More than 50 percent of marketing decision makers believe that organisations should have both a CMO and a Chief Marketing Technologist (CMT), according to a recent study. Nearly three quarters of them believe more companies will begin hiring CMTs in the next five years. The undeniable truth is that…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Here’s a video showing you how we’re using FollowerWonk for our new startup, Cruiseable.

And why increasing your @contacts score is vital to your brand’s health

This is part two of a five-part series on “Rise of a startup: Cruiseable.” Today’s installment looks at how we’re using Followerwonk to increase Cruiseable’s footprint in social media. Also see:

Part 1: Great tech startups begin with a great development team

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, angel investors, venture capitalists, developers, businesses, innovators, educators, students, journalists, travel analysts.

Anyone who’s programming/scheduling social media updates or running social marketing campaigns for a startup knows that there’s a wealth of good tools out there. If anything, the field is oversaturated with too many choices.

One powerful tool that I think is underappreciated is Followerwonk, a tool from the geniuses at Moz, the inbound marketing software powerhouse, that lets you analyze, optimize and grow your Twitter following. It’s free for 30 days and then costs $149 per month unless you just register for a new free trial. 

Cruiseable score on Followerwonk

Andrew Kamphey, who runs a social marketing consultancy in Los Angeles, has been working with us since April, and we’ve grown Cruiseable’s Twitter following from 600 in April to 5,000 in July (when this instructional video was made) to more than 10,000 today. (Bonus for us: He’s worked in key posts aboard Royal Caribbean ships and has a great idea around the sharing economy for cruises.) Followers isn’t the ultimate metric on Twitter, but it’s one key indicator of whether a brand is gaining traction.

The #1 key metric you may be overlooking? @mentions

Well, the other week Andrew sent me a fascinating, unsolicited screencast about how Cruiseable is doing on FollowerWonk. And as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, we’ve decided to share it with you. (Remember, this was one month and 5,000 followers ago.)

Here are some of the learnings we’re squeezing out of FollowerWonk — you can likely tease out actionable insights for your brand as well:

• Followerwonk is the only free or low-cost tool that I know of that lets you search Twitter users’ bios for keywords. (I’m sure there are some higher-end paid tools that do this.) Bios offer many more relevant signals than random tweets when you want to zero in on influencers in your sector.

• Twitter doesn’t give you any native capability to look at which top influencers are following you and whom you’re cluelessly not following back. Followerwonk makes it super easy to see the rankings of your followers. For example, in only a few months’ time we had four followers with more than a million followers and another 10 with 500,000 to 1 million followers. Fortunately, we were following all of them, as well as thousands of folks throughout the long tail.

mapped-locations

• FollowerWonk gives you an at-a-glance heat map of where most of your followers are located. (We have a lot followers in Los Angeles, (as well as Miami, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Seattle and London.) And, importantly,it lets you drill down to the state, city, neighborhood and see who exactly is following you, so you can get a better sense of your online community.

“If you look at what real people are interested in and what they’re tweeting about, that’s gold.”
— Andrew Kamphey

“I have spent hours on the map alone,” Andrew says. “One, it gives you a good idea of where people are. Two, you can click on their profile and click on it and reach out to them. And third, you can find out what people tweet about at a micro-level. You can look at all the analytics in the world but that that doesn’t tell you what to tweet about. But if you look at what real people are interested in and what they’re tweeting about, that’s gold.”

• Probably the least understood value of Twitter is the ability to foster one-on-one interactions, rather than mass media announcements. Brands like Nike (95 percent), Moz (75 percent) and SproutSocial (68 percent) have been doing a stellar job of engaging their followers through these @contacts interactions. We’ve been upping our score considerably since Andrew pointed this out to us. I’ve never heard of @contacts, so I think Moz is combining @mentions and @replies and calling them @contacts.

Let’s see, what else?

• Like some other analytics tools (SEMrush, Compete.com), Followerwonk lets you see how your competitors are doing on Twitter with their followers.

• Followerwonk shows you the most active hours of your followers, which takes the guesswork out of deciding when to schedule your key tweets to get the most traction.

• Our Social Authority score was 41 last month; it stands at 52 now. More importantly, like any good analytics tool, it gives you a yardstick to see how you’re faring over time with regard to retweets, url mentions and those all-important @mentions.

Andrew makes the good point that you shouldn’t focus exclusively at the top of the Twitter food chain. All those folks with more than half a million followers get bombarded with retweet requests. A better strategy, he says, is to schmooze up those with 1,000 to 5,000 followers — your peers in the real sense of the word.

FollowerWonk isn’t perfect — it’s still unnecessarily geeky, and a month ago it showed our @contacts at 0.5% and today it says it’s at 79% (the truth is somewhere in between) — but it’s head and shoulders above other Twitter analytics tools in its class.

