I’ll admit that I’m not a big football fan. I’m into many sports, but football has always seemed a little slow, and the action a little fragmented for my liking.
Despite this, every year I eagerly anticipate the Super Bowl.
Undeniably it’s filled with drama, and is nothing short of a sporting spectacle.
But the real reason I’ve historically been so interested in the Super Bowl really has nothing to do with the competition on the field, but more to do with the competition for consumers’ attention and wallets, the advertising. And I know I’m not alone on this front.
Every year, marketers have been shelling out increasingly ridiculous (or maybe not, depending on returns) sums of money to have the privilege of advertising to the TV audience of the big game. In fact this year, it has been reported that television media space sold for a whopping $4 million for a 30 second spot.
In recent years, however, the landscape of Super Bowl advertising has been changing.
It used to be that Super Bowl ads were kept secret to be revealed on the day of the game. This kept people guessing about who was going to do what to up the ante, and it was fun and exciting to see who was going to win the day.
This year, it seems as though every advertiser has pre-released their big Super Bowl spots. AdAge has already published comprehensive coverage of what many Super Bowl advertisers plans are on television.
Now the game to watch is on social media
While social media marketing isn’t exactly new, last year, Oreo changed the game of Super Bowl advertising with their famous power outage tweet, crafted by agency 360i.
Almost instantly that tweet opened the eyes of marketers about the power of contextually relevant, real-time marketing on social media. And unsurprisingly, this year, many more players will be participating in this game.
The real question for this year’s game then isn’t about whose going to have the most amazing television spot, but who is going to capitalize on what real-time opportunity to capture the attention of their social media audience.
But this is a little underwhelming, don’t you think?
While it’s really exciting to bear witness to this change, and be involved in the world of social media and content marketing during this time, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by this.
I should be excited to see who is going to be doing what on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media channels, but I’m kind of lacking in the excitement department.
The problem is that we know what’s coming. Numerous marketers and advertisers looking for their unique opportunity, but a large part of the magic for Oreo and 360i was that they caught everyone off guard. The big question at the time was, ‘how the hell did they do that so quickly’, and even though the answer was relatively simple, it was something that virtually nobody was prepared for.
We should be finding ways to capitalize on opportunities in near real-time every day
Opportunities to delight an audience in real-time don’t necessarily need to be limited to big events like the Super Bowl.
What the Oreo tweet should have done is awoken us to this opportunity, and we all should have scrambled to find ways to manage this kind of magic on a daily basis be it by empowering small and nimble social media teams, through the creation of processes that account for the need to be fast and responsive, or some other method.
Despite my being underwhelmed at the thought of a huge number of marketers trying to recreate magic they bore witness to last year, I’m still looking forward to the creative output of those playing this game.
What I am going to be hoping for, however, is for at least one social media team to throw up a proverbial ‘hail Mary’ by doing something completely new, innovative and attention grabbing. The opportunity is there, it’s just a matter of who it’s going to be, whether it will occur this year or in the future, and what they’ll do.
How are you going to be following along with the Super Bowl on social media?
Do you think anyone is going to be able to create similar magic as Oreo did last year?
Also, following the Super Bowl, it would be awesome to know who you thought won the marketing and social media games by hearing about your favourite TV ads and moments on social media.
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
In effort to shed some light on how Twitter can help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Twitter engaged Market Probe International to conduct research in hopes of proving how their platform can lead to real business results.
Some interesting findings emerged that – surprise, surprise – demonstrate that Twitter can indeed have a positive impact for SMBs.
So, following is a compilation of the resulting stats (because we all love stats, right?) and a few ideas for how you might consider acting on this information to supercharge the value of your Twitter followers:
74 percent of people who follow small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) follow to get updates on future products
Find compelling ways to not just blast your audience with new product or service announcements, but involve them in the journey that results in the launch of a product or service. If you sell high-interest products or services, your audience will surely be thrilled with behind the scenes previews, ability to influence product development, teases about announcements, and anything that builds anticipation and contributes to a compelling story.
47 percent of people who follow brands are more likely to visit the company’s website
Makes sense. By following your brand on Twitter, a person has demonstrated at least some level of interest in your business, which may then drive them to visit your website. Make this easy for them by including a URL to your website in your profile.
Also, ensure that your website isn’t a giant letdown when they get there by providing the types of content your audience is likely to be looking for, and that it is set up to convert that traffic and interest into sales, store visits, emails, phone calls, or whatever a meaningful conversion is to your business.
70 percent of SMB followers retweet because they like the SMB’s content
Provide tremendous value. Before publishing anything on Twitter – or any social media network for that matter – ensure that your content provides value to your targeted audience. If it does, proceed. If it doesn’t, then don’t publish it. Monitor, measure and optimize your content on an ongoing basis to ensure the value you are offering is high, and in line with, or surpasses, consumer expectations.
