Twitter Search or Instagram Search: Which is Better for Business?


Recently I was chatting with long time BBF, Paul Chaney, about the changes in social media from the days when we began in what was then called The Blogosphere. Paul wondered if search on Twitter or Instagram could be a good business tool.

He kindly offered to share his views and research on Diva Marketing. How could I say no to such a generous offer? Hope you enjoy Paul's post.

Paul Chaney _pianoFirst, About Paul Chaney. 

Paul is an online marketing consultant, editor, writer, and author with more than 20 years experience in the digital marketing space.

He’s written four books that cover the topics of business blogging, social media marketing, and social commerce, the most notable of which is entitled "The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media," published by John Wiley and Sons in 2009.

He is currently a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and also maintains a client-base of small to mid-size companies. Paul is a sought-after speaker on digital and marketing topics. Oh yes, and he's an accomplished musician! Connect with Paul Chaney on Twitter | LinkedIn 

Twitter Search or Instagram Search: Which is Better for Business? - By Paul Chaney

One of the ways I've benefitted most from my career in social media is the people I have met along the way, not the least of which is Toby. We're joined at the hip personally and professionally and have been for the better part of 12 years.

Another good friend — someone familiar to both Toby and me — is Bill Flitter, founder and CEO of, a content distribution platform.

Bill pioneered RSS advertising years ago and, despite his boyish good looks (which belie his clean Midwestern upbringing), is a long-time veteran of the social media marketing wars. (I'm sure he would show you his scars if you ask; or possibly not.)

Twitter Search or Instagram Search? That Is the Question

The reason I mention Bill is, recently, I was milling about on the blog when I came across a post about Twitter search and then another about Instagram search.

I can't tell you the last time I thought about either of the two platforms, at least in a search-related context — particularly Instagram, which I use to post images taken with my smartphone from time to time.

I also wondered why Bill and company would devote entire posts to the respective topics. There must have been a reason. My interest was piqued.

With Twitter's waning popularity, compared to Instagram's rise in prominence, I began to wonder which platform would serve a business better, from a search standpoint. As it turns out, that was Bill's premise, too.

With his permission, I pulled some information from each post, to evaluate their respective features and benefits and draw some conclusions.

Twitter Search

First of all, Twitter "Connect" (which you see referenced in the post) no longer exists. It was an experiment that failed, apparently, replaced by "Notifications."

Regardless, the real benefit to Twitter search for business lies in its "Advanced" feature, which allows more refined search capabilities, such as multiple search filters and operators

(Note: You have to be logged in to gain access to advanced search, and it only works with the desktop version.)

To use advanced search, begin by entering a keyword in the search field located in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Let’s use “small business” as our example.

Twitter then redirects you to the search returns page. Click the “More Options” link in the menu bar. That opens a sub-menu. Look to the bottom and click “Advanced Search.”

Paul post 8_16 figure1-twitter-advanced-search

As the following screenshot from the blog post illustrates, you can search by various parameters: words, people, places, dates, and even sentiment. Options exist under each category, to let you dig even deeper.

Paul post 8_16 figure2-dlvrit-Twitter-Search-Advanced-Search

From the example, a pizza shop owner in San Jose, California can find Twitter users within a ten-mile radius who have pizza on the brain at a given moment.

This discovery enables the owner to join in the conversation, perhaps offering a time-sensitive discount tied to a hashtag. And that's only one of the many possibilities advanced search offers from a marketing perspective.

Others include:

  • Find mentions of your brand;
  • Surface all tweets from an event you attended;
  • Gather customer testimonials;
  • Monitor sentiment about a competitor's brand (or yours);
  • Find influencers or brand ambassadors;
  • Thank customers for doing business with you.

Truly, the list is as endless as your ability to come up with crafty ways to mine the treasure trove of data.

For more inspiration and ways to use advanced search, visit Twitter's support page on the topic.

Instagram Search

Where Twitter's advanced search gives users the ability to refine their efforts, Instagram restricts the search options on its app to Top, People, Tags, and Places.

Paul post 8_16 figure3-instagram-search

Of the four, Tags is likely the best option because Instagram bases its platform on them. (Post an image or video without using a hashtag? Perish the thought!)

