Last week, the NBA made news by adding their Twitter handle (@NBA) to all of their game basketballs for this upcoming season. This is the first such example of a major sport adding a social media channel to their official ball/puck. For Twitter, this is obviously a very big deal, as it shows how much the NBA values this form of social media. Overall, it shows the impact social networks are having for brands today. Let’s take a look at some potential outcomes of this news:
Will Other Sports Follow?
For me, the first question I thought of when I saw this news is if it would lead to other sports doing the same. It certainly would not be a stretch to imagine the NFL adding their Twitter handle to their official footballs. However, I am not sure if we will see that happen anytime soon. The NBA has been the leader among the four major sports when it comes to embracing social media, and adding @NBA to their basketball is not that much of a shock.
Good For Twitter
This is obviously good news for Twitter. One of the major concerns for investors has been Twitter’s ability to attract new users and the staying power it will have. Having the NBA make a change to their official game basketballs by adding their Twitter handle is certainly something that Twitter’s marketers and upper management will use when it comes to their investors. Twitter is certainly happy with this move by the NBA!
What About Facebook?
If there is one thing we have learned about Facebook over the years, it is that they do not like when another social network makes big news (in a positive way!). I am sure the NBA’s decision has been talked about by the higher-ups at Facebook, and I would have to imagine that they are trying to come up with ways for Facebook to get similar exposure. I am very curious to see over the coming months if Facebook finds a way to one-up Twitter.
What do you think about the NBA adding their Twitter handle to their official basketballs? Do you think other sports and brands will follow? Let me know by commenting below!
This week, Twitter released their updated analytics for select users (mostly those who have used Twitter’s promoted tweets or promoted accounts/hashtag; as well as verified accounts). For many Social Media managers and users, one big complaint for years has been Twitter’s sub-par analytics, especially compared to what Facebook offers. Since we have used promoted tweets before, our account received the upgrade earlier this week and after using it for a few days, here are some initial thoughts:
Within the first few minutes it was evident that the upgraded analytics were an improvement over what Twitter used to have. Twitter now shows you the number of impressions, engagements, and engagement rates for each tweet. If you click on a specific tweet, you get a nice breakdown of interactions (RTs, Favorites, and Mentions) as well as link clicks, new followers you gained from the tweet, and the number of users who clicked through to your profile. These analytics are a vast improvement compared to the pre-updated analytics, which only offered RTs, Favorites, and Mentions. You are also given your total impressions over the last 28 days, which is another helpful tool.
Still Needs Work
While this upgrade is great and much needed, it still is a work in progress. It does not give you some key data, such as follower growth numbers, number of un-follows & follower retention, and total interaction numbers (you need to export the data to an excel spreadsheet and then run further analytics), just to name a few. However, if you do not have the budget for a paid analytics tool, this upgrade will be able to give you some basic data that you can use to gauge how your Twitter strategy is doing.
Analytics are key for any brand when it comes to social media. Most Twitter users were basically forced to look at alternative sources for data prior to this upgrade. Now, I believe that social media managers can get by with using Twitter’s new analytics. However, if you really want to dive into data, you will probably still need to look elsewhere. I have a feeling that Twitter will address this issue in time, but for now, this current upgrade will suffice!
What are your thoughts on Twitter’s new analytics?
The big social media news this week was Facebook’s official release of its new stand-alone social media app called Slingshot. The release of this app marks the second time Facebook has tried to compete directly with Snapchat. Slingshot, like Snapchat, let’s you send disappearing pictures and videos to friends. While the idea might be the same, Slingshot does offer some differences from Snapchat. Facebook is banking on these changes to get loyal Snapchat users to switch platforms. But will they? Only time will tell. Until then, here are some of my observations after downloading Slingshot earlier today.
Looks Like A “Nicer” Snapchat
The looks of the app are like a less cartoonish version of Snapchat. The first thing you will notice is that launching the app takes you directly to the camera screen, much like Snapchat. Once you steer away from the camera screen, the looks clearly differ. Slingshot is very sleek, with other screens in all black with white text. Personally, I think it is a little boring, especially compared to the colorful Snapchat screens. The looks may be enough to make some users give Slingshot a try, but I doubt many will leave Snapchat just because of this.
Give And Receive
With Snapchat you can receive and view your friend’ snaps without ever having to send a picture of your own. Slingshot goes the complete 180, which brings about the first major difference between the two social networks. In order to view photos on this app, you must send a picture of your own. While this is a major difference, you should not be surprised at this considering Facebook’s attempts at making things more social. I think this is kinda cool, but I can also see people being annoyed, especially if there is a photo or photos they want to see, but cannot take a picture of their own at the moment. Once again, I am not sure if this new feature will make users jump ship.
Not Many Other Users
My biggest problem with Slingshot was that I really could not do much testing (besides the little tutorial) because of one major problem: none of my friends, at least the ones I use Snapchat with, are on Slingshot yet. Now this is not that surprising considering the app has only been out a few days, but chances are if people want to try out this app, and none of their friends are on it, they will just go back to Snapchat (which is what I did!). For me, at least for the time being, Snapchat will be my disappearing photo app for the simple reason that all my friends are on it and use it.
