10 Tips to Master Twitter Etiquette

Some great content that I wanted to share: 10 Tips to Master Twitter Etiquette.

10 Tips to Master Twitter Etiquette




Non-Profit Social Media: How do Twitter and Facebook differ?

Today I came across this article 5 Important Differences Between Twitter and Facebook, and wondered “how can these differences affect the social media presence of non-profits?” Yes, I know, seems like I might have some invested interest in this topic. While I’m interested in social media strategy in general, I volunteer for a non-profit and am always looking for ways to get our message out. So here is what I gathered from this article.

While Twitter takes only about 13% of the US market, it’s often a more niche group of followers (minus all the spam of course!). And while “a Tweet has by far a much shorter lifespan than a Facebook update” there’s a better chance to reach someone who really cares about your cause. For example, the American Red Cross has been able to successfully translate Twitter support into donations for disaster relief. While this is an outlying case, without Twitter those funds would have been lost.

Sometimes I personally feel that Facebook “likes” are a way to make your followers think you identify with a brand’s message, even if you don’t. For example, someone might follow the American Cancer Society, because they generally care about their cause, but they won’t really engage with the brand by donating, reposting, or attending an event.

However, Facebook can be used for “timeless news and updates.” I see this as a big win for wanting to convey a steady message, or have a good timeline for events, relevant news and friend interaction. Used often, this could also be a great way to interact with friends by responding with rich feedback to posts. According to an article, Facebook: Is it Worth your Nonprofit’s Time? “80% of nonprofit staff said that Facebook helped them build better relationships with their existing constituents by helping nonprofits stay in touch and build community around their issue.”

So if I’m a non-profit, do I use Twitter, Facebook or both? I feel if you have a consistence flow of content and time, use both. There will be overlap somewhere, but with Twitter you can post quick and often, ideally more updates and interaction with  specific “interest.” And then with Facebook, a slower cadence of news and updates with people who “like” your actual organization. But remember that social media needs interaction from both sides! If someone DM (direct messages) you on Twitter, or posts a question on Facebook answer them back, and always thank people for “liking” or “following” you.

Want to read more about non-profit social media tips?

No need to geotag, reveal your location by ‘online dialect’

Cultural changes attributed to technology has always interested me, of course it’s hard not to these days. Take the recent coverage of Aflockalypse, and other mysterious mass animal deaths in the US. These are most likely attributed to technology, but not because there is some super microwave emitting weapon sucking power from all the cell phones and redirecting it, but because being more connected makes people more aware. According to the article Technology to blame for animal die-off panic “instant communications — especially when people can whip out smart phones to take pictures of critter carcasses and then post them on the Internet — is giving a skewed view of what is happening in the environment.” So when I saw this article about How tweets reveal where you’re from, I had to read it.

According to the article (which is not about cyber stalking or privacy, which the name seems to hint at), a study revealed that “where you’re from actually deals with how microblogging service reflects regional dialects and slang.” Carnegie Mellon University took a look at this in a study of “9,500 users and 380,000 messages.” During this study they found that, like traditional dialect, without knowing the actual location of these microbloggers, the could identify “regionalisms from spoken speech, such as Southerners’ “y’all” vs. Pittsburghers’ “yinz,” and the regional-based references to soda vs. pop vs. Coke.” And although unlike in real life where we can hear the accent, the study can determine your location within 300 miles because of the way you text, tweet, etc.

"Researchers clustered Twitter users based on the regional terms they included in their tweets. This map shows how tweets were clustered to reflect different characteristic regions, including Northern and Southern California, Chicago, the Lake Erie region, Boston, New York, Washington, Northern vs. Southern states, and Florida."

But why is this cool? According to the team, “The study shows that people continue to develop new ways of using language, regardless of whether they’re talking over lunch or exchanging messages on Twitter;” and shows that technology is having a direct impact on cultural evolution. The team is presenting their findings at the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting in Pittsburgh, you can get a copy of their work here.

