Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Did JetBlue Boot a Passenger Because of a Tweet?

140602172212-jetblue-plane-story-topWhile social media is a powerful asset to both brands and users, it has a folly which can sometimes undermine its capabilities. This folly is that it is meant to share opinions in real time but those opinions can come back to haunt you in an instant.

This was proven recently when JetBlue kicked a passenger off of a flight, believed to be because of a series of tweets that the pilot felt were accusatory. The accusation was that he was intoxicated.

A delayed flight, this time from Boston to Philadelphia, tends to lend itself to Twitter coverage. In general, Twitter has become a hub for complaints about delayed flights, unruly passengers and bad experiences with airlines.

This time was no different, but it seemed to reiterate the point of accountability and how brands view tweets in a very serious light, one that prompts immediate action or reaction.

The comment by the passenger seemed rather innocent. It involved the passengers saying it had been a long night and he hoped there was a fully stocked bar on the airplane.

JetBlue like any organization had to decide how to handle that situation which best protected its image and reputation. It’s tough to fault them for acting so swiftly, regardless of how you interpret the tweet.

Social media has changed so many aspects of brands and how they do business, and the fallout seems to be that so many are on constant high alert.

In fairness to those who believe JetBlue overreacted, it did administer a sobriety test for the pilot. They claimed afterwards that the passenger was removed due to unruly behaviour, and that they would never remove a passenger for expressing criticism on any medium.

This might be one of those social media tales where the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Social Media Sneers at Subway Ads

subway-halloween-eat-light-hed-2014Another week and another brand feels the not so gentle lash of social media outrage.

This time the brand in question is Subway, who recently ran a series of ads about how Subway sandwiches can help women fit into their halloween costumes.

Both men and women took to Twitter and Facebook to label the commercials as sexist and old fashioned. Now, this post is in no way to pass judgement on Subway, it is merely to look at the swift hand of justice that belongs to social media.

The ads were slammed. There’s no way to sugarcoat that. Whether you think they were sexist or not, the social media activity reflected a very negative tone.

Many users were not kind to Subway, wondering what was going through the minds of those who produced the ads.

Social media reflects the pulse of our times. We are currently in a zeitgeist of questioning gender equality. This is a constant streaming conversation on many social media platforms.

like any brand that has encountered this trial by digital fire, Subway will rebound from this and best of all they will learn many valuable lessons.

One of these lessons is that regardless of the medium in which it airs, social media will judge your content. In 2014 and going forward, mediums are interlocked with social media. Even billboards are not a safe haven.

Another lesson is that you have to be aware of the important topics that are being discussed in the world. Before brainstorming ideas, check out social media and see what users are interested in and figure out what to put forward and what to avoid.

Social media expects brands to be modern and conscientious, respectful of both customers and non-customers. It’s not an easy job but it’s now the cost of doing business.

Just How Popular Is Ello?

ElloEllo seems to be the favourite new kid on the social media block as of the past few weeks. Yesterday on the blog Mark even wrote about how many users are claiming they’re moving over to Ello to “escape” Facebook.

But is it really possible for Ello to replace Facebook?

In my personal opinion, I’d say not quite. For one thing (and this is my personal thought), I think that Ello feels a lot more like Twitter currently than Facebook. And secondly, and probably most importantly, in order for Ello to actually replace Facebook in people’s lives, the exodus over to the new network would have to be enormous. The only way that Ello could replace Facebook is if all of your friends and contacts that you’ve connected with over the years all moved there. That will take a very long time… if it happens at all.

But even with my personal thoughts on Ello, I wondered just how popular Ello has actually become in the past few weeks?

On September 26th, just as Ello was starting to go viral, Vox (along with many other sources) reported that the network was receiving 31,000 invite requests an hour. That seems pretty popular to me.

To investigate further, I decided to see what conversations were happening on other social networks about this new social network (very meta, I know).

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, I looked up mentions of Ello over the past month. One hindrance to my search though was that I could only search for English conversations because “ello” in Spanish translates to “it” making it a very common word. So, please keep that in mind when looking at the information below.

