American Semester Program on Social Media

The coolest study abroad program in all the land!



History, As Recorded on Twitter, Is Vanishing From The Web, Say Computer Scientists


Almost 30 per cent of recorded history, shared over social media such as Twitter, has disapeared, according to a new study of the Egyptian uprising and other significant events



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On 25 January 2011, a popular uprising began in Egypt that  led to the overthrow of the country’s brutal president and to the first truly free elections. One of the defining features of this uprising and of others in the Arab Spring was the way people used social media to organise protests and to spread news.

Several websites have since begun the task of curating this content, which is an important record of events and how they unfolded. That led Hany SalahEldeen and Michael Nelson at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, to take a deeper look at the material to see how much the shared  were still live.

What they found has serious implications. SalahEldeen and Nelson say a significant proportion of the websites that this social media points to has disappeared. And the same pattern occurs for other culturally significant events, such as the the H1N1 virus outbreak, Michael Jackson’s death and the Syrian uprising.

In other words, our history, as recorded by social media, is slowly leaking away.

Their method is straightforward. SalahEldeen and Nelson looked for tweets on six culturally significant events that occurred between June 2009 and March 2012. They then filtered the URLs these tweets pointed to and checked to see whether the content was still available on the web, either in its original form or in an archived form.

They found that the older the social media, the more likely its content was to be missing. In fact, they found an almost linear relationship between time and the percentage lost.

The numbers are startling. They say that 11 per cent of the social media content had disappeared within a year and 27 per cent within 2 years. Beyond that, SalahEldeen and Nelson say the world loses 0.02 per cent of its culturally significant social media material every day.

That’s a sobering thought. Social media plays an important role in the spread of information around the world. Of course, opinions differ over the importance of its role in the Arab Spring. But few would deny that this form of communication defines our time.

And now it’s vanishing.

Ref: How Many Resources Shared on Social Media Have Been Lost?


20 Essential Tips for Better Twitter Etiquette


I’ve been on Twitter almost since it started. I love it.

While it’s become more mainstream recently, I still find a lot of people misusing Twitter. To be fair, it’s a user-driven platform, so the “rules” are always changing.

Still, there are some simple practices anyone can use on Twitter to make you not look like such a newbie (or a jerk).

Here are 20 quick tips (in addition to my Twitter tips for beginners) to help your social media etiquette:

Twitter manners 101

  1. Be gracious.
  2. Be social. Twitter is about conversation, not monologue.
  3. Say “thank you” (a lot).
  4. Use the @ reply to publicly thank someone.
  5. Don’t just follow people; engage them.
  6. Have a sense of humor.
  7. Refrain from flaming. Use your words to encourage and lift up rather than to tear down. Never underestimate the power of a tweet.
  8. Don’t follow someone expecting him to follow you back. Follow because you’re interested in what the person has to say. (Conversely, and somewhat ironically, if someone does follow you, it’s courteous to follow back.)
  9. Be informal. Have fun. Don’t treat it as a chore.
  10. Don’t hound influential people, begging them to read your blog or retweet you. Win their trust and influence by being remarkable and serving them first. My best strategy for networking is serving others.
  11. Hold back the urge to tweet too much (more than 20 times per day). If you have a lot of ideas, use a program like Hootsuite or Cotweet to schedule your tweets so that they can be spaced out.
  12. Listen to your followers.
  13. Show interest in others, before asking them to care about you (or what you do).
  14. Ask questions.
  15. Don’t be afraid to ask for a retweet when it’s really important. (This is best utilized when it’s to help out someone else.)
  16. Tell the truth.
  17. Don’t tweet in the third person (Jeff hates it when you do that — it’s so Facebook circa 2008).
  18. Don’t retweet people who retweet you, unless you’re responding and quoting them. e.g. “RT @JeffGoins are you crazy?! // You bet.”
  19. Promote other people’s stuff (blog posts, photos, websites, etc.)
  20. Talk about other people more than you do about yourself. A good rule of thumb is the 20:1 ratio.

