Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Best of 2014: New Twitter Rules After the Death of Robin Williams

Social media has given everyone a voice. It allows people to say what they want whenever they want. However, this freedom has of course led to some people saying things that can be deemed as offensive.

This year, in the wake of a celebrity death that the whole world was paying attention to, Twitter invoked some new rules to their network that would allow people to have hateful and inappropriate material removed from the network.

It was an unfortunate incident that brought about this new rule, as you’ll read below, but many people are thankful for it.

While social media still remains a place for freedom of speech in most cases, this new rule was a welcome change for people who are being attacked through social media.

This post was first published on September 5, 2014:

 

article-2723742-207FF52400000578-54_634x422In the wake of Robin William’s shocking suicide last month, social media exploded with memories, kind words and warm wishes for his friends and family. Unfortunately, some of the tweets directed at his children were less than kind and thoughtful.

In light of his daughter, Zelda, being the victim of the harsh and cruel attention by certain users, Twitter has changed its rules as to what it deems to be inappropriate .

The new rule allows the family of the deceased to have hateful or inappropriate material removed. The Williams family worked with Twitter to create this rule and, unfortunatel,y it is a necessary one.

How big of a topic was Williams’ death on Twitter? There were about 63,000 tweets a minute on August 11, showing the range and power of Twitter and how many users were deeply affected by his death.

The posts that led to the rule change involved users sending Zelda Williams Photoshopped images of her father’s corpse and his cause of death.

Twitter is a newsfeed first and foremost but it also doubles as a place to share, reflect and learn. Williams’ death illustrates both  aspects, but it was wise of Twitter to create new rules to protect the loved ones left to read all of the messages.

All users and organizations know you are at the mercy of whatever is posted. There’s not much you can do when reading about a trending topic. You can ignore, retort or hope that others will come to your aide and defend.

The reality is that Twitter and all social media is a free medium where opinion flows every second in real-time. You have to be willing to absolve everything shot your way, but in this case it was too sadistic and personal.

Twitter is best served as a great and powerful newsfeed and arena for discussion. These negative moments are going to happen but Twitter should be applauded by not hiding behind that fact.

 

Best of 2014: Will The Buy Button Reshape Online Shopping?

One big question that always seems to arise in business meetings around social media is “How has this helped our sales?”

Sometimes this can be a very easy question to answer, but a lot of the time it’s a lot more complicated. Social media has the ability to help people make purchasing decsions, but sometimes it’s hard to see the clear line someone followed from social media to actually buying a product in a brick and mortar store, or even an e-commerce site.

But what if you could press a “buy” button right from a tweet or a Facebook post?

The opportunity to do so really intrigues a lot of businesses, and that’s why a lot of people got excited about the possibility of these buttons becoming a reality.

Today’s “Best of 2014″ post is a favourite of some of our staff because they love this idea of being able to purchase something right from their favourite social network and think that a lot of our Sysomos clients are very interested in the idea as well.

This post was first published on October 1, 2014:

 

twitter_buy_buttonOne of the world’s most active and popular social networks is trying to venture into digital regions that most other networks have been slow to set foot within.

News emerged recently that Twitter was testing a button which would appear on tweets and allow a user to instantly buy something. The button would be embedded and ideally relevant to the post.

Some reports claimed that a non-operational Buy button appeared for some users earlier this year.

The testing involves a small amount of U.S. users who will see and have access to the Buy Button and its functionality. The number will grow as time goes on.

This is a huge development not just for Twitter but for all of social media. The immediacy of learning about products and services both from brands and their fans, then being able to buy is a radical shift.

This is certainly one way to bolster the economy along with the bottom line of many online retailers. The biggest winner in all of this will be Twitter, which would naturally grow from influencing buying decisions to being a shopping mecca.

If successfully deployed, it has the potential to shift Twitter from a social network to a leader in e-commerce. It has the potential to even be the leader in both.

The initial rollout of the button didn’t require the button to be part of an advertisement or appear as a sponsored tweet. Businesses won’t have to pay for the service of the button which means even more businesses will look to Twitter as the place they need to invest their time.

The ease of purchasing will drive users to see Twitter as the ultimate newsfeed and shopping mall meaning the potential is through the roof on many fronts.