If you follow the big names and outlets that talk a lot about social media, you may feel like you’ve been over hearing about Ello. However, when I conducted my search for conversations about the new network I found less than 350,000 mentions of it. In the past month, Ello only came up in 3,042 blog posts, 3,321 online news articles, 3,716 forum postings and 332,692 tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

While those numbers may not be as big as people who are hearing about it nonstop may expect, it’s also interesting to note that the majority of those conversations have only happened in the past two weeks.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart Without Twitter Data

Since Ello is being dubbed the “anti-Facebook” it made sense for me to also search public Facebook data to see how much it was being talked about there. Again, the number of Ello mentions I found there was not quite as large as I initially thought it was going to be. That said, it has still accounted for 28,598 mentions in public status updates. Also interesting is that if you look at the three examples in the screenshot below, you’ll notice that a lot of the mentions are people posting a link to their new Ello account on Facebook. It’s interesting because people feel the need to use Facebook to tell their friends that they’ve joined the “anti-Facebook.”

Sysomos MAP - Facebook Activity Summary

As with any new social network, people want to understand it and why they should consider grabbing real-estate there. To help with that, there’s already been just over 1,000 videos created that try to explain Ello to others.

Sysomos MAP - Video Activity Summary

So, what are people saying about Ello so far? A look at both our buzzgraph and word clouds around the network show that “Facebook” seems to be one of the most used words when people talk about Ello. There is also a significant talk about Ello’s “manifesto”. This manifesto is what seems to be the appeal behind Ello, as it states that people will have more “privacy” as they will never sell your “data” for “advertising.” However, that’s also making people question how the network will stay in “business” for a sustained amount of time.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph

Sysomos MAP - Word Cloud

The other thing that I found interesting about the apparent popularity of Ello revealed itself when I used our Influencer Community tool to see the groups of people that were talking about it. If you’re anything like me, and I assume you might be since you’re reading this blog, you probably follow a lot of sources online that talk about news and trends in the digital and social media space. Well, those are the types of sources seem to be the ones who are perpetuating the talk of Ello. If you look at the big blue community, it’s filled with popular sources for social media news like Forbes Tech, Gigaom and Medium, but also with social media influencers such as @briansolis and @AmyVernon. So, while it may seem to people who work in and follow the social media space that Ello is all the rage, it may really just be the social media people getting each other excited in a big circle.

Interesting as well is that the second largest community I found, in orange below, is a big group of celebrities (mostly from the music industry). When I investigated that group a bit further it seems that fans are tweeting to find out if their favourite celebrities are on Ello yet and where they can find them there.

Sysomos MAP - Twitter Influencer Communities

While the real fate of Ello is still up in the air, being that it’s only been popular for a bout two weeks now, it does seem to have a lot of fans. A look at the sentiment around the network shows that it’s 86% favourable.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment Summary

So, what do you think about Ello so far? Is it going to replace Facebook or is it just going to see some hype for a little while and then fall off? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Will The Buy Button Reshape Online Shopping?

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.

More On Timing Your Social Media Posts…

TimingYesterday here on the blog, Mark wrote about a an infographic that told people the best times to post to different social networks. The makers of that infographic, SurePayroll, are not the first people to try to tell the world about these “best times to post.” Buffer, the app that helps people share articles spread out over time, has made posts about this before and we even put out a report a few years ago that contained information on when Twitter users are most active, which could give you a good idea of when to post.

Seeing things like this give people a good idea as to when the majority of Twitter users seem to be most active, which could be a good place to start testing if those times work for your brand. However, I’ve personally always been a proponent of really knowing your audience, which means finding out what times are best for THEM specifically and not just everyone.

An example I’ve used many times when speaking to people about this topic is brands that focus on a younger demographic. While many reports and infographics show that peak times to tweet are somewhere between 9am-3pm Monday through Thursday, that’s not great timing for brands to reach teenagers as they should be in school at that time and (hopefully) not checking Twitter.

