Tips/Tricks


Other Twitter Topics:      Marketing at Twitter Speed      Multiple Account Layering Strategy      Social Media: Not Just for Kids      Email The Scoopdog Team

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presenterMost B2B marketers and support providers have become adept at carrying on multiple IM conversations during conference calls, one ear listening while producing a running commentary on the merits of the discussion, or even expanding the back-channel conversation well beyond the topic at hand.  During meetings (digital etiquette aside), text messaging now consumes much more attention than the running dialogue.  Conference call and net-meeting participants now expect the sidebar comments from guests attending.

That this behavior is now invading the presentation world should be no surprise – but the consequences for speakers and panels in how they prepare and present are large.  Some call it “crowd force”, some “crowd source”. By whatever name the dynamic will need attention.

At two recent public events, I watched as the speakers struggled to solve the challenge of presenting to a live audience, and in real-time, negotiating the inclusion of Twitter comments and Twitter commentary.   No longer can a presenter totally dictate the flow of information. In one of the forums, the audience substantially created its own parallel conversation (hash tagged to the topic) without even having a seat on stage and with the presenter totally unaware. While perhaps only 30% of the audience was able to “see” both presentations, the behavior opens a brave new world for speakers, panelists and presenters at all levels.

So how best to take advantage of the new medium… how best to avoid the perils…

Integrating Social Media from Podiums and Panels

Expect Social Dialogue as the Norm, not the exception – Presentation  how’s and how-nots have been well documented.  Today, it just makes good business sense to expect that there will be Twitter comments as you present, that blog posts will go-live during your presentation and immediately after.  By expecting this, you can actually bake in sound bites and make direct references to social media w/in your presentation, thereby both engaging the participation as well as maintaining a semblance of conversation management.

Prompt the Event Sponsors to Integrate digital dialogue w/physical dialogue.  Ask for a screen at the podium so you can monitor the tweet-stream; consider a large console on-stage to proactively invite participation both in-room and to those outside the conference itself. By defining an engagement setting, speakers/panelists retain more command of the presentation flow.  Even if it’s highly unlikely that your audience will actively make use of social media conversation during your presentation, give a nod to the new media opportunity and your credentials as a thought leader.

Add  a “Social Engagement” quotient to your audience analysis – Most speakers/panelists go thru an exercise when preparing material for public consumption that includes an audience evaluation (subject knowledge, competitive and company awareness, hot topics/trends of the day, etc.  Presenters should consider a “Twitter Quotient”, as well – ie, the likely tweet adoption rate and use as a means for assessing the likelihood for back-channel conversation.

Add a New Page as You Read the Room– We’re all taught to scan the audience for signs of engagement and/or boredom, and to adjust presentation style real-time to better respond.  Add to this a scan for laptops and fingers flying across keyboards… for Bberry/iPhone thumb-fests  – all as indicators that tweets and blog posts may have invaded the room.  I’ve heard some discussions around having a colleague attend who specifically will monitor for back-channel discussion, and who can signal presenters when comments warrant inclusion.  Some go so far as to schedule “Twitter Breaks” as a formal part of the presentation, and where speakers/panelists dedicate a few minutes directly to social community feedback/discussion.

Would be insightful to hear from speakers on whether they’ve thought about this aspect of presentations, whether anyone has further first-hand experiences to share, and/or from coaches/trainers who have thoughts on this topic.

Bonus

Useful Tools to Consider: A powerpoint plugin allows tweets to be seen on-screen http://www.sapweb20.com/blog/powerpoint-twitter-tools/   Twitter conference filter tool http://www.tidytweet.com/

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Other Twitter Topics:      The Graying of Facebook      Multiple Account Layering Strategy      Social Media: Not Just for Kids      Email The Scoopdog Team

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overloaded(Read time = 2-3 minutes) Information overload on steroids.  That’s a common theme the Scoopdog team hears  from marketers, agency leads and social media advocates.  How best to keep up… filter the noise… find the hidden gems?  Here’s three “insider” resources useful to help scrape away the clutter.

1.  Alltop: Your Personal Magazine Rack

For those struggling w/news overload, a solution worth the look is Alltop – a news aggragation web site worth discovery.  With self-loaded pages like “Twitter News“…  Facebook News… and Social Media News… quick snapshots are possible.  The site also enables a “build-it-yourself ” feature for constructing targeted magazine racks.

For the B2B pro, the advantages are:  aggragation and time savings.  The Scoopdog team uses Alltop as a means to quickly scan information sources for topics and trends that are perhaps worth further investigation and a blog post. The site is fed by tens of thousands of information sources and blog resources.  To say it another way, Alltop strives to be the  filter to find information nuggets, as the user specifies.  (Disclosure:  I have no assotiation – just like the site and service. Same for the others below) 

 A helpful tutorial steps through the process with point/click simplicity.  The Alltop blog provides tips/gricks… the Goodie page has all manner of widgets, badges, feed connections, groups and even the obligatory T-shirt.

