text/html; December « 2010 « Conversity.be

Twitter abbreviations: what do they mean?

From my upcoming book on Social Media for businesses, this  short list of typical internet and Twitter lingo:

  • @username is how identity is managed on the Twitter platform. If you want to reply to another Twitter user in public, you start your ‘tweet’ with his @username. Only people who both follow you will be able to see that tweet.
  • CC @username is added when you gently want to let @username know that you have information that might be interesting for him or her
  • Direct Message (DM) is a way for Twitter users to send private message.
  • FF is short for Follow Friday, often marked as #FF; every Friday Twitter users recommend other Twitter users to their followers.
  • Following: to receive messages on Twitter, you follow other people and companies you’re interested in. Their messages appear in your incoming Twitter timeline and your followers get your messages.
  • FTW = for the win;
  • Hashtags is a way to add tags, like on Flickr, to tie together common threads of conversation (e.g. Follow Friday, tweets relating to events, news about natural disasters). Recently Hashtags have evolved to emphasize certain ideas (e.g. #fail - to indicate a failure) or to filter out certain Twitter messages (e.g. by adding #fb to a tweet, the same status will update on Facebook too, at least for users of the Selective Tweet Facebook Application).
  • HT = hat tip (a way of thanking someone for pointing out a link or other resource to you);
  • IRL = In real life;
  • Mention (tweet text) @Username (tweet text) Discussing another Twitter user in a tweet. Using mentions can be especially useful for giving credit to other users by making your followers aware of their handle. The message will appear in the Mentions column of those who you mentioned.
  • NSFW = Not safe for work.
  • OH = Overheard.
  • Retweet (RT) To repeat a message by another user.
  • Short URLs not only allow you to shorten long links to leave more room for the rest of your message, but often also allow you to track link performance (e.g. with bit.ly or tinyurl.com).
  • Tweets are Twitter messages, with a maximum length of 140 characters maximum for each tweet. 100-120 characters and using short linksis recommended to leave room to be retweeted (RT).

I found a few more over at businessinsider.com:

  • MT = Modified tweet. This means the tweet you're looking at is a paraphrase of a tweet originally written by someone else.
  • PRT = Partial retweet. The tweet you're looking at is the truncated version of someone else's tweet.
  • FML = F--- my life.
  • FWIW = For what it's worth.
  • QOTD = quote of the day
  • BTW = By the way
  • BFN = Bye for now
  • AFAIK = As far as I know'
  • TY = Thank you
  • YW = You're welcome
  • Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-abbreviations-2010-8


Who uses Twitter and what are they sharing?

From my upcoming book on Social Media for businesses:

There are currently 110 million users of Twitter’s services.  Yet Twitter is far from mainstream: less than 11% of all U.S. Internet users visit Twitter, with 5-7% of those using Twitter actually participating on the platform. According to the New York Times, about 17% of all Twitter users are between 13 and 17, with just 2% of all users in the pre-teen demographic. Teens say they don’t need Twitter because text messaging is their main method of communication and they are more accustomed to the Facebook platform.

Twitter's platform is growing fast: it gets more than 300,000 new users every day and 180 million unique visits each month. Over 60% of Twitter use is outside the U.S.

According to a June 2010 blog post at bvlg.blogspot.com, the number of Twitter accounts in Belgium can be estimated at 75,000 to 100,000.

A recent Pew Internet survey showed that 6 percent of the general U.S. population uses Twitter.
New data over at Flowtown.com:


Tim Ferriss: stop wasting money on vanity metrics

“Listening” isn’t enough. Tracking the number of Twitter mentions tells you nothing. The bigger question is: What are we trying to build or accomplish, and how will we digest and use this data?
His Social Media Marketing Predictions:
  1. YouTube Beats Yahoo — Video Will Convert
  2. The Full Resurrection of E-mail: e-mail addresses are a safer long-term investment than social media features
  3. Large Companies Will Waste Money on Vanity Metrics: impressions, page views, and undefined terms like “engagement” are at best gameable and at worst meaningless.
  4. Ads & Conversation Will Impact Different Conversion Rates. One good test of whether your advertising can become a conversation: Would people notice if your ads stopped running? Clickthrough rate is not going to answer that question.
Filed under: All, Conversion, KPIs No Comments

