#60: The Future of Vanity Metrics with Tamara Tanney

The Future of Vanity Metrics with Tamara Tanney

Episode Summary

In this episode, Tamara Tanney and I talk about the recent move by Twitter and other social media platforms to hide vanity metrics, such as likes and retweets.

We suggest tactics to offset the shift, including increasing daily engagement. And we talk about vanity metrics in relation to viral content, organic growth, and community building.

Listen in Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Stitcher, Overcast, iHeartRadio and Spotify.

This podcast episode is brought to you by the #TwitterSmarter Twitter chat. Each week, I host this chat and bring together hundreds of people in an active one-hour discussion revolving around Twitter marketing. It’s every Thursday at 1 p.m. E.T. Hope to see you there!

Guest Biography

Tamara Tanney is a digital marketer and founder of Marketing Millennial, an agency specializing in social media, content creation, and creative strategy. Over the years, she has made it her mantra to constantly keep learning. She is one of the regulars on my weekly #TwitterSmarter chat, and she’s always sharing helpful insights.

Episode Highlights

Tamara Tanney’s tips on social media metrics:

  • Let your content speak for itself: Share valuable, helpful content – not content you think will give you more likes and followers.
  • Create content that you love.
  • Engage with people on social media. (Do more than like or retweet posts: Talk to people. Provide an opinion, feedback.)
  • Be conversational. Be yourself.
  • Build a community by engaging with people. One way to do this is by participating in Twitter chats.
  • Review your Twitter analytics regularly to see where you might improve, but don’t let analytics rule everything.
  • Join Twitter chats to learn, connect with people in your audience, and grow your authority.

My Favorite Quotes

“I think that we're going to switch back to when the content speaks for itself as opposed to the numbers speaking for the content.” – Tamara TanneyClick To Tweet
“We look at these outside metrics a little too much.” – Tamara TanneyClick To Tweet

Tools, Links, and Apps Mentioned:

How to Reach Tamara

You can connect with Tamara Tanney on Twitter and through her website, Marketing Millennial.

Call to Action

I have two great calls to action for you for this episode:

    1. Take a little time each day to engage:
      • Set your timer for 10 minutes each day.
      • Get on Twitter and talk to as many people as you can.
    2. Track your Twitter analytics:
      • Go to your Twitter Analytics page (desktop only). It’s located on the left-hand column at Twitter.com. Select “More” and then “Analytics.” (This podcast episode was recorded right before Twitter released its new desktop design. So, in the podcast, I told you to access your analytics from the drop-down menu on the right side of the page. That’s no longer the case. Use the left sidebar instead.)
      • Take a screenshot of your Twitter Analytics page.
      • Check your analytics page after a week, month, six months or more of engaging with people for 10 minutes every day. Compare your Twitter stats to your original, day-one screenshot.

Be sure to send me a tweet @MadalynSklar and let me how consistently engaging 10 minutes a day is working out for you. I’d love to know how you’re doing.

#TwitterSmarter Courses

FREE #TwitterSmarter Secret Sauce course

Need some simple Twitter marketing guidance? Check out my FREE #TwitterSmarter Secret Sauce course. It’s a mini-class I put together at madalynsklar.com/secretsauce. It includes articles and videos that share my strategies on how to boost your presence on Twitter so you get better results.

#TwitterSmarter Master Class

Ready to go all-in for Twitter marketing training? Then you’re ready for my #TwitterSmarter Master Class. This online course is ideal for beginners and intermediate Twitter users. You’ll get step-by-step instructions that will help you enhance your profile and learn strategies that work! You’ll learn how to maximize your presence and monetize your efforts.


#TwitterSmarter Twitter Chat

My weekly #TwitterSmarter Twitter chat on all things Twitter marketing featuring a different social media marketing expert each Thursday at 1 p.m. E.T.

Contact me to learn how YOU can become a #TwitterSmarter podcast sponsor.

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Madalyn Sklar: Hey Tamara. Thank you so much for joining the #TwitterSmarter Podcast. I’m so happy to have you here as my special guest. We’re going to do something a little different today. Normally I ask my guests: “What are your best Twitter tips?”

