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Twitter is gradually rolling out a major redesign of user profiles, starting on Tuesday. The new look, which Twitter was testing in February, adds a lot more user information and several new features — and it looks quite similar to Facebook’s user profiles
The new profile features a larger user photo and customizable header image. Twitter highlights your tweets that have the most engagement by displaying them slightly larger than the rest. You can also pin one of your tweets to the top of the page.
Furthermore, you can now choose which timeline to view when checking out a profile page. You can see all tweets, tweets with photos and videos only, or just tweets and replies Read more…More about Redesign, Facebook, Twitter, Profile, and Social Media
The rumors and feature teases are true: New Twitter profiles are here, with a brand-new, yet oddly familiar, look. The new design is rolling out slowly, unless you’re a celebrity or a new user. And it may represent a real turning point.
Like many people who live on Twitter, I don’t look at my own profile page very often. I spend most of my time on the Twitter.com homepage to see tweets from all the accounts I follow, and my Notifications page to track replies and mentions of my handle. I last managed my Twitter profile ages ago.
However, I look at other users’ profile pages fairly often. It’s where I learn about who they are through their profile picture and their brief description of themselves, which may include details like job, location and a link for more information. In other words, profile pages are important, especially for brands, celebrities and new users. Read more…More about Twitter and Social Media
Twitter was originally created to help people feel more connected. The irony? Actively using the service may spell trouble for users’ actual relationships
New research from the University of Missouri found that active Twitter users are more likely to experience Twitter-related conflict in their romantic relationships, which in turn leads to other relationship issues like emotional or physical cheating, breakup, and even divorce.
See also: 25 Twitter Accounts to Make You Laugh
The study, which was conducted by Russell Clayton, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found a positive correlation between Twitter use and relationship woes. Clayton surveyed 581 Twitter users over the age of 18, asking questions like, “How often do you log in into Twitter?” and “How often do you have an argument with your signiﬁcant other as a result of excessive Twitter use?” Read more…More about Facebook, Twitter, Study, Divorce, and Social Media
Nearly two months after the company quietly tested a new layout among a small group of users, news first reported by Mashable, Twitter is officially rolling out a new design starting on Tuesday. Social media users are notoriously adverse to change, with the slightest update often awakening the most critical of members, so it’s not surprising the news brought a bevy of negative reactions, mostly with users calling it out as too similar to Facebook.Facebook, Twitter, Social Media, and Dev Design
Think you know where “Overly Attached Girlfriend” and “I Should Buy a Boat” first came from? If you assumed they just popped onto your News Feed out of nowhere, you’ve made a huge mistake.
The YouTube channel Top10Memes explores the origins of the Internet’s most famous — and infamous — memes. While some jokes, like “Condescending Wonka” or “Confused Gandalf,” have easily traceable backgrounds, you might be surprised to learn the obscure roots of your favorite shareable gags.
So, here’s what you learned today: Memes aren’t just a clever and effective way of communicating on the Internet, they’re also the perfect homage to pop culture. Read more…More about Reddit, Viral Videos, Videos, Internet, and Social Media
Facebook is testing a number of new privacy settings intended to better alert users of who they are sharing with on the platform
The company shared plans on Tuesday for upcoming tests that will alter the way users select the audiences that see the posts they share. On Facebook’s web version, users can currently select from a drop-down menu which audience — “public” or “friends” — they want to share their post with.
That drop-down menu will now look different for some users, and groups like “Public” and “Friends” now include short definitions that better explain what each group entails. (“Public,” for example, includes “anyone on or off Facebook.”) The company is also testing a pop-up reminder that features a cartoon dinosaur encouraging users to pay attention to this audience setting Read more…More about Facebook, Privacy Settings, Social Media, and Privacy Dinosaur
Failure. It’s not a word anyone likes. Yet it is becoming a common occurrence these days with companies that launch online communities to get closer to their customers. The web is littered with online community ghost-towns. In fact, Gartner predicts 70% of these will fail by 2014 after generating little or no return for their owners, which include some of the world’s largest companies.
But this obscures the solid returns that many companies are generating from their online customer communities. Consider Autodesk, the $2.3 billion design software company that serves architects and engineers. Autodeck’s online customer community has cut support costs by $6.8 million annually. National Instruments has saved $7.8 million through an online community that has reduced the number of calls to its contact centers.
Some online communities are not only cutting costs, but are also generating revenue. Three years ago, Madison Electric Products introduced an online community so that customers could help the firm develop new products. From the ideas that customers have submitted thus far, Madison has launched six products and has three more scheduled this year. As a result, the new products have helped lift Madison’s sales 30%.
But for every online community that generates revenue, cuts costs, and/or cements loyal customer relationships, many more have become online embarrassments. Companies offer numerous reasons for their online community failures. The most common ones are a) members weren’t ready for online discussions, b) the software platform was too difficult for members to use, and c) internal subject matter experts didn’t produce enough content. But these explanations skirt the root causes of most online community failures, of which I’ve seen seven:
1. Community goals are skewed to company—not customer—needs.
Every customer community must serve customers. That may seem evident but it is infrequently practiced. If a company launches an online community to reduce customer service and marketing expenses, it is not likely to attract or keep customers because there’s little in it for them. More online communities need to be like Analog Devices’ Engineer Zone, a community of 12,000+ that helps them solve electronic design problems. The vast majority of community members (84%) say the community helped them speed their design process, and three-quarters were more likely to buy from the company because of the community.
