Twitter Etiquette

I am addicted to Twitter.

In fact my addiction is bigger than just this one site. If I had the time I would be everywhere. Why? For me its the buzz that someone somewhere finds the information I provide of value. So how do I get my fix?  These consist of ReTweets, Comments and mentions.

But lets get back to Twitter, I love it, it has given us all a way of communicating in a completely new fashion. But what is the etiquette for this fast paced, communication platform.

Whilst its seen that newcomers to this platform can often make choices that could be perceived in a negative manner that could result in an unfollow of a block, believe me, the most experienced users can often trip up too.

So with the above question in mind, what is Twitter etiquette? Here are some guidelines, not law and least of all dont take my word for it.

-A complete bio and picture – yours (everyone likes faces) is always a good move. We like to see whom we are talking to. As a side note, make sure its the same in all your other platforms, consistency folks.

-If your Twitter is going to have mentions of your day job, list your employer in your profile.

-Don’t worry about the new stalking law, its ok to follow people you don’t know.

-It’s ok to unfollow, your not saying “I don’t like you”.

-Keep the conversation open, to a point, use the @reply function, you will find others may share their opinions or perspective.

-Use direct message when the conversation is more focused, personal or evolves to 1:1 planning.

-Don’t direct message someone you hardly know with automated messages. They may see it as SPAM.

-Remove auto update from location notification apps. You know the one I mean.

-We don’t like to see that you’ve gained 300 followers by using something.com services. Better to gain followers from valued content.

-Promoting others and talking with others is a great way of raising you visibity.

-That goes for blurting your information all the time it is not considered community sharing.

-More information on replies. Turn “Yes” into “Yes, I enjoyed the latest Bond movie too”.

-You don’t have to read every tweet.

-You don’t have to respond to every mention.

-The more you can respond though the more people tend to stay with you.

-It’s ok to have multiple twitter accounts.

-It’s OK to actively BLOCK followers you don’t want following you.

-If you’re running a customer service Twitter account, it’s polite to follow back the people following you.

-Check your links before you tweet them!

 

So these are my thoughts on guidelines. I look forward to seeing the comments on your advice to Twitters old and new

Is Email Dying?

I am fortunate enough to work with Luis Suarez and get to share his thoughts and comments on a daily basis. If you not following him on twitter or reading his blog post please do, you wont regret it.

Unfortunately, as we sit in different parts of the world, it is not often we meet.

However it was fantastic to meet and hear him speak at the UCExpo in London this week. He was there to discuss “A world without email”, and whilst I will not rewrite his superb work, find it here. I will note a couple of things we should all consider when using email in business.

Noticeably:

Email is no longer king of collaboration, if you want to collaborate effectively you need to be using the right tools.

Email should be a messaging and notification portal NOT a repository of information, where is becomes lost and provides no value.

Of course there are use case’s for email, so whilst you can reduce the amount of emails you receive, it will never be none. Luis states that his personal reduction is from 100’s a week down to an average of 16. Thats staggering right!

I would value your thoughts on the use of email, such as ; Do you see it as a to do list? Is it the only way you communicate now?

ibm.com: IDC White Paper – The Future of Mail is Social

IBM has just posted a new white paper on the evolution of email, written by IDC analyst Michael Fauscette. The paper discusses the history of email, how companies are viewing email in the context of collaboration and social business, and then takes a converged view of the future of email and its evolution into a social business tool. Social mail consideration and adoption are then discussed.

As social collaboration tools become more available and are deployed to more employees, some companies and individuals are looking for these tools to alleviate the growing complaints and irritation of traditional enterprise communication tools, particularly email.  This IDC study takes a look at the current state of enterprise email and the perceived and real problems that surrounds its use.  Rather than envisioning “a world without email”, instead, a future is revealed where email converges with social tools and grows into an innovative hybrid productivity tool to help support the new collaborative enterprise.

The paper is available on ibm.com, with an optional opportunity to register and allow IBM to follow up with you. Please share the web page link rather than the direct file link, as tracking the success of papers like this is what allows us to justify doing more of them…

Link: ibm.com: IDC White Paper – The Future of Mail is Social >

6 Steps to a More Marketable LinkedIn Profile

Overall, LinkedIn is the best social media platform for entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals. Unfortunately, your LinkedIn profile may not be helping you to create those connections.

So let’s tune yours up with six simple steps:

Step 1. Revisit your goals. At its most basic level LinkedIn is about marketing: marketing your company or marketing yourself. But that focus probably got lost as you worked through the mechanics of completing your profile, and what started as a marketing effort turned into a resume completion task. Who you are isn’t as important as what you hope to accomplish, so think about your goals and convert your goals into keywords, because keywords are how people find you on LinkedIn.

