Twitter Redesign #281 – Let’s Fly – YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

It looks like Twitter is about to take on their #281st interface change. The social media space is already abuzz and I expect Robert Scoble to tell us shortly if it will change the world and cure cancer or if it will cause the doom of Twitter in 11 days. Both responses are always possible from Scoble.

I do love that guy.

But, yeah, Twitter is doing what Twitter does best (redesigning interfaces, not monetizing) and the Social Sheeples will spend the next few weeks debating it.

YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

Twitter is a platform, communication system, an infrastructure, not a website or a destination. Apple didn’t integrate it into iOS because they like the site, or own some stock, or are writing a book on social media. They added it because it’s a method of communication that simply made sense to add to their devices. It made iOS 5 better – and it sure was good for Twitter too.

Twitter’s power is in what it does, not how it does it. Her sites and official apps have traditionally and historically been some of the worst in doing just that. However, in Twitter’s case, there are about ten billion different apps that do what Twitter does so you find what works for communicating your message and then you communicate your message (or dialogue with the community if you want to use digirati speak).

The only money or communication advantage in worrying/caring about the Twitter site should be coming from Twitter employees or people writing books about Twitter (here’s an affiliate link to page 6 of the books about Twitter at Amazon).

We pick the email client that does our business – and ignore the rest. The email is important – not the client from the guys who started email. We use the browser that makes the most sense to the device we’re using because it’s that dang Webernet content that matters – not how badly Microsoft is mangling the latest release of IE. We use Spotify to listen to releases from Sony and ignore the fact that their online music system even exists – because it doesn’t even deserve our attention.

But somehow with Twitter – and a few others – we monitor Folsom Street like it’s a nursing home for our grandparents and forget about what really matters.

The most effective use of Twitter – or any other Social Media platform – is in using the platform to make it about our message.

When the platform becomes the message, the robots win.

Even if Scoble thinks that’s a good idea.

Thanks for getting me on Twitter, Robert.

Social Media ROI – A Quick Test

I wouldn’t even begin to call this “scientific” in my approach, but I have some fascinating results of a quick test I did that I’d love to share with you. These numbers are almost exactly 24 hours into the run.

Same message – same link – sent to 4 different groups. The goal was to get an opt-in for a free video. Here are the groups:

1 – My Facebook Fan Page

2 – My Twitter Followers

3 – A Generic Email List Mailing

4 – A Targetted Email List Mialing

How did they perform?

Facebook – 6.91% of total reach | 9.65% of total clicks | 15.25% of total optins

Twitter – 50.24% of total reach | 25.40% of total clicks | 3.39% of total optins.

Generic Emailing – 21.75% of total reach | 30.55% of total clicks | 44.07% of total optins

Focussed Emailing – 21.10% of total reach | 34.41% of total clicks | 37.29% of total optins

Obviously, from this we can see that 42.85% of the total reach (in email) gathered 81.36% of the optins – the final goal. Email is nowhere near dead and I still loves me my list.

However, here is the most fascinating fact to me: best click to optin ratio was Facebook by far. Facebook got 30%. One list, 27% and the other 21%. Twitter – as is hardly a surprise to me – was 3%.

Again, this was simple test will all sort of implications. It is by no means scientific but fascinating none the less. I’m gonna keep building my email list, but with the results I’m seeing from Facebook, I need to continue to be very serious about how I take on that beast.

I’d love your thoughts …

Photo from Brian Solis

Using Twitter To Look Important?

So, as per a post at Facebook, I’ve done the “Twitter bankruptcy” thing. Was planning on a blog post re my reasons after I learned some of the implications. Round 1 comes a bit early (and I explain why):

I originally set my Twitter account to follow anyone who followed me. Reason why (we’ll discuss if smart move a bit later here) was simple: the general teaching on Twitter says it’s polite to follow anyone who follows you. Whether or not I agreed with the concept, if someone’s first impression of me was that I was being rude, what chance do I have? As a result, I followed back everyone (automatically).

Now, when you have 18,000 followers (yes, my numbers have gone done, more on that later) there is simply no way you can track read it all. No matter what social media strategies you have, it’s just a numbers issue.

So, I had an account that was simply designed (with automation) to keep people “happy.”

How did I “track” Twitter? Easy, I set up a phantom account of people I really wanted to track and then I set up several tracking feeds and get automatically updated whenever the terms I’m interested are mention in Twitter – whether I’m “following” the person or not.

Why the move? What I was doing wasn’t really doing anyone any good. Clicks from the Twitter feed were pathetically low (percentage wise at least – many many times as many clicks from my 2,200 Facebook Fans) and it simply wan’t painting a ‘real’ picture of what was going on online. In addition, there are some fascinating SEO implications of a realistic Twitter following that I wanted to explore. Also, I want to take my Twitter stream a little more seriously and I want to get a real accurate understanding of what’s going on.

What I’ve learned so far? Unfollowing everyone wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. In addition, when I started – 17,968 were following me and the number is currently down to 16,952. There is no way 1000 people in the last few days have gone through this stuff by hand. What we have here is a lot of people running the popular “unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow me” scripts. That isn’t about communication is it?

