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, 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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Julia McGovern | Wednesday, October 30, 2013 No Comments »
Twitter Feed Now Includes Photos, More Fun
Twitter update includes photos and videos in feed
Remember the days of texting your tweet to 4040 from your flip phone under the desk in third period English? That tweet was only text. And only 140 characters of text.
Since then, Twitter has turned into a virtual laundry list of links that lead you off channel into the wild, wild West of the World Wide Web. Are you clicking on a link that will lead you to a photo? To a video? To a news article? To porn? You’ll just have to click the link to find out.
Well yesterday, Twitter announced that users will now see images and videos directly in their timeline. The experience is similar to the likes of Facebook, Instagram, or Vine.
https://vine.co/v/hDntvwpnenh (via Twitter’s Vine)
Moreover, Favorite, Reply, and Retweet buttons are more readily displayed between all tweets. No more are the days of needing to click on a tweet to engage with it.
The barriers have been lowered for interacting with tweets. This is huge for brands who seek retweets of their content in the hopes of virality. On a channel where sharing was already as easy as one, two, three (scroll, click, retweet), we now have sharing as easy as one and two – just scroll and retweet. Imagine the speed at which visual content will be shared! It might have just given me chills.
Quick recap: Twitter took the most sharable content on the internet, visual content, and made it even more shareable.
Visual is now vital in content curation. Facebook, Instagram, Vine. The once text-focused channel of Twitter is a whole new playing field for brands.
Happy scrolling to all users who no longer have to click through to their content! What does Twitter’s update mean for you?Read more
- Twitter Facebook
Julia McGovern | Wednesday, October 16, 2013 No Comments »
The FYI on Twitter’s New DM Settings
Extra, extra, Tweet all about it! Listen up! Twitter is rolling out a new option and you’d be a liar if you said you didn’t like options. Historically, you could only send direct messages to someone who was following you, and you were in turn following back. Now, Twitter allows users to choose whether they want to be able to receive direct messages from any follower. With the click of this box, you open the door to all sorts of visitors, both welcome and unwelcome:
What does this mean for you as an average Twitter user?
It does NOT mean that you’ll automatically be receiving boatloads of spam. You have to remember it is an opt-in feature. In fact, I don’t think this will have much impact on you, Mr. Average Joe Twitter User.
What does this mean for you as a manager of a brand handle?
Marketing blogger, Jim Connolly, sums it up better than I can: “People complain all the time about bad customer service experiences over Twitter. Now, those grievances can be dealt with privately from the business end.”
Only community managers will know this pain…that of a 140-character-or-less complaint coming in about your client. The pain of then having to inconvenience your displeased customer by asking him/her to take an extra step to DM contact information so you can take it offline, knowingly putting the fact that there is an issue on blast. All we, as a community managers, want to do at this point is do something for this guy, not ask them to do something for us.
After this Twitter update, as long as the displeased customer is following you, you can remedy the situation in immediate privacy right off the bat, without the gaze of your followers, and without inconveniencing the user. It opens the doors for immediate customer service and instant private management of whatever situation.
Will you open up your Twitter account to allow direct messages from any follower?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
- Twitter Facebook
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
- Twitter Facebook
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
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
Jenna Finn | 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
- Twitter Facebook
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
- Twitter Facebook
redheadmeag | Thursday, April 28, 2011 5 Comments
Let’s get it on…line
As a PR person, I am a rabid consumer of media. I subscribe to 12+ magazines and get giddy the days they arrive in my mailbox. My day always begins by flipping between Today, The Early Show and the local news stations. On my drive in to work, I listen the radio every day, flipping between local stations and NPR.
But the biggest rock of crack in my pipe (to borrow a phrase from Kel Kelly) comes from the internet. I subscribe to dozens of newsletters from media sites and bloggers to have news delivered to my inbox, all fresh and ready for me when I get in to work. My Google RSS feed should have it’s own internet zip code. And Twitter….ah, Twitter. I follow every mass media outlet known to (wo)man, use TweetDeck to separate news sources by topic so at a glance I can consume dozens of pieces of information to stay on top of what is going on. My friends share tons of news via Facebook, and Facebook Connect enables me to communicate with them about the stories they read across the internet. What a wonderful world!
