What Was the First Tweet of Forbes Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers?

Twitter was launched in 2006, and no one ever guessed back then that how Twitter will change the world hashtag-by-hashtag. Before Twitter, the # key was little more than something found on Imagetelephones to denote “number”.

Whether you are new to Twitter or a seasoned pro, #FirstTweet got everyone going for sure. Just like Twitter users, Twitter has also evolved enormously in the last eight years. To celebrate this journey and success with its users, it has just released, a fun tool to help you discover your first tweet.

Twitter has concreted itself as a digital soapbox, and women seem to have taken it way too easily. Recently Forbes published The Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers which intrigued me about the first tweet of these influences so here you go:

  1. Ann Tran
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  2. Jessica NortheyImage
  3. Mari Smith
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  4. Liz Strauss
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  5. Pam Moore
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  6. Renee Blodgett 

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  7. Eve Mayer
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  8. Kim Garst
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  9. Lori Ruff
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  10. Ann Handley
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  11. Pam Dyer
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  12. Laura Fitton – Co-author of Twitter for DummiesImage
  13. Bonnie SainsburyImage
  14. Lilach BullockImage
  15. Deborah Lee
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  16. Marsha CollierImage
  17. Lori Taylor
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  18. Viveka von RosenImage
  19. Sandi KrakowskiImage
  20. Susan CooperImage

Hope it was fun for you, please share with your friends and followers. Feel free to leave comments, questions or suggestions. All feedback is welcomed.

Sources:

Forbes: The Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers 

 

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14 must-dos to improve your social impression in 2014

social_christmas_tree

Just like you I was totally tempted to surrender to the bubbly, mulled wine, cookies and cakes so I started with the yearly housekeeping and just then it occured to me that I am meant to do the yearly tidying to my social as well.

Well whilst you decorate your Christmas tree and warm up for the New Year cheer, this is a suitable time to do a little social media housekeeping. Here are top 14 stars to add glamour and sturdiness to your social cheer. Get them all done and you’ll enter the New Year with a stronger base.

  1. Verify your Google profile – Google+ made colossal progress this year. You can try some simple updates. If you haven’t already, customize your URL so your company page is legitimate and easier to find and share.
  2. Tarot card readings didn’t fetch you well this year? Try Twitter Cards? Well I find Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards very promising. They allow you to collect leads directly from tweets. Christmas is a great time to try new things, and these have no form for users to fill in – cherry on the top, isn’t it?
  3. Fine tune your content – Now is a good time to review all the content shared and plan ahead. Be creative. Experiment!
  4. Take a Google Analytics course – No business is complete without acumens. Insights is everything. Google analytics course will be a true investment of your time and money, well only the time as it’s free now.
  5. A lot can happen over LinkedIn –Sponsored Updates allow businesses to promote any post from their company page directly into a specific demographics’ news feed. Give it a go.
  6. Be the “Titleholder” – Had a good social 2013? Highlight your work with internal staging, newsletter and creative comms using Vine, videos, infographics. Celebrate your social triumph!
  7. “My father taught me many things … keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” (Yes, I was watching “Godfather” last night. Yes, Again!)Take a few steps back and get the wider view of the marketplaces. Understand what worked well for your competitors and what didn’t. Learn and take notes to fin-tune your social strategy.
  8. Play with video – Now you can create and edit videos on the Instagram app as well as photos. And what’s more, these videos outdo the 6 second restriction of Vine, so it’s worth testing which platforms work best for you.
  9. Get on the right side of the law – The legal systems of any nation wasn’t  made with social in mind so they have had to adapt. Get better prepared for legislation in 2014. An appropriate time to refresh and brush the legal knowledge. Research time!
  10. Re-state your statement  – Once you’re aware of the legal risks, you’ll no doubt want to get your housekeeping in order. Re-draft your social policy; it should cover everything from changing passwords to protecting the company against liability caused by your workforce. Many free and reliable workbooks are available online.
  11. Sieve and revive – Get rid of the channels which are not suited for your business and re-focus your efforts on active platforms.
  12. Surf the net for inspiration – This is a great time to do a bit of research. Some casual surfing can land you with great ideas for the next twelve months. Start by checking out what competitors have been up to!
  13. Social also needs some “alone-time”  – While business is not that chaotic and busy, reflect upon the risks and vulnerabilities in social. What worked for you and where could you improve? How will you go about making change? Who else in your company could you tempt with cake to get some guidance?
  14. Before you get Christmassy – Before you pour that drink to your success, plan the social media content and dispenser during the holidays. There should be Christmas in the virtual world as well. Isn’t it?

Wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happier 2014!

Nurturing vs. Building Community In Social

Community is the holy grail of Social media. Without community, there is no social. Mind you, if your focus is not right then you may just miss the bull’s eye by a thin line or shall I say a thin curve (Ah! I have been working out so I can mention ‘thin’ and ‘curves’ now)

Well if you’re thinking building a community is nothing but just a number game then yes, you are not wrong. Please note, I am saying “your aren’t wrong”. Members can be bought. Yes, they can be bought. Paid media, contests, promotions, etc. There are many ways. Principally, you can only buy the “Building” for your community. And, these numbers may or may not be necessary. Sometimes enormous followers can get you credibility. Sometimes it creates a base for future nurturing however I personally believe that there’s always a start and start is always with ‘1’ or shall we say ‘0’. I would say start with a clear purpose and members or followers for your community will come automatically. Do not worry much about the number game when you make a start. So now if you’re thinking that building a community is about quality numbers, you’re right. Please note, now I am saying “You’re right”.

Well you will find all social media practitioners saying this a lot, do something with your community because until you will do something worthwhile with your “big strength” they are nothing but just the false weights and you’re just spending a lot of energy to just ‘look’ good. The key is to ‘feel’ good and not just ‘look’ good. (Ah! It’s evident that girl is struggling to give in to some vino and Macaroons. Of course, it is. What on the earth ‘feel’ ‘look’ good jazz has to do with the Community Building!)

Believe you me, with this social media week coming up, I get to meet many CMOs / Digital Officers / Social Media Practitioners (more than I anticipated) who said to me: “I just want to have more followers for my company than my golf buddy’s company.” (Sadly, they weren’t joking).

Well let’s cut the humour now and submit some sense. (Did I just sense a grin here? Well! In my defence, my cocktail buddies laugh on my most one liners and a bit later, on all ) Yes, back to the topic now. I submit an idea: Nurture a community; don’t just build it. Nurturing a community means you encourage interactions, create engagements. Create an environment of communication (Let me say it for the last time, there is only one way to have communication i.e. ‘two-way’ communication). You need to get people talking. Maybe not talking with your brand, but sometimes simply talking with each other. Remember Entertain, Express, Express, Enable!

Nurturing a community means you are providing utility, usefulness and support for your community. When you articulate, it may sound little but in the practical world there’s a big difference between A presence and to HAVE a presence.

Look at it this way, if you can raise the community is an indicator on whether you should even be spending time in a social community or not. Can you get members talking? Can you get members engaging? Can you get members to act?

If not, you may like to consider other advertising options. Email marketing and other traditional methods that may have given you ROIs in the past.

Ask! Listen! Understand! Engage!

Before you give up on your ‘Building’, try this:

  • ASK! Ask your community a question where the answer sincerely impacts your business decisions.
  • Listen! Open ears will help you identify an opportunity where you can help your community and win their loyalty and trust. Go an extra mile wins hearts in social world too.
  • Understand! Understand the contribution and efforts made by members. Give them the limelight and show gratitude for their contributions.
  • Engage! Get people talking and create engagements. Host meet-ups, Q&A. Trivia Questions on a launch. Ways are many.

The essence of social community is same as the ‘house’ and ‘home’ theory. Everyone prefers a place to connect and not just the lumps of concrete hence nurture your ‘Building’ to a ‘Community’.

If you have done something similar in your business, please share your story. If you want to try this and still not sure how to go about it, feel free to leave your question.

Social Media : Isn’t it just a waste of time and money?

Last week I attended an astute networking event for social media professionals. I returned home with smile and simper both as a result of assorted reactions (Ah! I am sorry to disappoint you; I am not talking about mixed vinos).

It was great to observe the rising interest in social media by all. There were some humour doses too. I did keep a straight face but inside me there was a big chuckle when one of the “Social Media Professional” repeated my question “Do we have a social media strategy. “Of course we do! To get as many Facebook likes as humanly possible!”

