Analyse Twitter Accounts Using Riffle

Here's a neat tool that you can use explore the Twitter accounts of other users. Say, you're following a client and want to get to know the numbers of retweets they tend to get, their followers, top hashtags, and other interesting metrics, you would need to visit their Twitter account and do some research. However, with Riffle  (Chrome plugin) you simply click on an icon next to their Twitter account and, hey presto, the information appears in a neat sidebar.

Here's an example of how the Riffle icon appears in your Twitter timeline. Notice that it appears next to each Twitter name.


Simply clicking on the icon brings in this inserting snapshot of that Twitter account, which includes 'retweets/tweet', 'favorites/tweet', top hashtags, mentions and URL's and even tells you which is their preferred platform.


Riffle reckons that this tool is useful for the following roles: marketers, customer service, agencies and sales and can be used for competitor analysis, finding influencers (it also includes a Klout score),  insights on leads and customers and improving customer experience.

Related Link
Get Chrome Plugin
Twitter Training Course (London and Cardiff)

Tweeting With Comments Comes To Twitter

One of the main complaints that people have with Twitter is that, unlike third party or mobile apps such as Tweetdeck or Twitter for Mobile, you can't add a comment to your retweets (unless you do them manually). Well, no more! Early last week Twitter FINALLY launched its "ReTweet with Comment" feature on the desktop version of Twitter. Today, if you click on the Retweet button you will get this:


It allows you to click either Auto Retweet (where you have nothing to add):


or to add your own comment:

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 07.55.54

One thing to bear in mind is that the comment section of this new feature allows you up to 116 characters. This is certainly very beneficial as prior to this (on other apps/platforms) your comments on retweets had to make do with whatever characters were left over from the original tweet.

Thanks Twitter!

Related Course
Social Media Course - Cardiff and London
Twitter Training Course

How’s This For A Shortened URL?

Using Twitter Ads To Target Specific Twitter Audiences

The other day I came across a website called Squared which is:

the award-winning digital marketing course for ambitious marketing managers, bright grads and professionals looking to enter the industry. Built by the best practitioners and delivered online, we are a new movement in career learning.

Curious as to what this new offering was, as with most things related to digital marketing training or otherwise, I decided to sign up. However, I didn't complete the application as they were asking for a £250 deposit and full payment of £1449 - at that point I lost interest.  The following day I started to see promoted ads, such as the one below, appearing in my Twitter timeline.


For all users of Twitter I'm sure that you've seen these Promoted Tweets and there's a good chance they are relevant to yourself. So, what is going here and how did this ad appear? Is it because of my interests or a word I mentioned in my tweets? Or could it have been because I was identified and my Twitter handle added to Twitter Ads?

Well, one thing that might have happened is they typed in my name in to the 'Add Followers' section of the Twitter Campaign dashboard and, hey presto, discovered my name. They may also have gone one step further (see below) and identified similar people from this search query and added them to their list.


This is perfectly feasible, though the company in question Squared would have had to search for "Alun John" and then make sure that they selected the right one - in this case it might have been relatively easy, though a little too mechanical.

Or did they use one of the following Twitter features, which are really quite something?

  • Website Tag for Remarketing
  • Tailored Audiences
  • TV Targeting
  • Device, carrier, and new mobile user targeting

Website Tag for Remarketing allows you to place code on your website and once this is in place it collects cookie ID's of users and matches them to Twitter ID's; this data once collected then allows you to display ads to your visitors when they visit their Twitter timeline.


Tailored Audiences is a great feature which allows you to upload information from your own audiences (think lists - email lists or mobile phone numbers) and again Twitter identifies which of these data entries corresponds to a Twitter user; then your ads can be placed on these user's timelines. Let's just assume that you wanted to upload customer email list you would export one of your lists, from Mailchimp for example, and import it into Twitter; your Mailchimp users would then see ads tailored to them and created within a Twitter campaign. The sort of lists you can create are the following:


The other element within Tailored Audiences that people might find of interest relates to Mobile Apps. It allows you to tailor campaigns to (or exclude) to your audience who signed up or installed an app.

TV Targeting is available to those views in certain countries (the UK, SA and Spain most others) and lets you target people according to TV show targeting: There are two options to reach people engaged with specific TV programming, TV network targeting and TV genre targeting. Device, geo-targeting and language can also be added as features.

The final option for targeting comes from Device, carrier, and new mobile user targeting. There are many options available for advertisers here including the option to focus on OS and whether people are wifi users. So as we can see the options for targeting on Twitter are varied and very exciting. Let me know if you've used any of them and did you achieve the objectives you set to achieve.