But you and I have been talking kind of behind the scenes. And you know, you have some really interesting thoughts on metrics, especially as vanity metrics, and that’s becoming a hot topic, especially these days.

We’re hearing about how all the different social media platforms want to stop having the likes and retweets show. And you know, it’s really interesting to talk this out. So, I thought today we would just deep dive into this and have you share your thoughts.

So we’re going to talk about these vanity metrics across social media and how they impact the future of users, businesses, influencers, and consumers alike. So thank you for joining us today.

Tamara Tanney: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Madalyn Sklar: So you find some articles on this and, and you know, just something that it seems like you’re pretty passionate about.

Tamara Tanney: Yeah, I’ve definitely seen it evolve a lot. I’ve been on social media for quite a long time, so it’s definitely something that’s peaked my interest a lot.

Madalyn Sklar: Yeah, well I remember last year, Twitter, like late last year, Twitter was hinting about removing likes and retweets in order to improve the quality of conversations. And I actually think that’s not a bad thing. I think it’d be very different, but it’s not bad. Uh, and then something interesting happened this past March in 2019.

Twitter’s beta testing app hid engagement metrics, and Twitter was even quoted as saying, we’re experimenting in our prototype testing app with placing engagement behind a tap for replies only. Engagements are not gone from all tweets just behind the tap of replies.

So that’s really interesting. So I think our listeners are going to get a lot out of this conversation today and maybe start thinking about this in a way they had not thought of it before or maybe not even knowing that this is going on.

Tamara Tanney: Right, exactly. I mean there’s a lot of changes, and there’s so many platforms that are starting to shift towards it that I think it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out in the future.

Madalyn Sklar: Absolutely. And before, as the first go, I’m gonna kind of have like a little pre-question before I ask you. The first big question. Not everybody really understands metrics and when you, and when you say vanity metrics, we hear this, a lot of Vandy metric external metrics. What exactly do you mean when you, when people hear that, like can you explain what that is?

Tamara Tanney: So that’d be metrics to me. Um, it’s a lot. It comes back to the phrase “quality quantity.” There’s been a time where having so many followers meant that you had so much authority, and having a certain number of likes meant that you had, again, more authority over something else. Your content was better. And these metrics have started to set the tone for content.

And I’ve noticed that people have started to shift back. Instead of looking more at the content, we start to look more at how many followers does this person have, how many likes do they get? And by there we start to kind of dissect them as opposed to looking more so into their content. So anything like follow count likes, retweets, pretty much any number that we can see on the surface.

Madalyn Sklar: I think it’s so interesting because just recently there was this huge big thing about this lady on Instagram that was a so-called influencer – and we’re starting to hear this more and more …

But this so-called influencer, um, who gets paid pretty well to share her post, was trying to sell T-shirts and couldn’t get hardly anybody to buy them. And everybody was like, wait a minute, she has all these followers and she can’t sell this load… like, I think it was like what, 32 shirts or or something. It was like a very small number.

And I think sometimes it’s a reminder that, you know, just because you have a lot of followers or a lot of likes on something, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a true influencer, that you could get people to do something because you say so.

Uh, so I, I think that this could be very interesting to basically see the script flipped. Where, where, we’re, we’re kind of seeing this from, from the other point of view.

Tamara Tanney: Yeah, exactly. I saw that whole story, by the way. It was crazy. Yeah. Millions of followers and couldn’t sell like 30 shirts. And it, like you said, ‘goes to show you how much metrics on the outside sometimes don’t correlate to the actual business and ROI.

Madalyn Sklar: And also is a reminder that, you know, these big influencers don’t always have influence, but really those micro influencers and those are the people that have a much smaller following. But it’s a very concentrated following.

And they listen, because it’s more niche, you know. Like I’m niched in Twitter marketing, everybody listens to me when I talk about Twitter. Um, so if I was to try to promote or sell something that was more general, I probably wouldn’t do as well.

But if it was something very niched in what I specialize in, you know, when we hear that term “micro-influencer,” I think, uh, I think that’s going to become a bigger thing. I would definitely love to hear your thoughts on that as we dive into this conversation.

