Welcome to the Ampersand Blog
The peeps at Kel & Partners have a lot to say. After all we are public relations and social media zealots who thrive on sharing interesting news and great stories with the public. The Ampersand Blog is really the voice of our Peeps – the kick-ass team of people that work at K&P. Whether it’s a story about the way PR works NOW, Web 2.0 and the social media universe, our families, beloved pets or quirky travel experiences, you’ll find it all right here. You may laugh, you may cry, but the best part is you’ll leave feeling “wicked smaht” as we like to say here in Boston.
Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category
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amandeville | Tuesday, January 24, 2012 4 Comments
A Review of Every Social Media Measurement Tool in the History of the World
As the Data and Marketing Analytics Guru – I tacked on the “guru” part myself – I try to find social media tools that can simplify my reporting. I thought coming up with a compilation of all the social media reporting tools in existence would be helpful to other people trying to create an effective social media strategy and determine ROI. Apparently, there are a lot more in existence than I realized. I found over a dozen of them, though there could still be more. Here is a rundown of each tool that I hope will be informative, and possibly even interesting, to social media users.
First, let me start out with two essentials in case you get bored before making it to the end of this post: Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. Basically, if you’re good at knowing what you’re looking for and understanding vast amounts of data, these are the two tools you must have. Google Analytics is the only way to tell how people are getting to your website, from social media sources or otherwise. Facebook Insights provides, well, insight into your fan base and how they engage with your content. Both are essential for social media monitoring.
Beyond that, there are a few categories of tools:
- Tweet Schedulers combined with Analytics
- Analytics with some Bonuses
- Oo, that’s pretty. What does it mean?
Of the first category,
Hootsuite and Buffer will measure analytics for Tweets that you post through their websites. I recently discovered Hootsuite and am quickly falling in love with it. It has customizable reports that can include Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. But, most importantly, it lets you see how many clicks you get on your links, which is a good way of assessing the effectiveness of your Tweets. Buffer lets you see Retweets and reach for each Tweet you tweeted through them, which is nice for determining ROI. Buffer is really more for a single, personal account and not much else, but it is free. Hootsuite has pro options and reports that cost “points.” I don’t know how much 45 points cost, so for all I know it could be $100/point and be ridiculous. That’s what we call in the business “scaring away potential customers with sneaky pricing plans.”
Of the second category,
Sprout Social provides analytics, but also helpful tools to follow people based on profile keyword searches (like Twellow), unfollow people who don’t follow you back, etc. It costs money, including a little extra to integrate Google Analytics into reports, but the PDFs do look nice and point out the most popular Tweets and Facebook posts, as well as telling you how much traffic went to your website from social media websites (though when I compare it to Google Analytics, the numbers neglect clicks from some URL variations, such as link shorteners in Twitter or mobile Facebook). They also claim LinkedIn integration, but it does not show up in the report.
Of the third category,
Kred, Klout, Twitter Grader, Twitter Counter, Peek Analytics, Simply Measured, Twenty Feet, Social Bro, TweetStats, TwitSprout and Twitalyzer. Yeah, there are a lot of not too useful tools out there. Meag already discussed Klout here. There’s also a sort of knock-off, Kred. While Klout measures influence from every social media channel, Kred adds in your normal street cred. I don’t know how it fact-checks if I’m a black belt in Karate and published romance author. Like Klout and Twitter Grader, your score is based on how you compare to all other Twitter users. Klout, Kred and Twitter Grader use real data, but they abstract it to a number that compiles some useful and some not so useful data, so it doesn’t really inform your strategy. Twitalyzer is similar, though it does include some advice about where you’re falling short in your Twitter strategy. My main problem with Twitalyzer is how ugly the data is and how difficult it is to get a nice range of data, since it doesn’t seem to store data for very long.
Peek Analytics tries to distinguish itself as being more business oriented. It is still in beta, but right now, it seems to get a lot of information that makes me wonder about internet privacy. It assesses your followers in Twitter and determines demographic data, income level, what type of college they went to, what industry they are in and their interests. I don’t know quite how it gets all of that data, but at the time of writing this, I’ve linked up my Twitter account to all of these tools, so I shouldn’t be surprised if I’m hacked and pillaged for personal information.
