Friday, November 28, 2014

Are We Good at Twitter Yet?

We use Twitter as part of our marketing and support mix but I'm pretty convinced that we aren't that good at it.  Why do I think that?

1. Twitter never shows up in any of our stats in a positive way.  Low on delivering traffic to our site, rarely mentioned as how people heard about us, and a slower growth rate than other social media and metrics.

2. It's a chore that seems to consume resources and there isn't anybody who seems excited about it, there's nobody acting like they are on mission with Twitter anything other than "take care of Twitter."  OK, I'm  exaggerating but you now see where I'm coming from.

3. I just sat through two marketing sessions on Twitter which basically said:
Get organized on Twitter so you know your goals and are using the best techniques and tools.
Assign and train someone and then you can expect them to spend an hour a week setting it up and 15 minutes a day responding.
I believe that our Twitter feeds consume much more time than that but I wouldn't really know.

4.  Specifics on numbers. Here's some numbers which are rough indicators of relative FB to TW strength.  I'm basically looking for an industry averages of FB/TW ratios to suggest that we're disproportionately bad at TW. In fact, there are only a few homeschool bizes that seem to do anything significant (ie over 5K) in Twitter.

@homeschoolcurr - connectthethoughts

This list is a blend of players focusing primarily on homeschool leaders but also related areas...

VSC  FB 180K, TW 6.1K so 3.3%
T4L  FB 80K, TW 2.5K so 3.1%
Sonlight FB 21K, TW 542 so 2.5%
Brainpop  FB 46K, TW 16.K so 33%  FB 7.2, TW 1.4 so 19%
ABCMouse FB 878K, TW 3.6K so 0.4% worst of all at Twitter relative to FB
ABCya FB 25K, TW 5.8K so 23%
Vocabsushi FB .8, TW 2.9 so 375% best of all at Twitter relative to Facebook
HSLDA FB 80K, TW 6K so 7.5%  FB - uses a group, not a page, Twitter 21K followers under a clever handle, @homeschoolcurr identified more with the author than the curriculum  FB 118K, TW 5.6K FB 25K,  TW 1.8K

ErinKlein TW 43K
@AngelaMaiers 122K
lauracandler   FB 545K, TW 4K

This doesn't really make a clear case. Is it that we are strong at FB? Does our industry not lend itself to Twitter?  Or are we missing an opportunity?

The Plan
1. define goals
2. Have a pinned tweet
3. Use a twitter card
4. Check whats working - mytoptweet and twitter analytics, to track #s, 
5. Post more pics, use buffer, don't link to pics, especially on instagram or twitter. include them.
6. Post news multiple ways using buffer
7. Expand vision of market
8 pick big people to interact with....

- pick someone with big complementary following
- follow 300 at a time, request that they follow you
- wait 3 days, drop them, repeat with a new 300

- can schedule the next week of tweets including graphics (unlike hootsuite)
- see retweets and mentions and from whom
- which tags

Twitter quality mgt and analytics: - seems to provide summary of new followers, unfollowers
twitters own analytics, where's that?
twitter validation - OK to click? - does it look for people following you just to get followed and then dropping you? @crazyforedu. uses it

Lets have all of our active accounts retweet our major ones...They should follow the major ones...This means retweets from vocabulary, SHS, etc.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Efax - Who Owns the Phone Number?

A few years ago, there was a lot of press about whether people could be kept locked into a cell company by saying that you couldn't take your phone number with it. It was resolved that you can.

I'm now involved in a dispute with an efax company as to whether I can leave their extremely high rates and take my phone number with me. For years, we've use their numbers as our company fax number but at the moment, they are charging us thousands of dollars a year.  I feel that it's way to much and that there are cheaper vendors. 

But, I just called the FCC who answered on the first ring (after I went thru their voice system - 1-888-225-5322) and the lady told me that virtual numbers are owned by the supplier, they are not like cell phone numbers.  Thank you FCC for the amazing service. 

And to you efax....Shit.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Robocall Fraud

I thought I'd share an experience I just had to see if any of you have better ideas of how to treat it. Saturday morning at 9am. Ring Ring. Home phone.  I answer.

The recorded message said "This is the US Dept of Treasury...Urgent Matter...I am Agent John Connors...And left this number 239 673 4694."

I returned the call and I think the same voice answered. He said that his name was Steve Martin, "Dept of Enforcement Actions."  I asked him to explain who he was. He claimed he worked at the US Treasury, Fed employment ID # of  E11536.

I said that I would be calling the US Treasury on Monday to verify his employment, what did he want?

He hung up at that point.

So I went to the Do Not Call Complain Registry.  Should I do more? This guy was not only illegally calling a number registered as do not call, he was impersonating a Federal Law Enforcement agent and probably headed towards a minor or major fraud. Perhaps grand larceny if he was going to pitch for a lot.

Should I tell someone else?