Next in this series: Glip and Disqus, a pleasant and unpleasant surprise.JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

Source: Social Media

Here’s a video showing you how we’re using FollowerWonk for our new startup, Cruiseable.

And why increasing your @contacts score is vital to your brand’s health

This is part two of a five-part series on “Rise of a startup: Cruiseable.” Today’s installment looks at how we’re using Followerwonk to increase Cruiseable’s footprint in social media. Also see:

Part 1: Great tech startups begin with a great development team

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, angel investors, venture capitalists, developers, businesses, innovators, educators, students, journalists, travel analysts.

Anyone who’s programming/scheduling social media updates or running social marketing campaigns for a startup knows that there’s a wealth of good tools out there. If anything, the field is oversaturated with too many choices.

One powerful tool that I think is underappreciated is Followerwonk, a tool from the geniuses at Moz, the inbound marketing software powerhouse, that lets you analyze, optimize and grow your Twitter following. It’s free for 30 days and then costs $149 per month unless you just register for a new free trial. 

Cruiseable score on Followerwonk

Andrew Kamphey, who runs a social marketing consultancy in Los Angeles, has been working with us since April, and we’ve grown Cruiseable’s Twitter following from 600 in April to 5,000 in July (when this instructional video was made) to more than 10,000 today. (Bonus for us: He’s worked in key posts aboard Royal Caribbean ships and has a great idea around the sharing economy for cruises.) Followers isn’t the ultimate metric on Twitter, but it’s one key indicator of whether a brand is gaining traction.

The #1 key metric you may be overlooking? @mentions

Well, the other week Andrew sent me a fascinating, unsolicited screencast about how Cruiseable is doing on FollowerWonk. And as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, we’ve decided to share it with you. (Remember, this was one month and 5,000 followers ago.)

Here are some of the learnings we’re squeezing out of FollowerWonk — you can likely tease out actionable insights for your brand as well:

• Followerwonk is the only free or low-cost tool that I know of that lets you search Twitter users’ bios for keywords. (I’m sure there are some higher-end paid tools that do this.) Bios offer many more relevant signals than random tweets when you want to zero in on influencers in your sector.

• Twitter doesn’t give you any native capability to look at which top influencers are following you and whom you’re cluelessly not following back. Followerwonk makes it super easy to see the rankings of your followers. For example, in only a few months’ time we had four followers with more than a million followers and another 10 with 500,000 to 1 million followers. Fortunately, we were following all of them, as well as thousands of folks throughout the long tail.

mapped-locations

• FollowerWonk gives you an at-a-glance heat map of where most of your followers are located. (We have a lot followers in Los Angeles, (as well as Miami, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Seattle and London.) And, importantly,it lets you drill down to the state, city, neighborhood and see who exactly is following you, so you can get a better sense of your online community.

“If you look at what real people are interested in and what they’re tweeting about, that’s gold.”
— Andrew Kamphey

“I have spent hours on the map alone,” Andrew says. “One, it gives you a good idea of where people are. Two, you can click on their profile and click on it and reach out to them. And third, you can find out what people tweet about at a micro-level. You can look at all the analytics in the world but that that doesn’t tell you what to tweet about. But if you look at what real people are interested in and what they’re tweeting about, that’s gold.”

• Probably the least understood value of Twitter is the ability to foster one-on-one interactions, rather than mass media announcements. Brands like Nike (95 percent), Moz (75 percent) and SproutSocial (68 percent) have been doing a stellar job of engaging their followers through these @mentions (as opposed to @replies). FollowerWonk calls these @contacts, though I’m not sure why. We’ve been upping our score considerably since Andrew pointed this out to us.

Let’s see, what else?

• Like some other analytics tools (SEMrush, Compete.com), Followerwonk lets you see how your competitors are doing on Twitter with their followers.

• Followerwonk shows you the most active hours of your followers, which takes the guesswork out of deciding when to schedule your key tweets to get the most traction.

• Our Social Authority score was 41 last month; it stands at 52 now. More importantly, like any good analytics tool, it gives you a yardstick to see how you’re faring over time with regard to retweets, url mentions and those all-important @mentions.

Andrew makes the good point that you shouldn’t focus exclusively at the top of the Twitter food chain. All those folks with more than half a million followers get bombarded with retweet requests. A better strategy, he says, is to schmooze up those with 1,000 to 5,000 followers — your peers in the real sense of the word.

FollowerWonk isn’t perfect — it’s still unnecessarily geeky, and a month ago it showed our @contacts at 0.5% and today it says it’s at 79% (the truth is somewhere in between) — but it’s head and shoulders above other Twitter analytics tools in its class.

Next in this series: Glip and Disqus, a pleasant and unpleasant surprise.JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

Almost half (49 percent) of those 18 to 29 in the US are now users of messaging apps, according to new survey data from the Pew Research Center. This compares to 36 percent of the total US smartphone population that uses them. Those findings come from the latest study on Americans’ use of…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

ela-coders-mill
Ela Goczyńska-Han, COO/Business Development Chief of Coders Mill, at the company’s table at the Launch Festival in San Francisco in March (Photo by JD Lasica).

