Storytelling on Twitter

If you’re not on Twitter you probably don’t care. If you are on Twitter, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Storytelling on Twitter? Yeah, RIGHT!”  It just seems like Twitter is designed for quick-hit, bursts of machine gun style sound-bites.  And, yes, that’s the way most people treat it.

HOWEVER, there’s a different way to think about Twitter and, with their new rollout of Twitter Moments, the process will be much easier in the very near future!

Instead of viewing your Twitter storytelling as confined to the 140 character tweet limit, think of it as;

  • Collaborative
  • Hyperlinked
  • Photo embedded
  • Video embedded
  • Non-linear

Go to your own profile and click on that new “Moments” link at the top.  You can check out what other people are already doing with Moments.  The folks at Team Twitter reported on their blog yesterday:

While we’re working with a small group of partners now, we plan to expand it in the future. The Twitter community continually surprises us with wonderful storytelling and creativity, so we look forward to seeing new and exciting uses of Moments from more partners soon.

So, with this new perspective, how will you tell YOUR story on Twitter? Can’t come up with anything creative?

Give us a jingle

We’ll help you unleash your storytelling mojo (it’s kinda what we do.)

  More >>

Finding Fabulous Facebook Fanpages

Happy woman with a laptopHave you ever thought to yourself, “This is a fabulous Facebook fan page.  I WISH there were more just like it?”  And, although Facebook has a function where they’ll show you some related/similar pages every now and again, this is not a feature that’s served up regularly or predictably.

Well, my friend, I have the solution for you!  Okay, it’s a bit of a social media “hack”, but it works.

I can’t guarantee that this will work forever since the programming structure of Facebook fanpages could change at any minute.  Also, there’s a wee little bit of code here.  Don’t be afraid.  Hum your favorite mantra and follow the simple steps.  You’ll quickly find yourself basking in the warm glow of fan page nirvana.


Log in to Facebook and find a really great fan page.


View the source code of the page.

This isn’t as straight forward as it should be, because every browser seems to do it differently.  PC users, first try to right-click on the browser’s page and select “View Source” or “View Page Source”.  Mac users, control-click on the page and make the same selection.  If you take this step and you don’t have “View Source” as one of your selections, the browser might be hiding that function up in the “View” menu.  Chrome even goes so far as to hide it further under “View” and then further under the sub-menu “Developer”.  Once you figure out how to view the source code, you’re ready for the next step….


Those feint-of-heart people who took one look at the Google source code and ran out of the room screaming ….. well, we wish them luck.  Because you’re still reading this, you’re a trooper and will be granted riches beyond your wildest dreams.  Stay with me.

Next, on this page, do a “find.” Again, every browser may do this slightly differently but once you figure it out, you’re golden.  The typical short cut on a PC is “Ctrl-F” and a Mac is “Cmd-F”.  If that doesn’t work, look up in the browser’s “Edit” Menu.

Search the sourcecode for “page/?id”.

If you go to my fanpage, and do this, you’ll see highlighted, in the top 50-ish lines of code, something that looks like this;

Notice there’s a long number right after the equal sign.  Mine is 171688969508364.

Copy that number or write it down. More >>

How to “Gamify” a Burger!

I often hear about the “gamification of business” or get asked about HOW to gamify a product or service.  And, to be quite honest, this is no small feat.  It’s SO hard, in most cases, the client simply throws up their hands in frustration and gives up on the process.  True story!

Put on your thinking caps: 
If you were asked to create a marketing campaign that gamifies a hamburger, what would you do? Tough exercise, yes? And, you might be asking, “Is it even possible?”

The simple answer is “YES!” Check out this campaign called “Jump Burger” by the restaurant chain TGI Fridays

The benefits of this campaign are pretty straight forward but clearly oozing with sheer genius!

  1. The campaign is fun
  2. The campaign gives away something of value
  3. The campaign involves the friends of the customer in a unique way
  4. The campaign mashes together the two concepts of “giving away a burger” with “going up for a jump ball”
  5. (Here’s the genius part) The campaign incentivizes the customer to tap directly into their entire social network of friends!!!

The next time you’re in a conversation about gamifying this product or that service, don’t give up too early.  Knuckle down … be creative … mash ideas together. More >>

What’s Included in a Really Great Blog Post?

What are the parts of a great blog postOver the course of my ten year stint as a part-time blogger (both personal and professional), I have been frequently asked, “What are all the ‘right’ parts of a blog post” or “what should I include in my posts to make them great?”  Both good questions that may have crossed your mind, yes?

