If you’re around Silicon Valley, you may or may not know a guy named Jeffrey McManus. He used to work at eBay and then Yahoo. I think of him as the deity of APIs and platforms, and I’m beyond lucky to count him as a friend. And beyond lucky to have him as an adviser to my startup.
If you’re older than X (cough cough), you know a game show host named Chuck Woolery. You’ll mostly know him as the Love Connection dating game host who told you before each commercial break that he’d be back in “two and two.”
Chuck Woolery is very conservative. Very. Jeffrey McManus? Oh I’m gonna say NOT conservative in his politics. And for months, they’ve been battling it out on Twitter just about daily. Yes, with Chuck Woolery responding to Jeffrey personally.
Warning, depending upon your politics or how you feel about chuck Woolery, this may be hard to watch. Discretion advised.
There’s been a huge outcry about what Facebook is now doing with business/”fan” pages. This blog post covers it excellently.
The short version is that Facebook is purposefully NOT showing all of your business posts to all of your fan base. You can expect maybe 15% or so to actually get your post in their feed. Why? So that Facebook can sell you sponsored posts. As in you can reach 15% of your audience for free. Want to reach the rest of them? Pay up. Want to reach friends of your fans? Pay more. The linked blog post above explains it well. That’s just my summary in case you don’t read that blog post (go read it and then come back!).
Email Mailing Lists Can’t Die Yet
I really thought email mailing lists were dying off. When was the last time you joined one on purpose? When was the list time you unsubscribed from one you never joined, but somehow you were on it? It seemed like I have been doing lots of unsubscribing and NO subscribing. I looked at some of my old mailing list stats, and just figured people reading emails seemed to be a dying thing.
I remember blogging about how many TV commercials had Facebook URLs on them at the end. Major companies though it would be better to reach people through Facebook than through their own websites. Think about that a moment. And now Facebook says, “Thanks for driving traffic to us. We’ll rent you your own fan base.”
What’s My Reaction?
The main biz/fan page I pay attention to nowadays is the one for my startup. I added two custom tabs last week. One shows you our Twitter feed, which has all of our Facebook posts plus all of our tweets (so you can’t miss anything, even if Facebook is hiding it from you). The other custom tab has an interface to sign up for our email mailing list. We’re only sending out about one email a month. But hey, if you are interested in my startup and where it’s going, I don’t want you to miss a Facebook post.
Best to get as many people as possible joining our email mailing list, and secondarily, following on Twitter if they’re into Twitter.
I believe Facebook’s recent desperate measures will backfire. They won’t be able to conduct business that way. Major companies will put the emphasis back on their website, and try less hard on Facebook. Maybe this is the break Twitter needs to surge again.
I’m used to spambots on Twitter. Ignore. or Ignore and report as a spammer. But a whole new type of spammer got me this past weekend. A human. A real live person.
It started when some guy tweeted my web design company seeming to be interested in us doing a lot of manual work on images. At least that’s how I took it. We’re rarely asked to do that kind of work, and on those rare occasions when we are, we’re just not cost effective due to our hourly rate. So while this guy is asking me about it, I’m gently trying to push him towards using software for batch image work rather than paying us hourly.
And then all of a sudden, he tells me I should outsource that work to him. Whaaaaa? So you weren’t looking to hire ME?
Lesson learned: ask up front if someone is interested in hiring us for that service. Could have saved myself a lot of tweeting if he had revealed in tweet #2 that he was soliciting me.
My startup, CheckInOn.Me, is part of a contest related to a pitch event. Like any hungry startup, I’m using Facebook and Twitter to try to get my friends to vote for us. Would you please vote for us?
I’m asking ever so nicely, but I found I wasn’t getting a lot of votes. I only keep about 200 Facebook friends (people I care about who I believe care about me), so it’s not like these are strangers. They know my startup is important to me and others. Why wasn’t I getting more votes? Why don’t I have 200 votes, one from each friend?
Two reasons. One was that you had to log in with Facebook to leave a vote. And I think you end up on a mailing list that you can easily take yourself off of. But some people don’t like logging in with Facebook or feeling like they are sharing that with an unknown company.
But I found something interesting. Each time I posted to Facebook asking people to please vote, I got maybe one or two votes. So I tried something different. I came up with small goals, and posted those. First I posted asking for “just a few votes” because that would really help. And I got 3 votes. I posted a few days later that I’d love to get 5 votes since that would move us into 7th place. I got 5 votes.
I wonder if people saw the competition, figured OH they’ll never beat the guy in first place, my vote won’t matter. But in this case, it does. The conference is evidently going to take the TEN companies who get the most votes, and let them pitch live. So I don’t need to come in first. First would be great, but seventh still gets me into the event and pitching.
I think when I created small, concrete goals like “I would love to get 5 votes,” it made people feel like hey, their vote really did help me and matter. When I asked people to just “please vote,” I got very little response. It’s been an interesting lesson in human behaviour. Small, concrete goals that make people feel like they are really helping.
Klout tries to measure how influential you are in the worlds of social media. They give you a score. Right about now, Lady Gaga has a near perfect score because she reaches so many people, and many of those people feel influenced by her. So if she tweets, “jump,” a million people will probably tweet back, “how high.”
But we didn’t need a Klout score to tell us that. Nor did we need one to know that Aunt Sally who joined Facebook last week will have a very low Klout score. This is all very obvious. So then when does a Klout score really matter?
To me, it matters in one case: when someone tells you he or she is a social media guru, expert, consultant, strategist, whatever. OK, show me how you use social media. Show me who is listening to YOU. Show me how you engage with them, and what results you get. And if your Klout score is inaccurate, show me the Klout score for an account or brand that you managed, and what results they had.
