Tag Archives: twitter

The Best Platform for Brands? a) Facebook, b) Twitter, c) G+, or d) none of the above

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According to a new study by SumAll, Instagram is the “clear winner” as the best platform for brands for 2013, beating out Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Why? Because Instagram’s increases in fan and follower engagement is almost triple those of the other platforms, said SumAll CEO Dan Atkinson. “If a company has a visual product to sell and it’s currently not on Instagram,” Atkinson said, “that company is missing out on significant brand awareness and revenue.”

For businesses that use all four networks, Instagram showed the largest increase in new followers and engagement. The revenue impact of Instagram for U.S. businesses ranged from 1.5 to 5 percent.

With Facebook and Twitter becoming the big players, look for other platforms like Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, and Pinterest. And soon we’ll be talking about networks that don’t exist today. Which brand do you think is best for businesses and nonprofits?

Infographic: Make the Most of Your Posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine

I recently posted tips for Facebook posts, and My Clever Agency just released another good resource that provides simple tips for many of the other popular social media platforms. An important caveat is that your content, and the timing of your content, should be tailored to your particular mission and audience. But you may see more engagement if you follow these simple guidelines.

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Read the original post from My Clever Agency.

Make a Difference with Social Media: Start Here

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A professional colleague called me last week for advice about social media. Her nonprofit has decided they need to boost their digital presence, and her boss has asked her to lead that effort (in addition to her other responsibilities). She has a Facebook page and uses LinkedIn, but she hasn’t used social media channels professionally — and she didn’t know where to start.

My answer was easy. I told her to start with the Case Foundation’s Social Media 101.

I was fortunate to lead communications for the Case Foundation at a time when Jean and Steve Case were ramping up their efforts to leverage technology to make philanthropy and civic engagement more accessible and efficient for nonprofits and individuals. There was no better place and no better time to learn about the potential for technology to make a greater social impact — and keep up with trends that continue to shape social activism.

In my first week working there in 2005, I learned that my top priority would be to leading the development of the foundation’s first website. It was both exciting and intimidating to be asked to develop a plan and launch a site within a few months — for the founder of AOL, nonetheless. But what I learned over those months, and over the entire time I worked there, was that the Case Foundation was the ideal place to apply my experience while constantly learning new things and developing new skills.

The Case Foundation was (and is) a think-tank for changing the world in new and innovative ways. It’s a culture that expects, demands, and rewards big thinking and “swinging for the fences” (one of Steve’s favorite metaphors). As an employee, you’re surrounded by talented people who are passionate about making a difference, and all staff at all levels have a chance to contribute.

By the way, the website we launched nearly eight years ago — a robust journalistic site about philanthropy and civic engagement — looked nothing like the Case Foundation’s site today. Always looking to leverage new tools and capabilities, the foundation ‘s site is now a real-time hub for blogs, videos, and social media feeds.

Which brings me back to where I started this post. Whether you’re new to social media or are ready to take the next step, “Social Media 101” offers carefully selected articles and videos to help you “harness social media tools and platforms for good.” You’ll get helpful tips for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare, mobile, blogging, video, photography, and more.

The Case Foundation’s website also has videos, publications, and other resources on philanthropy, social activism, and corporate responsibility. And if you’re trying to convince your boss, board members, or others about the value of social media for nonprofits, show them this video:

What resources would you recommend for someone getting started in nonprofit social media?

Facebook is the Suburbs, while Twitter is the City

A good analysis that explains why I find both Facebook and Twitter valuable, both personally and professionally.

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Social networks enable varied forms of interaction between their users, through spectrums of openness, hierarchy, and discovery. Facebook and Twitter are the most used services to connect people socially, but bring people together in surprisingly different ways. Facebook’s strengths rely on easily connecting with established networks, showing highlights, and sharing meta-actions (like posting pictures or events). Twitter’s advantages lie in instant communication, building ad-hoc networks, and providing public and widely accessible information.

Why compare social networks to geographical networks? I’ll argue that the same openness, hierarchy, and discovery also applies to suburbs and the city, greatly affecting our modes of relationship. Suburbs span a large area, creating both silos of community and a greater privacy. Suburbs aren’t great for meeting people, but they do provide a framework for connecting disjointed entities to a center.

In comparison, cities move quickly and connect people through greater density. People gather at the local events…

View original post 1,058 more words

At 7 Years Old, Twitter is Still Addictive, Immediate, and Flawed (in a Good Way)

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Twitter launched publicly seven years ago today, as documented in this blog post from July 15, 2006, “Silicon Valley’s All Twttr,” by Om Malik (@om). Read his short post to see why Malik, the founder of GigaOM, called “Twttr” both “addictive” and “annoying.”

