Archives for posts with tag: Twitter


As we leave 2012 behind us, it is time to reflect on the past year to identify what we did right (and wrong) and changes we need to make in 2013 to derive more value from our social media efforts. I have listed a number of behaviours below which I have noted on a number of platforms, which people should either do more of or stop immediately. By doing so, it will make these environments better for all.

1. Broadcast vs conversation

Twitter was developed specifically to support online social interaction. This implies bi-directional dialogue between many or multiple entities. Twitter is NOT a advertising billboard and people who use it to constantly broadcast advertising material should stop doing so immediately. In order to maintain the integrity of this environment, this type of behaviour should result in Twitter accounts being closed down or blocked. I am not saying that broadcasting should stop but there has to be a healthy balance between broadcasts, retweets and conversation.

2. Keeping things current

I have followed links from person’s LinkedIn and Twitter profiles to “dated” blogs and websites. It is difficult to build online credibility when a person visits your blog and your last article was published three months ago. I am not saying that you need to publish daily but attempt to publish regularly. This needs to be applied to all the platforms you participate on.

3. Appropriate content

If anyone wants to be blocked and deleted from my LinkedIn groups, post a job advert or promote yourself, your company, your products or your services on a discussion forum. Keep your updates relevant to the platform and the subject in question. If the LinkedIn group is titled “Executive Leadership” the discussion should revolve around “Executive Leadership”.

4. Keep the right company

As with all social interaction, like-minded people tend to hang out together. It stands to reason to apply the same principle on the digital platforms you are participating on. Make it very clear on your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ profiles, LinkedIn groups and blog your “online commitment” to your connections, followers, friends, etc. and ensure that your content supports it.

5. Reciprocate appropriately and regularly

For those of you that publish content on a regular basis and want to extend your reach to a wider audience through social media influencers and brand advocates, reciprocation is very important. As you develop online relationships, it is possible to reach out to individuals every now and then (not too often, mind you) to ask them to retweet, share or promote a blog post, tweet, LinkedIn update or LinkedIn group discussion. If they agree to do this, please ensure that you do the same for them when they ask you. If the person has a bigger online presence or influence, it is a good idea to promote their content more than they do for you. If you have your eye on a particular social media influencer or celebrity who MAY support you, you may have to court them for some time before they notice you.

To summarise

To maximise the return on you 2013 social media efforts, focus on keeping the right company, ensure your profile reflects your commitment to your audience, make sure your content is relevant, regular and appropriate, work hard to identify the right supporters and reciprocate when they assist you in promoting your content.

If you are reading this, you have survived the Mayan prophecy, so well done. Have a fruitful 2013 and thank you for your support this past year!

Do you have something to add? Do you have personal experiences to share? I would love to hear from you!

I also invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn or chat with me on Twitter


Social networks are filled with all types of people and all too often you end up connecting with people who are unpleasant and who generally bring you down. Why not make a resolution in 2013 to make some changes.

In life, we are encouraged to surround ourselves with people who make a positive impact on us. Why not do the same with the people you interact with on social media? Here are a few ideas on improving the standard of the folk you converse with.

Report offenders

If you are being spammed or bothered by trolls, doing something about it. Ask friends to report the person and get them blocked or blacklisted

Review your subscriptions

Go through all the blogs you have subscribed to and find those who are producing content that is not adding any value and unsubscribe from them

Dump negative influence

Look at the people you follow on Twitter, friends on Facebook, contacts on LinkedIn, etc and sever ties with people that are negative.

Focus on positive influence

Spend time noting all the positive people in your networks and endeavour to communicate more with them and support them more often by sharing their content

Make new friends

Identify new potential friends who can make a positive impact on your life and connect with them.

2013 is a time to enhance the impact you have on your community. By surrounding yourself with more positive people and weeding out the trouble makers, you will find that more people will want to connect and interact with you. Have a great year!

Do you have anything to add to this list?

Connect with me on LinkedIn
Chat to me on Twitter

More and more businesses and business people are recognising Twitter as a great environment where to keep abreast of breaking news, source information and connect and interact with like-minded individuals. What many are still getting wrong however are the basis such as the creation of a decent profile and effective participation on Twitter. 

