Category Archives: Twitter

Do You Have a Social Media Strategy?

I know what you’re thinking. You don’t want to think about a social media strategy. You want it to just happen. You’re hoping a social strategy just means posting some stuff on Facebook, pinning photos on Pinterest, and writing 140-character tweets on Twitter. You don’t really want to take time to think it through. After all, social media is supposed to be fun, right?

strategy definition

What if I told you that you don’t need a social media strategy? I want to share a concept with you that I just read about this morning. It’s a thought that has been floating in my head for quite some time now; I’ve just never heard anyone verbalize it … until now.

Jason Falls Quote

Simply put, your social strategy should walk in lock-step with your business strategy. This approach should actually make social media easier for you to execute. Hopefully you do have a business strategy and your social media campaign will simply echo that strategy. Once you have your business strategy in place, simply determine what social media outlets you’ll use to “socialize your business.”

You might find you have different audiences in certain social networks. For example, Aquascape’s Facebook audience is primarily consumers. On Twitter however, our audience gravitates more toward the wholesale market. The information we share on each is slightly different and is packaged in an appropriate message, but all content is aligned with our overall business strategy.

As we move through 2013, be sure to plan an effective strategy to help your business succeed and make sure you employ specific tactics to execute for reaching your goals. Then socialize your business through a variety of social networks best suited for your target market.

Using Twitter Lists to Keep Tweets Organized

Twitter is intense. No doubt about it. If you’re following hundreds of people on this microblogging site, it’s near impossible to keep up with the conversations. For example, I follow over 4500 people on our Aquascape account. There’s no way I can read all those tweets in one day and still get the rest of my work done. In fact, in the time it took me just to write this first paragraph, I received over 90 new tweets in my feed. So what’s a girl to do? Use Twitter’s List feature to keep incoming tweets organized (if you don’t know what a “tweet” is, it’s simply what someone types and posts on Twitter).

To access the List feature on Twitter, click on the drop down arrow to the right of the Settings icon and then click on Lists from the menu. You’ll then be taken to your List page where you can create and manage lists. You’ll also be able to find out what lists you’ve been added to by others.

Twitter List

Once you’re on your Lists page, simply click the Create List button to create a new list and add people you follow. In the future, you can continue to add Twitter accounts to this list … or even remove them if need be.

I’ve created a few lists of topics that are important to me and then continue to add folks to these lists when appropriate. For instance, I’ve created a “pondering” list that includes people I’m following in the pond industry. With a quick click on the title of the list I can see what peers in the industry are saying and doing. No need to scroll through thousands of tweets, which would be far too time-consuming.

Twitter Listing

I also like to see what lists Aquascape has been added to … it’s my opinion that if people are adding me to lists, they think I’m posting helpful information. It’s useful to see what type of lists I’ve been added to … there might be a group of people who can provide networking opportunities I hadn’t previously considered. And I might find a few new folks to follow on Twitter.

Twitter List Screenshot

In addition, Twitter shows you lists you’re subscribed to … typically the lists you’ve created. To see what lists you’ve been added to; simply click on the “Member of” link to the left of the Create List button. Anyone on Twitter can add you to a list. If you want to subscribe to a list someone else has created, simply click on the title of that list and you’ll be taken to that list’s page. Then click on the Subscribe button you’ll find on the left hand side. This is a convenient way to follow information important to you without having to follow more individuals on Twitter.

For more information on using Twitter’s List feature, simply check out the List section in the Help Center.

 

 

 

The Nielsen Report: Social Media Statistics that Might Surprise You

Some of the findings in the latest social media report by Nielsen (yes, the same folks who track television viewing) just might surprise you. The information is invaluable as it will help you identify where you need to be online in order to reach your target market.

Nielsen Report

For example, did you know that Facebook now reaches 70% of active internet users? Or that the 50-64 year old age group is growing by 88% on Facebook? Not surprisingly, women are slightly more active on social networking sites than men, with men more likely than their female counterparts to visit LinkedIn and Wikia.

It’s no secret that Facebook is clearly the front runner among internet users, but I was surprised to find that Blogger ranks as the #2 social network site with 50,000 unique visitors (YouTube was not considered as a social networking site in this study, otherwise it would’ve ranked as the second runner up).  Twitter comes in third with just over 23,000 unique visitors. WordPress delivers slightly more than 22,000 unique visitors.

