Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

Snapchat and the schoolyard bully

August 7, 2016

Schoolyard bully

Let’s just copy exactly what they are doing

These must have been the crystal clear instructions to the programmers who work for Instagram as the new features on the platform are unashamedly and with no apology exactly the same as Snapchat.

Snapchat, the quirky social media platform has taken the world by storm and I guess recognising the imminent threat to their dominance Facebook instead of trying to buy them as they did with Instagram have just decided to try to blow them out of the online waters by “cogging” them.

Snapchat versus Facebook

I don’t like this, I think it is a poor and awful reflection of their business philosophy, their ethics and I’m starting to question their value system. This isn’t just any value system, this is the value system of Facebook, the clear dominant force in global social media.

Facebook aren’t just any other company they are a profitable giant who are without doubt the dominant force in social media. They gobbled up Instagram with their cheque book and we can see already how the two platforms are being worked for advertising purposes.

Then there is Twitter who are bravely hanging in there but they seem to be struggling to monetise their platform sufficiently to make any profit and their growth in user numbers has hit a plateau. As a serious competitor they are struggling.

Snapchat have kicked up a big storm and are challenging but the schoolyard bully has just landed a big heavy, powerful punch and they find themselves lying on the ground bewildered, battered and bruised.

For the sake of social media and the sector not being totally dominated quite dangerously by the schoolyard bully, keep tweeting and keep snapping!!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The best tweets come first – Simply not the best!

May 15, 2016

Simply the best

Now that was a little sneaky as Twitter rolled in a little “helpful” new feature that shows the ‘best‘ tweets first in your timeline.

The big issue is that we never knew about this change happening and most of you still don’t – the good news is that you can do something about it.

What exactly is a ‘best’ tweet?

Good question! – Well a machine, a computer programme with ‘god knows what criteria‘ is now generating an algorithm which is determining what these ‘best‘ tweets are and it is these that appear first in your feed.

This is a real pity as Twitter have now in their eternal wisdom decided that they should sacrifice the purity of their platform and copy what Facebook have done a long time ago – someone there must think this is good for users.

Unfortunately most of your posts on Facebook will never be seen by your followers and this change by Twitter will have the same effect.

For me the big issue with Twitter doing this is that you really don’t want to respond to a tweet that isn’t totally fresh – speed has been part of the magic of this great platform.

As I mentioned earlier you can shut this ‘show best tweets first‘ feature ‘off by doing the following:

PC/Laptop

  • Click on your ‘settings‘ tab (you will find this under your thumbnail on the top right corner)
  • In the ‘account‘ menu scroll down to the ‘content‘ section and go to the ‘show me the best Tweets first‘ option
  • Unclick this and you are in business!

best tweets first featureMobile device

  • Go to your ‘home‘ page by clicking on the ‘Me‘ button
  • Click on the little ‘wheel‘ symbol next to your thumbnail
  • Click on ‘settings‘ and then click on the ‘timeline‘ option
  • Unclick the ‘show me the best Tweets first‘ button (if you can’t see this option it means you have an old version of the APP and need to update)

I can’t see any good reason for leaving the ‘show me best Tweets first‘ feature on as I don’t trust it so I advise that you do the same. Let me know if you think otherwise.

Happy tweeting!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

The “nice” Twitter Tip

May 14, 2016

twitter

What is the right thing to do when someone mentions you or your business/organisation in a complimentary, “nice” manner on Twitter?

Let’s take a simple example:

Well done to @FuzionPRIreland for helping us above and beyond with our product launch” … a nice tweet by a client (it does happen!) that makes us look good in front of their followers and anyone who might spot the tweet.

Take a second before answering and forget about Twitter and think about what you would do in the real world if this happened?

Would you ignore the person who complimented you? Nope!