But don’t just whip out the Google AdWords Keyword Tool and identify popular keywords. It’s useful but everyone uses it—and that means, for example, that every Web designer has shoehorned six- and seven-digit searches-per-month keywords like “build a website,” “website templates,” “designing a website,” and “webmaster” into their profile. It’s hard to stand out when you’re one of millions.

Go a step further and think about words that have meaning in your industry. Some are process-related; others are terms only used in your field; others might be names of equipment, products, software, or companies.

Use a keyword tool to find general terms that could attract a broader audience, and then dig deeper to target your niche by identifying keywords industry insiders might search for.

Then sense-check your keywords against your goals. If you’re a Web designer but you don’t provide training, the 7 million monthly Google searches for  “how to Web design” don’t matter.

Step 2. Layer in your keywords. The headline is a key factor in search results, so pick your most important keyword and make sure it appears in your headline. “Most important” doesn’t mean most searched, though; if you provide services to a highly targeted market the keyword in your headline should reflect that niche. Then work through the rest of your profile and replace some of the vague descriptions of skills, experience, and educational background with keywords. Your profile isn’t a term paper so don’t worry about a little repetition. A LinkedIn search scans for keywords, and once on the page, so do people.

Step 3. Strip out the clutter. If you’re the average person you changed jobs six or eight times before you reached age 30. That experience is only relevant when it relates to your current goals. Sift through your profile and weed out or streamline everything that doesn’t support your business or professional goals. If you’re currently a Web designer but were an accountant in a previous life, a comprehensive listing of your accounting background is distracting. Keep previous jobs in your work history, but limit each to job title, company, and a brief description of duties.

Step 4. Reintroduce your personality. Focusing on keywords and eliminating clutter is important, but in the process your individuality probably got lost. Now you can put it back and add a little enthusiasm and flair. Describing yourself as, “A process improvement consultant with a Six Sigma black belt,” is specific and targeted but also says nothing about you as a person—and doesn’t make me think, “Hey, she would be great to work with.”

Share why you love what you do in your profile. Share what you hope to accomplish. Describe companies you worked for or projects you completed. Share your best or worst experience. Keep your keywords in place, leave out what doesn’t support your goals, and then be yourself.

Keywords are important but are primarily just a way to help potential clients find you. No one hires keywords; they hire people.

Step 5. Take a hard look at your profile photo. Say someone follows you on Twitter. What’s the first thing you do? Check out their photo.

A photo is a little like a logo: On its own an awesome photo won’t win business, but a bad photo can definitely lose business.

Take a look at your current photo. Does it reflect who you are as a professional or does it reflect a hobby or outside interest? Does it look like a real estate agent’s headshot? A good photo flatters but doesn’t mislead. Eventually you’ll meet some of your customers in person and the inevitable disconnect between Photoshop and life will be jarring.

The goal is for your photo to reflect how you will look when you meet a customer, not how you looked at that killer party in Key West four years ago. The best profile photo isn’t necessarily your favorite photo. The best photo strikes a balance between professionalism and approachability, making you look good but also real.

Step 6. Get recommendations. Most of us can’t resist reading testimonials, even when we know those testimonials were probably solicited. Recommendations add color and depth to a LinkedIn profile, fleshing it out while avoiding any, “Oh jeez will this guy ever shut up about himself?” reactions. So ask for recommendations, and offer to provide recommendations before you’re asked.

The best way to build great connections is to always be the one who gives first.

Written by:

Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest leaders he knows in business. @jeff_haden

The State of the Twitterverse 2012 by Brian Solis

@briansolis

The first time I wrote about Twitter was March 2007. My, how time and Tweets fly. With 500 million registered users and 33 billion Tweets flying across the Twitterverse every day, Twitter has become a fabric of our digital culture. Twitter is now ingrained in our digital DNA and is reflected in our lifestyle and how we connect and communicate with one another.

While many struggle to understand its utility or its significance in the greater world of media, it is the most efficient global information network in existence today. News no longer breaks, it Tweets. People have demonstrated the speed and efficacy of social networking by connecting to one another based on interests (interest graph) rather then limiting connections to relationships (social graph).  Twitter represents a promising intersection of new media, relationships, traditional media and information to form one highly connected human network.

I recently stumbled upon a well done infographic created by Infographic Labs to communicate the state of of the Twitterverse. It’s quite grand in its design. So, to help get the most out of it, I’ve dissected it into smaller byte-sized portions.