The Buy Button should drive advertising dollars, user engagement and most likely a slew of imitators.

 

Argos Gloriously Chirp Ticats

07b33e51-4edf-49a0-ae26-ad5675dfc6af_300Social media is a digital battleground for enemies to meet and exchange barbs. It’s all in good fun and can even make brands and organizations more appealing to users.

Even a generally polite Canadian brand was getting into the fun, when a moment to stick it to an old foe presented itself.

Nothing says good clean fun like the big game which brings out all sorts of characters from opposing teams (even though  those not participating). this was evident in the CFL Grey Cup from last weekend where The Calgary Stampeders defeated the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

Once the final score was in, the Tiger-Cats arch-nemesis The Toronto Argonauts wasted no time in taking to Twitter to let them know that they had once again lost the big game.

The tweet was brilliant. It was an image of a ribbon that read “Back to Back Grey Cup Participants”. How much do you love the Argos right about now? Of course, it is not lost on many that the Argos did not make the playoffs. In fact, this became a sticking point.

This started a fun back and forth and fans were happy to join in and take a side. Canadian sports journalists are even taking sides and it seemed to generally favor the Tiger-Cats as opposed to the trash talking Argos.

Fans of each CFL team should continue to keep the fun going, and hopefully help keep it strong through the offseason creating buzz for the 2015 season.

This is one of the best benefits of social media. It can be used to bring enemies together and allow them to assist the other to market and communicate while getting fans excited. For a brand like the CFL utilizing Twitter is a great way to build your brand in a different but positive light.

Please remember to keep it light and fun, and even consider creating the strategy with your competition. When you think about it…why wouldn’t you?

Twitter’s Teen Journalists Breaking News

IcVIMZnTwitter is a funny thing when you actually stop and think about it. It’s a content aggregator where news stories of all sizes are broken, discussed and debated.

Twitter (and all social media) delivers breaking news stories and, in the process, become an opinion leader in an open and level playing field.

No one proves this reality more than Jake Wesley, a high school freshman from Missouri. This young baseball fan has become one of the most respected baseball voices for his ability to break stories on Twitter.

Wesley was the first to disclose the Boston Red Sox’s dual signing of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. He has verified anonymous sources, and his tweets are respected by longtime baseball writers like Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

You have to give full marks to Wesley because he has achieved success in a field dominated by more seasoned professionals.

You also can’t disclose Twitter’s role in Wesley’s success, or the success of any non-established journalist able to build a name and brand for themselves.

Days before Wesley broke the signing of two of the biggest free agents in baseball, another young teen, Devon Fink, broke the story of Billy Butler signing with the Oakland Athletics. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirmed the story for Fink.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

These teens are earning kudos by putting in the work, stay active on Twitter, and using a platform that gives them a global platform.

When you think about it, Twitter has broken down the barriers of entry to activities such as journalism. It has allowed for the rise of the independents who want nothing more than to report the news and break stories.

Black Friday by the Social Numbers

Black Friday SaleNumbers vary on depending on where you look, but a lot of people seem to think that Black Friday this year didn’t generate the sales numbers that retailers were looking for. In fact, a lot of outlets are claiming that Black Friday sales numbers this year went down when compared to last year.

But sales numbers aside, Black Friday was still event that people were talking about. And a lot of that talk and sharing of sales and deals was happening though social media.

We decided to take a quick look to see just how many conversation were happening about Black Friday this year using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software.

Looking for mentions of “Black Friday” or the “#BlackFriday” hashtag on Friday November 28th, we found over 3.5 million social mentions on just that single day. That was 17,330 blog posts, 31,221 online news articles, 51,741 forum postings and 3,426,440 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Black Friday

While shopping is sometimes seen as something women prefer to do over men, when we looked a little bit deeper into those Black Friday tweets on Nov. 28th, we actually found that men were tweeting more about it than women by just barely more at 52% vs 48%.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary for Black Friday

Now, if you think that 3.5 million conversations about shopping sales in a single day is a lot, you’re probably right. In fact, when we looked at the mentions of Black Friday for the week culminating on the 28th, we actually found that mentions on the day were half of all the mentions. From November 22nd through the 28th the total mentions of Black Friday across social channels was just over 7 million.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for the Week of Black Friday