Would you thank the person who gave you the compliment? Probably

Would you like as many people as possible to know that a client was happy to go “public” with their satisfaction about your service? Probably

Now let’s look at Twitter and the do’s and don’ts in this scenario and consider how the ‘tweeter’ feels in each case.

Don’t ..

Ignore the positive tweet – “I said something nice and Fuzion didn’t even acknowledge me. I’m sorry I tweeted them!

Or

Retweet the positive tweet adding no comment – “Fuzion never acknowledged me but just retweeted the nice thing I said to make themselves look good

(From my experience this is what most people do)

Do …

Thank the person/organisation who tweeted Fuzion by replying to their tweet “thank you so much for the kind words, it’s great to work with great people” – this way you have acknowledged them publicly and now all your followers will see a tweet that had some positive element at its source

And 

Retweet their tweet but this time add a comment that both acknowledges the tweeter but also shows you are not being self serving: “It’s great to work with special people” – this way everyone sees that you are nice but also they get to see the original ‘complimentary‘ tweet

There you go … That’s my “nice” twitter tip!

You can tweet me at @GregCantyFuzion and thank me and see what happens!!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The Golden Era of Social Media

October 14, 2015

Jack Dorsey - twitter

Will we look back at this time and talk fondly of the ‘golden era’ of social media….?

I write this as we have just heard that Twitter have announced that they are laying off up to 336 people, 8% of their workforce. When the most beneficial of all the social media platforms has reached this point it makes you wonder.

Like every other business they must make money!

Roll forward just 5 years. Will we be saying..

“It was an innocent time when for free we all opened personal accounts on Facebook, we connected with friends, shared and uploaded our pictures. It was pure, we were able to communicate and voice our opinions without interference.

Businesses jumped in and opened accounts for free and publicised their wares.

It was really enjoyable and effective with all of us being able to see content that we wanted to.

Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook

Unfortunately it all changed when it became big business (like every other business they had to make money!) and now it is just like a huge advertising platform, which no one bothers using any more because we stopped seeing the content that we wanted.

And what about Twitter …We had such fun opening accounts for free and following who we wanted and them in turn following us and interacting as much as we wanted.

Eventually they wanted all of our personal details for advertising purposes and business accounts became different to personal accounts.

Of course the ‘free ride‘ had to finish at some point – we were naive to think it could continue the way it was.

Looking back, considering all of the benefits I enjoyed I think I would have been quite happy to pay a subscription instead of seeing it ruined the way it has been.

It’s a pity it’s gone.

Do you remember when LinkedIn was free and you could connect and post content until the cows came home, all for free!

It’s ironic that it’s half as effective now as it was when it was free!

As for Instagram ..we had great fun posting fab photos and interacting and now unfortunately its full of adverts and corporates posting commercial pics that make our skin crawl!

As for things like Foursquare, Google+Snapchat, Pinterest and Periscope …. we used them all for about 6 months and then we got bored.

As for social media taking over from newspapers and traditional media – what were we thinking?

Did we really want a world where no one was paying journalists to investigate, where great writers and columnists could not make a living, so they stopped … Crazy!

It did seem like this would happen for a while because we stupidly thought that we could get everything for free – when did that ever make sense?

Inevitably Apple, Microsoft and Google have mopped up everything online and the lesson that there is no such thing as a ‘free lunch‘ has come true.”

I miss those days and wish I could ‘tweet’ again one last time.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

A New Jersey back garden

October 27, 2014

A New jersey Garden

Colin, my brother has been on a conference call for the last hour even though it’s his day off. That’s what life seems to be like here!

Dee and my sis-in-law Lisa have gone bargain hunting to TJ Maxx while my brother and Lisa’s two kids Alex and Ciara have gone to school (first day back).

I am left in peace in this New Jersey back garden with the two dogs Weezer and Angel reading a really great book, ‘Hatching Twitter‘ by Nick Bilton in the sunshine …. Bliss!

I hope all of them will relax and take their time.. I rarely get to do this.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Feeding the fly on the wall

October 5, 2014

fly on the wallIn many ways we are all a little curious..

