A poem, algorithmically made from [my] tweets.
A poem, algorithmically made from [my] tweets.
Lead generation cards are free to use and set up.
This is how you do it.
Regular readers of this website will know that every Friday I put up a collection of the five most interesting things I’ve seen that week.
The posts, imaginatively entitled ‘Five things on Friday‘, are relatively popular. So much so that recently I decided I’d turn them into a weekly newsletter, so that a) folk can get the good stuff delivered to their inbox and b) I could learn how to do it.
And how am I going to get subscribers for this newsletter? From the lead-gen Twitter card!
What is a Lead Generation Twitter Card? Twitter itself expresses the definition thus:
Twitter Cards let you bring rich experiences and useful tools to users within an expanded Tweet. The Lead Generation Card makes it easy for users to express interest in what your brand offers. Users can easily and securely share their email address with a business without leaving Twitter or having to fill out a cumbersome form.
And they look a little bit like this –
Fancy, right? It’s a one-click sign up. EASY.
What I’m going to walk you through today is how to set up not only how to set up lead-gen Twitter cards but also linking them to a Mailchimp mailing list and WordPress blog feed.
I’m good to you.
First, go to Twitter. Well, not strictly speaking. You need to go to ads.twitter.com.
EDIT: THIS HAS NOW CHANGED
Before you can see the screen below, you will need to enter your credit card details. Twitter will no longer let you create Lead Gen cards (or Website Cards for that matter) without your credit card details.
I’ve entered mine and have steered VERY CLEAR of hitting the ‘promote’ button.
Without entering these details you will not be able to see the buttons demonstrated from this point onwards.
Sign in with your Twitter account (you don’t need to be an advertiser to do this), click on ‘Creatives’ in the top nav, and then ‘Cards’, hit the big blue Create Lead Generation Card button on the right and you’re away.
Finish that bit and you’re pretty much ready to go with your first Lead Gen Twitter Card.
Hurrah and hurrah again.
You probably want to do a bit more once you’ve got those lovely email addresses. If, like me, you [want to] run your mailing lists through Mailchimp, then this is what you need to do next.
If you scroll down a bit on your lead-gen card page, you’ll see a ‘Data settings (optional)’ section. This is where you add in your Mailchimp id details.
Go to your Lists section, click on the drop down arrow (next to Stats) and head to ‘Sign Up Forms’, then ‘Form Integrations’, and then – oh look, here are the bits you need for your Twitter Card.
And that’s it, you’re done. Anyone that clicks on your Lead-Gen Twitter Card ‘Sign Me Up!’ button will have their email address delivered into your Mailchimp mailing list.
This part had me going around in circles for a good couple of hours and y’know what? It’s EASY. Go download a plugin called ‘AutoChimp’, boot that up, and pick what tag/category you want to publish (again, for me it’s ‘5things’) and that’s it – you’re done!
It’s not a short process but it’s a relatively simple one.
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Things of note for the week ending May 30th, 2014.
1. ‘Super Important Tweet’
I first found out about this web app via the always interesting Web Curios newsletter. Basically, the premise is that you can add ‘importance’ to a tweet by creating a text-based-image that you can embed in your tweet which subsequently hammers home the importance of what it is you’re trying to say.
However, what it actually does is allow you to create a perfectly sized image for Twitter. That’s right brands, a simple web app now does that thing you all seem incapable of doing.
2. Ocean Piglets, Shield Toads, and Naked Snails
Aka, how to name animals in German. I used to study German at school and while I’m not a big one for publishing infographics on this here blog of mine, there’s no harm in linking to one.
Seriously, this is brilliant.
3. Beautiful Brands on Instagram
The value of branded activity on Instagram is still very much a point of argument amongst the marketing folk of today. Does it drive any meaningful value? Can you actually measure anything? Why are we bothering? – are all questions that float around when this comes up for discussion, and you really have to know your onions to formulate a decent response.
If you don’t know your onions and want to know more about how Instagram can ‘work’ for brands, the blog of those folk at Nitrogram is a good place to start. There’s a ton of stuff to read up on and, if you’re looking for inspiration, they’re latest post isn’t a bad read at all.
4. Faking Cultural Literacy
It’s not lying, exactly, when we nod knowingly at a cocktail party or over drinks when a colleague mentions a movie or book that we have not actually seen or read, nor even read a review of. There is a very good chance that our conversational partner may herself be simply repeating the mordant observations of someone in her timeline or feed. The entire in-person exchange is built from a few factoids netted in the course of a day’s scanning of iPhone apps. Who wants to be the Luddite who slows everything down by admitting he has never actually read a Malcolm Gladwell book and maybe doesn’t exactly understand what is meant by the term “Gladwellian” — though he occasionally uses it himself?
This, from the New York Times, is remarkably spot on.
Go read it.
The final paragraph is a knock-out.
5. Gorgeous Art, at High Speed
Made to been seen at high speeds, these colorful patterns form a sequential whole for commuters whizzing by at top speed. Dubbed ‘Psycholustro’, the artist (Katharina Grosse) created the work as a way to ‘engage everyday travelers with a project that addresses their in-motion perspective and the passage of time’ (more at the source).