I’m saying this because I happened to notice that someone calling himself some sort of social media [insert overblown term here] had a Klout score of 11. That’s like down there near Aunt Sally. And you’re the expert?
My Klout score is (as I’m typing this) 57. It fluctuates a bit. I don’t push social media very hard. I keep my Facebook friends as a small group of about 200, an inner circle of trust. I’m not one of those people trying to add as many people as I can, whether I know them or not, or who treats the Facebook personal account as a business thing. I have a good LinkedIn network. I tweet a good amount, though Klout is looking at only one of my many Twitter accounts. 57 is not a bad score for what Klout is looking at.
But I also don’t care. Nobody I know is measuring me on my Klout score. It has the fun gamification side of “can I get my score higher,” but I don’t really try. The score doesn’t really matter. My score is 57! Do you care? Are you more likely to hire me? Do you want to follow me now?
I think Klout only matters when I want to see if a social media expert is what he or she claims to be. If you don’t have a good network, reach, and can show results with social media, then I’m going to form a certain opinion of you. I can do and have done social media work for companies. So if you are putting yourself out there as a social media expert, I’d at least expect you to have a Klout score close to or higher than mine.
I follow a few recruiters on Twitter in case they have an open gig. I often don’t have the time to troll Elance or other sites to try to find my next consulting adventure. So I’m sometimes hoping it’ll be tweeted to me.
I’ve noticed a few trends based on the tweets I’ve been watching for a few months.
1) Someone is looking for a Flash Designer? Really? Still? They didn’t get the HTML 5 memo? I think I’ve seen that tweet for months.
2) Recruiters are sometimes looking for recruiters. It seems like a biz that turns over constantly. That doesn’t instill confidence!
3) Companies are still looking for that platinum unicorn that is a UX genius, front end coder, knows Flash, Fireworks, and PHP. I wish recruiters would help those companies get real.
4) Companies should also get the hint that what they are looking for is potentially unreasonable when I’ve been watching the same job get tweeted for months. Someone needs to tell that hiring manager to look for a UX person, and then a separate designer and programmer. Then, they might actually fill their job, and get their project moving again. I always imagine that projects are standing still while they wait for these magical people to apply for these jobs.
Following recruiters on Twitter is mostly bizarre, but I’ll keep doing it, just in case something magical that’s a perfect fit for me gets tweeted out.
I have a mountain of Twitter accounts. Today, I’ll introduce you to some of them in case there are any you’d like to follow/add to a list/interact with! Click logos to hit that Twitter page.
brassflowers is the account for this site. There are blog post feeds from me and other UX resources. And I tend to interact a lot here, so come say hi!
dlev is as close as I get to a personal twitter account. I don’t say much, but I do banter a bit with friends. And there are feeds for my blog posts.
checkinonme is the account I use for my automated personal safety startup, CheckInOn.Me. It has some blog posts, but it’s mostly me interacting with people tweeting about safety or interested in our services.
aswas is the account I use for my web design shop, As Was. It’s mostly a feed of blog posts and eBay announcements (since many of my clients are eBay sellers).
yourppl is the account I use for my music biz, We Are Your People. It’s mostly feeds from various music sources.
Yesterday, I got a promoted tweet from Pepsi, I guess trying to get me excited about watching The X Factor on TV. Not interested. But what did interest me was that they had a hashtag on their tweet: #PepsiXFactor
I clicked on that to see who else is tweeting with that hashtag. The answer was nobody. Each Pepsi tweet with it got a handful of retweets. But no other twitter account seems to have generated a tweet with that hashtag.
So what DO people use when tweeting about The X Factor? Evidently, they use #xfactor. Hardly surprising. Why wouldn’t Pepsi jump on that? That way, anybody going through X Factor tweets might find Pepsi’s plug. I think they’ve done themselves a disservice by creating a hashtag nobody wants to use.
Well, um, this is a little awkward. Right now, Oracle’s big conference is going on. Reportedly, Marc Benioff of Salesforce paid Oracle $1M to give the keynote. He paid THEM. That’s what the news said this morning. And at the last minute, he got cancelled. The news said he’ll be getting his money back, and that he STILL plans to give his speech somewhere outside the event. Here is AllThingsD‘s article on what happened.
Salesforce wants everybody to know that, and is paying to promote this tweet I just got. I guess they still wanted to burn that million dollars. And with the Oracle Open World 2011 hashtag. Nice touch!
They could have just tweeted for free, and used the hashtag, hoping to get the attention of conference attendees. I’d think by now, the attendees know he’s not giving that speech this morning. They might be Googling for what’s up, and found the news.
Edit 15 minutes later: Stop the presses. I just hit Facebook, and was shown this ad:
Once in a while, promoted tweets pop up in my Hootsuite stream. Most recently, they were for HP ink for printers. I am assuming HP is just tweeting everybody since they can’t possibly know if I have an HP printer or not. It’s not like I mentioned that in my twitter profile.
I was just fed a bizarre promoted tweet:
So there’s no real message here other than hey, come look at us. Stiefel doesn’t mean anything to be other than it’s German for “boots.” I like boots… I have many pairs. But then I notice that the promoted tweet message says that Stiefel is a GSK company. That’s GlaxoSmithKline, aka big pharm.
This promoted tweet appears to be the equivalent of “Ask your doctor if Stiefel could be right for you,” when you don’t know what Stiefel is or what they do. Turns out, they are a company GSK bought in 2009. They focus on dermatology and skin diseases. The tweet could have said, “We have solutions for skin problems.” Maybe then people would be more likely to click.
But how compelling is this promoted tweet? Would you click on it? What would it need to say (and be relevant to Stiefel) for you to click on it?