Updated: Some Cool Twitter Features You may not Know About

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By Sue BradyTwitter

Twitter added a new fun feature yesterday, so I thought I’d update this post  so that you have the latest and greatest.

Twitter has recently rolled out a number of features (the first two were not included in my original post). They are summarized here for your tweeting pleasure.

GIFs – Twitter, as of yesterday, supports animated GIFs. It’s been established that posts with pictures get higher engagements, and I expect GIFs will do even better. To see the GIF in action, the user does have to click on the play button. Let the fun begin!

Tagging People in Photos – Back in March, Twitter announced that when you are on a mobile device, you can tag your friends. Holy Facebook!

Mute Feature – It is now possible to continue to follow someone, but mute their updates for as long as you care to. In other words, if you decide you no longer want to see someone’s updates for a while, but you also don’t want to ‘unfollow’ them, you can put them on mute. This feature is not fully rolled out yet. I have access to it via TweetDeck (owned by Twitter), but not yet from Twitter.com. To see if you have this feature, click on the … that appears to the right under a person’s tweet. A box with options will present. Then click on mute. The person you mute is not notified. To unmute, go to Settings, click on ‘mute,’ then ‘remove’ and then ‘done.’ (Note: I would never mute Joe Pulizzi…this is just an example!)

Twitter mute  option

 

Scheduling Tweets – This can be done from ads.twitter.com and will only work if your ad blocker is turned off or allows access to this particular site. Click on the new tweet button at the top right of your screen. A tweet box will open and you can select the Scheduling tab. There you’ll see the options to pick a date and time for your tweet. Finish by selecting the Tweet button in the lower right-hand corner. Read here about other tools you can use to schedule tweets.

Schedule your tweets

 

Search – This feature has gotten more robust over time. When you run a search on twitter.com (there’s a search bar at the top-right of your screen), you’lTwitter search barl see the options pictured below on the left side of your screen. The ‘advanced search’ option will give you a ton of choices as well.

Twitter search options

Lists – Not a particularly new feature, but a good one to know about. Using lists allows you to organize the people you follow into categories that make sense for you. You can access this feature on twitter.com by clicking on the name of a person in your feed, and then selecting the gear to reveal the drop-down box. When you select the ‘Add or remove from lists’ option, you can add this person to a list you already have created, or you can create a new one. Note that unless you make your list private, anyone who comes to your profile page can see your list titles, along with who is included in those lists. In the example below, my list called ‘Partners’ is private, meaning I’m the only one who can see who I’ve put there.

Sue's Twitter Lists#tweetsmart

An SEO expert walks into a bar, bars, pub, public house…*

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By Sue Brady

OstrichDoes humor have a place in your content marketing?

Earlier this week I participated in a content marketing tweet chat (#cmworld). There were some questions asked about using humor in your content: is it appropriate, what if your brand personality doesn’t lend itself to humor, what if you aren’t funny?

There’s value in not taking yourself too seriously. Brands use humor to make their ads memorable. According to a study by Millward Brown last year, funnier ads are much more memorable than those without humor. They found that humorous ads scored in the 74th percentile on average for involvement, while those without were only in the 42nd percentile. Humor can translate globally as long as it’s not offensive and has a universal interpretation (think puppies and babies). Nielson did a study (Global Survey of Trust in Advertising) and found that 47% of global Internet respondents (Q=29,000) said that humorous ads resonated most with them.

And that got me to thinking about brands I’ve seen who’ve used humor well.CIA.jpg

The CIA, certainly not known for its sense of humor, published its first tweet last week. Almost everyone found it humorous and at almost 300,000 retweets as of this writing, it was certainly popular. And it got folks talking about the CIA in a positive way.

Until last year I never thought of Kmart as having a sense of humor. But then they created a couple of hilarious commercials that were a little off color, but in a somehow acceptable way. My impression of Kmart has been forever changed. The first, Ship my Pants had over 30 million views on YouTube.  They followed up with another, almost as funny bit called Big Gas Saving.

Ana Gasteyer of Saturday Night Live fame wrote such funny tweets about Weight Watchers that they asked her to be a spokesperson. She had written tweets such as: “Hey @weighwatchers, How many Activity points for sweatily trying to get out of a Spanx undershirt?” and “Hey @WeightWatchers how many #activitypoints for re-threading string thru the waistband of my gym shorts? Came out in dryer so can’t workout.”

While I’ve found a lot of humorous content in consumer brands, I also found an article in Forbes last December, written by Ekaterina Walter that identifies 3 great B2B examples of effective use of humor by Cisco, Kinaxis (supply chain management) and Epuron (clean energy). You can see those here.

The real key to using humor is to know your audience and know when not to use humor. (Customer Service for instance is probably not a good place to use humor.) If you know your brand’s personality and can use humor in a positive way, I say give it a try.

What are your favorite examples?

*Note: I cannot find the author of this joke to give credit where credit is due.

6 Awesome Ideas for Generating Blog Content

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By Sue Brady

An idea!

The hardest part about writing a blog is generating meaningful content for your audience. The real trick to fresh content is opening up your mind to the resources already at your disposal. Maybe you need a quiet place to work, or maybe you’re like me and pick up your best ideas while exercising. Know your content goals, and then try these tips to find ideas that will work for your audience.

  1. The News. Most news sources sort their content by topic. Are you writing about tech issues? Visit the technology section and see what’s trending.
  2. Social Media. Find others who write about your topic too and see what they are posting on Twitter or on their blogs. If you follow any of your customers/potential customers, see what they are talking about to determine if there are applicable topics. One way to use Twitter to identify relevant topics is to pick 5 people who you consider to be your targets. Look at all of their tweets over a 5-day period. Look at the links they are posting to see if there’s a common topic thread and write about that. You can also search Twitter and Facebook using a # in front of a topic to see what folks are posting about that topic.
  3. Your Call Center/Receptionist. If you use a call center, never underestimate the knowledge that your call center agents pick up from callers. These can be customer service calls or new business calls. Find out what callers are asking about, and write about those topics. If you are a small business, you or your receptionist probably spend a great deal of time on the phones. Start noticing recurring topics and write a post about that. You may even head off a customer service issue by writing about a solution before other customers have a chance to call in to complain about a problem.
  4. Employees. Ask around and find out what other departments are hearing. You might even have an employee who wants to write an article for you. I’ve gotten ideas from my boss, from the tech department, and even from someone in the finance department (and I write on marketing topics!). And of course, if you have a Sales department, they’ll provide a wealth of ideas.
  5. Thought Leaders. Know your industry’s thought leaders and see what they are writing about. Or, call one of them up and see if they’ll give you an interview. Or perhaps they’ll answer some questions via email if you can’t get them on the phone.
  6. User Reviews. If your product has online reviews, see if there are recurring features or benefits and use those as topics for your next post. And read the comments that others leave after reviews to see if there is a frequently asked question that you can write a post about.

Quiet Place