Social media has been the next big thing for several years. And now many brands are increasingly tossing lots and lots of money at it because it’s become quite popular.

Social media has been the next big thing for several years. And now many brands are increasingly tossing lots and lots of money at it because it’s become quite popular.

Social media has been the next big thing for several years. And now many brands are increasingly tossing lots and lots of money at it because it’s become quite popular.

In many ways, social media has become the latest status symbol for brands. Seemingly obsessed with their mission to achieve social media success, brands continually try to outdo their competitors and maintain their social media “star” position.

Ignorance Drives Panic and Desperation

This mentality forces brands to throw everything at social media while completely bypassing strategy.

Why is this happening? It might simply be ignorance. Many brands do not really understand social media. And because they are so busy trying to achieve social media fame, they really don’t have time to step back and learn about its true power.

Their lack of understanding often produces an underlying fear that leads to desperation. All they know is that the competition is doing it, so they damn well better do it too. More often than not, their pursuit is fueled by some executive rant: “ABC Company has 10, 000 Twitter followers and we only have 3000! This is unacceptable!!!” This mentality forces brands to throw everything at social media while completely sidestepping the strategy.

It also creates unnecessary and unhealthy pressures. In their quest to achieve social media fame, brands tend to latch-on to certain success metrics, such as Facebook likes or Twitter followers. Some even use these metrics to assess the individual performance of brand managers, and require them to achieve some arbitrary number.

Understandably, those interested in job security often interpret the KPI as “You need to acquire 100,000 Facebook likes this year, or you’re fired!” How exactly is a brand manager supposed to get 100,000 likes? Are there really that many people excited about the kitchen liquids or toiletries? May be no but management decides to ignore such common facts.

Consequently, brands have to reach as broadly as possible in order to hit those numbers. Instead of defining a strategy to reach their target demographic, most resort to running Facebook Ads or giveaways. In other words, they basically ‘cheese the mouse’.

Point Missed!

Brands are missing the main point, they do not realise that this approach isn’t going to build a very loyal following. In fact, when your social media audience is full of people who don’t actually care about your brand, they’ll easily get annoyed when you post an update, and quickly repel.

Seemingly, brands are spending a tremendous amount of time and money to build a massive audience, but avoid communicating with it for fear of losing it.

Aiming for ROI on Social Media is the key

If you want your social media efforts to pay off, you need to realise that it is an Important marketing channel, not an Impotent one.

If you are feeling above approach at home with, you need to take a step back and ask yourself WHY you want these likes or followers in the first place. Besides gaining more than your competitors, what’s your objective? If you don’t know, that’s a sign for you to step back and THINK! You should have a clear answer, just as you would for any other media channel.

For example, you wouldn’t advertise during the Wimbledon season just because the number of viewers is huge. You’d be looking to get a return on your big investment. To do so, you’d still need to have a message and a clear objective. That’s where real strategy comes into play, and where many social media experts are making the most common mistake.

If you want your social media efforts to pay off, you need to realise that it is a marketing channel, not just a shiny new toy. Given that, it should be held to the same standards as other media channels. That means it’s time to have an actual marketing strategy for your social media channel, and think about how it fits into your buying pipeline.

How to Build Your Social Media Strategy?

An effective strategy is defined by clear objectives and quantifiable goals. Below are key objectives you can use to help support your social media strategy:

To create brand awareness

If you want to create awareness, social media can definitely help. However, it can be tricky in this realm as it usually means to meddlesome and putting yourself where you aren’t wanted. Typically, it is achieved with the various promoted options available on social media platforms, such as Sponsored Stories or Promoted Facebook updates and Promoted Tweets.

Other non-paid tactics for generating awareness via social media include commanding trending topics. Or joining a relevant group, like LinkedIn groups or Google communities, and becoming a valuable member.

While the effectiveness of these tactics varies, you can improve their chance of success by putting some strategic thought into them. Who are you targeting with your social advertising? If you’re running a social media based contest, is it going to draw the right zooming glasses for your brand? Does your tweet on a trending topic add to the conversation?

To create brand trust

Social media has some serious power in the deliberation step of the conversion funnel because it can help you build social trust in a variety of ways.