Simply Measured: “Plans start at $500/month.” You’ve lost me. Plus your graphs are ugly.
Twitter Counter is nice for graphs and you get data that goes back three months (or six months if you “pay with a Tweet”). Sometimes it’s just nice to see how far you’ve come.
Social Bro’s main asset is being called Social Bro, but it also tells you the best time of day to Tweet and get a response. The report takes forever to load for some reason. In the category of “takes too long to get your data,” TwitSprout needs a week to pull in Twitter data. It has the prettiest user interface, plus a retro, Technicolor logo that I love. The data seems to focus too much on followers, not actual engagement, though.
Twenty Feet, aptly named for giving you a bird’s eye view of Twitter, has some nice graphs and adjustable time periods. Plus there’s a cartoon giraffe for a logo, which is cute.
TweetStats gives you data about your Twitter handle back to the beginning of time, including who you’ve Retweeted and @mentioned, but not the other way around. It comes in pretty colors, too.
I’ve heard that Twitter will be rolling out its own analytics sometime this year, so hopefully the glut of useless tools will stop. I can’t wait for that day.Read more
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Kendyll Messina | Thursday, December 15, 2011 No Comments »
Santa Has Elves, You Have Social Media
With the holiday season upon us, it is crunch time for most when it comes to holiday shopping. When you consider the amount of time you spend on Facebook, Twitter, and foursquare why not use your favorite social media sites to help cross everyone off your holiday shopping list?
It can be as easy as following the brand names you know your best friend likes on Twitter to see what is hot and new for the holiday season, to get some “giftspiration”, or getting a gift card to the bar your brother is the mayor of on foursquare. A lot of stores are also giving great coupons and discounts once you “like”,” follow”, or “check in” at a particular spot!
It’s super easy to “like” a page on Facebook, but did you know that a lot of pages give exclusive savings and giveaways to their Facebook fans? Check the home pages of your favorite stores /brands and look for a link to their Facebook page. “Like” them, and you could get your brand name gifts for less!
Not sure how to find the best deals on Twitter? A quick search on popular hashtags such as #deals and #coupons will show you what discounts other people are sharing and talking about. For more, just follow the professional deal seekers! A few of my favorites are @CouponTweet, @retailmenot, and @FabulousSavings.
When it comes to foursquare, all you have to do is look up the specials near your location, check in, and reap the rewards! You will find anything from a discount off your purchase to freebies!
By using these social media sites you can save time and money (which we all know is the goal throughout the holiday season!). With the help of social media there is no need to get involved with the masses of people doing their last minute holiday shopping, you can get everything done right from home ( you are more than likely going to be on these sites throughout the day anyway, right? )
When it is time to open gifts you can sit back and relax while everyone receives exactly what they wanted! Santa may have elves, but you have social media ☺Read more
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redheadmeag | Monday, December 12, 2011 6 Comments
In the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of negative backlash directed at Klout, based on an algorithm change that caused a lot of people’s scores to plummet. As for me, I’ve been a skeptic since I got my first Klout score. Now, I’m no Ashton Kutcher (gratefully) but I’ve been on Twitter for nearly 4 years and consider myself something of a Twitterholic. Imagine my surprise when I got my Klout score -– a meager 30- – and learned that I’m considered “influential” about…real estate?
Real estate? A happy renter that’s never even been to an open-house, I can’t imagine in what universe I’d be considered knowledgeable on the subject, let alone influential. (Editorial side note – a recent check of my Klout score now has me influential about PR, family and Massachusetts…perhaps thanks to those recent algorithm changes? More info in this article from Adweek: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/klout-faces-foes-136721)
As our collective consciousness has evolved past the “my follower/friend count defines my SM self worth” stage of evolution (see posts from Ginny Pitcher and Chris Brogan for more on that), I think we all look for some metrics that will define our status as “rock star.” (I’ve always been a fan of HubSpot’s continuously evolving Twitter Grader –- perhaps because it gives me an A+?) Tools like Klout can either be validation, or useful for those starting out to figure out if they’re “doing it right.” I’m not so sure that Klout is an effective tool for either of those situations.
