Marketing to Women: A Twitter Photo is Worth a Thousand Retweets

March 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

resizeFor those of us watching the Oscars this year, we know that this little selfie set a new retweet record.  In just a matter of minutes, the Ellen tweet had 1.9 millions retweets and even crashed Twitter for a moment.  The previous record was 778, 801 for President Obama’s “Four more years.”

But what about that Tweet made it so special?  I mean,  other than Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep, Ellen and that cutie Jennifer Lawrence.  Seems it was because it was a star-studded photo.

Why do some tweets have higher engagement?  Twitter did a study of its own to find out what makes some tweets so popular.  Looking at more than 2 million Tweets sent by thousands of verified users across different fields over the course of a month, Twitter determined that the addition of hashtag, a number or stat, a quote, a video or a photo increased the effectiveness of the tweet.  So it seems that a Twitter Photo is worth a Thousand or maybe a Million Retweets!

Overall, the most effective tweet components across all verified accounts were:

Photos, which averaged a 35 percent boost in retweets.
Videos, which got a 28 percent boost.
Quotes, which received a 19 percent boost in retweets.
A number or stat, which received a 17 percent bump in retweets.
Hashtags, which garnered a 16 percent boost.

The overall effectiveness of different elements vary across various categories.  The chart below shows the effectiveness of photos for news, but in television it might be a quote or a video url.  However, the premise is that tweets need an enhancement to make them shareable.
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Marketing to Teenagers: Facebook Fail

October 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

Teenagers introduced us to Facebook and now they are moving on.  Just 23 percent of teens think Facebook is the most important social site, down from 42 percent from a year ago, according a Piper Jaffray report on teens. Facebook is tied with Instagram as the second most popular social media among teens. Instagram is a social network a third of Facebook’s age and with a tenth as many users.  Twitter came out as number one.

2013_10_23_Facebook_TeensFacebook has been on a steady decline.  Even though the numbers on Facebook are still huge, teens say that size, privacy and drama are reasons for the growing lack of popularity.  What’s growing in popularity?  Instagram, Snapchat and more niche social media are growing in importance among teens.

Are CEOs Anti-Social? 68% Not On Social Network

August 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

marissa-mayer-lead1I am pretty fascinated about this little factoid:  68% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence on any of the major social networks.  The homework on this little fact was done by DOMO and CEO.com. Why aren’t CEOs more involved with social media?  I think there are several reasons:

1.  Only 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.  Women tend to be more comfortable with the use of social media.  Of that 4.2% female CEOs, the ones using social media stand out.  Meg Whitman of HP and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo! are prime examples.  A recent ranking of the top CEOs on social media finds only four women out of 30 execs, but they are impressive – Marissa Mayer of Yahoo, Angela Ahrendts of Burberry, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Harriet Green of Thomas Cook.

2.  Resistance to change could be a reason.  The age of CEOs and their comfort with social media may affect their participation, and their own self-imposed importance might hinder their launch into social media.  But here are two examples of brave CEO types that are over 50.  Warren Buffett joined Twitter in May of this year and currently has 545,554 followers.  Of course Warren has only tweeted twice but the second one was about his new essay on the importance of women to America’s prosperity.

Way to go Warren! The other new social media leader is THE POPE.  @Pontifex has 2,827,155 followers.  I loved his post today:

We are all jars of clay, fragile and poor, yet we carry within us an immense treasure.

3.  CEOs may underestimate the power of their voice online.  Fortune 500 CEOs gain followers almost 20 times faster than average users.  Some CEOs have almost rockstar influence when they choose to participate.  Those not participating are missing out on the opportunity to model engagement, transparency and passion for their employees and their customers. screen-shot-2013-08-07-at-11-19-08-am Even those who have a presence on social media may not really be using it.  Only 3.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs are actively using Twitter.  But it seems that LinkedIn holds some fascination for CEOs; I call it the Facebook for business.  There are currently 140 (27.9%) Fortune 500 CEOs on LinkedIn, compared to 129 (25.9%) last year.  One of the features of LinkedIn that might be a draw for CEOs is the “Influencer” program that allows CEOs to be seen as an expert. I am sure we will continue to see CEO participation in social media grow as digital natives move into the ranks, but those currently not using it might want to rethink their position.

Hello Instagram Video! Goodbye Vine?

June 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Will there be a shoot-out between Vine and Instagram?  After it’s debut in January 2013, Vine detonated the boundries of social media with its six second streaming videos.  This week, however, Instagram has announced a similar upgrade allowing videos to be posted and edited on their site.  This severely damages the distinctive quality found in Vine, and people are starting to wonder if Vine will fade altogether.

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Is this goodbye for Vine?

Vine, created by Dom Hofmann and Rus Yusupov, was intended to allow users to quickly launch a video from smartphones to share with family and friends.  Within a matter of months after launch, it became the most used video-sharing application on the market, and by April 2013 was the most downloaded app within the entire iOS App Store.  Vine was a huge success.  Similarly, Instagram took the app world by storm, changing the look and feel of pictures across the iOS and Android world.  Instagram, however, was designed for picture filtering and editing, only allowing a square-shaped picture similar to old fashioned polaroids.  But Instagram’s merge with Facebook, the popular photo app took on new features such as additional filters, zooming, and focusing.  The new feature this month is video streaming.

Differences between Instagram and Vine:

1      Time:  Instagram now allows a whopping 15 seconds compared to the six Vine allows for their sharing.

2      Loop:  Vine will constantly play the on-screen video, while Instagram is “one and done” when it comes to playing time.

3      Shoot:  Vine allows the entire screen to be touched for recording, while Instagram has a centralized button.

4      Focus:  Why does Instagram use a specific button for shooting?  Because the screen can be used to focus. This means foreground and background transitioning for those video savvy users.

5      Stabilize:  Instagram wins the stabalizing award, allowing users to opt-in for better quality shoots for shakey hands.

6      Delete:  Instagram implemented a feature allowing users to delete.  (Much needed!)

7      Filter:  And what Instagram would be complete without one of the signature filters?  These are available to use for Instagram videos as well.

8      Convenience:  Instagram allows you to video within its app, essentially making it an app within an app.  Vine, on the other hand, is standalone letting you be that much closer to capturing that golden moment.

Similarities between Instagram and Vine:

One of the biggest and most noticeable features that both apps incorporate is the shoot-pause-reshoot option.  This allows a video to show progression, not just an instant period of time.

The Winner?

There are clearly more differences than similarities between these two medias, but which one wins out?  It’s all a matter of preference.  Depending on what people are looking for in an app, both media will be successful in the smartphone world.  In the future we can expect more groundbreaking features to be implemented in both applications, giving the public more reasons to shoot and share!

And what will marketers use?  Maybe both.  Lululemon was among the first brands to use the new Instagram video.  But other brands like Kate Spade, Lowe’s, Urban Outfitters, Lucky Magazine and Nordstrom are using Vine to provide sneek peeks, DIY ideas, new fashions and more in 6-second samplings.

Guest Post by Claire Whorton.  An App-Savvy Digital Native living in Nashville, Tennessee.

Marketing to Women: Your Elevator Speech in 15 Seconds

April 6, 2013 § 1 Comment

photoI was cleaning up my office today (yes, that is my real office), and I came across a Forbes article and video that really impressed upon me the importance of cleaning up our brand pitch to market to women, or any customers.  Our messaging becomes a little bit like my office.  Crammed with things that were important at the time but have hung around too long.  Impossible to relate to anyone in less than minute.

I love the simplicity of being able to explain your business in one succinct phrase that differentiates you from your competition.  Clean, Compelling, Concise.

So in the spirit of cleaning up our brands, here are some steps to create your elevator speech:

Step One.  Create a Twitter-friendly headline that answers the question, “What is the single most important thing that I want my listener to know about my brand, product, service or idea?”  Now this is excellent advice because if you can’t explain it in 140 characters, I probably can’t absorb it in 15 seconds.  This exercise forces you to practice the art of sacrifice for the purpose of communication.  A great headline will also give voice to differentiation and end benefits.  Here are some great examples in addition to the video.

The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families.

Wal-Mart saves people money to they can live better.

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Coca-Cola wants to refresh the world, inspire moments of optimism and happiness, and create value.

AT&T wants to to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else.

Starbucks is out to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.

Tom’s says we’re transforming everyday purchases into a force for good around the world. One for One.®

Step Two.  Support the headline with three key benefits.  Three is the perfect number.  For some reason, our minds can remember three ideas, but struggles with more.  The Power of Three.  As a child, everything we learned seemed to be centered around three — A,B,C; 1,2,3; Three blind mice, Three musketeers, Trinity, and the three wise men.  Aristotle even knew the power of three and wrote about it in his book Rhetoric.  So what are the three most compelling support ideas for your brand.

Step Three.  Reinforce the three benefits with stories, statistics or examples.  These are the bullet points that more fully explain your benefits.  And yes, all of it should fit on a single page.

I use this type of process in getting to the core identity of brands for clients. When you look back at the examples I used in step one, you see that the USO doesn’t say it runs centers for troops, Wal-Mart doesn’t talk about physical stores, and Google doesn’t talk about search engines.  Your business must be explained in such a consumer beneficial manner that it allows you the bandwidth to provide that benefit in a variety of ways.  That’s why Starbucks doesn’t say it is a coffee shop; they have always explained themselves as the third place in your life – after home and work.

Try this exercise for your business.  Let me know how it goes.  And send my a picture of your messy office.  Maybe it will make me feel a little bit better.

Marketing to Women: 8 Reasons In Defense of Twitter

January 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Wall Street Journal published a survey in January revealing that just 3% of small business owners polled believed that Twitter had the most potential to help their companies.  However, 60% of those small business owners believed that social media was important to their companies.  I believe most businesses do not understand the way to use Twitter.  Most think only about sales leads, rather than thinking of the other important purposes of Twitter.

MK-CA546_SBSOCI_NS_20130130180907What social media did small businesses prefer?  LinkedIn was preferred by 41% of the respondents, 16% picked YouTube and 14% chose Facebook.  About 14% of the business owners surveyed said they use Twitter. That figure matches with research released last year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which found that about 15% of all online adults are Twitter users.

In Defense of Twitter, I think that many businesses do not understand the strengths of Twitter and how to use it.  So here are some of the strengths of Twitter —

1.  Research.  Because of the amazing topics covered on Twitter, you can use it for research, listening to customers and competition, and discovering new topics of interest.  The multitude of interests covered can help you stay informed on a wide breadth of topics.  You are exposed to an amazing array of thought, wisdom and insight.  One company learned a new use for their product just by listening to their Twitter users.  Twitter is often a quick way to get a response to a question, find out about referrals or get comments on new ideas.

2.  Customer Service.  Twitter is a wonderful customer service tool.  Everyone from airlines to local restaurants sue Twitter to connect with customers to offer information, assistance, updates or apologies for poor service.

3.  Real Time News.  This is where the real breaking news is – across all topics – across the planet.  Citizen journalists across the world come to Twitter with news bulletins for almost any topic.  Even Twitter users in countries that are war torn or in rebellion have used the media to get their message out.

4.  Syndication of Your Content.  Your content is news on Twitter.  Twitter is an effective tool to share blog posts, pictures, videos and others relevant content.  Some groups hold Tweeting Parties, giving a way for groups to interact.

5.  Grow Your Circle of Influence.  As you find people who are of interest to your business, you can follow up to 2,000 Twitterers without any limits.  This service allows you to interact with potential customers, current customers and peer groups.  It’s a great way to meet people that complement your services and to learn from others.  Twitter is very democratic.  You can converse with business contacts online that you might not ever be able to meet otherwise.

6.  Search Engine Optimization.  Activity on Twitter will boost your search engine visibility.

7.  Strut Your Social Savvy.  Depending on what business you are in, it might be embarassing if you do not participate in Twitter.  I always advise clients to check out the social activity of potential marketing partners to see if they practice what they preach.  It’s amazing how many don’t.

8.  Public Relations Opportunities.  Since journalists troll Twitter, it is a great place to be seen and potentially picked up and to add to your authority.

Marketing to Women: Are We Addicted to the Internet?

January 21, 2013 § 1 Comment

Do you get that panicky feeling if you forget your phone?  Do you suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?  Well, you are not alone.

More than half  (55%) of respondents to a Siteopia study of internet usage feel they are addicted to the internet, while almost 62% of us admit we “need’ the internet to function in everyday life.   

One in ten of those participating said they can’t go longer than ten minutes during the day without catching up on social media or email.

The Siteopia study of 2,000 internet users reported that, on average,  most respondents only go a maximum of 90 minutes during the day without checking Facebook, Twitter or email.

Many of us are using mobile as the device of choice for checking in and updating our status – 10% of people now access the internet primarily on their mobile, with 5% accessing primarily via tablet.  75% have already been online before 9am every day, with almost one in five checking their e-mail or catching up on social media during their commute to work.

A whopping 62% now do all their banking online.   A third do all of their clothes shopping online, with free returns and delivery becoming an ever more common feature.

How Many Devices Do You Use?

I am on my laptop as I write now, but earlier today I used my iPad and iPhone to check in.  Seems I am fairly normal – the average internet user can now get online via three different devices.  But some 10% of us have as many as five devices, illuminating the growth of smart devices like televisions and gaming consoles.

Usage by Gender

Surprisingly, even though women spend more time with online shopping and social media, it’s men who spend more than 19 hours a week online – more than 42 solid days each year, and over a third longer than women, who only spend 14 hours per week surfing the web.  Men spend more time on news, Twitter, gaming and Not Safe for Work sites.

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