My dependence on the internet to stay up-to-date becomes most apparent on those oh-so-busy days when I find myself with several out of office client meetings, on location for news segments and knee deep in pitching. If I go a day without checking Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Business Insider, CNN, Slate (and many more) – the next day, I am shocked to realize how much has happened without me even knowing it. I can’t imagine my life without internet news to stay informed.
What about you? Is the internet your primary news source? What is your favorite media format?Read more
- Twitter Facebook
Ginny Pitcher | Monday, March 28, 2011 21 Comments
Is An 8-year-old Tweeting Too Young? One Mother’s Confession.
A recent exchange between my eight-year-old son, Trey, and me went something like this:
Trey: “Can I get a cell phone?”
Trey: “Can I take the money from my bank account to buy a Nerf gun?”
Trey: “Can I watch Dawn of the Waking Dead?”
Trey: “Can I Tweet?”
For better or worse, Trey has grown up in a social media-obsessed household. We’ve spent countless hours pouring over Facebook friends’ photo albums, as I exhaustively explain who each person is and how I know them. I’ve heard him gasp in horror as I take one hand off the wheel to check in on Foursquare at the I-90/Weston tolls (of which I proudly can claim Mayorship). And, I’ve been on the receiving end of several lectures from Trey on what I can or can’t share on Twitter about his quirky “take on life” or jaw-dropping, and sometimes just plain wrong, quotes and phrases.
So, naturally, I should have expected Trey to eventually want to jump in the social media pool. More importantly, his argument to be on Twitter was pretty sound. He wanted to follow and Tweet at his favorite athletes so he could learn how to become a better football player.
The first step was to secure a handle. After trying every incarnation of his name only to find it was taken, we settled on a name I called him anyway: @troublebrown. With that, we set up his bio and picked his picture. We talked long and hard about making sure that he clearly presented himself as a kid. First of all, as a marketer, I knew that if he was going to be reaching out to athletes, he would be more likely to get responses if he identified himself as a young fan. And, as a parent, I wanted to make sure that any communication to and from his account was age appropriate.
The next step was letting Trey follow his heroes. Thankfully, this bought me a whole afternoon of “me” time as he scoured Twitter. While he mostly picked football players, like Troy Polamalu (@tpolamalu) and Patrick Willis (@PatrickWillis52), he also picked some interesting ones. Who knew he liked Pink (@Pink)? And, proving that he really was paying attention in school, he patriotically followed President Obama (@BarackObama).
With his follows in order, it was time for Trey to drop his first Tweet.
“@PatrickWillis52 How does it feel when you get an interception or a fumble recovery?”
With a few more Tweets sent, he headed off to bed that night — obsessing on all things Twitter.
And then around 1 a.m. that night, a little chirp went out that would make one boy a Twitterholic for life.
“@troublebrown awesome man”
And so it goes. Patrick Willis, linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, lived up to one boy’s dream and found a fan for life in me. Amazingly enough, they actually exchanged a few Tweets back and forth the next day. Patrick even gave Trey some sage advice about Pop Warner, “…just keep it fun lil man. That’s one of the most important things u can do.”
Allowing Trey to go on Twitter was a gamble. Having sat in the stands of countless sporting events listening to mothers and fathers gripe about the dangers of social media, I knew I might be setting myself up for criticism. But when it comes down to it, I really can’t think of a more accessible or content-rich platform than Twitter. In one steady stream he can follow and interact with things that interest him – sports, music, friends, whatever.
And, quite frankly, it’s not such a bad thing for Trey to understand and harness the power of social media at such a young age. If anything, he’s learning to say it succinctly and thoughtfully in 140 characters or less.
What do you think? Is eight too young to be on Twitter?Read more