Perhaps the best way to use Instagram search is not to use it at all but rely on third-party tools such as Picodash, or my favorite, Iconosquare. Both are premium services but offer more advanced search capabilities than Instagram itself.

Despite the limited search functions, you can make a business case for Instagram.

You can use it to:

  • Find people to follow;
  • Find hashtags related to your business or industry;
  • Search by place for people to follow;
  • Engage with nearby customers;
  • Get involved in trending conversations.

In comparing the two platforms, Twitter provides a superior search experience in my view due to the many variables and operators. Instagram, however, offers a more serendipitous journey of discovery.

In either case, there's business value to be had — and that’s the main thing. 

Diva Marketing Talks About RSS With Bill Flitter and Lee Feinberg


Diva Marketing Talks is a live, internet radio show.  30-minutes. 2-guests. 1-topic about social media marketing. Why? To help you understand how to participate in the "new" conversation without getting blown-up. Miss today's show? You can pick it up as a podcast.

Today's Diva Marketing Talks takes the wraps off of Real Simple Syndication - better known as RSS. Our rock star guests Bill Flitter and Lee Feinberg will make RSS simple. They'll share how they used RSS to encourage viral marketing campaigns, talk about ads on RSS feeds, discuss if RSS complements or replaces eMail marketing and lots more.  If we're very lucky Bill will tell us what Santa Clause, the postman and the TV clicker have to do with RSS.

Topic for March 6, 2008: RSS: Alphabet Soup or The Power Behind Social Media

Time: 6:30p - 7p Eastern/ 5:30p - 6p Central/ 4:30p -5p Mountain/ 3:30p - 4p Pacific
Call-in Guest Number: 718.508.9924


Bill Flitter

Bill_flitter_2 Bill Flitter is CEO of Pheedo. Bill is considered an industry expert on syndicated content advertising and speaks regularly on this topic at industry events. Prior to Pheedo, Bill founded Email Shopping Network and directed its sales and marketing activities until its acquisition by eUniverse in 2002.

In addition to Pheedo and Email Shopping Network, Bill has started and helped build numerous early stage companies, developing hundreds of innovative products and services. Bill is also co-founder of Fastlane Ventures, a boutique management consulting firm focused on early-stage investments. Bill is a founding member of the Internet Content Syndication Council and chairs their advertising committee

Raised in Wisconsin, Bill graduated with a degree in Advertising from the University of Wisconsin. He founded the University of Wisconsin Interactive Advertising scholarship to reward outstanding excellence in this innovative field. Bill’s ruminations on a number of topics can be found on the Pheedo Blog.

Leefeinberg Lee Feinberg

Lee Feinberg is a business development leader and has devoted his entire career to create and launch interactive products and services.  For 20 years, he has guided innovation at Fortune 500 companies in financial services, automotive, consumer hardware, and healthcare.  His experience includes Internet marketing and eCommerce, high-volume transaction systems, mobile communications, and interactive TV.

Lee is currently Strategy Director, Avenue A | Razorfish and previously held the position of Vice President/ Associate Director, Digitas.  He was the President and Founder of e-thusiasm, inc. an independent interactive strategy consultancy whose clients included Johnson & Johnson, CheckFree, and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ.  Lee has also held positions with Chase Manhattan Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and AT&T Bell Labs.

He received a B.S. and M.S. from Cornell University.  Lee serves on the advisory board of Pheedo, holds a U.S. patent for a PC-telephone interface, is a member of the Marketing Executives Networking Group, the Cornell Entrepreneur Network, and the Sandler Sales Institute Presidents Club.

Can't call in but have a question? Drop a comment and I'll ask it for you. Let me know what you'd like Diva Talks to chat about. Don't forget Diva Marketing Talks morphs into a podcast.

57 Blog 101 Questions


What do you travel with? I mean when you go out of your home for the day or for a week. What do you always have with you to anchor you .. to keep you engaged with yourself and perhaps the world around you? In today's high tech world it might be your cell phone, camera or video camera.

Notebook_coffee For me it's always been a pen and note book and frequently a book. A little while ago I was sipping a coffee at a local Starbucks. Looking out at the parking lot watching cars whiz by was getting to be a drag so I dug out my little note book and begin writing random thoughts. As with writings in little note books no telling where the ideas will lead. This entree turned out to be Blog 101 Questions. Perhaps 1 or 2 thoughts will spark an idea for you.