Twitter for Business: best practices

From business.twitter.com:

  1. Share. Share photos and behind the scenes info about your business. Even better, give a glimpse of developing projects and events. Users come to Twitter to get and share the latest, so give it to them!
  2. Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand, and products.
  3. Ask. Ask questions of your followers to glean valuable insights and show that you are listening.
  4. Respond. Respond to compliments and feedback in real time
  5. Reward. Tweet updates about special offers, discounts and time-sensitive deals.
  6. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your business.
  7. Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers.
  8. Establish the right voice. Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine, and of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you Tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community?

Twitter has three advertising products:

  1. Promoted Tweets (to distribute your content beyond your Twitter follower base)
  2. Promoted Trends (to dominate conversations around a popular #hashtag)
  3. Promoted Accounts (to get more followers quickly)
Filed under: Twitter 1 Comment

Case: Samsung publishes results of their social media optimised U.S. website

Samsung Electronics, according to wikipedia the world's largest technology company by sales, relaunched its U.S. website somewhere in September 2010. You could clearly see how they were trying to join the conversation:

Three months later, Jess3 published some of the stats:


  • 113.3% increase #Samsung Mentions
  • 444.8% increase in Facebook Likes


  • 22.3% increase in Time Spent
  • 30.4% increase in Page Depth
  • 33.6% increase in Unique Visitors


  • 262.8% increase of Reviews Submitted
  • 277.8% increase in Content Sharing
  • 321.2% increase in Logins
  • 1021.4% increase Community Questions

Further reading:


Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines: your contests might get your Page deleted

Facebook's Promotion Guidelines get revised regularly, so it's very important to read them before putting a contest or sweepstake live on your Facebook Page. In fact, Facebook does not allow Page admins to run a promotion through Facebook, except through an application on the Facebook Platform.
Point 2.4.3. is also interesting:
You will not communicate about or administer a promotion on Facebook if:
The promotion, if a sweepstakes, is open to individuals residing in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India;
A few do's and don'ts from Facebook's Promotion guidelines:
  • You cannot:  Condition entry in the promotion upon a user providing content on Facebook, such as posting on a Wall of a Page,  uploading a photo, or posting a status update.
  • You can: Use a third party application to condition entry to the promotion upon a user providing content to the application. For example, you may administer a photo contest whereby a user uploads a photo to a third-party application to enter the contest.
  • You cannot:  Administer a promotion that users automatically enter by liking your Page, checking in to your Place or connecting to your Platform integration.
  • You can: Require entrants to like your Page, check in to your Place or connect to your Platform integration before they provide their full entry information, such as name and contact information.
  • You cannot:  Notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.
  • You can: Collect an email or address through the third-party application for the promotion in order to contact the winner by email or standard mail.
  • You cannot:  Instruct people (in the rules or elsewhere) to sign up for a Facebook account before they enter the promotion.
  • You can: Instruct users to visit the third-party application to enter the promotion (as described in Section Since users must have a Facebook account in order to access an application on the Facebook Platform, if you give this instruction, they will be prompted to sign up for a Facebook account if they do not already have one.
9 more things you didn't know about the internet in this excellent presentation by Evan Van Lissum:


Facebook Places for companies

Location-based services let people report where they are, so they can connect with friends, get rewards (or “‘social badges”’) or receive coupons. In his August 2010 CMO Matrix, web strategist Jeremiah Owyang sees this as a huge opportunity to target your most loyal and local customer base:

Now, as consumers indicate their location and time while on the go, marketers may reach them using a variety of contextual information, advertisements, and harnessing what their friends have done before them in the same locations.

At first adoption of location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla was limited to young, geeky iPhone toting urbanites. That is, until Facebook entered the location-based services space with Facebook Places. Facebook Places is currently available in a few select countries (including the US, UK and Japan) with many more on the way. Towards Facebook users, Places is positioned as a way to "Easily share where you are, what you're doing and the friends you're with right from your mobile."
The most compelling reason for Facebook users to "check in"? To "get individual discounts, share savings with friends, earn rewards for repeat visits or secure donations for good causes."

