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Brands can use Twitter for Press Releases and Blog Posts

Brands can use Twitter for Press Releases and Blog Posts

“This post discusses whether #Twitterstorm can become main-stream and replace traditional blogging and press releases for brands.”

Marc Andreessen, Netscape founder and investor, recently started a new trend (#Twitterstorm) on Twitter, where he usually posts seven to ten tweets in a short interval to broadcast his thoughts on a topic. And if we sum up the total number of tweets, you get around 1400 characters or an approximately 300 word briefing, which is good enough to make an audience aware on a topic.

Marc Andreessen TwitterStorm

Taking a lead from Marc, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, took a similar route and tweetcasted his vision in a similar fashion. His Twitterstorm has invited thousands of retweets, favourites, and multiple replies including people like @alexia (Co-Editor TechCrunch) and ‏@pmarca (Marc Andreessen) , which means these tweets reach more than a million people.

Satya Nadella TwitterStorm

In other words, both high profile initiatives became instant hits among tweeters and also been picked up by online/offline media to further spread the word. Now the question is whether #Twitterstorm will become the norm for brands and can be used in place of traditional blogs or press releases to reach out to their customers, suppliers or any stakeholders.

Looking at Twitter, people have shown reservations as they perceived this as spam and shown preferences for blog posts, which means businesses may face some resistance if they Twitterstorm to reach their audience!

However, if #Twitterstorm is managed carefully, brands can use this as real alternative to blogs and press releases. Don’t overdo it; content should be consumer friendly things like deals & new product launches, and follow-up tweets and engagement must be prompt.

We are advocating #Twitterstorm over traditional blogs and press releases because first it could give businesses an instant real-time feedback on each specific point they are trying to make for a topic, and second, retweets, favorites and replies on twitter can reach to thousands of people immediately. However negative comment can go viral very quickly too, although this can be managed with planned and thought through follow up. Third, due to the high level of media (journalists) on Twitter, a Twitter post can be picked up faster than a blog or press release through the official channels like PR agencies or blog booster platforms.

We did a small experiment, where we tweet stormed on the #TwitterCommerce topic, and the result was we managed to increase followers by double digits, and retweets and favorites took our reach to thousands of people.

Twitter Commerce

What Does the Twitter Mute Option Mean to Businesses?

What Does the Twitter Mute Option Mean to Businesses?

Twitter recently launched a mute option, which according to them will work as follows:

“Muting a user on Twitter means their Tweets and Retweets will no longer be visible in your home timeline, and you will no longer receive push or SMS notifications from that user. The muted user will still be able to fave, reply to, and retweet your Tweets; you just won’t see any of that activity in your timeline. The muted user will not know that you’ve muted them, and of course you can unmute at any time.”

Twitter was immediately buzzed from all walks of life about its benefits, drawbacks and potential uses. It is still too early to predict how this feature is going to affect businesses and how marketing agencies will use this for their clients, but we have collected some thoughts around the implications of rolling out this option.

Why People use the Mute Option:

Both Twitter and the Twitterati hailed this feature as useful for avoiding spam or noisy people. Muting is also suggested as a polite alternative to Unfollowing people, especially when it is your colleague, family or friend.

But some people have issues with this

Many people are bewildered by how the mute option is different from Unfollow, especially if we take emotional issues out of it, and then an industry expert also suggested that the feature should be time-bound i.e. mute people when they are really chirpy about an event or current affair that is not relevant for followers.

How does the mute option affect businesses?

The early verdict is that muting may not be good for businesses, as it would be very difficult to determine who exactly views your tweet, and that may result in lower engagement with your followers. Top tech blogger Mike Arrington even stated that followers who mute an account are fake followers. Overall, this feature may limit the reach, and therefore another drawback is that brands may be struggle to run promotional campaigns like follow us or retweet for a reward.

But marketer may invent a way to mention people in their tweet to ensure that message is reached across despite muting, however, that may force more spamming than now.

To sum up, Twitter promotion is going to change and it remains to seen whether Twitter advertising will become more prominent or marketers will come up with ideas that encourage more personal engagement to avoid muting.

Tweepforce Roundup (5Sep)-Twitter Stats, New Widgets & IPO News for Businesses

Tweepforce Roundup (5Sep)-Twitter Stats, New Widgets & IPO News for Businesses

Once again we have summarised recent Twitter developments and their impact on businesses, brands and digital agencies that are helping their customers to make full benefit of the Twitter platform.

