The Great Twitter Debate: Three Strikes, You’re Out!

2 Images Combined: Twitter Goverment LA TImes

2 Images Combined:
Twitter Goverment
LA TImes

Here we go, off to the third and last presidential debate! If you didn’t see my last post, I looked at the sentiment before during and after the second presidential debate and I was less than impressed with the lack of issues discussed. Again, I am not here to endorse any candidate but look at how users are talking about them on Twitter.  I am a social media marketer interested in strategies and user behavior.

My first thought is always to look at the sentiment of any brand. In this case, it is the opinions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I am not one to write about political debates, but as social media is heavily used in how we consume our knowledge, I have found it necessary to understand what others are saying and why about the candidates online.

As of just after 8:53 pm EST, Hillary Clinton’s sentiment on Twitter, stood as:


The tool by NCSU shows us that Clinton has more positive sentiment than negative but Twitter users are tense and nervous as well. That’s why I wanted to see some of the key terms mainly used by users as seen below:

I wanted to see some of the key terms mainly used by users as seen below to understand more of what users are discussing in regards to her:


Positive Terms:




Presidential, etc.

Negative Terms:





Testimony, etc.

As of just after 8:55 pm EST, Donald Trump’s sentiment on Twitter, stood as:


The tool by NCSU shows us that Trump has more positive sentiment than negative but Twitter and again much more positive than Clinton.

I wanted to see some of the key terms mainly used by users as seen below to understand more of what users are discussing in regards to him:


Positive Terms:




Love, etc.

Negative Terms:





Condoleezza, etc.


The topic at hand, The Economy.


Sentiment analysis was done at 9:41 pm EST

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Sentiment analysis was done at 9:40 pm EST

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UPDATE: At THE end of the DEBATE

The topic at hand, The National Debt.


Sentiment analysis was done at 10:25 pm EST

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Sentiment analysis was done at 10:27 pm EST

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The Great Twitter Debate: The Second Presidential Debate and Twitter

2 Images Combined: Twitter Goverment LA TImes

2 Images Combined:
Twitter Government 
LA Times

As the second presidential debate comes to a start (T-2 hours from me writing this). I am interested in understanding not only about the issues at hand but how Twitter is being used in the election. As an educator, I tell every class I teach the importance of current events. Right now many current events are about this election, and after speaking with my students, I realized many of them only get their news on social media.

My first thought is always to look at the sentiment of any brand. In this case, it is the opinions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I am not one to write about political debates, but as social media is heavily used in how we consume our knowledge, I have found it necessary to understand what others are saying and why about the candidates online.

As of just after 7:00 pm EST, Hillary Clinton’s sentiment on Twitter, stood as:


The tool by NCSU shows us that Clinton has more positive sentiment than negative but Twitter users seem to be more subdued towards her. If you took a moment to look at the actual tweets, you could tell by the caps and strong language used, people are passionate either positively or negatively towards her. That’s why I wanted to see some of the key terms mainly used by users as seen below:


The main key terms are her name, her husband’s name, and her fellow presidential candidate’s name. Then once we get past those, we look more into what people like about her:

The Debate




Borders, etc.

Then we look at the negative terms:

War Attacked 



Children, etc.

As typically in marketing, the negative comments allow us to see a bit deeper into the problems the brand (in this case Hillary) faces with her target. Now, let’s take a look at Donald Trump:

Using the same tool by NCSU shows us that Trump has more positive sentiment than negative, seems to have a higher positive sentiment than Hillary does. But similarly, Twitter users seem to be more subdued towards him.


Let’s take a look at the key terms mainly used by users as seen below:



The main key terms are similar, his name and his fellow presidential candidate’s name. Then once we get past those, we look more into what people like about him:

The Debate

Mike Pence


Tapes, etc.

Then we look at the negative terms:





Worst, etc. 

