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PubCon Session: Twitter – The Latest Topics and Trends

Connecting with your customers

Engaging the right users on Twitter can be a powerful way to get your message out to a large audience. The world of Twitter has been undergoing some rapid changes lately, and Chris Winfield (@chriswinfield), Dan Zarrella (@danzarrella) and Warren Whitlock (@warrenwhitlock) discussed how to use Twitter for business, where Twitter came from and where it is going in the PubCon session “Twitter: The Latest Topics and Trends.”

The concept of the business of Twitter is fairly straightforward:
Creating a message that is easy to share

  • Identify the sound bite/short phrase/tweet/word that describes the message
  • Find the conversation that’s already going on
  • Try to help and authentically engage in the existing conversation

Once you have authentic connections, you will get returns – RTs, link sharing, referrals or direct sales.

The New Twitter
Twitter recently updated their platform, and the way that users interact directly with Twitter.com. Even though the actual site itself hasn’t really changed that much, user behavior has morphed completely.

Then:

  • A hub for geeks and early adopters plus over-sharers
  • Business: procrastination tool; great platform for over-sharers; insular network (silicon valley, people who knew the business)

Now:

  • A platform used by people across all demographics to share thoughts/feelings and share/consume content – still a lot of over-sharers
  • Professionally
    • a platform for aspirational connections
    • an opportunity for enhanced and personalized customer service
    • a tool for branding and reputation management (be proactive and put out fires)
    • a public ongoing survey of customer opinion and sentiment
    • a voice for your brand
    • a tool for driving traffic
    • ~25% of tweets contain a link

Looking ahead at the future of Twitter:

  • New world order of communication – can share on your own time
  • The New SMS?
    • ‘Free,’ unlimited targeted communication (private or public)
    • No need for memorizing numbers
    • No need for personal devices
    • Available any time, anywhere
  • Virtual proximity
    • Increased likelihood of interactions with aspirational connections
    • Influence on-stage events from the audience
    • Participate in focused conversation groups taking place at your location in real-time (without sweating buckets)
  • A new sense of “Real Time”
    • Out with “what are you doing right now?” and in with “What’s happening?”
    • We have a better sense of how impossible it is to keep up with everything and everyone as mini headlines slide down our stream into abyss (while we look away)
    • Stay updated = reading or RTing news as it happens or on your own time
  • The Personalized (Social) News Stream
    • Curation based on social network rather than big news corporations
    • Information consumption by headlines
    • News source aggregation (based on your social network)
  • New Tools and Predictions
    • FriendShuffle
      • Find out what your Twitter and Facebook friends are reading
      • “A StumbleUpon powered by your social graph”
    • Social Google News
      • Can enter your Twitter account to see what your connections are sharing
      • Showing how many shares by pulling in realtime data
    • Location-based Tweeting
      • Can now search for information based on people around you
      • Monitor conversations around you/company
      • Research trends by location
      • Develop public (and real) relationships with locals
      • Laser target promotions and coupons
    • Annotations
      • Delve deeper into tweets for market research
      • Valuable content: more mashups and visualizations
      • Search tweets by influence for outreach: Klout rank, follower base or number of lists
      • Locate tweets by type of attachment
    • Mobile
      • Tweeting on the go means real-time reviews and news reporting with metadata (location info and visual assets)
      • Valuable content more mashups and visualizations

What do Twitter Changes, Trends & Tools mean for your company?

  • New Expectations: Public Customer Service
    • Complaints and praises are now public, in real-time
    • Respond to your customers or your competitors will
    • Public is now the norm: ignore an angry customer or tweet an off-topic automated response and commit ‘social suicide’
  • Real-Time Updates = Last Minute Sales
  • Public Influence Meters
    • Transparent brand reputation – not just about follower count: who is following you, how often are you getting RTd, how many people reply to you
    • Brands need to try harder to be what they want to be seen as
    • Brands must increase value
  • A Sales Crystal Ball
    • Monitor the pulse of a campaign in real=time: make immediate optimizations
    • Pre-launch buzz may help determine valuable niche markets
  • Twitter is transforming the travel industry
    • last minute hotel deals
    • location tweets show when your guests are getting close

Twitter is a great way to connect directly and immediately with your consumers. Being able to use Twitter effectively can give you great authority in the eyes of your followers. Regardless of whether or not Twitter lasts forever, the mindset it has forged is here to stay: consumers expect service in real-time. Being present in this space can help ensure that you are ready to capitalize on the latest trends and keep a direct line to your customers wide open.

Submitted by Mike Supple, Milestone Internet Marketing, Inc

(L to R) Warren Whitlock, Dan Zarrella, Chris Winfield

(L to R) Warren Whitlock, Dan Zarrella, Chris Winfield

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