Tag Archives: Tweets

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.


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


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


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:


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


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.

Twitter call for help results in backlash over depression at work

A simple Tweet goes viral.  Sounds familiar?  Last year, it was the message that broke the news of the raid on Bin Laden.  This is on a much smaller scale, but the message still got to the right people.

Roy has depression.  He asked for time off from work to attend counselling.  His boss told him she may need to fire him.  He put the news on Twitter.


He then posted a copy of the dismissal letter from his boss and explained about his depression.  his boss said that there was no room for passengers.

Ow.  Hurtful.  But not surprising in a small business which might be struggling to make enough money to survive this recession

The tweet went viral.  It was picked up by the telegraph and responded to by MP for Northamptonshire Louise Mensch

Roy’s followers leapt from 850 to over 3000.  He got legal advice and went shopping for clothes.

There are several comments under the telegraph article.  The comments seem to be 50:50 split in support of his plight and vilifying him for causing undue stress on a small business.  A small business would find it incredibly hard to cope with an employee who was off work for an extended period of time.  Their absence would impact them financially and impact their productivity.

I’m sure that there are a lot of people who have been stressed by their job, have been intimidated by bullying bosses, or felt anxious about their work or tasks. Poor work practices can make people dread going into work. Large and small businesses can make unreasonable demands on their employees which results in sickness.

Until you have had depression, It’s really hard to understand how it feels. 

It’s distressing to watch a colleague slide down into despair, and know that the best solution would be to totally change their situation at work.

It’s hard as a boss, asking the remainder of your team to take on extra work whilst you support the person who is away from work.

It’s hard as a friend not to offer advice and well-meant help

It’s also hard, not to ask your friends on Twitter to give you some support and make you feel better when you’re feeling down, because your job isn’t turning out the way you want it to.

But on balance, will the message on Twitter, really bring you the long term results you wanted?

Often not.  Unfortunately…

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.


5 ways to decide if Twitter is right for your business?

imageA lot of small businesses assume that they should be on Twitter – because everyone else is.  They have no idea whether Twitter is the right thing for them.  These businesses join Twitter and struggle to engage their audience in conversation.

The Flowtown blog has an infographic flowchart which steps you through the main questions to ask yourself when you are considering using Twitter.  For small businesses the main questions to ask are:

  • Do you want to distinguish your business account from your personal account?  Having two Twitter accounts can take up significant amounts of time if you want to communicate using both accounts regularly.  Using separate account for personal and business might leave your business account cold and unfriendly.  Consider including a few personal tweets amongst the stream to make the feed more friendly.
  • Do you want to communicate with customers and send brand updates?  If so , then a corporate account is probably right for you.  You can create a corporate Twitter feed and ask members of your team to update it regularly.  You’ll have different voices contributing to the main corporate feed so the Twitter stream will start to get a personality of its own.  Appending each Tweet with the initials of the team member will make the stream more personalised. ^EB is the annotation used by services such as CoTweet.
  • Are the majority of your Tweets related to your business?  Try not to only talk about your work and special offers.  Talk about ‘we’ a little.  It gives your followers an insight into the team behind the company and gives your Twitter stream a personality
  • Do you want to proactively engage with your customers?  Read and respond to tweets from others.  Engaging proactively will bring you much greater returns than just responding to tweets.  If you use your Twitter account for customer service then try going back to the customer after their problem has been solved to make sure that they are still happy with you.  It’s shows extra care – even after the case has been resolved.
  • Do you want to engage regularly? Make sure you have enough time to engage with your customers.  Tweeting infrequently will make the relationship between the brand and the customer harder to nurture.  Frequent engagement – without being spammy – will encourage better dialogue.  Its about quality over quantity.

If the answer to these 5 points are yes, then Twitter is certainly an option worth considering…

However, Twitter might not be for you if your business involves government security or defence clients or involves legislative, auditory or regulatory work. 

