Leveraging Facebook and Twitter


Diane Lang

Leticia Barr

Nelly Yusupova

Diane: I'm the social media manager for BlogHer. I'm moderating the session. We have one mic wrangler. I have two great panelists today. Leticia Barr also known as techsavvymama, also known for the Clever Girls Collective, has been named by Babble as one of the top blogging moms and is a Twitter party Pro. Nelly is the CTO of webgrrls.com which is a community of entrepreneur web developers and a virtual who's who. Both are accomplished speakers and both have years of online experience with social media as a marketing strategy. Tell us a little bit about the journey that bought you hear today.

Leticia: This is my 5th BlogHer and I love it. I started blogging basically as a hobby. My friend and I started together, I said hey I'll help you. She said you can write about technology and educations. I started writing about whatever, she was the best editor ever. After a couple of weeks she said you should start your own blog. A month later I started my own blog. I've had a great opportunity to work with some great brands.

Diane: Nelly How did you get here today?

Nelly: I joined webgrrls in 1997. Back then I didn't know how much I know now. I'm surprised how I got the work done now knowing what I know today. I love technology that's why I'm passionate about empowering women to know why technology is important and how they can leverage it in their careers and their personal lives because technology is very important.

Diane: How many of you are using Facebook and Twitter? How many of you wanna know how you can use it effectively? We are going to talk about growing your social media presence and how you can jump into it and use the social part of it. The most important thing to know is to show off your personality.

How many of you have the egg avatar.. Leticia, what do you think of the egg avatar?

Leticia: Your avatar should be a reflection of who you are. I'm really proud of the fact that when people see me in real life they know who I am based off my avatar. People want to find you so don't use the egg avatar. Invest in a professional headshot. Have the avatar look like who you are. About the bio -- Twitter gives you very little space. It's hard to cram information in that space. I like to use the URL. It's better to link that URL to your About page. If you don't have a great about page, work on it. Develop an about page on about.me.

Nelly: I'd recommend that when you write your bio write it in a way to attract the people that you are looking for. People who will read it will self-identify and that's one way you can create a following that will hopefully turn into raving fans.

Diane: How do you find people? How do you know who to follow and how to build an audience? Leticia, any ideas about Twitter?

Leticia: I use Twitter. The great thing is using a Twitter party. A twitter party is around a certain topic that's around a certain hashtag. You can find people around a specific hashtag on Twitter and will talk about that topic. You can enter a hashtag on twitter.com in the search field and it will pull that up. that's a great place to meet people

Nelly: There's another tool called Twellow or Re-Follow. So for instance, if you're interested in technology, you can go into that category and find people that are in that category who are like you.I also suggest clicking on people's profile that Twitter recommends you to follow. Read their bio, 5 of their tweets. If they're someone of interest then follow them. That way you can also gain more followers.

Diane: Facebook is different. I don't know how to get more fans on my Facebook fan page.

Nelly: You have to create a marketing strategy to drive people there. You need to tell them to like it and then give them a reason to like it. In the old days, there was a way for people to create custom layouts and those pages were great for driving people and getting them to like you. With the new format..the way to drive people, drive them through Linked In, Twitter, whatever, once they're there you need to draw them to FB, and then tell them why they need to like you once they're there. Most people while they'll like your page, 85% of people won't return to your page after they like you. It's important to keep them engaged.

Diane: How do you define your audience. Who do you cater to when your on Twitter or Facebook? Friends? Family?

Leticia: I think it's different for everybody depending on your goals once you define who you are a s a brand. For me as a technology and education person, I reach out to technology brands and uber-geeks. That's who I'm targeting through twitter.

Nelly: Defining your goals is the key to any social media. It depends on the strategy of how you'll measure goals and success. Defining your target market will help you define your bio, the language you'll be using. If you're talking to the younger audience vs. older people the language you will use will be very different and how you will define how you talk to people.

Diane: Another way to build engagement and community is through linking. Curious how you build linking? Through your own content?

Nelly: Think it's a mix. We use these tools for our work and to connect to people. A mix of sharing your own links as well as other people's links and you are creating a relationship by approving what they put out.

Diane: Leticia, is the 80/20 rule true? Do you share 80% of your stuff and 20% of others?

Leticia: Like Nelly said, it's a great way to build relationships. The links help to define who I am. Sometimes I give food for thought. It depends on who's out there. I think 80/20 is a good rule to start out with.

Diane: I think it's important to put your personality out there. Don't just link share. Leticia, what do you think about linking other people's content on Twitter?

Leticia: I think it's awesome. Who doesn't like a shout out? If you see something you like. retweet it, or the blog post, share it. It's all about relationship building.

Nelly: I want to share something else. How many of you have written a blog post and then waited hours for a comment? As a blogger, you have to also comment on other blog posts.

Diane: Another good way to get good feelings going on is through list building on Twitter. I have lists for everything. I love lists.

Leticia: I love lists in real life. Do people know what a Twitter list is?

Diane: A twitter list is a way of categorizing people on Twitter into certain lists, they can be public or private. If it's public other people can subscribe to it.

Leticia: For instance I'm on a DC Metro mom list and I can find all of my friends on that list. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to see what my friends are tweeted. It's really great to have curated lists.

Diane: I created a BlogHer list and they only let you have 500 people on the list. Let's talk about brands. How does brand content fit into your social media? Leticia?

Leticia: I started working with lots of brands. When thinking about your personal brand, really think about what you want because it's your personal integrity and your brand's integrity on the line. BE careful of who you are working with and if it's not a fit, then pass on it. If you're tweeting with brands, they know that you are tweeting them. Be intentional.

Nelly: I think it's in your strategy, it's important to include if you're goal is to work with brands. Think about how you will incorporate them with your social media before you start working with them. The way you use Facebook and twitter may be different and the brand may expect that you will use them on both.

Leticia: Ask the brand what their social media strategy is. Talk with them how you can work together?

Diane: Brands like you talking to them

Leticia: You can maximize how your going to use Twitter to your advantage. I have a custom background. I built it myself. Just google custom twitter background that you can build for yourself in minutes. Its my avatar, my name and some of the sites you work with. Link to your profile page. That way you can used that twitter background to talk more about who you are. How many use tweet deck. It's a free service you can download for Mac or PC and there's a leo an app version. It allows me to manage multiple brands when I'm working with them. It monitors your twitter feed, your mention, your hashtag, you can enter people's twitter handles. You can move your columns around. You can monitor everything you want in a neat platform. You can monitor your favorite brands, put them in search, create a list, watch they tweet out and tweet them back.

Tweetgrid: Have you ever participated in atwitter party and it moves too fast? Tweetgrid is my savior. Whenever I manage or participate in a twitter party, I like to have a hashtag of the party I"m monitoring in 1 column, and then the hosts in another column, and then the brand's handle in another column. Whenever anyone tweets at you, have that as well. It's something you can do in minutes. It's not static. It's not a webpage.

Metrics: How many of you take a look at what you're tweeting and what it means? If you're tweeting there's some real data behind there. It's useful especially if you want to work with brands. Data beyond your number of
followers and twitter.

Klout: Beyond the Klout perks, one thing I really like, it's all based on an algorithm. It's really like magic. They're all right on about my top 5 topics. You can see what you're most influential about an brands want to know that. It tells you what ind of personality you have. I'm apparently a broadcaster. I don't think there's a bad way that you tweet. You can move around that grid. Take it with a grain of salt but it's interesting information. You can dive as deep as you want. Hootsuite Pro is a service you subscribe to that dives into a lot of data. You can pay for it, depends on your goals, who you are, what you're doing.

Diane: I think it's beneficial to know who is reading your content then you can design your content around who's reading it because then they'll share it.

Leticia: Hootsuite is gold for Your one page media kit.

Diane: CecilyK at UppercaseWoman.com @cecilyk has a tutorial for media kits

Leticia: The last thing I wanna talk about, if you're curious about hashtags, know the metrics behind hashtags. Anyone who runs a twitter party, runs the metrics behind the hashtag. Tweetreach I used for an Acura RDX contest I was running. You plug in the hasthag and it spits back the information. It's free.

Hashtracking is another great service I love. Anyone can go in hashtacking.com and get data. It's free. It will give you # of original tweets, number of people who tweeted at the party, etc. It's really important if you're working with brands to give them the metrics behind a party. Different companies use different metric tools.

Nelly: There's another one, a very easy one. Twitter has their own shortener. If you use bit.ly it has its own metrics behind it, can see where people come from and how many people click your link.

Diane: Nelly share your Facebook tools and strategies

Nelly: Most people focus on driving people to their fan page. If you are a personal brand, you have to use a custom page vs your own personal Facebook page, max is 5000. Anyone on public Facebook page can like you and it's unlimited unlike a personal page. You have to set up a business page if you are a brand. 88% f your Facebook users never return to your page after they like it. 95% of your updates don't get seen by people in their news feeds. If you don't optimize your news feeds people don't see it. Facebook uses EdgeRank. Affiinity * Weight * TimeDecay=EdgeRank
Affinity is how relevant you are to a person. Its not a general score, its what you are building with each one of your followers. Its every single interaction you have with each one of your followers. If someone likes, shares, comments…that gets added to your affinity score. That's how much a person interacts with your content determines your affinity.

The weight is how much a specific content is worth. A picture is worth more than text vs a comment is worth more than a like. The more a person has to do work to interact with you the higher the weight is going to be

Time decay is how new is the post so you want to keep the content fresh. If its been there for more than aw week then it's probably not going to be shown with anyone.

I know that I can't control the time decay. The weight however is a controlled decision. I want to focus on how to build affinity, how do you get people to engage with your content, then you can get a higher edge rank score which will ensure that more of your posts will be shown to people.

