|In this week's issue:
Twitter How To: Tweet Buttons and Hashtags
On Thursday, Twitter launched an official Tweet Button to help users share links on Twitter directly from the websites they’re visiting, as well as to count how many times a specific URL has been shared. According to a blog post from Twitter, it is launching Tweet Button “to make sharing simple.” When you click the Tweet Button, the Tweet box will appear pre-populated with a shortened link pointing to the content you’re sharing. This video shows how to use and add Tweet Button. To add Tweet Button to a site, you need to take a few lines of code that you can find here.
What does this mean for your brand? It provides an easy way to add a feature to your blog that shows how many times a post or video has been shared. According to Twitter, the Tweet Button will also help publishers grow traffic and increase their Twitter following.
One of the most beneficial features of Twitter to businesses is the hashtag, which acts as a way to create categories, groups of topics for tweets, and helps spread information. There are a number of tools that can help your brand determine what hashtags would be best to use, including:
Twubs: uses a wiki system to show popular hashtags, as well as specific categories and conference hashtags
What the Trend?: identifies the top trending topics overall, providing explanations for why topics trend and data behind trending patterns to allow easy comparison and measurement of social media "buzz." You can also see trends by location to find out what's trending in a particular part of the world
If you want to create a hashtag that is not already being used, you need to ensure it adds value to yourself and followers. It may also be useful to give a quick explanation via a tweet of what the hashtag means, for clarification. If creating a hashtag for a conference, for example, remind attendees of the hashtag (through the blog, Twitter feed and via email), ensuring that attendees can track conversations with the feature.
TBD.com - Future of News or Flash in the Pan?
After much pre-launch fanfare, TBD.com, a hyper-local Washington, DC news website combining news aggregation, social media and original reporting, made its official debut on Monday, August 16. Created by Allbritton Communications, the multimedia platform will draw on the work of several major news sources in the metro DC area including two local television stations, 127 bloggers, community sites and a staff of producers, reporters and editors.
For most, TBD.com will not be an appropriate outreach target, given the site’s focus on local news, traffic and weather. However, as the media landscape continues to evolve, the site’s overall format - a one-stop-shop for all its readers needs - is worth highlighting.
Here’s quick look at the anatomy of TBD.com and what could become the template for future news sites:
Broadcast Partnerships - TBD is collaborating with the top two local news television stations (also owned by the Albritton family), to bring video news updates to readers, and has also launched its own local cable news stations TBD TV in DC, Virginia and Maryland
Focus on Aggregation - Relying on other D.C.-area sites, including the cities darling print paper, The Washington Post, as well as over 120 local blogs and community sites to fill in the gaps in its coverage.
Newsworthy News- Unlike many aggregation sites which open with buzzworthy features or scoops to catch attention, TBD seems to want to show readers exactly the kind of thing they're going to get from day to day. There are traffic and weather tips everywhere you look, and a focus on things like overcrowded grocery stores--nothing to necessarily tempt many beyond the immediate D.C. area, but the kind of news local readers can use and may pass along to each other.
Integrated Social Features - The site aims to be a fully social experience, using features like pre-filled Twitter links next to each story, to make sharing easy. It also plans to use geocoding technology to help offer readers content specific to their location. The site hopes to engage readers by encouraging them to report on or complete articles by sending in tips and leads to reporters. Externally, the site already has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Flickr and plans to make significant investments to better use such tools. Users can download an Android mobile app and will soon have access to one for the iPhone.
Although it’s too soon to tell whether TBD.com will become the template for all media news sites moving forward or if the fully integrated site concept will be a flash in the pan, but less than a week after going live, TBD’s format seems to be satisfying contributors. Brad Rourke, a blogger at RockvilleCentral.com, one of the partner blogs, told NYT Media Decoder blogger, Tanzina Vega:
“This is a completely different relationship between the mother ship and the blogs,” he said. That’s in part because the editors say they will treat blogger content just as they would content from a staff writer. If a blogger breaks a story or has a strong post, it will have as much likelihood of getting on the TBD.com homepage as any of the site’s other content. The blogs will also participate in an ad-sharing revenue model.
Barbie Launches New Career and Turns to Social Media to Promote It
Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll has launched a new career as a videographer and being the savvy diva she is, turned to Foursquare and Twitter to promote it.
On July 20th while on her summer vacation Barbie launched a Video Girl Scavenger Hunt to promote her latest career as the multi-media Video Girl Barbie doll across San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and used her social media assets to promote it.
Let’s take a look at her assets and how they were used:
All Doll’d Up: Barbies’ blog where she dishes on the hottest parties and latest fashion trends was used to announce the scavenger hunt.
Celebrity profile on Foursquare: Scavenger hunt participants needed to follow the doll and check-in to the same location as part of the hunt.
@BarbieStyle twitter handle: Barbie tweeted out text, photo and video clues to her over 17,000 followers about her whereabouts in the different cities.
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