Marketing with Twitter Chats

Marketing with Twitter Chats

If you’re looking to widen your audience and generate leads, Twitter chats can be a strong tool to boost your marketing outcomes.

Twitter chats are open and moderated conversations that use a significant hashtag for a certain topic, ie: #ChatWithEastline or #ELMchat, where participants usually filter conversations based on the hashtag to easily follow the chat.

Include a Twitter chat in your marketing strategies to help you reach your followers and their followers. A successful chat can introduce you to hundreds of potential leads.

Below are six ways Twitter chats can help you reach a bigger audience and enhance brand awareness:

1- Use Crowd Sourcing For Content Ideas

Collect information and opinions from a lot of people at once as you ask chatters about their needs and wants. Don’t forget to take notes and finally use their input to give them what they want.

2- Get New Leads

Answer questions, provide useful information and engage with your followers. Promote your upcoming Twitter chat to appeal to a bigger audience. Attract new leads by hosting a general themed fun Twitter chat, include giveaways or tackle a common problem and show your knowledge.

3- Build Your Social Reach

Twitter chats are a great way to leverage your existing followers as a successful one attracts a large group of tweeps whose followers are watching the conversation. When fans share your content or product, they’re giving it their approval, which will have their friends considering your brand when they’re ready to take action.

4- Create a Community Through Live Tweets

At in-person events, try live tweeting and invite your followers to join the event’s hashtag and share their ideas and opinions about the topic at hand.

5- Monitor Your Success

Track your Twitter chat successes from the first day as when you determine the popularity of your guests, topics, questions, interactions and hashtag, you can determine what appeals to your followers.

Use the evaluated data to determine successful topics and important ideas to your participants, and use that information to create follow-up content.

6- Increase Your Knowledge

Participating in industry Twitter chats is another way to network locally and internationally, expand your contacts base and discover and discuss “holes” in the industry.

Building a Powerful Twitter Community with Influencers

TwitterUsing Twitter to boost your company’s growth is about building a community of followers who relate to your industry and who will eventually develop a passion for your brand.

Finding connectors, thought leaders or industry experts and building relationships with them is vital as it’s the quickest and easiest way to build a significant Twitter community.

1- Discover influencers in your network

Use Followerwonk [ ] to check out your current Twitter followers ranked by the platform’s statistic called ‘social authority’, which is based on the retweet rate of users’ latest few hundred tweets, the recentness of those tweets and a retweet-based model trained on user profile data.

2- Learn your competition’s connections

Twitter’s transparency makes competitive research super-accessible and your competitors’ networks are most likely to include influencers who are directly related to your business. Find these connectors on Followerwonk but this time using your competitors’ handles.

3- Look for influencers in your niche

You can use Followerwonk’s ‘social authority’ to guide you through this process but keep in mind that you have to zero in on the tweep’s emphasis as people who are involved in what you do will best fit your community.

Start off by building a list of 15 to 20 people who would be fit to nurture a relationship with.

4- Follow and interact with tweeps

Building your community requires you to focus on the conversations you have. Keep in mind that replying directly to a person will only show up in their timeline and the timelines of people you both follow, so include your response in a retweet, which will reach a greater number of users.

5- Track your influencers’ posts and mentions by setting up alerts

Use tools like Google Alerts [ ] and Fresh Web Explorer [ ] to dig up where your industry influencers share their thoughts and opinions outside of Twitter and shine the light on them by sharing on Twitter a good article they’ve written.

6- Add value outside of Twitter

Now that you’ll be aware whenever connectors you follow are mentioned across the web, you’re able to point people’s attention to their relevant resources and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with them.

Share their stories, comment on their blogs and give them a helping hand whenever it’s possible as this will increase the chances you have at them being receptive to what you have to say later on.

Biz Stone Launches Q&A App Jelly

Jelly App

Twitter cofounder Biz Stone along with a seven-person startup, has launched a question-and-answer style mobile social networking app called Jelly, available for free for iOS and Android users.

Jelly enables users of submitting questions with an attached photo captured from their smartphone camera, which will become available for their Facebook and Twitter connections to then respond to via the app with a link, a drawing on the original picture, or simply a text. Questions can also be forwarded via text message.

“In a world where 140 characters is considered a maximum length, a picture really is worth a thousand words,” Stone wrote in a post on Jelly’s blog. “Images are in the foreground of the Jelly experience because they add depth and context to any question.

Born out of a passion for helping people, Stone believes that Jelly is capable of making an act of kindness relatively simple. Stone got the idea for Jelly with cofounder Ben Finkel, cofounder of Fluther, another question-and-answer service that Twitter acquired in December 2010.

The “Finkel Rank” displays questions to the most relevant audience of a user’s social connections and is expected to improve over time as the application gathers more user data and should help improve Jelly’s functionality.

