Archive for the ‘Social media’ Category

Hitwise releases Oprah Twitter data

April 21, 2009

Whoever says Oprah doesn’t have an impact on society is full of it. Hitwise released data today showing the lift that Oprah gave Twitter. It’s quite impressive to be honest. There was a 43% increase in visits on April 17th from April 10th. 

Now, the larger question is will the early adopters jump the shark and head somewhere else now that every soccer mom in America knows what Twitter is? When Omniture Summit was in town, I asked a few key industry names why doesn’t anyone like Plurk, mainly Jeremiah Owyang and the responses were, “Who do you know on Plurk?”. It was a great response then, but will the early adopters of Twitter want to get away from the masses? Not sure Plurk is where they will go, but could be. What about FriendFeed? Or will they stay with Twitter and just keep their following to people they want. As long as Twitter can handle the bandwith issue, there is no immediate impact on any user prior to @Oprah and @aplusk.

At the end of the day, it does not matter. What does matter is that Oprah drove a ton of new people to Twitter and they will see a lot more accounts. The question is how can marketers utilize Twitter and how can Twitter monetize the increase in traffic.

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Twitter hashtags for monitoring out-of-home

April 20, 2009

I had written in February about brands pushing the conversation to Twitter through “big seed” marketing and monitoring it through hashtags. Today I read an article about how Land Rover is doing just that. They are using out-of-home media to push people to Twitter and use hastags. The hashtag is #LRNY.

I am pleased to see this finally happen as it makes so much sense and hats off to Land Rover, Twittads and Wunderman for making this a reality. I’m sure we will see more of this kind of integration between digital and traditional as there is no incremental cost to using Twitter as the platform for conversation and hashtags make it easy to track/monitor.

Twitter is to publishing as iTunes was to music

April 7, 2009

Twitter is posing a serious threat to the traditional publisher, both online and offline. The internet has changed how we consume media and Twitter is pushing the petal to the metal. We now consume a lot more of a lot less and with Twitter, it’s in 140 characters. Yes, I understand that a lot of times Tweets have links which take visitors back to content rich sites, but I can see news through a Twitter feed. This calls for innovation.

A similar switch in consumption has recently occurred in the music industry. People were no longer required to purchase the full album, but rather a single track. This allowed customized “albums” to be built. Purchased is a different story. Consumers no longer wanted to buy a $12 disc for a song or two, but rather 2 tracks for $1.98. Consuming a lot more a of a lot less. Similar concept. Niche categories like 23 genre’s of House were created and the long tail continued, read Chris Anderson’s book.

I know there are several other music models in the industry, but iTunes paved the way for innovation and a lot of skeptics have been forced to eat their words. As we continue to see newspapers fall, online publishers must take note and innovate or they will be next. They cannot compete on speed. Plain and simple, they will not win on breaking news stories. They must find ways to innovate. Today we may trust the local “reporter” who is next door just as much as a news outlet. 

Media outlets are at a critical junction in their existence. What was once the kings empire, is now at risk of falling to the commoner to a simple tagline of “what are you doing”.

Twitter: To buy or not to buy

April 3, 2009

A lot of buzz his morning about Google and Twitter. Will Google buy Twitter or won’t they? At the end of the day, Twitter will need to monetize it’s amazing growth or sell out and let someone else figure it out. Depending on what side of the fence you are on, you could argue which way makes the most sense.

Google buys Twitter:

Google knows what industry they are in. They have stopped trying to become the behemoth media company and focusing back on search. After all, it’s what they know. I didn’t Google was smart to try and get into print, TV and radio and now looks like they realized it. Google bought YouTube not because it was a better product than Google video, or more popular, but the search volume. YouTube now ranks #2 behind Google itself for search volume. Guess who is increasing search volume??? Yep, Twitter. The problem with the concept of Twitter as a search driver to monetize through ads is that over 50% of Twitter traffic is not through the site. Thanks Tweetdeck and TwitterFon!

Google to pass on Twitter:

The last point about Twitter search volume and how it’s not happening on Twitter. More and more applications are using the Twitter API to access the data and people no longer need to go to Twitter. Think destination free web. Google knows how to make money on search volume. It took them longer than I expected on YouTube, but video is a different beast dealing with context. Also, Twitter has become the search engine for NOW. If I want to know what is happening now, Twitter breaks the news the fastest. Just depends on who you follow to get it sent to you, or if you have to search for it. How many advertisers can predict what will happen and capitalize on what will happen in the future? Not many.

The risk for Google not to buy Twitter is that it will continue it’s phenomenal growth, and be a much more expensive acquisition in the future. Buy it while it’s “cheap”?

My two cents: I don’t want to see ads plastered down the side of Twitter search. If third party sites monetize through Google, that’s fine. Don’t mess with Twitter, even though less than 50% use it to access Twitter anyways.

So will we see a “Twoogle”?

Twitter & SEO

March 24, 2009

Twitter recently made a big change to the way they format their title tags on profile pages. They no longer keep the Twitter…. tag, but rather list the User Name and Profile name. This will help out brands and individuals immensely who are trying to gain more traffic through the search engines.

Although the link drives the visitor to the Twitter profile, it’s there that the URL listed can be the corporate website. 

It’s no longer just MySpace and Facebook profiles showing up on the SERP’s. Twitter is there too!

TV and Social Media integration

March 13, 2009

As American Idol season 8 finally gets going (I couldn’t stand the new format the first few weeks) and we are down to the final 12 contestants, it has been interesting to watch trends on Twitter for Idol. People are not using Twitter to discuss the latest performance, outfit or comment as I suspected. This may be because the Twitter base does not care about American Idol, which I could completely understand. However, American Idol was the first show to really become “interactive” with the fans using SMS voting.

Twitter provides so much more than a short-code keyword combo for voting. Fans could talk about their favorite artists and how they want to see them next week. Each artist would have their own hashtag and Tweets would be tracked for a certain period of time. All comments might not be positive, so it’s possible groups like Vote For The Worst could try and game the system, but who cares. They can game the call logs and SMS messages.

Social media allows conversations to happen between like minded individuals. I may join a conversation with a group of people in California who love Megan Joy Corkrey just as I hear people here in Utah. After all, common interests are the new demographics. 

It will be interesting to see what the first major TV show is to incorporate Twitter besides news and talk shows. Social media is so easy and provides such a richer user experience. It might actually help decrease time-shifting as people want to be current and increase their “social currency”. To gain social currency, content must be relevant and timely. Users will have to watch “live” shows and watch the dreaded COMMERCIAL to be current in the socialsphere.

Come on Idol, be another first. Integrate with social media for voting and get the Groundswell going.

Is Facebook radius targeting big for local online advertising?

March 12, 2009

Facebook announced they are now offering language targeting and radius targeting through their platform. Personally, I have not had any conversations regarding targeting Spanish speakers, but I have had a lot of conversations about using Facebook for local advertising. Prior to today, there were a couple different ways to net down the audience size and “target” local markets. I also have an unfair advantage since around 90% of Utah’s population is along the Wasatch Front, which makes it easier. However, not everyone has that luxury of population density.

Imagine someone in California that had a few small locations that wanted to use Facebook, targeting all of LA might not be the best option. They could use Google for search and set custom targeting, but an issue with search is that people have to know what they are looking for and “search”. Facebook’s new targeting option allows advertisers to promote their services in a similar fashion that display advertising works, with much better geo targeting. Since social networks get so much traffic, small advertisers now have another viable model for local advertising on the web.

This could be a large move for Facebook along with their new Pages release which will also increase the amount of local businesses using Facebook. Rather than static pages where there was not many benefots of being a fan, the changes allow for a much more dynamic environment that allows brands to have a voice in social media.

Overall, I like what I am seeing from Facebook recently (hasn’t always been the case, remember Beacon and the T&C’s issue). Any move that helps more companies and individuals move online or move more money online is a good thing.

Twitter to replace SMS

February 23, 2009

In a recent post, I briefly mentioned how Twitter poses a large threat to SMS marketing platforms. I found proof today how a company used Twitter to start a campaign and then required the offer to be shown through a SMS message delivered to phone so that it could be redeemed. I understand not everyone has a smartphone, and they utilized Twitter’s SMS feature, but it is close. Companies will continue to see the power of Twitter and use it more and more.

The offer was a free burrito for anyone that showed the message on their phone at the counter. The success was more about the ability of Twitter to “broadcast” offers that people find relevant and think their friends will enjoy rather than mobile marketing. Who wouldn’t want a free burrito and what better way to tell friends then the immediacy of Twitter. Even though they required a text message at the end of the process, it was not done through an SMS platform like Cellit or Hip Cricket. The campaign started with Twitter and ended with Twitter’s SMS capability. A 100% Twitter campaign with great execution. They went from 80 followers to more than 450 in a day.

Twitter poses a significant threat to SMS marketing platforms as the scalability is endless and as of now, there are no costs associated with it. Along with those benefits, Twitter is growing at an enormous rate and no end in sight. SMS marketing platforms still have a few advantages such as privacy, but they need to keep a close eye on Twitter.

Twitter ads search to some home pages

February 19, 2009

Twitter announced they are beta testing a new search feature. Rather than having to use a third party application or go to search.twitter.com to search for trends or content, you will be able to search directly from a profile. This is a brilliant move for Twitter as it supports the notion they can become a “search engine”. The content is not static web content, but rather real time content and conversations.

Wikipedia was the most updated content during the shootings at Virginia Tech, now Twitter is the source for the most up-to-date news content on the web. Rather than seeing what is “indexed the best” and not necessarily the most recent, Twitter allows you to search what is happening right now as Tweets often have a half-life of a fruit fly. 

Making the search functionality easier to access is another arrow in Twitter’s quiver for changing the search landscape. Even though there are several different thoughts about Twitter and different uses, it continues to grow and make a legitimate threat to certain types of search queries once owned by the traditional search engines. Google needs to keep Twitter under a tight watch.

Start the conversation with a big seed

February 13, 2009

It seems there is a lot of buzz about Twitter and that it has finally been accepted in certain groups and hashtagging is a great way to see what people are talking about. I recently enjoyed a Monday night in front of my computer using TweetGrid monitoring #journchat and starting micro-conversations amongst the overall larger conversation. It was great.

I recently read Bill Tancer’s “Click” which is a phenomenal read about interesting trends found through Internet data and it rmeinded me of the Pontiac campaign a few years ago. The call to action was not “go to Pontiac.com” instead, it was “Google Pontiac”. That was a huge risk at the time. They were the first brand to utilize traditional mass media to drive people to Google rather than a corporate site. They also had to increase the cost of the campaign for the PPC tactics as well as feel confident about organic results. “Click” reports that only Mazda utilized this for their benefit as well and bid on Pontiac. That was a few years ago. 

Today, I am wondering who will be the first major brand to start the conversation on Twitter and monitor results through the conversations. This is based on the premise of “big seed marketing” where you merge viral and mass media to increase the opportunities for the message to spread.  I can’t see why a brand would not want to try this approach. It shows they understand their consumers and where they are talking. Lets face it, people are talking through social media whether a brand monitors it or not. It might not be brand specific since it’s tough in 140 characters, but products and categories for sure. So as I watch various trends start on Twitter such as #journchat and #followfriday, I am looking forward to the first brand pushing traffic to Twitter to start the conversation. 

Depending on the continual increase in smartphone adoption, this may give mobile SMS marketing a very short shelf life. Why pay for SMS messages when you can communicate for free through Twitter? Start the conversation.