6 Tips for Finding Great Content to Share on Twitter #sm

In the land of Twitter, you are known by what you tweet Finding and sharing great content is the key to establishing yourself as a thought leader in the arena of social media. Here are some Twitter tips on how to find and share great content:

1. Do a Twitter search of users to identify and follow thought leaders in your niche.

Once you’ve decided what field you would like to establish yourself as a leader in on Twitter, do a Twitter search of users and begin following those who are already sharing content in the space. Listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it and follow their lead. Check in on them regularly to keep abreast of the latest content and share what you consider to be best. Retweeting the latest content from thought leaders is a great way to develop your niche, as well as an easy way to get the attention of and connect with established thought leaders.

2. Create and save Twiter searches for your niche.

Twitter lets you set up and save searches. Create some permanent search topics and check them regularly for good content. Retweet the best of what you find.

3. Create a Twitter List of content stars

Twitter lists are an easy way of keeping track of great curators of information, i.e., people who consistently find and share great content. As you come across users who consistently share great content, add them to your content star list and regularly check in on what they’re tweeting. You will learn much and have much to share as well! (OK, I must confess that this is the only list of mine that I keep private. Seems I’ve read that you shouldn’t give away all your secrets…You will find that a good group of Twitter content curators will quickly best the content you may have found previously using Google alerts.)

4. Set up Google alerts

Creating several Google Alerts related to your field is a great way to identify and share original content. You can let the story items pile up and pick through them at your leisure – though keep in mind that the live-stream, real-time nature of news today gives added points to those who share great content first. Use terms in your search that will narrow the results and focus your niche.

5. Create an AllTop account

This one step should help you enormously in staying on top of the latest developments in your niche: go to AllTop and set up your own niche listening post; the site makes easy the process of tracking the best articles on the web. Look for AllTop pages set up by thought leaders in your field to see what they are reading on a regular basis. It’s how I start my morning: http://AllTop.com/GlenDGilmore

6. StumbleUpon great content

I’m a fan of StumbleUpon, a site where users identify what they believe to be the best content on the web. The site let’s you set up your account to focus you on your own areas of interest. Add a toolbar to your web page and when you need a break from your work, stumble. You’ll find some really great content to share!

Now be sure to folllow me on Twitter at @TrendTracker and share in the Comments suggestions you may have for finding that great content! Thanks! Glen (aka, TrendTracker)

Photo Credits:

Twitter Bird: Flickr: Guy Kawasaki
Google Alert: Flickr: Ari Herzog

Atlassian’s Attains Big Milestone for Room to Read Through Cause Marketing

Atlassian, makers of collaboration and developer tools, announced that its Starter license program has generated over $500,000 in donations to Room to Read, a global nonprofit organization focused on literacy and gender equality in education, in just 12-months. In April, 2009, Atlassian first introduced its Starter licenses to enable small teams and software startups of under 10 users to access its popular software products like the JIRA issue tracker and the Confluence wiki. Each Starter license costs only $10 and includes a perpetual license, full technical support and updates. To date over 31,000 licenses have been sold to over 14,000 unique customers.

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How to be a media maven

Want to accumulate influence? Here’s the really, really cool thing about it: all you have to do is really pay a lot of attention to others. Boom. There you go. That’s it. When that attention comes from a heart overflowing with a genuine interest and care for others, you’re well on your way to becoming a media maven. To give you a solid role model to watch/study, here’s an interview with the Boston Media Maven, CC Chapman.

It’s a long interview and it showcases my still-developing audio-editing skills (or lack thereof), so there are a couple of times where I cut out stuff I didn’t mean to. Still, there’s plenty of gold in CC’s conversation. Love his philosophy, “Now there are no boundaries on who you can help.”