The app’s name was inspired by jellyfish, which have “a loose network of nerves that act as a ‘brain’ similar to the way we envision loosely distributed networks of people coordinating via Jelly to help each other,” Stone wrote in the blog post.


Choose A Hashtag

The Hashtag (#), originally created by Twitter users to categorize tweets and mark keywords and topics, has become a very precious asset in modern marketing campaigns.

Brands who haven’t invested the time to think about their hashtag(s) and their proper use get anticipated results, however those who take their hashtag(s) seriously will harvest the benefits on Twitter.

The micro blogging platform has created a step-by-step infographic that helps you choose your hashtag(s) and guides you through launching your campaign.

Choose a hashtag

Choose a hashtag – click to enlarge

Basics first! Why are you using a hashtag? Keep in mind that for your audience to easily remember it, a hashtag should be notable.

Integrating a hashtag in media is a way to make sure it becomes memorable.

Whether it’s on TV, flyers or though direct mail, integrated hashtags have the best chance of making it to the top of the consumer’s mind.

There is no absolute need for a new hashtag to be created. If people are already engaging in a relevant conversation, half the work has been done. All brands have to do is join in with significance.

After choosing or creating a hashtag, Twitter’s “Choosing A #” will walk you through the next stages to take in order to amplify your message.

Twitter Ads API

Twitter Ads APITwitter officially launched their Ads API recently allowing marketers to work with chosen partners (Adobe, HootSuite, Salesforce, SHIFT and TBG Digital) in order to manage Twitter Ad campaigns in a quicker and automated way. They will use Twitter in much the same way they manage marketing campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn using CRM platforms. For the time being it is unclear how long Twitter will work with only the five of them.

Twitter says that its focus has been on delivering better ads instead of more ads, encouraging ads that are “engaging, relevant and useful” and they will be leveraging the ability they have to deliver targeted ads. This would make Twitter the second-screen ad platform of choice after Facebook and will be starting a Certified Ads Products program just like Facebook. We can only think about the kind of revenue boost this will be for Twitter.

Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends are the 3 advertising options on Twitter. If a company pays to promote an account or tweet, the account or tweet appears at the top of results for searches of relevant terms. The advertising options also cause tweets or account handles to appear elsewhere on Twitter like for example on widgets. Promoted Trends, remain exclusive to Twitter enabling a company to surface its brand in the form of a hashtag on Twitter users’ trend sidebars.

Today, other major platforms like Foursquare, Pinterest and Google+ remain without an ad API.

It seems that Twitter took its time to study Facebook & LinkedIn ads before drafting its own strategy to ensure the success of the ads API. Soon it will be easier to compare how campaigns on all 3 platforms perform.

Would you invest in Twitter ads?

Buying Facebook Likes is Smart – NOT!

Online marketing has fulfilled its purpose for quite some time now, and in Lebanon it’s gradually starting to grow with communities engaging online and making some campaigns go viral with innovative marketing ideas.

However and unfortunately some newly established Lebanese online marketing companies have failed to understand the concept and the purpose of the campaigns and how to attract the targeted engaged consumers.

Companies are buying Facebook likes, Twitter followers and so on thinking that the more fans they have the more successful the campaign is, and that is a fail of marketing and ethics. Nonetheless, let us see this through; we went through some local brands’ Facebook pages and checking their likers we noticed how many fake profiles were out there while the majority weren’t even Lebanese. So how is this helpful for the brands to expand and get their message across?

It is crucial with online marketing to set a specific demographic target because you will be more focused on what type of customers you want and means to attract them. Failure to settle your target will increase risks of failure when promoting your products, services or business in order to engage your fan base. Moreover there is no benefit from online marketing when it comes to increasing your fans and followers when they do not match your targeted consumers.

Marketing with Twitter

In the MENA region, we always seem slower in catching up with the rest of the world when it comes to many things, but specifically in technology and its many sub branches. In Lebanon, we have yet to have fast internet, but that’s a whole other story. Those of us working in the field of Internet Marketing have come to see just how important Twitter is as a means of promoting ideas and organizations.

Just taking into account the sheer number of people using this social media platform on a daily basis (Twitter now has 106 million users sending out 55 million tweets every day) you’ll soon see why it’s something that no internet marketer should ignore for very long.

Anyone using Twitter as a personal account squeaks with glee every time they get a follower on twitter. The most obvious advantage to having a huge list of followers is more followers means more potential customers or clients for your website or business, which in turn means more sales. Making and keeping your tweets relevant and articulate, keeping in mind your clients wants and needs.

Another benefit of having a large number of followers is that it is seen by many as a good indicator of social proof. Social proof is important in that if someone goes to a website and sees that the site has zero comments, 142 followers etc…, they are going to assume it’s pretty much a dead site. On the other hand, if they see there are thousands of followers, hundreds, or thousands of readers and so on, they will be more inclined to invest the time to check out the site and give it the attention you need.