In closing, I’d like to share a few fun statistics from Nielsen’s social media report. When compared to the average adult internet user, active adult social networkers are …

  • 75% more likely to be heavy spenders on music
  • 47% more likely to be heavy spenders on clothing, shoes, and accessories
  • 33% more likely to give their opinion on TV programs
  • 26% more likely to give their opinion on politics and current events
  • 19% more likely to attend a professional sporting event
  • 18% more likely to work out at a gym or health club

Also …

  • 53% of active adult social networkers follow a brand (such as Coca Cola)
  • 32% of active adult social networkers follow a celebrity (such as Lady GaGa)

Living in the Social World

It seems not a day goes by where you aren’t touched by social media, whether you’re logging onto your Facebook page, reading about Google+ in the news, or voting on Twitter for Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” show. In fact, just this morning I had a request to join Netlog, a Belgian social media site similar to Facebook. With more social sites popping up each month, how do you know where to spend your online time?

Defining Your Social Strategy
You could easily get lost in the world of social media if you don’t map out a path for yourself. Rather than join every social site known to humankind, it’s best to figure out a strategy that doesn’t overextend your resources; namely, your time.

The first thing you’ll want to do is determine where your customers are hanging out. A recent Nielsen report noted that Facebook currently reaches 70% of active internet users, so chances are … you’ll find a good percentage of your target market on Facebook. But are there other social sites where you should take an active presence?

Aquascape’s Top Social Picks
To help you navigate the sea of social sites, I’ve put together a list of Aquascape’s top social media picks. You’ll need to determine your own list based on your strategy and constraints, but this list can help point you in the right direction.

Facebook – If you’re going to dabble in social media, Facebook is the place to be. It continues to be the fastest growing social site and has an average monthly audience of 140 million; almost triple the average monthly audience of its nearest competitor (Blogger). The majority of Aquascape’s Facebook conversations occur with consumers, educating them on the benefits and features of water features, while referring them to installers and retailers.

YouTube – YouTube is the second most popular search engine, following on the heels of Google. Aquascape uploads a new video almost weekly. You can make your own videos using a digital camera. And if you need to edit them before posting, try using Windows Movie Maker, a free program you’ll find on your computer. In order for your videos to rank high in YouTube search results, you want to make sure you add descriptions and keywords to each video that you upload.

Twitter – Twitter is an easy-to-use micro blogging site that now processes 230 million tweets per day (a tweet is similar to a status update on Facebook). Although you can use Twitter however you like; sharing links, photos, news, etc., Aquascape uses Twitter primarily for B2B (business to business) conversations. Keep in mind that Twitter is a great source for research. You can type in a search term such as “water gardening” to see what others are tweeting about this or any other topic. About a year ago I performed a search for “rain barrel” and found an editor looking for examples of rain barrels to include in their publication. I immediately sent info on the RainXchange® Rain Barrel and it was featured in the magazine as a result.

LinkedInLinkedIn is a social networking site geared toward professionals. It’s like your online resume of credentials and recommendations. You can write status updates, connect with other professionals in your industry, join specific networking groups, and more. LinkedIn has some terrific gadgets that allow you to tie your account with other media such as your blog, published articles, videos, and more. LinkedIn is a great spot for connecting with like-minded business people in your community who can refer customers to you, and vice versa.

Blogger and WordPress – Aquascape uses both these sites for blogging. Aquascape Your Landscape resides on Blogger while Social Splash lives at WordPress. If you’re not yet blogging, be sure to read, “To Blog or Not to Blog: It Shouldn’t Be a Question.” Blogging is a great way for optimizing your website with search engines.

Houzz, Flickr, and Pinterest – Photo sharing sites are great for showcasing your landscape projects. Each of these sites has its own unique value proposition and I like to use all three. Consumers can search for professionals on Houzz, view their photos, and then make contact to hire you. Pinterest allows users to “pin” photos from websites they like, adding them to a style board. Others can re-pin the photos, thereby spreading the reach of the photo on Pinterest. It’s a popular site with bloggers and designers and is rapidly gaining traction.

SlideshareSlideshare was primarily set up for sharing PowerPoint presentations. Over time, Slideshare increased its file sharing capability to include PDF files, videos, and more. Users can comment on your presentations and share them on other social media sites, as well.

Watergardening.com – Although this community site is specific to water gardening, it’s still one of our favorites and continues to grow. For those of you who were around when Aquascape launched watergardening.com, you’ll remember that the majority of users were installers and retailers. Today, that’s all changed. With membership nearing 1000 users, you’ll find that the community is primarily made of pond-owning consumers. What’s not to like?