The Boston Media Maven, CC Chapman. He tells you how easy it is to be a media maven, too.
In the interview, Professor Chapman (he’s an adjunct prof), gives us some predictions about the future (“location-based everything is going to gangbusters,” and “tablet computing might just come of age, and not just because of Apple”), and shares stories of others who shine the spotlight on others (sadly, neither one of us could come up with a politician who was good at using social media, or ANY media, to shine the spotlight on others; maybe there’s one out there).

He also gave some beautiful advice for developing an effective online presence: “say ‘hi’ to everyone.”

Trey Pennington

[direct link to podcast with CC Chapman MP3 file in case the player gives you trouble]

How Social Media Gives The Public The Power Over Your Brand

Now more than ever, the public have their own media channels through Blogs, websites, social media sites. Market Research firm, IDC, reports that North American online users spend about 32.7 hours a week on the Internet, almost twice as much time as spent watching television (16.4 hours) and more than eight times as much time as spent reading newspapers and magazines (3.9 hours).

People have the ability to produce their own content, share their opinions and experiences and can access a reach far larger than traditional media if their content gains a viral following. For this reason, the public can now have a distinct and powerful advantage in a crisis over many corporations.

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How IT Services Companies can prepare for Social CRM opportunity

In one of my earlier post, I highlighted the Social CRM opportunity for IT Services Companies. In this post, I want to elaborate further on it by explaining HOW they can leverage this opportunity.

First step is to understand how customers of clients are using various Social Media channels (like Facebook or Twitter). And since this varies by the industry, IT services companies will need to come up with industry specific Social CRM approach and solution. Domain experts in each industry segment (called Verticals) need to evaluate ways their clients can:

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Social media mastery is a mindset

I’ve been teaching classes on social media marketing to business professionals for about a year now and I’ve found there’s definitely a group that “gets it” and a group that doesn’t.

The successful ones keep in touch with me long after the class is over and tell me how the social web has dramatically changed their lives through exciting new connections and business opportunities. For others, I can usually tell by the end of the first class that it isn’t going to “take” no matter what I say or do!

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Are you an elite?

In the developing world, there’s often a sharp dividing line between the elites and everyone else. The elites have money and/or an advanced education. It’s not unusual to go to the poorest places on earth and find a small cadre of people who aren’t poor at all. Sometimes, this is an unearned position, one that’s inherited or acquired in ways that take advantage of others. Regardless, you can’t just announce you’re an elite and become one.

In more and more societies, though (including my country and probably yours [and I’m including virtually the entire planet here, except perhaps North Korea] ), I’d argue that there’s a different dividing line. This is the line between people who are actively engaged in new ideas, actively seeking out change, actively engaging–and people who accept what’s given and slog along. It starts in school, of course, and then the difference accelerates as we get older. Some people make the effort to encounter new challenges or to grapple with things they disagree with. They seek out new people and new opportunities and relish the discomfort that comes from being challenged to grow (and challenging others to do the same).

Perhaps I’m flattering myself (and you) but I think almost everyone who reads blogs like this one is part of the elites. It’s not because of birth or financial standing, it’s because of a choice, the decision to be aware and engaged, to challenge a status quo of your choice.

The number of self-selected elites is skyrocketing. Part of this is a function of our ability to make a living without working 14 hours a day in a sweatshop, but part of it is the ease with which it’s possible to find and connect with other elites.

The challenge of our time may be to build organizations and platforms that engage and coordinate the elites, wherever they are. After all, this is where change and productivity come from.

Once you identify this as your mission, you save a lot of time and frustration in your outreach. If someone doesn’t choose to be part of the elites, it’s unclear to me that you can persuade them to change their mind. On the other hand, the cycle of discovery and engagement and shipping the elites have started is going to accelerate over time, and you have all the tools necessary to be part of it–to lead it, in fact.

Online Ad Targeting Is Pretty Much Like Dating

It turns out that it’s pretty simple to understand what women want. All you have to do is ask them. Of course, you have to be listening and willing to put it into practice. Having been married for nearly 9 years, I’m no genius at dating; but there are some parallels here that even my feeble brain can pull out.

