#twubchat: Interview w Tony Ferraro Twubs CEO

Twubs CEO, Tony Ferraro answers questions about hashtags, event amplification, usage

  1. We had the privilege of interviewing Tony Ferraro, Twubs cofounder and CEO on Blab.im for our weekly #twubchat. You can catch the video replay here or scroll through the tweets we brought in from Twitter below.
  2. Show Recap

  3. 4:09 Q1: How did Twubs hashtag registry come about? A1: Twubs was founded in 2009 after Tony Ferraro noticed a tweet where someone asked, "what are the top 5 hashtags to track for gardening?" -- realizing there was a lack of a directory of hashtags. Twubs was born, garnering a mention on Mashable on our first day. Unfortunately, that summer the world followed #iranelection and since our site aggregated all 22 hashtags around the topic, we couldn't handle the traffic and crashed. Since then, we've moved our solution to the cloud and usage of hashtags has gotten more global and business focused.
  4. 7:54 Hashtag usage has gone from simply news discovery where aggregating multiple hashtags around a news story matters to business usage.
  5. 8:50 The ability to aggregate and moderate conversations around topics is what a Twubs page brings.
  6. 10:05 Q2: What is the most unusual usage of hashtags you've seen? A2: The pop culture usage, when people register hashtags that create tone, like "#ilovemydogandmydoglovesme.
  7. 11:35 Brands are still figuring out how to use hashtags. Tony asks CMOs at a conference if they use hashtags in their marketing, they all answer yes, however the "why" isn't as clear in their minds. It is also mind-blowing that brands don't protect their hashtags from anyone using them.
  8. 13:45 Q3: What are the most heavily used hashtags on Twubs? A3: Since 2010, there is a city in Mexico that uses the hashtag #reynosafollows to generate news and aggregates tips into an online newspaper. Unfortunately, the second most heavily used hashtag has to deal with pornography which is unfortunate.
  9. 16:09 Q4: How do you handle competing claims for a hashtag? A4: We deal with that a lot. A legitimate brand with a trademark we will always give it to them. Time of first use and actual usage activity matters as well. We're putting things in place that will help with brand protection developed from our 6 years of experience.
  10. 22:23 Q5: Does Twubs pull hashtags across other platforms? Q5: Yes, Instagram but only for our paid users. Instagram's rate limit makes it more expensive for us to pull queries as opposed to Twitter's rate limits. Twubs really focuses on LIVE events in real time, so Twitter still produces the most timely updates. Relevant in the moment is our guiding factor.
  11. 27:00 Q6: From Mitch Jackson, "are there ways an attorney or doctor could use hashtags to grow their practice?" A6: Proactively serve content to prospects by developing a concierge approach to ones' services. Hashtags help build a bridge with prospects and let you serve up expertise.
  12. 36:27 Q7: From Kathleen Kopacz, "do you recommend common hashtags or more niche ones?" A7: If you want a memorable one, a niche one may serve you better. If you pick a generic one, you'll have more irrelevant tweets which will need to be moderated out.
  13. 38:41 Q8: Also from Kathleen Kopacz, "can you aggregate conversations across other platforms like Instagram or Periscope?" A8: Not currently. We pull Tweets from Twitter but the conversations in video streaming happens verbally so the hashtags are not as easily tracked.
  14. 43:38 For folks planning events here are examples of how tweet-to-screen has helped our clients. Customers like iHeartMedia, GE Capital and others see the way social shares increase and the tweets build amplification for the event. Additional brand impressions and audience engagement provided by Twubs Twitter ticker delight event producers.
  15. 47:15 Guy Kawasaki mentions Twubs Tweet to Screen in his book, The Art of Social Media on pages 91, 106.
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