2. “Tool talk” precedes strategy.
Organizations have a propensity to make the online community software purchase without carefully considering their goals for a community and customer needs. Companies should begin evaluating community software only after they have clear and market-tested the community features with prospective members. Otherwise, their online community will only provide what the tool has to offer—and not what customers need.
3. Mausoleums are built instead of sherpa tents.
An online community requires continual enhancements driven by member feedback. Many make their online community planning into a long, drawn-out process. That’s a recipe for disaster. Communities are in constant flux from changing member needs, business objectives, technical improvements and social norms. Community plans should focus on short sprints—not a big-bang approach.
4. Failure to feed the content beast.
Online communities need a flow of new, valuable content. SAP’s network of 2 million members come to read the 30,000 pieces of content from members and experts posted annually. But great content takes great effort, like getting a company’s thought leaders to put pen to digital paper, conducting studies, and inviting members to provide their expertise. Without it, members won’t come or stay for long.
5. Poor community management skills.
Community management is becoming a profession. Yet the average pay of online community managers is $65,000 a year—just $11,000 more than what the average executive assistant makes. Community managers need superior communications skills, the ability to cultivate strong relations, project management prowess, a research background, and social media proficiency. But rather than be treated as the skilled managers they must be, they are often regarded as administrative people who can be trained in an afternoon. Rule of thumb: If your company wouldn’t let your community manager speak with your top clients unsupervised, she shouldn’t be running your community.
6. Chasing only business metrics and not member-driven ones.
Companies often track metrics that don’t matter to the business but are the easiest to gather. “Likes” and fan numbers only go so far in determining what community members value. If customer satisfaction and retention is a core goal, how has the community helped customers better resolve their problems and avoid your call center? Have community discussions bubbled up product or service defects? Measure what matters.
7. No community zealot at the top.
Online communities need a strong executive champion. One reason why SAP’s communities have been huge hits with customers and top management is because a senior vice president, Mark Yolton, led the charge. At McAfee (an Intel company), Barry McPherson, executive vice president, worldwide support, supply chain & facilities, oversees the firm’s vibrant online support community.
An online customer community can transform an organization. But getting there demands prudent planning, keeping customers’ goals paramount, and acting on the numerous nuggets of customer data that emerge every day.
People are often intrigued that I went from being a Public Defender (“PD”) to a community manager. No one ever understood what I did as a PD and I’d say, “You know, when you get charged with a crime – ‘You have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed free of charge?’” That “free” attorney was me.
As a CM, still no one understands what I do. Now, when I tell people I’m a CM, they say, “Oh, you post on Facebook and Twitter all day, right?”
Here are 5 other ways that being a community manager is just like being a Public Defender:
Like PDs, CMs are used to being called names. I’ve been called every expletive imaginable and threatened with a myriad of crimes. CMs are routinely subjected to rants with excessive amounts of profanity by unruly members who can’t get their way. Try telling a criminal defendant that he’s looking at 20 years in prison and has no case. That loud response is very similar to that of the community member you’ve just decided to ban. Yet, these verbal attacks roll off of your calm and resilient CM shoulders. You don’t take it personally because you have thick skin and are rarely offended by anything that comes your way.
People who are facing prison tend to be unhappy. So are community members who receive stern moderation. Unhappy people tend to be difficult to deal with. When they won’t listen to reason, stellar diplomacy skills are required. For example, when the best option for your client is to accept a plea deal, you have to slowly warm him up to the idea. You must listen to them vent about how unfair the system is. But, by building trust and making the pill a little easier to swallow, they’ll eventually see the light. Of course, some people just need their day in court and you realize you have a “walking the dog” situation (this is when you go to trial and the only thing you can do is watch your client slowly go down in flames). Nothing you say will change their mind. You must be patient and empathetic, yet stalwart and steady. Likewise, some of your community members just need to complain and have their side heard (and then they get banned).
You are a lone wolf, but you don’t care. As a PD, everyone hates you, no one respects you, and everyone believes that your client is guilty. The facts are never on your side, but you’re used to it. As a CM, you accept not being the #1 priority and fight for just a morsel of the budget. You take what have and magically create engagement by tap dancing with a mixture of smoke and mirrors. Your resourcefulness and creativity help you find the perfect “hook” to do #4.
A jury of your peers is just like the members in your community. And it only takes one juror to hang a jury. With the perfect “hook,” you recruit one to your side and start stacking up votes for a “not guilty” ala “12 Angry Men” style. In your community, you get growth and engagement by offering “hooks,” such as exclusive perks. It only takes a few super users to get the ball rolling. Like, 12.
Whether defending the Constitution or finding a brand advocate, you have a diehard passion for what you do. You believe in the cause. You love the brand. You exist to help others. This passion makes being available on demand palatable, especially when you are dealing with a troll on the weekend. Your passion helps you persevere when engagement is down. After all, if you don’t truly believe in due process, you won’t be able to stomach defending a person you think is guilty. And if you don’t love what your community is all about, you won’t be able to be the amazing CM you are meant to be.
Photo cred: Sarah M. Paretti, used with permission