Twitter on paper, Infographics

I wanted to share this because I find it so hard to visualize the chaotic mess that is Twitter. This was put together in April by Twitter’s co-founder and I think it does a great job of showing how big Twitter’s influence can be. Three things I think it’s missing are:

1. Is this worldwide or just US?
2. How many total people are “hooked” into the Internet?
3. What percentage are dormant accounts, spam or rarely used accounts?

From a marketing perspective these could be pretty helpful answers.


Thanks to Geek in Disguise for the orginal post.

Crowdsourcing, One Billion People & Counting

In Jeff Howe’s book Crowdsourcing he looks at the organizational structure of the traditional company and asks “what constitutes an ‘employee’ or a ‘manager’ or ‘president’ in a crowdsourcing environment,” (p 98). He makes some very interesting remarks about the tendency for humans to form groups and communities in order to survive. But technology, created by the foundations of group collaboration, has now made it possible for individuals to move away from the security of the structured and formal group.

We no longer rely on the recommendations of people who are paid to make us believe in a product. For example, I don’t really believe that Catherine Zeta-Jones wants me to have a mobile makeover using T-Mobile. Although she is a very talented actress with an Oscar under her fashionable belt, as a consumer it’s just an advertisement to me. I would be more inclined (as a T-Mobile customer already) to pursue this route if I hear something positive about it on Twitter or from another community not getting paid to endorse the service.

Crowdsourcing “is, in almost every instance, made possible by the Internet…one billion people with the potential to contribute in some way to any given crowdsourcing project,” (p 99). What corporations had before were elaborate campaigns, now these campaigns can be accomplished by someone soliciting information on a blog, twitter or social networking site. People want to hear what other people like them think; it helps people be a part of the story and drive change. Continue reading

Our Social Media Future

Once the initial novelty of cyber-stalking your high school friends diminish, you’re stuck with asking yourself “now what?” Social media has a place in our culture and everyone is a piece of it, even if they’re not involved. The future of social media is what we the community makes it, to integrate neatly into our lives.

Just look at Twitter, it’s the guilty pleasure of the “I need it now” crowd, and rapidly spreading. According to a TechCrunch article Is Twitter The CNN Of The New Media Generation?, the “pursuit of ‘now’ is conditioning us to expect information as it happens, whether it’s accurate or developing.” This trend is changing the way we have consumed media in the past, creating a cultural shift. We’re now living in an era where we create the news, we seek out the news; it’s no longer created and distributed to us on someone else’s time schedule. We choose what news is worthy. Continue reading

Our “Transformed Media Landscape”

In a recent TED lecture, “How Cellphones, Twitter, Facebook Can Make History,” Clay Shirky describes today’s media as a “transformed media landscape.” This landscape has transformed from mass broadcast media like television and radio to become more personal and help us strive for community building.

Using examples from the Obama campaign, and the 2008 China earthquake, he demonstrated how social media changes an event’s outcome. My.BarakObama.com became a central location for campaign organization and discussion which ultimately affected change. A key point that Shirky mentioned is the site’s ability to assemble people, not control them. In the example of the China earthquake, Internet censorship provided a stark comparison to coverage by locals using social media during the event. Citizens actually reported the quake before officials recognized it. This coverage brought people to their feet demanding answers, and having China question additional censorship.

We can agree with Shirky that most all media has migrated over to the Internet. Radio, television, newspapers, and phones all are in one place. But what does that mean for us? This greatly impacts the way ordinary people tell their stories and communicate with others. Shirky talks about how technology becomes more fun when people take it for granted, and we can see this today. People no longer just snap a photo at a family gathering; they pull out their camera phone and video a funny moment, then mix it with some music and post it on their blog with some commentary. This commentary gets retweeted, forwarded, or mashed up with other content.

According to Shirky media is still becoming more social, so we’ll continue to see more innovations in how people portray themselves and communicate over the Internet. There are likely some combinations we’ve yet to see, but it’s certain this innovation can and will happen anywhere on the globe.