While people don’t usually decide which brand to purchase based on who has the most Facebook likes or Twitter followers, your Twitter / Facebook presence could help them make a decision. For example, it influences me when I make hotel reservations. I know that hotels with an active customer service presence on Twitter will be much easier to deal with should anything go wrong.

Brand trust is also achieved via online reviews as many people ask their family and friends for suggestions before making a purchase decision. We even aspect strangers’ opinions! Such reviews can be extremely helpful to people in the research phase. Given that, attempt to use social media to help get reviews and word-of-mouth, and position your brand in the best possible manner.

You can also build social trust by using your social media profiles to showcase product features that put you ahead of your competitors. For example, Samsung Mobile uses their Facebook photos to highlight many of its phones’ features. While these mostly go to current fans of Samsung, it still provides powerful visuals for someone researching the brand. And social activity on these photos could expand their reach far beyond Samsung’s audience.

Samsung]

Pulling in the social trust factor is important. Be sure to put a Like Button on your homepage (or every page) that displays a user’s friends who already like the brand. Use social media plug-ins to enhance the consideration power of your website and product pages.

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To create Conversions

If you also believe that Social Media can’t covert, I am here to convert you. You can use social media to convert. Here’s a simple example of exactly how:

I saw this tweet from @StarbucksUK: “Your receipt, our treat.  Save your morning receipt and get an afternoon drink for £2

Starbucks

So, I literally scanned my bag for the morning receipt and left the office and walked over a block to grab one. (It was hot out, and the drink was cheap!) Clearly, Starbuck’s social media effort drove that conversion.

Sure, it can be difficult to tie the social media effort to the conversion, but it’s not impossible. One way to do so is to plan to use special codes or printable (or smartphone) coupons in your social media promotions. Even a simple “mention Facebook and get X% off” initiative can be tracked at the register.

You can also drive conversions through social media by monitoring the conversations online. For instance, people love to complain about all kinds of personal problems on Twitter, and it could stimulus ideas for new marketing research and efforts.

As you listen to the conversation, keep in mind that your product solves a problem. For example, let’s say you sell candles. You can do a Twitter search for “need attractive candles” in London. Now you just tweet your store’s address at these people, and maybe offer them a small discount or share some pictures of your special candles. They need attractive candles. You sell attractive candles. No need to go door-to-door. Instead, just monitor Twitter to boost conversion.

And speaking of Twitter, these new Lead Generation Cards could be a revolution for social media conversions.

To convert Trust into Loyalty

To truly nurture loyalty with social media, go for creating eloquent engagement points and provide ongoing service to users.

This goal is best and favourite of all social media experts because it’s a wholesome for pretty much everything they do. It can also help them mask the fact they have no real strategy.

From their perspective, every retweet, like, mention, follow – or whatever — counts as loyalty! It doesn’t matter the context. It doesn’t matter what comes of it, or what the message was. Their claim is that this was a brand engagement, and therefore, the customer has loyalty to the brand now!

But do they really? If you tweet an ice cream flavour and I retweet it that just means I’m loyal to the ice cream or that flavour. Your brand may not even be on my mind at all.

To truly foster loyalty with social media, strive to create meaningful engagement points and provide ongoing service to users. For instance, a smart phone company could let people sign-up for important application or phone updates reminder tweets, or a food company could send out free samples of new products to its Facebook fans.

To create your customers as your brand ambassadors

Considered the whole platter of social media, advocacy can really help you multiply the return on your investments. It takes all of the above to a new audience and leads to word-of-mouth, online and offline.

Considering that, you should make achieving advocacy a core component in your social media strategy. Keep asking yourself: How can I boost advocacy? How can I make it easy for users to be my brand ambassadors? How can I provide a service that is so good that people will want to talk about it? This mindset will help guide you.

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You can use some of these to achieve advocacy with social media?

  • Give them what they want: Creating valuable and easily sharable content can boost advocacy. This can be achieved in various ways, such as simply posting product feature photos on your Facebook page or a user’s guide video on YouTube.
  • Keep it relevant: Your engagement points should be relevant and add value.
  • Demonstrate that you care: Having a reactive customer service presence in social media can add a human element to your brand, build trust, and improve the customer satisfaction.
  • Be princely: Rewarding people with some social media acknowledgement can make them feel valued, and in turn, increase advocacy. Give users positive feedback when they actually do what you want them to, and you’ll condition them to do it more often. For instance, I love doing the community work – from a variety of NGOs — but I tend to tweet about Sparks Charity more often because they’ll respond.

