Three Things Twitter Needs to Thrive

Though Twitter is still the third-most popular social media platform according to eBizMBA, speculation about the company’s struggles abounds. News outlets from CNN to Wired to TechCrunch to The Verge have detailed Twitter’s struggles to grow its user base, increase advertising revenue, and innovate new products.

Twitter to-do's to thrive

Image credit: Scott Hampson

Still, Twitter’s best days may be ahead of it. First, it occupies a unique position among the leading social networks: Facebook is for family and friends, LinkedIn is for work, and Twitter is for news. No other platform can match its brevity and immediacy for amplifying breaking news and fresh content.

Second, it has unique features, such as Twitter lists, which can be very powerful for marketers if used strategically.

And third, it has possibly the largest and most diverse range of third-party tools that enhance the platform, from apps for Twitter analytics and follower management to brand monitoring and influencer research.

There’s no shortage of ideas for what Twitter needs to do to survive, like finding ways to block harassment and dumbing down the service for new users. But here are three ideas for relatively low-hanging fruit type changes that capitalize on what the platform already does well rather than reinventing it.

Expand Ad Targeting Options

The UK’s agency:2 has one a fantastic job of comparing the ad targeting options on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Here are Twitter’s options:

Twitter ad targeting criteria

Image credit: agency:2


Compared to the targeting capabilities of both Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter’s options are sadly rudimentary. The three big gaps that stand out, for B2B marketers in particular, are targeting by industry, company, and job title. The other platforms also offer targeting by age, degrees (level of education), and alma mater.

Expanding some of the basic information it collects from users would have dual benefits: it would improve ad targeting capabilities making ads more relevant to users (a win for both advertisers and users) while also enhancing the ability of Twitter to crack down on trolls and abusive content.

Improve Search Capabilities

Twitter’s search capabilities offer ample opportunities for improvement. Name variants are one example: do a Twitter people search for “Elizabeth Smith” and you’ll find lots of accounts under that name. But Twitter won’t show you accounts for Eliza, or Liz, Lis, Beth, or Betty Smith. Google is often more helpful for finding Twitter accounts when you don’t know the exact name.

Also, mistype a user’s Twitter handle by a single character and you’ll get a “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist” message rather than a helpful “Did you mean…” type suggestion.

Grow your Twitter followers professionally with Social Quant

Advanced search isn’t much better. It suffers some of the same limitations as ad targeting (e.g., the inability to search by users’ company, role, or industry). But it also doesn’t permit use of Boolean strings or filtering of searches by following or lists.

Even Twitter’s handling of hashtags—a core element in topic research and monitoring—is sketchy. One can search by hashtag and see top trends, but little beyond that. Fortunately, outside tools like show related hashtags and their relative popularity.

Upgrading its search capabilities would make Twitter much more useful and powerful for marketers, recruiters, researchers, and even casual news searchers.

Capitalize on the Potential of Twitter Lists

Lists are a valuable feature of the platform, but so much more could be done with them. They are great for recognizing special people or organizations, keeping tabs on a topic, or filtering your tweet stream. But you can’t tweet only to the members of a group, or use groups in ad targeting.

Twitter doesn’t even make it easy to find groups. You can’t search for them in advanced search. Aaron Lee has written about creative ways to find Twitter lists, but the process needn’t be this convoluted.

Of course, “top” lists exist outside of Twitter as well, but these are even harder to find. This is more of a Google problem than a Twitter deficiency (perhaps they could collaborate on a fix?), but a search using the Google search wildcard operator—”top * on Twitter”—results in almost nothing of value. One would expect it to find helpful external lists like Chuck Martin’s Top CMOs on Twitter, the Top Colleges on Twitter, the Top Airlines on Twitter, and the Top Musicians on Twitter.

The online world would be a slightly quieter but far less interesting place without Twitter. Where would people go to announce breaking news? Amplify share-worthy blog posts? Complain about crappy service? Or to complain about Facebook? How would the U.S. president announce important 140-character policy initiatives at 5:00 a.m.?

Hopefully Twitter will heed the voices of its fans and continue to add value and utility to its platform in smart, differentiating ways.

Post to Twitter

7 Insanely Effective Ways to Write Tweets that Drive Traffic

7 Insanely Effective Ways to Write Tweets that Drive Traffic

Are you struggling with writing tweets that get clicks back to your content? It can be a challenge – trust me, I know.

