Category Archives: Twitter

Social Media Coming of Age – at the tipping point?

Super Bowl Advertisers Tap Social Media:

“Brands employed social media, whether to poll consumers to determine how well their ads were received, or to drive additional traffic to Facebook where they could actively engage with their potential customers – something that TV simply can’t facilitate. To generate additional traffic for the social sites and online communities that have been integrated into their marketing strategies, several brands enhanced their Super Bowl microsites with social content, and in turn added promotional content from their brand sites to their social efforts.”

BBC says Use Social Media – or Leave:

“BBC news journalists have been told to use social media as a primary source of information. For BBC news editors, Twitter and RSS readers are to become essential tools, until now the broadcaster has been very cautious about social media.”

Meet The First Miners of the New Social Graph :

“These days, it’s all about who you don’t know. That’s the theory behind a group of very interesting software projects being built on top of the giant graph of friend/follower connection data that Twitter exposes about its users. Name 3 people whom you admire, despise, work with or otherwise pay attention to and tools like HiveMind, Follower Wonk and Twiangulate will quickly calculate who all those people are following in common on Twitter. Say you’re a reporter covering New York city schools. Who might be a good source to contact? Here’s what Copeland recommends: Look at Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s list of followers on Twitter. See which ones look like education-related organizations.”

The State of Social Media Around the World 2010:

This is an extensive post and well worth clicking through to see the well illustrated detail.

The Conversation Prism

“Upon review, it’s clear that Facebook, at 400 million, is truly earning a global audience, which naturally burrows its social roots with every new connection and the connections of connections forged within the network. According to research, Facebook dominates in 100 out of 127 countries measured. In 50% of the countries included in this study, online photo sharing dominated the list of social media applications. It is also among the oldest of social services within the included mix. 44% of the countries in this survey embrace online profiles in social networks suggesting that their personal brand, whether for engaging in personal or professional interactions, is becoming increasingly important. 81% shared photos and online profiles as the top 1 and 2 activities with the exception of Japan, China, and South Korea where blogging displaced social profiles as a top application. 94% of countries reported that micro-blogging (think Twitter) were among the least pervasive with the exception of Japan, where it ranked fourth – just below social network profiles and above video.”

10 Uses for Twitter in 2010

What is ElephantEar going to do with Twitter this year?

  1. Listen to customers – by monitoring traffic to @overtone and hashtags #overtone and #openmic – and engage with them personally and en-masse
  2. Watch competitors – by monitoring traffic with their @userids and #hashtags
  3. Listen to leading edge thinkers
  4. Make instant complaints (or just rant) using the hashtags #fail and #servicefail and talk to hotels, airlines, retailers and online sites tweeting using their @userids
  5. Virtually attend conferences – by monitoring hashtags like #sn09 (Supernovahub) and #w2e (Web2.0Expo)
  6. Listen to bleeding edge thinkers
  7. Logging my checked baggage when I travel
  8. Find amusing web content: xkcd @shitmydadsays
  9. Get Stock tips from StockSource
  10. Tell my friends where I am using Foursquare

What is Social Media Engagement?

Copyright Overtone Inc. 2010

PASSIVE / BROADCAST (top left) – organizations listening to their entire market, say, by doing a keyword search on the fire-hose and analyzing the posts that come back over time for sentiment and topic

PASSIVE / PERSONAL (bottom left) – organizations or probably marketers or product managers following or listing individual influencers to hear what they are saying with regard to the product or brand

ACTIVE / PERSONAL (bottom right) – individuals within the organization watching Twitter and making direct responses (More Evidence that Social Network Marketing can Work , Hyatt McCormick Place Twitter Account)

ACTIVE / BROADCAST (top right) – marketing groups watching Twitter and making direct responses to the poplation that follows them via their own @corporate_account (e.g. Seesmic’s Twitter Account ,VirginAmerica’s Twitter Account or Wholefoods’ Twitter Account)

Three recent articles discussing Twitter

Follow the Tweets by Huaxia Rui, Andrew Whinston and Elizabeth Winkle (November 30, 2009)

Rui, Whinston and Winkler’s post discussed how “executives can make accurate predictions about sales trends by analyzing tweets that mention their products or services”

Their research followed 3 movies – and observed correlations between box office sales and the sentiments expressed about those movies by Twitter users. Their findings concluded that revenues could be predicted using Twitter postings as a leading indicator.

These lessons can be applied equally in other industries and the article offers advice to executives on how to use Twitter:

  1. Listen to and engage customers
  2. Be a part of the Twitter ecosystem
  3. Identify influencers
  4. Pay attention to shifts in opinion
  5. Follow trending topics

Twitter and Me! Why It’s The Only Social Media Tool I Use by Vivek Wadhwa  (January 1, 2010)

Vivek Wadhwa voted for Twitter in the Crunchies because of how it has impacted him despite his reluctance to embrace Social Media.

He likes the conciseness of communication, the real time communication aspect – how Twitter has created a low overhead, rapid focus group, opinion gathering, market research mechanism. He adds that “it’s the most efficient mechanism I have ever seen to allow me to peruse the thoughtstreams of others who live all over the world”.

In the comments, @douglasputman so eloquantly says: ” I have a home on Twitter, where I can sit by the River and watch the world flow by. And I can dip my toe in the water if it pleases me.” – which makes for a very pleasant picture indeed.

Why Twitter Will Endure by David Carr ( January 1, 2010)

David Carr overcomes his initial skepticism over Twitter amongst other Social Media ‘web-bourne life intrusions’

He points out how Twitter allows him to be “in narrative on more things in a given moment than I ever thought possible”.

He comments on the user-defined folksonomy of #hashtags and describes Twitter as being “so friction-free” and again the river analogy “Twitter can be overwhelming, but think of it as a river of data rushing past that I dip a cup into every once in a while. Much of what I need to know is in that cup”

Generally though, he comments on how Twitter has become part of the online fabric and has to potential as the river where content can easily flow into and be captured from – and this will fuel its continuance.

Sunday Morning Twits

As Twitter increases in popularity I thought I’d spend my Sunday morning searching out some anecdotal evidence to back up my gut feel – just how popular, how much is hype, where’s it all going, where is it going sideways and how might one get it right. Here are a few of the articles that helped me get to the bottom of things:

50 Million Twits: 50 million unique visitors worldwide

A TechCrunch post this week, Twitter Flew Above The 50 Million Uniques Mark For the First Time in July,  reported “ComScore now counts it as the No. 47 largest site in the world, increasing from the No.52 spot in June and (surpassing the BBC and Craigslist)”. and “It is important to note that since more than half of Twitter users don’t even go to the Website and use Twitter apps to consume and publish Tweets, Twitter’s total audience is even larger. But clearly Twitter is still growing.”

Pointless Twits: How Useful is Twitter Content

A post on Pear Analytics by Ryan Kelly, Twitter Study Reveals Interesting Results About Usage – 40% is “Pointless Babble” analyzes 2,000 Tweets on the public timeline over a two week period in a white paper study. The exercise categorized Tweets into 6 buckets – News, Spam, Self-Promotion, Pointless Babble, Conversational and Pass-along value.

Pointless Babble won with 40.55% of the total tweets captured; however, Conversational was a very close second at 37.55%, and Pass-Along Value was third (albeit a distant third) at 8.7% of the tweets captured.

Corporate Finance Twits: Twitter Use by Investor Relations

A post this week on Q4blog – Report reveals early adopters using Twitter for Investor Relations discusses Social Media adoption outside of Marketing and PR.

Key statistics revealed include that of the 80 public companies surveyed, 55% are using Twitter for investor relations and 62% provided a link to their Q2 earnings release.

Tennis Twits: Important. Player Notice. Twitter Warning

A post on the BBC News site yesterday Roddick questions Twitter ruling, mentions World number five Andy Roddick describing attempts at the US Open to regulate players’ updates on social networking site Twitter as “lame”.

The Tennis Integrity Unit warns that Twitter messages could violate anti-corruption rules, and that tweeting is not allowed on court during matches.

They add that sending “certain sensitive information concerning your match or other matches and/or players should be avoided. Depending on the information sent out this could be determined as the passing of ‘inside information.’

Football Twits:  NFL clampdown on Twitter and Other Social Media

An Associated Press article on the NFL.com site Teams struggle with policies on Twitter usage as site’s popularity grows states: “The only tweets during the Miami Dolphins’ Saturday scrimmage will come from the officials’ whistles.

The Dolphins are at the forefront of an NFL clampdown on Twitter and other social media, with new restrictions imposed on players, reporters and even spectators.”

The general fear across many teams is that opponents might gain a competitive advantage from even the briefest tweet about injuries, personnel decisions, trick plays or food.