A recent post by Hollis Tibbetts on SocialMediaToday has a nice little case study on “gaming” Klout that I think is a pretty clear illustration of what (IMO) is wrong with the service: http://socialmediatoday.com/softwarehollis/385964/exposed-klout-scores-still-garbage-after-all-these-days.
Maybe my 30 isn’t so bad? Some interesting insights in this piece: “Why I deleted my Klout profile,” (check out the insights under #6), http://socialmediatoday.com/pammoore/389381/why-i-deleted-my-klout-profile
With the advent of +Ks, I think there’s a chance that Klout’s “influencer” metrics may be improved by some user-generated control. While the site is still technically in beta, I’ll look to see continued improvement that makes what they’re measuring more meaningful. I wonder if by the time they get there, though, anyone will consider it so.
What’s your Klout score? Are you a fan of the service?Read more
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amandeville | Thursday, December 8, 2011 1 Comment
How to use social media to get a job
Hey everyone, I’m Adam, the latest addition to the Kel & Partners team! For my first blog post, I thought I would share the social media fairytale that got me my internship, and later my job, at K&P. While the story involves a little bit of luck, I hope I can offer some good advice for anyone trying to land a job in the modern era.
When I started my job search, the first social media outlet I used was LinkedIn, the site best known for networking in the professional world. It is also a great resource for connecting with alumni from your schools. LinkedIn repeatedly sent me offers to try their premium services for a month, which included the ability to send “inMails” to people I wouldn’t otherwise be able to contact. I was a member of the Vassar Alumni group, where I went to school, so I sent out inMails to those in the PR industry. Not everyone was responsive, and one was extremely bitter about her career choice, but two turned out to be really helpful. (Don’t forget to get the email addresses of those you “Link” with so that you can contact them without a premium LinkedIn account, which can be upwards of $60 a month!)
The first alum to respond was a local who told me about Kel & Partners. He didn’t know anyone at the company, but simply knew it was a firm that didn’t give its account coordinators “scut work.” Thanks to his advice, I researched the Kel & Partners website and liked what I saw. At the time, internships were not posted on the website, but using another social media tool, Twitter, I started following the CEO, Kel Kelly. By this time it was August and I thought that I would have to wait until January before looking for an internship, but one day Kel tweeted that internship opportunities were still available! I used another LinkedIn connection, a fellow alumna and public relations consultant, who gave me some advice on what to highlight in my cover letter and resume. The most helpful advice, however, came straight from the source: Kel Kelly. Her blog has great advice about what she looks for in cover letters, resumes and interviews (go here to see it: http://www.kelandpartners.com/kelkellyblog/2011/05/). I hated writing canned cover letters for my other job applications, but on a website where the phrase “smoking [insert social media] in a crack pipe” appears multiple times, I knew some originality would pay off and was rewarded with an interview! (Note: I do not recommend hard-core drug use metaphors for all cover letters.)
My least sparkling moment was definitely the interview; no social media could save me by that point. I showed up barely on time, sweating through a wool suit in late summer heat because, for the life of me, I could not find K&P’s offices on Drydock Avenue. I told myself to remain confident, because otherwise, I would never know if I missed an opportunity because I wasn’t qualified or if it was because I couldn’t stop sweating. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long to find out that I got the internship, though one of my interviewers has not yet forgotten about my profuse sweating.
What’s great about the job I have now is that I really feel like I earned it. After two months of interning I was offered a position. It’s good to know that hard work is recognized, although using your connections in the current Age of Social Media definitely pays off. Networking is no longer about nepotism, which was how I got my first job. Nor is it about kissing ass (or maybe it is, though most of my supervisors seem to prefer sass over smooch, a phrase I will now try to copyright). When networking with LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, anyone can be a connection, so you can always introduce yourself to someone working at the company where you want to work!Read more
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JFeeney | Friday, October 28, 2011 No Comments »
Tweeting with the stars – tips for Tweeting at your favorite celebrities
Tweeting at celebrities wasn’t even on my radar when I joined Twitter a little over a year ago. However, after hearing a new song from one of my favorite musicians I found myself considering it. Why not? The rewards (A RT? A mention? Or even a DM?) could be more than worth the potential embarrassment.
