How to Tweet in Prime Time (2/2)

To exploit scheduled publication on Twitter when there is the maximum audience, SocialBro allows export of the “Best time to tweet” report to the Buffer App, a simplified alternative to HootSuite. Buffer can also be used with the analytical tool Tweriod, a simplified alternative to SocialBro. As an alternative to all these, Timely brings together, in a single tool, the analytical and scheduled publication functions.

In a previous post (8 March 2012) I wrote about how SocialBro allows export of its prime time analysis of our Twitter community or account. I focused on exporting to HootSuite, one of the most commonly used professional tools for scheduling publication of messages in social media. These tools tend to be used professionally, but their free versions can also be used to combine this analysis and scheduling.

How to automate Twitter and Facebook using the free Buffer app. Video tutorial [YouTube, 5’50” by Sozbun] on scheduling publication on Twitter and Facebook with Buffer App. 

While HootSuite is a more powerful and versatile tool for scheduling in social media, Buffer has a simple and intuitive interface: it is easier to understand and handle. This is also true for exporting the “Best time to tweet” report from SocialBro:  for HootSuite we need to produce a batch file, while with Buffer the procedure is simple. Buffer’s main limitation is the number of messages we can publish and schedule. Also, with the free version of Buffer, we can only manage one Twitter account and another in Facebook and LinkedIn, while we can use HootSuite with up to 5 accounts and in more social media (MySpace, FourSquare and WordPress).

SocialBro + Buffer, the simple but complete option

Focusing on the free versions for publishing on Twitter, Buffer is good for those who have to manage just one account, and who don’t tweet too often (maximum 3 a day) or schedule too many (maximum 10). To publish or schedule more, manage more accounts or do so within a working group, there are pay options for Buffer but, if we pay for complex management functions, I think what HootSuite offers is clearly better, although I would like you to add comments on your opinions about this.

For those who only manage one Twitter account, publishing and scheduling few tweets, we could consider using Tweriod, an analytical alternative to SocialBro which can also work with Buffer. SocialBro bring together an impressive group of complex and advanced analyses, while Tweriod does only one thing but does it well: it analyses the time when we have the maximum audience from our followers.

As with all the tools mentioned, we need to register in Tweriod from our Twitter account, and give them permission to access our list of followers and their messages. We also have to give them access to Direct Messages (DM) and follow them so they can send us the reports privately (Twitter only allows DMs to be sent between reciprocal followers), although there is also the option to receive them by e-mail.

Finally, and as the simplest option currently available, Timely brings together both functions in a single application: it analyses and schedules our tweets. You can consult this video by Resonance Media.

Correction of the English version by Shirley Burgess. Read the original Spanish version.
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Online media is eroding the use of conventional media

A previous post was “Advertising is suffocating conventional media“, based on the decrease in advertising and the growing competition of online media, reflected in the yearly report of the Spanish company InfoAdex. This drastic reduction of paying for advertising has been clearly explained in the survey published by the Spanish Association for Investigation of Communication Media (AIMC), “Internet, en medio de los medios” [Internet, in the middle of the media], since 2010. Without going into the quantitative data of the OJD, which controls and gives information on publications (and has made the jump to the new digital media), the AIMC studies focus on the Spanish habits of accessing the media online.

Note: All data refers to the Spanish market, read the Spanish version at Correction of the English version by Shirley Burgess

A little over half (54%) of Spaniards with access to the Internet watch TV both on and offline at least once a month, according to the survey carried out by AIMC between October and November 2011, published last month; almost one in five (18%) do it daily. According to another survey by AIMC, carried out between May and June 2011, the habits for reading newspapers follow a similar trend, although the impact of online media is greater: monthly, 59% read both the conventional and online newspaper, and almost one in three (32%) do it every day.

Video, 7’39”, on the evolution of communication media, by Salma Tabanji and Erik González, as a final postgraduate project for the “Sistemas de Información de la Empresa” course at the Venezuela Universidad Central. 

Of the Spaniards who do not watch TV online (57%) most have never done it, or even thought about it, while one in five (20%) don’t watch TV online because of their slow connection (an obstacle which is tending to disappear). The reasons given by those who don’t read the press online are cultural and generational (“you don’t enjoy reading as much”), although technological obstacles, which are gradually disappearing, also appear: “on paper you can read anywhere”.