But let’s start with question number one. Twitter. If Twitter were to remove any external metrics – and that’s like follower count, likes, retweets, count, etc. – do you think that would change the way we utilize it?

Tamara Tanney: So I’m going to start from a consumer standpoint. Um, because I do use Twitter as a consumer. I also use it as a marketer, but I think that right now our perception when we see these vanity metrics is authorities.

So, if I go on someone’s Twitter account, and they have 40,000 followers. They get good engagement, and they’re selling something that’s relative to someone else who has 2,000 followers, maybe it doesn’t get the same amount of engagement.

As humans we automatically assume that the person who has more on the outside has a better item to sell. Um, and I think that removing these will remove that stigma. To me it’s a stigma.

Um, you know, I do think that we look at these outside numbers a little too much instead of diving right into product services, value, things like that.

So as a consumer, I would say definitely these external metrics will change the way we utilize it. It’s going to be more of a, similar to this, a deep dive into what people have to offer as opposed to just, you know, “this person has a lot of followers, this person has a lot of likes. I’m gonna assume they have more authority, they have more say and I’m going to go with them.”

Um, as a marketer. um, as a marketer, I would say it’s also probably gonna impact you. I mean, any one that you are consumer marketer, business, you know, we’re so used to these metrics, we’re so accustomed to them, they become something that’s such a huge part of our strategies.

Um, like for me when I get clients, sometimes they ask me, “Can you get me more followers? Can you get me more likes? Can you increase my engagement?” And so many of my strategies revolve around engagement and outer metrics. So, to have these gone, it’s more of a selling content from the product. So, I believe there’s going to be a heavier focus on that as opposed to just, you know, “get me more people to follow my blog.”

Madalyn Sklar: Right. And I do want to mention everybody listening. You do have this article you’ve written that I just love where you share some really great tips on how to increase your reach and impressions and how to get more followers, like really good tips that work.

And I’ll definitely put that into the show notes. So if you guys go over to madalynsklar.com you’ll be able to get that in the show notes. Um, my next question is, if these metrics were taken out of the public eye, what would the future of viral content look like? I imagine it’s going to be different

Tamara Tanney: 100% when we see viral content nowadays, it’s always, “How many likes did this get?” You know, like thinking back to the egg, for example, the record-breaking egg. The whole concept of that wasn’t the content. It was how many likes can a picture of an egg get?

So we’ve definitely taken this dive from content, again, to these metrics. Um, when you think about viral content, back in the day it was a lot of, you know, word of mouth. You’d go to school, work. Your friends, coworkers would talk about videos that came out. I remember shoes, I don’t know if many people would remember that. It’s from YouTube. ‘Wasn’t necessarily …

Madalyn Sklar: Yes!

Tamara Tanney: … that it would look like how many views. Yeah, it was funny.

Madalyn Sklar: I remember that. Yes, it was funny. Yeah.

Tamara Tanney: It wasn’t that we looked at the view so much. It was more of, you know, I’d go into class, and people were like, “Did you watch shoes?”

So viral content wasn’t so focused on the numbers, and now it’s almost as if people are asking for those numbers to obtain virality as opposed to content being the forefront of reality.

Um, so I definitely think that there’s going to be more room for creatives to expand. It’s not going to be “Retweet this so I can have this.” Or “Let’s break a record.” It’s going to be, “This is my content. You’re not gonna see how many people like get … You’re not going to see any people have engaged with it. But this is what I have to offer.”

And I think that it’s going to be revolutionary for people who want to create content that they might not think is going to get a lot of engagement. You know, it’s something that might be, like you said, some niche product. It’s a niche creative project, and they might not assume that it’s going to get a lot of reach.

Um, so I definitely think that it’s going to change the way we create content. There’s going to be a lot of differences. Again, it’s not going to be very similar. I’ve noticed a lot of viral content, not all of it. There’s great content out there.

A lot of it follows a very similar, um, similar construct, essentially, where it’s the likes, the vanity metrics go before the content. And I think that we’re going to switch back to when the content speaks for itself as opposed to the members speaking for the content. So I’m excited to see where viral content goes. I think it’s gonna be a great switch.