So there I was… sitting in front of my computer. The Tweet was written, but my nerves were at an all time high. I’ve loved this musician since I was 16- the thought that I could possibly make contact with one of my favorite celebrities was crazy! But that is the beauty of Twitter- everyone is on the same level. No topic and no one is off limits.
Tweeting between celebs and everyday people brings fans what no magazine feature, interview or photo can- personal interaction. Take a look at your Twitter feed- it happens all the time! From sports legends to MTV reality stars, these conversations are happening everyday. Not only is this thrilling for the fan, but amazing publicity for the celeb- they are immediately seen as a down to earth, nice person (with the exception of some, like our #winning friend, Charlie Sheen).
So at the end of the day, one of my friends beat me to it and Tweeted at the musician letting them know I loved them. So who knows, maybe I’ll get the RT I’ve been dreaming of, but either way it’s still really cool to know they read something I wrote to them!
Are you thinking about Tweeting at one of your favorite celebs? Here are some tips from Twitip.com on how to Tweet with the stars:
- Make sure you have the right person first. Make sure to look for the Verified Account badge in the profile information of someone’s Twitter page. You should also make sure the badge is clickable because sneaky fakers have gotten clever and made the background image on their Twitter profile include that Verified badge image but the badge isn’t clickable. This happened to Danny Devito (@Danny_Devito) and the fake account was eventually suspended but not until after the faker had accumulated tens of thousands of followers.
- Tweet celebrities who will reply (or at least DM). Celebrities handle Twitter etiquette differently and some don’t send replies at all. One of the author’s favorite Twitter users, Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago), rarely ever replies to anyone. Though the author replies to him when he Tweets something interesting, you shouldn’t expect to hear back. Others, like Penelope Trunk usually reply via DM (though she has replied to the author once, Trunk confesses that she doesn’t like to do that).
- Time your Tweets wisely. If you just randomly send a Tweet to your favorite celebrity, the chances of getting a reply are pretty minimal given the quantity that most receive. However, if you see them Tweeting, that’s a great time to reply because you know they are on RIGHT NOW and any replies they receive are at the top of the list.
- And finally, say something to get their attention. Maybe my proclamation of love will be enough?
You can read the rest of the tips here.
Have you ever had a conversation with a celebrity on Twitter? I would love to hear your stories!Read more
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Alexis Eliopoulos | Thursday, September 29, 2011 1 Comment
From PR tools to celebrity obsessions: here are my top 5 accounts to follow!
As of today, my following count on Twitter is exactly 437 people. Some people have said to me, “you enjoy hitting the ‘follow’ button a little too much”. However, I like following different people, brands, celebrities, and news outlets. It allows me to get different information from all ends of the spectrum. At times, Twitter can get overwhelming, especially when you leave it open for five minutes and there are over 85 new Tweets! Since our culture is impacted by information overload, I wanted to break down my top five accounts to follow. Check it out:
@boston – For fellow Bostonians, this is a must. @boston has constant updates about news, traffic, and weather. For me, it is especially helpful for morning and evening commutes – I’m updated at all times!
@mediapost – MediaPost covers a wide variety of topics such as daily, media, online, and marketing news. The best part of following MediaPost is the constant news updates and the different blogs.
@nycprgirls – They have become my PR bible! These 20-something PR girls in NYC hit every point whether it is PR, fashion, even TV show reviews. They were my go-to guide during post-grad interviews and had some helpful tips while prepping for interviews.
@thoughtcatalog – There is a “follow must” for every age: Thought Catalog nails every real life situation. For example, “Lies Felicity Told Me About College,” 10 Life lessons Learned From Playing Minesweeper,” or my personal favorite, “Things I Want To Say To The People on The Subway.” If you’re looking for a mid-afternoon giggle, please follow them! Major props to my fellow colleague, @missjrf for pointing them out!