What are they really like, what is she like, are they nice people, what is the spirit of the place, what do they really believe in, is it all about profit, what does he do in his spare time, what experience does she have, what happens behind the scenes, what is their process, how committed are they to results, what are they passionate about, what is it like to work there, what are the people like that do the real work that we never get to meet?

At times we would love to be a fly on the wall to see first hand what the real story is so that we could really get a sense of that person, that business, that organisation – can we believe in them enough to trust them and maybe even do business with them?

Next time you tweet, post on Facebook, write a blog post, publish a photo, update your bio or post on LinkedIn think about that fly on the wall and feed him well!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Contact me if you are interested in the Power You online reputation programme which I will be starting soon in Dublin and Cork: greg@fuzion.ie

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Hashtags and Breadcrumbs

June 6, 2014

Hasttags Explained

I see the confused look on their faces and Hashtags are often just one step too far!

What is all this hashtag business?” I get asked.

At times it does feel like we are talking another language…

At my social media courses I think it is the one thing that definitely seems to bother people the most. It is a step too far: On Twitter they understand followers, they get following and know that tweets must be less than 140 characters but the mere mention of Hashtags and it seems to add that Tipping Point of confusion that never fails to get a few moans and groans of exasperation. Too much!

So what the hell are these nasty things and how and when might you use them?

In very simple terms a Hashtag is a means of adding a “tag” or label to a post (tweet) on Twitter by using the “#” symbol followed by a continuous set of characters. This is normally a word or a few words joined together.

For example if I prepared a tweet about a new shop opening in town I might tweet “Great to see a new shop opening on Grafton Street #Positivity

When you do this on Twitter it automatically changes the colour of this text, making it stand out and it also adds some “link” functionality to that word(s). If you click on this “link” Twitter will display a list of all the tweets where this hashtag was used.

In a way it gathers them together, which is really handy if it brings the reader to a bunch of tweets about a topic they were very interested in.

While Twitter will track popular topics and show you the keywords that are used most frequently in posts (trending) it will also track the most frequently used hashtags. If everyone who is talking about a popular topic uses a particular hashtag to label these posts it not only gathers them together but it also helps to get the topic trending.

Hashtag ExplainedSo when might I use a hashtag?

For me the single biggest advantage to the use of a hashtag is the simple colour change to that keyword. The text appearing in a different colour draws the readers attention to it and when used properly it can help to communicate the subject matter of that post. The link functionality as discussed earlier is an added bonus.

You can use your own hashtags (there is no ownership of them) or decide to join in on conversations about topics where a particular hashtag is being used already and use it in your posts – this can give you and your tweet visibility if this topic has stirred up a lot of interest.

For me a hashtag can be used in a powerful way to signify a Key Message of yours or a significant  “Breadcrumb” (click that link for my blog about key messages) that you wish to leave behind about you and your business for the reader.

You might use a hashtag to label posts about:

  • An event or concert #LondonFoodFest or #EP14 (Electric Picnic 2014)
  • Elections #LE14 (Local Elections 2014)
  • A place #Dublin
  • A cause #LGBTRights
  • A sentiment #LoveCork
  • An outlook #Positivity
  • A philosophy #WinHappy
  • A show #Murnaghan
  • Your team #LFC #YNWA
  • Recommending followers on a Friday #FF
  • Publicising job opportunities #Jobs or #JobFairy

You can use the hashtags in very many ways to suit the occasion and to draw extra attention to the point you want to make or a particular keyword(s) in your post.

Murnaghan

You will find the more progressive TV shows will encourage the viewer to tweet about a topic being discussed and will suggest a hashtag to use – in a way the viewer is asked to “join the discussion“.

Hashtags are also appearing in adverts for brands, where they are often used to help create an association for the consumer between a sentiment and the product or service #LoveLife.