Now, these tools are never perfect, but they give marketers an excellent idea on what exactly is going on within our brand image throughout our customer base. As a voter, I wanted to see what issues people found most important about each candidate both positively and negatively. To be honest, I am upset with the lack of issues that are talked about but hopefully as the debate moves forward; Twitter will light up with what is going on in our country and around the world.

UPDATE: During the debate

The topic at hand, Obamacare.

Hillary Clinton

Sentiment analysis was done at 9:36 pm EST

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-9-37-05-pm screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-9-37-28-pm

Donald Trump

Sentiment analysis was done at 9:38 pm EST

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-9-39-42-pm screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-9-39-51-pm


The topic at hand, Taxes.


Sentiment analysis was done at 9:57 pm EST

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-9-57-51-pm screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-9-58-05-pm


Sentiment analysis was done at 9:55 pm EST

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UPDATE 3: After THE Debate


Sentiment analysis was done at 10:37 pm EST

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Sentiment analysis was done at 10:38 pm EST

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-10-38-03-pm screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-10-38-15-pm

I am not here to promote any candidate but to understand how we use social media.

Creating a Facebook Live Strategy

Facebook Live

Recently, Facebook rolled out their Facebook Live feature. Personally, I think live video streaming is the future of social media marketing! It’s such a great way to engage with your audience and bring them into your community. I am happy to see more and more SME’s using this new feature but it brings me to wonder:

What is their strategy?

Should this strategy be the same as our current Facebook strategy?

If not, how do we need to modify it from now on?

Hopefully, they are being strategic in using this feature and overall Facebook use. Going onto the second and third questions, my answer is no. Using Facebook live means that you need to modify your strategy to optimize the use of their feature.

Now, using this tool would be the same concept of using any other live streaming site. Oh, except the fact that you most likely already have an audience :). This means instead of having an initial goal to build your audience, you need to look at curating the content for your current audience.

This means looking at when your audience is on Facebook. Luckily, we have Facebook Insights. This is a free tool given to you by Facebook and lets your know when the majority if your audience is actually on the app. You need to know this! This will give you the best chance of reaching the most users that are already interested in you and to create a strong relationship with them.

The rest of yours core Facebook strategy is really the same but you have to make sure you aren’t posting too much. People do not like to get a flood of posts on Facebook from one business. Make sure to also see what works best for you. Look at the content your audience is interested in but that doesn’t guarantee they will video the life stream. They may want to get access to that content a different way so test out different methods and always always always analyze your efforts!

Why Reddit is the Perfect Social Media Marketing Tool



Marketing on Reddit

Now, you may call me crazy but Reddit is everything a marketer could wish for! We can choose thousands of different subreddits to connect directly with an active community interested in our industry! This gives us direct access to them and to create a relationship with them, also remember the 80/20 rule:

80% of all revenue come from 20% of your customers

A big key phrase I used here was, active community. Reddit users are creators and critics on this platform! This means they are creating original content and they are commenting on that content. They are also spectators, they read a lot of the content being posted.

On Reddit, we have access to customers/potential customers that could become brand advocates for us! Just be careful because on Reddit, they can make or break you! Tip: Before entering use our tip list and make sure you have a positive sentiment.

5 Tips on using Reddit as a business:

  1. Listen before becoming active. Follow different subreddits your audience is interested in and listen to how, when, where, and why users are active on each subreddit. You need to understand that community before trying to get accepted into their circle.
  2. Follow the rules. Each subreddit has a set of rules along with Reddit’s user policy. Make sure to read each rule and understand what you can and can not post.
  3. Do not sell. Reddit isn’t a place for selling but a place for conservation. Many rules even discourage sales or even asking to be on an email list. Follow the rules or risk backlash.
  4. Be active! This tip is true for every social media site but even more so with Reddit since we are not selling at all. You need to comment on subreddits, reply back to user commenting on your posts, and the be overall interactive on the site. Engage with your audience, get to know them and let them know you!
  5. Check your sentiment before entering. Look at your overall sentiment online. Is it good or bad? You need to tread carefully if it is bad because there is a strong chance users will bring those bad traits up. Create a strong crisis communication plan to help increasing a positive sentiment.