I have listed a few tips below that should assist you in deriving more value and benefit from Twitter. If I have left any out I would love to hear from you here on my blog or on Twitter (@DavidGrahamSA)

Creating Your Twitter Account

Your Picture - This is one of the most important aspects of your Twitter profile because that’s what people are going to look at first, before making their decision of adding you as a friend or not. My advice is to insert a real picture of you (or the picture of a man/woman). I don’t recommend adding a logo or an abstract image because people don’t really relate to those. However, people can easily relate to the picture of another man or woman.

Background Image - Do not use one of Twitter’s background images. It won’t be personalized enough. Instead, I suggest you upload your own image as a background. Many websites let you download Twitter backgrounds or even create your own. Click here for a list of free Twitter backgrounds resources.

Name - It is important that you use a real name, and not just a brand or a website URL. People will more easily trust a real person’s name than they will a brand or website address. It makes sense, but still, many people do the mistake of not using a real name.

Username - Your username is what people will see on Twitter. Avoid having numbers or special characters in your username. If possible, try to have a single word or an association of 2 words.

More Info URL - This is your one chance to drive traffic to your website without doing anything. If you can, create a custom page on your website to welcome people coming from your URL on your Twitter profile. You can for example create a page to welcome them and tell them what your website is about and maybe give them a few links so they can easily browse the important pages.

One Line Bio - The bio is another very important element of your Twitter profile. You have to be able to tell people about you in 140 characters or less. Think of it as a mini resume so be as concise as possible.

Twitter Best Practice

Share - Share photos and behind the scenes info about your business. Even better, give a glimpse of developing projects and events. Users come to Twitter to get and share the latest, so give it to them!

Listen - Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand, and products.

Ask - Ask questions of your followers to glean valuable insights and show that you are listening.

Respond - Respond to compliments and feedback in real time

Reward - Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your business. Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers.

Establish the right voice - Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine, and of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you Tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community?

Do you have anything to add to this list?



Co-authored by Jonathan Houston

According to, if you want to trend on Twitter, all you need is around 100 people tweeting the same hashtag simultaneously. Sounds simple but this may not be that easy to pull off. It’s about the volume of your audience rather than the volume of your tweets.

So here is how you should set about doing this. The process rules are simple enough so that you can take this process and copy it for your own events:

1. Get the right speaker

Just one high-profile speaker can help ensure that you have a successful event. This brings into sharp focus the importance of having an accomplished speaker to deliver your message. Do not misconstrue this advice to mean that you need to source your speaker internally – your organisation can find industry thought leaders who do not form part of your salaried staff.

2. Content is king

This has been said in so many contexts, but it is so important that it is worth saying again. Content is what is going to draw the people to your event. Make the content real and relevant to your target audience. As Kevin Costner knows from Field of Dreams – “if you build it they will come”.

3. Promotion

Pre-event promotion is fourfold. Promote the speaker, promote the content, promote the hash tag, promote the event. Within this step there is another checklist to follow:

  • Ensure that you are aware of the different time zones that could affect your event.
  • Use multi-channels (email, Twitter, Facebook, phone calls, LinkedIn, webpage, blog).
  • Invite the influencers within the media and your industry.

Remember that everyone that you are inviting is not going to be able to attend your event. This does not mean that their non-attendance indicates that they are not interested; this simply means that they are unable to be there in person. The promotion of your hash tag is critically important as this will allow those not there to follow the event and propagate and share the content to their extended networks.

The influencers who you invite need to see why the event is relevant to their audience (which is why content is critically important). Ensure that you invite them way in advance as their diaries often fill up quickly and they are going to be a great source of coverage for your event.

During the event don’t forget that you need to seed conversations and ensure that you are also pushing the content to your network (which must never be forgotten). This seeding of conversation will ensure that your following will grow and that you are giving back to your social community.

After the event you need to ensure that you follow up on the emails and conversations that have been started. For example, the conversation on our hashtag for a recent event (#TechTrends2012) is still going long after the event has come to a close. These conversations are generally asking for you to share your presentation, content and additional insights into the network. This is where the money lies — it is here that you are going to pick up leads and opportunities to do work for your audience — do not leave out this step.

