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Posts Tagged ‘business on twitter’

Twitter Relaunches Its Business Website With New Content, Success Stories And More [VIDEO]

What can your business do in just 140 characters?

That’s the question Twitter hopes to answer for brands of all shapes and sizes with the relaunch of its Twitter for Business website, which was unveiled yesterday with a new design, new content and yet another of those very charming Twitter videos.

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I Just Upgraded To @HootSuite Pro (Which Means I'm Actually Paying For Twitter)

Time to put my money where my mouth is. Yep – I can now say I am actually paying to tweet.

As regular readers will know, I’ve been a huge fan of HootSuite since way back. My team and I find the software absolutely invaluable at work, and the new Pro package monthly subscription ($5.99, plus $15 per user – note, not per social network, which are unlimited with the pro plan) was a small price to pay.

I didn’t do the Ow.ly vanity URL, because I don’t want that – I want bit.ly, and that isn’t yet an option, which is frustrating. But everything else has become essential.

A free version of HootSuite is still available, although business users are kind of over a barrel here as the free option doesn’t come with any of the features we’ve come to know and love, and is really for single users only. Which is fair enough. If you’re making money with Twitter, then Twitter – and associates – should probably be taking a little back from you.

I hope that HootSuite continue to add features to this plan and all this anti-freemium stuff works out for them, as if/until something better comes along the thought of downgrading to TweetDeck or CoTweet simply does not appeal. This is a bold but in my opinion welcome move – now isn’t the time to just stagnate and count the cash.

Improve, improve, improve – most importantly, listen to what your users want.

Just for the record, I’m not affiliated with HootSuite (although I should be, by jove) now affiliated with HootSuite. Why? Because I believe in it. If you’re a fan and using HootSuite for business purposes on Twitter, do the right thing and upgrade.

You can find more details on the Pro service here.

Twitter Launching "Twitter Business Center" Toolkit For Brands

Currently only available to a small, hand-picked group of users, Twitter’s new Business Center will provide a range of powerful tools to businesses and brands on the network, including:

  • Customisation of your business profile page
  • Adding a “verified account” badge to your profile
  • Extra preferences, including being able to receive direct messages from customers that you are not following
  • Account management tools that will allow multiple employees to easily tweet from one profile (and be credited accordingly)

The part in bold is pretty huge. This allows companies to appease customers by allowing two-way, private communication, whilst also maintaining a clean Twitter feed, something that hasn’t been possible before. Prior to this toolkit, brands were forced to either follow everybody back, and suffer the consequences, or they (rightly) put their focus on signal-over-noise, and risked crapping all over any future sales.

Once Business Center goes live, expect a ton of mass-unfollowing from corporate accounts.

It’s unclear how this verification process works, but one imagines (and hopes) that it won’t be as simple as ticking a box.

As said, this toolkit is slowly rolling out, and is highly unlikely to appear on everybody’s screen, with the focus very much on additional functionality for brands, not individuals.

Still, if you’re a business user on Twitter – and, perhaps more importantly, Twitter is aware of this – keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

(See more at Mashable.)

Twitter For Business – Tips For Brands And Entrepreneurs On Twitter

There’s a new section on my website – Twitter For Business.

This page will house all the tips, tutorials and articles on Twittercism that are most relevant to brands and entrepreneurs on Twitter, including:

Next week, I’ll be publishing a step-by-step guide for businesses that are new to the social network, offering a ‘how to’ guide to maximise the Twitter experience. In the meantime, check out Twitter For Business, and let me know which topics you’d like to see covered in the future.

Five Predictions For Twitter In 2010

Twitter has come a long, long way in 2009, maturing from a simple status updating service to a fully-fledged news broadcasting system that is as pivotal and informative to the global media as it is to the general public. The social network is now arguably the hottest thing on the internet as we move into the heady days of 2010.

As any network grows, it’s forced to change and adapt. Here are five predictions I’m making that we will see on Twitter in 2010.

Twitter Will Start To Become Profitable

Twitter Will Start To Become Profitable In 2010Twitter’s deals with Microsoft and Google in 2009 mean that a good chunk of money is finally hitting their bank accounts. Other features they’ll add in 2010, including premium accounts for businesses (see below), improved metrics and a deeper (and billable) integration into television and other mainstream media, will ensure the pot never runs dry.

It won’t be huge in 2010, but I would expect $150-250m in profit by the end of the year.

(If they’re not making at least $100m in clear profit, my gut tells me they’ll be bought.)

The Difference Between Media And Social Media Will Continue To Blur

The Difference Between Media And Social Media Will Continue To BlurI’ve written about this in some detail before, and we already saw significant evidence of this in 2009, but as the newspaper industry is forced to adapt a ‘live or die’ attitude to survive the difference between old and social media will blur to a point of invisibility. Already many major newspapers (The Telepgraph, New York Times, The Guardian and, yes, amazingly, The Daily Mail) are seeing and capitalising on the value of internet-appealing editorials and reportage, be that in the form of using Twitter (and other networks) to break and share news first, or through good old-fashioned link bait.

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Hey, Brands On Twitter: What Happens To Their Work Account When Your Star Employee Quits?

You’re a huge, global brand, and you’re on Twitter. You have lots of support employees on the network, and sensibly you’ve each allocated them a @name_company or @company_name username (i.e., ASOS_james). You have a unit working under your name, and they’re doing good things.

One of your employees becomes the real star of the team, and gets tens of thousands of followers over many months, offering fantastic support and just enough personality to be a hit. He starts getting a lot of attention.

Then one day, suddenly, he quits.

What now?

Some things to consider:

  1. Do you allow him to announce in his (current) Twitter account that he’s moving to another company, even if it’s a rival?
  2. Do you let another employee take over the account? And do you do this on the sly, or do you make it public knowledge?
  3. Do you rename the account, allocating it to another employee? What about those 50,000 followers – how are they going to react knowing their superstar is no longer in charge?
  4. Do you let the person running the account rename it, and take it over, doing with it as they will?
  5. Or do you just close the account? What about all those cases they solved, and help they gave? There’s a history there.

This is going to be a big deal in the future. I can see lawyers getting involved deciding who really ‘owns’ the tweets on employee accounts – or even the account itself. Yes, you’re tweeting on company time using company resources, but it’s your personality that’s made that account a success. It’s you that nurtured those followers, and it’s you that turned them into clients. When star salespeople leave companies, they often take clients with them. Indeed, their clients want to go. Why should it be any different on Twitter?

If you’re an individual like Jeremiah Owyang that moves his essentially personal account between companies, then it’s less of a problem. Owyang is the account. He takes it with him when he leaves. This perhaps seems like the right way forward, but it’s not necessarily best practice for companies to let employees use their personal accounts for work (and vice versa). And both lose the advantages of being associated with the brand name.

It becomes significantly less clear about what is the right thing to do – in both the contractual and ethical sense – if somebody becomes a superstar on Twitter using their work-only account, and then leaves. By association, the company becomes a superstar, too, particularly if the individual is being applauded for great support, and the ramifications of what happens when he or she quits (or, daresay, is fired) are considerable.

And as such, it might be worth thinking about the inevitability of that future now, as opposed to when it actually happens. Because believe me, it will.