 

2.  Twitter Accounts to Follow: Social Media Analytics

waworld  The official Twittter account of Manoj Jasra’s web analytics world blog. Insights into search marketing, social media ROI, and social media strategies.

analytics_  If you can’t analyze it, you can’t measure it;  if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Here you’ll find tweets and links to various aspects of social media measurement.

WebAnalyticsGuy  Canadian RyanDinelle and is ~500 followers mashup the metric scene.  Google Analytics, media tracking, comparisons/distinctions between audience communities, SEO.  The breadth is impressive and the conversation intelligent.

 

3.  comScore Research and Digital Intelligence

comStore – the self-proclaimed global source of digital market intelligence.  While in the business of selling research, the site contains a plethora of library produts accessable free, sponsors webinars on 2.0 topics, and hosts digital audience measurement events.  Often sited resource for usage statistics.  Excellent blog here.

The company was founded in 1999 to focus on e-commerce trends measurement.  Acquisition of Media Metrix in 2002 expanded the media intelligence services.  Today, comScore has as its mission to shed light on the beharior of digital consumers using data collected from 2 million+.  One of the most valuable destinations on the site is the “Presentations and Whitepapers Library” here.

All: We love collecting little known resources/sites/references sources.  If you have favorites, please share.

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interaction(Read time = ~2 minutes) Twitter is (has become) the newest, shiny outbound toy.  Marketing wants a piece… so does the PR team… and Marcom, AR/IR… and don’t forget all those content experts.  One of the most important requirements to grow a meaningful B2B Twitter follower list, is cadence… having a consistent/regular content flow.  Frequency is one key to drivingfollowers, but it’s a frustrating aspect for many companies starting up a Twitter strategy.  One solution: multiple users tweeting from a single account where the collective blends into an orchestrated voice around a central focus.

All well and good, but how to retain some reasonable management of the process?  Here’s a look at five tools aimed at solving this practical business issue, as well as two “brute strength” approaches.  Hoping others will weigh-in with solutions I’ve not yet undiscovered.

Six Alternatives for Business Teams to Twitter Collaboration

Co-Tweet:   In public beta. Their promotional tagline:  “How business does Twitter”.  Great promise, but the practical delivery still lacks some essentials.  Tweet copy, once scheduled, cannot be edited (gotta delete then re-enter if you want to change anything); no real collaboration possible (ie can’t edit copy between users); Good future scheduling; easy set-up with both admin and user designations. Friendly but still lacking features.

Hootsuite: Trying to be “one size fits all”:  analytics package + multi-user management package.  Tweet scheduling feature (a “pending” column) w/editing.  Co-tweeting from a single account: yes via the “add editors” function;  groups/sorting.  Stats BUT ONLY if you use Hootsuite’s own embedded URL shortener. Personally, I like analytic options from other tools better.  Not (for me) as intuitive as Co-Tweet but a larger feature set.

Twitter Account w/Shared Password.  Low tech solution and probably still, one of the most practical.  Set up a Gmail (or other) email address so no need to burden your regular business email account.  Set up a generic Twitter account and then just share sign-on/password to the designated group of users.  Add-on apps can be found for scheduling, etc.  Not exactly eloquent and requires some trust and manual management processes, but it works.

Twitter Groups:  Twitter does not provide any group feature, but third-party solutions have filled this void.  For purposes here, a group could be created (almost like a blog site) and then tweets could originate from the group setting via a single Twitter account.  Content, editing, etc. occurs w/in the group setting, virtual to Twitter itself.  The other obvious application would be to use the group function as a means for audience community segmentation (but that’s another blog post/discussion all together). Some group tools include: TweetWorks, TwitTangle and Twingr.  One other interesting approach:  use twhirl and its Friendfeed support for “rooms” then a Twitter feed out from FriendFeed.

Tweetfunnel  (Real-tiime update 9/9:  Tweetfunnel folx just advised that they’ve added support for BudURL and saved searches) Public beta version free for the testing. “The Twitter Tool for Team Tweeting” (catchy).   Uses a “publisher/contributor” model for editorial control. Features:  approve and post, scheduling, editing, assignments, tracking of bit.ly URLs, feedback forums;  What’s not currently integrated:  RSS feeds, shortened URLs other than bit.ly, brand mentions/keyword watch.  Useful FAQ and a blog for conversation.

EasyTweet:   Paid service so I haven’t spent the $$ to test/try.  From their homepage, promises:  tracking, SMS alerts, scheduling, RSS tracking, multiple account management. From the site blog, you can get to a promo video/tour.  The blog also provides some deeper insights into features/functionality. No free trial that I saw.

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Personally, I think the tools aren’t yet fully prime-time ready for enterprise use.  Beta means beta but this is one solution that’s critical to enable B2B adoption.  Maybe I’ve missed the one tool that’s the magic bullet – if so, please clue me in and share.  Add this to the “business must have” list, along w/practical/meaningful metrics, valuation models (what’s a Facebook friend worth), and an account layering strategy.

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