There is a 30 percent lift in recommendations of an SMB after following or interacting with them on Twitter
Online and social media recommendations and reviews are hugely influential to people making purchase decisions. Doing anything and everything possible to bolster the number of recommendations and positive reviews your business receives is monumentally important to driving sales.
86 percent of users are more likely to visit a business after it has been recommended by a friend
This is just further proof of the importance of earning positive reviews and recommendations. It doesn’t get much better than driving foot traffic to your business from social media (unless of course you’re set up to handle ecommerce). You can’t ask for much more than this, so be sure to invest time to figure out how you’re going to get more reviews, and increase the number of people recommending your business on Twitter and other social media platforms. It’ll pay dividends.
72 percent of followers are more likely to make a future purchase
A follower is only a follower so long as they’re following your business or brand (follow what I’m saying?). Goofy, I know, but the point is that there is value in building and sustaining loyalty on social media, so be sure that you’re publishing nothing but awesome content, and having meaningful interactions with your audience. Keep them just as excited (or more!) about your business into the future as they were the day they decided to bestow their allegiance via a ‘follow’ to you.
84 percent of people who follow/interact with SMBs mention an SMB to share a positive experience
Take every opportunity to provide positive experiences for your customers, and don’t overlook anything. Every time you interact with them be it on social media, on your website, in your store, over the phone, unboxing your product, with your service reps, or sending them an invoice, find ways to make the experience a positive one.
61 percent of people follow to interact with SMBs to share ideas and provide feedback
People don’t tend to share ideas because they don’t like the ideas they’re sharing. They share ideas because they see value in their possible implementation. So, take your audience’s ideas seriously, because who knows, maybe there’s a nugget of gold in there.
Also, feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, is a sign of connectedness to your business. People don’t provide feedback because they don’t give a damn about your business; they do it because they do. Take advantage of this and ensure that you build on this connectedness and parlay it into advocacy and evangelism by demonstrating that you’re truly listening.
While we do need to be wary about the precision of these stats – they are from a Twitter-commissioned research study after all – there are some interesting nuggets here. Not only do these stats work to demonstrate the rough value of a Twitter follower, but they can be more broadly applied to support the value of engaging a targeted audience on social media, which is great.
What, if any, of these stats do you find to be most interesting? Why?
Have you seen any direct correlation between social media marketing and your SMB’s success?
What role does Twitter play in your social media strategy?
It would be fantastic to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on – you guessed it! – Twitter @RGBSocial
If you’re like me, you spend a solid amount of time reading.
Educating yourself about your business. Industry trends. New thinking. Old thinking. Learning about what the competition is up to. Listening to your consumers. And much, much more.
I’d be willing to bet that you’re not the only one in your organization doing this either.
Now imagine if you could have access to all of the best information, articles, whitepapers, reports, and resources that your coworkers are paying attention to.
Also imagine if they had access to everything you were checking out online.
You would all be better for it, right?
You’d all have access to the most interesting, thought-provoking thinking available, and be smarter and more knowledgeable as a result.
This might even save you a bit of time. Having a collective contributing to the curation of the best, most relevant content means that each individual isn’t left to their own devices (and lunch breaks) to do it themselves.
Let’s get into it. Here’s how you can use Twitter to enhance your organization’s collective intelligence.
Getting set up
First, you’re going to need a Twitter account (obviously).
Set up an account as you typically would, but I recommend adjusting your privacy settings to protect your tweets so that your competition won’t be able to benefit from your organization’s internal feed.
Organize curation, contribution and support
Volunteer to be the lead curator, responsible for collecting content and publishing it for everyone’s benefit.
Promote that you are doing this to your organization so they know how to experience the benefits and get involved by contributing their best finds.
Gain the support of senior leadership to really give this initiative a shot in the arm. Having the support of your leadership team will help this plan to really take off, and to gain the attention it deserves from the rest of your organization.
Establish a hashtag
Choose a relatively obscure, or very specific hashtag and have all participants use it so that you can easily find the content they think is relevant to the rest of your organization.
You don’t want to choose anything that is likely to be used by other Twitter users because it will taint your search results. You’ll be happy if your search results only yield your coworkers’ content and you don’t need to syphon through other conversations happening on Twitter to find what your coworkers tweets.
Search and retweet
Set up a search stream in HootSuite for your hashtag and retweet everything your coworkers are tweeting using that hashtag.
Soak up the goodness
And that’s it… contribute when you come across something valuable, and enjoy the flow of interesting content from your coworkers.
BONUS – Newsletters
If you have any interest in really going above and beyond with your Twitter content curation project, consider creating and distributing simple monthly newsletters featuring links to what you deem to be the most interesting pieces of content for anyone that may have missed it in their feed. I’m sure there will be more than just a few individuals that find this to be helpful if you’re up to it.
How do you share information internally in your organization?
