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October 23, 2013


You spoke and the social media gods listened: you now have powerful new options for both customer service and for getting new eyes on your ads on social powerhouses Twitter and Facebook. These tools will make communication with your community faster – and easier— from both ends, as long as you’re prepared to use the new options.

The new options include changes to the Twitter and Facebook ad products that will help you specifically target the audience you want, and Twitter rolled out an outstanding option to streamline customer service. Follow along; we’ll break down the changes, why they matter and how they work.

Twitter Direct Messages

Old: Previously, users had to follow each other in order to speak privately.
New:Twitterers can opt-in to receiving Direct Messages (DM’s) from any other user. This option rolled out to a small group of verified accounts mid-2011, but it’s now open to all accounts across the platform.; DM’s can be sent to an account simply by following that account.

In making this switch, Twitter cleared a huge barrier to truly becoming the go-to social channel for customer service.

Why It Matters (and why YOU should use it):

  • Quicker service: Anyone can send businesses a message without waiting for them to follow back, creating a quicker feedback loop. When the account manager checks messages, they are no longer confronted with having the conversation “please follow us so we can DM you” over and over. And over. And over.
  • Efficient service: Because brands do not have to wait to receive DM’s until a mutual following is established, so high volume accounts can concentrate on responses instead of minutiae.
  • Keeps brands from being TOO personal: Previously, a brand HAD to follow you to respond via DM. This creates a frustrating experience from the brand side by needlessly driving up the following number and creating a feed clogged with users who were followed for service-related issues. Brands can be accessible without forcing them to act like an individual user.
  • Contest entries: This streamlines the process of collecting data from winners. Winning users can quickly and privately provide their information to the brand or business without online casino having to wait for a follow back.

How it works:
As long as 1. a user follows you and 2. you have your account set to receive DM’s from anyone, they can send your account a private DM without first having a mutual follower/following relationship.


This development is not without some possible snafu’s though. Spammers won’t be far behind, as unsolicited messaging has long been a bane of the platform. The new feature will certainly be tested by the resiliency of spammers; should you opt in to receiving DM’s, a best practice is not to click on ANY links sent to your account regardless of whom they are from.

Twitter Ads

Old: Back in the day (so, last week), if you wanted to promote a specific post, you had to wait until it went live to put money behind it. Translation: some poor account manager logging in nights, weekends and holidays to push previously-scheduled tweets into paid territory.
New: Twitter debuted scheduled tweets within their ad product, allowing marketers to set the details of their campaign in advance and manage the interaction between promoted tweets and regular content.

Why It Matters (and why YOU should use it):

  • Tighter control: The change allows advertising campaign content to be set up ahead of time, no longer requiring on-demand promotion; a small but critical piece in an overall campaign.
  • Easier campaign management: For those who promote the most recent tweets on an account simply to keep ad content fresh, it’s easier to pre-schedule targeted content instead of spending money promoting your general content.

How it Works:
Simply log in to the Twitter advertising platform and use the blue new tweet button on the top right to create and schedule a promoted tweet!


Facebook Ads

Old: Coversions – or relevant user actions like registering for a contest or shopping cart checkouts — as a result of an ad were tracked.
New: This new changes allows not only tracking, but placement of ads as well. Facebook handed (some of) its advertisers a powerful new tool that allows brands and businesses totarget users who have visited their website, even from actions taken while on the site, triggering an ad being displayed in their feed. Currently this targeting is only available to a “limited number of test partners” but will be available to more accounts in the coming months.

Why It Matters (and why YOU should use it):

  • Tighter targeting: It’s now possible to target users who have visited a specific site, started a purchase, sign-up form, email request etc. but stopped, or who have used their app in the past, showing them custom ads for the exact product or service that they were considering.
  • Better budgeting: These targeting tactics direct dollars at users who are further along the sales funnel than they would be with other types of targeting. Instead of trying to win unproven users, the audience has self-identified as interested in your brand or business already in a deeper sense beyond liking a page or having the product in their interest categories.

How it works
Marketers will need to install a custom pixel on their website that opens the flow of data between it and the Facebook ad platform. This new option is part of the custom audiences feature (which has multiple options detailed in the image below), and unlike current retargeting options in the FBX ad exchange, options are available on the desktop AND mobile platforms.


Be on the lookout for these changes. You should hop on board – quickly – to get the full benefit of these smarter, quicker ways to reach your audience.

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About the Author

Lou Perseghin

A listener first, Lou is highly organized and focused on the processes and strategies that keep our accounts (and clients) happy. He is currently ChatterBlast’s Account Director, with assistance from his pit bull Daisy, who is often found snoozing in sunspots around the office.

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