Tag Archives: Twitter

Monday Morning Quick Tip – How To ‘Follow The Tweeter’ For Horsebiz Twitter Accounts

Image via ZDNet.com

Recently I saw a tweet (a post on Twitter) from one of the horsebiz people I follow. They were confused about why Twitter was limiting the people they could follow, especially when they only had about 2,000 followers and others, like celebrities and organizations, had many times that. So, while I helped this one person understand the issues involved, I felt it was a topic that could use some de-mystifying for others, since there is definitely a right and wrong way to ‘follow the tweeter’ when it comes to Twitter.

Click here to read more about Twitter & following rules!

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, New Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

52 Fridays – #16 Using Social Media: There’s A Policy For That

52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

Sharing information on social media can help build connections and attract customers. But too much information, called ‘oversharing,’ can be downright dangerous for your horsebiz. If you’re using social media for your business or brand, it’s a good idea to protect them from risk by developing a policy about what to share, where to share, and by whom.

It's a good idea to define what to share, and how much, on social media.

Social Media Is Often Free, But It Can Also Be A Free-For-All…So How Do You Protect Your Horsebiz?

There’s A Policy For That

Social media use for horsebiz is sort of a ‘wild, wild west’ right now. More and more people are jumping in and connecting via social networking sites like Facebook and ‘real time’ social media networks like Twitter, and more equine-related businesses are also getting on board. But when you’re new to social media, it can seem very intimate and personal, so you might inadvertently share information you don’t want others to know:

    • Do you take photos with your mobile phone at horse shows and post them to Facebook or Twitter? Your smartphone could be ‘geotagging‘ or marking photos with your exact location, potentially leaving your home and barn vulnerable while you’re away.
    • If you have employees, do they post to your business social media? Do they talk about work on their own social media accounts? The line between ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ is grey, at best, when it comes to sharing on social media, and inappropriate sharing by employees could affect your business or brand.

These are just two examples of the many ways that sharing on social media could hurt your horse business. It’s become such a potential risk, with real-life situations involving lawsuits, that insurance companies are now starting to develop social media insurance coverage.

But, social media and the interaction it can provide with customers can lead to beneficial opportunities for both, so proactively developing a policy, and putting it in writing, can help minimize risk to your horsebiz.

Setting up a basic social media policy can be fairly easy; you’ll want to include things like ‘avoid sharing proprietary information’ and ‘remember you’re representing the business both at work and during leisure hours.’ But think about the upsides of social media and the opportunities as well, such as ‘consider what our audience needs and wants from us.’

For more understanding on social media policies and what to include, here are some good resources:

Different types of social media have different benefits, opportunities, and risks. Start by becoming familiar with each kind as you’re getting started, and set up a basic policy for each one. You can revise as you go, but writing a policy after something’s happened is like closing that barn door once the horse has galloped away.

Does your horsebiz have a social media policy? Is this a whole new concept? Share your thoughts on social media, risk, and policies via the Leave a Comment link below. See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #17!

Read other 52Fridays posts by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #15.

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52 Fridays – #12 Using Twitter Allows You To Connect & Share…In Real Time

52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

An assortment of Twitter logos & icons

It’s been two years since I joined Twitter. While I know there are many out there still digging in their heels and resisting the call of the twitter-bird, I’d say ‘c’mon in, the water’s fine!’ Here’s why….

Twitter has evolved quite a bit in the past few years. Just celebrating its 5th birthday, Twitter has become a source of news and community for over 200 million registered users, sending a BILLION ‘tweets’ a week, as reported in this article by The Telegraph’s digital media editor. Yes, that’s right, a billion.

Twitter’s equestrian community is growing by the day, with big name retailers and professional horsemen/women tweeting right along with horseshow moms.

That’s what I love – we’re all just horsefolk on Twitter, we can connect with each other online despite geographic borders or what discipline we’re in. People share resources and ideas with each other on Twitter. And no matter what time of day it is, if I’m feeling a need to connect with someone and chat for a bit, I can usually find one of my horse ‘tweeps’ (Twitter peeps, or people) online.

If you’re already on Twitter, then you understand the community and sharing that happens there daily. If you’re not quite convinced, you might like to read these articles I wrote back in 2009, shortly after I started. In the first one – How Tweet Is It, To Be On Twitter? – you might laugh that I was such a newbie, I didn’t even realize that the correct way to list your Twitter name is to include the @ sign before it. That’s @KempEquine, not KempEquine. But hey, we all have a bit of a learning curve when trying something new, eh? And if you’re new to Twitter, just tell people…they’ll understand because it wasn’t so long ago they were new, too.

How Tweet Is It, To Be On Twitter?

Across The Twitterverse

Both of these articles include a few ideas on how a horsebiz might use Twitter and its ‘real time’ nature; I’d have a lot more ideas now that I know more. Ultimately whether or not you use Twitter and whether it makes sense for your equine business depends on your overall marketing strategy. But it’s free to sign up, so why not give it a whirl? You might meet some new friends, or learn something that could help you grow your horsebiz. In either case, wouldn’t that be a win?

Read other posts about Twitter by clicking on the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu to the right and selecting the Twitter category, or you can select 52 Fridays to read posts #1 through #11.

If we’re lucky, see you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #13!

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Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Twitter Turns Five, Founder Tweets Story

Happy Birthday, Twitter!

Image via ZDNet.com

The 140-character ‘microblog’ that many love to hate, and make fun of, turns five this year, from the ‘first tweet’ on March 21, 2006, to the public launch in July of that year.

In recognition of the 5th anniversary, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s tweeting the origins of Twitter over a several-week period; you can follow him via @jack, and use the hashtag #5yrs to share your own favorite tweets from Twitter’s first half-decade.

Twitter has become much more than online ‘watercooler’ chit-chat; it’s transforming communication in many ways, such as how we connect with each other, and how we are exposed to, and participate in, breaking news events; here’s a great article from ZDNet.com about the mobilization of breaking news.

Despite trepidation by some, the equine community on Twitter is growing by the day as more people sign up and begin to integrate their Twitter accounts with Facebook, other social media, and for horsebiz accounts, their traditional marketing methods.

Last week I was asked to give a presentation on Twitter at a meeting in Lexington; with the five year anniversary upon us, I thought it made sense to take a look back to see how we got to this place via the Twitter Timeline below; today’s the perfect day to share it with you, on the 5th anniversary of the first tweet.

Twitter Timeline:

2007 – SXSW festival – created a ‘tipping point’ with many influential buzz-makers

  • Large screens streaming tweets exclusively
  • Attendees kept in touch via tweets
  • During event, tweets increased from 20k per day to 60k per day
  • Twitter received SXSW Web Award that year

2008

  • From Feb 2008 to Feb 2009, Twitter had 1,382% growth (475,000 visitors to 7 million) – Facebook had a 228% increase during that same time
  • Nielsen organization ranked Twitter as fastest growing site in Member Communities category in March 2009

2009

  • Trending Topics sidebar and Search bar added
  • Twitter ‘Lists’ feature added
  • Verified Accounts added – confirms that celebrities are authentic
  • Changed the Twitter questions from ‘What are you doing?’ to ‘What’s happening?’
  • Twitter servers crashed when Michael Jackson died – over 100k tweets per hour had the words ‘Michael Jackson’ in them

2010

  • 3rd party Twitter applications and services have a seamless interface through OAuth which confirms, so logins are no longer necessary – only clicking one ‘permission’ button when access is requested
  • ‘New Twitter’ revamped version rolled out in Fall of 2010
  • Entertainment Weekly put Twitter on its ‘end of the decade’ Best Of list

2010 TIME magazine

  • Included Twitter in its formula for determining their 100 Most Influential People list in 2010
  • The formula was:   (Twitter followers) x 2 + (facebook connections) divided by 2

2011 Twitter use

  • Usage spikes during & following news events, such as the Egyptian & Middle East revolutions
    • News of events often breaks first on Twitter before it hits mainstream media
  • Charlie Sheen signed up for a Twitter account, and within a week he had 2 MILLION followers, a new record

Please note, much of the information in the Twitter Timeline summary is from Wikipedia’s ‘Twitter’ page; if you’re interested in reading up on Twitter, I recommend it!

I personally fell in love with Twitter from the moment I signed up (which was March 24, 2009). I love the immediate connection I can have with like-minded people, the cross-boundaries connections, and the ability to share interests and resources. I encourage you to give it a try.

Want to see the very first tweet? This article from The Atlantic shows Jack Dorsey’s first message to coworkers.

Love Twitter? Hate it? Let me know what you think via the Leave a Comment link below.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quickie, New Media, Technology, Twitter, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Quickie – Facebook vs. Twitter – Which Is Better?

I was recently asked my opinion of Twitter versus Facebook, and whether Twitter was even relevant or necessary in what appears to be a Facebook-dominated social media world. Now, as a Twitter-lover I might be a bit biased, however I do believe they each have their place and their appropriate uses. But, I was curious what others might say, so I headed over to Twitter to ask my tweeps (my followers, or twitter-peeps) what they thought on the matter.

Survey Says…..

That’s one thing Twitter is good for…connecting with other people in real-time. I asked a question on Twitter, and within a few minutes I was already getting some answers. Here are a few good points:

Twitter

  • Twitter is good for late-breaking news or alerts
  • Twitter can provide a more ‘personal’ connection, but things do pass by quickly
  • It’s easy to abuse link-sharing on Twitter, so be thoughtful about what you share
  • People might unfollow you for inappropriate or too-often self-promotion

Facebook

  • Facebook is better for sharing and ‘reach’ over a longer timeframe
  • People seem to be more careful about what they share and post on Facebook, perhaps because it stays around longer, so there seem to be fewer abuses
  • Facebook is useful for connecting and interacting with current customers

One person said they use Facebook for only family & friends, but use Twitter for public communication, however either tool can be set up as a ‘private’ venue. Plus, if you choose to do it, Facebook and Twitter can be ‘synced’ so that your posts cross-pollinate.

Several important points I’d like to add:

  • Be conscious about security and ‘over-sharing’ personal details or your current location and status. Both Facebook and Twitter can foster a feeling of intimacy, but they’re still publicly viewable.
  • Social media tools can help you make connections across geographic, breed, or event/sport/discipline boundaries. I’m in contact with horsefolk in multiple countries thanks to Twitter, and I appreciate the ability to expand my world via the Internet.
  • Get in there and try them out – see which feels better to you, notice what others are doing and how they’re using Twitter and Facebook. Things are changing all the time, so you can’t beat hands-on experience to help you decide when, and how, to use social media tools.

And finally, a very good point: Multiple platforms are good to have because you never know when one will have technical glitches, or go offline completely! In our wired world, it’s an excellent idea to have multiple ways to interact with your customers.

Many thanks to (in no particular order): @SonnyWilliams, @mandeewidrick, @SidelinesNews, @SageByNature, @EquineValentina, @HorseLogs, @rosamyst, and @HealthyAnimals for chiming in with their opinions and thoughts – very much appreciate it!

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Facebook, Monday Morning Quickie, New Media, Twitter, Uncategorized