STEP ONE — Find and bookmark great examples

Take a good long look at 5 Ways to Find Leads and Customers on Twitter over at Social Media Examiner:

Make note of how long the post is, but that it’s easy and fun to consume. You can read the whole thing start-to-finish, or you can scan it to pick out highlights, or you can select chunks that drew your attention and just read those.  The one thing few people will do is glance at it quickly and move along.  It’s really THAT engaging.

STEP TWO — Incorporate all the right elements

Now, open up Krista’s post in another tab and flip back-and-forth between her post and mine to see if you can pick out ALL of the following components that make her blog post really great!:

  • Written within brand – There’s a reason this is at the top of my list. IT’S THAT IMPORTANT!  To get a great overview of Flock Marketing’s concept of brand strategy, check out this video on brand strategy. I think you’ll find it to be enlightening.
  • The post is planned and focused on a single, main keyword or keyword phrase – Krista is focusing on “find leads and customers in Twitter
    • Several instances of this main keyword/phrase should be found throughout the post BUT:
      • Not so many that the post feels stilted, feels awkward or loses readability and flow.
      • Variations of the phrase are used – not just a repeat of the exact phrase.  For example, in her post you’ll find phrases like; “ways to find customers” and “finding new customers on Twitter”
      • There should be more instances of these word/phrases variations earlier in the post, rather than later in the post.
  • A powerful title that:
    • Isn’t to long and isn’t too short
    • Has the main key word/phrase in it – early in the title is better
  • Inline images throughout the blog post
    • The image should be supportive of the content next to the image
    • Images need to be: informative, emotive or have title overlays that engage the reader.  
More >>

Twitter Tools Used by the Top 100 #SM Influencers

Yesterday, I was a little shocked and surprised to find that I’m ranked #12 in the list of most prolific Tweeters among StatSocial’s Top 100 Social Media Influencers … this is according to in their post “Social Media Power Influencers: Who Tweets Fastest?”  In their post they clearly explain that there was no attempt to evaluate the quality of the tweets in the study:

No effort was made to parse, decode, or subjectively evaluate the content of any given Tweet or Retweet or evaluate its merit or audience relevancy.

This got me to thinking.  Objectively measuring tweet speed/volume is interesting (hence the post) but HOW do those top influencers tweet – THAT would be some great information! It’d be practical for the average Twitter user to see what tools the pros are using.

Sooooo, after scouring through the DidIt post to devour all of their yummy data-liciousness, I powered up a spreadsheet of my own and fired up a couple browser plugins.

Here Was My Process

  1. I created a new spreadsheet with all of the Top 100 2015 Social Media Influencers
  2. I then opened up their twitter profiles
  3. Using the “Klout” plugin for Chrome, I grabbed their Klout score – to be a rough measure of social media influence
  4. Using the “Riffle” plugin for Chrome, I made note of the top three Twitter clients (twitter applications or tools) they’re using.


Here’s the list of the top Twitter tools
Click the links to check out the tools.  They’re all free or have free demos!
The number refers to the number of Top 100 Social Media Influencers who use that particular tool;

56 – Twitter Web Client
50 – Mobile Twitter Client
27 – Hootsuite
21 – Tweetdeck
21 – Buffer
12 – Instagram
9 – Triberr
8 – Twitterfeed
8 – SproutSocial
7 –
6 – Tweetbot
5 – Social Oomph
4 –
3 – Facebook
3 – Blog/Blog Plugin
2 –
2 – GaggleAMP
2 – Linkis
2 – Tweetchat
2 – Meet Edgar
2 – LinkedIn
2 – Foursquare
1 – Alltop
1 – Socialflow
1 – TwitterAds
1 – Carbon for Android 
1 – Twitterific
1 – Tumblr
1 – Influitive
1 – Echofon
1 – TweetAdder
1 – Klout
1 – Sendible
1 –
1 – SocialBuzzClub
1 – Shareist
1 – JustCoz
1 – TwentyFeet
1 – Lose It
1 – Janetter
1 – Unfollowers

HOLY COW, that’s 42 different tools!   More >>

funny haunted house reactions 08

‘Haunted Houses’ and ‘Engagement’

22 Haunted House Reactions to Pee Your Pants With Laughter”  was the title of a Mashable blog post I just read.  The actual purpose of this post might seem a little ‘off’ at first blush but go with me.  As I’m reading the post, my brain queued up the question, “WHY did you click through (engagement) to this post in the middle of a busy day?”

Then, it dawned on me … there are SEVERAL reasons;

  1. I love Halloween and, especially, haunted houses!
  2. The title included a reference to photos/reactions — ones which I’d definitely want to see.
  3. The title included a number (not too few, not too many.)
  4. The title engaged me by vividly describing the experience I was going to have!
  5. The post had a featured image which powerfully conveyed the tone of the content.
  6. The post was from a respected source that I frequently visit.  (blog love and kudos to Mashable!!)

