Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Top 5 Tips : Twitter Analytics

It seems Twitter are finally rolling out analytics to us mere mortals, after being available to verified accounts for some time. Although it they're currently only available in the U.S. some U.K. users can navigate there too, via the "Twitter Ads" option on the dropdown. It's only a matter of time before we can all use them, so you need to brush up on the basics.

So, how to use Twitter analytics? Here's 5 tips to get you started:

1. Don't get too obsessed with stats!
Twitter is, and always will be, about personal connections. Of course we all have a narcissistic interest in how many people are listening to us, but paying too much attention to 'what makes a popular tweet' will mean we end up sounding like an empty, self-serving, brand. Or worse, the PR agency of a brand.

2. Decide what you want to learn from the analytics
If you're just a curious individual that's fine (but be careful of tip 1). If you're a business owner, do you want to find out how to reach more customers? How to get more interaction? Or how to keep people tuned in? It's easy to spend hours looking at analytics and not actually come out with any useful conclusions.

3. Pay attention to 'unfollows'
Trace what you tweeted when your unfollows spiked. If you're building a following it will be useful to know what turns people off. But again, don't get obsessed with not tweeting the "wrong" thing: genuine, honest tweeters will always gain more followers than they lose.

3. Look for patterns
Do certain types of tweets get more RTs and fewer favourites? Are your pictures more popular than vines, or vice versa? Is there a particular hashtag that has worked well for you?

4. Dig Deeper
Twitter's analytcis interface is well designed and easy to use, but to get full value from it for your business account you need to click that 'export' button. You can get a full list of all your tweets, with Retweet, Favourite and Reply numbers next to them. Let the number crunching commence!

5. Look 'around' the figures
A high volume of replies or RT's isn't always a good thing. If you see an unusual spike remember to go and look at the tweet itself and get a feel of the sentiment surrounding it. It could be that this particular post was shared for the wrong reasons or that the replies are asking for more information - all things that can be turned into a positive by an adept Social Media Manager.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Digital Shoreditch and the great tech swizzle

I'm beginning to think it's something about Digital. Perhaps the nature of an emerging industry, or the monopoly of skill currently held by the few. But that doesn't make it right.

Im talking about the way companies think its fair game to ask tech professionals (or graduates) for their 'game-changing' digital concepts, without fair acknowledgement.

The first time this happened I was at an interview for a start-up website, which helped people locate a restaurant which catered for dietary requirements. Ethical company, you might think. But when they asked me to sit down for half an hour and "think of as many good ideas as I could" for the website, my heart sank.

Eventually I was told I didnt get the job because "I wasn't close enough to the cause" (don't get me started on the ethics of not hiring someone because they aren't a vegetarian) but I later noticed some of my ideas appearing around the site. 

Perhaps that's just the nature of the recruitment process, especially in digital where 'ideas' are key and it's assumed anyone can come up with them. But I'd be highly surprised if a designer was asked to design a poster in an interview and that poster was then used in a campaign without thier permission...

Anyway, on to Digital Shoreditch.

It was my first year there this year and I did enjoy the event overall. We went to the 'make and do' session as it was the only one which wouldn't mean a day off work. At the beginning, after the (amazing) selection of pastries and coffee had been consumed  various companies asked for our thoughts/ideas/help on the digital problems they were having and then we would think about solutions throughout the day, whilst going to workshops and presenations etc.

Fair play to the companies - this is exactly the right sort of event for asking that question. A lot of curious, innovative digital minds are bound to come up with something. True enough there was collaboration, coding, brainstorming, the works. It was great. Some organisations were more structured than others in how they wanted the ideas presented at the end and the household name TV company that I had opted to helpjust requested I dropped them an email.

So I did my thing, came up with a pretty decent strategy, wrote it up as a powerpoint presentation and emailed it to them that day. Then nothing. This is the last I heard from them:

And that was ok...except that they didn't.

I know that we were all there out of personal interest and a willingness to help, I get that, and I'm not expecting payment or anything. But I did hope for at least an acknowledgement of the trouble I'd gone to, and if they do use any of the ideas I'd quite like to be involved.

Is that too much to ask? With the world becoming seemingly more social and collaborative, I felt like this was an opportunity, but instead I'm left feeling a little cheated by the whole experience. Is this justified, or should I have just kept my ideas to myself and attended one of the weekday sessions instead? Thoughts are welcome...

Monday, 8 July 2013

Introducing 3D screen covers for the iPhone - EyeFly3D

I've never been that excited by 3D, mainly because of the requirement for ridiculous glasses. But this innovation does seem pretty cool.

EyeFly 3D is a (relatively) cheap screen protector for your smart phone, which, when applied, enables the viewer to see 3D effects on the screen without the need for glasses. A cool, simplistic, concept which will, in their words "transform your mobile device into your own portable 3D screen".


The product has had some trade press attention (MIT Technology Review, CNet Asia, Gizmag) and, as it bypasses what I reckon has been the main barrier to mainstream adoption of 3D (those damn glasses) it may just be a success.

The only barrier I can really see with this, is the lack of 3D mobile content available. EyeFly 3D have produced an app to "render content for viewing on your device" but this seems a little long-winded and has earned bad reviews. As well as existing 3D films, EyeFly 3D need innovative organisations to come up with original 3D content specifically for mobile and it's uncertain whether this will happen. 

But, as they saying goes "build it and they will come"...

We shall see!