Which journalists aren’t worth engaging with on Twitter?


Consider the following argument:

Most journalists are on Twitter.

PRs should therefore spend more time “engaging” with journalists on Twitter.

Seems to make logical sense (from a PR standpoint).

Except that just because a journalist has a Twitter account, loads of followers and Tweets for Britain, doesn’t mean that PRs should attempt to interact and engage with every relevant journalist on Twitter.  The reason being that some are far more likely to share your content and actually talk to you than others.

But how do work out which is which?

One way is to use a tool like Twitonomy.

For example, look at the following analysis of Charles Arthur, The Guardian’s Technology Editor.

charles1

Over the last two months, he has Tweeted (on average) nearly 55 times per day. From an engagement standpoint, he certainly seems to mention other people a lot – and 74pc of his Tweets are actually @ replies to other people. So as a PR, you might think this is a good way to have a dialogue with him (better still of course, would be to get him to follow you – then you can have private DM conversations).

However, Charles hasn’t shared that many links in the last two months – so the chances that he is going to share that press release of yours is going to be pretty low. He doesn’t ReTweet that much either – so don’t get your hopes up on that front.

Going back to Charles’ propensity to reply to people, Twitonomy also reveals who has had the most conversations with in the last two months:

charles2

Not may PR people in that group (Charles himself has already pointed out that he doesn’t think this tells us much – other than that the community of people he has talked to via Twitter over the last two months is pretty broad).

If you were determined to have a go at interacting with Charles, Twitonomy also reveals those times when he most likely to Tweet (and thus presumably be online and on Twitter):

charles3

Based on this analysis, 11pm on Friday night.

Clearly, you need to use these metrics with caution. These stats only relate to the last two months. Even if they did range over a wider time frame, how much you can actually infer from this is a moot point. And a cynic might argue that rather than poring over this kind of data, someone trying to get Charles’ attention would be better off investing their time in actually coming up with a decent story angle.

Having said that, I do think tools like Twitonomy – when used appropriately – can be a useful guide to PRs who want to work out the propensity of target journalists to share links, engage in dialogue and/or RT content.

And armed with this knowledge, PRs can allocate engagement resources appropriately. If the end result is better targetting and more effort in giving journalists more relevant and timely information, surely that can’t be a bad thing.

What do you think? Is there something in this? Or is it complete hokum? The comments box awaits your answer.

Using MajesticSEO TrustFlow for online press coverage targeting


Back in May 2012, SEO tools firm MajesticSEO announced a concept called FlowMetrics – this was broken down into two areas: Citation Flow and Trust Flow

Here’s how MajesticSEO describes them:

Citation Flow

Citation Flow predicts how influential a URL might be based on how many sites link to it. Because links are now not all created with equal weight – and because a strong link will have a relatively stronger influence on URLs further down the chain, you can see how much better Citation Flow is as a mathematical logic than the old metric of ACRank.

Trust Flow

We start with a large list off manually reviewed URLs. These have a crowd-sourced level of trust but by no means include all the trusted sites on the web. It turns out, though, that trustworthy sites tend to link to trustworthy neighbours. Those neighbours also tend to link to trustworthy neighbours themselves. In fact – after lots of iterations – those outside the circle of trust are put in the cold.  So Trust Flow, like Citation Flow passes THROUGH urls like sound passes through walls – with awesome effects.

 In short, for every domain or URL, you end up with a score from 0 – 100 for each metric. And that score is a measure of the possible relative value of that page or domain.

So what has this got to do with PR?

Here’s an example. Let’s compare two tech media sites – The Register and Computer Weekly.

MajesticSEO

 

As the table shows, The Register has a much higher Trust Flow score than Computer Weekly. Based on the definition above, this would suggest that pages on The Register site (on the whole) pass more SEO value from its links than those from Computer Weekly (and yes, there are all manner of other variables that need to be taken into account). But the purpose of the exercise here is to have a quick way of prioritising which media sites you might consider for targeting from a PR perspective (or specifically, sites that might deliver more value both in terms of the content being read as well as the SEO value that links from such content could provide).

Of course, FlowMetrics work at an individual page level. So each individual story will have its own associated Citation and Flow Metric score. It is perfectly possible that a particular Computer Weekly page may have higher Trust Flow score than another individual Reg page – but at the domain level, the Trust Flow score is designed to give an overall perspective on the general level of SEO value from that site.

So imagine this scenario.

As the PR, you are tasked with identifying the best places to get online media coverage. Or more specifically, links. And links contained in editorial.