4. Influencers

Ensure that you understand who the media influencers are for your event. In you’re running a tech event for example, be sure to invite influencers and journalists who are interested in technology and technology trends.

Do you have anything to add? I welcome your comments. Please share with your network!

Are you looking for ideas on how to use Twitter more effectively. I came across this infographic on which is a very useful source of information for those that want to maximise the benefit they derive from their participation on Twitter.

How to grow your Twitter audience

The power of twitter is being able to broadcast your message to a large following. We’ve created this infographic to share some ideas on how to get Twitter followers. The list focuses on ethically responsible ways to promote yourself. For more details refer to this article.

Do you have anything to add to this list or any comments and feedback? I would love to hear from you. Please share this article with friends and colleagues who may benefit from this information.

Are you using Twitter and want a list of great South African twitter users to follow? I reached out to some of the people within the South Africa Twitter sphere and asked for their opinions. I asked them to recommend “Tweeps” that have influence and are worth engaging with.

The Hacks List – Top South African journalists on Twitter

(The full list can be found at

@ReneeEverett and @DazMSmith sent me a list of South African Journalists that was shared by @alastairotter. This is a comprehensive list of over 400 Twitter accounts belonging to well-known and influential people that are definitely worth following. Some of the journalists I have interacted with that are worth mentioning are:

South African social media influencers

Fred Felton (@fredfelton) very kindly sent me a list of 136 South African social media influencers. @PoppieSlops, @franki1 and @MelAttree also provided Fred with suggestions.

(The full list can be found at Fred Felton welcomes you to add any decent Twitter accounts to the list).

The persons in this list cover a wide range of expertise which include blogging, digital consulting, advertising, writing, photography, website design, journalism and managing large organisations. I have listed some noteworthy tweeps below:

Other Twitter accounts that were recommended to me

@Jingo27 – Active in the digital marketing community and loves debating strategy and tactics

@JonHoehler – Mobile services professional

@maxrsa – CMO and Director of Deloitte Digital RSA

@Diane_Graham – Clients Services Director and digital specialist at Aqua Online

@ReneeEverett – Serial Entrepreneur, Social Media Consultant, New Media & Tech Enthusiast

@liezelv – Liezel vd Westhuizen host of Espresso show and radio show

@alanqcooper – Alan writes a Tech column for the Sunday Tribune Newspaper

@LinkedIncome – Specialists in value networking

@nicdawes – Editor of Mail and Guardian

@shahil – Blogger and big influencer on Twitter

@kerimiller – radio DJ in the Cape

@devilliersgroup – influential in copywriting and websites

@MandyWiener – Journalist also influential

@MaxduPreez – Commentator and Journalist

@MadamMichelle – Lady in Advertising also influential on Twitter

@staffordmasie – Influential in tech, digital and social media

@mike_said_what – Influential about marketing, also does radio interviews now and on nedbank tv show

@maggsonmedia – Jeremy Maggs very influential in media and advertising

@binaflavia1234  - Writer for @journalofMKTG and @TheAnnualZA also influential in ad world

@shaunoakes – Very powerful blogger

@SurenNaidoo – Journalist who works for Mercury newspaper

@AkiAnastasiou – Tech journalist and Talk Radio 702

@TheBallito – Influential magazine run by Justin Scott

@fredfelton – Social Media Strategist, Speaker and Influencer

You should also look at @brettski, @paulof, @brett_stclair, @shawngraaff, @kojobaffoe, @AndyHadfield, @simonsingle, @shapshak, @za5, @cn, @liron_segev, @Moniquetheron, @davegreenway, @MarkGStacey, @nicharry and @Indulgence_Cafe

The links provided in this article together with the Twitter accounts that have been listed should cover most, if not all, the influential Twitter personalities South Africa has to offer. Are there others that should be added to this list?

This article was posted on Memeburn this morning.  Please post any comments on Memeburn. The link is Stop wasting time and money on bad social media marketing.

