Is Facebook the New AOL?

I remember a conversation with my mom in the mid-90’s about wanting to get “on the internet”. She had been listening to stories from me about my work at an early web design agency and decided she was going to take the plunge. Not wanting to play tech-support all day I quickly recommended AOL.

Remember the dial-up sound that was likely to be happening as you saw this

I made that recommendation for a few reasons – they had nationwide coverage (I had a local ISP with a local number), it was easy to install and for the most part it was the internet on training wheels. Sure, you could get out on the big bad web, but for the most part sticking close to your AOL home base you could send email and visit the AOL sites (keyword anyone?)

While I am happy to see more people comfortable with posting, viewing and participating on Facebook these days I can’t help but wonder – is Facebook the new AOL? Will it get huge while trying to contain the whole internet experience in one place and then blow-up massively, maybe linger in some form or format. Perhaps a final Jeopardy question in 10 years? Or will the team find a way to stay relevant and pivot/turn/twist/re-shape itself over the next few years? Only time will tell my friends, but I am definitely keenly interested.



Using Yahoo Pipes? Have You Tried IFTTT Yet?

If this then that - what will you do with it

Feedly is my home base for reading but for publishing, I am all over the place. Lately I’ve been playing more with IFTTT (if this than that) and I not quite sure how I lived without it.

Sends me texts on Sunday nights to remind me to make calls to my family, get email when some one is selling blue mason jars in the area and it downloads pictures to my DropBox account whenever I am tagged on Facebook.

If you haven’t tried it – what are you waiting for? If you have – what are your favorite recipes?

Empathy Is The Most Important Ingredient To Social Business Transformation

If you have read any social business articles, whitepapers or blogs lately you probably read that you need to have a plan, deploy the technology and engage the users. Such advice barely scratches the surface.

It fails to advise how to plan, how to deploy and how to engage. It is like describing the ingredients to a gourmet dessert but failing to explain how to make a mousse.

What guides successful planning, deployment and engagement is something much fuzzier and difficult to nail down: empathy.

For more on this, see the full article at Social Business News

Best Times to Tweet – Industry Averages or Specific To Your Audience?

Last week I was thrilled to see the latest social stat from Dan Zarrella on How to Get More Clicks on Twitter. Always looking for ways to increase my reach I have been testing some new tools both from a queue/timing perspective as well as digging into the analytics specific to my follower base. I was interested to see after bumping Dan’s stats up again my actual performance that while many of the best times to tweet were similar, my best reach came at slightly different time because of when my audience was online.

The most amount of my followers are online Monday and Thursday at 10am PST (denoted below by the black dots)

While online time did impact reach a bit, the majority of my replies and RT’s came at different hours. Monday at 10am – no replies or RT even though most of my followers are online, ditto with Thursday. Wednesday between 12-2pm was the best and look at the weekend Fri-Sun – 6pm to Midnight were the hot times.

More Valuable Replies, RT’s or CTR?
When looking at Twitter performance I’m looking not only at the replies and RT’s but also who clicked through on the links. Below is the previous weeks click-data while Wednesday was the best day for replies and RT’s it was one of the lowest for click-throughs, the weekends again killed it for CTR. While Sunday is one of the lowest days for audience online, it tends to be the audience that RT’s and clicks on my links the most.

What is Next?
My best times are determined by two key measures: the performance of past tweets and when most of my followers will be online. I’ll be changing some of the buffering tools I use to tweet armed with this new data and see if I can get my replies or retweets to increase. I look at this data weekly to see how changes in schedule do or don’t impact reach and response.

What are you doing to optimize your Twitter marketing?