60 Twitter Tools to Track Tweets

One of the great things about the Internet is how many good natured folks freely offer the fruits of their labor to help others – albeit total strangers.

We’ve been working with several clients to bake in and build their tweeting efforts into a more comprehensive communications platform and came across this great list 60 Twitter Tools to Track Tweets!

Hope it helps you.

Many thanks Jim!


The Marketing Lessons of Politics

Did you catch this article, Grim Voter Mood Turns Grimmer – Pessimism Rises on Economy and War; Bad Reviews for Both Democrats and GOP in last week’s Wall Street Journal?

No one likes either party and is sick of all politicians. Nothing new here. However, if I were running for office today, my vision and mission would be based on communicating a simple three point message platform:

“No Tax Increases, Smaller Government and Cut Government Waste.”

Three simple points that would resonate with people.

Three simple points that are meaningful, measurable and doable.

One thing we can all agree on is that we’re overtaxed and government is not a good steward of our hard earned money. Lots of pain here.

I’d promise to reallocate all savings in government waste to fill any service holes in the system and/or use to improve infrastructure (drive job growth), safety, etc.

And, I’d bet I’d make some noise and possibly win.

Sure there’s a bunch of other tactical things I’d need to do to win such as raising money, recruiting staff and volunteers, creating communications literature, building mailing lists, media ads and interviews, creating and posting yard signs and billboards, and doorbell ringing, however it all starts with your strategy, your story, your message, your brand promise.

Remember, people don’t join causes, people join people with causes.

What hope and ideals and lofty goals are you promising to deliver?

It’s all about customer service and delivering on your promise.

So, I ask you, “What are the key pain points of your customers and prospects?”

Do you have a clear brand messaging platform to address their pain?

Can you list three key meaningful and measurable communication points to craft a rock solid messaging platform?

Politicians like any brand need a clear, unique, appealing message, delivered consistently over time to win. And, to get re-elected, politicians and brands need to deliver on the promises they made to their customers.

What’s your message? Are you delivering on it?

The 24/7 microwaved news and social media world has changed our times forever.

There are no guarantees that incumbent politicians and brands will win as easily as the did in the past, which is good news for all of us.


You Can’t Make Friends in a Crisis

In business life as in your personal life you’re going to screw up.  It’s a given. You’re going to fail.  You’re going to miss a detail, break a commitment and not keep a promise.  Deliberate or not, you’re going to blow it some day, some how, some way. It’s bound to happen and it will hurt your business, cripple it or close it.

So what do you do?  Make friends and sincerely work hard to become part of the fabric of the communities in which you do business…NOW!

From a media relations standpoint, the BP Oil Crisis in the Gulf has been a complete disaster and a case study of what not to do in a crisis that will be taught in university public relations classes for decades.

My personal 100% boycott of BP started at the very beginning of the crisis – although I started to reduce my purchases over the past year (see Why Southwest Airlines Rocks).

However,  as a marketer I’ve paid close attention to their crisis communications efforts and thought to myself, “Why should I support them when they’ve done nothing to support my community.”

Should I? No.  Would you?  No. Not now…too late.

But then BAM! Last week my local Pittsburgh BP puts a banner on its road sign declaring, “This location independently owned and operated by EZ Energy USA.”

Again, I ask myself, “Why should I support EZ Energy USA when they’ve done nothing to support my community.” They’re quite happy to hide quietly behind BP’s logo when they’re raking in tons of cash and not reinvesting in the community, but when times are a little rocky they want me to support them because they’re supposedly my neighbor?

Should I? No.  Would you?  No. Not now…too late.

I mean who is EZ Energy? Where are they located? What are the names and faces behind the company? What do they stand for, who have they helped?

These days you reap what you sow in today’s marketing arena.  Yes, you might gain in the short term by only thinking about your own bank account instead of the greater good, but &^%$ happens.  And, when the ^%$# hits the fan, look out.

For me, I’ll drive a block or two to get my gas from my local Sunoco owned by a nice family, or to GetGo locally owned and operated by Giant Eagle run by the Shapira family – great people – locally involved and/or if I’m on a regional highway maybe Sheetz another great family that respects the communities in which they do business.

This is not to say that BP and/or EZ Energy aren’t involved in my local community, but if they are they’re keeping it a secret.

A great case study to follow to lessen the blow that a crisis can make on your business (self inflicted or not) is McDonald’s during the Rodney King race riots in LA in 1992.  The riots left 52 people dead and 2,000 buildings destroyed and $1 billion in property damage. With all of the looting, fires and destruction, not one of the 30 McDonald’s was touched.