So, after reading yesterday’s post, I decided to put my theory to the test and to show the world.

In both our MAP and Heartbeat software we have a great feature that we call “Best Time To Tweet.” This feature looks at all of the people following a brand (usually your brand) to see when these specific followers are most active on Twitter. We then lay out a graph for you showing these levels of activity and suggest that some of these most active times of your followers would likely be the best time for your brand to tweet.

I picked a couple of interesting brands to highlight as an example below and show that each brand will have a unique best time to tweet that they can only really know by understanding their audience. The graphs below show that followers of a Twitter account are more active when the squares on the grid are a darker shade of blue.

In the sense of fairness, I started by analyzing my own Twitter handle. I live in Toronto and do a lot of my tweeting with the world during business hours. So, it was no surprise that a lot of my followers are active during those times too. As you can see, most of my followers are very active between 9am-5pm(EST) on weekdays.

@40deuce@40deuce's Best Time To Tweet

I then looked at our @Sysomos handle. While we have a lot of followers from around the world, it still seems that our followers are most active during business hours as well.

@Sysomos@Sysomos's Best Time To Tweet

But what about consumer based brands? Their target audience and followers may not be people doing business during business hours.

I started by taking a look at @CocaCola, a brand known around the world. Coke has no specific demographic as they want to reach anyone interested in a refreshing beverage from around the world. When I analyzed their Twitter followers, it appeared that they were most active in the afternoons, which is probably a good time for people to take a break and grab a Coke. So for @CocaCola, it might be best to tweet at people looking for that break.

@CocaCola@CocaCola's Best Time To Tweet

To test my theory about kids being in school during what others say are the peak times to tweet, I looked at the @DisneyChannel, a channel with children’s programming all day in the US. As it turns out, their followers are being most active on Twitter between 1pm-10pm(EST). That shows that their fans start to become active on Twitter when school is ending, so for them to tweet in the morning may not make sense, but hitting up that after school crowd would.

@DisneyChannel@DisneyChannel's Best Time To Tweet

I then started to experiment a little bit more with this.

The next brand I decided to look at was the @WWE, who has a very active Twitter account all day every day. When I analyzed their followers it turned out that they are most active on Monday nights between 8pm-10pm. That also just happens to be the time that RAW, their flagship TV show airs. So, for the WWE, it pays for them to be the most active while people are watching and tweeting along with RAW.

@WWE@WWE's Best Time To Tweet

Next, I looked at @TacoBell, the Mexican fast food chain. Now, Taco Bell is known to have a stereotype of having a special affinity from a late night crowd of teenagers and college students. However, it may not actually be such a sterotype. When I analyzed their account to see when their followers are most active, it turned out they were tweeting the most between 8pm-midnight almost all week long. So, rather than shrugging off that stereotype, it may actually be better for them to embrace it and to tweet when their followers really are most active.

@TacoBell@TacoBell's Best Time To Tweet

Some friends of mine on Twitter suggested that @EAT24 is a great brand to follow on Twitter. I had never heard of them (because they are US based and not in Canada where I can use them yet), but they’re an app that makes ordering pick-up or delivery food easy for people across the US. As it turns out, being an app for food they want to be available when people are hungry. When I looked at their followers, they were most active from about 11am-1am(EST), all times when people are hungry and thinking about ordering food. Interestingly, Friday afternoons are when their followers are most active, which also just happens to be when people are thinking about ordering food for Friday night after a long week when they don’t want to cook.

@EAT24@EAT24's Best Time To Tweet

Lastly, I decided to get a little worldly. I looked at the account for @Westpac, a bank in Australia. Australia is currently 14 hours ahead of my Eastern Standard Timezone. So, when I analyzed their followers to see when they’re most active it wasn’t surprising to find that their best time to tweet was in the middle of my night.

@Westpac@Westpac's Best Time To Tweet

Now, these are just a few brands on Twitter. Every brand will see that their fans or followers are active during different times of the day. Also, different social networks see activity at different times of the day. For some of these networks where you may not be able to see follower analytics as easy, testing may be the best way to find out when your best time to post to them would be.