Want some ideas?

Here are some inspiring examples from Ogilvy’s keynote ‘How To Use Foursquare for Business’ - they apply for other location-based services as well:

  1. Mayor Specials: reward your single most loyal customer.
  2. Frequency-based Specials, for example: “‘Foursquare users get a 10% off every third check in”’
  3. Check-In Offers, for example: “‘Show your check in to the waiter for a free drink!”’
  4. Wildcard Specials, for example: “‘Show us your Newbie Badge to earn a free night’s stay!"’

MarketingEasy.net explains how you can find, create or claim a Facebook Place you represent and the benefits of merging your Facebook Place with your Facebook Page:

  1. You will be able to manage your business centrally on Facebook if you choose to merge your single Place and Page.
  2. This includes posting status updates, photos, and links. Most importantly, all of the people who Liked your Facebook Page will remain connected to your business and you can continue interacting with them.
  3. Your new merged Page will now be updated with a richer design that includes Place information such as maps and check-ins. Your core Page content – Photos, Videos and Events will remain, as well as any custom tabs.
  4. In addition, you will keep your existing vanity URL if applicable.

Further reading:


Definition of social media: media, publishing and sharing

If you’re looking for a short, simple definition of social media, look at the words themselves.
  • They are media, because it’s about texts, links, photos, videos being published by consumers.
  • They are social, because these people are publishing so other people can share.
But why do these people feel the urge to share?
In short:
  1. Laughter (Seth Godin #6: because it’s funny and laughing alone is no fun)
  2. Inspiration (Seth Godin #20 because I’m in awe of your art and the only way I can repay you is to share that art with others)
  3. Cuteness (I like the Japanese word Kawai better)
  4. Originality (Seth Godin #14: because your idea says something that I have trouble saying directly)
  5. Shock (sometimes also called Fail or Schadenfreude - Seth Godin #16: because it’s fun to make another teen snicker about prurient stuff we’re not supposed to see)
  6. Surprise (being the first to share this particular item is crucial here - see also Seth Godin #2: because I feel smart alerting others to what I discovered)
  7. Nostalgia (which would explain why so many people enjoy watching eighties music videos on YouTube)
Further reading:

How to manage your inevitable social media crisis

I used to work for an airline (Virgin Express, sold to SN Brussels Airlines in 2004) and one of the things we did on a regular basis, was do a dry-run of our crisis procedures. The scenarios themselves always tended to have some really unexpected turns in them, but the basic principles were always the same, like making sure you get the list of victims’ names first to their families, so they don’t have to hear from mainstream media that someone they know was in an airline accident. This is why I think it’s weird that most social media horror stories about companies not being able to respond during crises come from travel companies, like Air Canada, JetBlue, or Eurostar. All these companies probably rehearse their crisis communication procedures like we used to, but I think these horror stories illustrate that they haven’t been adapted yet to the speed of modern-day communication.
This is why you should update your crisis communication procedure if you have one, or create one if you’re without. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s better to decide who does what before a crisis happens.
Edelman Digital's David Armano (@armano) has some interesting thoughts about Social Media Scenario Planning and how to manage your inevitable social media crisis.
Key takeaways:
  1. Plan For Multiple Scenarios: document the plan, then translate it into guidelines and put it in a place where everyone who maintains your social presence can access it. Update it regularly.
  2. Practice "Social Media Fire-drills": replicate a crisis situation that you've seen happen to a competitor and make up ones you have not seen before.
  3. Forget The Silos: at minimum, set up a direct line of communication where stakeholders of each core discipline can be alerted the moment a scenario erupts and ensure that the group has some way to connect with each other. Even an old fashioned e-mail alias can help here.
  4. Create "Dark Pages" that can be launched and customized at the click of a button when an attack or unfavorable scenario arises.
  5. Be Ready For Anything: start planning for multiple scenarios the minute you decide you want to "be social" and expect that anything and everything will happen.

Further reading: