- Online Marketing
Twitter has grown to over 500 million users and is expected to see ad revenues grow as well. Making most of its money from advertising, Twitter is expected to post ad revenues of $259.9 million this year, according to researcher eMarketer.
Twitter advertising is different from most of the online advertising options out there, with elements of cost-per-click, display, and social media ads all wrapped up in 140 characters or less.
Like other social ads, advertisers can form a relationship with consumers directly where they can engage with and share marketing messages.
Ads become part of the discovery process on Twitter with ads appearing in content and integrated into the users experience. They appear to be more relevant since they are shown partially based similarity of the followers the accounts have in common.
A unique feature to Twitter ads is that users can engage on multiple levels with the ads. For example, users can click on links, @reply to the ad message, retweet to share with followers, or favorite it in their public list. All of these social options are a nice bonus and differentiate it within the online advertising landscape.
Twitter ads are best for a few common marketing objectives, including:
Twitter has three ad products. Let’s look at each.
The Promoted Account is featured in Twitter search results and within the Who To Follow section. Promoted Accounts are suggested to a users based on their public list of who they follow.
When an advertiser promotes an account, Twitter identifies accounts that are similar to the advertiser’s account. Twitter may recommend the advertiser’s Promoted Account to users who follow those similar accounts. Similarity is determined by a variety of factors, including the followers that accounts share.
Promoted Tweets appear directly in the timeline among non-paid tweets. Twitter regularly analyzes the engagement rate of the advertisers tweets to identify five of the most engaging to create an ad to serve to users automatically.
While a specific tweet can’t be selected, it’s possible to remove the tweets that you don’t want to promote. Also, replies and retweets will not be considered for promotion.
Promoted trends are featured next to the users timeline on twitter.com among the organic Twitter trends and are tailored for users based on location and who they follow.
Ads appear at the top of the trending topics list. These ads also appear on Twitter for iPhone, Twitter for Android, and Tweetdeck. Promoted Trends are currently in beta with a small selection of advertisers.
Targeting ads is not complicated as Twitter’s algorithm automatically selects which tweets to promote and which users will see them. Geo-targeting to country and DMA level is possible, as is mobile platforms.
Budgets and bid settings on Twitter are nothing new to online advertising. Budgets are set at the promoted product (ad) level.
WASHINGTON — Twitter didn’t exist the last time the Federal Trade Commission seriously checked out alcohol advertising, back in the last decade.
Now, some 175 million tweets fly daily across the micro-messaging site, including an increasing number from wine, beer and liquor companies seeking market buzz. It’s part of a new media frontier, which federal regulators are about to explore.
In an ambitious venture, the Federal Trade Commission is requiring 14 major alcoholic beverage producers to release information about their Internet and digital marketing efforts. The parent companies for storied wineries including Kendall-Jackson, Robert Mondavi and Beaulieu Vineyard, as well as the likes of Anheuser-Busch and Bacardi, are all being tapped for precious data likely to shape future advertising rules.
“The industry is innovating quickly,” Johns Hopkins University public health specialist David Jernigan said in an interview Tuesday, while “the pace of regulation and monitoring” has lagged.
Director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, Jernigan said the new study “can shine a bright light” on industry marketing that’s rapidly evolving to exploit new technologies. Once completed, probably next year, the study will guide Federal Trade Commission recommendations on how the alcohol industry should regulate itself both on- and offline.
“We as an industry have always been up front about our practices,” Larry Kass, director of corporate communications for the Kentucky-based Heaven Hill Distilleries, said Tuesday.
The last study of this kind, completed in 2008, compiled alcohol marketing data for 2005. That year, 42 percent of the surveyed companies’ $3.3 billion in marketing expenditures went for traditional media such as television, radio, print and outdoor billboards. Only 1.9 percent covered Internet efforts.
It was a different time, though. In 2005, Twitter was still months away from being launched. YouTube had just debuted, and Facebook was barely a year old. Since then, some companies have really bellied up to the social media bar.
“They’re everywhere. They’re blanketing online,” said Sarah Mart, research director for the San Rafael, Calif.-based group Alcohol Justice, an advocacy group that criticizes what it calls the alcohol industry’s “negative practices.”
The makers of Southern Comfort, for one, several years ago diverted most of their marketing efforts to social media and away from traditional advertising. Bacardi, Jernigan’s research found, has at least seven Facebook pages that together claim some 1.7 million fans. Kendall-Jackson offers online video interviews with winemaker Jess Jackson. Captain Morgan Rum promotes a video game app for iPhones.
“Fearless adventurers battle friends and rivals in the true spirit of the legendary Captain Henry Morgan,” the game’s introduction states, adding that one should “raise your glass, always in moderation.”
Other companies are still finding their virtual way.
Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co., for instance, is one of the firms being surveyed by the trade commission. But though it has had a Twitter account for 13 months, the @mhl Twitter address has trickled out only 139 tweets for a scant 77 followers as of Tuesday. Other companies, meanwhile, can sound so excruciatingly straight-arrow that boosting sales seems secondary to seeming responsible.
“Earth Week Tip,” the makers of Miller’s and Coors beers tweeted last month. “Bring your own bags to the grocery store.”
The trade commission’s marketing survey went to some of the largest companies that represent myriad individual labels, such as Diageo PLC and the New York-based Constellation Brands. California-based E&J Gallo Winery, the world’s largest family-owned winery, is not being surveyed.
Wikipedia: The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act. →
(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news and gossip sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, according to a government document.
A “privacy compliance review” issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” which involves regular monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.”
The purpose of the monitoring, says the government document, is to “collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture.”
The document adds, using more plain language, that such monitoring is designed to help DHS and its numerous agencies, which include the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency, to manage government responses to such events as the 2010 earthquake and aftermath in Haiti and security and border control related to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.
A DHS official familiar with the monitoring program said that it was intended purely to enable command center officials to keep in touch with various Internet-era media so that they were aware of major, developing events to which the Department or its agencies might have to respond.
The document outlining the monitoring program says that all the websites which the command center will be monitoring were “publicly available and… all use of data published via social media sites was solely to provide more accurate situational awareness, a more complete common operating pictures, and more timely information for decision makers…”
The DHS official said that under the program’s rules, the department would not keep permanent copies of the internet traffic it monitors. However, the document outlining the program does say that the operations center “will retain information for no more than five years.”
The monitoring scheme also features a five-page list, attached to the privacy review document, of websites the Department’s command center expected to be monitoring.
These include social networking sites Facebook and My Space – though there is a parenthetical notice that My Space only affords a “limited search” capability – and more than a dozen sites that monitor, aggregate and enable searches of Twitter messages and exchanges.
Among blogs and aggregators on the list are ABC News’ investigative blog “The Blotter;” blogs that cover bird flu; several blogs related to news and activity along U.S. borders (DHS runs border and immigration agencies); blogs that cover drug trafficking and cybercrime; and websites that follow wildfires in Los Angeles and hurricanes.
News and gossip sites on the monitoring list include popular destinations such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and “NY Times Lede Blog”, as well as more focused techie fare such as the Wired blogs “Threat Level” and “Danger Room.” Numerous blogs related to terrorism and security are also on the list.
Forbes posted another great article on Social Media Trends. I thought it was a must read for business looking at embracing social media in their advertising programs this year.
2012 is primed to be the year of social. In particular we can anticipate a blitz of publicity around social business. But social media too still has room to surprise. Talking with a group of people recently including Lloyd Armbrust at OwnLocal and Tom Smith of Global Web Index(and reading his blog) I picked out four megatrends that will shape social as it truly comes of age.
The growth of the transmitter ecosystem
Facebook, Twitter, Google have brought many more people into the online conversation. They’ve pretty much minced the barriers to creating online content – which is also good news for brands that are smart enough not to throw too much money into too many channels.
But another part of the story is that more channels create a larger need for content. Many millions of those people now active online are not, however, content producers. They are sharers and curators.
We have a content discovery challenge and we have curators to manage it. The importance of their role is on the rise.
But does this mean we are migrating from a peer-to-peer conversational network, to a more top down one, where we become increasingly dependent on those curators with large follower groups? Does that make Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus top down networks?
Tom thinks so but I have my doubts. Blogging too was very top down and I sense, by way of contrast, a strong peer culture in Google Plus.
Around the time Facebook became famous a well known blogger told me – why do I need Facebook? I know how to set up a website. The answer of course is that Facebook, then Twitter and now Google Plus provide you with the tools to communicate and the audience to talk with. Bloggers had to go out and find that audience and it was uphill for those who came even slightly late to it. There is no uphill in 2012 but there will be a growing role for the transmitter ecosystem.
The age of global
When American broadcaster ESPN wanted to extend its remit outside North America, it bought cricket blogging site cricinfo. So now a major US network is big in a sport that Americans don’t follow in a country half a world away.
One of the most telling examples of a new emerging global culture can be found in a sport. When website cricinfo set up initially it was a placid English affair. But cricinfo pioneered live blogging of cricket matches and began to make the web relevant to sports fans without national boundaries or national broadcasting rights getting in the way. The site eventually found a market in India where cricket is treated almost like a religion.
Separately, PlayUp is now building out the social network for global sports fans, more of which tomorrow. One of the beauties of cricinfo, and the same applies to all sports, is that reporters can follow and report on the tweets of celebrity sports people or tweet themselves from the training ground or nightclub. When English players misbehaved in New Zealand during the recent Rugby Word Cup it was global news immediately. A club bouncer uploaded CCTV footage to YouTube. Content is instant, continuous and pervasive. There is no reason why a national boundary or national broadcasting rights should exclude me from engagement.
In the start-up community even Silicon Valley start-ups now want to hire talent from wherever, as long as it’s the best. Nairobi and Instanbul are, along with numerous other cities, start-up hot spots attracting American and European interest. The start-up is suddenly a global culture.
There’s a new internationalism that segues with what is happening in the economy: more global, multi-polar, more equal – see this thread on Google Plus which discusses whether Google Plus is responding quickly enough to this desire to engage with global audiences. People care about this new globalism whether it arrives at their desk through sport or business or fashion or food. We need to work out how to become global online citizens.
Starting today, Twitter has completely revamped its search, delivering more relevant Tweets when you search for something or click on a trending topic, and showing you related photos and videos. Its “relevance” search feature is a serious move towards Google’s territory, adding greater weight to its big announcement yesterday that Twitter acquired AdGrok, putting it firmly into place as a relevance and resonance monster in the advertising space.
But the big news today is Twitter’s new photosharing feature. Over the next few weeks, Twitter is releasing the option to upload a photo and attach it to your Tweet right from Twitter.com. Soon after, users will be able to share photos from all of Twitter’s official mobile apps. Considering Twitter’s built in meta-tagging data, the service has put a pretty big toe in the water with Facebook’s most popular feature. Interestingly, Twitter has chosen to partner with Photobucket to host the photos.
Check out this awesome video displaying the new feature:
Pixable CEO Inaki Berenguer writes that Twitter could potentially become the world’s public image directory. And he may be onto something, after all in the world of global microblogging, if an image that transcend languages really is worth a thousand words, than the 140 character cap was just blown off its top.
As Chris discussed during his extensive coverage of Apple’s WWDC segment, one of the bigger announcements from their session had to do with the integration of Twitter with iOS 5, the newest version of the iPhone operating system. To some, this particular marriage of the popular social media service and the mobile device that’s synonymous with mobile communications could very well change the way mobile applications are developed, especially for the iPhone environment.
Over at ReadAndWriteWeb, there’s a good breakdown of what the partnership could mean, and if the following idea is close to being accurate — “iOS apps will look like, feel like, read from and publish to Twitter like never before. And they’ll do that in many cases instead of using Facebook” — the idea of Twitter and Apple ruling the applications world may not be that far-fetched, regardless of how popular the Android environment is.
Apparently, the Twitter integration introduces features to iOS 5 that will be similar to Facebook’s mobile capabilities. In fact, as pointed out in the RWW post, thanks to the partnership with the iPhone, Twitter essentially beat Facebook to the punch of making “everything social.” Granted, Facebook is still one of the more popular applications for the iPhone, laying the groundwork for a potential conflict. It’s doubtful Facebook’s developers would want to integrate Twitter features when both services are competing for social media supremacy.
The omnipresence of social media is undisputed. That it is the marketing tool for small business owners and entrepreneurs is also undisputed, given that those who are using social media are primarily engaging in social media through company pages (75 percent) and status updates (69 percent) on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.
You’ve heard about what social media can do for you, and maybe even seen some of your peers gain from it but need more statistics and proven case studies to understand that the social media mantra will provide benefit to your business and is not a passing trend.
