Empowering the end user and those considering a career in digital media

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter

Building consumer trust location by location

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Location, location, location is the hot topic for 2010. Targeting by location enables you to build communities of customers, build customer loyalty, provide tailored offers or promotions and ultimately become more efficient and cost effective. We all know consumers trust those companies they have relationships with and those who are local, but some people find it difficult to build these relationships.

By interacting with your customers using social media it is possible to build loyalty and develop a better understanding of the needs of your audience. Segmenting these relationships by location enables you to hone the conversations you are having and make them more relevant to your customer’s needs. There are numerous platforms you can use to facilitate this, but there are some bases you should cover immediately:

When the digital atom bomb that is Google explodes into a new sector, it’s clear it’s time to sit up and take notice. Google has recently made several waves in the location arena, including the launch of Google Latitude, which tracks the location of searches and Google local search, which provides tailored search results based on your location. Google is also incorporating geotagging Google Buzz.

Twitter has become more sophisticated recently when it comes to geotagging. It is now possible to pull up location-based information from individual tweets on the microblogging website. Twitter also recently developed the facility to search and view trending facilities by location. There are some clever tools you can use to make it easier to build communities by location on Twitter, including TwellowHood, a directory enabling you to cross reference users by location and interest, TwitterLocal, which allows you to search by area, Nearby Tweets, does what it says on the tin and, gives trending data based on location.

iPhones, Blackberries and the evolution of the mobile have had a huge impact on both social media and location-based networking. There are numerous social networks now purely based on location, including Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Brightkite and Yelp. With over half a million users, 1.4 million venues and 15.5 million ‘checkins’, Foursquare currently holds the crown as the most used location-based networking app.

Foursquare enables users to check in at different locations and compete to win points, badges and mayorships based on activity. Companies can make offers to users when they are nearby their business or organisation, offer special bonuses to the mayor and even create bespoke badges for customer to compete to win. Users can also leave reviews for their friends at different venues giving you great access to customer feedback.

Taking relationships out of social media into the real world should be your ultimate goal. Organised tweetups provide an opportunity to build on the communities you have grown online and have face-to-face time with your customers. If you’re not confident enough to organise your own tweetup, there will be existing tweetups taking place you can attend. gives you instant access to a list of tweetups going on in your area.

Before you start interacting with customers through social media portals it’s important you take a step back and review which portals are going to be right for your organisation based on where your customers are. Once you have determined your goals, you can then go on to build a presence. You should customise the portals to your needs and ensure you give compelling promotions and offers to your customers – but remember, the key to social media success is having conversations and building relationships first.

As your campaign grows, it’s imperative you track everything and be prepared to adapt as your customer base grows and changes. Be honest and transparent about your intentions at all times to ensure you retain consumer trust.

Lastly, don’t be put off by recent well publicised concerns about encouraging your customers to share their location. It’s important to apply some common sense and explain to anyone with concerns that they will not get robbed just because they share their location!


Written by sociauxanswers

March 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

Hollie Matthews explores the use of social media in healthcare

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Guest blog from Hollie Matthews of Ash Healthcare in celebration of Be My Guest Month

I have found social media to be a major bone of contention, debate and worry for many within the healthcare industry.

Its seems that communications teams want to utilise the vast audiences who use social media, regulatory bodies, such as ABPI in the UK and the FDA in the States, want to regulate pharmaceutical companies use of social networking sites and medical liaison teams within the pharma companies has to try and police the constantly changing regulations and the creativity of the communications teams, ensuring that they stay within company policies when communicating to the general public or to the healthcare professional.

The problems that truly face pharmaceutical companies with regard to social networking is the general public. It is what the public is able to say on the company’s profile, what the company can say to the public from its profile, and the lack of control this two way system provides. The pharmaceutical companies have made it there mission in recent year to be ‘transparent’ but, who is liable if it all goes wrong? This is what concerns them, it all comes down to the fact that what is said could mess with someone’s health. Whether this is good or bad, this is a risky business if you are only in control of one half the information.

