Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Small Business Twitter Case Studies

When discussing social media for small business clients we tend to bring up Twitter in the conversation. The first question we get from small businesses is, "What's Twitter?". The second question is "How can I generate business from it?". Well there has been several small business case studies released lately on Twitter. Here are just a few highlights on how SMBs are leveraging Twitter.
  • @52teas - Offers a different blend of tea each week. In addition, they post alerts to store specials. They stated that they were typically shipping one to two packages every two to three weeks and now they are shipping 40 to 50 packages. They attribute there success to Twitter. Read more

  • @namecheap - They set up a Twitter account in December and started to run a trivia contest every hour. The first three @ replies won a credit for one-year domain registration. Their follower count jumped from 200 to 4000 in one month. Traffic increased by 10% to their site in December. They also saw a 20% increase in domain registrations. Read more

  • @coffeegroundz - Self proclaims that they were the first to have a to-go order placed through Twitter. The Operations Manager credits Twitter with doubling their clientele. Read more

  • @orlandoichiban - This Orlando-based Japanese restaurant is now taking to-go orders via Twitter. They are also using Twitter to promote their specials and events.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spammers Exploit Twitter?

There was some recent discussion brought up by Jason Calacanis (@jasoncalacanis) about a sudden spike in some very high profile accounts. Jason determined that this spike occurred on Feb 11. Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, refuted the claim by stating that this influx was related to the new "Suggested Users" feature when new accounts are created.

It was pointed out that the spike occurred almost one month after the initial release of the "Suggested Users" feature and shows several graphs from Twitterific on how quickly it happened to several high profile accounts. Some state that there is a spammer creating fake accounts and adding these fake accounts to a circle of users, including the spammer's own account. Again this is just speculation. You can read the entire story with the long list of comments about the report at The Newest Way To Game Twitter - Fake Followers.

Another incident was also reported today from @Minervity. He woke up this morning to find that his account was suspended due to suspicious activity. After an uprising from the Twitterverse his account was restored. Twitter support replied:

"Your account has been restored. It would appear that you have a number of spammers following you and using your material for their own accounts and, as a result, you were caught up in a spam cloud (through no fault of your own) and suspended..."

@Minervity believes that the "spam cloud" is some kind of filter being used to check to see if something was retweeted over and over again.

The post, Twitter Suspended - The Full Story, does not make it clear if these spam accounts were pulling back in his tweets and posted them as their own. If so, it looks like if you get enough of these spam followers you can inadvertently be caught in a spam cloud.

This should be a wake up call for those using the auto-follow feature. Spammers love those accounts. There already has been reports of programs being able to determine which Twitter accounts have this auto-follow feature set up. So you may be prone to get caught up in a spam cloud.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Twitter Stats Pew / Internet

Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new study, Twitter and Status Updating. The study provides some interesting facts about Twitter users.

Online adults that have said they have used Twitter before:

  • 19% - 18 to 24 yrs old
  • 20% - 25 to 34 yrs old
  • 10% - 35 to 44 yrs old
  • 5% - 45 to 54 yrs old
  • 4% - 55 to 64 yrs old
  • 2% - 65 and older

As the majority of users tend to be younger, they also tend to live in lower-income households.

  • 17% earn less than $30,000
  • 10% earn more than $75,000

The median age of Twitter users is 31 compared to Myspace (27), Facebook (26) and LinkedIn (40).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tweet Me - Social Media Vcard

Tw33t.me is the brain child of David Brown (aka @neoblog - worth following on Twitter). Tweet Me is an "online business card" that is currently in beta. The site provides the opportunity to upload a personal video, but I did not see any upload feature. It looks like you can paste the embed code from YouTube to add your personal video. The profile page also allows you to provide a full bio. The profile displays your latest Tweet and will allow you to post a Tweet directly to your Twitter account from the admin section. You have the ability to place up to five "My Site" links and add links under "Social Sites" to some of the top social networks you may have accounts with.

Note: The "My Site" links and the links within the Bio section are doFollows. The "Social Sites" links are noFollows and any URLs within your latest Tweets are not rendered as hyperlinks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TweeterGetter - Ponzi Scheme for Twitter

TweeterGetter recently blasted onto the Twitter scene this month promoting that you can get 15,000 followers in 30 days. Basically you have to follow five Twits (including @garymccaffrey, the man who created the app) and then you hope those five get five more people to follow you and five more people follow them and so on and so on. Very similar to how a ponzi scheme or pyramid scheme would work. Those in early reap the benefits, in this case 15K followers in 30 days! Well the only one benefiting is @garymccaffrey.

At one point today 60 people had joined the "scheme" in a ten minute period. This came out to over 8000 people joining in a 24 hour period. One of my friends tried it out today and submitted his information at 8:00 am EST and by 8:00 pm EST he has a whopping 5 new followers from it. Lets cross our fingers for 15K! The moral of the story is that it is NOT all about the number of followers you have, but the number of real people that you can truly network with and share ideas.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tweba - Auction Your Stuff Off on Twitter

Tweba (pronounced Twe-bay?) allows users of Twitter to buy and sell items. They provide the ability to post classifieds as well as start auctions. You have 240 characters to describe the item you are selling and you can upload one picture per listing. Tweba will managed listing the item, payment processing as well as track the feedback. To get the details on using Tweba they have a handy "How It All Works" page. I really like the concept!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Top 10 Twitter Clients

Twitstat.com provides a running list of the top Twitter clients being used by their followers. Here are the top 10 Twitter clients:

  1. Web
  2. TweetDeck
  3. Twhirl
  4. Twitterfeed
  5. Twitterific (iPhone App)
  6. Tweetie (iPhone App)
  7. Text Message
  8. TwitterFox (FireFox browser Extension)
  9. Ping.fm (Social network updater)
  10. Mobile Web

Keep up on the most used Twitter clients at http://twitstat.com/twitterclientusers.html