So, we want to know, how do you know when the best time to post to a social network is for your fan base? Let us know how you determine it in the comments.

Talk Of The Scottish Referendum In Social Media

The Scottish ReferendumThis Thursday is going to be a big day in the United Kingdom.

On Thursday the people of Scotland will be voting on referendum that would see Scotland breaking off from the United Kingdom and England to become it’s own country. Of course, this is a huge deal for everyone in the United Kingdom.

People have been talking about this referendum for almost two years, but now that it’s getting down to crunch time, we thought it would be interesting to see what people have been saying for the past month in social media around it.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, we searched through social channels for people using the referendum’s official hashtag, #IndyRef, and social conversations that contain both Scotland AND referendum for the past 30 days.

Our search came up with over 2.7 million results. Our search terms showed 9,403 blog posts, 36,161 online news articles, 8,160 forum postings and 2,673,318 tweets that have been talking about the upcoming referendum vote.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary

While, of course this has been part of a great deal of conversation, especially in the United Kingdom, for a few months, when we looked at these mentions spread out across the past month, we can really see the referendum talk ramp up in the past few days as the vote becomes eminent.

Sysomos MAP - Popularity Chart

As we’ve mentioned a few times already, this is news around the world, but especially in the United Kingdom. When we looked to see where conversations about the Scottish referendum were coming from, it wasn’t surprising that the majority of it came from the United Kingdom. 59.9% of all the conversation was actually coming from the United Kingdom. Interestingly enough, the two largest “colony” countries also seem to be keeping an eye on what’s going on with Australia accounting for 3.5% of the conversation and Canada with 3.4%.

Sysomos MAP - Country Distribution

However, many people around the world outside of the colonial countries are keeping an eye on what’s happening and also talking about it. A look at our geo location heat map of tweets that have surfaced in the past month that meet our search criteria shows that people around the globe are in fact interested in what’s going to happen on Thursday.

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Tweets

Since we were already looking at Twitter, we decided to dig in and see what hashtags were being used most when people were tweeting about the Scottish referendum. When we look at the list below of the top 10 hashtags being used we can see that five of the 10 seem to be on the #VoteYes side, which is the side vying for Scotland’s independence. On the flip side of that, only two of the top 10 hashtags being used seem to support Scotland staying part of the United Kingdom; the #BetterTogether and #NoThanks hashtags.

Sysomos MAP - Top Hashtags on Twitter

For one last idea of which side of this referendum might be winning, we decided to compare the #VoteYes and #NoThanks hashtags side-by-side over the past month. When we did this, we found that #VoteYes hashtag has a commanding voice in the social space over #NoThanks with 87% of those conversations.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison of Overall Activity

There seems to be a lot of chatter pushing towards Scotland becoming it’s own country on Thursday, but social talk is only one thing. Only the votes will really tell.

For a much better (and funnier) explanation of what the Scottish referendum is about and what’s been happening, here’s a great (and hilarious) video from Last Week Tonight‘s John Oliver:

What do you think is going to happen on Thursday?

Build Awareness through Social Media

Donations-590x250With the popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and with the many causes that have flooded and leveraged social media to fundraise, it’s important that organizations ensure that they have raised awareness along with capital.

Social media offers the unique opportunity to know more about your charitable campaigns beyond the amount of dollars raised.

For instance, ALS’ wikipedia page views are up 18% since the Ice Bucket Challenge commenced. The Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t alone in this field, even though it has fully dominated most newsfeeds this summer.

Race for the Cure, The Big Dig, Charity Swear Box, amongst others have all raised funds successfully on social media. The hope beyond money is that the message of why these campaigns exist gets across to a large and engaged audience. Essentially, to go viral in some capacity.

Each campaign must monitor and measure their website analytics, where users are interacting with their website, Wikipedia and any other satellite websites where information of their cause is kept.

On top of all of this, you need to closely monitor social media activity. Every tweet, post and comment must be part of your measurement and determining success.