Twitter might also not be right for you if you don’t have the time or energy to put into making your communications interesting or engaging.  Repetitive tweets can be seen as spam – as can automated quotes and ‘motivational’  messages sent out by apps such as Tweetlater, Bufferapp and Hootsuite.

Think before you tweet – or think before you sign up for Twitter.

it might not be the app for you..

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:Technoblog


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Do you have a Twitter addiction and tweet your meal before you eat?

I get a lot of images of food on my Twitter stream from the people I follow – it seems to be de rigeur to take a photo of your food before you eat it.  So this infographic from the Googly gooeys made me smile.  I wonder how many of my Twitter followers are addicted to Twitter?


I think that number 6 on this list has been missed out.  It has got to be: You have an unhealthy obsession with your Klout score and agonise over minute rises and falls every day…

How many more signs are there that you’re addicted to Twitter?


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Do you really own your online profile?

imageThere have been some interesting issues recently over Intellectual property, privacy, profiles and blog styles.  Who really owns the content you produce on Twitter and your blog?   Who really owns your Twitter account? Who really owns the content you write on your blog? Why does it matter so much?

Blogs can bring big rewards for business.

Successful bloggers pull in hundreds of thousands of readers onto the blog.  A great blog can improve perception about a company. They bring awareness and reach for the blog site owner.  They bring new views to pages with associated advertising.  They bring revenue.  So by protecting their revenue streams its understandable that companies also want to protect their investment in maintaining their strong brand.

Bloggers with a strong personal brand can cost businesses dearly if the blogger decides to move on to another job..

The York Times sued AOL over Trademark infringement claiming that blogger Lisa Belkin had taken her Motherlode blog over to the Huffington post when she moved.  The Motherlode blog was actually still being published by the New York Times but Lisa had called her new blog ‘Parentlode’ to incorporate male and female parenting. The New York Times claimed that it would ‘confuse’ readers

Some companies have clauses in their employee guidelines which talk about IP ownership of content whilst you work for them.  If you have a multi million idea whilst you work for a company you could develop that idea and bring it to production.  This idea could turn into a thriving business and make you millions.  If the idea was somehow related to what your job was, then the company could have a claim on your potential fortune.

But what about followers and friends that you’ve built up over your time at the company?  What about your LinkedIn connections?  If you make connections in the normal course of your job, and add those connections to your LinkedIn profile, are they your connections – or are they part of the CRM database at your employer?

Your Twitter account is yours – isn’t it?

Laura Kuenssberg built up a strong following whilst at the BBC and took her personal Twitter account – and her followers with her when she joined ITV.  Phonedog sued Noah Kravitz when he left Phonedog and changed his Twitter username to noahkravitz, keeping his followers on his personal account.  Phonedog  sued Noah for “(1) misappropriation of trade secrets, (2) interference with economic advantage; and (3) conversion”  This ‘land grabbing’ by corporates over Twitter accounts raises an interesting point for those of you who use your personal online Twitter brand to communicate on behalf of a company.

If you register something on behalf of a company, or maintain a list of passwords and other data, then that data belongs to the company and should be returned when requested.  Similarly, any credentials should be returned to the company – who should already know the usernames and passwords used to access the account.

But is a company Twitter account really a trade secret?

It’s easy to see all followers and all that you’re following, your favourites are for everyone to see, as are your images and public Tweets.  A simple call to the api can track conversations and trends.  Is it really all that secret at all?  The only thing that is secret are Direct messages – and the logon password.  Techdirt sums the argument up well..

If you want him to Tweet as the company, give him the company account.  If you want to him to Tweet as himself, let him do so.  Suing for the account just seems silly and petty.

