Why Twitter #Hashtags Are Worthless [Infographic]

Twitter is a fantastic tool for disseminating information to an audience in real-time. It’s absolutely no surprise that companies, celebrities, and authority figures more and more respond to the public using this medium. Because of that, media organizations are constantly citing posts on Twitter as an almost immediate news source. Twitter isn’t limited to news purposes however as users engage in conversations, link sharing, and posting interesting content since inception.

Spammers have also discovered Twitter as a tool to blast out their messages, often interrupting real information with plugs for their unrelated causes. It’s been estimated that about 5% of Twitter users are fake and although Twitter attempts to crack down on these users, they continue to pop up. Automated tweets also adds another level of complexity to the Twitter ecosystem. The technology has it’s purpose, for example automatically tweeting one of your recent blog posts to your followers, but it also provides ample opportunity to turn a real person into a robot. Another example of a frustrating practice is thanking your recent followers with a generic automated DM, as it adds no real value.

As a side, because of all of these fake accounts I regularly attempt to scrub my fake followers with free tools like CrowdFire, where I remove followers who haven’t been active for more than 6 months.

Now let’s talk about how #hashtags fit into this story.

Hashtags are a great tool to group tweets together among a large number of users. They can effectively combine posts for an event or topic, providing an easy way to follow the conversation. But the problem occurs when spammers target hashtags in an attempt insert themselves.

I recently discovered an infographic by VENNGAGE, which is a company that provides everything you need to create and publish infographics for free. They created an infographic titled “Why Twitter #Hashtags Are Worthless,” and in this infographic they state that “while hashtags used to be one of the most exciting parts of Twitter, bots and spammers now target popular hashtags in their tweets, likes and shares.” Feel free to review the full infographic below:

Infographics: Hashtag Spam

Hashtag Spam | Infographics

Corporate Social Media Campaigns [Infographic]

The following infographic showcases some recent and interesting findings on how corporations are tackling social media. Initially skeptical of its use for business purposes, it appears many have adopted the two-way communication mindset during this modern age of information and relationship building.

Below are some of the more interesting highlights from the infographic:

  • 94% of corporates use social media in some capacity.
  • 75% saw an increase in website traffic.
  • 58% use it for lead generation.
  • Favorite social sites are Facebook (92%), Twitter (82%), LinkedIn (73%) and blogs (61%).
  • 58% of Fortune 500 companies had Facebook pages in 2011, 62% had Twitter accounts.
  • Companies with blogs dropped from 50% to 37%. Speculated due to content requirements. [I’m not sure about this statistic. My experience shows that more companies are seeing value in Inbound Marketing and blogging their thought leadership]
  • Blog best practices: schedule posts on a regular basis, plan ahead, use a casual tone, interact with customers, and enable social sharing.

Social media is going corporate
Courtesy of: MBA Programs

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform [Infographic]

There are many factors to consider when you’re choosing the social media platform that is right for your brand or company profile. First off, you have to decide on the resources you’re willing to allocate every day, week, and month to maintaining the account. A state social media profile can sometimes do more harm than not having one at all. If you’re going to engage with prospects and customers, then first commit to keeping it up-to-date.

Below is a helpful infographic from Infographics.sg, a data visualization and design agency. This infographic outlines some of the major factors to consider when deciding where to showcase your content. It also dives into the demographics of each social media account and you can determine if that matches your customer profile.

Below is a Quick Summary of the Infographic:

  • Facebook and Google+ have the widest range of media types including: photo, video, article, and text.
  • StumbleUpon, Youtube, and Google+ are the most effective platforms for SEO goals.
  • Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter are the most effective platforms for generating traffic goals.
  • Slideshare, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram are all good platforms for brand exposure goals.
  • Slideshare, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are great platforms for customer engagement goals.
  • Facebook has the most users. It’s followed by YouTube, Twitter, and Google+.
  • If you’re targeting users under 18, then Google+ and Pinterest will be effective.
  • If you’re targeting users between 18 and 24, then you’ll find them on Google+ and Reddit.
  • If you’re targeting users between 25 and 34, then you should look to Google+ and YouTube.
  • If you’re targeting users between 34 and 44, then LinkedIn and Slideshare will be your best bet.
  • If you’re targeting users between 45 and 54, then you probably want to look at Facebook, Linkedin, and Pinterest.
  • If you’re targeting users between 55 and 64, then Facebook, Linkedin, and Pinterest are still the way to go.
  • If you’re targeting users above 65, then Linkedin and Facebook will work.
  • Facebook and Reddit has a majority of men on the network.
  • Pinterest and Twitter skews more heavily towards women.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform Infographic:

