social media

Our Top 3 Twitter Tips – how to be a better Tweeter

I don’t want to tell you how to get followers on Twitter, nobody can truly tell you how to do that, but here are our top 3 tips for how to use Twitter more effectively:

1) Make Some Noise

The first thing to do when you’ve got a Twitter account is to actually use it. If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating the account and telling your fans/customers about it they’re going to want to hear what you’ve got to say. Sounds obvious but it’s surprising the number of Twitter accounts that are setup and grow a fanbase but then go quiet, so make sure if you’re on Twitter you do actually post Tweets.

2) Make Relevant Noise

Then if you’re going to follow tip #1 and start Tweeting make sure it’s relevant. If you’ve setup an account for your business it might not be a good idea to tell your followers what you had for breakfast. It’s better to post fewer Tweets that are very relevant to your subject matter than to post lots of Tweets of which some are relevant and some of which are way off topic. People generally prefer subject matter experts than someone who simply has an opinion on everything.

3) Don’t Make Too Much Noise

Finally, once you’ve got a fanbase and your Tweets are going down well with your audience don’t flood their screens. However interesting and relevant your content is sometimes less is more. Unless you have a time-critical piece of information to share you might want to think about staggering your posts to avoid becoming too ‘spammy’. The simplest way to monitor this is to keep an eye on your account when you’re posting more frequently than usual and see if you’re actually starting to lose followers as a result.

Coles $500 Gift Card Facebook scam

Another Facebook scam to watch out for, this time a misrepresentation of the Coles brand that suggests users can receive a $500 Gift Card for Christmas by entering some personal details.

The rogue status update looks similar to the screenshot below:

According to comments on Facebook clicking the link has varied outcomes ranging from being asked to complete personal details like mobile phone numbers to populating the affected customer’s profile with the hoax status update.

In a statement on their Facebook page Coles said: “Please be aware the “Free $500 Gift Card for Coles” link to ikeazoneinfo that appeared on Facebook and was distributed via email last night is a hoax and that Coles did not create or endorse this website. We issued a warning on our page as soon as this came to our attention.”

The full Coles status update with more information on what they suggest customers do if they have been tricked by this hoax can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/coles/posts/226790620718294

Merit badges and Facebook sharing added to Perisher’s MyRide Dashboard

We’re very happy to announce a brand new upgrade to Perisher’s MyRide Dashboard. Released earlier today, the update features a ‘badges’ module that awards badges to customers to reward them for their achievements at the resort.

Badges include ones for vertical metres covered, lifts ridden and days on the mountain. Then there are challenge badges for visiting certain areas like Guthega or Smiggins, or for die hard snow riders, attaining the ’7 peaks challenge’ badge is a sure-fire way to show off to your mates.

Every badge can be shared on Facebook – content is posted via the MyRide Dashboard Facebook app that was also developed by us.

Check out the Perisher MyRide Dashboard at http://www.perisher.com.au/myridedashboard

Facebook launch new sidebar for chat to a mixed twitter response

Facebook launched a new update to their chat system today. However it seems that the feedback on Twitter has been less about the cool new video chat functionlity that they’re offering and more of a backlash against the new ‘sidebar’ layout.

Here are a couple of examples:

I don’t understand this new sidebar thing on Facebook. Why does it only show random friends and not all the friends who are online in chat?less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply


Um, what’s with this stupid new “sidebar” in facebook and how can I get rid of it again?!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

Some users just want to get rid of it altogether but can’t find how to turn the sidebar off:

Facebook have changed their chat interface to a pretty horrible, always-on, sidebar.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

It is a little fiddly to find admittedly, but to turn the sidebar off you need to click the ‘settings’ wheel at the very bottom right of the screen and choose ‘Hide Sidebar’.

But amongst all the negative feedback currently being posted, some customers like @mlw05 have been through big changes like this before:

It’s funny how everyone will absolutely hate the new #facebook sidebar, until the next day when they get used to it like every other updateless than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac Favorite Retweet Reply

Let us know what you think here on the blog or tweet us @fly_digital

Hoyts staff member posts anti-competitor comments in iTunes

Cinema exhibitor Hoyts have recently released an app for iPhone users to browse session times and book tickets. This comes around one and a half years after rivals Greater Union / Birch Carroll & Coyle and Event Cinemas launched their app “pocket cinema”.

Browsing through the comments it was interesting to note this review from a certain user (names have been blurred to protect the naughty):

A positive response for Hoyts but at the expense of their competitor. This got me thinking. A quick Google search for the user revealed their LinkedIn page which listed their current employer as, wait for it, Hoyts Cinemas:

Now I’m not saying this is the first (nor would it be the last) time a company posts a positive review of their own product in iTunes, but should any potential self-promoters be reading this here are two quick tips for you:

  • Tip 1: don’t use your real name, it makes it really easy for curious people like me to find out who you work for.
  • Tip 2: focus on the positives of your own product rather than the negatives of others, real customers rarely compare brands in that way making your fake review very easy to spot.

Twitter adds real-time URL shortening to twitter.com

Regular users of twitter will be pleased to hear there is no need to paste a link into bit.ly, tinyurl or whatever your preferred URL shortener is anymore now that twitter have added similar functionality to their own website.

Here’s how it works. Typing a tweet via twitter.com is exactly the same, however when you add a URL twitter does a few new things. Firstly the URL is highlighted and a new “Link will appear shortened” message appears next to the tweet button. Then twitter recalculates the number of characters you have remaining after the tweet will be shortened on the fly. Here’s an example:

See how I’ve posted a long link into the tweet and added copy before and after it. The total length in characters of that tweet would have been 255 but Twitter has calculated how short the URL will be once shortened and allows you to write additional copy until the newly calculated character count reaches 0.

