In today’s age of transparency and real-time communication, why do so many small businesses still shy away from social media?Read More
Ignite X specializes in helping technology startups grow their market visibility and brand. We bring expertise, connections and tenacity to helping brands break through the noise. Here are some of the things we've learned along the way.
Filtering by Category: Twitter
Steve Reubel recently questioned whether Twitter might replace the traditional email pitching practices of PR. We respectfully don't think so and hope not for the reasons outlined in this post.Read More
New or improved social media and web-based services are starting to surface, reflecting a major shift unfolding that underscores how people and companies are choosing to ...Read More
By now many have heard about Christian Bale and his very unprofessional melt down captured and shared among millions on YouTube, which spread like wildfire into a top 5 topic on Twitter. The following Twitter meltdown unfolded today. Thankfully, the exchange was not at all as brutal as Christian Bale's outburst but, nevertheless this could have been avoided. To set the stage, the Twitter melt down involves a male and female, one a reporter and the other a Marketing/PR representative.
The following exchange captures the f-bombs and tweets going back and forth between the two parties. April, the PR rep, wasn't naming the reporter directly when she posted a tweet, venting her frustration, just as many of us do on Twitter (yours truly included). The reporter clearly had a bad day, noticed the PR rep’s tweet and followed up in a highly abusive way with her. After the Twitter throw-down, it seemed like the reporter wanted to forget about the whole exchange and consequently tried to erase his tweets. Unfortunately, the public journo/PR fight got retweeted and suddenly it was all over. Lesson to be learned here. Before you go dropping any F-bombs via a tweet, digg post, IM, blog comment, facebook post, etc., do remember you can't erase what is out there on the ether. A public record exists and there is no turning back.
Cision, an online database provider of media contacts aimed at PR professionals, is planning to add journalists’ Twitter handles. Many members of media have joined the ranks of bloggers who are actively leveraging Twitter for its ability to amplify their reach, so the move by this contacts vendor isn’t all that surprising. In fact, analyst firms, with the exception of Jeremiah Owyang and Forrester, are just starting to awake to this new powerful and growing channel. At Ignite PR, we use Twitter to communicate internally and externally with peers, follow breaking news, discover interesting data, spot emerging trends and meet or follow interesting people. Twitter’s most important value is its inherent nature around organic participation and the meaning and connection behind one’s network. On Twitter, one can engage with other interesting individuals who have similar interests, share great content, and are just interesting people in general. Twitter along with other social media channels, such as Facebook, Digg, YouTube, FriendFeed, etc., provide a simple and interactive way for people to engage in conversations with a wide array of individuals and expand or build a new network of interesting contacts.
Cision’s move raises a red flag however. When other database vendors start selling off Twitter names/handles, they stand to benefit at the expense of others. So far, PR folks actively using Twitter early on seem to be using it in a way that is not causing friction and we wholeheartedly applaud their practice-to-date. Yet there is still cause for concern when PR folks are using Facebook to actively pitch reporters and bloggers. One can easily see novice PR people blasting press release links or pitches aimed at Twitter users, namely press and bloggers, because they aren’t investing the time in understanding the do’s and don’ts of using Twitter. Thankfully Twitter’s management does a good job of shutting down spammers, but if database vendors are going to be selling lists of Twitter users to willing buyers such as PR agencies, then they both need to be responsible for understanding and underscoring acceptable practices for using this growing new channel. It’s critical that PR people embark on a real effort of self-policing how they use new social media channels to reach members of media or the blogsphere. Just as social media tools and channels are ushering in a new way to reach and communicate with one another, PR should seize the opportunity and turn a new page in how they use this new channel in an acceptable way.
President Obama promises to usher in a new era of openness based around three priorities: communication, transparency and participation. President Obama’s theme of open communication and transparency was carried out through Facebook, SMS and Twitter updates on his campaign trail; YouTube video addresses during his transition to the Whitehouse; and user engagement post-inauguration via the new makeover of the Whitehouse.gov website. By continuing to apply a wide range of social media tools, President Obama is bypassing mainstream media channels and opting instead to reach out directly to his ardent supporters to continue engaging with them.
There’s a big takeaway in all of this for big companies and startups alike looking to build their own communities and leverage social media tools: start incorporating a digital social media strategy to accompany traditional PR efforts. For a great example, take a look at how successful Zappos.com has been with their company-wide embracement and use of Twitter as a new communication channel with their customers.
Twitter, SMS, YouTube, Facebook, blogging, Digg, Delicious, Flickr, etc. are cost-effective communication channels that are quickly becoming mainstream, enabling companies and people to reach out to their constituents and network of friends faster and farther than ever before. Social media initiatives enable companies to quickly communicate with existing customers or prospects, enhances a company’s transparency with customers, and encourages user feedback, ultimately building trust, loyalty, and goodwill.
Twitter and the world of micro-blogging is in its early days and we believe will become an influential messaging tool that will gain broad user and business adoption. It's power is in its ability to tap into and push short snippets of information into the public ether. As we mentioned in an early post, titled How to Get Your Twitter On, there are a bevy of new, useful Web 2.0 tools tailored around support the growing world of Twitterers, which is about 1 million. Here are a few more uber cool tools that we wanted to highlight. Summize: is a newly launched start-up that enables real-time Twitter searches that let you get a temperature check on what people are tweeting related to a particular topic. I was recently trying to find the latest information on the Florida brush fire that was rapidly moving toward my mom's house in Malabar. I tried to manually find more information about the fire in Twitter, but trying Summize I pulled up a rich list of updates. Here's more results we found on the big Santa Cruz County fire that broke out yesterday, which is just a stone's throw away from Silicon Valley. For Marketing & PR folks out there monitoring perceptions about a technology, product or company, check out Summize Labs which is a nifty feature that gives you an interesting real-time Twitter sentiment ranging from great to wretched.
Here's a cool new service for music called: Blip. Launched by San Francisco-based parent company Fuzz, the Blip service lets users search and hear song tracks and also share them with friends via Twitter. It's nice to see other startups innovating to enable Twitter to become more able to share rich media. Blip has a simple UI. Trying out the service, I was finally able to find the song in the recent Kia commercial that I like (Can't Get It Right Today – Joe Purdy).