Brain Vibe

marketing muses to stay engaged

Growing with Twitter

Usually not my style if you read my posts regularly, but here is a rant on Twitter spammers.

It has taken a long time to grow my followers on Twitter.  I don’t have that many and I follow fewer.  The number of followers is vastly lower than the number that signed up to follow me to begin with.  Some of this has to do with how I use Twitter in general.  I converse with those that I find interesting (small number) and lurk on those that seem to always point out great posts.  TweetDeck is my preferred tool it it helps me track and bucket to keep things organized.

The problem I have is the spammers.  At first it was comical.  ‘Trixie’ tries to entice me to follow her with a sexy picture and nothing to say.  Sorry, this girl – me – isn’t interested, I’m happily married and my husband even laughed at your picture.  Then it became a nuisance with get rich quick schemes using Twitter.  Now, I’m starting to feel a bit militant.

The spam reporter on Twitter has become my best friend.  Just in the past 15 minutes I have had 9 new followers, some with the same picture and different name, and all spouting how to make money on the internet or Twitter.

Oh wait, now there is 10 – one just came in…

It has been this way ever since I posted legitimate news of revenue generation using social media.  Maybe they think I’ll be their new best friend and promote their trash.  Or, maybe they think I blog and Tweet for money or want to, which couldn’t be further than the truth.

What concerns me is that I miss too many of these spammers, or ones that are more sophisticated and harder to spot. I worry that that this causes people that I actually want to follow me and maybe follow and communicate with to not follow, unfollow, block, or even report me as a spammer.  The reason I say this is I look at the people that follow me.  I want to see that there is something to share and gain from the connection.  I look not only at people’s tweets but, I also look at their profiles, companies, and the people they follow.

Oh god, another one just came in…

I’m a marketer and work at an agency so I ‘get’ the need for promotion and advertising.  I know there are the spammers out their that haven’t got a clue they actually are the bane of my industry’s existence.  It is the one’s that clearly are bottom feeders that make Twitter at times unbearable.

That makes 12…

I’d given the benefit of the doubt to some as everyone has had to learn how to use Twitter and make it effective for them.  Although, at this point, I’m glad Twitter has grown up and provided spam blocking.  I don’t need to grow my follower list beyond quality connections.  I also want to protect my reputation as a non-spammer.  I guess with every marketing communication tool out there you get the spammers.  I just wish my follower list and email box wasn’t full of it.  What concerns me mostly is that Twitter becomes obsolete as a network because of the spammers.  I’d hate to think that Twitter could turn into another MySpace.

13 just came in…

Looks like a long day of cleaning my Twitter follower list.

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Filed under: social media,

Direct Revenue From Social Media Marketing

Now there is proof.  You can generate revenue from social media marketing – and it is big!

CNN reports that an $11,000 indie movie ‘Paranormal Activity’ grossed $7.1M this past weekend and landed in the top 5 with a limited distribution across 200 theaters.  They did it through word of mouth marketing efforts heavily leveraging YouTube and Twitter.

By: Trendistic

By: Trendistic

What is most interesting about this is that the call to action was not a coupon or offer.  Buzz drove attendance.  In addition, as the first attenders watched the film, buzz peaked and carried through to quick conversion.

Now, I also tried to get data on YouTube trends but was only able to grab total visitations, which as of this morning were 1.9M.  However, search stats on Google showed a similar trend as Twitter so I’ll make a leap assumption that YouTube views were probably following a similar curve.

The reason I’m honing in on this so much is that awareness marketing has really taken a back seat as lead generation and direct revenue models have become the rage.  We look at social media marketing and can’t accurately measure the grey area of word of mouth to revenue generation.  So, we adapt social media to fit our tried and true direct marketing efforts – ie. using Twitter to mail out coupon codes.  The reality is that social media does have a place in our revenue generation mix close the point of sale.  It just takes us into a realm outside our comfort zone.

As you consider social media in your marketing mix, consider tests that introduce word of mouth marketing efforts close to the point of sale.  You may learn the trick to leveraging SMM in your specific revenue generation mix.

Filed under: Awareness, marketing/advertising, social media, social media marketing, , , ,

Is Twitter an Effective Direct Marketing Tool?

There are many uses for Twitter, but a significant use is to share content.  So, if you are a marketer and trying to get reach and conversion by feeding your blogs, white papers, and event invites through Twitter, what is the click-through rate?  How does it compare to email and direct mail?  Just how effective is it?

Pear Analytics just released a post looking at just that.  Their conclusion is that Twitter only provided a  click-through rate equivalent to direct mail.