  1. Are there really best practices for social media? What are they? Why are they?
  2. RSS why is it really so important?
  3. When will RSS add videos?
  4. Is there a "right" or "wrong" way to blog?
  5. Who are the influencers? Do they really matter and if so to whom?
  6. What is a blog? What is a business blog? What is a marketing blog?
  7. How do you address negative comments on your blog, on other blogs?
  8. Does a company need blogger guidelines? Does wikipedia have a generic entry?
  9. Are comment guidelines needed? Perhaps wikipedia has a generic entry for this too.
  10. How do you develop friendships at work? How do you develop friendships "on-blog?"
  11. How do you define honesty, transparency and authenticity? Are they different based on a company's culture? Should they be?
  12. What are the benefits for sponsoring a blog instead of advertising on a blog? Is it assumed exclusivity?
  13. When is it okay to sub contract blog writing? What is the trade-off for an organization?
  14. How do you manage a corporate blog?
  15. When does HR get involved with social media?
  16. How many corporate bloggers have job descriptions that incorporate goals, objectives? MBB - is there such a thing as "manage by blog" rather like manage by objective?
  17. What are the responsibilities of a corporate blogger? Does building relationship count as a "goal?" Does that devalue the relationship?
  18. What are the responsibilities of a paid blogger? Are they the same as a blogger on staff (see # 17).
  19. What is success? How do know you've achieved it if you don't set goals?
  20. What does blogger relations really mean? Does a camera or a dinner or a press release make a relationship? What is the company's courtesy to the blogger?
  21. What is social media research? How will it be integrated into traditional research strategies?
  22. How does pay per post, posts written by journalists and posts based on sponsorship relationships effect the data and analysis of social media research?
  23. How can you extend content from blog post in addition to podcasts, articles, books, white papers?
  24. For Shel Israel - "Will blogs change marketing? Or will marketing change blogs?
  25. What are the components of social media marketing? How many people think that social media is now an industry.
  26. <Side thought: It's ok to think pink.>
  27. What are Diva Marketing Biz Blog Series Companies doing  now? Where blogs successful  2 years later?
  28. Is a social media strategy right for all companies? When does it make sense?
  29. How do blogs communicate differently than other text forms?
  30. Why do communities succeed or fail? Does a community organically evolve?
  31. Will social media be the new darling of customer service or  the devil in disguise? How would a company incorporate social media tactics into a customer service strategy?
  32. What is the difference between blogger relations and media relations in the year 2007 and beyond? What side of the aisle are journalists who blog? 
  33. Will social media consultants specialize by industry or by functional area? Does one need a niche to be successful in this business? Will the big agencies squeeze out the folks with real experience and passion?
  34. How much experience and how long does one have to be involved to be considered an expert in social media?
  35. What are the various uses for blogs? Shopping/commerce. Reviews. Marketing
  36. SEO and social media blurring of functional and strategies. Is it an SEO deal or a PR deal?
  37. Where does podcast fit in? It can't be social unless there is a conversation loop. So is podcast really social media? Same with vlogs.
  38. What can we learn from mommy bloggers?
  39. Blogs tie into corporate values.
  40. Blogs take time. What to write. How to write.
  41. Why don't more businesses brand their blogs with the look and feel of their website? Why. Why. Why don't (some) business bloggers include an about us? And why no email address?
  42. A blog report card. Does it go against the culture of blogs but not the out comes of business?
  43. Vast marketplace of ideas. The wild west of the new web. It's quickly being tamed.
  44. Why do people read blogs? What do people want from blogs and bloggers? What do they want? Do they really want the conversational options?  What don't people want?
  45. How does a reader or community member Not an organization define engagement? Should we not start with that before defining engagement as a business goal?
  46. Are blogs and other social media initiatives making a difference? Are these tactics impacting and changing behavior like in purchase behavior?
  47. Side thought: If you can't connect to one .. you can't connect to many.
  48. Are blogs and social media marketing tactics little more than viral or SEO tactics?
  49. What do you need to know to get started? What do you need to know to continue?
  50. What is blogging etiquette?
  51. How do you integrate a social media program with a traditional campaign? Or how do you integrate traditional marketing into a social media strategy?
  52. What are the lessons learned thus far about social media marketing?
  53. Do blogs help us find and/or become the divas in the mirror?
  54. Not only company but country influences social media culture.
  55. Can you write a book about social media if you have no experience? Must you have experience to understand the culture of social media?
  56. Side thought: So many smart people generously giving information and ideas to the world at-large.
  57. Now that I have this written in a blog can I trash the paper list?