Choosing the most effective social media platforms - Infographic
Courtesy of: Infographics.SG

How Social Media and Mobile Technology Impact the Customer Experience [Infographic]

It’s easy for technology start-ups and web service companies to understand the importance of communicating with customers through channels such as social media and mobile technology. They have it ingrained in their DNA. It’s more difficult for companies that have a long-standing culture of face to face or direct mail interaction, to adopt these methods.

It’s not that face to face interaction with customers is unimportant. I believe that it is still the single best method for building relationships and getting a true understanding of your customers’ needs. The problem is that it takes time and your customers aren’t always willing to give it. With a myriad of choices, customers opt for the quickest and most painless way of learning, providing feedback, complimenting, or complaining.

Avaya, a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, has created the infographic below titled “How Social Media and Mobile Technology Impact the Customer Experience.” This great research identifies and ranks the channels that consumers prefer when interacting with brands.

Preferred Channels to Interact with Businesses (in order of most preferred to least preferred)

  • Phone Direct – 84%
  • Email – 80%
  • Company Website – 72%
  • Face to Face – 64%
  • Website FAQ – 54%
  • Post/direct Mail – 41%
  • Phone Call – 37%
  • Text/SMS – 34%
  • Company Online Forum – 30%
  • Web Chat – 29%
  • External Online Forum – 25%
  • Skype – 22%
  • Facebook/Other Social Network – 16%
  • Mobile Apps – 12%
  • Video Conferencing 11%

If you’re a business owner or brand marketer, it’s important to recognize that your customers have a preference to how they’d like to engage with you. Are you adopting the right channels?

How Social Media and Mobile Technology Impact the Customer Experience Infographic:

How Social Media and Mobile Technology Impact the Customer Experience

Infographic by: Avaya

Social Media Profile Image Size Guide [Infographic]

Consistent branding across your website, print, video, website, and social media accounts is essential in a modern world where consumers are hit with countless advertisements in a single day. It becomes even more difficult when each of those medium’s creative require different sizes, color, software, time, and expertise to produce. Take just publishing your logo on different social media profiles for example. You have to design different creative at a wide variety of sizes for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+.

Original Ginger, a “Digital Agency located in the heart of historic Fort Langley, a hip and artistic suburb of Vancouver BC”, created an infographic that quickly communicates the image sizes of each of the popular social media companies. Use this to work with your agency or have your design team prepare your creative so that you can have one look and feel to your brand across them all.

Quick Summary:

  • Facebook Cover: 851 x 315
  • Facebook Profile: 200 x 200
  • Facebook App Boxes: 111 x 74
  • Twitter Background: 2000 x 1200
  • Twitter Profile: 128 x 128
  • Twitter Company Header: 1200 x 600
  • LinkedIn Profile: 200 x 200
  • LinkedIn Company Banner: 640 x 220
  • YouTube Avatar: 1600 x 1600
  • YouTube Channel Background: 1500 x 2000 or 1200 x 2500
  • Pinterest Avatar: 180 x 180
  • Pinterest Image Max Width & Height: 554 & 5000
  • Google+ Banner: 2120 x 1192 *UPDATED!
  • Google+ Profile: 250 x 250
  • Google+ Company Banner: 110 x 110

Social Media Image Sizing Guide Infographic:

Infographic by OriginalGinger.com

SMS Marketing vs Social Media Marketing [Infographic]

A recent infographic by Mogreet, a leader in mobile video and MMS messaging, stacks up the usage and engagement of SMS & MMS mobile communication against social media’s top players Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. They separate the two into what they call Narrowcast and Broadcast.