But driving traffic is often the number one goal of businesses using Twitter for business, and rightly so. After all, Twitter is designed for people who are looking for information.

In fact, Twitter’s CMO, Leslie Berland, recently put it best in a speech at CES 2017 in an attempt to demystify the purpose of the platform. She said, “Twitter is the place to see what’s happening.” Hell, it’s even right there when you go to compose a tweet!

Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter’s main purpose and benefit is not to connect online with people you already know.

On those other platforms (think Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat), most messages from businesses are an interruption to the social experience.

Continue reading "7 Insanely Effective Ways to Write Tweets that Drive Traffic" at Maximize Social Business by clicking here.

Paddy Power on the ropes over ‘racist’ Mayweather ad

paddy powerPaddy Power, the company which seems to relish causing offence in its advertising, has become embroiled in a racism storm after posting a tweet confirming it would be paying out early on a Floyd Mayweather beating Conor McGregor this weekend, under the phrase: “We always bet on black.”
The full ad, which shows a victorious Mayweather showered with cash, reads: “Always bet on black. We’ve paid out early on a Mayweather victory. Because we checked only one of them is a boxer.”
The campaign has triggered a barrage of criticism, accusing the bookmaker of racism, including: “Who was stupid enough to come up with that tag line?”, “It aint the 80’s now you know”, “You can’t say that in this day and age”, and “Presumably someone thought this was edgy and good for publicity”.
Perhaps unsurprisingly Paddy Power denies any wrongdoing, insisting that the quote had been misunderstood and had been used in reference to a “classic movie line” from 1992 movie, Passenger 57.
In a statement the firm said: “Like Wesley Snipes – who famously delivered the line – Floyd Mayweather is rightfully proud of his identity and, while the advert does reference his race, it does so in a manner which isn’t in any way derogatory or insulting.
“It’s also a betting-related pun which references a roulette wheel. Because we’re about gambling – get it? If people don’t like it that’s entirely their prerogative.”
While the company has run into trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority on numerous occasions – most notably for its Oscar Pistorious ads – its most recent campaigns have managed to swerve any action.

Related stories
‘Distasteful’ Paddy Power footie ad given all-clear
F**k off Blatter ad gets thumbs up
Paddy Power finally tosses off ad ban
Fifa chews up Paddy Power ad stunt
First Pistorious ad ‘was even worse’
Paddy Power ad shot down by ASA
Paddy Power ‘trans’ joke falls flat

The post Paddy Power on the ropes over ‘racist’ Mayweather ad appeared first on DecisionMarketing.

Review – Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas

Introduction: Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas

Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness: he Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious IdeasZarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: he Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas

I was delighted with the information in my complimentary copy of Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas by Dan Zarrella. This is a short manifesto from Seth Godin’s Domino Project that is packed with a lot of punch.

Are you interested in virality? Do you ever wonder if there is a formula for your blog posts, articles, and status updates to go viral?

If you answered yes to both questions, then this book is for you. There is a science to contagiousness.

Have you read?

How to Write Viral Content: A Look at Contagious by Jonah Berger

Summary: Hooked by Nir Eyal

Non-Obvious: How to Think Different, Curate Ideas and Predict the Future by Rohit Bhargava

What is Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness About?

We’ve all seen videos, blog posts and ideas that spread like wildfire over the internet.

But what makes them spreadable? Is it because they are good?

Not necessarily, says Dan Zarrella, since some of those videos, blog posts and ideas aren’t good. They spread because they have contagiousness factors.  They spread because they are able to reproduce themselves. “In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” to mean a “unit of cultural inheritance.” His point was ideas evolve like genes do, and their success is based on their ability to spread, not on their benefit to provide to their hosts,” says Zarrella.

Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness

What I liked about the manifesto is that it’s researched-based and the author loves to tests things. Before an idea is spread, there are three criteria that must be met first:

Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: Three Criteria for Contagiousness

  1. Exposure: People have to be exposed to your content, so that means that they have to subscribe to your blog, be on your email list, or follow you on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. To win at this you have to increase the number of people who subscribe to you blog, are on your email lists, and who connect or follow you on the various social networks.
  2. Attention: They have to be aware of the content that you want to spread, so they have to read you blog post, open your email or read you status update. To win at this, you have to write better headlines/subject lines for your blog posts and emails, as well as more engaging status updates.
  3. Motivation: They have to be motivated to share your content. Always have a call to action so people know what they are supposed to do next.