In March of this year, behavioral targeting company Q Interactive did just that when they surveyed 1,800 female Internet users about the practice of targeted advertising. It turns out that women are actually okay with it – to the extent that they view it positively and actually want more of it.

When faced with an online ad that was closely aligned with their interests or activities, only 11% thought it was “weird,” while nearly 66% thought it was “cool.” Admittedly, this is when faced with ads from trusted brands. There’s no indication how the respondents felt when such targeted happened from untrusted or unknown brands, however.

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Why I Don’t Want Traffic

Having worked in the digital world for more than 14 years now, I’ve seen lots of trends come and go–does anyone remember “push marketing”? But during that time, Web traffic has been the constant metric for measuring success…until now.

I’ve come to realize that I really don’t care about Web site traffic. Site visits are overrated.

In fact, for my next program, if I get zero visitors to McDonalds.com, I’m ok with that. I don’t want traffic, I want conversations…and conversations don’t happen on my Web site. They happen on millions of blogs, twitter pages and forums spread throughout the Web.

We are relaunching McDonalds.com right now. The new site is gorgeous and features tons of great information about our company and our menu items. We’ve also made sure that the content is easily shareable. But like a lot of brands, we aren’t trying to stoke conversation on our brand site. Those rich conversations are happening elsewhere and it wouldn’t be an efficient use of our resources to try to move them to a branded environment where we would be legally obligated monitoring and moderating, and thus stilting, those discussions.

Think about it this way. When you build a Web site, you need to drive people to it. It would be silly to think that people will just “show up” (insert tired 1990’s quote from Field of Dreams here). Getting people’s attention in terms of awareness and clicks takes a lot of time and money. For certain types of campaigns traffic should be the number one metric, but for most of mine it won’t.

But my job is to make people aware of the high quality of our ingredients and the great balance in our menu. I want folks talking about our yummy salads and the 600 calorie Happy Meal and the most effective way to do that is by talking with people and having them talk with others in return. My key metrics will be the number of posts, and tweets that are generated. The number of comments/replies will be very important. The tone and sentiment of the conversations will also be critical.

It is a simple view of the Conversation Economy where traffic doesn’t count.

Greyson Chance: What A Sixth Grader Teaches Us About Social Media

In a matter of days, a sixth grader from Oklahoma, twelve-year-old Greyson Chance, has become a YouTube sensation, garnering over 15 million views, an appearance on the Ellen show, and a recording contract. In the process, this kid from Oklahoma has given a few lessons for students of social media:

1. Find and learn from a model of success. Greyson chose for his inspiration Lady Gaga. Not a bad choice considering the fact that she is the first entertainer to achieve one billion views on YouTube.

2. Find your voice and sing. Greyson Chance has never had a voice lesson, yet he has a voice that has propelled him to stardom. What made all the difference in the world was his decision to sing.

3. Share your passion. Ah…just watch the video that follows.

4. Be authentic. Be yourself. Chance chose to sing an extremely popular song from an extremely popular singer. Yet, he made the song his own. His version of “Paparazzi” is not an imitation of the original: it is an original, new version of the original.

5. Don’t give in to skeptics: convert them. As Greyson began his performance at his sixth-grade talent show, the expressions of his classmates seemed to convey disinterest at best: his performance visibly transformed skeptics into fans.

6. Content is still king. All the search engine optimization in the world still has a tough time trumping raw talent. Content, really good content, whether it’s a song or story, is still the best way to be found.

7. With compelling content, video is a viral rocket. YouTube is celebrating its fifth-year anniversary with two billion daily views. Twelve-year old Greyson Chance is one if its users who decided to upload a video from his sixth-grade talent show. 15-million views later, the video shows no signs of slowing down in its viral trajectory.

8. Give your friends more than one forum to connect. Greyson first uploaded the video of his performance to his Facebook page, then to YouTube. He has since added a Twitter account.

Greyson Chance’s 6th Grade Talent Show Performance