Stop wasting time and money on bad social media marketing

The concept of “Social Media” was inspired by a bunch of very clever people who understood that if people were provided with an environment that enabled them to connect and share information easily, that it would proliferate like wild-fire in a relatively short space of time.

Popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+ are given away for free to anyone willing to go online and register on these social networks. Anyone hoping to “monetise” these platforms spends a lot of time and money promoting and marketing the benefits to the general public, and memberships are increasing at a phenomenal rate. This is all well and good, but here is the catch:

Bad information spreads quicker than good information

It is a known fact that bad information spreads quicker than good information because people in their very nature prefer sharing bad news than good. Look at the media. If you turn on the news or pick up a newspaper, you are bombarded with news headlines detailing bombings, murders, rapes and the list goes on. People love bad news.

What does this mean for a business? When a customer has a good experience, they will tell their story and it will be heard by some people. If a customer has a bad experience, it will be heard by all. There was the Mc Donald’s debacle where it created a hashtag and encouraged people to share the “good” Mickey D experience. That turned out to be a disaster because the exact opposite occurred!

You are at the mercy of the public’s fickleness

When I was in my 20s we had our favourite watering hole we would frequent on a Friday evening. Everyone would be there and the establishment in question thrived, however, it was short-lived. As soon as a better pub restaurant opened down the road, everyone was gone! People are not loyal and as soon as someone moves, everyone eventually follows.

What does this mean for your business? You invest all your marketing dollars and effort into a particular social network and a new social network is created and marketed aggressively. Before long, the demographic you are targeting are no longer there!

Do not ever believe the “numbers”

It amazes me about how people are swayed by exaggerated numbers. If the benefits of email were to be marketed right now, you would be presented by an astounding statistic in terms of how many people use email and how many emails are sent in one second. What you will not hear is how many email accounts are dormant, how any email accounts are owned by the same person and how many emails sent are spam.

What does this mean for your business? If you use any one of the multitude of social networks that are available out there, it will not take long before you realise that it is not as simple as creating “content”, sharing it and expecting wonderful results. If you are using Twitter, for example, the majority of Twitter accounts are not even owned by people. Many of the accounts that start following you are not doing so because they want to buy something from you. They are waiting for the reciprocal follow so they can start bombarding you with “spam” tweets. As with email, there are millions of dormant accounts, more one way broadcasts than conversations taking place and a heck of a lot of spam!

What is the bottom line?

Social media can work for your business but take heed of the points mentioned above. Remember that everyone is in it to make money and this includes the stakeholders of all the social networks (they didn’t develop these for the greater good of mankind). Social media specialists, purveyors of reputation management applications and the millions of people out there selling everything under the sun. Find a seasoned social media marketing specialist that has been around for a while who can take you on a positive social media marketing journey. With the right planning, preparation and execution, you may not necessarily waste your time and money of social media, if you do it properly.

Have you ever wondered what a normal Internet user do? How do people spend their time online. What are the most popular Internet activities. What are the most visited websites? Or on What websites People Spend most of their time.

Our Infographic ” How People Spend their Time Online” will help you in finding answers to all such questions.

Infographic by- Dubai Web Design Company

How People Spend Their Time Online
Infographic by- Dubai Web Design Company

Did you Know

Global Online Population of 2,095,006,005 equals 30% of World’s Population.

Global Time Spent Online Per Month is 35,000,000,000 hours (35 Billion) which is equivalent to 3,995,444 years

US Internet user on average spends 32 hours on internet per month. This is double than the time spent by Global Internet user i.e. 16 hours per month.

Asia has the highest online population of 922,329,554 online users whereas North America has the highest online penetration rate of 78.90%

China has the highest number of Internet users 456,238,464 i.e 34.30% of its total population

Social networking is the most time consuming activity for an Internet user. A normal Internet user spends around 22% of its time on social networking sites, 21% on searches, 20% on reading content, 19% on emails and communication, 13% on multimedia sites and 5% on online shopping
92% of Internet users have used Internet for sending e-mails and for using search engines. 83% for getting more information related to health or hobbies. 82% for searching directions. 81% for getting weather information.78% for information on new products. 76% for reading news. 72% for entertainment and 71% for online shopping.