A Brief History of Twitter

July 2006 – Twttr’s hatched (Yes that’s how it was originally spelled), by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone

July 2007 – Raises $1 million, valued at $5 million

November 2008 – President-elect Barack Obama thanks his Twitter followers

2009 – 2 billion Tweets per day, Twitter raises $35 million

Dec 2010 – Raises $200 million, now valued at $3.7 billion

2011 – 100 million active users sending 33 billion Tweets per day

The Top 3 Countries for Twitter

1. United States – 107.7 million

2. Brasil – 33.3 million

3. Japan – 29.9 million

The Top 5 Moments in Tweets

1. “Castle in the Sky” TV Screening – 25,088 Tweets per second (TPS)

2. Superbowl XLVI Last Minutes – 10,245 TPS

3. (Tied) Madonna at the Superbowl – 10,245 TPS

4. Tim Tebow’s Win – 9,420 TPS

5. Beyonce at the VMAs – 8,869 TPS

Top 6 Reasons for Retweeting

1. Interesting content – 92%

2. Personal connection – 84%

3. Humor – 66%

4. Incentive – 32%

5. Retweet requests – 26%

6. Celebrity status – 21%

Top 4 Ways People Decide to Follow You

1.Suggested by friends – 69%

2. Online search – 47%

3. Suggested by Twitter – 44%

4. Promotions – 31%

Top Factoids You Didn’t Know About Twitter

1. Twitter’s projected ad revenue in 2012 is $259 million

2. Projected ad revenue by 2014 is $540 million

3. 11 Twitter accounts created every second

4. 1 million accounts opened every day

 

Connect with Brian: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+ |

Order The End of Business as Usual today…

Gamification: Unlocking hidden collaboration potential

By Tim Royle, Guest Blogger, Executive Director, ISW

 

“If you can measure it you can improve it” is an old business adage that is easily applied to performance criteria such as manufacturing output levels or sales quotas. But, how can you apply measurement metrics to the more subjective sciences of collaboration and business success? Simple, the answer is “gamification.”

The following chart assumes an organizational performance level of 30 percent. By encouraging users to adopt social software through gamification, we have the opportunity to improve performance and drive bottom-line returns.

image

What is gamification?

Gamification is the application of game design techniques to business processes aimed at encouraging user adoption and participation. This is typically achieved by:

  • Achievement badges
  • Achievement levels
  • Reward systems
  • Leader boards

Why gamification?

The reasons are:

  • Gamification has the potential to unlock wasted talent and streamline business processes through enhanced collaboration.
  • Work processes rely increasingly on interacting with colleagues, partners, and customers in social networks; to manage performance, new performance management metrics are needed.
  • Younger and older generations alike identify with gamification and reward systems.
  • The gamification of business objectives and their breakdown into key performance indicators provides a new way for organizations to drive performance improvement.

The term gamification in some way perhaps trivializes what we are trying to achieve. Take the point of view of an inflexible or unprogressive manager: “I don’t want our people playing games on work time!” This is the same person who objected to the introduction of instant messaging saying “I don’t want our people chatting and wasting time.” The benefits of instant messaging, presence awareness, and screenshare are now universally acknowledged. So, nothing is new here, other than gamification, which simply faces the technology adoption curve.

 

How do we get started with gamification?

Go to gamification.org and to the gamification blog (gamification.co), which also provides useful reference material. IBM Connections users can visit kudosbadges.com site.

Having decided that the idea of implementing social software makes sense, next ensure that your social software strategy includes ways of measuring and rewarding users for their participation. The alignment of collaboration goals with business objectives is key. Having gamified collaboration goals, any business process can be similarly gamified.

For example, a marketing/sales process could be engineered in the following way: 500 letters – Direct Mail Badge

500 follow up phonecalls – Telemarketing Badge

50 meetings – Meeting Badge

20 proposals – Proposal Badge

1 order – Sales Badge

5 orders – Sales Guru Badge

The measurement of performance across this simple sales/marketing process may draw on data from disparate systems. For example, if the organization uses SAP, the lodgement of a purchase order attributable to the sales person will click the counter on the user’s Sales Badge. The integration of these systems is achieved through a gamification engine that displays progress in the place where it’s most needed, the social portal:

image

Organizations that are invested in business process management, Balanced Scorecard, or Six Sigma principles will have a head start in that much of the performance metrics for gamification will already be in place.

2012 gamification predictions

These are several predictions:

  • Organizations will embrace gamification.
  • Gamification will continue to thrive in the social software space.
  • Gamification will penetrate all business processes and systems.

Summary

Gamification offers a serious capability to improve organizational performance. Early adopters will benefit most; those who choose to be laggards will face increasing competitive pressure from those who embrace gamification and invest in the analysis of their business processes and structured measurement and reward systems.

Tim Royle is an Executive Director of ISW, Australian based IBM Premier Partner. ISW is an award-winning, pure-play IBM Business Partner that designs, implements, and supports solutions based on WebSphere, ICS, Tivoli, Rational, Information Management, and Cognos technologies. He has worked with IBM Collaboration Solutions since 1992 and has spoken at events such as Collective Intelligence, LCTY, AUSLUG, and Lotusphere. Tim is a member of the IBM Social Business social media IBM Redbooks team and spends his time focused on implementing successful social software solutions.

Tim is an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader image Read further blogs from Tim and others here

Twitter: @twroyle