Madalyn Sklar: I think it will be really cool to watch and see. Um, it’s almost like uh, all this is going to get a clean slate, right? We’re going to wipe the slate clean, and everybody gets a do over. And, and, and let’s see where it goes.

I think it’s going to be more about engagement. Like, you know, the word of mouth and who’s talking about something versus, you know, “Oh, do you see that this post got a million, you know, likes or a million video views?” I think it’s really gonna change to change the landscape.

Tamara Tanney: 100%. I feel like we’re going to see a lot of talent coming of this. And like I said, a lot of products, a lot of projects that we might not have liked before or not necessarily not have liked, not have engaged with that we wouldn’t have, you know, put on the forefront of our social media. Um, I think this is just gonna be so many changes to it, and you know, it’s exciting to see where it goes.

Madalyn Sklar: I think that’s so cool. What do you think the future of content is going to look like? Because, I mean, with all of these changes, I mean, do you think it’s going to be completely different?

Tamara Tanney: I don’t know if it’s going to be completely different, but I know that there’s going to be a lot of differences because when you think about it, if you put a picture of an egg and no engagement, it’s not going to get as much as it would now that it’s, “Let’s break a record of likes.”

So now it’s, we have to find a way to mold this content and create it into something that people, doesn’t matter if they like it, but they’re going to talk about it. And it’s going to resonate with them and it’s going to be something that they, they go to sleep with, and they wake up and they go to work and tell their coworkers, “Look at this piece of content.” Um, you know, and dedicate more time to speaking about it even outside of, you know, social media.

So I think there’s going to be a creative switch to it. It’s no more, “I’m going to put something out and let the likes speak for it.” I’m going to let my content speak for itself.

Madalyn Sklar: Yeah, that, that makes perfect sense. And it’s almost like content creators may have to work a little bit harder to get that word of mouth and it may take longer. You know, a piece of content, you know, like we know a tweet has a very short shelf life.

But if you’re a power tweeter like I am and you use Twitter a lot, maybe new strategies too… Like one of the things I’ve been experimenting with right now that’s working really well is when I do my… Each week I have a new Twitter tips article, and I always put it up as a pinned tweet and I’ll leave it up for the week until the next one will …

I’ve been experimenting with to kind of keep it going and get more out of it … is make it as a threaded tweet. And all you gotta do is just make it as two tweets because it brings them together, and then you can always add to it later.

So I’ve been experimenting with this last few weeks, and it’s more work, no doubt. I’m having to work harder. But I feel like this is a strategy that’s gonna pay off in the big picture.

It’s almost like maybe with all these changes going on you have to look more at the big picture and look longer term. Instead of just these short little, you know, if you’re popular you post something, (and) no matter what it is, you’re going to get a lot of likes just because of who you are and how people know you.

And I mean you could have been something where you bought your followers years ago, and it carried over all these years later. ‘Cause you know, it’s a psychological thing. I remember back in the Myspace days. And you know, my space was very popular. It was kind of like our entry into social media, and I was in the music business back then.

So it worked really well for people that … for me and for others I worked with. And it was a popularity game. You know, the more … There weren’t like a lot of automation yet. So the more time you put into it, the more Myspace friends you had, and the more engagement you would get.

I mean, it was a cycle, but it was really based on how much time you put into it. And I just noticed that if I spent more hours on it and have more people helping me, I got way more out of it.

Whereas, today in 2019, you know you could just be a one-person operation who maybe years ago bought a bunch of followers and people are like, “Oh this person has a lot of followers. Ooh, I better pay attention and listen to them.” ‘Cause it’s just that whole psychology of that, and they still have to put out good content.

And I think a lot of smart people realize, “Let me put out good content. I already, you know, showed up with all these followers whether they’re real or not, and I’m putting out good content so people are paying attention and companies are paying me too to show influence.”

And it’s really interesting. I think so much of that’s going to go out the window, and it’s just going to have to really be about your strategy.

Tamara Tanney: Yeah, 100%. Like when I look back at the, you know, the older days of YouTube when Michelle Fon and Jenna Marbles. Those people, were, you know, they’re still there. But they were significantly larger. They weren’t making the money. They weren’t focused really so much on everything external. This content was created for the sake of being a creative.