When we trend those numbers out across the week, we can actually see just how much the mentions of Black Friday rise until the day actually hits. Most of the week before seems to have a few mentions happening each day, but we can really see people starting to prepare and talk about Black Friday on the 27th (which is the American Thanksgiving). But then on the 28th, when Black Friday hits, the numbers just skyrocket.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart for the Week of Black Friday

When we dug deeper into Twitter mentions for the whole week, we found that men and women equaled out in their shares of mentions. What’s more interesting though, is the actual number of tweets that occurred. Even if we minus the number of tweets we showed above that happened on Black Friday (3,426,440) we still have 3.3 million tweets that mentioned Black Friday leading up to the actual day. This is very different than we saw in a post that we did back in 2012 that showed only 1.1 million tweets in the two weeks leading up to Black Friday. That means talk of Black Friday has tripled in those two years.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Activity Summary of the Week of Black Friday

Now, just to be fair, since yesterday was “Cyber Monday,” we thought it would be interesting to also compare the mentions of that to Black Friday. We were really surprised with what we found here.

Many financial publications speculated over the weekend that Black Friday sales weren’t as high this year because people were waiting buy their stuff online instead on Cyber Monday. However, when we looked at how many times “Cyber Monday” or the hashtag “#CyberMonday” was used yesterday we were very surprised. Mentions of Cyber Monday didn’t even hit the 1 million mark yesterday. There was only 7,099 blog posts, 13,065 online news articles, 10,703 forum postings and 806,668 tweets yesterday containing our key terms.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary for Cyber Monday

Now none of these mentions have any real effect on what sales were like, but we were surprised to see the low number of mentions of Cyber Monday yesterday.

What do you think is happening here? Are people done with the big shopping sales day? Or people just not talking about it as much through social media? Let us know what you think in the comments.

No Such Thing As Hard And Fast Rules for Social Media

twitter

According to Forrester Research, many brands are wasting their time with Facebook and Twitter.

“It’s clear that Facebook and Twitter don’t offer the relationships that marketing leaders crave,” said Nate Elliott, a vice-president and principal analyst, concluded in a report, Social Relationship Strategies That Work.”

“Yet most brands still use these sites as the centerpiece of their social efforts — thereby wasting significant financial, technological, and human resources on social networks that don’t deliver value.”

Instead, Elliot suggests brands enhance their Websites to make them more community-focused and interactive. This would give their Websites a digital presence that drives more engagement than Twitter or Facebook.

A few thoughts about Elliot’s thesis:

1. For some brands, Twitter and Facebook are services with high amounts of engagement, enthusiasm and participation. Good examples are Starbucks, Oreo and WestJet. It provides them with the justification and ROI for social media activity and resources.

2. The role and value of Websites shouldn’t be under-estimated because brands own this piece of digital real estate, whereas they “lease” space on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. It counters the notion that Websites are, for some reason, becoming dinosaurs.

The reality is every brand has different products, goals and ways to engage with consumers.

For some brands, social media is a no-brainer because it gives them ways to build relationships and get consumers involved with the brand and each other. This is particularly true for business-to-consumer brands.

For these brands, Twitter and Facebook offers plenty of value that complements their Websites. In an ideal digital world, there is virtuous circle between social media and Websites. Each party involved in the marketing and sales activity supports each other.

At the same time, there are brands that get little benefit from social media, including Facebook and Twitter – despite their size and presence. Their products, marketing and consumers are not natural fits for social media. It’s not the way these brands sell or their consumer buy. As a result, social media isn’t part of the mix – and that’s okay.

At the end of the day, a brand has to decide what works for them to support their strategic and tactical goals – be it sales, leads, customer service or brand awareness.

For some brands, social media is a no-brainer. For other, it’s a non-starter. It’s the way business works.

Regardless of whether a brand is all over social media or treats it as untouchable, the common denominator is the value of Websites – something the Forrester report accentuates.

A brand’s Website is their digital doorway where they welcome existing and potential customers, as well as other stakeholders such as analysts, media and partners.

As a result, a company’s Website needs to be engaging, information, insight and an effective tool to support the business. It’s where business happens.

If I had a choice between investing in social media  and a Website, the Website would win hands down.

But for most brands, it’s not an either/or proposition. They need a Website and they need some kind of social media presence. It’s just a matter of finding the right mix for each business.

More: MarketingLand and Business Insider provide coverage of the Forrester Report.

Customer Service Begins and Ends in Social Media

social-customer-care-1The last decade has delivered a lot of evidence that the customer experience begins and ends in social media. The digital experience tends to sandwiches the actual in-store or online shopping portion of a purchase.

Expectations exist that if a customer has a question, inquiry or complaint that it will be satisfied on a popular social network. It has become a great risk for companies to not have a presence and be constantly monitoring.

The truth is, that no one is simply throwing complaints into the social media void. They are doing so to be heard and to in a sense be rewarded.

The reason social media can placate our need to be satisfied and appeased by those we give business to, is because as a digital user base we have grown accustomed to instant gratification.

A study by JD  Powers and Associate noted that two-thirds of US consumers reached out to a business through social media in 2013. This put businesses in a very public position where they had to respond and repair almost immediately.

This is not an easy climate for businesses to navigate in. There’s the requirement for resources and technology that can streamline this new customer service model. As of now, it is still heavily reliant on people monitoring almost 24/7.

The hidden issue beyond customer service is brand protection and users know how to use social media to push businesses’ buttons.

In fairness, for a long time businesses use to have their customers spend a long time on hold waiting for a service rep who may have not even been able to help. Call it customer retribution, with social media as the new equalizer.

if customer service was ultimately satisfactory across the board in the old model, then social media wouldn’t have taken over so quickly. It was needed and now it is necessary.

Sysomos MAP and Heartbeat Updates: Tweet Life and Spredfast Integration

We’re super excited to tell you about two new features that you’ll be able to find in our software starting today; Tweet Life in MAP and Spredfast Integration in Heartbeat.

Tweet Life

The way that a message spreads can be very important to you. Knowing how your message spreads beyond your immediate network can help make or break the resonance of your message. You can know how many times a message has been retweeted, but wouldn’t it be nice to know which people helped to spread your message the furthest?

Well, as of today, you no longer have to wonder how your tweets are spreading through the Twitter network. Today we’re super excited to tell you about MAP’s latest feature Tweet Life.

Tweet Life shows you the path of a tweet as it spreads. Tweet Life shows you which of your followers retweeted your message, which of THEIR followers retweeted your message, and so on.

Sysomos MAP - Tweet Life Tweet Tree

Tweet Life analytics can be accessed in a variety of ways. The first is to copy the tweet ID directly from a tweet’s URL and paste it into the ID box on the Tweet Life section of Twitter in MAP.

Sysomos MAP - Tweet Life - Analyze A Tweet by Tweet ID

The second way to access the Tweet Life analytics of a tweet is to find a tweet of interest under the Most Retweeted tab of Twitter in MAP and directly under all the tweets that appear on the page, you will have the ability to click a “Tweet Life” link.

Sysomos MAP - Tweet Life via Most Retweeted

So why would you want to see the life of a tweet? Here are just a few examples of how this new great feature can help you:

  • Compare the spread of different Tweets from your own accounts to investigate whether specific language, themes or times of day are most effective for spreading your message.
  • Discover how your message reached, and was spread by, Twitter users who are NOT your followers.
  • Benchmark how quickly your tweets spread to help you find ways to increase the velocity and virality of your social communications.
  • Compare the retweet engagement of your tweets against your competitors and identify the key individuals who are most likely to help your messages spread further.

For more information on how to use, understand and make the most of the new Tweet Life functionality, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Sysomos representative who will be happy to provide you with more information and answer any of your questions.

Spredfast Integration in Heartbeat

Back in June we announced a partnership between Spredfast and ourselves. This partnership would allow Heartbeat users who also have a Spredfast account to send social content found through Sysomos over to the Spredfast engagement platform.

Today, we’re happy to announce that all of the behind-the-scenes work has been completed and Spredfast integration is now live in Heartbeat!