  1. Select your top 10 media sites for your client
  2. Run them through MajesticSEO’s Site Explorer tool
  3. Rank these sites by Trust Flow
  4. Look at an individual site’s pages and see which have the highest citation and trust flow scores (this tells you something about the kinds of pages and content that people are more likely to discover – and may have implications for where you want to target your content placement. Or those stories that have the highest citation and trust flow scores – this may give you clues as to the kind of content that is most popular on that site – and thus influence your own content creation. Look at the Anchor Text breakdown for each site – this gives you an idea of the kind of text that people use when linking to that particular media site – generally, it will be fairly obvious or mundane (eg brand name, click here, etc)  But again, you might unearth some clues for your own content creation).
  5. Or what about picking stories from specific journalists and running them through Site Explorer to see what kind of Citation and TrustFlow profile those pages have.

As has been stated time and again in the last 12 months, Google has said it will give preference to links in editorial style content on high authority, high trust sites and pages.

We all know PRs should be the ones best placed to gain coverage and links from high authority, high trust sites. Using a tool like MajesticSEO should make the process of identifying where to target those placements even more effective.

Crowdbooster: an inexpensive social media measurement tool for those new to social media


One of the most common questions asked on my CIPR Social Media workshops is: can I recommend an inexpensive social media measurement tool?

And by inexpensive, people usually mean either free or under £10 a month.

Which is why Crowdbooster might be worth considering for those who have little or no experience of social media monitoring in a professional context.

Crowdbooster has been around for some time. It has been free until now, but is introducing a tiered pricing policy from March 2013. At an entry price of $9 a month to measure one Twitter account plus one Facebook page, this for me fits the definition of inexpensive.

The reason for highlighting Crowdbooster is its recently updated user interface which makes it a good choice for the beginner who wants something simple and easy to work with.

The tool comprises three parts: Analyze, Publish, Engage

Analyze 

The analysis section allows you to get an understanding of how your Tweets have performed along four dimensions: impressions, retweets, @ mentions and time.

What’s nice about Crowdbooster is that it provides a single visual display that clearly shows all of these elements in one view.

Here’s a snapshot of my Twitter activity over the last 24 hours (the tool will also provide similar for Facebook pages too). But you can specify any timeframe you like.

crowdbooster

Clicking on a bubble will display the details of the relevant Tweet at the bottom of the screen.

Publish

The publish element allows you to Tweet or post to Facebook. It also allows you to schedule in advance when your posts go out.

Although not as flexible as Autoscheduling in Hootsuite or Sprout Social, for those just starting out, it will probably be more than enough to give them a taste of how to plan for message distribution.

Engage 

Finally, the Engage element provides a rudimentary list of the people who Retweet you the most as well as your followers who in turn have the highest follower counts.

As with most tools these days, you can export the data in CSV format so you can perform your own analysis in a spreadsheet.

Hootsuite and Sprout Social obviously provide a lot more – but for those just starting out and want to test the water for little outlay, Crowdbooster is certainly worth a look.

________________________________

Little or no experience of social media?

Click here for more details of my next CIPR Introduction to Social Media workshop which runs on 5th February 2013.

 

Social Media ROI: your questions for M&S, Nokia, Giff Gaff and Bazaarvoice – #SocialBrands


How do M&S, Nokia, Giff Gaff and Bazaarvoice measure social media ROI? What tools do they use to measure social media value?

I’ll be putting these questions and more to senior representatives of all of these businesses at the Social Brands conference being held in London on Thursday February 7th 2013.

I’m moderating a panel with Lou Jones, Head of Online and Digital Marketing at M&S, Craig Hepburn, Global Director, Digital & Social Media at Nokia, Vincent Boon, Chief of Community at Giff Gaff, and Richard Anderson, VP Client Services at Bazaarvoice.

It should prove to be a lively discussion.

Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section below or Tweet me: @andismit.

Social Brands 2013

 

The conference overall has a very meaty line up of big brands and senior digital figures.

According to the organisers: “Social Brands is the only social media event bringing together those across marketing, communications, PR, brand, customer service and beyond. Join 150+ of your peers and hear from brands who are leading in the social space, driving long-term engagement and tying buzz to business results. Promising insight, inspiration and new ideas, this year’s agenda is packed with thought provoking speakers, invigorating debate and invaluable networking opportunities.”

And there is more info on Lanyrd too. Look forward to your questions!

PR analytics: Using analytics to show the value of PR. CIPR Scotland event. Jan 30th. Glasgow


CIPR Scotland I’ll be speaking at CIPR Scotland’s Four Steps To Unlocking Online Success conference being held in Glasgow on Wednesday, January 30th, 2012.

The event aims to help business leaders and communicators harness the power of communication and become truly successful online.

I’ll be showing how PR professionals can use website analytics to prove the value of what they do (a favourite theme of mine).

There will also be presentations from Dr Jim Hamill, Ian Dommett of the Corr Agency and James Askrigg of Microsoft covering a whole variety of related topics.

Promises to be a good one.

Tickets available here.

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