit rate by monitoring your activities over time.  Different columns could watch which messages are favourited – and which generate responses. You can then target these customers in other campaigns

It is a useful way to measure your Twitter campaign  — within the Tweetdeck interface and very useful too.

Image: Tweetdeck

Eileen is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

Twitter maps the world of Tweets

Twitter has mapped the world of Tweets and displayed images on its blog and its Flickr page. This image of Europe is amazing. Towns, villages and roads perform a network of Tweet density.

Each tweet made with a geotag was captured and used to make the map. Even tweets from ferry routes can be seen detailing the popular routes cross Channel, Irish, Mediterranean and Baltic seas.

The map of Seattle is also fascinating:

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The horizontal lines joining the west and east side are the bridges across lake Washington. The northern line is the 520 bridge, famed for its slow traffic, hold-ups and delays.Obviously a perfect place to Tweet

The High density of Tweets on the Eastside isn’t Redmond, but Bellevue. Redmond is the larger area north west of Bellevue with a lesser density of tweets.

Have a look at some of the other cities on Twitter’s Flickr page and the Twitter blog

Images: Twitter blog

Eileen is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

Tweet on a Saturday to increase click through rates

Are your Twitter click through rates lower than you expect from the amount of followers you have?  Check out this Infographic from Sign up to and stop trying to get more followers… 

Focus on engaging the followers you have and initiate conversations using the @.  Broadcasting messages will not catch all of your followers. If your followers are following hundreds or even thousands of people, there’s a really good chance that your tweet will get lost in the noise.

Remember that there is a best time to send your tweets too

 

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Eileen is a social business and social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Flora cuisine crowdsources new recipe book

imageFlora, the healthy spread has turned to its Facebook page for inspiration. It has created a Lets get cooking cookbook and is giving away copies of the book on its Facebook page after a competition earlier this year.

You have until 26th October to enter to win for one of 750 copies on Facebook. You can also have a look at the crowdsourced recipes and download a soft copy.

Flora chose 30 copies from over 500 entries received during its Facebook competition.  It is now asking for ‘bite-sized’ recipe reviews on either its Twitter account or directly onto the Flora website.

The recipe book coincides with a set of boards on Pinterest, activity on its new Twitter account and campaign based activity on its Facebook page, designed to aid engagement with its fans. Flora has had a Facebook page since March 2010 and is extending its reach across other social platforms.

Crowdsourcing ideas such as recipes means additional engagement through social pages.  Getting the community involved and sharing recipes on platforms such as Pinterest ensures brand awareness and recognition. This is a neat idea that can be repeated regularly to maintain engagement and interaction with the brand .

Crediting the winning recipes is a nice touch too – and will encourage others to enter – if they want their names in print when the next edition is released.

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Kitchen Aid’s Crisis Management success

imageWhat happened to Kitchen Aid the other week could happen to any brand  During the presidential debate, one of the team that managed the Kitchen Aid’s official Twitter account made an error that blew up very quickly.

The official @kitchenaidUSA account tweeted:

"Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president,"

Kitchen Aid deleted the Tweet, and issued an apology

Cynthia Soledad, head of Kitchen Aid went on the record to talk to Mashable and apologise for the Tweet. She immediately took responsibility, spoke freely to the media and quenched the social media fire that burned.

It seems to have worked. Mashable published this image from Simply Measures showing how quickly the mentions of the brand reduced as the apologies and media interviews were broadcast.

Crisis management depends on three things:

Swift ownership of the issue by senior leader

Immediate apology or retraction of the offensive statement

Availability for follow up information

In the background, at the brand other things are important to ensure that damage is limited:

Adequate training and awareness of crisis consequences

Defined lines of communication and crisis plan

Damage limitation and virtual messaging team (PR / spokespeople / exec team)

And most of all – a co-ordinated response across the relevant channel. If it happens on Twitter, rectify it on Twitter, if it happens on Facebook, rectify it on Facebook.  Then ensure that other channels point to the apology and damage limitation statement. It has got to be authentic, it has got to be open, it has got to be honest.

And it has got to be done quickly – before brand perception starts its downhill slide

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Image credit: smith_cl9 and Mashable

Sina Weibo beats Twitter Olympic tweet numbers

We talk about Twitter and its dominance in microblogging.  We often forget that other, non-English speaking countries might have an even larger share of the conversation.

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The next web reported that Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter smashed all of Twitter’s records during the Olympics.

Twitter reported that around 150 million tweets were sent during the games. 116 million tweets per minute happened during the closing ceremony. Sina Weibo however reported in an infographic that 119 million messages were sent during the opening ceremony and 393 messages throughout the Games itself.

With the Paralympics underway and twitter lighting up – it will be interesting to see how the numbers stack up again – especially with China once again dominating the medals table so far…

Credit: bfishadow, itsjusthugo

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Automatic and Manual retweets on Twitter: The differences

Jillian emailed me with an issue she had after attending my Introduction to Twitter workshop the other week:

If I press the retweet button I can’t edit anything so presumably I have to copy and paste it into another tweet.  But then the link doesn’t go with it.  for instance I wanted to retweet your fibre optics post and say where does she keep the rechargeable batteries, but the link doesn’t go over and so when I go back into your tweet to pick up the link the RT has gone too!  Spend far more than half hour each day on this as I go all round the houses. 

Twitter uses the automatic retweet button for its own analytics. It can tell how many times a Tweet has been rebroadcast

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Clicking on the Retweet link brings up a dialogue box.  you can not edit the link, but reproduce it entirely.

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If the automatic Retweet button is used, then Twitter can tell exactly how many times this has been retweeted.  See the example below which must have appealed to a lot of people as it has been retweeted 11,659 times so far:

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It is much easier to edit retweets if you use one of Twitters clients.  Here’s an example of using the edit and retweet button on Tweetdeck

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Choosing ‘Edit then Retweet’ appends RT to the start of the tweet.

Other clients use “Quote tweet” as a way of copying the original tweet into a new tweet window, allowing you to edit the tweet and credit the originator of the tweet..

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.