RSS Feed

Category Archives: twitter

HootSuite Presentation View

HootSuite OwlsI think it is safe the say that the majority of regular Twitter users are divided into two distinct camps when it comes to their Twitter application of choice: HootSuite or Tweetdeck. I started as a Tweetdeck user, but later committed to HootSuite when social media became part of my job and I haven’t looked back since. The program is extremely user friendly, offers time-saving solutions for online community managers and has a proven track record (with me at least) of providing quality customer service and responding promptly to user questions and complaints.

Earlier this week, HootSuite announced a new viewing option available to all users for no charge: HootSuite Presentation View. This new option is designed with Twitter users and hashtag activity associated with conferences and events in mind. According to HootSuite:

During special events – like conferences, speeches, and elections – updates can overwhelm even the quickest of owls. While you can set up a stream to monitor certain keywords, how do you keep an eye on real-time results without refreshing?

The answer: the Presentation View. This view allows users to see updates as they come with a clear and easy interface to show Tweets from all Twitter users – not just those with whom you have a follow/er relationship.

I love a company that understands its users’ interests and anticipates needs.

Being in the association and conference world, my only request for an improvement to Presentation View would be to allow users to customize the theme. Annual meeting signage usually follows a color scheme which is carried throughout the thousands of signs, carpet and drape, bags, printed publications and other telltale components of a conference seen inside and outside of a convention center. What can I say — we like consistency.

Minor kvetch aside, I’m still impressed and pleased with HootSuite for developing this new feature. Well done, owls!

Can you hear me now?

One of my favorite light bulb moments from EventCamp 2011 came from Liz Strauss.  In her general session she described the difference between monitoring and listening in social media:

“Monitoring is like the camera on the traffic light that captures people running the light. Listening . . . is knowing which car was having an emergency and on the way to the emergency room.”

Such a simple statement. Such a true statement.

So I found it timely that on the heels of EventCamp I came across this blog post from one of the pharmaceutical bloggers I follow. If you read the post, you see that MaverickNY is simply letting her readers know that she is heading to a medical meeting, and that she would be sharing her experience via Twitter. However, she notes that due to the length of the ‘official’ hashtag—a whopping 12 characters including the hash mark!—she, along with many others, would be using an unofficial and shorter hashtag.

This post is not about the importance of keeping the character count of your official conference hashtag low to allow attendees to easily tweet without struggling to stay under 140 characters. This post is about monitoring and listening.

Are you listening to your attendees? What about the non-attendees that are trying to follow your event via Twitter?

It is important to monitor (year-round, not just around your event) for mentions of your association, meeting name (and variations), and keywords related to your industry/event using tools like Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Addictomatic, and the list goes on. Subscribe to your attendees’ blogs and tweets—and read them. It may seem time-consuming, but it is not difficult to find the people you need to listen to if you consistently monitor social media.

Imagine if the social media staff at the association putting on the medical meeting that Sally is heading to are not aware that a considerably large—and definitely socially savvy—set of attendees are planning to cover the meeting via Twitter, but not from the official conference hashtag they plan to monitor.

I hope that association is listening.

[Image via Purple Unicorn]

What are you searching for (on Twitter)?

In a follow-up session to the EventCamp 2011 opening general session Chris Brogan shared some helpful information to get the most out of search.twitter.com. I’ve summed up my notes below.

Search terms rather than people to get to the useful information (and the people sharing and/or seeking it).

Search for terms that would lead you to people complaining about a product or service – then offer your solution.

Example:

Screenshot from search results for “speaker cancelled”:

Your response: “Hey! I’m a speaker. Maybe I can help? Let me know.”

Optimizing search terms takes tweaking to yield the results you desire. Think how people actually speak (rather than a person familiar with terms more specific to your industry).

Example:

A tweet from someone who is frustrated that their web host is down would probably not look like the following:

Golly. My host is down again…

A tweet from someone who is frustrated that their web host is down would probably look like this:

#&%$!! My web host sucks! Down again. Big surprise!!!

I hope you find Chris’s tips helpful. As always, please feel free to add your tips, questions and/or general musings in the comments below!

p.s. Look for more posts over the next couple of weeks highlighting my takeaways from EventCamp!

Kudos to the IAEE Social Media Task Force White Paper Subgroup!

Just came across this post on MeetingsNet discussing the recently published IAEE SMTF White Paper — How to Properly Use Social Media to Enhance and Promote Your Event — and I wanted to share: How to Get the Most From Social Media.

Great job, team! 🙂

And a big thank you to Emily Zeigenfuse at ACC for being so helpful and answering all of my questions while I worked on the case study!

You can view the White Paper directly by clicking here.

It’s not me — it’s you (sometimes): a lesson from Twitter


I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks to share something I recently learned from the daily activity of manning, experimenting and observing Twitter as it relates to tweeting on behalf of an organization, rather than a personal account.

