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Combining Twitter Accounts

Feeling slightly techie today as Sunday evening was spent creating some Yahoo Pipes that are now in action.

I have a team of colleagues who have their own twitter accounts. They have a central account that they would like to tweet their tips from as well. But they needed a neater solution than logging in and out of the main account, worrying that they are posting foursquare check-ins etc that are irrelevant to those following the main account.

Feeding in all their content would not add value to the main account as a source of great tweets.

So the idea of a #TIP came up. If they tweet with that hashtag – it automatically posts to the central account.

Pipes lets you combine a number of RSS or API feeds – manipulate – and output as RSS or JSON.

Combining a series here I’ve managed to aggregate a teams Twitter feeds, and filter to those with the hashtag #TIP – ready to be fed to the main account of the team.

 

The steps are:

  1. Fetch (RSS feeds) 
  2. Regex (alter regular expressions of the feed – change item.title replacing “username:” with “RT username” ) 
  3. Union (after repeating 1 and 2 for all members – combine them)  
  4. Create RSS (simply merges the lot to an RSS feed) 
  5. Filter (searches the RSS feed for instances where the tweet contains #TIP) 
  6. Pipe output (finishes the item) 

From there this RSS feed is posted to the main account using ifttt.com

I’m going to explore some more this week, as I’m sure there’s other good Pipes waiting to be created:

  • Combine Blog, Twitter and Facebook feeds to create a news stream on a site. 
  • RSS feed of top #Architecture tweets
  • Combine Flickr accounts for backup to Dropbox
  • Search your brand and email updates 
  • Filter Youtube / blog for specific tags 

 

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Trade Secrets vs. Engaging Content

I’ve got a question today – When you think of web content, where do you draw the line between trade secrets vs. knowledge that could entice clients to buy from you?

Many B2B and B2C marketers (People to People in any relationship remember!) struggle with deciding “What can we say without our competitors gaining an advantage”. The focus is on their competitors rather than their clients as people. 

The bar is being raised in terms of what clients expect to understand about your services, company and product before they will buy from you. 

The real question I think is what blunt nosed hard hitting tank of a post can I get out that others can’t mimic or compete with. Then how do I keep that freight train of great content rolling.

Sheffield Station Museum

The line varies by market maturity and your position in the market. Let’s talk about consultants or freelancers. I’m going to take a mid level early years (or early months in tech) market in this case.

Here’s some first steps I’d recommend.

Give them an idea of the detail you go to by providing some truly insightful first steps and research they can use. Here’s some examples:

  • How do you approach X
  • What’s your first steps with clients
  • Answer the ten questions your clients most ask when you first engage them
  • Consider timely posts related to the seasonality of your industry (annual reviews, audits, salaries, price updates)
  • Give your take on recent breaking news in the industry

Next take the above and segment it by your experience. If you offer a number of services, double the posts in areas that you’re tying to break into. Tweak the posts destined for areas where you’re an expert and move them to areas you need to grow.

If you’re an expert in one segment or industry, tell them about it by showing a case study or research you’ve done. You may even want to consider a special rate for clients that agree to help tell the story of their experience with you.  

In segments where your company is trying to grow, push the boundaries and give away your weakest trade secrets. If you’ve got the capacity and systems to leverage those secrets quickly, even if your competitors are awake enough to follow your blog/site/tweets, your competitive advantage will endure!

Being the first with an idea, if you have enough followers, and fans will overpower those who are hesitant.

“Oh yeah, we do X too” is never as powerful as being the first out there saying and doing something well. 

Here’s some more content types and ideas to keep you going on content.

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Incentivised Content Sharing – What’s your take?

One of my favorite sites Design You Trust has implemented a nice little feature to encourage sharing and engagement on their site.  But I not sure how I feel about it “ethically”. I share their content anyway, but will I do that more now that I’ve seen this (I used to just follow them on RSS).

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 It’s powered by PunchTab and here’s their elevator pitch

Overview
PunchTab is the world’s first instant loyalty platform that allows website owners (including bloggers), application developers and brands to create a social and mobile-enabled loyalty program for free in minutes. We have two popular products today, both of which cost nothing to use:
1.    – An ongoing loyalty program that you can use to encourage your users to visit every day, share your content on social networks and leave comments (we also have a development kit that allows you to add custom ways to earn points). Users will earn points every day for their actions and can redeem for rewards from a customizable loyalty catalogue when they earn enough points.
2.    – A one-time promotional giveaway widget that encourages your users to spread the word about your site in exchange for entries into a prize raffle.
 

Incentivised Content Sharing – What’s your take on it?

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I don’t have time for Social Media

“I’m a Manager. I don’t have time for Social Media”

Angry Gorrila

I too struggle some days as well to schedule tweets, check my streams and update my status.

But in a large corporation, surely it’s a numbers game? If you can have all your associates, telling all their contacts and colleagues what the latest is from your company – why wouldn’t you do it?

Establish guidelines for your organisation as to what is appropriate to share in Social Media. Reiterate their employee code of conduct, data privacy and information security obligations. Remind associates of legal implications if you are in a regulated industry (FSA etc).

With that complete here are two phases all associates/employees in any company (big or small) should be aiming to complete in 2012 .

Phase 1

Social Media 101

  • Do I have a LinkedIn account with a completed profile, appropriate corporate image and added my contacts.
    • Am I updating my status with mentions of the recent material released on our public website that is relevant to my LinkedIn audience.
    • If I am running/presenting/attending an open registration event – have I updated my status to reflect this.
  • Do I have a Twitter account with completed bio and link to Towerswatson.com or my LinkedIn account. 
    • Am I updating my status with mentions of the recent material released on our public website that is relevant to my Twitter audience.
    • If I am running/presenting/attending an open registration event – have I updated my status to reflect this.
    • Pre, during and post an event – have I updated my status mentioning the event’s #hashtag and relevant “publically available” pre reads and relevant quotes.

 

Phase 2

Once comfortable with your accounts try these 201 tips.

Get personal
When appropriate, respond to questions on Twitter, LinkedIn and well, anywhere on the internet.

Be consistent
In both your messaging tone and frequency of posts.

Get technical
Connect your accounts using www.ifttt.com so that “New tweet by you with hashtag X” is posted to your LinkedIn account as a status update (or to other Twitter accounts you manage). Doing this – rather than piping all your updates to LinkedIn retains value for your colleagues, and eliminates the noise, if you are tweeting about events or multiple articles.

For those who are comfortable with their Facebook account being for business. Post there initially, as Facebook API posts are algorithmically downgraded in the highlighted stories stream. Then share with Linkedin and Twitter.

If you have created a lot of material in one day – schedule your Tweets and LinkedIn status updates using www.bufferapp.com,www.ifttt.com or www.hootsuite.com.

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Natura Plant – Cinema Dedications For Loved Ones

I came across a fun campaign today run by Natura (Brazilian beauty and cosmetics company).

To launch their new line of hair products ‘Plant’, Natura partnered with the site Ingresso.com, an online cinema reservation site. At the time of purchasing the ticket, users were prompted as to if they were taking a female with them. they could then record a tribute to her on their webcams. The tribute was shown before their chosen movie began.

It’s a relativey integrated campaign – shared on Twitter and their Facebook page to prolong the interaction. Although, and this may be because it ran in October, there’s no link on their site to it.

An app was also created on their FB page so that others could post their own dedications and a mosaic displays those that have given and received dedications from the site – a wonderful spot for long distance Christmas wishes.

 

Here’s a clip of the results. It’s in Portuguese but you can get the idea pretty quick that their partners a chuffed to receive the dedication. The young girl says “Grandma your hair is as beautiful and white as snow”.

 

If you’re in brazil, make your own dedication at: www.facebook.com/naturaplant

 

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Jarno Will Fly – Storytelling

So are you looking for your daily dose of inspiration?

Jarno @jarnosmeets80 is building wings so that he can fly. He’s also doing a cracking job of documenting it across three platforms Twitter, Facebook and Youtube and in his blog.

I’ve not asked Jarno if he’s up to it, but I think this is a fantastic chance for someone or some brand to give Jarno some help and support his story. A real chance to Market the unfinished product.

 

Here’s some insights into Jarno’s Work in Progress – a recent video update.

Apart from the technical aspects of the build what intrigues me about Jarno’s story is learning about what motivates him – his grandad’s sketches.

 

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As a child I was always very intrigued by these drawings, back then I really believed that my granddad would once be able to fly on this bike. Later on I realised that this would never be possible, it was his naive, childish fantasy. The images of his flying bike always have been floating around in the back of my mind.

For this reason my grandpa is still my biggest inspiration for starting this ‘Human Birdwings’ project. My dream about flying started because of his sketches. So I’m really happy my mother found these.

 

Perhaps there’s a brand that could get behind this build? Surely the storytelling capacity here is infinite! At the least follow Jarno’s blog here: http://www.humanbirdwings.net

 

 


 

As an aside:

Jarno asked if I had any social media tips – which was hard as he really has three main social networks covered quite well.

Here are three I can think of to start (plus reading some of my older posts 🙂 maintaining communities and Twitter 101

  • Start targeting and following the editors of publications you’d like to feature you (Popular Mechanics) and take the time to RT, like and comment on their articles.  
  • Search twitter for enthusiast and follow
  • Maybe consider posting to Vimeo.com any high quality footage you have – their community is more aligned with artistic / hand crafted projects. 

 

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Always On – The New 9 to 12

Here’s a neat infographic from Socialcast detailing some US stats around who’s online, doing what, over the holidays.

I’m reminded to once again re-evaluate that work-life balance as I know I am a culprit: checking my Blackberry during the evening, On Twitter / Facebook / Google+ while watching evening TV, checking-in on Foursquare at the park…

I did however find time to read up on some great articles, get half way through The Swiss Family Robinson, and write a post for iStrategy on the impressive Han Han (slightly jealous as his day job lets him blog well)

Next to work on an architecture post that I owe the great MooArc guys in Guernsey and stop my Klout from plummeting as I have a reasonable offline life…

 

But back to the point – it looks like Internal Social Media and collaboration tools are creating just as much engagement and interest with employees as their external counterparts.

#E2sday: Mobile Lurking Through the Holidays

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