For me hashtags are used best when you decide on a “family” of these, which should be used consistently for you and your business.

Having decided on your key messages you might devise a range of hashtags that might best be used to communicate these little breadcrumbs about you and your business.

For example a restaurant in Dublin who prides themselves on using local artisan suppliers, who have an extensive menu with good gluten free and vegetarian options, who stock a range of craft beers and is very proud of the city and who offer free treats on a Tuesday, might regularly tweet using hashtags such as:

#SourceLocal #Artisan  #GlutenFree  #VegMenus  #CraftBeers  #LoveDublin  #TreatTuesday (hopefully not all at the same time!)

When you are posting you are best keeping your hashtags as short as possible, memorable and try to use them just one at a time in tweets. Used consistently and in the right context you would be surprised how quickly a place gets known for these things.

For example when I tweet I use hashtags a lot to draw attention to particular things in my posts and the ones I use most frequently are #Positivity (when talking about good news or job announcements) #WinHappy (when talking about Fuzion – this is a core philosophy) #FuzionFriday (when talking about our Friday lunch with the team) #FuzionPlaylist (when I mention the music playing in the office).

It amazes me when people play these back to me (“I’d love to join ye for FuzionFriday some day”) in the context that I intended and I then realise that I have managed to convey our key messages effectively by using this simple Twitter device.

I do fully understand people’s frustration with all of this new media and it’s quirks and idiosyncrasies but most of it is built to be easy to use ….once you know how!

You may prefer not to use hashtags at all (sometimes there may be no need) but if you want to get that special message across then start using this new language…

 #HashtagHeaven

Note: Hashtags are now also being used on other social media platforms but they are a very significant feature when used on Twitter.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Twitter – Waste of time or a real Gem?

March 21, 2014

Jack Dorsey - Twitter

Happy Birthday Twitter..

On the 21st March 2006 founder Jack Dorsey sent the very first tweet and eight years on while it is growing in popularity it is still quite the most misunderstood of the popular social media platforms.

When we run our Social Media courses the results are nearly all the same, pretty much everyone is using Facebook at some level and just a very few are using twitter. I would safely guess that a maximum of  20% of social media users are actively using twitter.

Is this failure, is this most people deciding that it is irrelevant, is this most people not understanding how to use Twitter or is it an absolute gem that is yet to be discovered by the mainstream?

At Fuzion we take it really seriously because we see the value of it for us and for our clients but we do understand the difficulty that people have with it. By it’s nature it is looser than the other platforms with pretty much anyone being able to follow anyone, your messages are more public capable of being picked up by anyone searching and then there is the business of hash tags, re-tweeting and #FF, that’s Follow Friday, by the way!

Added to that everything is quite limited, how many characters (you have 15 characters in your twitter “handle”) in your unique identity, how many characters you are allowed in a post, how much information (literally describe yourself in 160 characters) you can include in your bio – it’s just different, different enough to scare users off initially before they get to experience the real magic.

The whole experience is very different and in many ways it is attracting quite a different type of user – often a curious individual who loves getting involved in discussions and who loves giving an opinion! Many of these users seem to leave Facebook behind as they find the Twitter experience more enriching.

This trend of choosing Twitter over Facebook is definitely happening – since Facebook went public two years ago the platform is now being dominated by advertising (any business user must advertise now for their efforts to be effective) and this is definitely accelerating the switch for many users.

In the last year we have seen the interface and some of the functionality improve, we have seen the introduction of user advertising and the numbers using the platform have continued to increase.

I won’t start giving a lesson on how to use twitter but I will share with you my Top 10 reasons why we think you should consider embracing it for you and your business –

1. Branded Chit Chat – on twitter you can choose an identity for yourself and every time you post, your “identity” carries with you, it’s like advertising in a subliminal way @prguru. Guess what service that person provides? Even if you are chatting about the latest Liverpool game your identity travels with you.

