Mesh Without Wires

May 5, 2011

Corporate Twitter for B2B: How to Create an Event Archive or Chat Transcript

Filed under: B2B,Corporate Twitter — kseniacoffman @ 12:05 pm
Tags: ,

So you’ve attended, or managed, a conference, or participate in a Twitter chat, and want to save the tweets for archival purposes or to review them later. How do you capture the tweets in a user-friendly format?

With the demise of WTHashtag.com, I’ve been looking for a new tool to create Twitter transcripts. Of course you can use the built-in Twitter search, or http://search.twitter.com/ – but they only go back a few days, and also produce the results in reverse chronological order, so you’ll be reading the tweets backwards – from newest to oldest.

Of course, the answer came via a recommendation on Twitter – the new tool I’m using is TweetReports. The basic search, including generating transcripts, is free. Below is an example on how to filter results for an event hashtag. Same can be applied to Twitter chats, or any other time-based search you want to perform. When you export the results in HTML, they will be sorted from oldest to newest.

How to create Twitter transcript

How to create Twitter event or chat transcript (click to enlarge)

TweetReports appears to use basic Twitter search functionality, so the tweets themselves do not go far back. Therefore you might want to create your transcript within a few days of the event. The resulting HTML export URL continues to be available, but if you want to save the transcripts for posterity (and avoid losing them as happened with WTHashtag), print the HTML page to PDF or save as a Word document.

For other posts on social media, see:

April 1, 2010

Primer on Twitter Chats

Filed under: B2B,Social Media — kseniacoffman @ 8:04 am
Tags: , , ,

Follow #B2Bchat on TwitterIf you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me occasionally post with a #B2BChat hash tag, and perhaps wondered what this was about. #B2Bchat is a weekly conversation for B2B marketers, and I’m one of the four co-moderators. The objective is to bring B2B marketing community on Twitter together while discussing topics relevant to us as B2B marketers. There are many great chats on Twitter, but none specifically focused on B2B, so the #B2BChat fills this gap.

So you’d like to try out a Twitter chat, but don’t know where to start? This primer provides you with everything you need to know before jumping in.

What is the purpose of a Twitter chat?

Consider it a virtual roundtable – discussion on topics that are of interest to you. I use Twitter chats as an extension of my professional network. Working for a mid-sized company, I have very few marketing colleagues – so chats are a way for me to sound off ideas, ask questions, share observations and receive real-time feedback.

How are the chat weekly topics determined?

The topics can either be announced ahead of time (as we do with #B2Bchat), focused on trends of the day, or based on questions submitted by the chat community over the course of the week.

How do I join a Twitter chat?

Follow the hash tag in your Twitter client, and add the hash tag to your tweets if you want to participate in the conversation. Alternatively, you can use a web application called TweetChat (http://tweetchat.com/): log in with Twitter, then enter the hash tag – without the # sign – and you’ll find yourself in a virtual chat room, where tweets are automatically filtered for the hash tag you entered. If you use TweetChat, you don’t need to add the hash tag to your tweets; they are added automatically. If the chat is busy, I also open up the twitter home page and set a search for my @handle – so that I don’t miss messages directed at me.

Any tips on participating in a Twitter chat?

Just jump in – respond to messages, share your thoughts on the questions posted by moderators, throw out additional questions. You can also ‘favorite’ tweets that you’d want to go back to, or from someone you’d like to follow after the chat. Note that some of the long-standing chats, e.g. #Journchat or #Blogchat, can be extremely fast paced, so you may want to try out a chat with a more measured pace, such as #B2Bchat (hint hint).

If you are worried that excessive tweeting during the chat will irritate your followers, use this technique: start all of your statements with the chat’s handle (@b2b_chat); that way, only people who follow both you and the chat account will see your message. Same applies when you reply to other participants in the chat. If you want to completely separate your chat activities from your regular twitter presence, you can set up a different account for chats only.

What other chats are out there?

There are many chats in the Twitterverse. In addition to #B2Bchat, I also participate in the following chats on a semi-regular basis:

  • #Blogchat Sunday 9 pm ET Weekly chat to discuss blogs and best practices
  • #ARchat Tuesday 12 pm ET Weekly chat focused on analyst and influencer relations
  • #journchat Monday 8 pm ET Weekly chat between PR professionals, journalists and bloggers
  • #pr20chat Tuesday 8 pm ET Community focused on discussing how social media influences PR
  • #IMCchat Wednesday 8 pm ET IMCchat is focused on integrated marketing and communications.

For more marketing, PR and social media chats, see this article. For a complete list of twitter chats (some inactive) see the Google Doc spreadsheet created by Robert Swanwick (@SpkrInteractive).

A side benefit of Twitter chats is that they allow you to connect with like-minded people, resulting in a growth of your Twitter network; that’s how my personal account (@kseniacoffman) overtook Firetide’s corporate account (@firetide) in terms of followers.

With this primer on Twitter chats, I hope you will join us for the next #B2Bchat this Thursay April 1 at 8 pm ET. This week’s topic: Integrating Podcasting and Video Into Your B2B Marketing Mix. And follow @B2B_chat for updates on future chats.

February 19, 2010

Corporate Twitter for B2B: 12 Types of Compelling Content for Your Feed

Filed under: B2B,Corporate Twitter,Social Media — kseniacoffman @ 11:56 am
Tags: , ,

In Part 1 of this series on corporate twitter, I shared insights and ideas for getting started. If you followed the steps, you probably have some ‘early followers’ and a handful of tweets. Sadly, many corporate accounts abandon Twitter at this point, or begin to post very infrequently. The key here is to be consistent and keep your followers engaged. But how do you come up with content for your tweets? For me, getting the 1 to 3 daily tweets that I promised in the email to the company was daunting. I even posted links to new datasheets – lame, I know.