This is part one of a five-part series on “Rise of a startup: Cruiseable.” Today’s installment looks at the decision to hire an overseas development team, Coders Mill.

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, angel investors, venture capitalists, developers, businesses, innovators, educators, students, journalists, travel analysts.

JD LasicaDuring the past 16 months, as longtime readers know (and this blog goes back a long way, to May 2001), I’ve gone full throttle into startup mode, working with my co-founder Giacomo Balli on a travel tech startup called Cruiseable. We’re out to make it much easier and more fun for people to discover, plan and book great cruise vacations.

Over that span, friends, colleagues and strangers have asked me to write about our journey. And while I don’t lay claim to unlocking major new business processes or media insights, I do think some of what we’re doing will be of interest to other entrepreneurs (current and aspiring), as well as journalists, innovators, analysts and anyone interested in how the travel tech and cruise worlds work.

Unlike most startups that come out of Greater Silicon Valley (which includes San Francisco, which now spawns more startups than the original Silicon Valley), we decided not to spin out a few prototypes, test them, iterate and move on to something else if things didn’t immediately click.

That approach doesn’t work if you’re setting your sites higher — and we’re out to bring some rockin’ new social and mobile innovation to the $38 billion cruise industry. So we spent the first few weeks not coding, but researching. Learning. Absorbing all kinds of reports about the connected traveler, millennial travelers and the next generation of collaborative and empowered travelers.

gretsky

The plumbing & development process come first

We decided to pursue Gretzky economics. Skate to where the puck’s gonna be.

Game plan in hand, target audiences identified and branding solidified (I managed to purchase the cruiseable.com domain a few months earlier), our next step was not to build out a team, or whip up some prototypes, or invest months of time in pursuit of angel investors who shared our vision of empowered travelers.

No. We began by finding a great development team that could help construct the basic scaffolding for Cruiseable.

The quality of overseas development houses has risen markedly in recent years, especially in Poland, Ukraine, Romania and elsewhere on the Continent

We knew we wanted to be a “mobile priority” startup. While the rest of the world is moving to mobile, discovering and booking cruises is chiefly done on the Web. So we decided to create a single database that would simultaneously feed both a mobile app and our website. Any action you take on the site would be instantly reflected on the app, and vice-versa.

We did it, and it’s very, very cool.

With that single-database, no-jerry-rigging requirement in mind, we looked around for a solid development house. My co-founder is an all-star mobile app developer, but Objective C for iOS is a completely different animal than Python, PHP, Joomla and all the other code bases and development frameworks out there. (And from my years as the chief executive of Ourmedia, I sure as heck knew we weren’t going with Drupal.)

We had a finite budget and big ambitions. The quality of overseas development houses has risen markedly in recent years, especially in Poland, Ukraine, Romania and elsewhere on the Continent. I had given a talk in Krakow, Poland, two summers ago on The Social Startup to a large audience of developers and entrepreneurs. So it didn’t take much convincing from Don Dodge of Google Ventures, one of our advisors, to point us to Coders Mill, whose CEO put on the conference I spoke at.

Settling on Python and a development process

After several deep dives into our vision for the site and app, we agreed that Python was the most industrial-strength programming language and code base that could scale to thousands and eventually millions of users.

We’ve developed quite a relationship. Giacomo has flown to Krakow and met with the team, and the Coders Mill COO, Ela Goczyńska-Han, flew to San Francisco in March to meet with me and attend the Launch Festival. (In fact I introduced Ela to Launch founder and longtime friend Jason Calacanis.)

Scrum methodology

The language barrier reared up once or twice early on (my Polish is limited to the occasional Na zdrowie), but it was really just a communication rhythm that we needed to establish. The developers’ English is quite good. We’ve been using Trello as our project management system, to good effect, supplemented by emails and monthly “sprint calls” over Skype, where we discuss the deliverables for them to tackle in the next sprint. (In fact, the latest one just ended, at 2:30 am, a few minutes ago.)

We use Moqups as a prototyping tool, a beta site before pushing code to production, Google docs for listing and checking off tasks, Github as our code repository, Linode as our hosting service, toggl for tracking hours, and Scrum as our incremental agile software development method. (Hey, after working at Microsoft and at three startups, I actually know what all this stuff does. And it’s awesome.)

Oh, and I’ve been using Bank of America quite a bit to wire funds to Krakow, until we find the right set of angel investors who have the insight to join us on our quest for world domination. (Here’s our impressive team — more on them, and other tools we use, and the launch of Cruiseable, in our next installment.)

Would I recommend Coders Mill to other startups? Yes. It’s always good to work shoulder to shoulder with your developers, but when funds are limited, a development house like Coders Mill is a life saver.JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

Source: Social Media