Now, I have mentioned the two different governing bodies, the ABPI and the FDA, and although they have a similar stance in regard to the use of social media in healthcare communications, regulations in the two sides of the globe are different with regard to marketing and the promotion of prescription medicines. Direct-to-consumer is not allowed in the UK, and any specific adverts of a drug for a doctor must include the correct referencing. Now you tell me how to fit that into 140 characters!

Despite all this, communications specialists will never be defeated and there are more and more cases were we have adapted and started to build our own personalised social networking communities, not just using Twitter and Facebook. They include clinical trial recruitment micro sites, patient support networks and online digital resources/communities for doctors. We are evolving the social networking communities to combine the latest in media and the best for our audience in a highly regulated environment.

About Hollie

Hollie is a PR consultant and Ash Healthcare and tweets from @holliematthews

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March 16, 2010 at 11:34 am

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The truth about how to get retweeted

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In your daily Twitter stream you will see countless individuals offering tips on how to increase your numbers of retweets. The advice ranges from overall strategy to specifics on the ideal number of characters in each tweet.

I find this a little cringe-worthy. Yes I feel the familiar flutter of excitement when someone I respect pays homage to my posts. But this is not why I tweet. Anyone who manages a successful Twitter profile will tell you, the key to success is not about the number of followers you get but who those followers are.

Twitter has given me an outlet to build a network of like-minded individuals with whom I can learn, share and help each other achieve in business. The links I post are there because I hope they will help others in the same way they helped me. When they are retweeted, I assume it is because someone feels their followers could also benefit.

The irony is, the more you share genuinely useful content in the spirit of collaboration, the more likely you are to get the retweets you desire. So, drop the formulas and tactics and start sharing what you yourself would want to read. Only then will you make the most of the relationships you have built.

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February 25, 2010 at 9:04 am

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Social Media Monitoring: Meltwater Buzz vs Radian6

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Ask anyone with experience trying to build a brand’s social media presence and they will tell you, the key to success is measurement and evaluation. There are free tools on the market that can help you with this but increasingly, none quite cut the mustard compared to the paid for offerings.

The most well known three are Radian6, Meltwater Buzz and Brandwatch. As far as I can see, Brandwatch (which I’m also currently trialling) seems to present a slightly differing offering so, in this post, I’ll be comparing Radian6 to Meltwater Buzz – based on testing from an end user perspective.

Meltwater Buzz describes itself as a social media monitoring tool that ‘allows our clients to monitor blogs, social networks, Twitter, forums and other social media sites to get a complete picture of what is being said about your organization, your products, and your competitors.’

Where as Radian6, ‘gives you a complete platform to listen, measure and engage with your customers across the entire social web.’

Hmm… so far, so similar.

To ensure I understood each of the product offerings properly, I set up a telephone testing session with both companies.

Both responded swiftly through email, Twitter AND telephone. From a customer services perspective they are both superb – perhaps even a little overzealous.

On the initial calls, both answered some of my more testing questions in detail and with honesty. Neither claimed to offer a solution to the machine’s inability to distinguish between the positive and negative sentiment of all posts. Both attempted to solve a trying new business issue I’ve been battling, searching for particularly obscure references to a particularly niche company.

Once I started looking at each off the options, it was initially hard to distinguish between the two. Both allow you to monitor your client’s social media presence in depth, tracking by key words, creating reports and responding to individuals. Both allow you to rate posts in order of importance and track your responses over time. Both look cool and are blue. Both offer the core monitoring tools you would expect, plus some more thrown in for good measure.

I wont go in to the nitty gritty of the individual features here – both companies will happily schedule an hours demonstration – so you would be far better to see for yourself.

But, what are the key differences?

For me, it depends on the size of the client you’re working with. Meltwater Buzz focuses on beautiful graphs, making sense of trends and counting the big numbers. Where as Radian6 seems to be more about the individual responses – tracking individuals in the social media sphere and ensuring influencers are acknowledged and responded to.

If your client is a household name, Meltwater Buzz may be for you. It does what it says on the tin and gives a great view of buzz across the web. However, if you’re working with a smaller brand where every individual counts, Radian6 could help weed out the supporters AND cynics to ensure your message gets where it needs to go.