@kimkardashian – It’s okay, you can judge me but I don’t care. I have a Kardashian obsession. Let’s face it, she branded herself pretty well, even if it did come after a sex tape. She just hit 10 million followers, which puts her in fifth place on Twitter.
Who are some of your favorite accounts to follow?
- Twitter Facebook
JFeeney | Monday, September 19, 2011 2 Comments
Checking in and moving up!
I have always loved every aspect of social networking. I was using Blogger by the age of 15, MySpace after that (complete with embarrassing photos to document my awkward years) and finally moved on to Facebook as a junior in high school and Twitter in college. I was bit by the bug early on- anxiety when I couldn’t check my sites, updating my ever changing relationship status’, and of course finding the perfect angsty lyric to post to describe my mood at that very moment. I always knew what all of my friends and followers were doing, but never took the time to wonder where they were.
It’s no surprise that when I was introduced to foursquare, I fell in love. I had been checking in via Facebook from time to time, but foursquare was different (and started before FB check-ins, I have been informed). However, it wasn’t quite love at first sight. I didn’t completely grasp the concept. I gave my whereabouts to foursquare, but what did I get in return? One word: badges.
As foursquare states, badges are little rewards you earn based on your check in habits (for example, frequenting too many karaoke bars, eating lots of pizza, taking your kids to the playground). After a few check-ins I was first given the Newbie badge- kind of cool, kind of embarrassing. Who wants to be a Newbie? Obviously not me… get me my next badge!
Not only does foursquare offer badges, but also titles such as becoming the Mayor of a certain venue. I am currently the mayor of my parent’s house and my apartment. Let’s be honest, it’s nothing to brag about, but believe me, I have goals! I kept checking in… at the mall, local restaurants and at bars with my friends. I was moving up and the badges kept on coming!
I then got my Adventurer badge, which led me to receiving my Local and Super User badges. Most recently I received my 9 to 5 badge after checking in to Kel & Partners too many times to count (watch out, Jenna- I’m coming after your mayorship!).
Besides the fun aspect of checking in and sharing what you’re up to with your friends, there are also great savings to be gained from following your favorite stores and companies on foursquare. One of our clients recently gave away a month of free services after one of their followers checked in at their venue- and it happens all the time! By checking in at certain stores and restaurants, you can save with exclusive deals and discounts only given to foursquare users.
So, what’s the hold up? Do you have a foursquare and are you addicted? Why or why not?Read more
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redheadmeag | Thursday, September 1, 2011 4 Comments
Facebook announcing music streaming through facebook.com at F8
Madonna said it best – music makes the people come together.
I’m something of an early adopter of “online music”. Sean Fanning went to my High School (sure, he was a freshman when I graduated and is now a millionaire…sigh…) and my addiction to LimeWire crashed my family’s computer at least a dozen times. I was the type that updated the song on my MySpace profile with great frequency, even. All told, the rise of music streaming marks one of the most significant impacts the internet has had on my life.
A few years ago, Pandora was my jam. For the uninitiated, Pandora lets you create “stations” based on a specific artist/song. It will then serve up “similar” songs based on that selection. What a fantastic tool for discovering new music! (I owe my awareness of/love for the Black Keys to Pandora). It applied intelligence to these selections by enabling you to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” the songs it played. I managed that ish like Joe Jackson – I was on it, and if any of my stations served up something I didn’t like, those songs were dealt with in the harshest way possible (that’s right, thumbs down to YOU Pussycat Dolls!) The problem is, when I gave a thumbs up to an artist, say, I don’t know, Justin Timberlake, those songs began to permeate my other channels. When you’re in the mood for Slipknot, JT mixing in just does not work.
Craving more control, I jumped on the GrooveShark bandwagon. Now, let me say this plainly – Grooveshark has changed my life. You have access to the music collections of the estimated 35,000,000 users!! I’ve yet to search for a song/artist and not get something back – even my beloved Josh Homme’s Dessert Sessions are on there, and you should hear the Chieftans/Dropkick/assorted bagpipe/12 versions of “toura loura” mix I made for Saint Patrick’s Day. You choose your songs, add them to a list, and that list lives forever. The only problem – no mobile app?! (Give that a big ol’ #WTF. Come on, Grooveshark.) Of course, this left me stranded at a party a few weekends ago that needed DJ RedHeadMeag’s touch.
