the sally sisson blog

May 8, 2010

Social Media 102: Tweets: Free and Spontaneous (or not so much)

twitter sunSay you’re a business owner or marketing manager. You’ve got a lot on your plate. Email, voicemail, snail mail. Now add Facebook and blog posts to the mix. Now squeeze in a few tweets throughout the day. Be sure to make them clever and compelling.

Some people have their social media channels perfectly integrated and running like a well-oiled marketing machine. (We’ll explore that later.) But if Twitter is just one more thing to send you over the edge, consider this:

Twitter Redux: Stockpiling tweets

During ebbs between deadlines, why not type up a batch of tweets. Make them relevant to your marketing campaign, company mission, whatever you’re trying to convey. Use the “word count” tool in your document to make sure each is 140 characters max.

Or, why not pay someone else to write them for you? (Like me.)

twitter whalePreconcieved tweets? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Doesn’t it completely miss the point? Well, yes. For personal purposes, it seems a bit contrived. But for business it can make a lot of sense.

Case in point

After writing the copy for a website last fall, I was asked to write a series of tweets to accompany it. The client wanted a stockpile of tweets, divided into categories, ready to spit out on Twitter at a moment’s notice. Some were general tips, others tied in more closely with the partner client, Clorox.

After tweeting the entire inventory, they ran them ticker-tape style on the home page of the website. Breathing yet more life into the copy. Repurposing content. Getting more bang for their buck. Brilliant!

Check it out:

New Teacher Survival Guide | Discovery Education

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May 7, 2010

Social Media 101: “Walshgate” Tweet and How the Dems’ Fall Fumble with Twitter and Facebook Served as Wake-Up Call

I couldn’t help but get a kick out of the recent Scott Brown vs. Rachel Maddow mix-up (for lack of a better word). As a loyal Mass Democrat, I’m a big fan of state party chair John Walsh. But I had to laugh that the root of the controversy turned out to be a “goofed” tweet-gone-wrong.

Tweet Heard ‘Round the (Political) World

Apparently Walsh picked up on a Facebook rumor about Maddow aiming to challenge Brown for his senate seat in 2012. Intending to tweet a message to an individual, he instead sent it viral and spread it out to the masses. Thus fueling the fire.

Slick young media types jumped on this right away. posted this snarky remark:

“First of all, it appears that the Massachusetts Democratic Party needs to hire a social media consultant (or just someone under the age of 30?)”


Years ago we used to panic about accidentally hitting “reply all” on an email message. Now an errant tweet can spread across the country in seconds.

As someone who works in social media and also gets worked up over politics, I followed the Brown vs. Coakley campaign closely. But during the campaign I must admit I was mainly fixated on the influence of television.

Every sound bite and telegenic glimpse of Brown in his barn coat sent me back to Joe McGinniss’s classic The Selling of the President 1968.

sellingIt wasn’t until after the election when pundits started parsing the role of social media and harping on the Democrats for their feeble Facebook usage stats, that I realized the magnitude.

The young guns behind the Obama campaign had shown the rest of the country the power of grassroots marketing and the Internet. The Republicans spent the next couple years playing catchup,  jumped on the social media train, and surpassed the Democrats at their own game. Using iPhone apps, YouTube videos and Facebook, the Brown camp ran a heck of a campaign.

And now the Dems are the ones playing catchup. They’ve learned their lesson and are leveling the social-media playing field. It will be interesting to watch what happens next.

This time I’ll be checking Twitter, not

Twitter & Facebook controversy for Scott Brown and Rachel Maddow blog shows Walsh’s actual tweet and Brown’s email to donors:

How Scott Brown’s Social-Media Juggernaut Won Massachusetts,8599,1960378,00.html

Atwitter in Mass.: Brown’s Social Media Strategy Tops Coakley’s

After the fall 2009 elections, The Wall Street Journal cited a report on lawmaker’s use of Twitter:

“Republican lawmakers are taking advantage of the Twitterverse significantly more than their Democratic counterparts. In the House, GOP lawmakers send out 529% more tweets than Democrats.”

Not for long. Stay tuned…


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