You know, look at the money on YouTube now. Look at money on social media anywhere now. You know, everyone’s making crazy, crazy money being an influencer. Um, and back in the day before the term “influencer” was even a thing, people were making content just for the sake of making entertainment content.

And then they realized, you know, okay, we can make money off of this. And then it turns into who has more likes, who has more subs. They’re gonna make more money. And then it turned into the whole clout era where it, yeah, whoever has more followers…

And then, you know, it also … I feel like content shifted. There’s still creative content out there, but there’s also a lot of content that isn’t as thought out as it used to be back in the days when there wasn’t even money involved.

Um, so like I said, parlay back to the vanity metrics. I think it’s shifted so far away, and I think now we’re just trying to pull as much back as we can. I don’t think we’ll ever get back to like the days where nobody was, you know, making money or paying attention. We’re always gonna pay attention to the metrics that we get.

I’m guilty of that. I look at my followers … I gained one follower, and I’m like, “Oh, that’s so cool.” Um, I think content is really going to be the forefront, and as a marketer I’ve noticed that that’s a message that I’ve pushed so often. I’m like, you know, visual content, audio content, video content, all this different type of content. We’re creating so many different things.

And I think that’s why so many social networks like, okay, we need to piggyback on these metrics and focus on all the creative things that are coming out, like Tech VR. All this is helping us create such amazing content. Why not make that the focal point?

Madalyn Sklar: Exactly. For sure. Now, as I was mentioning at the beginning of this episode, you know, Twitter has, uh, been hinting that they’re going to remove likes and retweets. And we’re hearing about this with other platforms. Um, do you see these other ones adopting? I mean, is this going to be something everybody’s going to start doing? Uh, and who’s doing it right now?

Tamara Tanney: Um, so I know that Instagram in Canada has made a big change. We started hiding like counts. So if you were to go on someone’s account, it’ll just say, you know, one person and others like this. Um, if you want it to count individually how many people liked it, you can do that. But I’m not gonna do that. Um, I know that they’ve taken that out.

YouTube has also hinted that they’re changing the way – and they’ve already done it in a few different places – the way that they format the numbers. And it seems like such a small little change to people who may not fully understand like the metrics realm, but taking the number 592,482 and turning it into 500K again, again, it doesn’t seem like anything big. But it’s really putting less of an emphasis on the number. Because you know, relating back to psychology, we see these numbers.

It’s, you know, you see six digits. It’s like looking at your bank account. You see seven digits, you’re going to be happy. You see four digits, ‘you’re going to be like, “I thought I had more than that,” you know? But when you take it and then make it not nominal, but you make them all similar. So 500K looks just like 200K. 1 million looks just like 500K. It makes a big difference.

And I think that people are going to start to catch onto that, that it’s not going to be subscriber count. That’s gonna first grab your eye. Um, and then like I said, in terms of Instagram, they are, you know, working on getting rid of the likes. They’re kind of in the testing phase now. Um, my business account, I’ve seen it, there’s no likes. It just says blank and others like this.

Um, because I think that we’ve fallen into this time now where, like I said, likes are what we use to brand ourselves and who we are. And you know, we rely on them to determine our status in society, and that’s the biggest thing now is who gets this many likes and then we look too far into it a lot.

So, I think that they’re doing it not only for consumers to just understand that this content is what’s out there. This is the main premise of our platform. This is why we created it, but also to highlight confidence. Again, I think that that’s something that so many people have put on the back burner when it comes to likes. You know, we all like to look at these. When I lose followers for example, I’m like, “Oh no, what did I do wrong? Why couldn’t I keep that person?”

So I think putting these, like I said on the back burner is gonna allow us to not fret too much about what’s happening on the forefront and just create things that we love, and people will like them. And if they don’t like it, they don’t like it. If they like it, they like it. But we’re putting out things that we like.

Um, and I can definitely see other platforms doing it. 100% I think that it’s gonna be a great change. Will it take time? 100%. Everything that happens takes time.

