Category Archives: Twitter

The Metrics That Matter: How to Measure Social Media ROI With Meaningful Data

I always get jazzed when I have the opportunity to do some public speaking, and today’s Lunch and Learn at Workbar Boston is no exception.  The following is a copy of my presentation and links to the tools that I demonstrated in the session.


Recommended social media measurement tools:

Edgerank Checker

Twitter Counter

Pixability Online Video Grader




Simply Measured

Google Analytics URL Builder


How Roche Bros. Supermarket is Winning Customers (and Bloggers) With Social Listening

Last weekend a tweet from my friend Jessica compelled me to comment. It was about grocery delivery, which is one of my favorite services for parents of small children.

She then went on to say how she preferred Roche Bros. delivery to their local competitor. When I asked her why, she described how they have no tipping, no minimum order requirement and a full selection of grocery products. And free pie.

And although she had only mentioned Roche Bros. once by their Twitter handle, they had been listening in on our entire conversation (what us social media types call “social listening”), because the next morning we both got this tweet from them.

But it doesn’t end there. When Jessica’s scheduled grocery delivery arrived later that day, Roche Bros. included a thank you gift: a bouquet of flowers for her and two painted pumpkins for her children.

Jessica was so impressed that she posted the story to her professional network – the Boston Parent Bloggers, an active community of over 130 area mom and dad bloggers.




Much “liking” ensued. The bloggers were enamored that one of their own would have such a great experience with a brand.

Oh, and then Jessica wrote a glowing review about them on her blog.

By using social listening strategies – following the Twitter conversations about their brand, and then going the extra mile with their customer, the smart people at Roche Bros. inadvertently reached out to over 100 bloggers without a formal campaign.

And they got a post on Jessica’s blog. And mine.

Get ready for a busy delivery season, Roche Bros.



Dear Social Media Managers, There Are No Excuses for Twitter Mistakes

Dear Social Media Manager,

Your former counterpart at KitchenAid learned an important lesson last night.

But it might not be what you think.

It’s not about keeping your personal Twitter account separate from the brand account to avoid twitter mistakes like accidentally tweeting something inappropriate from the wrong account. (Although it’s a smart idea to separate them, and very easy to do.)

The lesson is that you should always represent the brand. Even from your personal account.

There is a certain amount of professionalism that goes with representing a major consumer brand online. And that professionalism extends beyond the brand’s online properties.

When I worked as the social media manager for a parenting brand, I understood that I was representing the brand everywhere. Not just at work. Not just on their Facebook Page or Twitter accounts. All the time. In public, at conferences, and yes — on my own personal public-facing social media accounts.

So I kept my daily frustrations, political diatribes and stance on thorny social issues in check.

(Still do, actually, now that I’m building my own brand.)

Oh, I’m far from perfect and my tweets and posts occasionally include a healthy dose of snark and a few silly jokes with friends. But there’s a certain level of professionalism that is constant. Even the time I made a mistake it wasn’t damaging to the brand.

Most social media managers feel the same responsibility, whether it was explicitly communicated to them by their company or not. Those are the keepers. The rest should look for another line of work.

And brands, if you’re reading this, you might want to take a quick peek at your social media staff’s personal accounts. To make sure you’ve got the “keepers” on your team.

photo credit: gravitystorm via photopin cc

After the company I work for re-branded last year, I had to change the username on all of our social media accounts. For some accounts, it was a simple exercise. For others… not so much.(Yes, I’m talking about you, Facebook.)

Fortunately, Twitter name changes are easy. In just a few clicks, you can change your Twitter name and still retain all of your followers. Here are step-by-step instructions for changing your Twitter username without losing followers:

  1. Visit and login to your current account.
  2. Click on your username in the upper right corner and choose Settings from the drop down menu.
  3. You should land on the Account tab. Type your new name into the Username field. Twitter will automatically verify that the new name is valid and available. Note: Nothing will change until you click Save, so if you’re undecided, you can plug in a few different names to test your options.
  4. Once you’ve settled on a new name, scroll down and click Save.

Now you’ve changed your username, and all of your followers are still with you. But you still need to do a little housekeeping to notify your followers of the change, and help direct new followers to the correct account.

  1. Tweet your current followers to tell them about the name change. Refer to your old name without using the @ symbol. “We’ve changed our Twitter handle! frgrocer will now be known as @FriendlyGrocer.”
  2. Now immediately logout, visit again and register for a new account using your OLD name (which should now be available).
  3. Send a single tweet from your OLD name to tell any visitors about your NEW name. “Hi everyone! @frgrocer is now @FriendlyGrocer. Please follow our new name to learn about weekly specials at your favorite neighborhood grocer.” (Remember, this message is not for your current followers. They are all still with you on your new account.)
  4. Monitor the @replies, new followers and DM feeds from your OLD name. Send an @reply or DM from your NEW name to correct anyone who tweets your old name. @personwhotweetedtheoldname Thanks for the shout-out! The new Twitter handle for Friendly Grocer is @FriendlyGrocer.

Tip: Monitoring and managing both names and multiple feeds at once is made much easier by using a twitter client with columns, such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. You can assign columns to each feed from both your old and new names to watch them all simultaneously. If that sounds too complicated, you can just get email alerts for the old name from Twitter.

The transition doesn’t take long at all. In a few days, just about everyone will be using your new name. In fact, depending on how robust your Twitter presence is, it’s possible that some of your followers won’t even notice the name change. Don’t take it personally. It’s hard to get to know someone in 140 character snippets.

Photo credit: Eugene Hood Photo on Flickr

1. A question. You’ve probably read this hint before, but it actually works. When you ask a question at the end of your posts, you encourage your readers to leave a comment. Does every post need to end with a question? Of course not. But if you’re looking for comments, it can certainly help. Sure, you may feel a bit foolish if you ask a question at the end of your post and no one answers. (This has happened to me a few dozen times.) But if you’re patient, the answers may come weeks later. Even if they don’t, keep trying.

2. A Twitter tweet button. Simply critical. Twitter is a mecca for content sharing. Make it easy for followers to tweet your content by placing a tweet button at the end of your post. You can install a plug-in like Tweetmeme (for WordPress, TypePad and Blogger) or the official Twitter button. I personally use blog post tweet buttons multiple times per day—I tend to share content more readily when the button is right there in front of me. Hint: Press the tweet button yourself to see what it does. You may need to adjust the controls if the tweet doesn’t include your blog title or doesn’t include your twitter handle. (I learned that one the hard way.)

3. A Facebook “Like” button. Depending on your audience, a “Like” button could be another way for your posts to get exposure. The Like button made a huge difference on my company blog, which is an informational blog for parents. Parents love information, and they love Facebook. Put the two together, and that’s a nice chunk of Likes for the post. You can grab the Like button code from Facebook or use a WordPress plug-in.

4. A list of related posts. This sounds labor intensive, but it’s actually simple to do with a plug-in. Try the Yet Another Related Posts plug-in for WordPress or the more visually pleasing Link Within plug-in (although I couldn’t get Link Within to work on this blog and never heard back from their support team). [UPDATE: As of fall 2011, I’ve been using the nRelate Related Content plug-in, which I highly recommend. See it in action below.] These plug-ins use algorithms to come up with related posts by matching titles, tags and categories. Once again, related post links is a feature I use on other blogs all the time. It encourages readers to explore your blog rather than navigate away after reading a single post (FYI–Google calls that your “bounce rate”).

(Okay, so here goes… I’m ending with a QUESTION. Hopefully you will post an ANSWER in the comments. Hint, hint.)

What “end of post” plug-ins, buttons or other finishing touches have you found to be successful?