Rick Sanchez took his personal Twitter account with him when he was fired from CNN taking almost 150,000 Twitter followers with him too.  He tweeted about CNN as a business- but probably mixed in his personal Tweets in his main stream.  Most of us do this – even with corporate Twitter accounts.  Many people Tweeting about a company from a personal have a disclaimer on their Twitter account.  They usually state that their tweets are their own opinions and do not reflect the views of the company.  So why do some companies get so bothered about the loss of followers if they have allowed employees to blog as themselves.  The spam notes blog has some interesting points on how CNN could have incorporated some appropriate clauses into their social media guidelines:

If they had built in contractual protection, it could provide that upon termination:

(1) Sanchez would stop using the account immediately; (2) CNN would have access to Sanchez’s password at all times; (3) Sanchez would not post any public statements without CNN’s approval; and (4) Sanchez would turn over the account to CNN.

Who owns the brand?

If you want to ‘own’ the brand name such as @BTCare, @Bing, @Starbucks, @Ford and @Microsoft Twitter accounts then it’s better to create a corporate brand name and get members of the team to use the corporate account to broadcast on your behalf.  Then, when a team changes, a simple change in password will ensure that corporate identity is maintained.

If your internal staff have ‘personality’ Twitter accounts, be prepared to lose the followers if your employee leaves the company.  Make sure you have great guidelines and policies in place and make sure your measurements reflect the brand not the individual.  Taking staff to court in order to reclaim followers may rebound adversely on the brand.

If you followed a personality, and they left the company and their Twitter account remained with the brand, what would you do?  Would you stay with the brand or would you continue to follow the personality?

Who ‘owns’ the online brand, who ‘owns’ the ‘personality’?

The answer to one seems simple, the answer to the other could be argued in court for some time yet.   Make sure you’re very clear about who you really think you are – before you touch that keyboard…

Eileen is a social business strategist 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: Flickr

The London riots: Using social media as a force for good


An amazing, terrifying image of a woman jumping from a burning building in Croydon last night. Image credit: GSandhu

It’s hard to know what to write this morning. 

My Twitter stream is full of comments about last nights riots in London and truly terrifying images like the one above.  Last night, the news streams were vilifying social media, and especially BlackBerry for their BBM private messaging system which could have been used to organise further outbreaks. The Evening Standard blamed Twitter for the riots (thanks Tac for the photo).  The Guardian speculated that BlackBerry Messenger played a key role in the riots and the Telegraph talked about how messenger was used to plan two nights of looting. RIM offered to help the police ‘in any way we can’ but in the main social media was being vilified for spreading of information used to incite further unrest.  All seemed gloomy.  all seemed to point to the use of social media as a force to incite the masses.  Social media platforms were blamed for the rapid spread of riots.


This morning, the same social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are now being used for a completely different reason. 


London folk have organised a cleanup of areas affected by the riots.  Normal community spirited people.  The community cleanup program has a Wiki for the clean up, which is regularly updated with locations and times of cleanup.  Communities come together and respond to the the riots with #riotcleanup.  

Ordinary people with camera phones are uploading images of those involved in the riots.

They are uploading photos and videos onto Facebook pages like Catch a Looter.  The Catch a Looter Tumblr site is filling up with photos and videos of looters involved in raiding shops and businesses.  There are many Riot Clean up pages on Facebook showing great community spirit.

The Metropolitan police has uploaded photos of rioters to their flickr Stream and there are some Twitter accounts which have now been deleted appearing in the #nameandshame stream. The hashtag #riotcleanup is trending worldwide – with information flooding the stream that is too quick to read.

The community in London is using social media for good.

The same online social behaviour which was slammed last night for inciting riots, is now being praised for helping to restore balance and order. 

Real time information, images and videos are being uploaded to attempt to find those involved in the destruction last night.

Social media may have had a role to play in the riots – but it also has a greater role in the clean up and restoration of order afterwards. 

It has also a positive role in the identification of looters, and has helped the police do their jobs to identify the rioters and hopefully bring them to justice.



This Tweet from Mcsleazy seems to capture it all really.

*** for those of you reading this blog from outside of the UK, The Wombles are furry characters who keep the streets of London clean***

Eileen Brown is a social media consultant 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.