Jun 15 2010

Twitter Places vs. Google Places

by Andrew DiFiore

Google asserts that 1 in 5 searches are location based.

This gave impetus for Google Places (formerly Local Business Center). Google Places expands on Place Pages, which allows a business to “claim” their own MerchantCircle-like listing that feeds Google Search and Google Map (e.g. California Pizza). In addition to such banal things as hours of operation and coupons, Google Places supports customized QR Codes (via Favorite Places) and — for just $25 per month — businesses in select cities can make their listings stand out with Google Tags.

Aside: For the uninitiated, Google automatically generates these pages regardless of whether or not you have a physical business address so it would be wise to claim your listing if for no other reason then to ensure the information is accurate. It is free for one location (city).

Twitter Place

Yesterday, Twitter announced you can tag Tweets with specific places and create new Twitter Places. You can also click a Twitter Place within a Tweet to see recent Tweets from a particular location.  A really cool feature here is you can publish check-ins from Foursquare and Gowalla directly to Twitter. This means that if you click on a Twitter Place you’ll see standard Tweets and check-ins from these location-based services. Twitter will be rolling out Twitter Places in 65 countries over the next few weeks so expect to see a “Add Your Location” link below a Tweet box near you.

As far as Twitter challenging Google? Not really. Incorporating hyperlocal features has been a big trend in social media and online marketing at large. Both Twitter Places and Google Places are powerful weapons for any marketer to have in their arsenal.

Jun 11 2010

Using #FollowFriday for Your Business Blog

by Andrew DiFiore


What is #followfriday?

It started with Micah Baldwin (@micah) over a year ago as a way to recommend people on Twitter whose tweets he enjoyed.  It quickly became a phenomenon. Every Friday thousands of people on Twitter use the hashtag #followfriday or #ff to suggest people to follow (in a single tweet). For example:

#followfriday B2B Marketing Posse likes to follow: @ntos @tferriss @answeryes and @wendymarx

It is recommended you keep it to one tweet a week (this is not about tweeting everyone you know with everyone you know). Ideally, try to pick less “popular” people even if they don’t have a lot of followers. Rather, recommend people because they consistently have something useful or entertaining to say. The truth is you don’t have to recommend the Twitterati as even n00bs will have no trouble discovering Robert Scoble, Pete Cashmore, and Ev Williams in short order on their own. If you are truly interested to see who endorses whom then TopFollowFriday.com does the job.

It is very important to include #followfriday or #ff somewhere in your tweet so others can find it on Twitter Search. Also important, don’t start your tweet with an @ or Twitter will think it is a reply.

Taking it one step further…

Now that Twitter has Lists (and Annotations are just around the corner) you might think that a kitschy meme like #followfriday will fall out of favor. But according to LetsTell’s  Twitter Hash Tag Indexer, it still remains in the top 10 of all hashtags on any given day. Quite frankly, it is the only hashtag that has lasted with any measure of consistent meaning. Most hashtags tend to be extemporaneous, best used to inspire conversations (and in the process get new followers) around a campaign or an event.

Using #followfriday to tweet a list of people you endorse is fine but why not send them to your blog? Chris Brogan made a simple suggestion on his blog recently: tweet a link back to your blog where the list of people (Twitter links) reside in a post. Yes, of course, do this and reap the benefit of the extra web traffic.

Schedule a new post every Friday with different themes like favorite authors, success coaches, or b2b marketing gurus (wink). You could even recommend your own Twitter Lists!

By the way, if you are having trouble deciding who to endorse, The Twitter Tag Project has a niffy little tool to help.

Happy tweeting!

Jun 4 2010

Blog Demographics Report

by Andrew DiFiore

Sysomos, a leading provider of social media monitoring and analytics technology, has released a new report on the blogosphere after analyzing over 100 million blog posts. The report is broken down by age, gender and location.

Not all that surprising, 53.3% of the total blogging population is 21-35 years old. Bloggers aged 20 and under came in second, with 20.2%, followed by 36-50-year-olds (at 19.4%), and 51-year-olds and older (7.1%).

Read the complete report here.

Jun 2 2010

Cosmic 140 – Twitter’s Most Influential Users

by Andrew DiFiore


When I saw this my inner geek lit up and I had to share here. An infograph of the 140 most influential people on twitter, sorted by #name #handle #category #influence #activity. Additionally, you can see the first tweet of each user on the map. To see exactly how stunningly beautiful this visualization map is, click here to download the entire version (PDF).

The smart folks at iA analyzed the data from their own Web Trend Engine, the Max Planck Institute (PDF), and Twitter directly.

It is just pretty damn cool.

Jun 1 2010

Yes, I’ve Googled Myself…

by Andrew DiFiore

Apparently, so have you.

According to a new Pew Research Center study Reputation Management and Social Media, 57% of adult internet users in the United States said they have entered their name into a search engine to assess their digital reputation. This is up from 47% in 2006 when the survey was last conducted.

Given the recent hoopla around Facebook privacy, it is no surprise people are concern over their online reputations, including young people contrary to popular belief (71% of social networking users ages 18-29 have changed their privacy settings to limit what they share with others).

The Pew Research Center study, which took place by phone between August 18 and September 14, sampled 2,253 adults 18 and older. You can download the full report here.