And the key to the above is really to experiment to determine what works and what doesn’t work so well.

Zarrella takes each criteria, and delves into them in their own chapter and gives deeper insight into exactly what he means. For instance, we are often told that if we have a small engaged list, our idea will spread, but the science doesn’t really support that. Yes, there are times we’ll get lucky, but for an idea to spread, it’s better if it’s exposed to a larger audience because not everyone will read it, and of those who read about your idea, even less will be motivated to share it.

In addition, certain words such as official, founder, speaker, expert and so on give us authority and increases our exposure. Another interesting piece of information is that people prefer information from you that’s positive because they are bombarded with so much negative information every day. And when you write, they want to hear your voice, your unique take, they want you to be authentic, but they do not want to hear about you. It’s what’s in it for them.

To grab attention you have to cut through all the clutter, but to do so, you have to say something new in a way that is familiar, or say something old in a new way, and one of the examples Zarrella gave was new adaptations of Romeo and Juliet. Another way is to personalize your message, or even broadcast your message at counterintuitive times such as on the weekends. Email messages that were sent between 5 and 6 am had the highest click through rates.

Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: Certain types of information are more spreadable than others:

  1. People have to be eager for the information.
  2. Have to know what information people already have and what they lack.
  3. Have to have an understanding of what moves them – their hopes, fears, hostilities.
  4. Have an understanding of how they deal with their hopes, fears, hostilities, and so on.

Some of the reasons people are motivated to spread your ideas include: Personal relevance, humour, usefulness, shared common interest and so on. And the easier it is to read and understand your idea, the more spreadable it becomes.

3 Great Ideas from Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness

  1. Talk as yourself, not about yourself.
  2. Add to the conversation with interesting content.
  3. Scarce knowledge is power

Final Thoughts: Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness

I recommend Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas by Dan Zarrella because it has tips that you can readily implement to test for yourself.

 Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: he Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas Contagious: Why Things Catch On Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products Non-Obvious 2018 Edition: How To Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict The Future

UPDATE: First Published November 2011

Other Resources

 How to Write Magnetic Headlines,

How to Write Headlines That Work,

102 Proven Social Media Headline Formulas, Chris Garrett

Idea Starters: 52 Headline Archetypes to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

How to Spread Your Ideas, Leo Babauta

The post Review – Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas appeared first on The Invisible Mentor.

How to Build Valuable Relationships with Twitter

How to Build Valuable Relationships with Twitter

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. The internet has changed a lot, but not that.

Okay, what you know is also important. But, today we’re going to talk about “who you know” and how to connect with people on Twitter.

The advantages of relationship building on Twitter are huge. Connect with new prospects and customers, develop partnerships to grow your business, surround yourself with like-minded people you can learn from and grow with, the possibilities are endless.

But how do you strategically build relationships on Twitter?

In this post, I’ll go over how to build a relevant following, how to make it easy for people to find you, and how to deepen relationships on Twitter.

Ready? Let’s get to it…

Follow First to Make Connections

If you’re first starting out or having trouble making connections on Twitter, consider a follow-first strategy.

Continue reading "How to Build Valuable Relationships with Twitter" at Maximize Social Business by clicking here.

#TwitterSmarter Podcast: How to Create Compelling Content with Rebekah Radice [Episode 45]

You can also listen in SoundCloud.

Rebekah Radice is an award winning marketer and writer, internationally recognized influencer, and entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in marketing and business development. She’s the founder of Rebekah Radice Media and RadiantLA, CMO of Post Planner and the author of “How to Use Social Media to Virtually Crush the Competition” and “Social Media Mastery: A Comprehensive Guide to Social Media Growth.”

Her work specializes in helping businesses develop online marketing with a scalable business strategy to transform results and revenue. As an International Keynote Speaker, she’s been featured at over 200 events and is listed as a Top Ten Social Media and Content Marketer by Onalytica, and most recently, a Top Marketer of 2017 by Brand24.

In this episode, Rebekah reveals her top tips for creating and sharing engaging tweets using video and repurposed content. Her tactics will help you stand out in the Twitter feed and get people interacting with you. She also shares helpful advice on how to be more productive using “automation in moderation.” She highlights how she uses IFTTT as a strategy to pinpoint high value followers to stay in touch with. Rebekah also shares with us a wide variety of tools and apps that can help you amplify your thought leadership and boost your Twitter engagement.