Most of those who watch TV off and online continue to spend the same time watch the conventional TV (72%), but almost three in ten (28%) say they watch less. The change to digital media is more advanced in the case of the press, as only 42% who read it both off and online state they have not reduced the amount the read the printed press.

More online, less conventional

However, the average net surfer is a great reader of the printed press (2.1 different newspapers a day, compared to 2.9 online). The majority of replies of those who read the press as much in print as online comment on their complementarity: they prefer to read “editorials”, “comments” and “in-depth reports” on paper, while online is preferred for “current news” and “additional information to make decisions on what to buy”. Those who only read the press online give economic reasons for their preference, using it as a press library (“I can find older news items”) and for “personalising the newspaper”.

The total amount of time Spanish surfers watch TV online is slightly more than one in 10 minutes (11%), mainly at home (96%) and preferably using a laptop (38%) or desktop (28%), but online TV viewing on the mobile is now 11%. The most popular is with streaming, at 68% of the total time. Most of those who only watch TV online don’t have a conventional TV (88%, the report does not state whether this is a voluntary decision, or if it is for a deficiency which explains why they only watch TV online) and the rest – 12% – have stopped watching their television.

The laptop is also, by far, the most used device for reading the press online (66.9%), however, the use of mobiles is much higher than that registered for watching TV online. Despite the survey being carried out six months earlier, between May and June 2011, 16.6% of Spaniards who read newspapers online used their mobile phones, and 4.5%, a tablet.

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Android 4: Three pieces of good news and one bad

It’s been months coming, but now mobiles with the new version of Android (4.0, baptised before its birth as ICS, Ice Cream Sandwich) are beginning to appear, as well as upgrades for earlier versions. The bad news is the difficulty of applying these upgrades to some smartphones, including those released last year. But to compensate, there are at least three pieces of good news:

  1. It’s features are similar to the impressive services of the iOS of Apple and the iPad/iPhone/iPod devices
  2. It unifies the system for different brands of smartphone and tablet
  3. It consolidates the appearance on the market of a new generation of tablet, at a very competitive price (the simplest are more or less between €100 and €300).

Two minute announcement of what Android 4 offers, published mid-October, 2011. You can access the official presentation, lasting a little more than half an hour.
Note: Most of the data refers to the Spanish market, read the Spanish version at Correction of the English version by Shirley Burgess

Combining the Android nucleus is more than a minor hitch; it is, in fact, one of the main causes of the updating problems which particularly affect certain smartphones rather than tablets. The standardisation is far from certain. Android is the base for opening up the real potential for the user, the apps and widgets. In addition, each manufacturer will continue to add an intermediate layer of software to personalise their devices. You can argue that free and healthy competition stimulates innovation and improvements, but the ROMs personalised by independent developers appear to demonstrate the opposite (see the end of this post). The variety of manufacturers, one of the factors involved in the current success of the Android platform, could end up being one of its main disadvantages unless the open source is retained or a minimum consensus is reached.

Among the main improvements introduced in the new, unified version is the speed for graphic information and multimedia, web browsing and multitasking (various processes, applications, windows and documents can be opened at the same time). It’s increasingly closer to giving the user the fluidity and amazing features of the iOs platform. Management of the memory, file synchronisation and copies of the system are also considerable, and with less drain on the battery. And, no less significant, the user interface is even simpler and more intuitive.

Problems with updating smartphones

In November 2011, the manufacturers happily announced their updates, but the first upgrade which appeared on the market – for Google Nexus S – had to be withdrawn because of problems with the life of the battery. Soon after, Samsung officially communicated it was suspending the upgrade of its Galaxy S because of lack of memory. The reasons given are not in line with the improvements of the new version, so there was more likely a lack of forward planning by the manufacturers when it came to the minimum requirements of the models sold as “upgradable”.

There are more rumours than hard facts. The best thing is to visit the official site of the manufacturer (e.g. Samsung, LG, SonyEricsson and HTC), the supplier you bought it from (MoviStar, Vodafone, OrangeYoigo, Ono, or a chain such as The Phone House), or go to the shop if they are not online. Find out about the possibility of upgrading your device, or, as long as your contract or the advertising gives you the option, either changing it for one which can be upgraded or getting your money back.

There are also serious doubts about the compatibility of some Apps developed for previous systems: when it is upgraded, the developer is free to decide on incompatibilities. Don’t just launch ahead with upgrading your operative system. First ensure that you won’t lose your preferred applications.

