Social Media Archives - Steven's Homestead

Twitter Auto Reply: Why bother!

Twitter Auto Reply: Why bother!

I am all for automation when it comes to social media and posting your updates; but what about the Twitter auto reply feature? I find it interesting when you follow someone and within a couple of seconds you get a direct message from that person with a canned message. The message can range from the generic, “Thank you for following me” to something like “We invite you to submit a blog to our website.”

In an informal poll around my office I found that in general, most people feel like that is the same as sending a spam email message: just not worth it. I would have to agree. As someone who manages social media for several different brands I find it odd when I get a message from someone and it has nothing to do with my brand or product offerings.

I decided to see what other thought about the auto reply on Twitter and here are some interesting points:

  • Check out their profile and re-tweet something you find interesting. (Sponsored Tweets)
  • Twitter frowns on people using this feature to send messages:
    • “Including an automated “thanks for following” message to your new followers might be annoying to some users. We do not recommend this behavior; if you receive a DM you don’t like, you can unfollow that user and they will no longer be able to send you messages.” Twitter Help Center
  • Reply to a tweet you find interesting. (Blog Clarity)

I must say, I hate getting these messages and often find myself not paying attention to that user. After all, they did not  research who I am or what company I represent so obviously they don’t want my attention.

What do you think? Should people use the Twitter auto reply feature?

LinkedIn, so you want to connect: Tips to Live By

LinkedIn, so you want to connect: Tips to Live By

Today I got a message about connecting on LinkedIn. I did the normal things when getting this type of message. I went to the persons profile to see what we had in common. When I checked, I found we had nothing in common; not the same company, no mention of social media, etc. After this, I went to the message they sent it was the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” I immediately hit Ignore.

Things to Consider on LinkedIn

When you consider asking someone about connecting on LinkedIn, you need to think about the person you are sending the message to and what they may expect you to write. If they are a personal contact the canned LinkedIn message may be good enough to send since you know the person. It is those times when you don’t know the person you need to take other action.

According to About.com, you need to make the message personal, provide salutations, and the benefits of connecting with you. Tell the person why you want to connect and what benefit it would be to that person to be connected to you. Over on the Claire Diaz-Ortiz blog, “Provide a reference to you outside of LinkedIn so someone can look you up before accepting your request.”

I fully agree with About.com and Ms. Diaz-Ortiz, you need to tell me who you are, why we should connect, and where to find other information about you. If you want to connect, it helps give the user a frame of reference and pointing them in the right direction will help you grow your network much faster.

Other LinkedIn Etiquette

Over on Mashable, they offer some good advice for other areas of etiquette for LinkedIn when looking for a job.

  1. Hide your information – you should hide activity that is not essential to a good feed experience; for example, for search.
  2. Mind the gap – post all of your job history even if it is not in the field where you are trying to get a job.
  3. Research – when looking for a job, it is okay to stalk the hiring manager and other people at the company.

I hope you find these tips helpful when growing your LinkedIn connections.

 

Email + Twitter + Facebook: 22 Tips to Cross-Channel Success

I attended a webinar about the merging of Email, Twitter and Facebook and the information contained below is a short recap of the document.

Today, one in every nine people on earth is a Facebook user and Twitter manages an average of 190 million tweets per day. This is according to a September 2011 post by social media blogger Jeff Bullas, aptly titled, Stunning Social Media Statistics. And just as stunning, the New York Times reported in January that over 107 trillion emails were sent in 2010.

The important take-away for marketers is this:

If you’re not communicating with your customers via social channels as well as through email, you’re not reaching your audience where it lives, works and plays.

Email and social are alike in a very significant way: they are the only two permission-based channels

Opt-in drivers

  • Facebook: use as a driver to increase email opt-in
  • Twitter: Link the tweet to the campaign and offer people a way to opt-in

Social Media increases word of mouth or reach due to sharing of content.

You can use conversations in Social Media to improve your email messages and other content messaging.

Know where your customers are in the Social Media world…there are so many providers you don’t have to use all of them.

Monitor blogs and other conversations to see what is being said; this will enable you to have more relevant communications of which your audience will have an interest.

Integrate “Like” and “Register with Facebook” or add the ability to share on Twitter.

Take your email and turn it into a Twitter and/or Facebook message.

Have solid performance metrics and goals set.

As always check out the document for more details.

Email Facebook Twitter: 22 Cross Channel Tips and Takeaways

Random Email Program Thoughts

I have been trying to think of ways to freshen up our email program here in North America.  Over the last few weeks I have been reevaluating past webinars and workshops I have attended and wanted a place to post all of those little things I have gleaned from the information.  So, this is where I will keep those thoughts for now…I have arranged them by event so if you happen to want more information just let me know.