Anybody want to guess what the “robots” are going to do to my follower account in the next months? Should I care at all?

ALSO LEARNED – Not all Twitter tracking is created equal. That quote from the graphic above wasn’t picked up by either MarketMetSuite, HootSuite or Search.Twitter.com (yes, I use all of those and more – I’m very serious about Twitter). I caught it from, of all things, the iPhone App Boxcar. This morning, it was retweeted by @TonyMackGD and that was picked up accordingly. Was planning on writing this in a few days but once the retweet happened, it was time to deal.

Smart move? Time will tell. As you can tell from the graphic above, some people are thinking I’m making the wrong move. That’s ok, it wouldn’t be the first time.

What am I doing next? I’m actually intending on doing a lot more with Twitter now that I have a “real” account. I want to do a lot of content curating and real tracking of a real audience.

We’re less than a week into this grand experiment and I certainly will share more of what I’ve learned along the way but that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.

So, did I make the “right” move? I’d love your thoughts below.

Dead In 2010

I tweeted last week that “Acer Chairman says iPad impact not serious … then offers Easter Bunny job as Chief Strategy Director.” Apologies to the Easter Bunny in suggesting he’d take such a demotion but, … let’s face it, with the iPad, the Netbook is dead in 2010.

Today I sit in front of my new MacBook Air typing this in – and I realized something. She’s got no CD/DVD drive, no drives at all. The spinning disk is dead in 2010.

With announcements of “App Store” for Windows, Mac, Windows Phone 7 and more, I felt a bit sad as I put my iLife 11 DVD in my iMac (the Air came with it preloaded (w a USB Restore Key). I’ll never do that again. Shrinkwrap software distribution is dead in 2010.

This morning I sat on the exercise bike and chose from more shows than I could possibly want on my iPad through Hulu Plus and Netflix (delivered over ATT 3G none the less). I love the new show “The Good Guys” but couldn’t even tell you what night it is on (and I remain a TV junkie). Sure, I canceled Cable TV in 2007 but the family simply doesn’t miss it anymore. Yes, Comcast delivers the Webernet to my home but I got Clear and Verizon as options too. No, everybody doesn’t have as many choices, but we do have choices. The Cable Company as monopoly is dead in 2010.

Cali Lewis is at Revision3 and even Adam Curry has taken a “soft exit” from the company formally known as Podshow. Mevio, the company who first sold Podcasters of the dream of quitting the day job, is dead in 2010.

What else is dead in 2010?

What are you going to change in 2011 as a result?

Another Twitter Done Poorly Story – Bad Verizon FIOS

Several of you have asked why I left Verizon FIOS. Isn’t fiber to your house the greatest thing since sliced bread?

Well, in short, FIOS left me. You can read the article here. Service has gone down tremendously and there is really nobody to call about it. What a mess.

Last Friday, after waiting in line 45 minutes at the local Verizon store to be told that they not only can’t help me cancel FIOS, but aren’t even really sure where to send me (yes, they said the Kiosk at the local mall “might work.”) I decided to send out a Tweet asking how to cancel.

That was over 72 hours ago.

They just tweeted back … “Is there anything we can do to help you out?”

You see, not only did they take three days to respond, but … it’s obvious they didn’t even read the Tweet.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – “You need to train in Customer Service 101 before you train in New Media 202.

Why does this have to be so hard?

Seesmic Buys Ping.fm – Good For Everyone

Of all the news that came out around and at CES, the one that gets the award for “most important” (in my space at least), was the acquisition of Ping.fm by Seesmic. I’ve been a huge fan of Ping.fm since day one and their purchase means they’re going to survive in this space. Awesome.

For those not familiar with Ping.fm, they’re a service that allows you to, with a single post, update dozens of social networking update sites. They’ve had some nice integration with popular tools in the past that has made it a no-brainer for anyone with an uberpublishing strategy. Here at Colligan.com, I have it tied into my CoTweet.com and HootSuite.com accounts and have both Tweetie on my iPhone and UberSyndicator on the desktop making the service part of my everyday, multiple times a day, communication workflow. Give it a try, if you haven’t already.

At the CES Showstoppers Event, I spent some time with both CEO Loic Le Meur and Community Evangelist John Yamasaki. They both assured me that Seesmic is both on a fast path to get the product integrated into all element of Seesmic – but they are also going to continue to grow Ping as a product and service that others are allows to use. Loic personally called some of the top players (and competitors to Seesmic) to assure them nothing would change in their relationships. Classy, and very smart. Loic also gave me some insight into where Seesmic is going as a company, and, well, dear friends … you need to keep your eye on them (or keep reading this blog).

I always liked the groove of Seesmic, but the opportunities provided to me by some of the other players kept me from moving over. That changes this week.

Oh, rumor is 3 weeks to the release of the iPhone app. Got a sneak peek of that as well. Awesome.