Enter Spotify. Like the rest of the Twitterverse, I used Klout to gain access to this much buzzed about service. But I got there and….meh. Where was the selection? That’s a bandwagon with a personal best high bounce rate – 2 tries, and I was out. Did I walk away too quickly? (comments and thoughts are welcome!)
Now, I’m reading that Facebook is going to announce at F8 later this month that they’re partnering with Spotify (and others) to stream music through FB.com. Check out the Mashable story: http://mashable.com/2011/08/31/facebook-music-platform/
Adding reco’s based on what my friends like? Hmmm. I’m friends with a pretty musically diverse group of individuals – I’m not sure that this is really going to do it for me. Also – I like free.
Are you excited about this launch? What is your favorite music service?
- Twitter Facebook
JFinn | Tuesday, August 30, 2011 3 Comments
And she’s off…
I am not the kind of person that sits back and waits for opportunities to come to her. I go out and get them… full force. When I started my first job out of college (a mere three months ago), I was ready to kick ass. I had experience from past internships and knowledge from previous classes. I was willing to do whatever I needed to do and I was not about to wait around. Since I’m “proactive by nature”, I’m sharing my list of tools that a proactive PR girl cannot live without:
The Five Things an Entry Level PR Girl Cannot Live Without
- Cision- The Bible of media contacts. Whenever I need to stalk someone to find their email address or create a list of all the BLANK beat reporters in the BLANK area, Cision is my go-to. It cuts my research time down significantly and has my favorite, handy export feature.
- HARO/ProfNet- Who’s writing what. I love looking at all the different stories that people are writing and being able to connect clients with hits. Although some stories are weird (why does someone need figurine dragons for a giveaway?), there are always some great fits, which make our job so much easier.
- Twitter- I am MissJRF and I am a Twitter-holic. I monitor Twitter for story ideas, relevant news, and to see what is going on in the world. Twitter lets me know what the people I am interested in are doing. Not only is it a source of entertainment but also, research has shown that Twitter is now becoming a front-runner in the quickest dissemination of news.
- Google Alerts- What is being written. Alerts are a great way to see what is being written about a topic that you are interested in. Set up these babies, sit back, and wait for alerts to come in. It is a much easier way to “search” for the news you are looking for.
- Wi-Fi- Always connected. In today’s super high-tech, connected world, a place without Wi-Fi is a PR girl’s worst nightmare. Any place where I cannot get online to check my emails or research a story might also be known as hell. And I can’t check Twitter… just kill me now.
What else do you think is a PR must have?Read more
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Alexis Eliopoulos | Thursday, June 23, 2011 No Comments »
The past week in Boston can be described in one word – #winning. Along with “black and yellow black and yellow” on constant repeat. After 39 years, the Bruins finally won the Stanley cup and Boston could not have been more alive.
Now, I have to admit, I am not the most loyal Bruins fan and I may be considered as “jumping on the bandwagon”. But, I don’t care, I waited in line for almost two hours to watch game 5, stayed awake until 2 a.m. after they won, and woke up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday to make it to the parade. Points for trying? I think so. Throughout the games and celebrations, I could not help but notice the #Bruins as a trending topic. I mean, let’s face it, this was a huge win for Boston so being a trending topic was expected.
Twitter was my number one source for all my information before and after the big win. When were the bars closing? Twitter answered. What bars were already packed before I even left worked? Twitter answered. Where were the Bruins celebrating on Friday night? Twitter answered. Did I stalk them? Maybe. Twitter ’s hash tag has completely changed the ways of communication and was the ultimate resource guide for all #Bruinsnews. The Twitter /social geek in me could not help but notice how everyone took to his or her phones instantly after the win and throughout the parade. I was able to track the parade due to Facebook and Twitter. It truly incredible how much Twitter impacts events, sports, TV shows, etc.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Twitter has truly changed the ways of communication. Now, heads will turn to the Red Sox in hopes of another World Series. After all, they don’t call us title town for nothin’.Read more