1.Twitter continues to introduce new features and widgets:

a. Twitter and The New York Times test a feature that lets people tweet highlighted text

The New York Times recently tried a new Twitter feature in which users can tweet specific highlighted text within an article. Twitter also said in a blog post that the story chosen for the experiment, “The God of ‘SNL’ Will See You Now”, was tweeted 11 times more than the average of the top 500 shared NYT stories from last month.

b. Twitter timeline flips to put emphasis on engagements

Twitter just reversed the format of its timeline with a new conversation view. The full timeline will still display in the old-style ‘newest stuff at the top’ view, but now there are linked Twitter engagements which group tweets in a Facebook-like conversation format. At first glance this might seem like a simple enhancement that relates interconnected tweets together with a thin blue line and an elegant foldout box, but the aim is for this to make the timeline feel more human and less Twitter. The new feature is rolling out on Twitter.com, iPhone and Android apps and features an ‘old’ tweet first, with newer replies to it in order afterwards.

Example of Twitter Thin Blue Line Engagement

2. Twitter is gearing up for an IPO later this year or early next year!

Not many people have any doubt that Silicon Valley based micro-blogging site Twitter is on the road to a public offering and the way things are progressing the company is on track to file for a public offering early next year in order to tap the markets in spring of 2014. But, according to pundits, in order to do that, the company needed to hit three major milestones:

1. Over 400 million users

2. About a billion dollars in revenues.

3. Building a strong management team

It would appear that by hiring the Google Ad Director and ex-MD of Live Nation, together with new statistics about the number of accounts, Twitter is on the way to achieving the first and third milestones. However, as per eMarketers, Twitter will hit about $580 million in revenues this year which is some way short of one billion dollars.

3. Hashtag continues to be the epicentre of Twitter’s scheduling strategy

Hashtags have become synonymous with Twitter and recently the company has revealed an infographic with a blog post highlighting tips to select the best hashtag for your tweet. The main rationales behind releasing this hashtag guideline are:

a. To ensure the tweet is shared with the right group of users by finding the right hashtag for that group.

b. To filter what can otherwise be a wide array of difficult-to-categorize information.

c. To join any conversation on the platform by adding the appropriate hashtag to a tweet.

In summary, Twitter has emphasised making your hashtag notable, fitting it in with other marketing activities such as ads or campaigns and not being afraid to attach it to a popular term or phrase.(Like below -:))

Example of twitter hashtag engagement

4. Usage of Twitter is aligned to smartphone growth

The Pew Research Centre Study revealed the following:

a. Some 15% of online adults use Twitter as of February 2012.

b. 8% do so on a typical day.

c. Overall Twitter usage has nearly doubled since November 2010.

d. The percentage of online adults who use Twitter on a typical day has doubled since May 2011. e. The proportion of adults using Twitter on a typical day has quadrupled (now 8%) since late 2010 when it stood at 2%.

According to the study, the two takeaway points to be considered in marketing campaign planning are:

f. The growth of smartphone adoption is highly correlated to the growth of Twitter usage.

g. The 400% growth in Twitter usage by 18-24 year olds.

5. What are the takeaways for business?

1. Share mobile friendly content on Twitter

Twitter’s correlation to smartphones means businesses must make sure whatever content they are sharing on Twitter is mobile friendly and should be aligned to the right time, such as when people are travelling, watching live events or viewing favourite TV programs.

2. Use hashtags to extend reach beyond your followers

Don’t over-use hashtags but if you can find or create the right one don’t be afraid to use them as they take your conversation beyond the reach of your followers and help to create an identity on the social platform.

3. Increase Twitter engagement for higher reach

The new Twitter timeline with expandable conversation box means that businesses must try to engage with their audience as much as they can to get higher and highlighted impressions on the timeline and subsequently greater interest and conversion.

4. IPO means Twitter, like Facebook, will become more advertising centric

Twitter wants to go public and in order to do so it needs to grow really fast, both in terms of revenues and users. Businesses should not be very surprised, therefore, if Twitter rolls out many new features and widgets in the future; we will keep you updated on those advances and advise how businesses can drive more traffic and sales using new Twitter features.