I like the new Twitter interface, for example. I’m still not used to that, but, like I said, with this it’s going to be difficult at first. People aren’t going to fully understand what to do with their content, what works, what doesn’t. But over time I think it’s going to have a very good impact on everyone – individuals, consumers, marketers, businesses, everyone.

Madalyn Sklar: Yeah. I, I think you’re right. Now with, with having these kinds of metrics taken out of the picture, is that just specifically for if I’m on your Twitter in like, or Instagram when these are happening, I just don’t see that you say who is it that sees the, you know, you and other, like you said, it’s just showing like you and another name.

Or can you kind of explain, I hope I’m making sense there, but like, yeah, how was it for the public who’s viewing it versus you, the creator? Um, Are you still able to go into your analytics and get all the information that way, including the numbers on individual tweets or individual Instagram posts? I mean, do you know, like, exactly how that, the difference between the public versus the actual person’s account?

Tamara Tanney: So, I know for Instagram you can still access all the analytics in the back end. So you can see how many likes you get. You can see who clicked away from things. It’s just on the public forefront. Um, and it’s still, you know, we’re still going to be able to see these and for marketers still going to be a great way to understand what content works and what doesn’t.

But having these hidden from the public essentially is going to be less of a a blow. You know, if you have a page that has 500 followers and you’ve got two likes on something, having that in the back will allow you to analyze what went wrong and be like, “Okay, let me fix up this content.”

Having it in the forefront, you’re going to be like, “Who’s seeing this? Who saw that? I only got two likes. Do I delete this? What happened? People are gonna think like something’s wrong that I buy followers.”

So it’s still important to have access to these numbers. There’s so, so important when it comes to understanding what our audiences want. ut having them be the focal point, which is essentially what they’ve become, I think is just nominal.

And placing them a little further back is essential, and it’s vital for really just creating content that works and we know it works and not having to worry about what others think about it. Cause that’s a big issue in social media.

Madalyn Sklar: Absolutely. I think it is going to be a big confidence boost. If anything, uh, which you’ve, you’ve mentioned several now that I just totally agree. I think it’s gonna help a lot of people not dwell so much on “What am I doing wrong. Nobody’s paying attention.”

And it’s not necessarily that the contents bad is just, you know, get it. Sometimes it just feels like a popularity contest, you know? Um, so, all right. I’m really interested to know this. Your take on this: Will eliminating the view of these metrics be beneficial or detrimental to social media?

Tamara Tanney: So I would say, and I feel like maybe I’ve been a little bit bias this whole time, but I would definitely say if it’s going to be beneficial. Um, like I said, it’s going to take time. It’s not going to be something perfect at first.

People aren’t going to adapt. I think marketers know might be a little bit of a head because we, we understand what happens. We have to create strategies. We don’t really have a lot of time to, you know, dwell and think. It’s just what can we do next?

But it’s going to be, you know, for consumers and just people who use it for the sake of using social media. I know that it’s hard to believe that there’s people who use it just for friends and family anymore because it’s become such a business-centric area of the internet. Um, but I feel like it’s gonna be beneficial.

Like I said, we rely on likes so much. We look so far into them, even to the point where we look into other people’s, you know. We’ll go on someone’s page and see that they have 200,000 followers and 500 likes and try and dissect them when it’s not really a huge issue of ours to dissect.

And it’s the same with ours. We’re so focused on how many people like things, and we assume that whatever content gets more likes, it’s the best. And sometimes that’s not the case ’cause I’ve put out content that I thought was phenomenal, and it’s hasn’t gotten the reception of that content that I kinda didn’t really work too hard on.

So I think that taking it back a step, focusing more on the content, um, less of these numbers, still having access to them because like I said, it’s really important to understand the audience and what they want.

Um, and I also think that it’s going to open up a lot of conversations. It’s not going to be, you know, “I’m going to retweet something that you said to me. I’m going to like it and then that’s it. That’s all I have to do.”

I think now that they’re going to be gone. We’re gonna have to engage in conversation a little bit more. So it’s not just “I’m gonna like something.” It’s “I’m going to give you my thought process on it. I’m going to talk to you about it. I’m going to provide an opinion instead.”

