Being part of the conversation

In true Wiley Press style, this post will appeal to Twitter novices or ‘act as a reference to the rest of you’.

The rise of influence scoring tools like Klout which try to monitor the impact of social media activity has put measurement in the spotlight. There are an incredible number of tools you can draw upon to establish passive and active audience, who is retweeting your content, who your best followers are and where you exert the most influence.

But doesn’t the point of using Twitter ultimately lie in being part of the conversation and engaging with a group of likeminded people in relation to a particular subject? If this is true, then hash tags offer the best, and most immediate way of achieving this.

With this in mind, I’m grateful that one of my Twitter buddies @Waterfallman pointed me in the direction of an interesting site,

Hashtags are words that you often see in a tweet preceded by a # sign, link tweets and allow them to be grouped, searched and followed. Hash tags are now common place when it comes to following and discussing real time news events, sporting events, high interest television programmes and increasingly to support conferences, exhibitions and other events at every pre, during and post event stage.

Here’s a real time search on b2bmarketing: quickly and easily tells you who is using specific hash tags, giving you visibility of a conversation which may have developed beyond your ability to track it in Twitter or a professional Twitter client, like TweetDeck or Hootsuite.

Give it a whirl, it might open up some interesting conversations and some interesting new connections.


B2B marketers, do you have Klout on Twitter?

Klout, is apparently the barometer for measuring influence across online social networks. It is becoming more important to b2b marketers migrating more activity online as it offers a way of validating that activity and create an ROI metric.

If you use Hootsuite to operate your Twitter account, you might have noticed it appeared several months ago, without much fanfare. But don’t be fooled, it drives the thinking of lots of social networkers and you should be aware of it.

The debate has raged as to how the score (anything from 1 to 100) is calculated, what it draws on and ultimately how relevant it is.

On the How we Measure page, Klout talks about True Reach, Amplification, Probability and Network Score. In essence, this relates to how often your tweets are clicked, commented on and retweeted.

To me, measuring on this basis and giving a comparitive score makes sense, but isn’t it simply skewed in favour of Twitter accounts with very large followings? And if you don’t get involved in conversations on Twitter – instead preferring to use email, the phone or face-to-face techniques – your score is heavily reduced.

My own case illustrates this. I’m a pretty active Twitter user. I use it to broadcast new blog posts from The Marketing Assassin, and BDB.  I also share a lot of interesting content I source from the web and other Twitter users and this is often taken up by other users. And I indulge in some conversations too. I’ve built my following steadily and resist automation. I roughly have the same number of followers as I follow and am well into the thousands.

My Klout score for a long time was 5 (out of 100) which to me, just didn’t stack up. Consequently, I paid little interest in Klout. Then a few weeks back it jumped to 48. I didn’t change my level or type of activity so it leaves me thinking is it really relevant.

I’m not convinced but I do credit the people behind it for trying to create a metric to determine social networking value. It does after all suck up time, and especially in the professional b2b space, time is money.

What’s your take /experience on Klout?

Image: Social Fresh

Top Tweets of the Week (we 14 Jan 2011)

There have been some really interesting links to great content shared on Twitter this week. Here are my top picks.

MONDAY: Ten ways to deal with bad publicity A shortlist from the Management Today website offering a short and specific 10 point plan to avoiding a BP style PR catastrophe.

TUESDAY:  Why Location Is About More than the Check-In A great piece from Twitter handler @eMarketer explaining the growing business benefits to using services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places and others to promote your business.

TUESDAY:  How to Generate Inbound Leads with No Editorial Department via the ever-readable @HubSpot. A great piece of collective thinking, contribution and collaboration.

WEDNESDAY: 13 Must-Watch Marketing TED Presentations via @HubSpot. As simple as it suggests, make up a cafetiere and plug in to illuminating presentations from business leaders including Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Chris Anderson and Rory Sutherland.

WEDNESDAY: The 10 Best Corporate Blogs in the World Twitter handler @markwschaefer. Some great case studies and clear thinking on how to tickle a difficult but important element of your company’s marketing activity!

THURSDAY: Liked Viral Marketing Tips for B2B Success via @B2Bbloggers. As it says on the tin, some great advice on getting your content taken up by target audiences.

FRIDAY: An excellent A-Z guide to Enhancing your Linkedin Experience via @smexaminer. If you use Linkedin solely as an online CV you’re really missing out. Take a look at this expansive guide to getting the most out of this evolving platform.

Top Tweets of the Week (we 7 Jan 2011)

Monday 3 Jan: I liked Seth’s blog called ‘Maybe next year’ because it was about ignoring the little voice in your head and all the doom merchants. Read this and get off your backside: Seth’s Blog: ‘Maybe next year’ via @ThisIsSethsBlog

Tuesday 4 Jan: I signed up to the WordPress Postaday initiative for 2011 this week. They have set up  cool daily blog full of blogging inspiration to help avoid blogger avoid writers block. Check it out here

Wednesday 5 Jan:  I retweeted this from @BtoBSocialMedia on How to Create Your Own YouTube Channel in 10 Minutes because video as we know brings websites, blogs, interaction and engagement to life

Thursday 6 Jan: Thought this link provided a useful guide to Twitter newbies and a refresher to those who have been active for a while, via @PublicityGuru: 50 Ways to FAIL On Twitter

Fridy 7 Jan: I love a good white paper and the guys at @KomoriAmerica have put together a cracker on good social media, especially useful for those operating in b2b marketing

Top Tweets of the Week we 10 Dec 2010

Hope you’ve had a great week. Here are a few things that inspired, educated, informed and entertained me this week.

Mon – Incredible: RT @jeffbullas: 90 Tips To Make Your Blog Rock

Mon – 15 of the lamest Google Ads ever via @Econsultancy

Tues – RT @TomPick How to Make PR and Social Media Work Together | Webbiquity | B2B Marketing Blog

Weds – Why Klout doesn’t count: putting social media influence in context via @Econsultancy

Fri -What’s the next big idea in B2B? via @MLTCreative

And finally, purely for comedy value, check out this dopey arsenist who gets outmanoeuvred by a lampost fleeing the scene of the crime

Have a great weekend! RP

Twitter for Business 101

Laura Fitton posted her presentation from TwtCon on Slideshare on 18th Nov 2010. Within a fortnight it’s had over 5,500 views.

Whether you’re a Twitter novice or black belt, there will categorically be something in here for you.

Need more endorsement? Both Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki suggest Laura has real influence. Do yourself a favour and follow her on Twitter @pistachio

Top Tweets of the Week (1 Oct 2010)

This week’s digest of must read information collated from those I follow:

Monday: RT @Econsultancy: Popular Twitter ‘influencers’ have little influence: study

Tuesday: Useful @kristofcreative: 10 Must-know Introductory Photoshop Skills For Beginner Photographers

Thursday: Oops Live TV fail! C*ck up announcing winner of Australia’s Next Top Model

Thursday: Hubspots ‘5 ways to reduce the pain and start writing a business blog’

Thursday: 5 ways to generate high impact press releases from Content Marketing Inst

Thursday: RT @smexaminer 5 Ways to Develop Meaningful LinkedIn Connections

As ever, hope they spark some inspiration or insight for you too.