For more practice tips on how to use Twitter, read: The Ultimate Guide to Twitter

Also, this is good: How to Tweet Politely

If you’re new to Twitter, check out this book: How to Twitter by Tracy O’Connor & Sean Platt

Your Simple Guide to Launching a Twitter Advertising Campaign Read more:


So you want to start using Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, huh? You’ve weighed the pros and cons, and decided that experimenting with Twitter’s PPC advertising feature is a good move for your business.

Alright then — let’s get you started with this simple guide containing everything you need to know to make the most of your Twitter PPC campaign. Whether you’re just looking for more followers or you want to increase leads and customers, Twitter has some great paid options that can help you complement your organic Twitter marketing efforts.

How Do Twitter’s Advertising Options Work?

Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends are Twitter’s advertising features, pay-per-click style. Through its various options, Twitter allows you to target the right people so your ads are appearing for Twitter users who are most likely to be interested in your content, products, or services. Your promoted Twitter content will be labeled as ‘Promoted,’ so users are able to distinguish between promoted ads and organic Twitter content. Twitter advertising can also be a less expensive PPC option than major search engines such as Google. In other words, you can generate great results with a smaller budget.

On the other hand, Twitter’s ad interface also leaves something to be desired (remember how we mentioned pros and cons?). It’s not as easy to use as Google AdWords, and you can’t set up automatic rules to change your bids. For example, if you don’t want your tweets to be displayed on weekends or after 10 p.m., you need to manually log in to your account and change your options. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re always aware of the activity in your Promoted account and make changes accordingly so you’re not wasting your ad spend.

That being said, setting up a campaign is easy, as long as you know what you are looking for. 

Decide What You Want to Promote

First, you need to decide what you want to do with your campaign. In other words, what is your end goal for using Twitter advertising?

I want to promote my account!

promoted accountThe Promoted Accounts option allows you to promote your brand name and will help you increase the number of followers your account has. You may be asking, “Why would I want to pay for more followers?” Good question!

In a nutshell, having a larger base of Twitter followers is critical for maximizing the benefits of your social media marketing. The more followers you have, the more people will be exposed to your tweets. Furthermore, your followers also have their own followers who will see any of your content your followers retweet. And trust us, the greater your social media reach, the more effective your social media marketing — even if those people never buy from you.

Finally, the more followers you have, the more credibility and authority your account will exude. If potential new followers see that a larger number of people are already following your brand on Twitter, they’ll be that much more likely to follow you, too. Ahh, the power of social proof!

Promoted Accounts are displayed (1) as part of the ‘Who to Follow’ widget on the left side of a user’s logged-in homepage and Connect tab, (2) on the ‘Who to Follow’ page, which users can access by clicking on ‘View all’ on the ‘Who to Follow’ widget or tab, (3) in ‘People’ search results, and (4) on users’ profile pages as part of the ‘Similar to you’ widget. A user may see your Promoted Account as a suggestion if your account is relevant to them.

I want to promote my tweets!

If you want to promote a specific tweet that came from your company’s Twitter account, Twitter gives you have a few options through Promoted Tweets. For example, you might want to get more exposure for a tweet about a specific marketing campaign or offer you’re currently promoting. Or perhaps you’d like to put some additional Twitter muscle behind an upcoming event your hosting.


promoted tweet resized 600


Promoted Tweets are visible (1) at the top of relevant search results pages, (2) within search results for a Promoted Trend, (3) in users’ Twitter feeds, when relevant, (4) in pinned tweets for ‘Enhanced’ profile pages, (4) in Twitter’s official desktop and mobile clients (e.g. TweetDeck, Twitter for iPhone, Twitter for Android, etc.), (5) and in some third-party twitter clients, such as HootSuite.

I want to promote a trend!

promoted trendsIf you’re interested in promoting a particular trending topic, you can contact Twitter to purchase a Promoted Trend. This is a way to get your name to a lot of Twitter users, but beware — it’s costly! To take advantage of this option, you will need to contact Twitter directly and inquire about your options.