I think that it’s going to be a good increase for engagement. That’s super, super important. And not to say that likes/retweets aren’t important to me. They’re pretty important. You know, it’s great to see how people receive my content. But having people fully engaged with it and conversation, provide opinions, provide feedback, you know, anything, any type of conversation I think is a good thing.

I think that that’s where we’re going, where it’s more of a focus on conversation and building communities as opposed to just liking content, generating as many likes as we can, and then calling it a day.

Madalyn Sklar: So true because I mean look at like Facebook. Facebook is making everything about groups, right? About community. And it seems like that’s becoming the trend – not that community was never a trend. But it seems like just on a larger scale, that’s the direction people are going, where it’s about conversation, it’s about connection.

Uh, and I think that’s what was going to happen here, I think is, you know, there’s going to be that less focused on the likes and retweets for Twitter and more about, “Let me hit the reply.”

And listen, I’m just as guilty as the next one. I say, look, sometimes I just don’t have time to reply to everything. So it’s easy to hit the like, and retweet. I do it all the time because it’s my way of letting that person know “I dig your tweet,” you know, and “I want you to know I like it. I want you to know that I thought enough of it to retweet it.” Um, if I had more hours in the day, I’d probably would, you know, reply to everybody.

Uh, but it will be interesting to see how our strategies change with this type of change. And I think it will be more engagement, more conversation. And that’s always a good thing. So, I’m all for that.

Tamara Tanney: Yeah, 100%. I mean, when I think of engagement now, you know, a lot of people, like I said, they’ll be like, “It’s likes. It’s retweets.”

To me the best type of engagement is conversational. People reply to my tweets or when people leave a comment on a blog post or anything like that – that’s the kind of engagement that I look for it because it’s taking such a strong action towards something, you know?

Like same with you. I get replies, a lot of replies. And I usually just like them sometimes because, it’s like you said, it’s my way of telling them, “Hey, I saw what you said. It’s cool. I’m sorry I don’t have time to reply” because nobody has enough time in the day. You know, especially if you’re looking at people with hundreds of thousands of followers. You can’t expect them to engage in something all the time.

Madalyn Sklar: Exactly.

Tamara Tanney: Um, but I, yeah, it’s definitely my favorite metric I would say is just any type of conversation like that. And you know, not to say that I’m not a fan of, you know, getting likes. Everyone is. We’re all guilty of it.

We get a lot of likes on something and be like, “Woah, maybe I should pin this to my profile, or maybe I should just retweet it from my own profile and let people kind of know.” But I think that that’s gonna, you know, diminish that kind of little thought of “It’s the likes that got us this thing,” as opposed to “It’s our content. Our content is what’s out there. It’s not the amount of likes. It’s what we created that’s generating so much.”

Madalyn Sklar: Well I always have a call to action, like some homework, at the end of each episode – kinda like, you know, what’s the main takeaway and that people can start doing now.

And it just like hit me really hard. I think what I want everybody to do is to prepare for the inevitable, which is going to be when the, when these are hidden. It may be next week, I may not be till next year, we don’t know.

But what I would like for everybody to do starting now is take a little bit of extra time each day to engage. And some of us do it more than others. So however much doing now, if you’re doing zero, then spend 10 minutes of just 10 minutes a day. We all could do that: 10 minutes a day.

‘Easiest to do it on mobile. I love the mobile app for Twitter ’cause I can do everything so much faster. And just spend, just put your timer on for 10 minutes and just go through and talk to as many people as you can. And this will get you ready for when this change comes because it’s going to come. We just don’t know when.

And you know, it seems like lately Twitter is letting all the Canadians … You guys in Canada get all these cool features before everyone else.

Um, there was just something today that was like for Canada, you know, I’m like, oh, OK. So I guess cause it’s like a smaller, like a small test subject, which is actually very smart.

But uh, yeah, I think that’s what everybody should do: Take an extra 10 minutes a day or longer, but just make it a daily thing where you just spend more time engaging. I will make the commitment to do that.