This is how the tweet looks when posted:

A useful addition to the website. Now I wonder when image uploads will be included so we can take twitpic.com out of our bookmarks…

Perisher uses social media to announce an Australian first

Australian Snow Resort Perisher have used Social Media to announce they are opening their gates and letting customers onto the mountain this Friday, weeks earlier than any of their competitors.

It started with the one line status update on their Facebook page: “Have you heard the rumour” followed around 30 minutes later with the announcement “Rumour update: planning to open this Friday-Sunday, riding the V8”.

Full details were released around an hour later: “Rumour update: it’s true, Perisher will be the first resort open for 2011. Lift ticket prices this Friday to Sunday: $30 Adults & $15 Children. All lift ticket proceeds will be donated to charity.”

The Facebook posts received over 110 ‘likes’ and 45 comments in the first 15 minutes. Posts were also replicated as tweets via their Twitter account (@PerisherSki).

As well as being the first resort to open this year, Perisher are also bringing a wide range of new technologies to customers under their MyRide brand. Guests can buy products and arrange rentals and group lessons online then log on to Perisher’s MyRide Store and recharge their tickets to get direct lift access.

More information about MyRide can be found on the Perisher website.

Paper Giants is a giant hit (on twitter that is)

Thoroughly enjoyed the ABC miniseries ‘Paper Giants’ this week. Asher Keddie (previously from Offspring and Love My Way fame) was excellent as Ita Buttrose, I think it was her scarily accurate lisp that got a lot of people hooked early on.

Not only was the show an apparent success on TV but it’s been huge online in terms of generating discussion and social chatter as well.

Top trending topics in Australia for the last 2 days have included:

Asher Keddie is also receiving a big increase in search volume according to Google trends:

And the other winner in all this appears to be ABC’s iView which is also starting to trend the morning after when customers hearing their friends talking about the show are looking for a way to watch it. All of the recommendations to “check it out on iView” have pushed that keyword into Australia’s top 10 TT’s. Some good ‘free’ publicity for the ABC’s website and app.

(Image courtesy of smh.com.au)

25 ways to get creative in under a minute

Lost your creative edge? Wedged in a writers block? Here are 25 ways to try and spark your brain and fire up your creative mojo in less than a minute (or 25 ways to kill a minute and hopefully forget about your problem):

  1. Find the longest word you can make with the letters of your name
  2. Choose five colours, find five things in your office that match them
  3. Write a Facebook message to someone you haven’t spoken to for over a year
  4. Find as many colours of post-it notes as you can in 30 seconds, then challenge someone to beat you in the remaining 30
  5. Google your favourite TV show from the 80s and laugh at the haircuts
  6. Draw a floorplan of the house you grew up in
  7. Write down all the names of the pets you’ve had in your life
  8. Look out your window and try and find 3 animals in the shapes the clouds make
  9. Work out what 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8  * 9 * 10 is without a calculator
  10. Gargle the National Anthem
  11. Spend 30 seconds drawing random dots on a piece of paper, spend the remaining 30 joining some of them to make a picture
  12. Write a happy phrase on 10 post-it notes, stick them to other people’s computer screens
  13. Clean your desk!
  14. Write a list of your favourite 10 foods
  15. Draw a rainbow, with the right colours (Richard of York Got Bathed in Vinegar)
  16. Try searching for something in Google, then Bing then Yahoo and see how different the results are
  17. Count how many pairs of shoes you have, then draw your favourite
  18. Enter a competition on your favourite radio station’s website
  19. Grab a magazine and tear out 5 photos that make you happy and 5 that make you sad
  20. Write the first 20 words that come into your head when you think of the person you love the most
  21. Grab no less than 3 pens/pencils in a bunch and write your name with them 10 times
  22. Google yourself, then click “images” and see what you look like in an alternate universe
  23. Find something on your desk that is a) square, then b) round, c) heavy, d) red, and e) not related to the job you do
  24. Find a favourite photo on your computer, print it out, cut it out and stick it to your monitor
  25. Write your own list of 25 things you would do to stimulate your creativity

Good luck!

Trending topics spamming techniques – beware the fake tweet

After watching the ABC’s QANDA last night it was good to see the phrase “Julian Morrow” trending in Australia, he was a great panelist after all. Like many others in the country I do enjoy watching TV shows like QANDA or Masterchef whilst following what others are saying on Twitter at the same time.

However waking up this morning and seeing “Julian Morrow” was still trending in AU made me suspicious. Digging into the tweets that were keeping his name there revealed a very annoying spam technique that is sadly gaining traction.

On the left is a screenshot of the last 8 tweets containing “Julian Morrow”. If you take a closer look you can see they are all based on the same formula in that they contain a) the trending topic, b) a compressed URL and c) a phrase inviting a click, such as: “OMG This is awesome…”, “This is really funny…” or “Wow! I’d purchase it..”.

What the compressed URL’s link to I cannot say – as a general rule I don’t click on them, worried about where I might end up. But these are spam tweets – posted by bots or spammers wanting you to click through on their URL to either generate another page impression on the destination site or to potentially direct you to a page that could do something much worse.

So as a word of warning, if a tweet is a) from an unknown source, b) contains a list of several trending topics in one place and c) has a phrase that looks like it was written by a 14 year old, the suggestion would be not to click on it. You never know where you might end up.