Is that information collected anywhere for future reference?
As always, it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Do you pay any attention to the continuous flood of Tweets that fill your stream from the hundreds or thousands of people, businesses and brands you follow?
I don’t want to offend anyone, but if you’re like me, you probably don’t.
The simple solution to more effectively absorb content on Twitter is of course to create lists, or search streams in a service such as HootSuite.
This lets you focus on want you want to be paying attention to, and filter out much of the noise.
But here’s my question…
Why does there have to be so much noise on Twitter?
A stat I came across some time ago indicated that roughly 15 percent of retweeted tweets had zero clicks (Source: HubSpot).
People – many people – are blindly sharing content without even looking at it. If people are sharing content that they aren’t even looking at, then there’s an absolute zero percent probability that they’ll be able to add thoughts, a new perspective, or their take on the content. By not doing these things, they’re failing to provide additional value and added context to their audiences than the link alone would provide.
Consider re-thinking best practices for how many tweets to publish each day.
As I’m sure you have, I’ve been exposed to a number of ‘best practices’ about how many tweets a company should publish each day. The number given has varied widely, but I’ve seen numbers as high as 30 or more being recommended to maximize engagement.
What works best in the long-term is focusing on the value of your content.
Instead of being fixated on a particular number of tweets that need to be published each day, focus on publishing quality content that is going to be of value to your audience. Links to articles you haven’t even read I would consider as being not overly valuable. You don’t know what the content is, and you won’t be equipped to carry on a conversation about its main points should a conversation be sparked.
When making the suggestion to be less focused on the number of tweets your business or brand publishes each day, I’m of course not including conversational tweets such as @-replies. In fact, the openness of Twitter is one of its biggest strengths, and it’s an amazing platform on which to proactively reach out to a broader audience outside of your own.
What’s your take on the quality and value of content being published by the majority of businesses and brands?
Have you adopted any ‘best practices’ for how many tweets to publish each day?
If so, what caused you to land on that number, and what benefits have you experienced by sticking to it?
It would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or of course on Twitter @RGBSocial
How many blog posts have you read with tips about how your business can effectively use Twitter?
More than you can count?
Yeah, me too.
Many of these posts place emphasis on how to encourage retweets, and after reading so many, it’s easy see patterns emerge.
Unfortunately, for all of the awesome Twitter tips that are shared, there are a number of recurring tips that I feel are ill advised.
Following are 5 common Twitter tips that your business should ignore:
1 – Ask for retweets
If your content is valuable, people will retweet it, or share it on other social media platforms. If you’re finding that you need to ask for retweets, maybe you should focus on getting to the core of why your content isn’t being shared. Alternatively, maybe your audience technographics are such that they are much more inclined to consume your content, and not necessarily share it.
2 – Tweet between time X and time Y to maximize retweets
Instead of picking the right time of day for a retweet, you should be picking the time of day to publish tweets based on when your audience is likely to be on Twitter, or checking their Twitter streams. There’s not much use in tweeting between time X and time Y in hopes of getting more retweets if nobody in your audience is on Twitter between those times.
3 – Include retweetable words or phrases (i.e. use the word X to get more retweets)
Sure there are words and phrases that statistically get retweeted more than others, but you shouldn’t let those words and phrases influence your content. Focus on providing valuable content and if there are ways to optimize tweets, consider testing various phrases to see what your audience responds to.
4 – Publish your tweets on day X to maximize retweets
Similar to picking the right time of day to tweet for your audience, picking the right days of the week to tweet should also be dependent on when your business’ audience is using Twitter. Also, it would be ill advised to limit your tweets to a certain day of the week just because you might be able to increase the likelihood getting retweets on that day.
5 – Tweet the latest news
If you pay any attention to trending topics on Twitter, you know that high-profile breaking news frequently makes the list. This said, just because there is news that is garnering attention and retweets on Twitter doesn’t mean that it is going to be relevant to your audience, business, or achieving your pre-established social media marketing goals and objectives.
For many businesses, number of retweets is seen a highly important quantitative measure of success.
The problem with this is that the relevance of these retweets is often ignored in favour of sheer volume, which is a flawed method of measuring success.
Retweets by people that are completely irrelevant to your business, to audiences that are completely irrelevant to your business, won’t lead to any meaningful business results.
Additionally, if your tweets are tailored specifically to achieve as many retweets as possible, but deviate from a meaningful and strategically relevant content strategy, the sharing of that content also won’t lead to any real business results.
Try to stay focused on sharing valuable content with your audience and you will be rewarded with loyalty, sales, affinity, advocacy, and other meaningful business results.
How do you maximize the effectiveness of your tweets?
What metrics do you use to measure the effectiveness of your Twitter activity?
What common Twitter tips do you find to be of most value?
What are some uncommon Twitter tips that you find to be highly valuable?
Let me know what you think in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial. It would be great to hear from you.