All going to plan, I’ll be putting both to the test monitoring actual campaigns over the coming months.

It would be great to get feedback from longstanding users who might have a view on my first impressions.

Written by sociauxanswers

January 11, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Bono makes me see red

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For some time now businesses and organisations have been dipping their toes into the social media pool. More recently, we have seen some harness the medium to create some spectacular campaigns.

Charities however have struggled with implementing effective social media campaigns and it was only last week when I wrote a post on this very topic.

Yesterday, Bono changed everything. In honour of World Aids Day, we were given the ability to turn our tweets and facebook posts red.

This is a simple concept yet incredibly effective. Rather than the usual direct requests for cash, we’ve seen a charity which is enhancing the user experience and making use of the tools at hand in a highly creative way.

The results paid off – an instant trending topic and well, everything had turned red!

This heralds a new benchmark, particularly for the not for profit community. I’m certainly looking forward to the creative innovations to come.

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December 2, 2009 at 8:01 am

Networking made simple with TweetsAR

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Every now and again you see something that harnesses existing technology to create something truly spectacular. This weekend I discovered the iPhone app, TweetsAR, which does exactly that.

The introduction of location based Twitter updates caused quite a stir. There were obviously those who recoiled with fear, Big Brother style, and those who were excited at the potential this presents – from both an end user perspective and possible business use.

TweetsAR transforms the function into a user-friendly application that brings Twitter updates in to the real world. Nearby users appear as though they are floating around you when viewed through the handset. Point it at your fireplace and you will see your neighbours updating their status three doors down. Lay it down flat and you can see nearby users on a virtual map.

This may be viewed as a gimmick but there are also some genuinely functional uses to the service. Switch on the app at a networking event and you will have an instant window to who is in the room. This ability to connect with likeminded individuals is in the true spirit of Twitter. As the festive event season begins, there will be endless opportunities to put this to the test.

If nothing else, it will put a stop to the classic ‘I’ve met you before but can’t remember your name’ dilemma!

Update 2/12/09: I’ve since discovered an equally superb app called Twitter 360 which I would also highly recommend.

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November 30, 2009 at 10:45 am

The Stephen Fry Experiment: Results and Reflections

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I would like to start this post by letting you know how much I respect certain people I follow on Twitter. There’s a part of me that hates singeling out individuals but in this instance I would like to offer some thanks to the people who I respect and have offered me inspiration: there are the high end gurus such as Guy Clapperton and Jeff Bulas, the professionals who deserve respect, Dirk The Cow and Unloveable Steve and peers who have helped me Volume Group and Very Good Service are just two.

The Stephen Fry experiment was for these people. As every social media experiment should, it was in the name of collaboration and learning. I enjoyed the banter that went on about Stephen Fry’s claims and I wanted to share an experiment with my friends.

I’ll own up now, it was supposed to be a bit of a joke for the croud with which I usually interact. I genuinly wanted to see what effect it would have and the strange humour of it all was not lost on all those I have mentioned above.

What I wasn’t prepared for was an actual response from Big Steve!

I had set a deadline to my experiment because clearly the impact would only last so long. On the last day I resorted to asking the man himself, quite frankly daft questions, for the entertainment factor this would give my normal followers.

When Steve replied it did not do the experiment justice but none the less, made my day. Unfortunate that he chose to reply to a question sent in banter but, hey, it’s Steve, loved it none the less.

What I didn’t expect was the response. My followers did not increase significantly but the traffic to my blog did. By around 500% in fact – and that has sustained far longer than two hours later.

This has been a little overwhelming. I have been interacting with my peers but suddenly thousands are looking.

The heavy majority of comments have been positive, from some that I know and some that I don’t but generally those who ‘get it’. There have been others that didn’t and have sent me negative comments.

For every 20 that have been lovely, I’ve had a mean or strange response. Those who have thousands of followers may be able to offer advice but I don’t have this experience. Therefore, I would like to apologise for responding to all the negative posts and perhaps not spending enough time thanking the majority of supporters.

I’ve loved the brief experiment and everything it has brought. Looking forward to continuing to collaborate and share our knowledge.

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November 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm

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