Why? Based on a long term vision of founder Ray Kroc who believed in a “trust-bank” philosophy of giving back to the communities McDonald’s does business in, the local owner/operators’ investment in being involved, committed and visible community partners paid off. See: America’s Hamburger Helper, Time Magazine, 6.29.92.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”Santayana


My Sorry Chat with Comcast

For the past few weeks, my office internet speed has been giving me fits. My connection speed at times has fluctuated from its top speed (yes – I pay extra for a faster connection) to as slow as dial-up (I have an on screen monitor) and has disconnected my staff and me from time to time.

So, I decided to give Comcast Live Chat a try – it’s more convenient than making a call for me and I’m sure more profitable for Comcast.

When you check out the Chat session I had last week with Comcast my internet provider (see below), a few glaring issues should bubble up.

1. Note the overabundance of apologies

2. How about having the audacity to try to sell me something – a disgruntled customer –  when he/she is in the middle of trying to solve a problem

3. What’s the deal with doing maintenance during peak hours – 4PM EST – even she get’s disconnected from me

4. Why should they ask me to call back and go through their voice prompts, go on hold etc., when they haven’t solved my problem, THEY should call ME back at a convenient time that’s best for ME

If companies would simply invest more in their systems and build better products on the front end, they’d be amazed at how much money they’d save (be more profitable) by saving on deal riddled advertising and customer care.

Their word of mouth referral business would go through the roof. I’d like to meet one person who has raved about their internet provider’s service.

Net – I’m researching Verizon’s FIOS.

user stephen_ has entered room

Stephen(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:40:25 GMT-0400 (EST))>

internet speed is dragging  - at times as slow asdial-up -
been going on for 4 weeks - off and on

analyst Annie has entered room

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:40:47 GMT-0400 (EST))>

Hello stephen_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support.
My name is Annie. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:41:03 GMT-0400 (EST))>

I'm sorry if this has caused you inconvenience in any way.
I am happy to have you on this chat to be of service to you.
We remain committed in providing you with the best customer service.
I can certainly assist you with your internet.

stephen_(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:41:33 GMT-0400 (EST))>


Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:41:44 GMT-0400 (EST))>

You are most welcome.

stephen_(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:42:58 GMT-0400 (EST))>

any thoughts on why my connection is dragging slow?

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:43:25 GMT-0400 (EST))>

I am sorry to know that you are getting a slow internet connection,

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:43:37 GMT-0400 (EST))>

I would be glad to assist you with your internet problem.

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:43:43 GMT-0400 (EST))>

Let me first pull up your account. Please verify your account number,
full name and the last four digits of your SSN.

stephen_(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:44:49 GMT-0400 (EST))>

dont have account number with me - name is Stephen Wayhart,
company BrandMill - XXXX

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:45:04 GMT-0400 (EST))>

Thank you for that information.

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:45:15 GMT-0400 (EST))>

Please give me one moment to pull up your account.

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:45:21 GMT-0400 (EST))>

While waiting, please allow me to take this oppurtunity
to share with you one of the main features that you can
get with Comcast which is our online site,
http://www.fancast.com. It offers full television episodes,
full-length feature films, trailers and video clips to
both Comcast subscribers and non-subscribers. If you missed
out on your favorite TV shows, you do not need to
worry next time. Certainly you will enjoy this feature
as another innovation, only from Comcast.

stephen_(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:48:45 GMT-0400 (EST))>


Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:49:18 GMT-0400 (EST))>

Thank you for patiently waiting, Stephen.

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:49:25 GMT-0400 (EST))>

I apologize for the delay.

stephen_(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:49:48 GMT-0400 (EST))>


Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:50:11 GMT-0400 (EST))>

I am sorry but the system is slow right now.

analyst Annie has been temporarily disconnected.
Please wait while the analyst attempts to reconnect.

analyst Annie has entered room

stephen_(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:50:53 GMT-0400 (EST))>


Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:51:33 GMT-0400 (EST))>

I do apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused you,

Annie(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:53:12 GMT-0400 (EST))>

I do apologize that  our tool is not available at the moment
since it is currently under weekly maintenance. But don’t worry,
there is an account set up for you already, it's just that
the password is not accessible yet.  If it is okay with you,
you can chat back with us after two to four hours, when
the maintenance is completed. I will make a priority note
on your account that you will need your internet service.
That way, when you call or chat back with us, it will be
given to you right away. You are a valued customer so I
will tag it as a top priority. Again, I really apologize
for this inconvenience. But rest assured that after two to
four, you will have your internet service.

stephen_(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:54:20 GMT-0400 (EST))>


stephen_(Tue Jul 27 2010 15:57:39 GMT-0400 (EST))>