Narrowcasting is the sharing of information directly to its intended recipient, thereby breaking through all of the clutter. Broadcasting is the mass public sharing, such as a post or tweet. The infographic supports that you’re not only more likely to reach your audience but they’ll be more apt to respond when you do it. This conclusion is drawn from some very interesting statistics.

What does this mean for marketers?

SMS and MMS are powerful marketing tactics that can get your message directly to your audience and more importantly, they’ll see it. What is the average click rate of your last email? It’s unlikely it was above 15%. If it was, you’re part of the lucky minority. How many people viewed your Facebook page? Yes, you can see that now.  Tweets go by even faster. How many of those get a mention or retweet? According to the infographic, 98% of all SMS and MMS messages are opened. That’s a remarkable percentage and clearly demonstrates how much this medium is valued.

Build a Personal Touch-point with Your Loyal Customers

Recently I was talking with the owner of a small family restaurant in my area. They were experimenting with SMS messaging. At first, it was slow going collecting their customer’s information but after a while of asking nicely, displaying signs, and not abusing those already in the program, they started to get a good base of numbers. The owner has had great success with using this channel in a number of ways. In fact, it has become their primary means of communication that trumps email, social, and traditional advertising.

Here shows how they are using SMS messaging.

  • Timely deals – Restaurants have predictable, and sometimes non-predictable, slow times that sack profit. Instead of making employees go home early, they send out a promotion offering a discount within the next few hours.
  • Upcoming events – If you’re a local business then you know how valuable it is to be involved in the community. They announce where they’ll be and what they’ll be promoting. This is also a great way to include your partners and benefit from each others audiences.
  • Special Announcements – Nobody can predict the future and sometimes weather or other events cause a change in regular business. They use the SMS channel to instantly inform their customers if they are closing early, not open on particular day, or a change in staff.

Below is the infographic titled “Is Bigger Always Better?”

Infographic by Mogreet

Pinterest Marketing Drives Sales [Infographic]

According to a recent infographic and article by online store platform Shopify.com

Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social network site in the world, and ecommerce stores can leverage its popularity to significantly increase traffic and sales.

How did they determine this? Shopify analyzed 25,000 of their stores to see where the referral traffic was coming from. What’s amazing is visitors from Pinterest  are 10% more likely to make a purchase over other major social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Also, the orders tend to be higher, almost double in fact, than Facebook referral orders.

Are you using Pinterest to generate sales for your business? It might be worth a look.

See below as this infographic compares Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Infograhic created by Shopify.com




How Marketers Use Social Media [Infographic]

It’s no surprise that advertising professionals are advocates of social media. We research, test, and execute marketing campaigns on a daily basis and they design these campaigns with the purpose of delivering a message to a targeted group of prospects. Social media not only allows for highly targeted messaging but it’s extremely scalable. The message can be sent and re-sent by the recipients. This inherently viral component, along with the ability to measure it, makes it very appealing for use.

But are “Normal” or non-advertising professionals using it the same way? Are they as engaged on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest? Do they log the same amount of hours as the marketing managers?

This infographic by SF Heat provides some interesting insight into the difference.

Some interesting highlights:

  • 92% of Ad Pros follow brands they like versus 33% of normal people.
  • 61% of Ad Pros have a Google+ account versus 23% of normal people.
  • 63% of Ad Pros “Strongly Agree” that companies should invest in social media with their customers versus 23% of normal people.

View the full infographic below, click to enlarge:

Social Media is Complicated [Infographic]

As introduced to us by Business Insider, Buddy Media’s Social Enterprise Software is a suite of products is “designed to help brands build and maintain relationships with consumers to accelerate their business.”

Why do brands need help with this? Well, it’s complicated.

To demonstrate that complexity Buddy Media created this image that shows all of the brands/companies involved including: analytics, social scoring, ad networks, facebook apps, content curation, twitter apps, photo sharing, social TV, and URL shorteners… to name a few.

Click the image below to enlarge.

Buddy Media Social Marketing Infographic

So what does this mean to companies and marketers who want to break into the social media space and start utilizing this industry without getting overwhelmed?