Understanding Social Media and ROI

Social media is used everyday by millions of users. We as business owners or marketers understand that our audience is on more than one of these social media sites but what is their worth? Are we doing what we need to to optimize each post and conversation to create those conversions?

The Marketingsherpa has defined a marketing conversation as, “the point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action.”

Roi VS roc

Most business professionals want to only hear about the conversions that can be analyzed in an ROI report. However, we have to understand we have more call to actions on social media that will improve our overall business but they don’t always show up on those ROI reports.

As a consultant, this is one of the hardest conversations I can have with clients. We are all in business because we make money. We make money by getting our customers to buy our products and services. However, the key word here is not money, it is customer. We need to make sure we are doing everything in our power to make our customers happy. Let’s go back to some business 101, 80% of our revenue comes from 20% of our customers.

Respond to customers

Not only do those in the 20% bring in 80% of our revenue but it would cost us 5 times as much to acquire a new customer than to keep a current customer. Now, I am not saying to not try to acquire new customers, we have to! Each customer has their lifetime value and we have to keep bringing in new customers but we also need to have a heavy focus on our current customers.

This is where social media can have an important impact on your customers. These sites can actually make or break you. When you are listening to your customers you understand if there are any problems within the customer lifecycle journey. Knowing the problems your customers may have gives you such an advantage. You can publicly acknowledge the problem and tell your entire community how and when this problem will be resolved.

If you ignore the power of social media, you are ignoring your customers. That is why we need to focus less on ROI and more on the Return on Conversation (ROC). The following are just some of the important customer-based factors of social media:

Research and Development

When I talk about research and development on social media, some look at me as if I have 7 heads. However, I talked about listening earlier, social listening to use the correct terminology. While we are listening to our customers, we do know about any potential crisis but we also know what they want for products and services. We could find information of colors, features, and even pricing of our products. We just have to listen.

Customer Service

I talked about this quickly above but we all have to focus on our customers. They are the reason we are in business and without them, we don’t have a business. With social media we are connected every second of the day. We need to be constantly active and responding to any and every customer (with the exclusion of trolls) on social media. If we do not respond, we are missing out on the opportunity to create a real relationship with our customers.


How people view your brand is highly important to know. If people view your brand differently than you advertise yourself, you are confusing your customers and it means you actually don’t know what is going on in the market place. Now, I won’t go through rebranding right now but what I want to talk about is actually knowing your brand through the customer’s eyes. This could be done with surveys but that is time consuming and expensive. With social media, we can do a sentiment analysis. This analysis will show us how our business is being portrayed by the public. Take a look at my favorite Twitter sentiment analysis done by North Carolina State University.

Where to Complain when Twitter goes Down?

Today (March 17th, 2016), I was working per usual creating my Twitter widgets to stream feeds when suddenly it goes down. Now, this isn’t the first time Twitter has gone down but my first reaction is to always tweet to the business when their site goes down.

This begs the question, what do you do when Twitter goes down? I wanted to see where else the site might be down so I went to Down Detector after a quick Google search. This is what I found:

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 7.14.16 PM

Now, this was taken right after I noticed (7:10pm EST)  it was down and as far as I know, this site can only detect if it is down by users submitting it to them. I am in the US, northeast area and I can see others in my area are also having troubles.

I was so confused on exactly where to go now that I can’t tweet out to Twitter saying:

FYI, your site is down right now

So, I thought maybe I can see an update from Facebook, but honestly I knew that would be the dead end it ended up being.


Here is the updated outage map just about 10 minutes (7:20 EST) after the first one:

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 7.21.32 PM

Yes, I know it doesn’t look like much of a different but we are seeing some new yellow and red spots!


Here is the map at 7:40pm EST:

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 7.39.29 PM

Twitter was back up and running at 8:08 EST, 8 minutes before the fix the map got slightly more red:

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 8.08.33 PM

How I Made a Post go Locally Viral

Working in social media I am always asked by clients to:


The fact of the matter is, that virality is an extremely hard process that involves hitting the right influencers at the right times. This calls for a readily available social media strategy and understanding within that: analytics, influencers, and audience.