Why Twitter Matters (And Makes Me Money) – And Why So Many Miss It

I read with fascination a piece by old friend, mentor and (business) model Armand Morin entitled “Has Twitter Doomed Their Monetization.” Read it – great stuff.

Armand is a smart guy – a crazy smart guy. His “Big Seminar” event not only started the whole Internet Marketing “Event” business but it continues to run strong as all other simply build on it. Big Seminar XIII should be a fascinating event – but I digress.

Armand’s article, in short, claims that Twitter’s biggest problem is that it isn’t a destination site. He stresses strong the point that YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO TWITTER TO USE TWITTER.

He’s right.

He’s dead on.

He couldn’t be more correct.

Armand has made millions (and millions) online in destination sites – a web 1.0 model where you get people to come to your domain to do something that makes you money – it’s the nuts and bolts of all things Internet Marketing but also commerce in general. I have nothing but respect for how well Armand has done doing just that.

Twitter has given us another option – and here’s why …

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO TWITTER TO USE TWITTER

I market all day long on Twitter. The different ways I do that is another book in content but in short, because YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO TWITTER TO USE TWITTER, I don’t have to figure out ways to get my audience to visit my site to make money – I merely have to get them the information that makes me money.

Some get that information at Twitter.com. They click on through – awesome.

Others get it on their phone. They also click on through – good too!

Others click on through using one of the 8 zillion “Twitter programs.” I think the idea is a bit crazy – but their clicks are as good as anyone else’s.

And, oh yes, I track these clicks – they’re good – all good.

Is my clickthrough rate on a Tweet higher than an email? Nope!

Do I “tweet” a lot more times per day than I send out emails? Yep!

Is that “the best” strategy? Time will tell.

I’ve seen over 300 clicks from Twitter today so far that will generate cash for me. Twould I have bought these via PPC, they would have cost me a little over $500.

Twitter matters a lot.

Now, I know Armand’s piece was about Twitter’s monetization problems.

It’s actually even easier.

Twitter connects me with thousands of people who want to see my messages at the time, place, and device of their choosing. It doesn’t get better than that. I can use those message to generate a revenue stream so the second Twitter asks me to to pay, … I will.

If they want to offer me “premium” options that help me do what I’m doing better … I’ll pay.

And so will anyone who takes Twitter seriously.

That’s why she matters.

7 Ways To Tell You Might Be Taking Twitter A Bit Too Seriously

If you’re wondering if you might be taking Twitter a bit too seriously, I offer these 7 tell-tale signs that, well, yeah, you are taking Twitter too seriously.

  • You just Twittered “Where did I leave my keys?” and are really hoping someone responds.
  • You’re about to make a business decision based 140 characters from @nopictureandnojobbutitweetalot,
  • You don’t eat until the Twitter Taco Truck tells you to.
  • You think “the babes” will take you more seriously once you get your account verified.
  • You know deep in your heart that @oprah wants to respond to you but can’t, cause of all that “legal stuff” she has to deal with.
  • You have an entire page of iPhone apps dedicated to Twitter.
  • You find this article funny enough to Tweet about.

Seriously, feel free to tweet about this

Social Proof In 140 Characters Or Less – About The Podcast Secrets Twitter Contest (Free iPod Anyone?)

We’re running a little contest at Podcast Secrets. In short, we’re looking for a good old-fashioned social proof campaign via Twitter.

Funny thing was, I had on my to-do list, the need to come up with a top-ten list for Podcast Secrets. This way I kill two birds with one stone.

I’m pretty proud of this one.

Submit your Tweet, chances are still good – and everyone who makes the top ten gets a link to their Twitter ID in a lot of different postings.

I’ll let you know the results when we’re done. Not just the “who won” bit – but was it worth the $500 in iPod purchases.

Would love your thoughts below …

Podcasting Is Dead Meets Selling On Twitter Meets Urgency Sales – It’s A PaulColligan.com Meme Mashup

UPDATE: THE COUPON IS NO LONGER VALID.

I love being able to test things and mash things up live on this Blog. Today we’re mashing up the whole Podcasting Is Dead / Selling On Twitter / Does Urgency Selling Work memes. Play along for fun?

Today at 5pm Pacific, I’m getting on the phone with Michael Geoghegan to deal with this whole “Podcasting Is Dead” thing once and for all. It’s a hot topic at my Blog and a huge topic at Mike’s. Meme #1.

As always, members of my New Media Inner Circle get front row access for free.

We’re also making this debate available to those who purchase the Business Podcasting Pack I’ve been marketing via Twitter. Yes, the offer in THIS TWEET still stands (until after we’re done with the call). Meme #2.

Now for those who have been playing along at home, the Business Podcasting Pack retails for $59.95 at Premiumcast.com. The coupon code “friendofpaul” gets you the whole pack for $20.00.

I’m taking down the coupon code after we’re done with the call tonight.

It’s still a deal at $59, but it’s a (I know, corny, but) steal at $20.

People say urgency selling doesn’t work. I say it does. Meme #3.

What say you? I’d love your comments below.