An interesting point to note is that the ALS Wikipedia page in other languages has generated an increase in traffic, proving that this sparked interest from around the world.

This is not to say that the money raised isn’t the real cause, but the real value lies in increasing awareness which can lead to ensuring spikes in fundraise don’t take nosedives in the future.

Social media has the power to get a message out to the large group of people and have it expand from there. This has to be part of the intention when crafting these online campaigns.

Once the Ice Bucket Challenge subsides, it’ll be fascinating to see how the next few campaigns handle the challenge. As well, will people have gotten the message of what the Ice Bucket Challenge was really about.

Filtered Feeds And The Future Of Social Advertising

This post first appeared on the Social Media Week global blog.

What a Filtered Twitter Means for the Future of Social Media

Twitter users were outraged this week – shocking, we know – to learn that Twitter announced possible plans to switch to an algorithm-drive content feed. If adopted, using Twitter would feel more similar to the user experience on Facebook, which also uses an algorithm-driven feed to filter the content that appears on users’ homepages. The result would eliminate the aspect that many users believe to be Twitter’s greatest strength – a raw stream of information and opinions filtered only by which users choose to follow.

As GigaOm points out, users are not pleased:

Twitter1

 

The real question for social media users to ask, however, is not how this change may affect Twitter, but what it means for the future of social media? Facebook and Twitter, the behemoths of social media, have found an effective model for generating revenue from ad dollars, which means we better get used to seeing promoted content across all of our social feeds. The social media advertising industry in the U.S. is projected to be $8.4 billion in 2014 – and grow to $15 billion by 2018.

The Future of Social Advertising

Although we’re all accustomed to incessant and irrelevant Internet advertising by now, consumers will no longer have to suffer through months of banner ads trying to sell them dietary supplements or jeggings after one regrettable Google search. Today, advertisers are finally equipped to actually bring consumers content they desire, or will desire.

More data about consumers’ preferences and desires exists on social media today than ever before. But while advertisers previously lacked the ability to harness such information to deliver worthwhile content, Sysomos’ social technology has progressed to a level where marketers can dive deep into communities of users. This allows them to produce specifically tailored content from what they say, what their friends say and what is said to them – all in real-time. This new technology allows social advertisements to finally deliver to consumers the content they’re actively interested in, and even predict their preferences. It’s the right content, to the right person, at the right time.

So does Twitter’s move to filtered content signal the world’s pending takeover by advertisers? Maybe – but at least we’ll be too engaged on social media to notice.

Social Media Finds its Voice Against CeeLo

CeeLo-Green-Deletes-Twitter-After-Rape-CommentsSocial media is vocal and when it is time to let a brand, user or celebrity (who can be labeled as both user and brand) know how it feels, it can become relentless.

As discussed many times in this blog, all digital marketers and celebrities need to not just be careful of what they post, but also really consider the message they are sending.

Recently, musician and television personality CeeLo Green used Twitter to share his controversial beliefs on rape. The comments won’t be repeated here but needless to say, Twitter responded in kind.

The response was fast and harsh causing CeeLo to remove the tweets and deactivate his account but not before screenshots of the conversation made the digital rounds.

The real consequence for CeeLo was after news of this story surfaced, TBS canceled his TV show after only 1 season. A great reminder that social media carries very drastic real world consequences.

So many great lessons for digital marketers and PR practitioners, but it’s unfortunate that it comes at the expense of such harsh and false comments.

While most would never post on this issue unless for very specific reasons, the lesson is that social media is always vigilant and always on guard. Just as important to take away from this is that the consequences do not end in the online world, they will continue to follow you around.

As always suggested on this blog, organizations should stay far away from these topics, regardless of how vehemently strong the stance might be. If for some reason they pertain to your cause than enter very carefully.

Watching Twitter opinions congregate, mobilize and attack is really one of the great sights to behold in this day and age. It never ceases to surprise, and we should all be curious as to where it will wield its power next.

New Twitter Rules After the Death of Robin Williams

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.