Uh, I want to be ready for this ’cause this is going to be a little bit of an adjustment for all of us. But if we’re ready to tackle it with something as simple as spending a little bit more time engaging with people, it’s going to go a really long way.

And I bet you for those of you who have not been engaging much here’s another thing is this is part two to this called action. I can think of stuff like this all day long. So hopefully I’ll keep this short and not make you do 20 million things. Go into your analytics. And if you’re not familiar with this, gotta be on a browser. Go to your twitter.com top right-hand corner. Uh, you’ll see in the pull down menu, your little bitty picture in the pull down menu. You’ll see analytics.

Go to your analytics. Take a screenshot of that page. It’s going to give you a 28-day summary. Take a screenshot … That … just to see … as a benchmark of here’s where you’re at today.

Then start doing 10 minutes a day of engagement or more and report back to me, uh, and Tamara, as well. I like you to tweet us both and let us know in a week, a month, however much time you want to give it, and, and do another screenshot and compare and let us know. I guarantee you, even with just 10 minutes a day, you will see an improvement a week from now, two weeks and even a month from now and ongoing. It’ll snowball. So you, you check back in six months, you will be blown away.

So, uh, that is going to be your call to action for this episode. Uh, this is an interesting conversation, Tamara. I’m so glad I had you on to talk about this, but before I let you go, I want to ask you, what are your favorite Twitter tools and apps that you use that helps you do Twitter better?

Tamara Tanney: So I don’t use too many. Um, pretty much the basic ones. I use Hootsuite a lot to schedule content. Um, I went away twice last year, which is crazy for me cause I’m not a vacation type of person. Um, and I was able to schedule all my content in and made sure that there was stuff going out. Um, definitely keeps me organized cause you know, everyone has days with just like, “I’m going to get off the computer for a little bit,” but you still want to have something going out.

So Hootsuite definitely helps with that. Um, I use Buzzsumo a lot. Um, it helps me with generating content, especially being in such a saturated market. Like when you type in marketing, there’s so much happening. And, you know, people either writing about the same thing, or there’s just 20 different things you’re not too sure what to really focus on. Um, so I use that a lot.

And then just the basic tools that come with Twitter or the analytics. It really said like, you touched on them. They are super beneficial. I look at them, you know, I analyze them, see where I’m going wrong, see what I can do better. See where I’m struggling a little bit, you know. If my, you know, engagement’s down, if I’m losing followers, if my mentions are a little lower, it allows me to see my progress.

Um, and then not really a tool, but kind of a tool: I do participate in a lot of Twitter chats. Um, they’ve really helped me grow my authority and just meet a lot of really cool people. I’ve networked so much with people and I’ve learned so much. It’s not like I just go there to say what I think is right and then leave. I like to listen to other people and it’s helped me expand my career so much.

You know, I come into work every day, and there’s something new that I learned from Twitter chats. And I’m just like, I have to implement this into a strategy, and I have to tell the client about this. It’s so cool.

Um, and they’ve helped me really just get myself involved. You know, I’m a really big introvert, so for me it was like a little bit difficult to kind of put myself out there and even something as simple as Twitter. But these chats really do make you feel involved and like you have a lot of value to provide. So that’s probably my favorite, I would say.

Madalyn Sklar: That’s it. That’s great. I love it. And I do want the listeners to know that we met through my #TwitterSmarter chat that I host every week. You had been one of our regulars for quite some time. You’re always sharing great valuable information. I always learn a lot from the things that you tweet.

And it really goes to show that Twitter chats can really allow you to show influence. And I, I’ve had plenty of people as a guest on the chat and on this podcast from meeting them on a Twitter chat. So I love that you shared that. That is so awesome.

Now if people want to get in touch with you or learn more about you, where should they go?

Tamara Tanney: Um, I do use Twitter more than anything. So it’s @it’stamaragt or at MarketingMillennial.ca. That’s my website. And I’m revamping it right now. It will look wonderful at some point. Um, and I’d say, yeah, Twitter is the best place to shoot me a message. I’m on there a lot, as you see, so that’d be the best place.

Madalyn Sklar: Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast Tamara. You’ve been a wealth of information. I appreciate it.

Tamara Tanney: Thank you so much for having me.