Did You Know Britney Spears is on Twitter?

22 10 2008

Over the past couple days there has been some chatter in the social media space about Britney Spears joining Twitter (@therealbritney) as part of her new website which just launched.  Well, Britney didn’t just join Twitter but also has accounts on YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.  However, I am more impressed with her and her team’s decision to venture onto Twitter.  Why? Because for the past few years every new artist has a MySpace page.  Unfortunately, it is usually just a PR machine for the artist though there are some artists that actually write their own content, respond to fans, post videos, etc.  We have also seen an influx of musicians sign up for YouTube accounts and start video blogging.  An example of an artist who has embraced video would definitely be Diddy who has approximately 280 videos posted on YouTube.

Ok, back to my thoughts on Brtiney being on Twitter.  The first handful of tweets appeared to be yet another example of a celebrity’s team who sets up an account on a social media site only to use it to post updates about CD launches, appearances, etc.  This led to Gary Vaynerchuk posting his thoughts about it:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

But, then, in my opinion, something interesting and unexpected happened: Britney’s social media director, Lauren Kozag, responded in the comments.  Lauren responded by thanking Gary for his advice and letting everyone know that she was showing the video to the rest of Britney’s team.  Lauren also mentioned that they are actively discussing how transparent Britney should be.  I was extremely impressed to see this because, like many others, I was skeptical at how “real” this would all be.

By Lauren responding she showed that her and the rest of Brtiney’s team are monitoring online discussions about Britney and are willing to reach out and respond.  This could be great for Britney’s brand as well as being among the first few celebrities to join sites like Twitter and actively use them to interact and not just push out information.  I hope this continues not only with Britney and her team but also encourages other celebrities to get actively involved because they already have the fan bases to drive more people onto sites like Twitter thus taking it more mainstream.  I’d be interested to know how many new people are discovering Twitter for the first time solely because they saw the logo on Britney’s website.

Now I want to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.  Do you think it’s good that celebrities like Britney Spears actively use social media sites such as Twitter?  What advice would you have for them or their teams if they were to read this?

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Learning How to Use Twitter Effectively

13 10 2008

This past Friday, the inbound marketing gurus over at HubSpot presented a webinar on How to Use Twitter for Marketing and PR.  The webinar was hosted by their marketing team: Mike Volpe, Rick Burnes and Ellie Mirman.  They covered a lot of the basics for using Twitter including how to get started, thoughts on personal vs professional use, how to measure and analyze activity, and some of the various tools and resources which can be used to extend Twitter.  HubSpot has already posted the recording as well as the slide deck for the webinar.  Also, Laura Fitton posted an excellent review as well as notes.

Heavy users of Twitter tend to forget that only a very small amount of the population are actually on the service right now.  Twitter directory, TwitDir, pegs the current number of users at approximately 3.1 million.  For everyone else who is not using it yet or does not understand Twitter, take a minute to watch this video from Common Craft:

Recently the team at EpicFu helped explain Twitter as well as many of the available tools and resources:

Many businesses tend not to understand Twitter, or social media in general, so they don’t realize that whether or not they utilize the service, that there are millions of people (and growing rapidly) who could be talking about their company and/or products/services.  Not too long ago, social media expert Chris Brogan explored the 50 ways on using Twitter for business.

I’m curious to know the ways in which you utilize Twitter and other social media.  If you aren’t on Twitter, and/or shy away from other social media platforms, I’d also like to know your thoughts in the comments section.

Oh, by the way, for anyone not following me on Twitter…you can find me @justinlevy 🙂

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Using Internet PR Like You Use Twitter

26 07 2008

As I was reading some status updates (otherwise known as “tweets”) on Twitter today I started thinking about how most of us use social media.  In general, we use social media to:

  • Interact with our friends, families, and colleagues
  • Network with others who have similar personal and professional interests
  • Promote ourselves
  • Promote our blogs
  • Promote our companies
  • Promote/discuss important causes, upcoming events or share relevant news
  • Help improve search engine results for ourselves, our blogs, products, or companies.

We should be using internet PR campaigns for all of the reasons above (except maybe interacting with our friends, families and colleagues 🙂 ).  By distributing search-engine-optimized press releases we can promote our personal brand, blogs, products, company, important causes, or upcoming events.  These press releases will help improve search engine results for you depending on the topic and keywords used when distributing the PR.

Just as we post a tweet or status update every time we publish a new blog, we should be distributing new internet press releases any time we have any positive news about the above topics.  While a tweet or status update will only reach your network (though some users networks are very large), it is still limited in scope compared to how many people you can reach with a well-written press release distributed online.

When distributing through a newswire or professional internet PR agency, your press release will be usually distributed to over 100,000 opt-in journalists, newsrooms, radio and tv stations, blogs, and other media outlets.  These sites and people, if interested in the topic, will then redistribute the press release….alas, viral marketing.  As the press release is re-posted on other sites, you will see your search engine rankings improve, hits to your blog or site increase, as well as an uptick in prospective customers, inquiries, and/or readers.

Photo used from Greg Verdino's blog

Of course, there is one major downside when comparing internet PR to promoting via social media sites: submitting PRs cost money while social media sites are free to promote your message.  However, I think that we should be using both internet vehicles to promote our messages.  To maximize this concept and improve your search rankings, follow these steps:

  1. Have a press release written and distributed on the internet.
  2. Promote that link on Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, MySpace, and any other social media sites you use.
  3. Post the press release in the media/press section of your site.
  4. Either post the PR on your blog or write a similar post and publish at the same time of distribution.

Using some or all of these suggestions will help you to promote your message.

What are some ways that you have found to be successful in promoting any of the above concepts?  How did you promote it? What mistakes did you make along the way?

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