In the case of Squared, I assume that the way they targeted me was probably from an email list of new enquiries but from those who hadn't quite gone through to payment!

Related Articles
Twitter ads: The beginner’s guide to Tailored Audiences
Twitter Advertising
TwitterAcademy Webinar - Ads Audience Targeting

Related Course
Social Media Marketing Course

The Social Maps of Cities

This is a fascinating, brief (5 mins) TED talk by Dave Troy on the Social Maps of Cities. Using data from tweets he helps us to visualise cities like Baltimore, San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro in a way that we have never seen them before. And as the overview on TED says: "Dave Troy has been visualizing what the tweets of city dwellers reveal about who lives there, who they talk to — and who they don’t."

Exploring The Twitter Search Engine

The first tweet was written almost 9 years ago and looked like this:

In that time Twitter reckons that hundreds of billions of tweets have been created. Some of them were milestones in the way that information was diffused to the public at large:


As Twitter says in a blog article - Building a Complete Tweet Index - the company has always excelled at delivering real-time search results - if you want to find out what's happening in a football game or today's news, you may go to the search box on your desktop or mobile device or even click on the trending topics.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 21.15.10

However, if you're looking for something more detailed or want to search further back in time, you may be better off trying the advanced search which now allows you to search the ENTIRE Twitter index right back to 2006. This can be a hugely powerful tool for researching, analysing, identifying trends, exploring hashtags (historically), spotting opportunities, keeping an eye on your competitors (or citizens!) and much more. Twitter has maintained that it has always been the goal of the company to offer users the ability to search the entire database. And now you are able to just do that and 'interrogate' around half a trillion documents in their index!

This is what the interface looks like:

Advanced Search

As you can see it allows you to search by using a number of fields and means you can carry out some quite advanced searches based:

  • Keywords - including phrases, negatives and exact matches
  • Hashtags
  • Named accounts - including correspondence between accounts
  • Location
  • Dates and
  • Sentiments

So, let's say that we wanted to find out how Robert Scoble's (Tech commentator) thoughts on "Google Glass" have evolved over the past 3 years we conduct the search and we can go through the (hundreds) of tweets that he has done since 6th April, 2012. There are conversations, discussions on privacy, styles, ways of use, apps you can use with it, video examples and much more. Everything that Robert Scoble has written about on Twitter can now be indexed for whatever reason you wish.


Just imagine how you could be using this advanced search tool for your own business. Here are some ideas to get you started:

> All these words: Recipes
> Sainsburys

> All these words: Real Madrid
> None of the words: Ronaldo


Digital Trends For Marketers In 2015

Hootsuite has written an interesting article on the 7 trends that Social Media Marketers need to keep abreast of in 2015. I thought I'd share them with with you today.

Google will rely heavily on social media signals for SEO
Google rankings are being more heavily influenced by Social media Hootsuite reckons that SEO and Social Media peeps will need to work a lot more closely with each other to ensure "their company ranks on top in Google’s SERPs."

Content marketing will be the solution to Facebook’s algorithm change
With Facebook's new algorithm Hootusite reckon businesses need tp consider "timely posts about information that provides value to your social media audience." Those with a sophisticated content strategy are much more agile as they can "select content from their blog to feature on the business page."
Bottom line - get cracking on your content marketing.

Websites need to be more mobile-friendly
Mobile phone penetration is at 52.4% globally and we must assume that you have thought of or are thinking of optimising your website for global. You should also consider optimising social media 'media' for this, too.

The new Twitter search engine will push for Tweets to be more optimized
Twitter has launched its newest and best search engine, which allows you to search tweets from its ENTIRE index right the way back to 2006 . Hashtags, images and links are as important as ever as more optimisation can result in more queries, and more business.

Social media data will inform marketing decisions
"A recent survey conducted by Hootsuite found that 60% of global organizations struggle to turn social data into actionable tactics." They see that this year the social media marketer will become a social media analyst. And they will be using this data to "inform marketing and business decisions."

A testing culture will be implemented in all digital marketing teams
Hootsuite sees that this year we will be testing all manner of digital assets including, "landing pages, website layout, online ads and emails every day." In short A/B Testing will be carried out by everyone.

The online experience will shift to a more “human experience”
As we have seen Google and Facebook make changes which are more human, so we will see marketers create social media posts that are more relevant, providing more value to customers and making engagement more human.

