Twitter Changes Their DM Rules

It looks like our little favourite bird, Twitter, has made some changes to their Direct Message (DM) rules. Normally you would have to be following someone for them to be able to send you a DM, but now Twitter allows you to open up to the world and receive DM’s from anyone on Twitter.

Twitter DM SettingsWhat does this mean for you? Well if you want to be able to receive a DM from anyone, go into your settings and just check off that lovely square, otherwise just make sure it’s unchecked.

I for one don’t mind a DM once in a while, but I really prefer someone sending me a public message to get my attention. I think this will also make sure that I’m not spammed by every bot out there.

So why is Twitter doing this? My first assumption is that they want to be able to sell a feature to Marketers to allow them to send and target DM’s for campaigns. This would be a great revenue generator for them. I can see it now, I’m tweeting away about a show or product and then automatically will receive a DM from a brand regarding it. I for one will making sure that is turned off, as it’s bad enough getting those @messages from spammers.


Where Has Time Gone?

It’s hard to believe the summer is almost at an end. Where has time gone?

I’ve been so busy these past few months that I’ve had little time to post on here, let alone use Twitter or Facebook as I used to use them. I might not have been posting, but I have been listening in and reading to what my peeps have been up to. Yeah call me a stalker :).

I’ve spent most of the summer busy taking a couple of courses. Yup I was back at school, learning old and new things.

Since I’ve been away from the social media scene, due to a new career move, I thought I needed to get back into it and so I decided it was best to take a social media marketing course offered at UBC Robson. The course itself was strictly online, and though I’m used to taking courses in a class environment and wasn’t sure how it would work, the course proved to be interesting enough to keep my interest.

During the class we learned step by step how to create a marketing strategy for an organization. I took on the challenge of creating one for a restaurant, though they didn’t know I was doing it. I understood most of what was required, but it was nice to have the step by step process laid out and it made more sense at the end of the day. I’m proud to say that at the end of the course I got a 89%. It wasn’t the 95% I was hoping at the beginning as I didn’t do well on one assignment, but that is how we learn, and we move forward.

Sadly the next available course isn’t being offered until the fall. So I decided to take on another course I’ve always wanted to take – I took an Adobe Photoshop course also at UBC Robson. I felt I was losing some of my creative side. I felt I needed something to challenge me more and since I’ve always loved photography it was the perfect fit.

Now this course was offered in class and we got to work on Macs – Yippie!! I got to learn so much and had so much fun learning along the way. You can see some of projects below to see how I improved during the short 5 weeks.

Welcome to Gustavo

Mystic Elephant

And this was my final project. I’ve yet to get graded on it, but I’m happy with the results.


I had so much fun that I decided to take on the next Photoshop level and add Adobe Illustrator to the mix. So starting September 30th until November 30th, I’ll be a busy boy. I’ll be growing my creative side and who knows where this might lead!

I haven’t had the chance to travel as much I would have liked and work has been really busy lately. I’m hoping I’ll be able to change that soon.

So hopefully I won’t take this long to write my next blog 🙂

Is Twitter Engagement Lagging?

twitterThere used to be a time on Twitter a few years back when I could ask a question and instantly get feedback and responses. Lately, at least for me, my Twitter engagement has been lagging and harder to get responses from my followers.

I don’t know what has changed. I’m not sure if it’s the timing of my tweet on Twitter, or if it’s the fact that there are currently over 500 million users on Twitter and they are just being over inundated with so much information coming through that the tweet itself gets lost in the mass of data or if they are just not there when my tweet goes out.

I know for one that it’s hard to manage who I follow on Twitter and because of this I do miss some great opportunities to engages with them. I usually rely on a core group of people to keep me up-to-date with what is currently happening and trending.

Now over on Facebook, I’m starting to find that engagement is increasing. If I ask the same question over on Facebook I’m instantly engaged and responded to. Granted it could just be that it’s a smaller ratio of following happening on Facebook, but it’s interesting as I always thought I had more engagement on Twitter.