Facebook’s second app to compete with Snapchat is better than their first, and it does have some things besides the photo sharing that make it different from Snapchat. For example, the use of text with your pictures is much better (140 characters) and the drawing tool is much improved. Also, there is no time limit for photos. You can view someones Slingshot for as long as you want, but as soon as you navigate away from the photo screen, you cannot view it again. In the end, I am not sure if Facebook really needed to create and release this app. A lot of people use Snapchat, and I do not know how many people will switch over to Slingshot. In the end, Facebook’s new app could meet the same fate as Poke.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about what Twitter’s new feature, the ability to “mute” other accounts, might mean for both social media managers and everyday users. Last week, my account finally was given the new feature, so I got to see if it did everything Twitter said it would. In the same post from a few weeks ago, I said that I liked the idea of the new feature. After being able to use it, here is what I think about the mute button:
Works As Advertised
The first, and most important, thing for any new feature is that you want it to work the way it is supposed to. The mute button does exactly what Twitter said it would. Once you click on it, the muted user’s tweets no longer appear in your feed (old ones, however, do remain which Twitter said would be the case). It is also very easy and quick to mute a user, as you can do it from their profile, or by clicking on their tweet, clicking the “more” button, and then clicking on “mute @…”. To sum it up, it is simple to use!
Useful For Brands & Professionals
While this feature is great for brand and professional accounts, the occasional Twitter user (who only uses it as a personal account) will probably not even need to worry about it, unless you want to mute any of your over-tweeting friends! A common problem most brands and professionals face are following people (who follow you back) that tweet a LOT. Most larger Twitter accounts have analytics that can show the account owner who has un-followed their account. Instead of facing this dilemma, you can now just mute the over-tweeter and not see their tweets, as opposed to un-following them and perhaps burning social media bridges.
Easy To Un-Mute
Something else that I like is that it is very easy to tell who you have muted and to then un-mute them if you want. When you click on the number of people you follow, you will see a list of all the accounts whose tweets appear in your feed. The users who you have muted have a red mute symbol to the right of their profile picture. To un-mute someone, just click on the gear icon, and select un-mute. This is useful if you only wanted to mute someone for a specific period of time, such as when an account is hosting a tweet chat (which can completely clog your Twitter feed!).
Overall, I do like the Twitter mute feature. While many people will argue that if you mute someone, why not just un-follow them instead, I see the value in this feature, especially for social media managers. What do you think about the mute button? Vote below!
A common dilemma many social media managers and teams face is figuring out which social networks their brands should be on. For larger companies and brands (ESPN, Starbucks, a band/musician, etc.) this decision is much easier, as they have large social media teams, which allow them to be active on just about every social network. But for smaller brands, having too many social media accounts can be detrimental to your social media strategy. So how do you choose which networks to join? Here are a few tips to help you out!
Know What Makes Each Different
While all social networks have the same purpose (being social), each one does this in their own way. Knowing what makes each social network different will make it easier for you to decided which ones your brand should be on. For example, if you want to be very active and have many posts per day, Twitter is probably a good choice. If you want to post maybe only once a day, or even a few times per week, Facebook or Instagram may be a better fit for you. If you are not sure what makes each social network stand out, a quick Google search will give you all the info you need!
What Type of Content Will You Use?
This is another big deciding factor when choosing a social network. Is your brand big on pictures? Give Pinterest or Instagram a try. Do you want to share news/articles about your brand or industry? Then perhaps Facebook, Google+ or Twitter is your best bet. The key thing is to figure out what you want to use social media for. By coming up with a strategy and content ideas, you can make your decision much easier by eliminating social media channels that will not help you!
Where Is Your Audience?
Perhaps the most important factor when deciding on social networks is figuring out where your audience is most likely to be. If you know that the audience you are trying to reach is on Instagram more so than Pinterest, it is probably a good idea to go with Instagram. Figuring this out will most likely take some time, but it can make all the difference in your social media strategy. If you are on a social network that has a limited audience for your brand, how can your account be successful?
Deciding which social media channels to be active on is a process. You want to be informed and knowledgeable about every possible choice so that your strategy has the best chance to succeed. But doing your homework and creating a social media strategy will help you decide which social networks to be active on. Just remember, you do not have to be on every social network. In fact, for most brands, being on too many will probably hurt your strategy. Being on the right ones, however, will make it much easier to reach your social media goals!
Last week, Twitter announced a new feature that many users have been asking for: the capability to “mute” other accounts. If you are following someone who tweets too much, spams, etc, you can go to their profile, click on the wheel icon, and mute them. This means that while you are still following this user, their tweets will not show up in your Twitter feed. And the best part? The user will have no idea that you have muted them. Not everyone is a fan of this upcoming feature, however. But for this blog, I am not going to touch that debate. Instead, let’s go over some ways that this new feature will impact you and your Twitter account!
The mute feature will make having great content even more important. If your content is sub-par, redundant, off topic for your follower demographics, or lacking appeal (just to name a few) there is a good chance that some of your once loyal followers will decide to mute you. Why is this bad you might ask? As I mentioned above, if someone mutes your account, your tweets will no longer appear in their feed. This means that there is one less follower who you can reach with your account and one less potential interaction. Chances are, if a few people start muting your account, many more will follow. Make sure that you are tweeting out great content and you will have nothing to worry about!
One thing that drives users crazy across all social media platforms are those people and brands who post and tweet too much. Beside the fact that this could lead to users unfollowing you, over-tweeting now can now lead to key followers muting you. Once this feature is rolled out to all users, keeping the number of daily tweets to an appropriate number will be more important than ever. Do not lose potential interactions by tweeting 100 times per day!
This is something that I have thought about since the announcement was made last week, and something that may prove to be a big problem for social media managers when it comes to the mute feature. Beside someone accidentally muting you, I would not be surprised if someone thinks that muting is a temporary action. I can also see people wanting to mute you for only a select period of time (perhaps they know you are having a tweet chat, and do not want your tweets clogging their feed that evening) and then forgetting to un-mute you. For social media managers, accidental muting or not completely understanding the mute feature are two things that cannot be controlled. And just like any other feature on social networks, there will be people who do not know how to use it!
Muting other Twitter users is going to be an interesting feature. I think that it is actually pretty useful (especially for the tweet chat reason mentioned above) and one of the better features Twitter has introduced in a while. Only time will tell how it is received!