I am lucky enough to work with Van Otis Chocolates and run their blog, Chocolate Covered. While working with them, I came to know that they have been wanting more people to come into their actual store front as they just remodeled the entire store! As I am mainly used to get more internet sales, I was happy to have a new take on social media for a client!

Research Phase

It was a week or so before Halloween and since their yearly party was cancelled, I needed to find a new blog idea. Knowing that they wanted more people to come into their actual store, I wanted to create an idea to help encourage customers to see the re-molded store. This is when I started to conduct more research about the candy industry and searched my brain for ideas that would be enticing for customers.

My first few ideas had to do with getting sales instead of getting people to see the store. I know that is the ultimate goal for businesses but I had to start thinking about the customer lifecycle:


Of course they wanted Hallowen sales but they are about to get into their busy season with the Holidays coming up. So instead of pushing sales, I thought of their customer and their values. This is when I logged into Facebook to look at trending topics and I saw a post about veterans. This is when the lightbulb went off! Let’s give back to those that are giving so much to us, let’s collect leftover Halloween candy (because we all know we shouldn’t be eating all of it!) and send it to our troops overseas.

I told the idea to the company and they were interested but had some reservation because none of us knew about the logistics of doing this. I was asked to do more research on it to see if we should move forward or move to a new idea.

This is when I started researching the topic and noticed that we could collect the candy and send it to a non-profit called Operation Gratitude who will send the candy in a care package to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Caregivers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.

After voicing this information with the business they were so excited to get started!

Creating Content


Once we confirmed that was going to be the post,  I needed to start writing the blog post. I started expressing in the post that they would be collecting candy until Veterans Day, where to drop off the candy, and that we would be sending this to Operation Gratitude.

I also needed to add information about Operation Gratitude. This was to ensure anyone interested in donating their candy that it was actually going to go to our troops.

I always write out my blog post and then I look at keywords to use not only within the content but as tags. I also use these keywords within the social media posts.

Other social media

When creating the posts and tweets on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn; I always take content from the blog post.


Now, you’re thinking “those don’t look like they went viral”. You’re right! Those ones did not, it was Facebook that hit the sweet spot when it comes to influencers! The day after Halloween, our Facebook post made it in front of a local journalist for WMUR, our local news station. 


We had about seven or so shares and a few likes on the post before Jean Mackin shared this post to her public page. After, I saw the analytics sky rocket and the shares are up to 38. WMUR even called the company for an interview.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 3.39.03 PM

Now, this isn’t going to make it onto national television and it won’t cause the frenzy that “The Dress” created. However, this company is a locally owned and managed establishment with their core target audience located in the New Hampshire area. Having the largest local news agency interviewing them is a great source of free publicity.

So all in all, creating a viral post, locally or internationally, doesn’t actually happen overnight as it seems. I had originally posted this ten days before it reached our influencer and I had been working on that content for days before that.

Creating a Core Social Media Strategy

When you first start creating your strategy you need to complete a current social media analysis, a competitive analysis, and a target market analysis. In the analytics, make sure you are looking at the most engaging content type, your audience, and timing (all the equations are helpful but these are important for this article).


Your first necessity would be to take your target audience and look at how you are current targeting on social media by using analytics, or to use secondary research to find who is currently using that site. I use the Pew Research Center when I have to use secondary research.

They update these analytics each year! Unfortunately, SnapChat is not yet analyzed but hopefully soon!

I then create a chart as shown below. I would input my demographic information and use the secondary research to find what social media sites my audience is using.

My Target % on Facebook % on Pinterest % on Instagram % on LinkedIn % on Twitter

If I was already on each social media site and I could find my demographic information, I would still conduct secondary research if I am not currently reaching my target to see where they are.