Sports Media writers expressed a different fear, “It would be a shame for a beat writer to get beaten on a story by a 12-year-old in the stands who is allowed to blog” – the view of The Professional Football Writers of America.

Movie Twits: Tweets Don’t Equal Ticket Sales

In a ReadWriteWeb article Twitter Effect’s Power Overstated when it Comes to Making and Breaking Movies on Aug 28, Sarah Perez discusses how “the early buzz on Twitter – much of it negative – that caused these movies to crash and burn”

The post concludes that “the online chatter taking place on the popular microblogging site, while still an important vector for studying sentiment, is not powerful enough on its own to truly impact the overall success or failure of a movie”

Teen Twits: Twitter’s Youth Sees Growth

Another ReadWriteWeb post by Sarah Perez,  Teens Don’t Tweet, May they Start Soon notes that teens are more likely to use text messaging than Twitter for keeping up with their friends and that only 11% of Twitter users are aged 12 to 17, according to comScore.

Commentary to this post suggested that “teens don’t tweet because they are already using Facebook, which has everything they’re looking for. Twitter would just be extra work for them” Another comment pointed out that “there were few kids on Twitter in 2008 because it was being used by people who were already sophisticated social media users and who had a blog/website. I see Twitter as both a leading edge information source and a networking tool.”

The commentary to this post is as valuable as the post itself and worth paying attention to.

17 Twits: Dipping your toe in the water

Another post on DoshDosh, 17 Ways You Can Use Twitter: A Guide for Beginners, Marketers and Business Owners provides a useful brainstorm of ways that Twitter can be used in a business context – event updates, customer notifications, prospecting and hiring. A useful listing to dip your toe in the water.

Strategic Twits: Successful Social Media Strategies

In her article, 5 steps to a successful social media strategy, Amy Sample Ward discusses how a Social Media strategy should serve your organizational goals – a principle that organizations seem to forget in their feet first efforts to adopt Twitter, Facebook, Review Sites and Online Communities.

Each step comes with a dialog and a number of links for more information:

Step 3, Strategy, has 5 important sub-steps of things to Identify –

  1. The audience or community you want to engage
  2. The resources currently available within your organization
  3. What success will look like
  4. What technologies are most appropriate
  5. What measures of success can be used

Whether you are for-profit or non-profit there are some sensible tips here.

Golden Twits: Following thousands of people is just ridiculous

TechCrunch this week discussed Twitter’s Golden Ratio (That No One Likes To Talk About) – specifically the ratios between the number of followers a user has, the number of tweets the’ve made and the number of people that user is following.

Worth reading and worth considering when your Twitter strategy becomes more successful and pertinent to your organizational goals – particularly if you are considering an Online Influencers program.

Monitoring Twits: Social Media Monitoring Tools

While seeking out statistics for this post I noticed that the latest Neilsen report states that Twitter is enjoying a 1382% monthly growth… back in February 2009 – a somewhat ironic date in a long and distant past that made me ask the question is traditional market research the best place to pick up the latest buzz? Or can you get 80% of the value for 20% of the cost using well thought out Social Media Monitoring tools.

Ken Burbary’s Wiki of Social Media Monitoring Solutions provides a Master List of useful tools ranging across the board from the most simple and free like Twitfeel to the more expensive full service solutions such as TNS Cymfony. The list also includes my own OpenMic Social Media Analysis solution.

I’m a Twit: My Conclusions

I still maintain my geeky belief that Twitter is a protocol (like Facebook is a set of permissions) – Twitter is a communications channel that can be used in a broad range of ways for both personal and business reasons. It is at its roots a subscribable broadcast mechanism. The beauty is its API that has allowed a variety of applications where its content can be consumed. The crowdsourcing of #hashtags, its use as a pointer system via Bit.ly, photos on Twitpic and the ability to address other @users has allowed it to really flower, yet we have yet to see the killer apps and revenue models appear.

In the meantime, work out what you  are trying to achieve from a business perspective and develop your Twitter tactics as part of a broader social media strategy. And listening to the buzz can be as valuable as broadcasting.

Listening with Twitter

A conversation on Twitter in under 280 characters:

markjbauer someone needs to suggest to me good ways to find ‘interesting’ people to track on Twitter !

gammydodger @markjbauer – Go to http://search.twitter.com/ – type in your product name or your company name and follow those who are talking about them

That’s all folks… try it – you might find something interesting