The point of this post?  Learn to engage from master bloggers by keeping your brain OPEN to these types of lessons.  If you carefully watch what YOU engage with, you’ll likely discover ideas on how your content can be more engaging to your network.

Full disclosure:  I’m not terribly disappointed that the post didn’t live up to it’s claims.  I didn’t actually pee my pants.

Photo courtesy of More >>

You Can’t “UNSEE” Something!

Several years ago I was presenting a new logo design to a medium sized company on the East Coast.  The logo was orange.  In the meeting the CEO said, “It looks like the Caterpillar Tractor logo!”  I pulled that logo up for comparison purposes and noted that there were NO similarities whatsoever. Even the color orange was different.  The lesson?;  NONE of that mattered!  As soon as he saw the similarity between the draft and the Caterpillar logo, he couldn’t “unsee” it.  In fact, everyone else at the table had now seen the comparison and could no longer unsee it.  ARRRGH!!!

The FedEx Icon

fedex_logoTo drive this point home, I often point out to people that the FedEx Logo, although it is comprised of just letters, has a built in icon/graphic.  At this late date many people have already experienced this but it’s always fun to be the one to show this to those who haven’t yet seen it. They’ll look and look and look… then you get to instruct them to look between the letters.  They’ll quickly discover the arrow between the ‘E’ and the ‘x.’  “OHHH, WOWWW! That’s Cool!” is usually the response.

Once you see it, you can’t UNsee it!


AirBnB’s New Logo

So, the branding world is all abuzz with the launch of the new AirBnB logo.  If you Google “Airbnb new logo” you’ll find numerous depictions of how this is a combination of several concepts:  People, a location icon, an upside down heart and the letter ‘A’.   And, as I write each of those things, your eyes shoot up to the logo to find them. Am I right?

Here’s the challenge with this logo:  LOTS (and I mean LOTS AND LOTS) of people are seeing things other than those four concepts.  The most commonly claimed are; A paperclip, Female genitalia and Male genitalia.  Hmmmmmmm.

Yep, just like before, as soon as you read that, your eyes shot up to the logo and started seeing those things.  And, sadly, now that you’ve seen them, you can’t UNsee them.  My apologies for being the one to do that to you … but somebody was going to point it out some day anyway.

The Lesson Learned

If you’re in the middle of a logo re-design, or if you’re a logo designer (especially), don’t rest on obvious questions like, “How do you like this?” (which only evokes a personal opinion based on personal preference.)  Instead, ask several people more obscure questions like, “What do you see here?” or “What does this look like to you?” (a la the Rorschach inkblot test) or “What do you think this graphic symbolizes?”  By asking questions in this way, you’re shifting the viewer’s brain into a more analytical mode – one where they’re more likely to pick up, and verbally express, these kinds of observations. More >>

New Logo for Olive Garden … MMMEH!

 Here are the old and new logos, respectively;


Changing the corporate identity of a long-standing brand is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  In fact, I would suggest that it not be done AT ALL unless there are clear and compelling reasons to do so.

Okay, so Olive Garden had a 13% reduction in December foot traffic and a third quarter, 5%+ decline in revenues.  We might ask, “In this scenario, is this the time to tweak the logo?”  Quick answer: “MAYBE!” … if that tweak is also part of an overall adjustment to a brand strategy, and that strategic course correction is geared to better engage a highly targeted audience.

The problem?

Other than the logo change, there doesn’t appear to be any other significant change to the Olive Garden BRAND STRATEGY.  Sure, they’re changing their menu (which I’m looking forward to checking out), but unless there’s a significant change to the way the brand presents itself to the world, I’m not likely going to change my view of who Olive Garden is, what they stand for, or why I should change my relationship with the brand.  I need a REEEAL, substantive reason to change my perspective!!

Back to the logo…

Some notes;

  1. The overall logo structure is identical;  flowing font, organic graphic, descriptive tagline below, framed with a background.
  2. The flat presentation is more contemporary BUT this benefit is offset by a font selection that is MUCH harder to read.  … Is that “Olive Ganden”? “Olive Carden”?  Hmmm.
  3. The branch icon is clearly more in-line with the “olive” concept (I never really understood the grapes) but how many people will recognize them as olive branches?  And, more to the point, the icon come across as just too busy.
  4. This new logo is a FAR cry from the clean and simple logos of their competitors; TGIFridays, Applebees, Chilis, Outback Steackhouse, etc.

To save yourself from seriously sliding revenues you have to step up to the plate and hit a home run.  Olive Garden, I’m sorry to report that it looks more like your bunt barely made it past the reach of the catcher.  :-\ More >>