Oscar's Selfie2. Viral “ability” – of all the social media platforms twitter is the very best for passing on information. The retweet facility makes this possible. I pass the message to my followers, them to theirs and so on. Uninteresting posts will not be retweeted but interesting ones will be. The recent “selfie” from the Oscars caused quite a stir and reached more twitter users than any other tweet.

3. Innovators and Early AdoptorsSeth Godin in his famous book the Purple Cow talks about a typical product cycle and he stresses the importance of targeting people who love new things. These are the people who love to try new things out and then tell their friends, they are generally naturally curious and are often the ones who are vital for spreading the word – before you know it when enough people have heard about “that” new product it enters the mainstream, where volume starts kicking in.

If you have a new product or service you will find many of these innovators and early adoptors are already using twitter- makes sense if you think about it?

4. Avoiding the CrowdFacebook has the advantage of so many users and it is really powerful as a result. However it is a pretty crowded space with more businesses joining it the whole time competing for people’s attention. The chances are that your competitors are already up and running and competing with you in this space. Twitter on the other hand has not been fully explored to the same degree so you can steal a competitive advantage over your competitors and have more of those prospects to yourself.

5. Search – the search facility on twitter is incredible. You can use it to follow topics, to search on people discussing your business and your industry. We find it invaluable in our work with clients and in a “crisis” situation it is really useful. You can literally measure the temperature of a situation on twitter, which can be really useful if you are dealing with a tricky situation. In the last 12 months alone we have used it many times to assist us in our work with clients.

6. Read all about it! – the problem is that it is now impossible to “Read all about it” . With so many newspapers, magazines, radio and tv channels how is it possible? With twitter by following the correct media profiles on twitter you can create your own customised news feed. Everything from your favourite team (have I mentioned this is Liverpool!) to breaking news.

7. Journalists – Most journalists are using twitter – the search function makes it really useful for them to stay up to date on issues. If you start using it you can quite easily follow journalists who may be interested in your sector and if used correctly you will be able to learn what they are interested in and what they are writing about. Use the platform to try to build a relationship with them and then pitch your stories – make sure you build trust before you start pitching!

8. Audience – if you use twitter proactively we believe you have a good chance of building “followers” or an audience for your message very quickly, much quicker than Facebook. However, it’s up to you how you use these relationships once you gather them.

9. Relationships – we have found that the nature of the conversations is quite different and at times they are more of a “community” type – the conversations can happen between groups of people. As a result you can have quite different relationships with people. Once you are capable of holding your own on an issue or topic you will build a good reputation and also quality relationships with relevant people.

10. Fun – there can be quite a good sense of humour around using Twitter and even though your topics might be heavy you can build good relationships around lighter issues, which can ultimately lead to a listening for your key messages. My key message is don’t take yourself too seriously on twitter, have fun, build trust and build relationships – after that spread your message.

I heard a great quote by someone who attended one of my social media courses in Dublin, when comparing Facebook and Twitter – “Facebook is for interacting with people you were in school with, Twitter is for interacting with people you wish you were in school with!”  – This is a big generalisation but it does capture a little bit of the unique spirit that exists on twitter.

Twitter is a load of rubbish, the stuff people tweet is totally useless.. who cares what people have for breakfast

I often hear this type of argument about using twitter so I will leave you with my closing thoughts ..

Twitter is like a radio station, you tune it in by following who you want – find the channels that you like. If someone is annoying you, don’t follow them, block them, change the channel – you are the controller!

So Jack, thank you for Twitter .. I’d miss you if you weren’t there, Happy Birthday!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Katy Perry and her Twitter Tips

November 26, 2013

Katy Perry - Twitter Tips

Getting someone to tweet for you is cheesy and desperate” said Katy Perry as she was interviewed on the Red Carpet at the 2103 American Music Awards.

She was asked to comment about her incredible Twitter following, which is just shy of 48 million people.

