SocialMediaToday.com’s Robert Bacal’s “Twitter in a Corner- Facing Huge Challenges” is a smart look into Twitter’s challenge to monetize and survive into the future. Bacal points out Twitter’s initial steps into advertising and their deliberate roll out strategy. He correctly identifies Twitter’s concern with user experience and the possible alienation of users due to the advertising platform. Bacal gets most of it right but not everything.
Twitter User Experience: Bad Times Ahead?
According to Bacal:
“Can it (Twitter) hit the critical balancing point where it can maintain its user base, attract more users while using user eyeballs to generate money? It’s unlikely. There is a point where the commercial use will drive social and community users out of the space, or to competitors, and that reality, or at least possibility limits the revenue potential.“
“At the same time, there isthe issue of commercialization from third party sources who aren’t paying anything for the free advertising they get from simply dumping tweets into the stream. They damage the user experience for those who are not there to buy things, the majority of users, and they don’t drive any revenue at all for Twitter.”
Twitter User Experience: Counterpoint
Commercial Use: commercial use will begin to attract more users not drive them away from Twitter. In tandem with Foursquare, Twitter will be the “offer platform” consumers will flock to in order to find the best deals on products and services
Research: according to a 2006 quote from Evan Williams:
“What we have to do is deliver to people the best and freshest most relevant information possible. We think of Twitter as it’s not a social network, but it’s an information network. It tells people what they care about as it is happening in the world.” Twitter remains one of the most vibrant and important resources for information on the internet and the fastest growing search engine with more monthly search queries than Yahoo and Bing- combined!
Choice: Bacal’s thought that user experience is damaged by people or companies “dumping tweets into the stream” that either promote or advertise something is no different than the 50 years worth of television or radio advertising we have endured. We as users understand that we can ignore the tweets that promote or advertise because the network’s value outweighs the littered stream.
Entertainment Value: Twitter has a plethora of celebrities, sports stars, business magnates, and other very interesting people and brands. It is the platform to learn about people and brands. No amount of commercialization will drive people away from the tidbits of gossip, insider information, and breaking news Twitter has to offer.
Guest writing is one of the fastest ways to meet new contacts, provide exposure and viral possibilities for your content, and learn from a new audience of readers.
We at Innerarchitect.com are proud to announce our acceptance as guest contributors to SearchEnginePeople.com Canada’s “largest and most trusted Internet marketing company.” Search Engine People services 300 clients worldwide including many of Canada’s top brands. President and CEO Jeff Quipp and blog Editor Ruud Hein are the driving forces behind SearchEnginePeople’s blog.
Inner Architect Features on SearchEnginePeople.com
One of the most underutilized tabs on your Twitter home page is the Retweet tab. Retweets are vital to building a viral marketing wave that carries your links to a larger audience increasing your company’s reach. Yet with all of the benefits available, most companies don’t monitor this resource.
Retweet Tab Features
Retweets By Others: this tab showcases users, not in your network, who have retweeted their network. Mine this tab to find new companies or people to follow, links for research, and conversations to follow
Retweets By You: this tab showcases your Retweets. This tab provides Twitter users a history and information bank for their Retweets. Mine this tab for old Retweets of users you may have forgotten
Your Tweets Retweeted: this tab showcases your Tweets that others have Retweeted. Use this tab to find new people or companies. Mine this tab to find old Retweets of your content and reward those people with a Retweet of their content
Johnny Cash was often perceived as a hard drinking, hell raisin, authority defying man- which he was throughout much of his life. Yet the true essence of Johnny Cash could be in the fact he wore black on behalf of the poor and hungry, on behalf of “the prisoner who has long paid for his crime”, and on behalf of those who have been betrayed by age or drugs.” Yet perception is reality and like Johnny said “life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue.”
Perception is reality is an unfortunate fact when it comes to naming or branding a product or service. Social media has a history of snappy, silly, cartoon like names meant to inspire a smile rather than a knowing nod. Names like Google, Bebo, Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, hi5, digg, Bit.ly, del.icious, and Orkut do little to inspire the perception of serious business tools.
What would happen if the two largest and most successful social networks, Facebook and Twitter, had serious names?
Facebook aka CRMA
Facebook’s name does little to describe it’s versatility and powerful role as a business tool in today competitive economy. What would the adoption rate and acceptance as a sales and marketing channel be if Facebook was named CARMA? Facebook is one of the most valuable customer relationship management (CRM) tools available today.
Customer: the focal point of every business
Relationship: creating relationships which tether consumers to your product or service
Management: showing up in the network to listen, respond, and offer help
Aggregator: collect and aggregate your brand’s consumers in one spot where they can communicate, find answers, and express their love your your product or services
Twitter aka MUSCLE
Twitter is often perceived as a fad or game due to the perception the name evokes with many potential users. The reality of Twitter is that it is one of the most powerful real time lead generating prospecting tools available today. What if Twitter was named MUSCLE?
