Need a little weekend reading? We’ve compiled our top ten Twitter stories of the week, which includes a look at the best times to post to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+, a study that reveals why users stop following brands on social media, an infographic that unveils all the keyboard shortcuts on Twitter.com, six ways in which Twitter eclipses Facebook and a new survey that shows how many major brands are failing at social customer service.
Here are our top 10 Twitter stories of the week.
Timing is, as they say, everything, and for brands, marketers and anyone else looking to use social media to raise awareness of products or services – and this includes self-promotion – ensuring that you share your content at the optimal part of the day is essential. So, when is the best time to post? And is it the same for every social network?
For brands hoping to build a large, relevant audience on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, providing innovative content whilst maintaining the delicate balancing act between marketing and engaging, and, at all times, striving to appeal to your latest fans and, vitally, most loyal customers, can be difficult. Fortunately, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and if you put in the work good things will happen. Which is why few things are as frustrating as losing followers and fans – especially en masse. Where did you go wrong?
If you’re a Twitter.com regular, you’re probably used to navigating the site using your mouse or trackpad. You know, much in the same way you use every other website. But did you know that Twitter.com has a range of keyboard shortcuts that, once memorised and mastered, can have you zipping around the micro-blogging social network like a pro?
There’s no such thing as “better than” or “worse than” when comparing social media platforms. Each one serves different purposes and is more effective at certain things. Each one has different impact and influence in different areas. But certainly, there are points of comparison worth considering in evaluating daily time spent on social media. There are only so many minutes in an hour, and only so much time saved by social media aggregator tools like HootSuite, CoTweet and TweetDeck.
A new study has revealed that many of the biggest brands in the U.S., including McDonalds, Starbucks, Coca Cola and Visa, are not providing a high standard of customer support on Twitter, either being slow to reply to enquiries or, in some high-profile cases, not responding at all.
It’s no secret that social media can be addictive – a recent study showed that resisting Twitter and Facebook was harder for some people than many other urges, including smoking, drinking and even sex – and as these platforms expand, our need to be involved also grows exponentially. Offline, people spend approximately 30-40 percent of their time talking about themselves, but on social media sites that number jumps to 80 percent. So it’s no wonder these channels are so hard to resist, as they’re all about you.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Well, if you’re of a certain age, chances are that you reach for your phone. Cisco surveyed 3,600 college students and workers aged 18-30 across 18 countries and discovered that nine out of ten respondents check their smartphones for updates in email, texts and social media sites, often before they get out of bed.
Thanks to a heavenly marketing campaign we’ve known that this was coming for a while, but earlier today His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI dropped his first tweet from the official @Pontifex account, where he name-dropped Twitter and thanked the network for a “generous response”. Of note: the tweet was sent from an iPad. Isn’t that one of the signs of the apocalypse?
We’ve known for a little while that this was coming, but this week Instagram turned off all support for Twitter cards. While Instagram links are still coming through, the images are no longer viewable inside Twitter (specifically, Twitter’s “cards”, which are tweets that expand to display rich media within the tweet). Instead, you have to click on the link, which will load up in a separate window. Yep: your life just got twice as hard.
Twitter started rolling out its Facebook-a-like header photos to profiles back in September, and users who haven’t yet implemented this new functionality have until tomorrow (December 12th) to upload a suitable image. Otherwise, Twitter is going to force the change upon you, and you’ll be left with a default grey box.
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(Twitter image via Shutterstock.)