Brand Storytelling on Twitter...

There were several great announcements this year at #TwitterFlight...a new Twitter for Mac client, a Tweet composer for previewing messages before you embed them, GNIP Insights APIs, and a genuine effort to connect with developers after a strained relationship - just to name a few.

The item that held my attention long after the keynote announcement was Publish. Why? Because it is all about storytelling (which I believe Twitter has struggled with for some time). For many, the Twitter stream moves too fast, it's not really threaded (technically it is, but that's not accessible enough for the average user), and finding conversations around a topic are often described by power users as "gathering around a hashtag" - which is great if you were raised using Twitter and not new to the platform. So for those of us using Twitter regularly this is all old hat. When it comes to expanding the existing user base, these issues have proven to be overwhelming. Which leads me to Publish and the idea of storytelling on Twitter. 

For the brand marketer, storytelling is at the heart of what you do and Twitter is too complex of an environment to warrant significant time and attention. So how can we take all of that great content on Twitter and organize it in a structure that both reflects modern habits (mobile + streams + ephemeral) but also remains accessible to the largest possible user base? It feels like this was the question being asked when developing Publish.

While Moments is Twitter's first serious attempt as a storytelling platform, Publish feels like a democratizing extension of Moments. After using Publish for just a few minutes, I was able to create the embedded series of Tweets below based on what I thought were the most significant keynote announcements from #TwitterFlight. Take this a step further and you have a powerful platform for your brand's story. How about a collection of curated tweets (with embedded media like videos, images, and polls) from your brand conference (kind of feels like Storify)? Or a collection of tweets from your employee's after a day of volunteering for a cause everyone believes in? Or a collection of Tweets from your customers? Those are just a few examples of the kinds of stories you can craft using the new Publish tool. And now you can do this in a modern environment that feels more organized and structured than anything Twitter has done in the past.

Using Publish, you can tell your brand story on Twitter and remain relevant to the largest possible user base regardless of their comfort level with Twitter. 

Twitter, you've got my attention now.

There is no doubt that my thinking about this post has been influenced by Jeff Jarvis and his desire to democratize the most fundamental of media units - the story. See here, here, here, and here.

What does your Twitter profile say about you?

I was beyond thrilled when Brian Webb asked if he could be a guest contributor for I have known Brian professionally for several years now and he is, without a doubt, one of the most energetic and brilliant digital marketers I get to work with every day. Please take the time to read this post. Trust me, it's worth it and you will walk away with actions you can take immediately to help improve your social marketing efforts.

Enter Brian...

Why You Should Use Twitter Widgets

It should come as no surprise that Twitter is interested in making money.  They have taken $1.16BN in funding since inception (2006) and, while estimates vary greatly, conservative figures place them at ~$300M in revenue for 2012.  As their revenue growth is primarily driven by advertising dollars (insert snarkycomment about Google being a one trick pony here), Twitter has made some changes to their platform recently that will help to ensure the business model has a chance at success.

Choosing the Right Social Networks for Your Brand

This article is adapted from a talk I gave recently at the B2B Corporate Social Media Summit. Did you know that McDonalds views their partnership with Wal-Mart as an opportunity to train new store managers? If you want to be a store manager or a franchise owner, chances are you will spend some of your time stationed at a McDonalds inside Wal-Mart.

Why? Simple. There are fewer moving parts.

  • A Wal-Mart McDonalds does not have a drive through. That's one less thing to worry about.
  • A Wal-Mart McDonalds does not have a parking lot for which it is responsible. One less thing to worry about.
  • A Wal-Mart McDonalds does not have an exterior building facade for which it is responsible. One less thing to worry about.

Twitter is "Interested" in You...

Some time ago, Twitter announced their “interest targeting” tool for advertisers.  This new advertising mechanism allows advertisers to target more than 350 interest-related categories.  These categories are determined based on what Twitter has been able to deduce about you from your historical tweets/interactions (who you follow, etc) on their platform.  It’s an interesting move for Twitter primarily because their sign up process is so basic.  To create a new Twitter account you need a name and an email address.  That’s it.