Monday, December 28, 2009

@HiltonAnaheim – There’s more to Twitter than broadcasting your ads

Last week we took a family vacation to Southern California and spent a couple of days at Disneyland. I noticed that the hotel where we had a reservation, the Hilton Anaheim had a Twitter account and was even advertising a special Twitter rate.

ha rate

We changed our reservation and were able to save some money thanks to the great offer.  In appreciation for the discount, I followed the hotel and tweeted that we would be arriving the next week.




Having been on Twitter awhile, I knew what was supposed to happen.  I’d get a follow from the hotel and a response to my tweet. Perhaps even a note from the hotel at check-in.  So I waited and waited, but nothing happened.





While at the hotel, I tried again. The accommodations were lovely and the hotel staff provided great service, so I wanted to let people know.  But the same thing happened.




ha tweets

As you can see from their tweets, the Hilton Anaheim is using Twitter as a one way stream to send out updates and special offers.  Obviously, it can be effective as witnessed by my stay.  But of course, we know that Twitter can be so much more.  As Twitter has grown in usage and become more mainstream, some best practices for brands have emerged.  People want to be engaged and have relationships with brands. In a survey that Peter Sorgenfrei and I did of 208 Twitter users in May, 97% of respondents agreed that brands should engage their customers on Twitter.  They certainly want to know about discounts and coupons (71%), but they want more – a relationship. There have been many other studies which have demonstrated this.  This is why you see brands following the best practices of following, responding and engaging with their customers. That is how they get so much more out of Twitter.  In the hospitality field, two hotels that do a fantastic job in this area are the Roger Smith Hotel in New York and Seattle’s Hotel Max. As a result of his customer engagement and relationships, Brian Simpson of the Roger Smith has been recognized as a leader in using social media in the hospitality industry.  And not only does Jen at the Hotel Max send out offers and hotel news on Twitter, but she is very responsive to guests and is a vibrant member of Seattle’s Twitter community.

The glass is half full for the Hilton Anaheim, you can advertise your specials on Twitter or you can engage with guests to turn them into evangelists. Which one do you think the guests would choose?

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Follow-up to my People Magazine Twitter Post

We’ve had some great dialog in response to yesterday’s post about my People Magazine Tops on Twitter post. I really appreciate your insights and conversation.  The comments were spread all over the different social platforms, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and here.  Sometimes it feels like you’re playing three dimensional chess. There were some great analogies that people gave to describe the phenomenon of mainstream users following celebrities in a big way.  I’ve consolidated them and placed them all here. Thank you all for sharing your points of view. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

On the blog Veronica Sopher said that “It's like everyone in the house goes for a different section of the Sunday paper: politics, news, classifieds, funnies, coupons, etc.”  She also compared “having a high # of followers = # of direct mail postcards sent”.

On Facebook, Timothy Carter said, “I'm sure you'd agree...bigger, isn't always better.”

On LinkedIn, Chris Hare said, “It goes back to quality of conversation rather than # following. Vast #'s of Americans are also overweight but that doesn't make it healthy.”

Many Twitter comments were in response to Diane Hessan who tweeted, “When I read this post, it makes me want to cancel my twitter account”

On Twitter, Eric Andersen equated the most followed list with a “TV analogy: change the channel”

Ann Batko, in response to Diane Hessan said, “Nah, to me it's akin to saying one should stop watching Weeds because so many more people are watching The Bachelor!”

And Todd Randolph posted on Twitter,” lots of idiots drive, but I don't sell my car.”

The post also compelled Todd to respond on the blog and create his own blog post, twitzophrenia: the hard road to critical mass


Which analogy did you enjoy?  Can you come up with another one?




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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Can you believe these are the Top Twitter users?

The recent People magazine (makes time on the elliptical at the gym go faster) lists the ten most followed people on Twitter. Quite a surprise to me, maybe even a shock.

Celebrity Number of Followers
Ashton Kutcher 4,091,518
Britney Spears 3,942,948
Ellen DeGeneres 3,868,521
Barack Obama 2,829,240
Oprah Winfrey 2,757,922
John Mayer 2,723,642
Ryan Seacrest 2,688,172
Kim Kardashian 2,664,702
Shaquille O’Neal 2,626,098
Ashley Tisdale 2,374,478

All I can say is yecch! I don’t follow any of these people, although I followed Shaq when he first joined Twitter.  Where are all the tech and social media people? Thanks to the controversial suggested user list, Pete Cashmore of Mashable has over 1.8M followers. But Scoble, just 107K and social media Trust Agent, Chris Brogan, 113K. 

What does this all mean? I think we can definitely say, it is another indication that Twitter is today mainstream. Twitter has certainly distanced itself from its tech and social media community origins. But has it jumped the shark?  Is this list and the followers behind it representative of today’s twitter? And finally, do you think it’s a good thing.



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Friday, December 18, 2009

It’s my anniversary – what a difference a year makes.

Exactly one year ago, I was laid off from my job as Digital Strategist at  Wunderman/VML.  The resulting job search was fairly public and I’ve written about it a few times.  I’ve even been fortunate to have been interviewed in the mainstream press and spoken at conferences about my story.  I’ve presented this deck at those events.

As I’ve said many times, I feel very fortunate for the support, assistance, and encouragement that my community on Twitter provided during my abbreviated job search.   Since that heady time, a lot has happened. Obviously, I got a job, but it wasn’t the right job.  As a result, I was unhappy and unfulfilled which motivated me to find a new job.  For the last 90 days or so, I’ve been enjoying my tenure at Lift9.  It is fantastic to work at a company where my efforts are appreciated, I can make a strong contribution daily, and my counsel is sought after. I had forgotten what it is like to work in an environment like that and be excited to get to work.

In retrospect, much has happened over the last year in my professional life: 

  • I’ve worked for three different companies.
  • I experienced working remotely, which I didn’t like.
  • I experienced both a job search for need and a job search for choice. The one for choice is always better.
  • I’ve been recognized for the success of that job search and have used what I learned to help others.
  • I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago.

    December 18th will always have a special meaning for me in my life.  I’m glad and fortunate that I’ve been able to move forward from those unfortunate times.  And I certainly hope that those who have been in this situation can say a similar thing a year later.


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