Google is the most visited web property online. Whereas, Facebook is the biggest time. A normal Facebook users spends around 7 hours, 45 minutes and 49 seconds per month on Facebook.

Some more Interesting Facts

More than 56% of Social Networking Users have used Social Networking Sites for spying on their partners.

Brazilians have the highest online friends averaging 481 friends per user, whereas Japanese have the least average of only 29 friends.

Chinese users spend the maximum time of more than 5 hours a week,in shopping online.
More than 1 Billion Search Queries per day on Google.

4 Billion views per day on Video Sharing Website YouTube. (Social Networking site)

Video content of more than 60 hours gets uploaded every minute onto YouTube.

More than 250 Million Tweets per day.

More than 800 Million updates on Facebook per day.

Location best services and Time Shifted TV will be the most popular trends of future with growth rate of 27% followed by Internet Banking growing at 19% per year.

I discovered this article written by Lilach Bullock on the Social-Able website which provides great advice on how to increase your Twitter followers.

by Lilach Bullock (@lilachbullock on Twitter)

As the fastest growing social media site, Twitter is great for promoting your business to existing and potential customers.

Everyone knows that success on Twitter falls on how many followers you have. (Especially if they are targeted followers).  The more followers you have, the more visits you should get per tweet. If you have lots of Twitter followers you have also hopefully developed a loyal fan base that you can target and promote your products to.

But how do you build up and increase your number of followers? Well the first lesson is to realise that it takes substantial time, effort and commitment to build up a list of avid followers. Next, you need to develop a strategy as well as a plan to implement this strategy. Once it’s up and running, don’t become obsessed with the number of followers you have. Rather, it’s far more valuable to build a list of loyal followers that are genuinely interested in your niche and want to interact and connect with you.

But there are some highly effective ways to drive up your followers. I will share these great insights with you now….

  • Give people a reason to follow you by focusing on your content.  Your content needs to be informative. Create content that is useful and valuable to your followers.  For example, you could provide a link to a useful website you have found. Your content also needs to highly-targeted content relevant to your niche.
  • Rather than Tweeting about yourself or other irrelevant things, tweet about things that will affect your followers or ensure your tweets are focussed on delivering value to them. Ensure your content is consistently interesting and engaging.
  • Tweet regularly, but don’t over tweet. People don’t want to be constantly bombarded. Schedule to have a flow of tweets throughout the day.
  • Create a concise yet interesting Twitter bio that clearly tells people who you are and what you do.
  • Interact with your followers to help develop relationships with them. Respond to others using the @reply method. Participate in interesting discussions.
  • Offer freebies, special offers, discounts and contests exclusively to your Twitter followers. Also offer these things as incentives to attract new followers.
  • If you’re a well-known or influential figure in your niche, apply to get verified.
  • Follow others and they will often follow you back. The probability of them following you back is increased by the fact that this is often done automatically. Use Twitter search to find people to follow in your niche. Especially follow anyone who tracked your tweets as users will like you even more when you return the favour.
  • Try to get on Twitter suggested users list. Though this is easier said than done.
  • Try to get listed on the popular lists in your niche.
  • As people like to be altruistic, consider tweeting that you will donate £1 to a worthwhile charity for every new Twitter follower gained over the next week.
  • Develop creative marketing ideas to promote your Twitter ID.
  • Regularly find exciting or newsworthy stories and share them with a link.
  • Participate in online events. This increases your exposure and appeal to others.
  • Add your Twitter URL to your signature line in your emails. This is especially good if you have a subscriber list.
  • Link your Twitter profile to your webpage, blogs and other social networks that you belong e.g. if you have a strong following on Facebook or Linkedin, use it to promote your Twitter page and vice versa.
  • Share information with your followers.
  • Be active on Twitter during peak times as your tweets will be read by more people, hence more visible to potential future followers.
  • Tweet with the #hash tag. This means your message becomes categorized so it can be accessed by individuals searching through the site for specific topics. If they view your tweet, you are bound to have other followers as their followers may view your message too.
  • Develop a consistent brand image/personality/style so people know what they are getting.
  • Use a variety of formats for your tweets e.g. presenting solutions, business tips, links, etc.

