Social Media Marketing - Tips and TricksFollowing on from the previous post about Facebook’s downtime, it is interesting to see that many people have taken to Twitter, not only to search for news on the downtime but also as an alternative communication tool. The search facility and trending topics are extremely useful for finding news on any subject, offering real-time results that the search engines are only now beginning to incorporate into results.

However, watching Facebook news break on Twitter has highlighted an interesting fact about marketing campaigns. There are a substantial number of campaign posts for different companies which link to a Facebook page, which at this moment in time is not working. This is a wasted marketing opportunity, because anyone who is unaware that Facebook is down, (as those running the campaigns seem to be) will only find a 404 error at the end of their click, not a marketing message.

News breaks on Twitter now probably more quickly than any other news source, because it is user powered. So, use Twitter prior to any campaign to check that your message will a) be able to be reacted to e.g. the link will work and b) not be drowned out in a breaking news story that is trending.

During a campaign, you should use Twitter to judge whether there are any reactions to your marketing by searching on keywords and checking for the link. If you use a shortened URL (such as bit.ly) then this will automatically be used in each retweet (RT) and by everyone who uses the same shortening service to link to that specific page/item. However, anyone who uses a different shortening service, and there are many such URL shortening services, will generate a different shortened URL.

I haven’t yet discovered a tool that searches for all existing shortened URLs to a specific link – does anyone know of such a tool? I know it would require an enormous and constantly changing database but there must be a spare super computer around which could do such a thing for search marketing purposes!

Once you have completed a campaign, you should regularly monitor Twitter for any long tail effects of your campaign, as there can be ripples and follow-ups caused days and even weeks after that may throw up potential new linking partners, or targets for future campaigns. It will also help you to pick up any negative reactions about the campaign, which can provide useful information for both offline and online marketing messages in future.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology