What started off as a SMS service to communicate within a small group on 21st March 2006 has swiftly transformed itself into a leading indicator of everything from political to pop culture for 200 million citizens of our planet.
Twitter is used from everything to break global news (the unfortunate Boston marathon blasts news was on twitter 20 minutes before it reached TV channels), help stranded travelers, being a virtual water cooler for TV viewing or even igniting revolutions.
17 October 2008 was the date when I joined twitter, and more than 1600 days later I’m still as excited as my first day on the network.
I have expressed my admiration, love and lust for twitter very many times over the web, in person, on the phone and possibly every other way I could have. People, who know me, know my proud fetish for it. Over the period of my last 32000 odd tweets I have been able to derive immeasurable value out of twitter and I hope to continue doing that over a long time to come.
There’s no other platform which has given me so much value, both personally and professionally, like twitter has that it is the only social network I would be more than willing to pay for, if it decides to go paid or premium in the future.
I know I know, there’s app.net for that, and I do have a registered account there as well, but it is difficult to compare that against a 200 million-user strong twitter base.
Here are few best practices for twitter I have learned and stumbled across, on the way till now:
- Build your Twitter following by following those that follow companies/people similar to you. The discover section of Twitter lets you see what those you follow are doing; what tweets have they favourited? And whom have they followed?
- Ensure your profile has a picture (the egg doesn’t count), Avoid changing it often, have an interesting background & customise your profile to be consistent with your online presence.
- Interact with key influencers in your industry, discuss with respect and intelligence and you may gain some following. Some folks use online tools like Klout to recognize influencers, I have had low success ratio with that technique & have found those tools to be usually inaccurate in their assessments.
- The easiest way for me to find more influencers has been to follow leading known influencers & then see whom they follow. Handy technique, always works well.
- Keep track of your most engrossed followers so you can give them a shout when you want to share content. But don’t annoy them by tweeting too much & expecting swift replies.
- The more tweeting you do the more clicks you’ll get but overdoing it gets labeled as spamming by followers. No one wants his or her timelines spammed. Tweeting keyword rich, relevant content throughout the day will attract followers’ specific to your industry/interests.
- #hashtags are a nifty way to get eyeballs during big news days or events. It also helps in recognizing users with similar interests. Be sensitive and careful while tweeting #tags during tragic events or accidents.
- Favouriting tweets are a simple way of acknowledging people and in return may get you some recognition.
- Use platforms like TweetDeck and Hootsuite to schedule tweets. Divide your tweets across the day to get maximum exposure for your tweets. Scheduling tweets during peak times will result in more eyeballs for your views. You can even use tools like Social Bro to get the right time to tweet.
- Tweets including pictures or infographics get more eyeballs; consider appropriate content to increase clicks.
- Research has proved keeping the length of your tweets between 70 to 100 characters increases engagement rate, helping in readability while glancing through the timeline.
This post also appeared on Bite’s official blog as a slightly altered post
(Picture courtesy : Twitter)
As over 150 million Indians surf the interwebs (yes, that’s what the cool kids call it these days), Indian marketers are losing their sleep to catch them young, in their mid-life crisis or even after hanging up their boots. The challenge is immense. Out of the $5 billion Indian advertising industry, $900 million go to digital marketing. The share of digital is poised to grow larger every year & slated to touch 30% of the total market by 2015.
As marketers we need to keep a track on the consumer’s pulse and the next big idea to engage them. Keeping that in mind & that we have 11 months left to make those ideas work for us, here are 5 trends, which will go massive in 2013
1) Native Advertising
“Once you go Native, you don’t go Interruptive” – ANON
Over the past 10 years, publishers have continued to monetize their sites with banners and pre-roll ads, and advertisers have continued to pump billions into these formats, in spite of tanking performance & universal contempt. While click-through rates on display ads started out at around 9% in 2000, they now hover around 0.2% – which effectively means 99.8% of banner ads go straight to the trashcan.
Native advertising like a Promoted Tweet or a Sponsored story in Facebook allows brands to promote their content into the experience of the site or other mediums, in a non-interruptive & integrated manner. We are going to hear a lot about Native this year & it will affect the way we create content, effectively & hopefully killing advertising that sucks.
Native advertising is the irrefutable future.
2) Social TV
2013 is the year when Social TV will go mainstream, ending the era of sitting passively on big boy recliners and watching television.
Social TV’s secret sauce is mixing humanity’s love for Television and its enchantment with social media. NEWS, Sports and Music channels have been on the wagon for a while but the turning point for the industry will be getting GEC’s onboard, inviting viewers to interact and decide their own storytelling experience.
NDTV’s second screen effort in its mobile app and Airtel’s Shazam campaign are couple of recent examples from the Indian market, but the biggest of them all comes in April 2013, when American network SyFy launches Defiance as a cross-platform story, on TV and as a MMO game.
What makes the industry even more exciting is the imminent launch of Twitter TV ratings with Nielsen this summer and the prospect of Social TV growing to a multi billion-dollar industry by 2020.
Today’s consumer is both everywhere and nowhere and his/her attention is divided between multiple screens & platforms on different screens. Marketers like to speak about TV, Desktop & Mobile as 3 screens, adding Tablet into the mix as the 4th screen will be a wise move to reach those fragmented souls who are always on the target list as the “elusive on-the-go customer”.
More consumers are watching more and more content, but that viewing is dispersed across different platforms, starting with TV, Online Streaming and VOD to Podcast. Although some western markets are going through the cord cutting phenomena, Indian market is going through what I like to call as “Cord extension” phase, where consumers are adding broadband, mobile, DTH, DVR and IPTV connections over their existing Cable TV.
The mantra of Content everywhere and anywhere on any device & any screen has played its bit role in fragmentation but changing consumption lifestyles has made it necessary to shift both strategy and focus for marketers that want to keep up with their audiences.
Thus 2013 should see some brave moves by content owners worldwide, some even unthinkable few years back, to keep their audience with them.
4) Content Marketing
Content Marketing has already attained huge prominence among marketers worldwide but 2013 will see consumers seeking out content themselves, making it increasingly vital to the purchase cycle as well. Brands & agencies are responding with increased capabilities, as they look for opportunities to get involved and engaged with consumers at different levels, to provide content that is relevant and share worthy.
2013 will also witness marketers combining content with context to drive commerce.
Brands such as Red Bull with the Stratos Freefall initiative and McDonald’s Canada with Our Food, Your Questions campaign have led the charge globally while Tata Nano’s Social road trip has made a splash in the Indian market.
5) Smart Data
Originally this was supposed to be titled as Big Data, and then came along an email by Rachel Gilley from our UK office, explaining how 1 of our clients thought data needs to be actionable and Smart data attained it’s place in the list. Every consumer touch point is a valuable piece of data & taking it together is possibly an antidote to fragmentation, discussed earlier in this post.
Big Data is complex to say the least and possibly the greatest challenge marketers face all over the world today. Companies collect information from their customers in structured or unstructured format, which are later put through various tools to understand consumers better. Global brands like Netflix, Amazon and Apple use it to serve better recommendations to their customers, whereas most of major Indian Retailers like Shoppers Stop & Lifestyle use transaction data to re-design store layouts & inventory management.
Interestingly Shoppers Stop, for instance, found that very often when middle-aged ladies shopped for Indian clothing, the other item on their list was men’s innerwear.
The much-improved version of Big Data is Smart Data, Data that can be put instantly to use by brands to improve marketing, business decisions and customer engagement practices.
This post has also appeared on imediaconnection India