One of the things we need to do for our clients is advise on brand buzz online. And when necessary advise on how to step into the fray.
I've spent a few too many years talking about how we do that with various blogging and social media communities. With the emergence of a new Twitter reporting tool, I thought I would refresh how it works, specifically for a couple of ways I've been using Twitter:
1. Twitter Search / Summize live
2. Twilert scheduled reports
If you are in front of a computer all day, it's easy enough to have a Twitter Search aka Summize window open with various brand names on it. This means you'll get a live alert in the tab at the top of your browser telling you as it happens what's being said about your brand. [Here's an example of what Summize shows for Mumbai]
Summize is good too if you are not in front of your computer the whole time. Dip in and out, or load it on to your BlackBerry, it still works well.
But if you want to pull the information down automatically, try using Twilert, a new service that summarises Summizes (kinda thing you know) and emails you Twitter buzz on your chosen topic, at our chosen time. I have set Twilert up to give me alerts in time for my morning commute, my lunch break and my end of day wrap-up, so that I'm up to date at the times I'd be catching up on my feeds any way.
I've used Twilert only for a few days, but it suits me really well. When I'm in front of my laptop or when I have a moment to check on my BlackBerry I check Summize. But I work across several campaigns at once and so Twilert offers a comprehensive set of search results at the time I want it. I'd recommend it for people that value updates on online buzz at set times.
In May this year the practice of astroturfing became illegal in the UK. I blogged about it back when it happened as I was researching what it means for my clients. So it caught my attention when I just saw this - that Motorola seems to be engaging in 'astroturfing' practices online with fake customer bloggers bigging up its products:
Joel at BBG
has found a bunch of threads from MGOODE08, apparently a shill for
Motorola who posts comments to gadget sites about the Motorola Krave.
I’m so glad my boss isn’t like that! I’m working with
Motorola right now, and became a huge fan of the Krave
(motorola.com/krave). I especially like the full touch screen display
and html web browser. It’s awesome!
And before that:
Oh man this looks awesome! I hope they release a version
for the Krave by Motorola. Ever since I started working with Motorola I
have became a huge fan of the phone (motorola.com/krave). With a full
list of features, like a full touch screen, I can’t stop obsessing over
UPDATE - Just when I thought we were safe, I find:
It’s good to see that console move so many units! I
think the same is going to be said about the Motorola Krave. I’ve been
a fan of the Krave ever since I started working with Motorola
(motorola.com/krave). I especially like the touch screen display and 2
megapixel camera. It’s definitely worth checking out.
You should also check out the Krave
(motorola.com/krave). It has a digital QWERTY keyboard and its narrower
then the iPhone. It’s a flip phone that has a clear top and its touch
sensitive, so you can use your phone without even opening it…
As I'm writing this I have been reading through my emails and feeds on my way home and I saw from John Hood on Twitter that there had been some kind of blast in Mumbai and that people there have been updating the world through social media as to what's happening.
* update - TV news satations say this is happening in sevenlocations and some are still under siege. It's not a blast, it's seven coordinated terror attacks.
If you check, the buzz on Twitter here you'll see people using the site in such useful ways in light of this horrific incident.
People are posting online so fast - about a story a second.
There are people saying if they're ok, offering their prayers and support, and others giving helpful links.
Photos are also appearing on Flickr from people at the scenes. Photo in this post courtesy of Flickr.
There are some blogs I read religiously that fit into no particular bracket. I read a lot of PR people's blogs and a lot of tech blogs, which you'll see ranked in all the lists that float about out there. But were I to recommend three blogs to anyone in either media, PR, marketing or tech, the three would be:
I've read these blogs for years, have had the pleasure of briefly meeting their authors (Steve only on the phone) and I think nearly every post that is published on these blogs is a riveting read, as they say. Professionally, of course.
Interested to hear what stuff you'd recommend I subscribe to - blog, Twitter, FriendFeed, whatever.
Someone hacked into my social media sites through my Gmail account in the early hours of 21st November. The reason I know is that messages were sent through my Google Talk account to FriendFeed. I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but I use my Gmail and Google Talk accounts to write on my blog, my Twitter and my FriendFeed accounts.
Here's what was posted:
posted two messages "is this legal? http://tinyurl.com/littleamy13 who do i report it to" 6 hours ago
Yesterday we ran one of Hotwire's PR and social media workshops for some of our clients. I found it particularly fun as, in addition to equipping a room of PR managers with some tips and tricks on how to do better PR in this digital age we live in, I got to sneak in two of my favourite sites:
Last week a US over the counter pain killer called Motrin created a video ad, portraying 'moms' that carry their babies in slings as fashion victims. The backlash from the net mums groups was almost instant and pretty big. Within a couple of days the ad had to be pulled and Motrin managed to alienate a chunk of its target audience.
Business Week's Management IQ blogger Nanette Burns has written up PR Week US and Burson Marsteller's recent survey on how CEOs use social media. The good news (I hope!) for us is that there is going to be an uplift in digital marketing activity in 2009. Especially in this current economic climate.
What I found interesting about the article is how it picked up on CEOs' views of viral and word of mouth PR:
[CEOs] seem much more convinced of the power of Word of Mouth and viral campaigns. 60% say those have more influence today than they did three years ago. Also rising in influence: trade media, blogs covering their industry, and traditional media including the Wall Street Journal (44% say its sway has grown) and BusinessWeek (24%). 67% of those surveyed will increase their spending on digital marketing in 2009.
My old colleague Tom has passed on a chain blog meme about what inspires you to write on your blog.
I had seen a few other industry peers like Ged Carrol take part in this too. Here's a bit about why I do it and what keeps it going:
Why do it in the first place: I started blogging as an experiment in using the technology for sharing web content, before there was any scope for it as part of the PR discipline in any way. So that's part of what gives me my inspiration now - it's been going so long I can't possibly give it up can I?
What else gives me inspiration now: The principle of give and you'll receive. That's the simple rule at play here I think. When you're working on developing new and hopefully different PR campaigns you need personally be neck deep in the environments you're working in. Otherwise you don't get it. And the more you put out there, the more you get back. That's what I've found and that's what keeps me doing it I'd say.