I’d be interested to hear how you are finding Twitter engagement lately? Do you feel brands themselves are also suffering from this information overload? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How to Identify Online Influencers

Last week I gave a talk to the Canadian Public Relations Society Vancouver’s (CPRS Vancouver) chapter on how to identify online influencers and how to engage them. With social media playing a greater role than ever with communicators it becomes increasingly important for PR professionals to be able to identify these influencers for their client’s digital strategies.

These simple steps will help you start creating your list of influencers.

Create Keyword Search
Keywords are your first step. These can be your company name or brand, your competitors name. They can also be any words or phrases that describe your industry as well as any important issue that matters to  you.

Understand What is Important to You
Know where you want to start your search. Are you going to concentrate only on influencers on Twitter, Facebook or Blogs? Are the number of followers they have important to you (even though I will argue this point)? Do the number of retweets one gets important? What about likes on a post, are they important? Do the number of blog posts matter and do the comments and who comments matter?

Understanding what to look first will help you out in the long run. Focus on a few of the above to help you determine who on you should include on your list.

Search Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Forums and Multimedia Sites
Create simple searches on Twitter and use free third party tools like Hootsuite to create columns of those searches. Use simple Google Blog Searches as well Technorati to find relevant blogs based on your search keywords. You can also use Social Mention or IceRocket to help search all networks.

Most people will forget to search multimedia sites like YouTube or other video sites like Viddler or Vimeo. Also don’t forget to search photo sharing sites like Flickr or Picaso to complete the picture.

Create Lists on Twitter
Create your own lists on Twitter and make them private. Bundle like minded people to make it easier to follow your influencers

View a Blogger’s Blogroll
Bloggers create their list of other bloggers they read or find interesting to them. Looking at these lists can help identify other influencers you might not have thought of before.

Create Your List
Create your lists and add to them regularly.  Create RSS feeds of the blogs you want to monitor and create Twitter lists to combine the influencers.

Lastly engage with them. Share what they post on Twitter if it’s relevant to you. Favourite a post (we all love it when someone favourites a tweet of ours, it makes us feel special). Comment on blog posts or even link back to them on your own blog. By engaging you are also putting yourself under their radar and helps create a relationship with them.

Of course working for Marketwire, we offer Sysomos, our realtime online media monitoring and engagement tool, the above steps are quickly compiled for you and presented to you in a easy to use format.

Any tool you use should be used as a guideline only. It really will depend on you specifically to engage in who you think should be on your own influencer list.

You can view my full presentation via SlideShare below:

Thanks to CPRS Vancouver, they summarized my talk in a few short minutes with the video below.

Identifying Online Influencers – CPRS Vancouver Talk

So it’s now official, on February 8th, 2012 at 5:30pm I’ll be giving a talk for CPRS Vancouver on Identifying Online Influencers and How to Engage Them. This isn’t my first every “speaking” gig, but this is the first time I’ll be doing this on my own and not part of a panel.

The synopsis of my talk is as follows:

Social Media has significantly grown over the past few years. With a growing number of social media tools and networks there are also a growing number of people who will express their opinions and have conversations with others via these new channels. As a result, there will be some individuals whose voices will resonate louder than others and whose opinions will be heard by a larger group of people. Identifying these core people, or influencers, has become more crucial for brands and/or causes.

Gus Fosarolli, Senior Client Relations Manager at Marketwire, will offer practical tips to help you identify influencers and learn how to leverage them in support of your cause or brand.

What makes me an authority at speaking on this topic? I’ve been using social media for several years now. I’ve seen social tools grow over the past 4 years and I’ve seen some tools fall on the waste side. I work with many PR and Marketing professionals and I understand how important it is for them to understand the power of the online influencer.

I hope you will be able to attend and listen to me speak. I’m very excited about presenting and hope I will give everyone very valuable information that they can use.