I was amazed by the amount of content presented at 140 The Twitter Conference: Tapping into the Real Time Web, and as such, creating a few blog entries will be the most efficient way for me to organize my thoughts and process this wealth of information. The conference focused on how businesses could use twitter more effectively and suggested strategies for doing so. I thought I would start with the second day of the conference, since it’s the most fresh in my mind. Let’s dive right in:
Our first keynote speaker was Anamitra Banerji, and he raised up a number of interesting points as well as questions:
- Re: Advertising. Granted, Twitter has no ads, but a company’s call to action could be seen as an “advertisement.” (E.g, come take advantage of $25 massages)
- User value is essential, and a company should be driving more user value, not less
- How does the company increase the benefit to all?
- The most efficient companies blend demand generation and demand fulfillment
- Twitter television program–the company will have no affiliation with it
- People will talk about your company–it makes sense to participate in the discussion
- 60% of those who sign up for Twitter don’t return–why?
- Features to be added which could help retain new users
The second panel was entitled “Mining Twitter” and focused on “extracting value from conversations and connections.” The speakers included Soren Macbeth, Brian Solis, Warren Sukernek, and Steve Broback. I found this panel to be extremely helpful, since the presenters included a number of useful sites for gathering and interpreting data. These included:
The panel included a member of Radian6, Warren Sukernek, and I was surprised to learn that his company helps other companies in data interpretation, measuring metrics (exuberance/volume/attention span/sales, etc). Talk about filling a niche need, eh?
In addition, I particularly enjoyed Brian Solis’ concept that it is “crucial to transform…(you) need to engage, be believable and inspiring–build a more empowered community…” It hearkened back to Tara Hunt’s assertion on Day 1 that Twitter is all about connections and community, which led to the concept that all businesses need to recognize this and reach out to their clients, customers, etc as humans worthy of respect and support.
Fr0m there, the conference leapt into a panel on the role of Twitter in the 2008 election. The panel members included Kathy Gill, Jason Preston, and Sarah Granger. I found it intriguing that of President Obama’s tweets, only 13 expressed an emotion, over 200 related to location, and a mere 27 reflected a call to action. In this case, the human element was not crucial–announcements and constant reminders were. In addition, this was the first election where people twittered questions in a town hall meeting, twittered during debates, and was even used as a tool for political bloggers. It was also a form for problems and concerns.
Our second keynote speaker was Jeremiah Owyang, and he absolutely electrified the crowd with his talk on social media. His opening thought: “Twitter does not matter”–meaning it will eventually move from a destination space to being widely distributed from other platforms. Heh.
Other crucial bits:
- More social media will be adopted during the recession–it’s inexpensive, and people will be more likely to reach out in this time
- Twitter has mainstream attention but not mainstream adoption
- Businesses need clear goals for Twitter, be it Listening, Talking, Energizing, Supporting, Embracing
- They need to understand customers
- search.twitter.com–is the client base there already?
- Create a dialogue, share & learn information/information people care about
- Set expectations for content
- Customers trust their peers–they’d trust a peet retweeting something, for example
- Savvy brands support their customers in real time/help w/problems
- “In the future, communities will define the products and services they want…”
- Secure your brand’s identity–register brand names NOW
- Prepare internal resources and be ready for the long haul.
- “Fish where your fish are”
- Use friendfeed to organize by topic
The final panel focused on a number of different issues, some of them including customer service/internal support for Twitter, etc. It featured Jason Preston, Robert Scouble, Stowe Boyd, and DL Byron. My favorite quote came from Morgan Johnston of Jet Blue, who observed: “You can’t own social media–you can only interact with it.” This fit with the launch of cotweet, an application which allows company employees to tweet, each with an id signature, but all under the banner of the company. So if someone happens to be gone, another can update. All of this fits with the spirit of cooperation and shared information that Web 2.0 perpetuates.
I learned a great deal from this conference, and if I can find the time and patience, I’ll try to revisit the first day’s essentials as well. Please feel free to add comments, post questions, etc.