Blogging is Social Media too!
Says a media consultant-“I was recently hired by a company as a marketing associate and my job is centered around social media. I spend my days creating brand awareness by twittering, blogging, and searching. I agree that it is worth small business owner’s time, but it is also worth large business owner’s time! Social media marketing has proved to be successful and it is free or close to it. Every company, big or small, should be investing their time.”
The Social Media Small Business Model
If you are looking to use a social media such as Twitter to explode your business online, then as a small business owner you will have to rethink your marketing parlance. The theoretical and conventional dictates of marketing outline the four Ps: product creation, pricing, market placing and promoting for optimized returns.
PLANETwebfoot, a social networking software company, said that “Our business has found social media to be tremendously helpful in terms of drumming up business and connecting with current and potential customers. You are right Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be very useful, but the use of niche social networking sites can also be incredibly useful.”
Twitter, fresh off its purchase of TweetDeck, has picked up another tool to help turn on the revenue spout for its microblogging services: It has bought AdGrok, a company that eases small businesses into the world of online advertising.
The offer from Twitter, reportedly for less than $10 million, according to VentureBeat, apparently swept the San Francisco startup founders right up out of their sneakers.
“When Twitter approached us and asked if we’d be interested in working on their monetization platform, we realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up,” Matthew McEachen, one of the Silicon Valley vets who cofounded AdGrok, wrote on the company blog Wednesday. The company, as of yesterday, was already working on Twitter’s revenue engineering team, he said.
The deal is expected to bolster the microblogging site’s “monetization platform” by creating a more robust advertising platform for clients who wish to promote their messages through Twitter.
Based in San Francisco, AdGrok was backed by the incubator Y Combinator, and it has received buzz as being one of the hot startups coming out of the Silicon Valley, and one that built its business model around one of the larger tech companies out there, namely Google. Its mission is to serve as tour guide through the labyrinth of Google’s AdWords service for businesses—often small businesses—that use the often-puzzling system for their online advertising campaigns.
Reviewing your strengths is a smart way to begin designing a great custom link marketing campaign for your business. Capitalize on your existing resources, determine your target audience, and develop a great campaign idea. Here’s how to do it.
A custom link marketing campaign begins with an assessment of how your company currently reaches out to customers, industry, and the media. This includes newsletters, blogs, public relations people/companies, marketing departments, and social media.
Next, have the key people in your company put together an assessment of how strong their contacts are, whether it’s email, IM, LinkenIn, Facebook, forums, or elsewhere.
Also look for anyone in your company with a strong Twitter following.
Once you have a good assessment of your resources, move on to determining your targeted audience.
Now it’s time to determine which audience to target utilizing your existing resources. Remember, what’s popular with industry insiders might not be with consumers.
Focus your attention on one specific group to increase your chances of success. The more specific, the better.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re mostly a consumer business. At the same time, the industry connections within your company are outstanding on LinkedIn, Twitter, and email.
If this is the case, rather than targeting customers you’ll want to go with something targeting your industry. That will be easier to promote with your existing resources, and would make it more likely you’d get picked up by journalists and bloggers covering your industry.
There are several ways to develop a link marketing idea that will appeal to your targeted audience. One of my favorites is to do research on what type of content, and I use the word “content” very loosely, attracts attention in related industries.
Another article about tying an ROI to your media expenditures.
Perhaps the most pressing question in online marketing today is: How can Facebook or Twitter translate to monetization online and why should luxury brands support this effort?
As of today, Facebook has over 500 million people active. That’s approximately 1 in 13 people who log on any given day. Luxury brand marketers simply cannot afford to ignore these numbers ¬– the value and reach of this social media tool are too tremendous and it’s only growing. There’s no telling if any marketing platform will be bigger than this tool in our lifetimes — meaning your brand needs to be on Facebook.
It is still not clear whether social media is the direct reason that someone goes into a store and buys a product. But if you’re a savvy CMO, you need to be able to explain to your CEO why an investment in social is necessary. Allow me to paint a snapshot.
Every fan or “Like” on Facebook has value. When you mention a brand on your status update, or wall, you are automatically entered into a digital community of people who also have mentioned this brand. If your company spends advertising dollars with Facebook, then those who work at Facebook will be much more willing to help you get these fans. Still here?