RSS = Ready For Some Stories


For me, RSS, Real SIMPLE Syndication is the power behind blogs. But explaining it was alway far from Simple. Until that is Stephanie from Back in skinny jeans (Love that blog title!) took a very  out-of-the-box divaish approach. She thought how would Oprah expain RSS?


In Oprah speak, RSS stands for: I’m “Ready for Some Stories”. It is a way online for you to get a quick list of the latest story headlines from all your favorite websites and blogs all in one place.




By the way, while your on the site take a skip around .. lots of interesting content.

AiMA April Event - New Media Trends


Aima_logo_2 Blogs. RSS. Mobile. It's an exciting time to be involved with marketing. But it's also a confusing time. Which channels are most effective to reach your customers and prospects? 

AiMA's  (Atlanta Interactive Marketing Assoc)  April 26th event brings together marketing vips from top a interactive agency - Macquarium, traditonal PR -  Ketchum, main stream media - Scripps, and interactive - Yahoo! and DIY Network.  JR Mayhew, event chair,  has put together an exciting program on New Media Trends. What's Hot Now?

Next week. Wednesday April 26th. 6:30p. Atlanta.Be there.

Sidebar: Atlanta bloggers want to meet-up for a drink before? Drop an email [tobyb1 at gmail . com ]or add a comment. Josh come on back!

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Bloggy Networking


ProBlogger extraordinaire Darren Rowse is off on holiday and asked a few boggy pals to drop a post or two. I'm honored to join Rachel Cunliffe, Aaron Brazell, Brian Hunt, and bloggy pals Wayne Hurlbert and Peter Flaschner.

I wrote a post that I called RSS: Blog's Friend or Foe?  This was not a post against RSS but rather ... if people are reading you in an RSS feed can you or how can you build community, if you have ads - make some $ or encourage readers to convert e.g., email, sales, etc. And I offered a few ideas on how to encourage click throughs from an RSS feed.

1. enjoyable on-blog experience: look and feel, navigation, layout
2. providing information that can only be obtained by clicking through to your blog: podcasts, articles, photos. videos, terrific blogroll, archive links.
3. including cues in your posts that talk about value-added content on your blog: new podcasts tells how to go beyond ProBlogger status to zillionaire!

Darren's readers are great and let loose interesting comments. Some folks agreed with my take and some did not. Had a few great off-blog conversations with Tom Sherman, Robert Bruce and Clyde Smith.
Sidebar: Tom knows bloggy pal Matt Holmann. RobertWine_corks is an amazing poet. Clyde writes about hip hop. Talk about a late night networking party!



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RSS ... Made Really Simple


Shhh...want to know a secret of how do you can become indispensable? Know more than anyone else and become the Go To Diva (or Divo).  RSS. Really, Divas it's just simple syndication. Whatcha say girlfriend? Synda what?? RSS who?

Let me put it to you this way ... what if there were a way where you were the first to know about the hot new trends from lots and lots of experts? What if there were a way to get that scoop the second it was written (or at least published to the internet)? What if there were a way to quickly scan for what you wanted to know?

Emerson_process Jim Cahill, Emerson Process Management (yes ma'am, add another F100 to the blogosphere!)post that only 12% of internet uses know about RSS and of those only 4% are using RSS. But RSS may not be our little secret weapon for long. Emerson Process Management has just released a nifty RSS Starter Kit that they have kindly made available for the world to use.

Deb Franke, e-Marketing Manager at Emerson Process Management and a participate in the first AMA workshop on blogs way back in 2004, wanted to bring blogs and RSS to the company's emarketing efforts. Deb faced a couple of challenges: One RSS adoption rates were low  Two how to increase those numbers so customers and prospects could benefit from EPM's knowledge. Instead of waiting around for browers auto-sensing to be supported by all of the popular web browers EPM created the RSS Starter Kit.

