Twinteresting: why can’t we curate tweets?

Tweet

Favourite curate tweets

It is no secret that Pinterest is a great way to share discoverable content. The “waterfall stream” format can really help rapid skimming of visual content. Take, for example, the ‘Pinterest for Facebook’,  Friendsheet, or Pinstagram, the Pinterest-style Instagram feed. People are finding ways to curate images from a variety of sources, but what about the ability to do this with items that are primarily textual, or links?

Using favourites as a stopgap

I use Twitter prolifically, but a lot of my usage focuses on finding new information - blog posts and news stories, language resources and videos - and I often ‘favourite’ posts of interest to keep tabs on the links and commentary provided.

A thousand favourites later, and this system is incredibly difficult to manage. I’ve used an interim solution in the form of sending these favourites to Evernote, but it’s not great. I need something that will let me curate these posts - divide them into categories, automatically fill out previews and be presented in an easy way to skim and share. If it can let me keep track of conversations as well, then all the better.

Curating tweets

I suppose what I’m looking for is something that crosses Storify with Pinterest. Let me very quickly ‘pin’ tweets to boards, assign a category and review them later at my leisure.

This is something that Twitter itself needs to do. I know it has a focus on providing simplicity, to ensure that all users have easy access. This doesn’t mean that heavy users should be ignored. We’re talking about improving the favourites system. It’ll be easier for me to a keep a track of others’ Tweets and it should also make it easier for brands to discover content of interest. Twitter lists let me keep a track of other people - why not let me keep track of Tweets? Why can’t I create galleries of interesting thoughts?

Image credit: liveandrock on Flickr

Why we’ve created a FreshNetworks Google+ Page (and not a Facebook Page)

Tweet

Image courtesy of telecomaustralia.wordpress.com

The launch of business and brand pages for Google + has generated a lot of thought here at FreshNetworks this week.

As such, we’ve decided to create our very own FreshNetworks Google+ page. We think Google + will be a good place for us to talk about our business and share our blog  content. This is despite the fact that we’ve never had a Facebook Page (and probably never will).

Why not Facebook?

Don’t get me wrong. We LOVE Facebook brand pages (we run a number of incredibly successful Facebook pages for our clients and advise others on how to make the most of theirs). But when it came to setting up one of our own we just didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do.

Why? Well we always advise our clients to think about what they want to achieve strategically through Facebook, and as other channels like our blog and Twitter are working so well for us we didn’t want to just set up a Facebook page for the sake of it.

We also questioned if our audience really wanted to engage with us on Facebook - the average person who logs into Facebook wants to be engaged and entertained by their family, friends and their favourite brands, and so it just didn’t feel like the right place for us to have a brand presence.

So why a Google+ Page?

We decided that a Google+ page for FreshNetworks was the right move for a number of reasons, the main crux of it being that we think that Google+ is going to have a real impact on search results. Any regular reader of our blog will know that we have lots to say about the world of social media and we want to be heard. Like any B2B business (or B2C for that matter), search is a hugely important way of generating new business leads. Social search is going to become BIG news and we want in.

We also feel that Google+, as it stands at the moment, is a much better social network for B2B marketing. It might sound like a clumsy comparison and we might be proved wrong but right now Google+ feels well placed to fill the middle ground between Facebook and LinkedIn. The people who talk about our industry day in, day out are all on Google+ and the advanced segmentation tools make it perfect for business-focused social networking. That’s why we’re there. We’d love you to come and say hello and visit our Google+ page .

44% of consumers use social networks to enhance TV viewing

Tweet

With Dual-screen viewing on the rise, brands need to tap in to increasing consumer demand for interacting on computers, tablets and mobile devices while watching TV.

Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, recently conducted a survey of 3,000 consumers and found that:

  • 60% of people concurrently watch TV and go online at least two or three times a week.
  • 37% go online while watching TV every day.
  • 44% use social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, while watching TV.
  • 37% have chatted online about TV content.
  • 19% have shared TV content on a social network.

