First, an announcement
I really should have written about exports more (I had this thought yesterday, too)… mostly I’m just talking about British music (well, the 60′s and the 90′s at any rate), but they called it an invasion, so it sounds more like a war than an export, really. Invasions are generally not a nice thing — it’s likely the saturation of the music being pretty much everywhere… why not just call it substantial influence? Yikes. The only real Canadian music export that was substantial that we had was Justin Bieber (why oh why?!?) and the US population has been trying to deport him, The White House has finally commented on it and the comment was to not have a comment. Talk about relations gone awry. Kind of. Not really.
I’m moving into my office today! I’m really excited for it. Have to finish some purchasing off of ThinkGeek and then I’ll be on my way. It’s more fun working at a desk when you have fun things around it. I have a few stuffed animals (I’m such a professional!) but I’ll have actual, proper things, likely paperclips that are not in shapes of butterflies.
I guess I’m happy because most things are done. Although, I will be saying that I’ll also be trying (who knows how far this would get…) to also blog on my company blog! Why not? Well, if I can somehow hold office chair races, I shall, or have a funny video of it going absolutely horribly. I’m sure every startup holds at least one race, am I right? Well, if there’s some sort of time trial regarding that and then some sort of round robin with times across the country and then a championship… It’s kind of like the luge doubles, except for the office! Wait, do people have to wear those revealing outfits?! This could be good and bad. Well, at any rate, it’s pretty much just as dangerous (yes, especially about the outfits — what is seen cannot be unseen)… or at least I think so? Maybe not? Either way, there will be helmets… and likely falling over. There will be a maximum top speed and no stairs. Probably some sort of governing body… I don’t know. I ‘m thinking too much about this… best to be just left unsaid and undone.
I’m pretty sure I was meant to post about more business sort of things (kind of, come on, it’s a startup — that either means random things, or at least some business things that are actually business things), not the office luge. Great, now I have an image in my mind about what the office luge would look like. I like to call it creativity, your friends people call it strange, they’re being taken out to the country for some peace and quiet. Whatever. It’s called emotive conjugation, but Bernard Woolley calls it iregular verbs. This is one of my favourite quotes in the whole series, besides the whole “Red Tape Holds The Nation Together” shtick, which I had to use in a post to explain something, because I’m strange like that.
It reminds me of what Bernard Woolley says in Yes (Prime) Minister:
That’s another of those irregular verbs, isn’t it? I give confidential press briefings; you leak; he’s being charged under section 2A of the Official Secrets Act.
Editor’s note: Official Secrets Act was adopted by the Dominion of Canada then into provisions to the Criminal Code of Canada, then back to the Official Secrets Act, then several amendments from the crown (not our crown, we were still under British rule), then we got our own in 1981 in preparation for something else maybe (yay Canada! … you know what happened in 1982, right?). Then eventually changed to Security of Information Act. Essentially its for treason and national security… whatever that means (mostly protection of officials and the excuse of national embarrassment …. hence the term “official”). The government probably had its reasons to change the name (possibly other things?) to Security of Information Act as it would be to say its for the security of the information… not “us”.… but.
And another time:
It’s one of those irregular verbs, isn’t it: I have an independent mind; you are an eccentric; he is round the twist.
Now to our scheduled post…
Twitter. Yup. Twitter. So, some of you might just as well ignore this post. I feel you can still participate in Twitter, without really participating — just being a spectator and following up on news. Following the news feeds is how I get my news during the day with some conversation. I follow many different national, local, satirical, independent and more activist bent (I really don’t know what else to call it) sort of sources. It’s always all over the map. It’s great.
Twitter is great because it’s easy to join, short updates, gives power to people instead of the institutions, connects, and has now become the centre of an ecosystem its own ecosystem as well as blogs and other websites (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 197). Twitter provides an easy way to follow others and what they say (their tweets), (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 197 – 198).
However, there are uses of it as a business past news and perhaps seeing what competition is up to. You can play defense by helping with your public image by dealing with issues before they become a lot bigger, or you can play offense just the same, tweeting promotions or other information that’s in the demographics interests (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 196 – 197).
Just please don’t do this:
Illustrated, Written and Created by Tom Fishburne | TV Advertising Hashtags
As @GuitarKat on Twitter (since September 2008, if you’re wondering), I have a hard time just justifying using tags that I made up, even if used ironically… some people also do that way too much. Unless it’s your actual catch phrase (“Also yes”), I don’t want to really see it, much. I’m sorry. I use ones that are already created by the community because they already have an interest, unless it’s an event where it actually requires it because of other people tweeting. One could have the same rationale about an ad, but I really disagree. What’s the ad really trying to engage with? What’s the action? What’s in it really for them to talk about your cream corn. Unless it’s what to put in that cream corn — it can be anything, suggestions on who or where to send a ton of creamed corn to — again, anywhere or anyone, I really don’t want to see it or will care. Let’s make it fun… and yes, you’ll be seeing inappropriate tweets, be weary, but you might get interaction with that creamed corn somehow, damnit! You have to give up some control in the groundswell. Because of that willingness, you might also be remembered when they go shopping… even if they make fun of the brand slightly (hey, deprecated humor is fun).
Twitter users have an outsized level of influence (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 199). Meaning, this group may only make up a small percentage of people online, but they have a great deal of influence over others… and their end purchases (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 199 – 200). According to Li and Bernoff (2011) tweeters are “three times as likely to be Creators, more than twice as likely to be Critics, and half-again as likely to be Joiners compared with typical online consumers” (p. 200). 70 percent of tweeters, according to Li and Bernoff (2011), is that they often tell their friends about products that interest them, which is way above average, and also make more money, better educated and more optimistic about technology than others online (p. 200). They are all not my age (I’m told I’m still young, but hey, that’s all relative, right?), but one-third of Twitter users are over 35 years old (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 201).
How Can Twitter Help Me As A Business Again?
Twitter can help serve your Objectives in POST planning. Remember the O in POST? It’s this.
How to I Listen over Twitter? Well, the first thing you’ll like to do is look for keywords of your product or brand. The name of the store or product is a good start. Since you’re stretched for resources (you probably are, businesses generally are — just as I am), you might want to keep an eye on what you consider influential customers (either because of a large following, influencers with a large local following, celebrities, those with highly engaged blogs, etc) (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 202 – 203). There’s also the fact that you can use insights from listening to guide messaging strategy and timing of ad buys (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 203). What’s new? What’s not? What can I see from a web designer and developer view about what clients may like?
Talking: Well, I’m kind of talkative myself, but as a business there’s a few things to look over. Think about what your giving to the customer. It’s always what’s-in-it-for-me mentality. If you’re tweeting but not having value (mine is apparently “educational and informational — sometimes both” (very loosely quoted)), then who’s going to interact with you (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 203). Most tweets that businesses generally deal with are those with issues (as kind of covered in my support post) and responses that are for the customer. (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 203). The best talkers are generally the media as they provide up-to-the-minute reports, especially as some users that are not part of the press can also direct press to issues and they will follow up or see (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 203). As a web business, it can be hard to connect with a following. Posting fun and funny things for other web designers and developers is great, but if you can place a great meme about web design or development with cats that people can understand… you pretty much won in my field.
Energizing: This means finding people that actually like you and your products (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 204). Well, I have a hard enough time finding friends, but sometimes, not so much. Connecting is key here as others will be your driving voice and force. Get them talking, as they will help you do your job. Even tangentially if you can get your brand involved, it will spread the brand, its voice and what it is related to (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 205). I have been fortunate here as a business and an individual… I’ve had some clients actually say they loved my work over Twitter (and their followers saw this) and of course, I’m extremely humbled. If you can get someone on your side, it’s great.
Supporting: Because people on Twitter are influential, you likely should be keeping an eye for support on Twitter about your brand (Li &
Bernoff, 2011, p. 206). We talked about Support in my last post… well, not we, more me… anyways. Things can get hairy as you cannot control what other people say in the groundswell. You can, however, have empathy for your clients and customers and get them to speak on a rational level as long as you approach it with the right mindset — addressing the customers’ needs (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 207). This matters a lot on Twitter, as things can snowball, very quickly.
Embracing: Embracing is the hardest to do in your objectives, collaborating with customers and giving a great deal of direction from them (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 207). You can direct customers to surveys, idea forums and just ask them questions over the medium, for example (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 208). The best way to do this is to engage your followers and create dialogue that is interesting. (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 208).
Integrating Twitter with the rest of your marketing and social channels is very powerful, unique and useful (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 212). One word of warning: It is public speech, be sure to check with legal and regulators about what you do tweet (no financials that are private, okay?) (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 211). Enjoy!
Li, C., Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press