I felt like I was late to the party when I started my first Twitter account on Feb. 26, 2008. Over the years, I’ve managed three accounts — for myself (@mmiller20910), my work at Children’s National Medical Center (@childrenshealth), and a charity I support, the American Special Hockey Association (@specialhockey). At different times, I’ve found Twitter valuable for educating, learning, fundraising, being entertained, following breaking news, and keeping up with industry trends. I’ve been a passive lurker, a compulsive poster, a stalker (in an innocent way), an eavesdropper, a researcher, and a time-killer. That’s the thing that stands out to me about Twitter. It serves so many purposes for so many people, and you can choose for yourself how and when to use it. As I said in my post on the second birthday of G+, the immediacy of Twitter makes it stand out among social media platforms — there’s no better place for instantaneous news, reaction, and emotion.

Exactly seven years after his 2006 article, Malik posted again today, this time reflecting on his 32,531 posts and his continuing love of Twitter. He writes that Twitter “is more important to me than any news network or a wire service or any newspaper. Human, flawed, chaotic, raw, ugly, beautiful, wrong, right, emotional, argumentative, frustrating and deeply satisfying — that is what Twitter is. Just like the world it is supposed to mirror.” Read his full post, “Seven Years of Tweeting.”

Google+ at 2: They Grow Up So Fast

Happy birthday, Google Plus! Two years ago today, Google launched its own social platform, hyped as the network that would make Facebook obsolete. That hasn’t happened, and is unlikely to, but G+ has done a lot of things well and is rising in popularity. It’s the second largest social platform (behind Facebook) with 500 million members, and as many as 350 million of them are active monthly. And it’s grown by 27 percent in the past three months.

I’ve been a fan of G+ since the beginning, and I prefer its design and functionality over Facebook and Twitter. When it first launched, I played around with my personal account for a while, and then on the first day company pages were made available, I launched the page for Children’s National Medical Center. Getting an early start and being chosen as a featured nonprofit has allowed Children’s National to attract more than 270,000 followers (compared with 25,000 on Facebook and about 24,000 on Twitter). Of course, it’s not a popularity contest and not just about numbers. We continue to have the greatest engagement and conversions on Facebook, where we have a more loyal (and more local) following. Each of these networks adds value in their own ways. (Read my post from August 2011, “Should Hospitals Add Google+ to their Social Mix?“)

In Ad Age Digital, B.L. Ochman writes, “Google+ Turns Two: You Can’t Ignore It for Another Minute.” One of the big advantages of G+, she writes, is the power and ease of Hangouts On Air. I remember organizing webcasts nearly 10 years ago, before things like GoToMeeting were available. They were expensive, complicated, and you needed technical consultants to pull it off. Today, with Hangouts on Air, you or your organization can broadcast to thousands of people with virtually no sophisticated technical skills and NO COSTS. Of course, you still need to promote your broadcast if you want to have an audience, but the actual execution of a public broadcast is simple and free. Score 1 for Google.

G+ has also paved the way for improvements to other networks, most notably its intuitive organization of circles. What many people didn’t realize then was that you could include or exclude anyone on Facebook too, but it wasn’t as easy or user-friendly. Facebook has made some improvements to make it easier to share with specific people or groups, but even after many rounds of updates, it’s still not as simple as what G+ started with on day one.

On Mashable, Jennifer Warren offers “Google+ at 2 Years: An Assessment.”  I agree with Jennifer that “Google+ is not a ghost town. By the same token, the service doesn’t have the immediacy of a Twitter or the ubiquity of Facebook. Still, for certain types of content and certain groups of users, it’s the best sharing platform on the web.” Two years after its launch, I still say G+ has the highest quality content of the three platforms.

Twitter is instantaneous. Facebook is where most of my friends and family are. But I get more knowledge, insights, and professional value from G+. Unlike Google Buzz and Google Wave, it’s proven that it has staying power, and — have you noticed? — it still has no advertising.

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest Drive Sales, But Differently

snapFacebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all directly drive sales of products, both online and in stores, but there are some big differences in how, according to new data from Vision Critical. Most interesting, Facebook and Twitter help drive sales of products that people were already considering buying, but Pinterest is more effective at driving spontaneous sales. Among people who had made purchases based on information from one of these channels, 70 percent of Twitter users and 60 percent of Facebook users said they were at least “vaguely” considering purchasing the item before they saw it online. However, only 49 percent of the Pinterest users said they were thinking of purchasing the item before seeing it there.

Other key findings: 43 percent of social media users have bought a product after sharing it or favoriting it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Nearly 4 in 10 Facebook users say they’ve gone from liking, sharing, or commenting on an item to buying it. And half of all social-driven purchases occur within a week of sharing or commenting on it.

Read “Moving Customers from Pinning to Purchase,” from the Harvard Business Review, and download the full report, “From Social to Sale: 8 Questions to Ask Your Customers,” from Vision Critical.

What products did social purchasers share March-June 2013? Here are some color-coded examples representing purchases influenced by Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest:
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