Online Marketing Summit 2012 – Email 3.0

  1. Look at all information from every department that touches the exhibitor and see what messages can be eliminated and what messages can be combined.
  2. Create a campaign calendar
    1. Involve all groups who touch the exhibitor
    2. At most only email 2 times per month
  3. When a purchase is made, send an add on email 30 minutes to 2 days later.
    1. Studies have shown that if sent within 30 min you have a 90% chance of add on purchase
      1. Sent within 60 minutes 80%
      2. Next day 44%
  4. When someone unsubscribes you should respond with a meaningful message
  5. Get creative in the preheader…don’t just put “If you can’ read this email click here.”  This may be the only thing the user sees.

Online Marketing Summit 2012 – Email Best Practices

  1. Insert reps image in the email – works well in the financial market
  2. Become the customer
    1. Opt-in and see what happens
    2. Make secret transactions
    3. Opt-out to see what happens
    4. Call up and argue/complain to see what happens
    5. Listen to customers when they comment about emails
  3. Let people manage their email preferences; do not assume they want to receive everything from your firm.
  4. When someone unsubscribes, find out why.
    1. Make the unsubscribe page clear so the person know what they are unsubscribing from
    2. Instead of an unsubscribe only area give them the option to edit preferences.

Online Marketing Institute – Advanced Email Marketing

  1. Over 70% of email marked as spam is based solely on the Sender’s name, company names or brand names are not as good as a personal name.
  2. Header should not be one large image, instead upper left should be an HTML headline and move the logo to the right hand side.
  3. B2B – you should not send more than 1 time per month, at most bi-weekly.  Once you go past this boundary you start to upset people.
  4. Design
    1. Pre-header
      1. Put meaningful copy here instead of the “to view” link.  This may be the only place the receiver sees in preview.  Further, the “to view” link does not need to be in the pre-header, it can be lower in the page.
    2. Header
      1. Images on the right
      2. HTML text with style on left
    3. Body
      1. Images should be as small as possible
      2. ALT tags are a must (missing alt tags drive your spam rating higher)
  5. Spammy Words – these words drive your spam rates higher. (Great list of things to remove http://spamassassin.apache.org/tests_3_3_x.html)

 

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  1. Code
    1. Use no DIV – they add to spam score
    2. No CSS in header – it is stripped out of most email clients
    3. Always define the background color
    4. 600 is now the optimum width for screen
    5. Text – first three or four lines should be no more than 30 characters as that is all that shows up to the preview pane then around 72 characters after that
    6. Text – do not use plus or minus as these will in some instances mess up the rendering of the email; instead use > or *
    7. Use proper pixels instead of percents
    8. Use Height and Width for images

2012 Online Marketing Summit

What Social Media?

Recently I was talking with one of the owners at a favorite restaurant about Social Media.  She told me she does not pay attention to what people put on websites like Yelp and this concerned me a bit. So I inquired as to why she does not pay attention.  Her response was simply “There is nothing I can do about what people write”; but is this really true?

I have thought a lot about the conversation over the last few weeks, because to a point I do not agree.  As a former restaurant and retail manager any feedback from customers can improve processes and service.  There is an old adage that says if a person has a bad experience they will tell five people and those five people will tell another five people and so on.  On the flip side, if a delighted customer tells five people those people may not spread the good news; they may only tell one or two people. Chances are those one or two people will not tell others.

Now think about social media…if I have a bad experience at a store and I post it on Facebook then all of my friends will see the message.  Depending on the message, some of those friends may go on to share the note.  The same thing can be said about Twitter; what if the person who had the bad experience had 100,000 followers.  Once the message is out there it can’t be taken back; you never know how many people will re-post the message.

I agree you can’t control what people write but you can get people talking about you in a different manner.  Instead of putting blinders on to what people say you need to be part of the conversation.  Author Liana Evans wrote a great book called Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media where in Chapter 4 she talks about something she calls “Return on Conversation”.  The point of the discussion is companies need to be involved with social media: reading what is said, responding, re-posting, etc.

As an owner/manager you can talk to your customers about going out to Social Media sites and encourage them to write about their experiences.  If you happen to notice a bad experience, take action respond to an unhappy customer either by direct message or private message.   Find out what the problem was and fix it!  If it was slow service, find out when they were in the store and see if you happened to be short staffed…if so increase staffing.  If it was poor quality find out why and figure out a way to improve the quality; maybe you need to find a new vendor or maybe the staff needs to be retrained. Whatever the problem was you need to find a solution.