While she is clearly not like the rest of us mere mortals in terms of popularity online she does have a terrific handle on what works and what doesn’t.

Her off the cuff interview was simple but there was pure gold in what she said:

I have a huge responsibility with so many followers

“No one runs my account for me, I do it myself

“I don’t get my manager or my publicist to tweet for me, it’s always me”

“People want to see the authentic, genuine you

“People want to see your personality and it gives them a chance to see that you have fun

“I never try to sell or promote products but I will share ‘stuff’ that I love

It’s always obvious when someone else is tweeting for them –  it’s cheesy and desperate

It’s best to show people what you love, what you like and things that inspire you

Katy ..thanks for the simple Twitter masterclass!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin in Ireland offer social media training and consultancy services

Make sharing easy

November 24, 2013

Cork City Ballet

We were lucky enough to be at the Saturday night finale of the Ballet Spectacular Gala at Cork Opera House celebrating  21 years of the Cork City Ballet Company.

I’m not a ballet fanatic by any stretch of the imagination – if anything I’ve been more than a little bit ignorant about ballet and I was pleasantly surprised by such a fantastic night of fabulous music and dancing. Watching such incredible athletes perform gracefully on stage in such a polished production at a fabulous venue was a real treat.

Playboy of the Western World - Cork Ballet Company

To hear “Ride On” by Christy Moore being played in a dance scene during the Playboy of the Western World segment was very special.

In truth I ended up going to the ballet as a result of some random interactions on Twitter with the Cork City Ballet company (@corkcityballet) – I had so much fun and banter back and forth with them online that I just couldn’t possibly miss it!

Ballerina Erina Takahashi from English National Ballet and her partner Yosvani RamosThose attending Alan Foley’s production were also treated to two special segments delivered by some of the world stars of ballet including Prima Ballerina Lucia Lacarra and her partner Marlon Dino and another world-class Ballerina Erina Takahashi from the English National Ballet and her partner Yosvani Ramos.

At the end of the performance, Artistic Director of Cork City Ballet, Alan Foley spoke passionately to the audience about the challenge of operating a ballet for 21 years in a relatively small and unknown city (from a ballet perspective) and on a shoe string budget – well done Alan!

While we were sitting in the fabulous theatre waiting on the curtains to open I was wondering how I hadn’t seen people sharing pictures from the Thursday and Friday night performances on Facebook and Twitter.

All was revealed when the public announcer stated that the performance was about to begin and added “the taking of photo’s and recordings of the performance is strictly forbidden“.

Was this a Cork Opera House rule, a Cork City Ballet rule, some restriction that the star performers insist on or does the taking of photos genuinely interfere with the performers? (I did take a sneaky pic at the very end, which is at the top of this piece).

While many won’t like it and will tut tut (that nearly read like a tutu!) all of this social media stuff, many of us do like to share our life experiences and maybe instead of prohibiting photo’s they should be doing the exact opposite and encouraging them.

Maybe on the intro screen before the show starts show the hashtag #CorkBallet, gently reminding and even encouraging the audience to share their experience of the show online and help it to trend bringing it to the attention of so many others.

If that doesn’t work during the show either allow photos at the end of each segment or let the performers present themselves after the show for photos with guests – can you imagine the excitement of people getting their photos with the gorgeous stars. These would proudly appear on so many Facebook and Twitter accounts and at the same time promote the shows.

The lucky Thursday audience would have shared their experience encouraging their friends and online followers to buy tickets for the Friday and Saturday performances. The Friday audience would encouraged ticket sales for Saturday and the Saturday audience will have their friends and online followers saying “damn, we should have gone – next year we’ll definitely go“.

The Cork City Ballet Spectacular was indeed quite spectacular but should it be made easier for even more people to find out about it? – they would have loved it and Alan and his team might have a few more quid in the coffers for next year!

If you have a great place or a great event …make sharing easy!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin in Ireland offer social media training and consultancy services