Promoted Trends are visible to all Twitter users at the top of the Trending Topics list on Twitter — as well as on Twitter for iPhone, Twitter for Android, and TweetDeck — and they’re clearly marked as ‘Promoted.’ When a user clicks on a Promoted Trend, they’ll see Twitter search results for that topic accompanied by a related Promoted Tweet from the advertiser at the top.


twitter promoted tweet


Now that you understand your various options, let’s dive into Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets individually so you can understand how to leverage each to achieve your specific goals. On Twitter, get started here.

How to Promote an Account

Promoting an account is very simple. Simply indicate the ‘interests’ of users you want to target. In other words, think about the keywords that are relevant to your business and content. Your account will automatically be recommended to people who have those interests. Again, using Promoted Accounts is most beneficial to drive traffic to your Twitter account and increase your follower count.


twitter promoted tweet


You can then set your budget and timing. See “Dates and Budget” below for more details.  

How to Promote a Tweet

You have three separate targeting options for your Promote Tweets: search results, timelines (users’ Twitter homepage feed), and your own Twitter profile.


twitter promoted tweet


Targeting Search Results

When Twitter users search for a particular keyword, the tweet you chose to promote will appear at the top. This is just like Google AdWords — whoever is the highest bidder for a certain term will appear at the top. Here, you can select as many keywords as you wish.


twitter promoted tweet


Targeting Timelines

With this targeting option, your promoted tweet will appear in the timelines of the followers you want to target. You have the option of targeting the timelines of ‘Your followers’ and/or ‘Users like your followers.’ The latter are users with similar interests to your followers. 


twitter promoted tweet


Targeting Your Profile

This option will pin your Promoted Tweet at the top of your account’s profile page, visible to anyone who visits your page. This targeting option is beneficial if you’re trying to drive visitors to your page off of Twitter and onto a page on your website. For example, at HubSpot, we might use this targeting option to promote an upcoming webinar at the top of our profile, which can serve to increase awareness of the event and drive traffic to the landing page on our site where users can register to attend.


twitter promoted tweet


Choose Your Targeting Preferences 

Once you’ve chosen the type of Promoted Tweets campaign you want to run, you can also change your settings and modify your target audience to get the most out of your campaign.

First, select which geographic location you want to target. You can be as broad as ‘Anywhere in the world’ or as specific as ‘Atlanta Georgia.’


twitter location


You can then decide which devices you’d like your Promoted Tweet to appear on. Remember, if you’re promoting on mobile devices, make sure any links in your tweets lead to mobile-optimized web pages. You don’t want to upset potential customers with a difficult-to-use website!


twitter promoted tweet


Select Current (or Create New) Tweets to Promote

Now that you’ve specified your targeting preferences, you can decide which tweets you want to promote. You can either promote tweets you’ve already published or create new ones within the ads interface. You can also choose more than one tweet for each campaign to add some variety to your Promoted Tweets.


twitter promoted tweet


Wondering what kinds of tweets you should be promoting? Of course, this will largely depend on your goals for your promoted campaign, but promoting a variety of offers and content can boost engagement with your tweets and your profile. Here are a few great options to get your wheels turning:

  1. Lead Generation Offers: If you’re looking to generate leads from your campaign, promote tweets for offer(s), and include links to landing pages on your site. At HubSpot, we often promote our ebooks and webinar landing pages in our Promoted Tweets.
  2. Events: Got an event coming up right around the corner? Promote a tweet about the event your company is hosting or attending, and include a link to the registration page.
  3. Compelling Content: Do you want more people to read your blog or regard you as an expert in your industry? Use Promote Tweets to increase the reach of tweets touting particularly awesome content, especially considering the life of a non-promoted tweet is so short!

Specify Campaign Duration and Budget

One of the final things you’ll need to do is decide on the length of your campaign. Your Promoted campaigns can either be ongoing, or you can choose to run them for just few days surrounding a big event or campaign.

You’ll also need to set your campaign’s daily budget, which can be adjusted according to your needs. Twitter will never exceed your daily budget, and both the duration and budget of your campaign can be changed at any time when your campaign is running.