"We hope to help the entire process manufacturing community see the value that we see with RSS and be able to immediately work smarter and faster because we believe RSS can short-cut the learning process. We hope one of the ways they use RSS is to more easily fnd the experts around Emerson who can help address some of the challenges they face on a daily basis."

Deb is jazzed that she can make this little tool available to help folks over the learning hump and encourage them to try using RSS. The RSS Starter Kit is complete with the a how-to subscribe to an RSS reader video along with all the who-what-whys.

Now if y'all want to be really cool about RSS readers hop over to my pals at BuzzHop and they'll help you create a branded reader with the elements of your logo included in the look and feel.

More about how companies are using RSS

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RSS & Blog Portals


What happens to eCommerce websites and blogs, or those where conversions are an important strategy, if RSS is the next killer app?

By that I mean the more people subscriber to readers the less likely they'll be to click-in and spend time on your site or blog. How will RSS impact conversions like email subscriptions, sales, Google Ad Sense and other web-based advertising?  How RSS impact developement and posting of value-add content like white paper downloads, podcasts or vlogs?

Wayne Hurlbert, the smart divo behind Blog Business World, has a very interesting post - Google Hub Sites: a blog goal. Wayne addresses how turning a blog into a portal can help lift search rankings. Great tips. Now, let's take Wayne's idea of a blog hub and spin it. Might creating a blog portal also encourage click-ins? 

Alex Brown is successfully creating blog portals that link to RSS fed websites and blogs. His first was for Wharton Admissions MBA Blog. Alex's strategy is told in Diva Marketing Blog's Biz  Blog  Profile Series. Recently he developed a portal blog for Clear Admit.

So I ask you, will RSS be the killer app that changes or destroys website/blog content? It might be unless we go back to internet marketing 101 and offer content that is relevant to our readers. But interestingly, if we follow Alex's model ... RSS just might be one strategy that will help us create relevancy and better blogs/sites.

Read more about RSS as a website strategy.


Pew Reports On RSS & Podcasting


According to a recent report from the Pew Institute 87% of respondents weren't really sure or hadn't heard of podcasting and even more (91%) were unaware of  RSS.

What does it mean when the average American internet user doesn't know what the heck a podcast is all about and doesn't have a clue about RSS?

To those in the industry ... an off blogosphere educational strategy may be in order. Oh no Mister Bill!traditional marketing. Gasp! maybe even a ... press release that reaches media that connect with people who are not blog savvy. Heresy!

RSS Beyond Blogs


Is RSS the next killer appXmlrsslogo? Well my pals at Buzzhop and Pheedo are 2 firms that betting that's the case.

If you're interested in how companies are using RSS in strategies other than blogs click over to Charlene Li's Blog. She's requested examples and there are some good ones posted in comments.

Here are a few -

- US Cycling (news)
- IBM Press Room (updates)
- Tech Recipes (updates, information)
- The Gallup Organization (updates, information)
- Deals on the Web (stuff)
- Amazon deals (stuff)
- Frontline (PBS - TV programming and news)
- Luftgrop (travel)
- Continental (travel)
- Pheedz (travel)
- Cocoran (real estate)
- Purina (information and cute things)
- IBM Investor Page (updates)
- Things you can do with RSS feeds  - Heard it from: DigitalGrit
- FindSavings (coupons)
- the Jane Goodal Institute (news)

Watch for more newsletters being delivered by RSS.  But just to let you know that I'm not drinking too much of the KoolAid - here are some of the challenges to keep in mind. The Diva stance? It's a consumer-centric world. Why wouldn't you do both and give your clients a choice? Talk to Bill or JR.

Disclosure: This is not an affiliate program for either Bill or JR. Neither has given me any $, altho in keeping with transparency mantra of the blogosphere there is a distinct possibility of a drink or two!

Sidebar: Purina  has one of the clearest explanations of RSS that I've come across: What's RSS?/How can I use RSS?/How to sign up for (Purina) RSS feeds/Terms for Purina RSS feeds
Sidebar: As with other disclaimers, look for more "Terms of Agreement" on blogs as blogs continue to make their way into corporate strategies. Tis the nature of the beast.