I think it’s awesome and, bizarrely enough, similar to an idea I had for the Channel Tunnel when I was nine years old.
It’s OK, I’m pretty sure she didn’t copy me.
This Google Trend chart goes some way to proving the hunch that I’ve been harbouring for some time that Twitter’s UK growth explosion was kick-started by a Mr Ryan Giggs.
When the front page of every newspaper isn’t allowed to say a certain someone’s name (but can happily point readers online to where its freely available) it’s no wonder that interest in Twitter shot up at this time. Furthermore, given the social network’s recent slowdown in user acquisition, one can’t help wondering if another useless celebrity gagging order is exactly what it needs.
Scandal drives the global gossip engine. Who knew?
Twitter has quietly launched new markup documentation for twitter cards…
And brands should take note. Why? Let’s start at the top –
Twitter cards are a fairly recent addition to the Twitter suite of tools that allow richest media content (images, videos, and blog post previews – or ‘photo’, ‘player’, and ‘summary’ respectively) to be displayed in-stream. Launched last year with a few partners such as The New York Times and WWE, these expanded Tweets are another way for publishers to engage with Twitters in a more meaningful way.
Since June last year, Twitter has slowly released this functionality both as new partnerships with other media houses; and as developer documentation for others to add to their own websites and blogs.
It’s simple: Twitter cards enable a preview (or in some cases a full view) of the content linked to in the Tweet. This means users of the official Twitter client can consume content without leaving the app and, if they do have to click out, they have a better understanding of what they’re about to engage with.
Overnight, Twitter launched three more variations of the Twitter card on top of their ex: App, Gallery, and Product.
The first two work as follows –
This one shows information about an app; including the app name, icon, description and other details such as the rating or price. If your app is in the AppleApp Store or Google Play, then the corresponding information there can be pulled in accordingly.
Result? More app downloads, hurrah!
This new card represents an album or a collection of photographs via a preview of the photo gallery. This card indicates to a Twitter user that a gallery has been shared, as opposed to just one individual photo.
Result? More imagery = more engaging = increased CTR.
That’s all well and good, but it’s this next third one that I find most interesting:
The Twitter product card can represent different products by showing an image and description, along with up to two customisable fields that let you display more details like price or ratings.
On both web and mobile, it would look something like this –
Result? MORE. SALES. It’s that simple.
In short: this is fantastic.
This basically says that brands can now, with a simple piece of html markup, preview actual products, for purchase, including reviews and/or pricing information into their followers’ Twitter streams. Combine that with some decent tracking and you finally have what looks like a decent social sales ecosystem.
Think about that for a second; instead of ‘Hey! Look at this thing we’ve launched! [link]’, you now get ‘Hey! Look at this thing we’ve launched [image] + [price]’.
We’re already talking to our clients about getting this markup integrated into their websites’ product pages, and we’ve got a funny feeling a few of you might be too.
Exciting times indeed.
Just over a week ago now, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US ruled that ads in Twitter (or paid for/sponsored Tweets) need to follow the same basic requirements as the rest of the advertising world, eg: they need some fine print.
To prevent consumers being misled by their favourite celebrity, for example, sponsored social media must now be sure to include an explanation of sorts that explains that the content in question is paid for.
There are two kinds of responses to this ruling:
Response 1 (the dumb response):
“Oh my God?! Are you guys NUTS?! SMALL PRINT?! ON A TWEET?! WHAT? Does the FTC have any ideas as to what they’re talking about?! We’ve only got 140 characters to work with here! COME. ON!”
The FTC clearly state ‘Disclosures must be clear enough that they aren’t “misleading a significant minority of reasonable consumers. If a company can’t find a way to make its disclosure fit the constraints of social or mobile ad, it needs to change the ad copy so that it doesn’t require a disclosure.’
So we move on –
Response 2 (the smart response):
“Oh, you mean sticking ‘#ad’ on the end of paid-for content? Yeah, sure. We can do that. In fact it makes sense and hell, it’s only three characters; that actually helps us!”
What’s great about this ruling is that they’ve been very clear about what does and what does not constitute ‘full disclosure’ and – to my mind at least – settles a long-standing argument over what is the best way to signal a Tweet is an ad.
Here in the UK both #spon and #ad are accepted or ‘recommended’ ways to indicate that the social media content you’re consuming is paid for. It’s something that I personally disagree with; #spon is too esoteric and doesn’t actually mean anything to the every day Twitter user. #Ad not only makes it clear what it is you’re looking at but it also uses less characters too. The FTC are in agreement:
‘Consumers might not understand that “#spon” means that the message was sponsored by an advertiser. If a significant proportion of reasonable viewers would not, then the ad would be deceptive.’
In short, when paying for tweets: #ad good, #spon bad.
The full PDF from the FTC is available to download and, aside from being essential reading to every US-based social media practitioner, is actually a really insightful read and well recommended for anyone looking for a basic understanding of what is and what is not possible when it comes to the world of paid-for social media content.
I would especially recommend taking a look at ‘Example 17’ in the appendix to firmly understand the nuances involved when dealing with celebrity endorsements.