To help you keep your ‘Twitter momentum,’ here are 12 types of content that will be useful to your followers, will keep them engaged, and will draw new followers in (and they may be even paying attention, rather than filtering you out with 3rd party Twitter clients.)

Here’s the list, mostly in order of impact this content will have on your twitter presence. Items 11 and 12 may have most impact if you already have a substantial amount of followers, but it’s never too early to get started.

  1. Your media coverage: This is the best type of content for your twitter stream. I’m surprised not a lot of corporate twitter accounts make it a priority to tweet out their media coverage, given the amount of time and effort that goes into “getting ink.” Not only the articles mention you, your solution and/or your customers, they also come from an impartial 3rd party. Bonus points if the publication that ran the story has a twitter presence and you can reference them as “via @thisawesomepub.” Double bonus points if the editor or the publication put the article on their twitter stream, so that you can retweet them. (“Look, I’m not trying to self promote, it’s just an RT.”)
  2. Your digital media: Upload and link to your videos on YouTube, photos on Flikr, presentations on SlideShare, and blog posts. People want to know what you are about, and this digital content provides an additional window into your company. Deployment photos work very well; people like to see your gear in action. One of our early tweets was “@firetide:  Cool night-time photo of Firetide wireless video surveillance install http://bit.ly/RqDpQ” (it even got retweeted.) Production values do not need to be outstanding as you are just getting started; there will be room for improvement down the road.
  3. Events you are attending (planning to attend, have attended): Events are a great source of content for Twitter, with the added benefit that you can tweet about various aspects of them over time. When tweeting about / at an event, use the event’s hash tag, so that others can find you in the twittersphere. Bonus points if you have joint activities with other people and companies, and can reference them. For example, we ‘milked’ our joint demo at ASIS 2009 with Exacq, IQinVision and Pivot3 multiple times. This was a good exercise not just in interoperability, but also being able to reference the partners on social media.
  4. Local news coverage: Our deployments tend to get covered in local news if a municipality is launching its public surveillance system. Sadly, the local news crews do not get into the technical nitty-gritty of the project, and rarely even mention that the cameras are connected over wireless, let alone our name. I set up Google alerts around our larger deployments that tend to get covered in the local news. So whenever the system gets covered, I put the link on our twitter stream. Not only I’m linking to a positive story about crime reduction, community benefits, etc, in the eyes of my twitter followers I ‘created’ Firetide coverage by co-opting the story: “Hey, we did this!
  5. Your web updates: If you added new product information, case studies, white papers, webinar replays, put a note on Twitter. Be creative: for example, whenever we add a company to our Technology Partner page, we tweet it out, showcasing our partners, while sending traffic to our web site. You can also post links to press releases: don’t overdo this, and you may need to copyedit the headline into a compelling tweet.
  6. Retweeting others: Follow a few people influential in your industry (these may be publications, editors, analysts, bloggers), and occasionally retweet them if you think that their post or content they are linking to will be useful and relevant to your followers. You may even be followed back by said influencers. Also consider retweeting your partners or any other interesting people you follow; they will appreciate it and may return the favor down the road. Before retweeting, I make sure the content I’m about to link to is not about a competitor, contributed by a competitor, or present our technology / industry in a negative light. (Hey, this is a corporate account, so a certain amount of filtering and spin is permitted). Nor do I retweet links if they lead to ‘premium’ content that you have to pay for, or which may be available only to clients (analyst firms occasionally do that).
  7. Industry news and developments: Set up Google alerts for keywords relevant to your industry. I don’t source a lot of content this way in our core specialty – wireless mesh – since these articles are either about us (see # 1) or about our competitors. However, this can be useful if you want to get associated with a new industry or vertical you want to enter – smart Grid and transportation/ITS for us. So I occasionally tweet articles on these topics.
  8. Replying to others: If you see a question posed by someone you follow, or an interesting topic they are referencing and you have something to say, don’t hesitate to respond with an @ reply. People like to know they are being listened to. If someone follows both you and the recipient, they will see your tweet and maybe even engage in the discussion.
  9. Replying to @ messages directed at you: As a new account, unless you are widely known brand, you may not get any @ messages for a while. But if you do, be sure to respond promptly.
  10. Follow Friday: Twitter denizens recommend their favorite accounts on Fridays. Participate – even though it may seem cheesy at first. This is a way to be ‘nice’ on Twitter, and also show that you are actively listening to the people you are recommending. You can use your lists in conjunction with follow Friday, so each recommendation tweet is themed – be it wireless, physical security, etc.
  11. Asking questions of your network: You may not get a lot of replies if you are just starting out and your follower count is low. But it’s an excellent way to engage with your twitter community, and maybe even get your question answered.
  12. Building and promoting your twitter lists: List functionality has been a great addition to Twitter in many ways (I will cover lists separately). One way to get noticed on twitter is to (1) put people on relevant lists (they will likely notice and appreciate it); (2) promote your lists. Others who are looking to expand their presence on Twitter will be grateful that you put in the work, and it will also establish you as an authority of sorts, especially if your list is comprehensive. If you tweet out your lists, you may even see a few retweets.

What has worked for you? Please comment!

Blog at WordPress.com.