Heineken has already rolled out a global initiative to enable people to interact wih each other online while watching Champions League football. And with brands like Expedia looking to invest in multi-screen marketing (according to EMEA Senior Marketing Director Andrew Warner), there is a need for brands to become less siloed in their thinking and start moving from traditional media models to multi-screen, multi-platform marketing.

So how can brands take the first step into the dual screen arena?

It doesn’t have to be as extravagant or wide-reaching as Heineken. Developing a social media strategy that ties in with other forms of advertising will help engage an audience across multiple channels and across multiple mediums. Keeping ideas simple - depending on your brand, a forum or a basic game could be enough to encourage engagement.

Whatever your marketing and advertising plans, with the rise of smartphone and tablet users, brands need to consider how they will create a more social experience to TV viewing.

Facebook innovation - measurement, metrics and brand strategy

Tweet

Today I attended eConsultancy’s ‘Facebook Innovation Briefing’, with Christian Gladwell from Human-Digital. Christian’s talk focused on three key areas about the commercial use of  Facebook:

1. Ensuring that Facebook is the right platform for your brand

Facebook  will often not be the correct platform for a brand’s strategy. The first question a brand should be asking itself about Facebook is ‘Does Facebook meet our business needs?’

Having a pretty Facebook page is nice. It’s better, and indeed an ego boost,  when it has several thousand fans. But if it’s not delivering against business needs, however, then it’s simply a pretty useless online channel.

Brands should, instead, use Facebook as part of their overall digital (or integrated) campaign strategy. They should be looking at Facebook as a useful tool for:

  • Channeling content
  • Communicating brand voice
  • Organic distribution
  • Fostering the right kinds of relationships with customers or consumers

The types of brands who can benefit most from this approach are megabrands (like Coca Cola), challenger brands, charities and those who have genius, creative, social ideas.

2. Measurement and Analysis

Facebook offers an unparalleled opportunity for online market research, especially for bigger brands. While the numbers are important, knowing how to use the numbers and feed back into overall strategy is even more important. We should use Facebook as a tool for tracking the behavioural patterns of consumers and we should be looking at innovative ways of doing it.

Aside from the metrics Facebook Insights offers us, advertising on Facebook provides a great way for targeted research. It allows us to engage consumers, measure the success of above-the-line advertising and, crucially, it allows us to measure that engagement. If that engagement ends in a conversion, even better. Experimenting with your Facebook advertising plan is key to your analytical success.

Going forward, Questions and Places will give brands the opportunity to obtain better, more accurate data. We’ve already discussed the impact Questions can have on your brand and Places could develop into a key way to pull customers from the streets into stores with coupon schemes, rewards and adverts targeted at individuals. Depending on the data available, brands could start to use it as part of their in-store strategy.

3. The future direction of Facebook

Forward-thinking brands will be looking to strategies that work and using Facebook in an innovative way will be pointless if it doesn’t deliver value. F-commerce (e-commerce on Facebook) is on the cusp of taking off and some airlines like the US carrier, Delta Airlines, have started to sell tickets via Facebook.

The importance of Questions and Places will continue to grow while Facebook’s group-buying scheme will ensure that business can increase their ability to measure their success, while spending less for the privilege, with the potential for selling their products direct to the consumer.

However, once again, businesses will have to ensure that using Facebook for commerce is the right business decision as it will not suit all business models.

Facebook the peacemaker

Tweet

A great deal has been written about social media’s role in the recent Middle East uprisings. This week Mark Zuckerberg alluded to a second, equally-important, role as a bridge that connects people accross political or religous divides.

The chart below comes from peace.facebook.com. Launched in 2009, Peace on Facebook hopes to play a part in “promoting peace by building technology that helps people better understand each other”.

Connecting friends accross borders has proven to be one of the most effecitve grassroots methods of changing perceptions. There are many Arab-Israeli projects working for peace in this way. It can only be a good thing that Facebook is helping thousands on both sides of the divide to connect every day.