Content strategies to increase your EdgeRank. How many of you are bloggers? How many of you are looking for the next thing to write? You can ask people on your page to get the content and is the most affective way to engage. Crowdsourcing is away to do that to build engagement.

Adding thought provoking questions…Did you know Facts? A woman used this strategy the next day after a conference I spoke to. She did this and the next day she got 21 people who commented on a did you know fact.

Remember that any content you put on Facebook has to be light and simple because people are going on there to have fun. If you ask them hard questions or do something intensive, they won't do it.

Fill in the blank is light and easy.

Polls/Surveys is a another way. What's happening in the news is another way to get engagement. When it's Womens' History month, we ask a lot of women what's happening in the world with women. Using photos and videos have a lot of weight. They get 200% higher interaction rates than links. That's why Pinterest is so popular because visual things evoke emotion.
Ask people to do simple tasks

Use Call to Action. With new Facebook rules, you can't ask people to like your page but you can ask them to like your content

Post Outside business hours, when people are out of work, they're not on Facebook. Figure out when your audience is online and post at that time.

Be concise -- when your post is short and to the point, people respond.
For example, Royal Caribbean got 269 people to like and 600 to comment when they said Shh. Listen do you hear that? On a Royal Caribbean cruise, I hear the sounds of ____. You want to get comments or interactions. Cocoa Cola said "Poke a friend today, make them smile" 25,302 people liked this and 1236 people commented. Very high engagement. Nutella said "Click 'like' if you're having breakfast with Nutella right now! 11,896 people liked, this but even if you're a Nutella fan and you're not having it for breakfast you would've still liked it. The thing is figuring out how to engage with your users so that you can continue doing it. The more that you are engaging with them Facebook sees that.

Audience Member: You mentioned with Facebook, you can't write "Like," can you send a tweet to have them come to your page?

Nelly: You should use all your channels to ask people to like you on Facebook although you can't ask them on your page.

Audience Member: What do you think about buying a Facebook ad? Is that effective? I know people are getting more likes but is their content getting seen?

Nelly: There's also paid ways to get engagement if you need that extra push when you're getting started. Facebook has sponsored posts and it works different for different people. I recommend testing it and figure out where you will maximize return of investment which is your time oftentimes.

Diane: I don't recommend using a twitter bot because you want to engage with people naturally.

S3: One of the ways to engage people is through contests which people do to build followers and fans. If people like you just for contests then those numbers don't mean anything in terms of building community.

Audience Member: Is there a way to transfer fans to new pages?

Nelly: There's a way to transfer fans through Faebook. Google it.

Audience Member: How much time do you spend on twitter?

Nelly: To get started, Facebook will randomly show your content to people based on an algorithm but if they continue to ignore it then Facebook will not keep showing it.

Diane: I'm on Twitter a lot so I'm not good to ask. I use a list to see what my core friends are doing.

Audience Member: How do you get Facebook likes to transfer to blog viewers? Is it a good idea to post videos on Facebook

Leticia: Its good to go where your viewers are and lost there doesn't hurt to have things in different places for different people. People learn and look at things differently.

Nelly: You can try different things. If you want to drive more people to your blog then create good headlines to bring them there

Audience Member: How do you begin starting those lists since I'm following thousands of people.

Leticia: Do this as you have time and start with the people that you really really want to follow.

Diane: Start with a core group of people that you always talk to.

Leticia: I'd recommend that from now on, when you follow people, start putting them in a list.

Audience Member: Can you do across different platforms?

Diane: Yes.

Audience Member: Certain time of day that you post on Twitter?

Nelly: Depends on your audience. Post during nap time if moms is your main audience.

Leticia: Internet traffic spikes during night time.

Audience Member: Do more blogs tend to do pay for play or is there a personal choice that each owner of blog makes?

Leticia: Think that its a personal choice. Its companies that I'm passionate about that I'll do things for free. There are also brands that I will charge.

Diane: I think top level bloggers are getting asked 10 times a day to do editorial content.

Audience Member: I use the twit validation process. My number of new followers have dropped. Do you have any experience with this?

Leticia: I don't have experience with it.

Nelly: On a general scale, if you make people work extra hard, things will automatically drop out. If you think real people aren't following you, then I'd take it off. If you think it's bots, then don't worry about it.

Diane: If you put a barrier in front of people, they won't follow you.

Audience Member: Is there anything else you can say about sponsored stories?

Nelly: That's the paid way of getting your content in front of people who aren't responding to you to build your affinity.

Audience Member: When you're building your brand (a personal and a business) do you maintain two different twitter feeds?

Leticia: Only time I've come into that is when I've managed a brand's feed.

Nelly: I'd recommend, if they are totally different audiences, that you separate them because you can't write a bio targeted to the audience if they're really distinct.

Diane: I third that.

Diane: If you're sending a message to someone on Twitter and you want everyone that follows you to see it, you have to put a "." in front of the @ symbol, it will only go to Nelly and the people that follow us.