More companies and individuals in the MENA region need to step it up and start having more of an active presence on Twitter. Get active, stay active, and nab those clients waiting to be nabbed!

How better than to have proven effective and constant marketing and advertising, 24 hrs a day, and well, for free!

Blogs and Advertising

For many of us, the idea of just sitting back, writing down your thoughts and ideas, and making enough money to sustain yourself doing that is the ultimate dream. This is what many bloggers out there are doing, and quite successfully.

Some of you will simply be looking for a couple of hundred extra dollars a month to pay internet bills or otherwise, while others will be looking to make thousands of dollars a month doing something that they love and are passionate about.

Blogs like Lifehacker and Mashable have succeeded in profiting from having advertisers use their platform. They make millions of dollars per year through banner advertising. Certainly, that means they must be doing something right.

Potential advertisers can easily access an advertising page on these sites, giving them traffic information, statistics, as well as their media kits and rate cards. There is a lot to learn from big sites like those, using what we learn to our advantage in our own ‘little’ blogs.

In addition, it is particularly clever that they both use Social Media to promote their posts and articles, through their Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. The more people that read their posts, and share them through Social Media networks, the more traffic they get, and thus, the more appealing to potential advertisers. That is also a lesson to learn.

This all brings up a few curious questions though, such as:

  • What makes a blog successful in your opinion?
  • Is it writing about a topic that interests you, or a topic that interests the majority of the people online, and then ‘pretending’ it interests you to get more readers and followers?

Share your views!

Social Media for Social Good

It’s a good day for us in social media when we see it being used for social good. It’s an even better day for us in the Arab world, when we see it being used to help each other out. Let’s face it, there is A LOT of negativity floating around the web, lots of competition between rival companies and brands, so when you come across a story that warms your heart, you just get that ‘feel good’ sensation, and feel the need to share such a story. So here it is:

Just yesterday, a missing child in Saudi Arabia was found thanks to…take a wild guess…Twitter!

16 year old Faisal Fri vanished from his family home in Dhahran, and within minutes a hashtag was born: #FaisalDH . An image of Faisal, as well as the contact information for his family was tweeted and retweeted with this hashtag, and a mere 3 hours later he was found safe and sound. The initial tweet that started it impressively made it to the Top Tweet position due to the many times it was retweeted and mentioned.

On the same note, but in a different region, a similar thing happened to a 14 year old girl in London in a few months ago. Serena Beakhurst went missing in December, and thanks to the efforts of hundreds on Twitter and Facebook, was found a few weeks later in the exact spot she went missing . Her family sent various messages of thanks to people who supported and helped spread the word, as well as highlighting the power of Social Media.

It is indeed a heart-warming thing to see the Twitter community (or social network community) comes together from all walks of life, not knowing anything about a person, but driven by the innate drive to help others.

2011- The Year of Digital Media in the MENA Region

2011 is expected by many in the industry to be the year to see the highest levels of digital and online advertising, especially in the MENA region. 2010 already saw record highs in the amounts of mobile, social, video and dynamic advertising. The rapid growth of technologies has played a major part in the growth of social media platforms in the region.

Simultaneously, Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media networks have seen a rise in their numbers of new users worldwide. In the MENA region, the Facebook sparked and Twitter promoted revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and currently Libya probably played a big role in the increased numbers of new users.

In addition, and in part due to the above, there has been an increase in the events and conferences in the region, catering to anything and everything Digital. Two of the biggest events are being held this month in Beirut, Lebanon: Twestival 2011 (or Twitter Festival) and Arabnet Shift 2011.

On March 24th 2011, Twestival will go ‘local’ in various cities across the globe. Events are held in any location to raise funds and awareness for a local cause that deserves it. An idea that one can work on an international scale and do good, without having to leave the city one lives in. Their website describes it best: “Twestival is the largest global grassroots social media fundraising initiative to date”. This year, Beirut Twestival will be fundraising for Breast Cancer, allowing women free mammograms, as well as psychological help for women with Breast Cancer.

Arabnet Shift, the biggest digital gathering in the Middle East, will be held over 4 days in Beirut, from March 22nd to the 25th. Each day has a theme, and is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs in the region to get exposure for their ideas and start ups. Each year, ArabNet brings together ‘big names’, and leaders in the digital sector. This year, there will be more than 80 speakers and 1000 attendees, meeting and discussing the latest in the digital sector in the region. At the end of the summit, 2 competitions are held with the aim of supporting and promoting start ups and ideas.

If anything, both events are excellent networking opportunities for anyone involved in this sector. Moreover, both Twestival and Arabnet use the power of social media to organize, promote and advertise these events to the region and the world.