The most important thing to remember is that everything should be targeted to your target audience and their needs. Consider this in every decision you make i.e. what content to include, how often to tweet, when to tweet, etc. This should override any generic tips such as the ones suggested above. If the technique doesn’t work for your business or your customers then don’t use it. (Of course, you also need to consider your own resources in developing a strategy e.g. amount of time, commitment, effort you are willing to put in).

By  at

Every now and then you come across an article that is classified as a “gem”. For anyone participating on social media for whatever reason, this is a great piece of content to read and share with your network. Rowan explains “complex contagion” and the causes.

A number of years back, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point which presents his thesis on why things “go viral”. Its a very powerful book, even if it has received some interesting criticism. Bells started ringing for me as soon as I started reading a recent publication from a group of students at Oxford University titled The Dynamics of Protest Recruitment through an Online Network. The paper is a bold attempt to monitor the spread of information about a protest on Twitter, and it draws some interesting conclusions based on the results.

Perhaps most importantly, these sorts of studies will help the marketing army to re-evaluate how they carry out their campaigns, but I also hope that it convinces some people that they should just give up tweeting because nobody is really that interested.

The researchers behind the paper focussed on the surge of protest mobilization that took place in Spain in May 2011 and resulted in a fairly large camped protest in the centers of many of the major cities in Spain, including the Plaza del Sol in Madrid. During the period of a month, starting on the 25th April 2011 (20 days before the mass mobilisations started) and finishing on 25 May 2011 (3 days after the national elections), over 87 000 Twitter users were tracked for nearly 600,000 protest messages. Through the Twitter API, it was possible for the researchers to determine who each user follows and who in turn follows that user. By following how messages spread through this network of relationships, they determined which nodes were most effective at user ‘activation’.

There are some interesting results from the research. Naturally, the group found that the first people who received initial messages about the protests were very quick to be ‘activated’. This is because these messages were most likely initially spread between people who were relatively close and probably already involved in the recruitment process. Moving on from this, the researchers discovered that various recruitment bursts would take place as messages spread.

This came down to a process known as ‘complex contagion’, which effectively takes place when an individual finds that many of their closer neighbours within the network join in a short space of time. This is a bit like a form of online peer pressure. When a bunch of your friends start tweeting about something, you’re likely to start tweeting about the same thing pretty soon.

A central finding in the report is that while users with many followers are important, the spread of information very much depends on how central these users are within the network. If users with many followers are closely connected, they act as bridges of information because they connect multiple ‘local’ networks. This facilitates complex contagion. This means that in order for a meme to spread effectively, a core group of highly connected individuals need to be sharing the information, and each of these core groups need to have groups of followers that are also interconnected. One of the researchers states that reciprocal connections are more relevant to the recruitment process because they are more likely to reflect genuine offline relationships.

This all seems to make some sense, but another interesting point arises. The paper finds that people who seed an idea, do not need to be core to the network across which the idea spreads, they just need to belong to a local network that is connected to a core user. This means that as long as a local network is well activated, and that network is connected to a core user, the idea is likely to spread.

While much of this research may seem fairly obvious on the surface, it very much confirms many of the fundamental tenets presented in the Tipping Point. For one thing, it re-affirms some of the attributes of the different types of people involved in spreading a meme. Gladwell has defined ‘The Law of the Few’, which focusses on three types of people that are critical for the spread of a message. Certainly this research picks up on the notion of “Connectors”, “Mavens” and “Salesmen”.

The research paper will be very interesting to marketeers and may help to better understand interactions within social networks. However, it is important to remember that the paper is really built around some fairly limited parameters.

To begin with, it only studies one particular incident inside of one social network. In reality, the number of messages studied is still fairly small, and other messages within the network are essentially ignored. This makes me think that the research is very open to confirmation bias. That’s not to say that it offers a valuable insight into a particular incident. I just think that you really need to be cautious about drawing too many conclusions from a paper like this.

Please share with your network and provide comments!


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