If you’re a customer of Spredfast as well as Sysomos please contact your Sysomos representative who will be happy to help get your Spredfast account setup in Heartbeat.

Once you’re set up, the use couldn’t be easier. Simply click on the tool tip next to a tweet or Facebook post in the “Your Heartbeats” tab of Heartbeat. You will then see a new tab marked “Spredfast.” Under that tab you can reply to both tweets and Facebook posts and retweet tweets. Once you click one of the options a Spredfast window will pop up and allow you to take action. All actions will be recorded both in Heartbeat and Spredfast’s workflow logs for you to see afterwards.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Spredfast Integration

That’s all from us today. But we have a lot more cool stuff that we’re working on and can’t wait to share with you soon.

If you’re already a Sysomos customer and want to learn more about these great new updates, please feel free to reach out to your Sysomos representative.

If you’re not already a Sysomos customer but would like to learn more about these features and Sysomos overall, please feel free to contact us here.

Changes for Twitter on the Horizon

_71715727_187243543In an effort to keep up with users and raise their already heightened profile, Twitter announced some changes coming to their incredibly popular platform.

During Twitter’s recent inaugural Analyst Day, big promises were made where the hope is to make Twitter even more engaging for its user base.

Twitter is taking a rather aggressive and decisive approach to improving their platform, and will be rolling out changes within the coming months. Some of the changes are rather significant.

The discussed changes included timeline highlights, breaking news alerts, real-time video editing  and improving the video messaging functionality.

These would be 4 major changes to the social network, and have the chance to further Twitter’s place in the market. Part of this is to alter the user base which seems to have many who just stop by without interacting with the platform. The goal of all networks is engagement and Twitter recognize they still have room to improve.

When you breakdown what these improvements it becomes clear that there will be a greater focus on streamlining the platform and ensuring that the important content is placed under the spotlight.

Adding more capabilities to the private messaging function (an area where other networks seem to have Twitter beat) would allow users to stay on the network longer. It’s not hard to believe that users leave Twitter and use another platform when they want to speak directly and privately to someone.

While some would see these changes as panicking or reaching, Twitter should be credited with not resting on its laurels and for looking at a gap in its business. Social media is a medium that evolves fast and those who are on top today are at risk of losing relevancy by tomorrow.

To not take the user base at just a surface gaudy number, and to dig in to ask why a greater percentage isn’t more engaged is how they will ultimately build a stronger network.

What’s the ROI of Sharing Content on Social Media?

SharingFor all the talk about social media being a place to engage and have conversations, sharing content is probably what most people do the most.

The question is why so much sharing?

What is it about social media that makes it such an active medium to share interesting articles, photos, infographics, videos, etc. with other people?

Is it vanity? Is it goodwill? Is it a way to reward interesting, weird, different or high-quality content? Is it about personal branding?

It’s probably all of the above, as well as many other reasons. The reality is social media is a super-easy way to share content, while human beings are inherently information disseminators.

Telling people information about things we have found, seen or read is part of our personal make-ups. It’s what we do, so social media only serves to facilitate and accelerate this activity.

That said, a recent survey of Canadians using Twitter and Facebook showed some interesting differences in how we use different platforms.

On Twitter, for example, 79% of respondents said the reason they shared content was to endorse it. On Facebook, endorsing content was only cited by 32% of respondents.

Many of the other categories ranked fairly closely with the exception of “gain followers/build a brand”. Only 2% of Twitters users said they shared content to achieve this goal, compared with 11% of Facebook users.

One of the more interesting trends to watch in 2015 is how content curation will become more popular and valuable for brands and individuals.

While there are many reasons to share content, there is more interest in how shared content is packaged and tracked, and how it can deliver better ROI.

Platforms such as Pressly, which allow brands to create destinations to share their own and curated third-party content, will likely gain more traction so brands can have more control shared content.

At the same time, you will likely see more services such as Snip.ly, which lets people add a small “branding widget” when they share content via social media. It’s a way to gain a little more of the spotlight, other than the goodwill of sharing content.

In many respects, the social media sharing economy is evolving and moving in interesting directions. While people will continue to enthusiastically share, there will also be more ways to capitalize on this activity.

share social media