Multiple: multi ways to prospect for new customers
Utility: the satisfaction involved in Twitter’s multiple uses
Sales: make offers in real time, close sales
Channel: measurable sales channel with specific etiquette and return on investment
Lead: keyword searches reveal real time consumer conversations providing leads for your company
Equity: brand equity built through real time engagement, service, and offers
Do you have Twitter Sol? If you do then you are utilizing and leveraging Twitter for all it is worth. You are making friends, networking, and making a difference. If you don’t have Twitter Sol you are not being heard, you have not opened lines of communication, you are not leveraging the network, and you are not making a difference- you are just there.
Twitter Status Quo
Most people and companies do not take the time to learn all of the features, functions, and strategies the network has to offer. After a frustrating time trying to blast spam or Noise messages of sales, the final chapter is an abandoned account which creates problems:
Perception: that the company or person did not take the time to learn or engage on Twitter could tarnish the brand in their consumer’s eyes
Listening: that the company or person no longer cares about the consumer’s concerns, stories of using the brand, or problems with the product or service
Communication: even if the company or person listens to the network they no longer have a tool they are willing to use to engage these consumers. Instead they will allow anything and every opportunity to pass all because they established a Twitter account before creating a strategy
Strategy: Do you understand how to leverage Twitter to perform
Prospecting for new clients
Monitoring your brand
Defending your reputation
Measuring ROI via keycodes
Creating a “viral army” of people or companies that will carry your messages forward
Recognizing people and companies via messages
Copywriting hashtag events
Replying directly to your prospects
Follow vs. Follower ratios 1:1
Attract a targeted Following
Segment through list building
Find “Real Time” conversations
Monitor multiple keywords
Engage with prospects
Network with industry-niche Associations, companies, people
Ask for guest post on blogs
Set up meetings
Contact from prospect
Recognition by your industry or prospects
Timing of offer or communication
Right place at the right time
Engage with prospect who do not communicate via email, postal, telephone or traditional channels
Find employees, partners, contractors
Discovered by online media, mass media, different countries or cultures
AnswerBagpublished this deansguide article 5-21-10
Twitter Hashtag events are strategic opportunities to network, communicate, recognize, and launch your brand. If done strategically and properly, your efforts will result in benefits for your brand. But beware. . . there are many mistakes and pitfalls of laziness. We have identified the biggest mistake and the best solution to fix this mistake.
Biggest Hashtag Event Mistake
The biggest mistake made during a #FollowFriday or industry-niche hashtag event is the simple listing of people or companies being recommended:
Best Hashtag Event Solution: Write Compelling Copy
Titles: create titles for people. Wine industry example- “Purple Elixer Fanatics”; “Grape Groupies”; “Bodyguards to the Vine” By creating a catchy title with personality, you embody what people want to be known for on Twitter
Reasons: create copy that describes the reason someone should follow. Wine industry example- “Vine Pro’s Prose” aka a great wine journalist or blogger; “Wine Ambassadors”; “Vine knowledge & patience”
Single Recommendations: the most powerful strategy is to create a recommendation for one vital and important contact you wish to make. Wine industry example- “@ChefChiarello innovative and rustic cuisine that makes a statement, sets the tone, satisfies the soul #FollowFriday (link)”
Edison Research:Twitter Usage In America 2010 produced surprising results and many new findings that shed some light on interesting developments within this growing marketing and sales channel. The following are a number of the interesting findings in the report:
Awareness of Twitter: has exploded from 5% of Americans age 12+ in 2008 to 87% in 2010 (by comparison, Facebook’s awareness is 88%) dg: Twitter awareness is being driven by traditional media outlets losing their grip on breaking news
Regular Usage: despite equal awareness, Twitter trails Facebook significantly in usage: 7% of Americans (17 million persons) actively use Twitter, while 41% maintain a profile page on Facebook dg: Facebook remains the juggernaut opportunity for companies willing to adopt an enterprise wide social media plan
Brands: 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks
dg: this statistic alone is a huge signal to companies that people are consuming information on Twitter as an alternative to traditional channels; consequently this shift is a huge sales opportunity and a must monitor channel
Mobile: nearly two-thirds of active Twitter users access social networking sites using a mobile phone dg: this signals the next generation of foursquare based instant real time messaging where consumers check in at a location, companies monitor foursquare, companies quickly make offers to consumers based on location
Income-Education: Twitter users are more likely to live in higher income households and 63% of users have a college degree dg: although the name is goofy and the channel is often disparaged for it’s frivolous number of tweets, the fact remains many intelligent people are leveraging this channel for their business goals