Episode Highlights:

  • Leverage Twitter video. 82% of Twitter users are watching video on the platform. Make them attractive to your audience. Use videos to showcase behind the scenes, product information, insider secrets, how to use your products and so much more. You can get really creative with your Twitter videos.
  • Repackage your content into tweetables. The key to making it appealing is to take content you already created and repurpose it into different formats in different channels. Make it tweetable content, quick to digest and easy to share.
  • Apply automation in moderation. Use it to support your actions on a daily basis, determine your high-value followers, build relationships strategically and deep dive into your community.

My Favorite Quotes:

“If you pair video with your own creativity, these tweets can be the catalyst to increased attention. Attention turns into clicks and shares, and that turns people from leads into sales.”

“Ask a question to encourage interaction. Ask a question with a screen shot sets your content apart, creating a conversation with your followers, positioning you as a thought leader.”

“Tools are one of my absolute passions because if there’s a way to be more productive in what we do on a daily basis, I’m going to find it.”

Links, Tools and Apps Mentioned:

  • PostPlanner – Try out this powerful content curation tool. Find the best content for your audience.
  • SproutSocial – Check out this social media management tool created to help businesses grow their social media presence.
  • Brand24 – Discover what people are saying online about your brand – as it unfolds in real time. Brand24 gives you instant access to mentions about your brand across the web, from social networks to influential publishers.
  • Slack – It is an amazing tool for any size businesses. It brings all your communication together in one place. It’s real-time messaging, archiving, search and collaboration tool for modern teams.
  • ManageFlitter – Helps you work faster and smarter with Twitter. Reach more of your followers with every Tweet.
  • SocialFave – Comprehensive platform for Twitter Management – organize your activities, discover content, high-value followers and communities, engage with your audience.
  • IFTTT – free platform that helps you do more with all your apps and devices. You create a chain of conditional statements called applets that trigger changes.
  • Article: How to Rate and Review a Podcast on your iPhone or iPad
  • #VideoReplyDay – check out my new initiative to get more people using Twitter video to connect with one another.
  • Click here to “share the love” for this episode! Tweet: Check out #TwitterSmarter podcast Ep. 45 with @MadalynSklar & @RebekahRadice. It's so good!

How to Reach Rebekah:

You can reach Rebekah on Twitter @RebekahRadice. It’s her #1 go-to-place. You can also connect with Rebekah through her website, and learn more about her work in digital marketing, social media and strategy consulting.

Your Call-to-Action:

Your call-to-action for this episode is to venture into Twitter video. This is a great way to create compelling content that will attract attention in your feed. I’ve been on a quest to get more people using this feature. It’s incredibly underutilized. I even started a new initiative called #VideoReplyDay on Tuesdays. I’m encouraging people to reply to their tweets with a video each week. It’s a great way to get in the habit of using it. And it’s super easy to do. See my video below. And with this call-to-action I want you to tweet both Rebekah and I a video tweet telling us what you think about this episode. Send to @MadalynSklar and @RebekahRadice. We want to hear from you!

Ask Me Anything!

I want to answer your questions about Twitter. Leave me a voicemail at and I will pick a few to answer on the show. Don’t be shy. I want to hear from you.

Share The Love For This Podcast:

Want an easy “one-click” way to Share The Love for this podcast? Go here: to tweet out your love.

Win a Love Handle!

Thanks For Your Attention!

I appreciate you listening to this podcast, and would be extremely grateful if you would take a moment to rate & review it on iTunes. By doing this, more people will be able to benefit from the tips and tools shared in this #TwitterSmarter podcast series. Please also subscribe to this podcast while you’re there. It will ensure you don’t miss an episode!

I read every review that comes in, so please know that you have my sincere thanks! Not sure how to rate & review a podcast? Click here to learn how.


#TwitterSmarter Twitter Chat:
Join our weekly Twitter chat where you go to learn and share Twitter tips. It’s every Thursday at 1pm ET/10am PT. We’ll also have Q&A’s with guests from the #TwitterSmarter podcast. Mark your calendar. You don’t want to miss this!

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twitter header dimensions

The New Twitter Header Dimensions + FREE Template

Change has come to your Twitter profile. Big, beautiful change.
The news is all about LARGE images these days!

The new Twitter header image, along with a larger profile picture, is formatted to 500 pixels high x 1500 pixels wide. Yes, that is BIG!