Remember, Twitter’s advertising is priced on a Cost-Per-Engagement (CPE) basis, so you only pay when someone retweets, replies to, clicks, or favorites your Promoted Tweet. You can also set a maximum bid, which is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay per engagement (whenever a user clicks, retweets, @replies to, or favorites a tweet). Twitter will suggest a bid based on your daily budget, but the actual bid may vary throughout the day. 


twitter promoted tweet


Track Your Analytics

Congrats! You’re now ready to launch your campaign! Be sure to track the results of your Promoted campaigns — you can easily monitor the daily spend of each campaign in the Twitter ads interface. For a more in-depth look at which campaigns and tweets are performing the best, you can look in Twitter’s Ads Analytics for your account.


twitter promoted tweet


Regularly check the status of your campaigns and make any necessary changes to ensure you’re getting the most out of your Twitter advertising efforts. In addition to Twitter’s own analytics platform, use your marketing analytics to determine how your Twitter advertising efforts are contributng to leads and customers as well.

Be sure you’re updating the tweets you’re promoting often to keep your promotions fresh, engaging, and reflective of your overarching social media marketing goals. Are your tweets generating the results you want? If not, make some changes. Every business is different, and you’ll need to do some testing experimentation to see what works best for your company. And if Twitter advertising turns out to be a subpar tool for meeting your goals, turn it off and trying something else. Now you know. Good luck!

Read more:

This New Tool Could Be the Future of Measuring Sentiment on Social Media


Business owners might soon have a new way to interpret content on Twitter that’s related to their brand.

Emoto 2012 — a collaboration between U.K.-based digital art festival FutureEverything and MIT’s SENSEable City Lab — is a new tool that is being used to interpret the global response to the London Olympics. It analyzes tweets for both specific content and the emotions behind the text, and categorizes them as anywhere from extremely negative to enthusiastic.

The technology then illustrates the emotion in a tweet stream using a visual design to show the ebb and flow of emotion over time. The intensity of feeling of a tweet stream is represented by varying colors. Thicker lines and shapes represent, among several factors, how many tweets and how many people are tweeting about that topic.

For business owners, tracking user sentiment on social media can be valuable for understanding public perceptions of their brand or measuring the effectiveness of advertising and social media campaigns. While still in the early phases, Emoto is showing glimpses of how tools will be able to chart what people are actually feeling about a product, a brand or even an entire company.

Here are three reasons why it might be smart for marketers to keep an eye on the Emoto 2012 and other tools like it:

Related: 3 Ways to Make Your Social Media Efforts More Productive

1. Twitter isn’t providing analytics.
After nearly five years since the microblogging service launched, Twitter has yet to offer users access to statistics anywhere close to the statistical detail of packages like Google Analytics or Facebook Advertising. Anyone who’s interested in tracking the sentiment of tweets is forced to use Twitter’s search to look for happy or sad emoticons, which isn’t very effective.

Emoto showcases useful information that exists on Twitter, including metrics such as tweets-per-minute, and the overall mood and sentiment of how posters felt about a specific topic. The tool scans for topics, the amount of content and the syntax of the tweet. Information can be viewed in granular detail, in the aggregate or for each day of the games.

2. Existing sentiment-tracking tools aren’t getting the job done.
The analytics gap at Twitter has opened the door for third parties to create social media sentiment engines, including Canada-based Social Mention and paid services such as Twendz, from Seattle-based marketing firm Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. But services like these still offer painfully basic data.

Emoto, on the other hand, can show that response to a tweet can be much more subtle. Not simply a positive and negative sentiment, but a complex emotion behind the tweet stream can be inferred.

3. Emoto is just the first step.
Emoto 2012 shows that there is capability and promise for a simple, graphics-oriented social media tool that businesses can use to get a deep, relatively immediate picture of their online brand value. And the potential is there for tracking competing ideas and brands as well.

Given the growing interest in social media marketing, the Emoto 2012 is likely just the first step, and only one of many tools that will aim to provide a deeper understanding of social brands — hopefully eliminating the need to collect and manage every individual tweet.

Related: 3 Social Media Lessons from the Olympics

Blog at

Up ↑