The Social Melting Pot
While the aforementioned sites are where Aquascape devotes most of its social media efforts, this isn’t an entirely inclusive list. There are a few lesser known sites where Aquascape has dabbled, such as www.garden-share.com.  And of course, this social list will grow and change as time goes on.

Social media is fast-moving and I don’t see it slowing down any time in the near future. So what do you do if you’re perplexed over where to begin? Focus on just one or two social sites … you don’t want to become overwhelmed and quit before you even start. Once you get comfortable with one or two, you can branch out and broaden your social reach as time allows. But by all means, do get started! Even if you just use Facebook. Social media is great for sharing your message and hearing what customers are saying about you. You can’t afford to miss the conversation.

Quick Links to Aquascape’s Social Media Pages:                                   

 

Hot Off the Press: The Nielsen Social Media Report

Nielsen recently released its 3rd quarter social media report for 2011, and some of the findings might surprise you. The information is highly valuable as it will help you identify where you need to be online in order to reach your target market.

For example, did you know that Facebook now reaches 70% of active internet users? Or that the 50-64 year old age group is growing by 88% on Facebook? Not surprisingly, women are slightly more active on social networking sites than men, with men more likely than their female counterparts to visit LinkedIn and Wikia. And since women typically control the purse strings, it makes sense for you to have a business page on Facebook (especially since it’s free).

It’s no secret that Facebook is clearly the front runner among internet users, but when it comes to unique visitors, I was surprised to find that Blogger ranked as the #2 social network site with 50,000 unique visitors during the third quarter (YouTube did not appear to be considered as a social networking site in this study).  Twitter comes in third with just over 23,000 unique visitors.

In the blogosphere world, WordPress delivers slightly more than 22,000 unique visitors. Compared to Blogger at more than double that amount, it might be wise to choose Blogger over WordPress for your blogging tool. (Note that while this blog you’re reading is on WordPress, I have another blog, Aquascape Your Landscape, over on Blogger.)

In closing, I’d like to share some fun statistics from this recent Nielsen report. When compared to the average adult internet user, active adult social networkers are …

  • 75% more likely to be heavy spenders on music
  • 47% more likely to be heavy spenders on clothing, shoes, and accessories
  • 33% more likely to give their opinion on TV programs
  • 26% more likely to give their opinion on politics and current events
  • 19% more likely to attend a professional sporting event
  • 18% more likely to work out at a gym or health club

Also …

  • 53% of active social networkers follow a brand
  • 32% of active social networkers follow a celebrity

Stay tuned for more findings from the Nielsen report as my next blog entry will discuss the report’s findings on video usage.

 

Helpful Social Media Sites

It seems every time I give a social media seminar, we run out of time before all the questions get answered. Everyone is in a different spot in their journey through the social media jungle, which makes it even more challenging to get everyone’s concerns addressed. So today, I’m sharing 3 of my favorite social media resource websites with you. Use these sites to learn more about social media, and get some of those pressing questions answered.

Mashable:
www.mashable.com

Mashable claims to be “the top source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture.” They do have quite an abundance of news stories on their website. For social media news, simply click on the Social Media menu at the top of their webpage or log directly onto www.mashable.com/social-media/.

Make it even easier on yourself and “like” their Facebook fan page or follow them on Twitter. Every day you’ll get news updates about social media, from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube and more … all delivered straight to your Facebook page. You probably won’t read everything they share, but you’ll definitely find a few things that peak your interest.

Social Media Examiner:
www.socialmediaexaminer.com

Social Media Examiner is a free, online magazine (a blog, really) to help businesses navigate through the jungle of social media. They offer a lot of good information, from creative ways to increase your fan base to social media reports.

You can sign up for their e-newsletter, “like” them on Facebook (they already have almost 30,000 fans as of this writing), or follow them on Twitter. I’ve noticed they answer any and all questions that fans post on their Facebook page.

Brian Solis:
www.briansolis.com

Brian Solis is an emerging media specialist and blogs quite a bit about social media. What’s unique about Brian is that he’s also a sociologist and futurist. He focuses on social media and its role in marketing, brand management, strategy, and more.

You’ll also find Brian on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. If you don’t like reading articles online, you can watch him in action on YouTube instead. Links to his presence on these social media sites can be found at his website, www.briansolis.com.