Christmas Stocking Filler From Guy Kawasaki

7131UWJun+LGuy Kawasaki, for the uninitiated, is an extremely well-known in Social Media circles - with a huge following on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. He was Apple's chief evangelist and advisor to CEO of Motorola. He has also written a number of books and is EXTREMELY active on Social Media! His most recent book is called the The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users, which he co-wrote with Peg Fitzpatrick. It is a neat reference book and is divided into 123 tips on how to master social media, covering broad areas like How To Optimise Your Profile, How To Feed The Content Monster, How To Get More Followers, How To Socialise Events and How To Optimise For Individual Platforms. Here are a few of those tips that I would like to share with you.

Finding The Right Content
I like that Guy Kawasaki breaks content down into two areas which you can use, as he says, "to feed the beast". These areas are content creation, where you generate content using text, image, video, powerpoint, etc and content curation - finding content from other people's sites and sharing it. The latter sits neatly in the "I-haven't-got-much-time-to-blog-this-week" category.

Make a Plan
Guy says that he is not a great fan of cogitating for long periods of time but still believes you need a plan to help you accomplish what you set out to do with social media. Briefly, he says you need to:

  1. Figure out how to make money
  2. Figure out what kind of people you need to attract to make money.
  3. Figure out what those people want to read (which is probably different from what you want them to read).

Use An Editorial Calendar
Though he says that he doesn't subscribe to this approach and prefers a "spray and pray" approach, he says his co-author likes this approach and recognises it can be useful for managing blog posts, alongside Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn updates. Here is an example of the editorial calendar he uses (which interestingly is one we recommend on the Social Media courses we run!). Notice how it details target personas, keywords and calls to action.


Tap Into Good Content By Using List, Circles, Communities and Groups
He recommends using public Twitter Lists to find interesting users around a topic and private ones to track what people are doing and saying (like competitors).  He recommends using Facebook Lists, which allows you to stream updates from Pages or people and Google+ for organising contacts.

Be Valuable
Good 'stuff' (content) comes in four forms:

  • Information
  • Analytics
  • Assistance
  • Entertainment

Be Interesting
Guy advocates discussing topics which, you could say, sometimes go "off topic". He says that people, often mistakenly, assume that others want to hear about a "narrow band of subjects". One example he gives is a restaurant writing an article along the lines of, "Atomic particles help solve wine fraud: the scientific way to cut a cake".

Be Visual
Recent stats show that use of images and video leads to increased engagement, sharing, liking and commenting on social media. Guy cites a stat that says that views of content increased by 94% when accompanied by relevant photograph or infographic. Some examples of how to be more visual included:

  • Including a link on updates like Facebook or Google+ - this automatically brings in images from the story you are referencing 9see Facebook example below).
  • Create a picture from a screenshot

Be Sly
Have you considered using titles for your posts along the lines of:

How to Rock ...
A Complete Guide To ...
Essential Steps to ...
What No One Tells You About ...

The book contains a neat infographic with 74 blog post titles.

Be Active
It probably goes without saying that you need to be fairly active but not too active on Social Media. He includes an interesting couple of charts to define the number of posts "casual" and "hard-core" users will be publishing to various platforms - for Twitter 8-12 tweets were identified for casual and 25 for hard-core! He also explains an experiment whereby he shared 4 identical tweets with different tracking links and saw that instead of getting 1300 clicks (based on tweeting once), he got 7600 clicks (based on tweeting four times). He concludes that would you rather irritate a few people or get 5.8 times more clicks.

There are so many valuable tips that I think those new to social media, and even those already using it, will find useful in this book. I saw quite a few that I'd had not heard of, others that showed I was doing some things correctly and others that have made me look again at the way I do things. One observation though, I bought the hard-cover version and wished I had bought the Kindle version as it does include clickable links to useful sites.

LeWeb 2014 Kicks Off Today

Today, and for the next 3 days, you can enjoy listening to some of the greatest minds associated with digital technology at the LeWeb conference. You may have missed the boat in terms of signing up (or just thought that the €1,890 ticket was a bit steep!) but you can still watch the livestream from their website. You'll be able to watch talks on Crowd Economies on the Rise, Wearable Computing, Multi Channel Networks, Silicon Valley Visionaries, The Evolution of Media, Ecommerce, The Reinvention of Healthcare, Digital Diplomacy, Future of Online Education, amongst many. Tim Berners-Lee and speakers from Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Forrester, Lyft, Evernote and many, many more are also in attendance.