Now, I need to look at the social media matrix to see where I would have the best opportunity to reach my target on multiple platforms.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 8.38.28 PM


My next step is to determine the timing of my social media posts. Now, this is very easily done using any analytical site! I typically use Quintly Analytics, and would use their “Interaction Rate by Time” graph.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 8.20.17 PM

The bigger the circle, the higher interaction rate for that specific time. We want to post during the most interactive time periods in hopes to gain more engagement (if we are using the correct content and keywords of course!). If you hover over the circle, you can see the interaction rate and all of the interactions!


Finally, I get to look at the content! We know that in social media we hear about content creation and how important it is, but how do we actually know what content to create?

Most Engaging content type

You need to look at what is the most engaging content types for your industry or brand in particular. This again is found through analytics. I would look at two graphs from Quintly:

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 8.25.15 PM

First, look at the Interaction Rate by Post Type graph to understand how each type of media is being interacted on for your profile or your competitors if you are not yet on this site.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 8.27.13 PM

Then, you need to look at the Own Posts Table to see how your tops posts are not only being interacted on, but also what content you created in that post. You want to recreate similar content for your top engaging posts while staying in touch with your industry.

HINT: Click the I-Rate once to see the top interacted posts

Trending Topics

Now, know what time of media to post and the types of posts where most engaging in the past. It is time to look at what is trending in your current industry or with your target audience to gain their engagements again. I like to look at Google Trends, the news, or the “trending sections of my social media sites. Make sure to also look at what your influencers are writing about!


Finally, once you know the content type and actual content you want to write about, you need to use keywords in your posts to increase that SEO! I use the Google Keyword Planner Tool to find my keywords for blogs and social media posts.

Creating Social Media Objectives

Without objectives, you don’t know when your social media strategy is working and when it is not! You need to make sure to understand exactly what you want from your strategy, do you want to work specifically to gain a following or do you want to increase you clout?

When creating objectives use the SMART framework






To increase my current (October 2015)  Klout score of 45.7 to 55.7 by February 2016.

This objective is specific because I know the exact number to reach, it is measurable by using Klout, it is attainable because 55.7 is still under the 5% of top influencers, it is relevant because I need to increase my clout to be more valuable in my industry, and it is time based because I need to reach this objective by February 2016.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is an ever increasing term we as marketers have been using since 2005. The following graph from Google Trends shows how we have used this term.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 9.29.01 PM


My definition of influencers:

An expert in a certain industry creating original content with a strong and loyal following.

As we move forward, you will see why each aspect of this definition is important.

Traackr created a great 5 Step Action Plan for Influencer Marketing.



They say to first define the target audience. I think this should already be done but it’s important to also define your influencers. When working with companies, I discover the influencers, then define them (sometimes I do this simultaneously). However, to not confuse you, I’ll stick with the model.

Define your Influencers within these three areas:


Within the context, you need to look at the industry the influencer currently is in, their message throughout social media, and the content they are posting.


Reach on social media is the sum of all the fans and followers on all of the social media sites a brand is on. I suggest looking individually at each site and determine the reach for each site.


Look at their Klout and Kred scores to determine if they have a strong buzz when they post on their social media sites.


To discover your influencers, you can do this by using social media analytical tools like Hashtagify Me, Hootsuite, Simply Measured, Quintly, or just doing a Google search.

On Hashtagify Me, you can look at hashtags and keywords and they will tell you the top influencers for those hashtags! it saves loads of time!


After you have defined and discovered your influencers, you need to monitor what they are doing! You can do this by using social media analytical tools like mentioned above, or even creating a Google Alert on the influencer or topic.

Take Action

You now need to take action!

Start with social currency by creating an actual relationship with them, share their information, and backlink to their blog.

Then, engage them by understanding their community, creating an experience for them, and providing value for them.

Now, you can attract them to your brand by asking for their help, asking for them to use your product/services and tag you in the posts. You will have to provide them with commission for them to post using your products.


Now, once the posts are out, start measuring that buzz with analytical tools! Take a look at my new favorite, Quintly.