When someone says something not so positive directed at your organization, responding according to the appropriate steps (quickly and publicly — with a friendly, professional and polite tone — and offering the easiest solution or other appropriate customer service response, etc.) in a timely manner sometimes just doesn’t matter.

I encountered our first negative @reply just a couple of weeks ago. I consulted with the appropriate colleague based on the nature of the complaint before responding, and within five minutes of the original tweet, I responded publicly with a cordial and sincere response that included a resolution, and followed up with private message to ensure that we addressed the issue(s).

The person behind the original tweet publicly thanked us for our response, and privately thanked us again, along with a polite observation about the situation. To which we responded that we appreciated it and were looking forward to hearing from her.

Almost immediately after the polite exchange, the person tweeted a request to their followers to tweet a similar message to her original tweet to our account on her behalf — and RT the message to their followers.

Confused and cautiously optimistic that it was simply a matter of unfortunate timing, I figured that she must have not seen our public and private responses offering guidance and a resolution until after she hit send on her tweet to rally the troops in her defense. Assuming she would realize there was no reason to rally the troops based on our exchange, I considered the situation resolved.

I certainly didn’t think or expect her to send a follow-up tweet telling the troops to retreat as it was a misunderstanding — but that was OK — as long as we had addressed her complaint.

Imagine my surprise and confusion as I watched this user send out several similar tweets throughout the day repeating her battle cry (OK – the word choice may be a bit dramatic) and rallying the troops. As you can imagine, this was very confusing and frustrating, as at this point there was no reasonable answer as to why this person was still frustrated with the situation.

Here is what I learned from this:

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you handle a potentially negative social media situation in the best way possible according to the advice of hundreds of experts — quickly, politely and transparently. If the person behind the negative messages doesn’t want to hear what you are saying in response — even in a helpful and polite tone — their actions very well could have nothing to do with you.

Maybe your response wasn’t clear and there is a miscommunication.

Maybe they’re so annoyed they aren’t interested in your help.

Maybe they have an ulterior motive to which you are simply the unfortunate and innocent pawn — for example, who doesn’t agree that controversial content usually results in traffic to your blog.

Maybe they’re purposely trying instigate a social media debacle, meaning they are hoping for a poorly planned and disastrous reaction (à la Nestle’s recent Facebook debacle) thus providing sensational content for said blog.

The unique features of the Twitter user experience make it very easy for people to only hear one side of the story. Twitter’s character limit and the frequency and point at which other users notice, observe and/or join the conversation provide the perfect storm for mass* misunderstanding and unnecessary attacks.

*I use the word ‘mass’ to make a point, not to describe what I experienced. We fortunately received only a few tweets from Twitter accounts other than the original user’s complaints.

In the end, I survived my first negative experience as a brand representative on Twitter relatively unscathed, and with a better understanding of the risks associated with conversations in that medium. The two senior level colleagues I sought the advice of for this matter agreed that the initial tweets were important and required a response, but felt that after our initial response there was no reason to respond further. Sure enough, that was good advice as a day later the user seemed to not be so bothered and hasn’t mentioned it again.

Finally, although this post may not have ended with a perfect solution wrapped up in a beautiful box, is equally important to consider the potential backlash we’d face in this medium if:

We didn’t respond at all to the original tweet, pretending like it never happened.

—OR—

We weren’t listening or aware of what is being said about our brand.

Call for feedback! Brief Survey for Professionals Tasked with Social Media

social media survey

If you have a moment (just a moment – I promise!), I am calling for professionals tasked with managing social media for your organization and/or organization’s event to complete a brief survey (just six questions!). I’m hoping to gather some industry standards to learn more about the dedicated time needed to manage primarily Twitter-driven social media initiatives.

I will post the final results here in about a week. Thank you in advance for your valuable input!

You can complete the survey here: http://twtsurvey.com/3ejwg5

My Favorite Tech Tool of the Moment: Google Search Stories for YouTube

My buddies over at Engage365 recently introduced me to Google Search Stories for YouTube. Search Stories is a simple to use video creator that allows you to enter up to six search queries, select a musical track and upload a pretty professional looking video to YouTube. The possibilities are endless – commercials, product promotions, blog entries, etc.

Until today I had only created one Search Story, a promotional piece to generate excitement for my work’s annual conference. Turns out that my work liked it so much that it is now embedded on our annual conference’s homepage as a featured video!

With Search Stories, you have the ability to set the Search Story to pull the queries from not only the web, but to pull specifically from images, blogs, news, books or products. This combined with the wide range of musical themes to choose from allows you to easily generate the emotion and tone you are going for – whether somber, dramatic, action-packed or silly.

Check out the Search Story I made about the game changing moments I have experienced as a result of social media and the amazing #eventprofs Twitter community. Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: