The Tweet that Keeps Retweeting

by Morgan Harvey, in Automation Strategy, posted 8/23/11
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With more than 200 million registered users on Twitter, some are predicting that social media sites like Twitter and Facebook will soon overtake classic search engines as the more popular way to search.  The ability to create professional social networks on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others only enhances this occurring. And with seven billion tweets to date with 26 million tweets daily, it’s hard to doubt the Twitter Impact (Twimpact?). In fact, if you printed Twitter on an average HP inkjet printer, it would cost you $24,500,000 to print in black or $55,606,250 to include the Twitter blue.  That’s a lot of ink. But what to do with all that data?

For companies trying to navigate the Twitter jungles of handles and hashtags, it can be a bit daunting to find your customer’s voice amongst the chatter.  Forty out of 100 tweets are pointless babble, with only eight out of 100 deemed “re-tweet” worthy.  But whether the tweet about your company is positive or negative, it is important to know what is being said, to engage with your customers and stop any negative groundswell that can develop into the likes of Maytag Mommy Mayhem.

There are a lot of really cool tools out there to analyze your Twitter and online activity.  There is TouchGraph, which displays URLs and keywords in an extensive, spider web of links, and TweetStats, which graphs your Tweet timeline and reply statistics.  While these are great post-event analytic platforms, companies need real time notification to monitor the fast-speed Tweetland.

Our product management team recently created two tasks based on Twitter.  By automating the process, you can save resources that would otherwise be spent fishing through mentions, keywords and hashtags.    

The first, Get @Mentions Tweets and Populate to Excel, does just that. In order to stay on top of what is being said about your company, this task will grab any tweet that features @yourusername.  It will then populate in an Excel graph with the tweet, who tweeted it and when, and then email to key personnel so they can take action.  This can be run hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or on demand.  You have your choice of reporting granularity — the point is, you need never a @mention go unnoticed again.

The second task, Update your Tweets with AutoMate, allows you to easily and quickly tweet without having to open a browser, login or get drawn into the Twitter-sphere. Instead, press one hotkey and a box will pop-up and you can Tweet away. This task can also be triggered to run at a specific time of day to remind the busy marketing director or exec to tweet.

A Forrester research report named the top 10 trends impacting business processes in 2011. Connie Moore and Rob Karel predict that “companywide voice of the customer (VoC) programs that couple enterprise feedback with social listening platforms will mature by 2013.” The voices of Twitter will only get louder before it is replaced by a new social media outlet, but make sure your company has the right tools to gather and measure data, as well as a way to respond.

Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.