Social Meeting Mantra: Keep it easy but with a serious mind!

You need to decide and act accordingly. What’s more important to you? Using social media to accumulate more likes than your competitors? Or actually making social media pay off? It’s time to stop wasting money on meaningless likes, and start getting serious with social media. That means having an actual marketing strategy. Only then will you be able to effectively use social media to achieve business objectives. Otherwise, it’s quite simple to prove it a big money and time waster.

Hashtags: Why and How businesses should use them?

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Hashtags have become a noticeable part of the online world and as of late, more and more social media sites have allowed for the categorizing program known as Hashtags. Hashtags are used to allow users to tag posts, pictures, or even video with a hash symbol (#) followed by a word or phrase, such as #SocialMedia #IT #Cloud #video #infographic etc. Doing this allows the program to categorize anything posted with that Hashtag; this makes it simpler to search for related posts. The implications of this program have not yet been fully realized by the business community. The ability to tag and search using Hashtags can be utilized in all the arenas of the business community.

Why should today’s business community use Hashtags?

A survey from San francisco based ad platform RadiumOne, which polled 500 participants, found:

  • 58 percent of respondents utilize hashtags on a regular basis, and 71 percent of regular hashtag users do so from their mobile devices
  • 43 percent of respondents think hashtags are useful and 34% use them to search/follow categories and brands of personal interest
  • 51 percent of respondents would share hashtags more often if they knew advertisers awarded discounts for sharing product based hashtags
  • 41 percent of respondents use hashtags to communicate personal ideas and feelings

How should today’s business community use the hashtag?

#Promotion
A survey done by Radium one found that 51% of those who responded to the survey said that they would be more willing to share company hashtags if they were awarded discounts or chances at prizes if they were to do so. This is especially powerful for small businesses since launching a campaign needs only good ideas. It is indeed simple effective promotion for small businesses. Not only can you give discounts, and therefore bring in more customers, but this allows you to track promotions activity online.

#Targeting #Customers
Hashtags make it simpler to reach relevant customers. Marketing tools allow brands to advertise based on hashtags. For instance, Twitter lets advertisers target ads by category or interest. Internet surfers who use hashtags are likely to engaging in the social conversation and share their experiences with a brand.

#Conversation
Sometimes it is important to see what the marketplace is saying about a product or brand. According to the RadiumOne survey, 43 percent of respondents think hashtags are useful and 34% use them to search brands of interest.
Hashtags open up the social media world to better converse about your company. A website or a URL post only brings you to the company’s website while a Hashtag allows people to use it in everyday conversations they have on social media. This also allows you to track the conversation and get a better idea of what is being said and how you can utilize that information.

#Combined #Campaigns
Tools like Tagboard now allow you to track a hashtag across all the major social networks. Promote products and engage with customers across all platforms without having to create special campaigns for each. Since the hashtag can be the brand or the product.

#Innovations
Like every new thing, there is immense innovation opportunities are inherited in Hashtags. While hashtags and their use in business have begun to be utilized there are still endless possibilities to what can be done with them. The success of this new bliss is possible because of its simplicity and possible creative ways to use them. They are as easy to produce as campaigns are to incorporate them. For instance American Express recently launched Amex Sync, which lets cardholders make purchases by using hashtags.

What is the precise thing that drive behaviour which matters?

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“If marketers are not generating emotions and feelings, we are not taking advantage of the actual factor that drives any behaviour.

Branding is more than exciting a cerebral process of imaginative thought. It is about experiencing those thoughts as emotionally charged feelings that lead to the real actions.

Feelings are turned into stirring thoughts, which then become intentions, and finally results in the buying decision and the sale.

The goal of every marketing program should be to fill products with emotions so strong that customers become loyal not just to the brands but to the brand mission, infusing commitment and uniting people and marketers with common causes and mutual values.”

Practice brand building to appeal directly to a consumer’s emotional state, needs and aspirations leading to the nostalgic attachment to the brand, bonding with your goals and mission, and love for you. (Awwww!!!!) Wow factor is so yesterday, time to awww your customers.