It’s another installment of Trend Tuesday!
We talk a lot about monitoring your brand online. Twitter is one way to do that that allows both a one to many (in updates) and one to one conversation (in responses and direct messages). For Comcast, Twitter has become one of their most positively received Customer Service tools. That’s right a positive + Customer Service tool + for a cable provider. How did they do that?
“Customers, just like most Customer Service agents, are craving real time, unedited information. If something is wrong they really want to know what it is, what is being done and when it will be back. We are working to create that environment at Comcast.”
Twitter announced big changes this week that may just change the way you monitor your brand online. Here are the facts on Twitter Search updates:
News #1: Twitter switches from tinyurl to bit.ly as default URL shortening mechanism.
On Twitter, each character is valuable real estate. You have to squeeze in all the elements of your incredibly intriguing story in 140 characters. URL shortening services make this easier. In fact, if you so much as attempt to include a URL more than about 25 characters, Twitter will do the honors for you and shorten it. Using tinyURL bit.ly.
Bit.ly lets you fit more in your tweet! Pic from Flickr user choytony.
The pros of bit.ly:
- Even before the slash, bit.ly is 5 characters shorter than tinyurl.com
- Bit.ly sports some nifty tools such as a bookmarklet tool, Firefox preview plugin, and sidebar
- Bit.ly allows logins so you have a history of all the URLs you have shortened
- STATISTICS! – This is the deal breaker for me against TinyURL. Bit.ly shows real time stats like number of click throughs
So what? Keep an eye on the little URL that could. It has a lot more power behind it now than ever before.
News #2: This is the game changer – Twitter Search to become more like web search
Twitter has announced plans to add link content in its search results. In an interview with CNET, Twitter’s VP of Operations Santosh Jayaram said Twitter search will soon begin to crawl the links included in tweets, as well as the tweets themselves.
On top of this, Twitter will be implementing a reputation ranking system. Sound familiar? This means Twitter will take into account the reputation of the person who wrote each tweet when displaying results.
What does that even mean? Twitter will be wise to keep the calculation mystery. But we can guess that “reputation” has to do with number of followers, retweets, etc. And we can be sure that it will make Twitter search more valuable.
5 things you can do right now:
- If you want to have any say over what’s going on around your brand on Twitter, set up a twitter account. At the very least save your brand name, add an image, location, and description. Now.
- Monitor yourself – set up an RSS feed of the search.twitter.com results for your brand, your products, and any common misspellings of all of the above. Put the results somewhere were you can see them – Outlook has built in RSS feed readers.
- Use Twitalyzer (analytics for Twitter – hat tip to the Schipul SEM team for finding this gem!) to get an idea of how successfully you’re engaging your community. Check your Twitter user name and your brand. Run your competitors’ brands through as well.
- This is speculation, but my guess is that it will be easier for Twitter to monitor and crawl bit.ly URLs as they are currently partnering. If you’re not married to your URL shortening mechanism, give bit.ly a try.
- Take a look at your Twitter content. Is it interesting to your community? If you’re not sure, ask for feedback. A simple “What are we doing that you like? What would you like to see more of?” to your community at large or a small group of loyal fans goes a long way. Remember to follow the 3 to 1 rule. Post 3 things about your community before you post 1 thing about you.
Keep watching for trend Tuesday updates on trends we’re seeing!
Full Disclosure: You guessed it. Schipul does Social Media consulting. It’s what we love so it’s what we write about. If online PR through tools like Twitter and Facebook is something you are interested in, check out more on Schipul Social Media consulting. We focus on training and disclosure – we do love our clients but we don’t impersonate them!