For those unlucky ones who like playing with digital photos but cannot upgrade, don’t worry, try the free application which, until now, was a privilege of Apple users: Instagram. It was first released for smartphones with minimum Android 2.2 (requires OpenGL ES 2) and now also works for tablets. In a statement made to “Engadget” the company confirmed that it had the “exact same filters and algorithms” as the iOS version.

Official upgrade or to root

If in the end you decide to upgrade, remember to first make a security copy of the whole system (or at least a final synchronisation), both of your actual nucleus and any installed Apps. You can always download these again, as long as they are still available, but you will lose any personalisation. And save stored data, in particular the latest versions of your agenda, contacts and messages (SMS, e-mail, chats, WhatsApp, Viber-Tango-Skype, etc).

Be very careful with following the recommendations to modify the original ROM: think about it first. This is another contradiction of Android. There are ROMs from independent developers which are better than the official ones but, apart from the security risks, are also a violation of the terms of the contract and guarantee. In my opinion, it’s not a good idea, unless security is not important in your communications or your guarantee has run out. If you decide to do it, you need help and advice from somebody in the know who you trust (if necessary, look for a recognised professional).

If you go for the official upgrade, and are one of the fortunate who can, the process is very simple. Bear in mind that you cannot use the phone while upgrading, and, before starting, check the battery is fully charged, or, even better, plugged in to the mains, to make sure this process is not interrupted. It is also advisable to be connected to WiFi, because the amount of data to download is usually considerable. In principle, your phone should be configured to detect the availability of official upgrades. If not, from the “Menu” go to “Settings” and select the “About phone” option, then the “Systems updates” option. After that, you just need to follow the instructions on your screen.

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How to Tweet in Prime Time (1/2)

SocialBro is an application which analyses and manages Twitter accounts and communities. A new function combines analysis of your times of maximum audience with the publication of messages programmed for specific days and times, offered by HootSuite, an application for publishing in Twitter and other social networks. The new version of SocialBro has been released for Adobe AIR 3.1 and as an extension for the Chrome navigator.

If you use HootSuite for programmed publication of messages in Twitter, you’ll be interested in SocialBro’s new function which allows export of its analysis of the best times and days to send messages to reach your maximum audience with the maximum impact. HootSuite is one of the most frequently used applications for scheduling publication of messages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks, as well as WordPress (leading content manager, especially for publishing blogs). HootSuite has advanced functions such as structured team collaboration in managing various accounts, follow-up on trends, result and impact analyses of messages and campaigns, and rapid correction or redefinition of them, in all social networks.

 Using HootSuite and SocialBro together allows you to publish in Twitter to your maximum audience
Using HootSuite and SocialBro together allows you to publish in your Twitter prime time

The new SocialBro function is of particular interest for marketing departments and agencies which handle complex campaigns and/or multiple Twitter accounts using the professional version of HootSuite. But it is also for those professionals and small companies who use the free version, which can manage up to 5 social network accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Page, LinkedIn, MySpace and FourSquare). For it to work with HootSuite, you create a text file or spreadsheet with up to 50 messages, and a maximum of 200 scheduled for publication. Even though you can publish tweets directly using SocialBro or HootSuite, it is best to use the appropriate programmes (to process text or spreadsheets) to create a batch file.

Innovation in the “Best time to tweet” report

With the innovation introduced in SocialBro, you don’t need to specify when to publish to the largest number of followers in Twitter: it is automatically calculated. SocialBro has implemented a new algorithm in their “Best time to tweet” report . The user has to choose which days of the week to tweet, the number of tweets each day and the minimum time between each. Then it is just a case of pasting the batch file of previously created messages.

Also interesting in the SocialBro report on how to identify the “prime time” of your tweets is its flexibility when defining the object of the analysis: up to now it could be used for a users account, but now it can also be used for any search (thematic or hashtag) or by list of users.

Other new highlights in SocialBro

SocialBro has also simplified its procedure for adding users to a list, which is the usual way to group and organise users on Twitter. Each account can have up to 20 lists with a maximum of 500 users in each. The new SocialBro version also adds two new filters to the advanced search function, Advanced Syntax: time zone and language. It already had a language filter, but the new one allows you to combine different languages in a single search.

Correction of the English version by Shirley Burgess. Read the original Spanish version.
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