  • Start small – if you’re just starting to test social media and determine if it’s appropriate for your clients or business then pick a few partners and go from there. Start sharing content and use social media as another channel to amplify it. Remember, social media is a conversation used to build relationships. It’s not a shouting match between competitors.
  • Stay informed – as you can see there are a lot of moving parts and companies that are either becoming a social media network themselves or helping enhance the use of those sites. Stay productive, but also stay up-to-date on the latest case studies of companies that are doing a great job in social media – Zappos, American Express, Allstate, Oreo, NBC #TheVoice, Xbox… to name a few.
  • Jump In – stop wondering if you can benefit from social media and just do it. Follow the leaders in your industry or blaze your own trail. Build champions in your company and get them on-board. Show them how they can distribute content, connect with fans, and measure results.

10 Twitter Success Tips

When I first joined Twitter, I didn’t know quite what I would get out of it. However, like all other social media I knew it was about building real relationships. For all relationships, in-person or otherwise, the connection should always be genuine and helpful.

Based on what I’ve learned, I believe that your Twitter strategy should be based on reciprocity of sharing others’ content first and then engaging them with interesting conversation.

Below are 10 Tips that can help make you a success on Twitter.

  1. Tweet 10-20 times throughout the day.If you’re not posting anything then nobody will want to follow you. You’ll get out of it what you put into it. Be active. Force yourself to commit to Tweeting and see if you can interact with a few new people each day.
  2. Express gratitude for those that mention or retweet. Anytime someone adds you to a list, retweets you, or mentions you, they should receive a “Thank You” from you. They took the time to actively engage with your post. The least you can do is express gratitude. If someone thanks you, respond with a “You’re welcome”. Read their bio. Do you have anything in common? This is an excellent opportunity to continue the conversation.
  3. Learn what the best Tweeple are doing.There are a few people/brands on Twitter that are getting some real value out of it. Follow them and pay attention to what they are doing. Are they starting conversations? Are they replying to people? Are the freely promoting others? My guess would be “yes” to all three of those questions.
  4. Give 10x more than you receive.Don’t expect anything in return. Although you want people to reciprocate and engage with you, don’t expect it. Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t respond. Instead, genuinely want to help people. Answer a question they are asking. Give them advice. Share a product with them. Promote their product. All of these actions are intended to help them first with nothing in return.
  5. Be interesting and relevant.Now’s your chance to contribute. You have a unique perspective that no one else in the world has. Use that to be interesting. If you can’t be interesting, find something that excites you an share it. There is a good chance that someone else would find it interesting as well.
  6. Use hashtags for events, webinars, activities, and popular topics.Utilize all functionality that social media and Twitter offers you that helps spread your post. People are actively searching and following hashtags. If all it takes if for you to add a quick hashtag at the end of your post to potentially get some more eyes on it, then it’s a no brainer. Add it. This works especially well for live events and webinars.
  7. Keep your tone is educational and appreciative.Everything you post on Twitter should be positive. If you have a negative opinion about something, my belief is not to share it. You want to be perceived as helpful. Don’t complain. Don’t put anyone down. Your goal on Twitter is to make friends.
  8. Consistently provide value to all those who follow you.Your reputation won’t be built in a single tweet. In fact, most of your Twitter followers won’t see everyone of your tweets. I haven’t seen any research on it but I’d be surprised if at any given time if more than 5% of your followers see that post. So constantly be “on your game”. Keep posting great stuff and eventually your followers will start paying attention, engaging with you, and your list will grow.
  9. Expand your relationship outside of Twitter. Many people or brands are promoting something other than their Twitter account. Almost all of them will call that out in one way or anothing. Whether it’s a blog, a product, or services they provide, you have an opportunity to expand the relationship. Comment on their website. Meet up with them at a conference. Give their product or service a quick review. Think “how else can I engage with them?”
  10. Test and revisit what works for you.You should be constantly learning, trying, and evaluating what you’re doing. If you’ve done something that worked in the past, try it again. Replicate it until you find something better. What works for someone doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, and the opposite is also true.

If you have any other tips to help make you a success on Twitter, please share in the comments.