… [A] “useful” tweet has the following characteristics:

-a shelf life of about 1 hr 15 min, and then it “dies”
-1 to 2% click-through rate on links

Which means that this is not a whole lot different than direct mail for example, without out the cost of course.

Ouch!  Alright, so it didn’t cost anything except manpower, but it is supposed to be better than direct mail and even email due to the ‘viral’ aspect of being within a social network.  That’s the hype.  That’s what the creative gurus are telling us. 

The issue with Twitter as a direct marketing tool has more to do with the fact that you cannot manage your list.  You may be able to manage your own follower and following list, but ultimately you are relying on the good will of others in the network to get out the message.  The way you manage your Twitter list is different than others manage theirs.

A big factor of success in direct marketing is the ability to slice, dice, and segment for a targeted approach.  It is surgical and scientific.  Even when you purchase lists you account for quality and alignment to your purpose, message, and content.  This simply is not manageable in Twitter if your follower’s networks are built for size rather than quality.  You can at least have negotiate money back if lists your purchase from vendors have quality issues.  But, Twitter lists are free.

Social networks like Twitter are great to keep high quality leads and customers close and then leverage to build your databases through early stage outreach.    When new leads do come into your social network, check for quality as this will tell you if your viral channel is high quality as well.  Then, If social network connections meet a threshold for quality, migrate to your central marketing database for lead nurturing.

 

 

Filed under: customer relationship, data quality, marketing operations, marketing technology, metrics, networking, social media, , , , , , , , , ,

My Twitter Connection

 

Twitter

To be honest, I’m still working on the Twitter thing.  I haven’t written much on this little tool mostly because I’m still trying to get my arms around it and what I want from it.  Although, I think maybe this is what Twitter is all about.  Instead of a tool that comes with deep instructions on what to do with it – a real purpose – Twitter lets you figure that out for yourself.  How cool is that?  

 

I’ve had my head down for most of the past week working on a research report.  For those that follow regularly, I apologize for the long pause of conversation.  But, I found out something about myself and Twitter in the process. The interesting thing is that as I was consumed by data, spreadsheets, charts, and prose, the way I stayed connected was through Twitter.  My trusty Tweetdeck was up all the time chirping away as the people I follow kept me informed of what was going on through news and comments.  I ignored email, which took too long to read and would detract me from my work.  I let my calls go to voicemail unless caller ID told me I really shouldn’t ignore this person.  My time on Facebook and LinkedIn was as quite as my blogging – except for my wistful call for the cold Guinness my dear husband was bringing home on Friday.  I never even read my newsfeeds, web surfed, or turned on my IM.  Yet, Twitter made sure I didn’t truly fall off the face of the earth.

Right now, Twitter is my dutch door to the world.  I try to provide content I think people want to hear about, whether it is my own or from others, and I avidly scan and read what others send.  Even if last week my clicks on shrunken URLs didn’t happen, the headlines that came with them kept me in touch.  Amazing what can be said with 140 characters!  On the other hand, the bottom of the dutch door, ‘conversation’, is still something I’m working on.  Haven’t quite figured that one out for myself.  Probably because I’m a bit of an introvert. 

On that note, it seems that my Twitter crowd has gotten interested in Twibes.  I joined several Twibe groups and look forward to connecting this way.  Maybe this will help me open the bottom of my door.  Anyhow, looks like an interesting twist on the Twitter community and can’t wait to really work it.

What do you use Twitter for and why is it powerful for you?

Filed under: networking, social media, , , , ,

B2B Social Media: Breaking Out of the Noise

Social Media Break Through the NoisePaid search and SEO are the buzz to get your message out in internet marketing and thus social media marketing.  However, my experience has been that this really doesn’t break through the noise.

As social media marketing is the preferred method for 2009, it has leapt out of novelty and into a noisy market.  Everyone is on Twitter.  Everyone is creating fan pages.  Everyone has a blog.  Everyone is on YouTube.  Everyone!  It is not easier today to get your message out than it was in 2008 when you had budget.  In fact, it is harder.  Social media made it harder.

The reality is that even if you use your social media marketing vehicles to push out content or have active communities, you can’t rely on a single tactic of social media confined to your B2B website and brand.  You have to find your market and move up through various avenues to surround your market.  Simply creating a more interactive website that is socially inclined and pointing to it through paid search and SEO will only get you so far.  You need to act socially as well.

I started this blog at the end of January as a way to talk about my thoughts on marketing, which then seemed to morph into a discussion on social media marketing.  I didn’t have any real objective other than trying to connect with others and expanding the conversation.  But, I am an analytic marketer by nature and so I track everything I can to see how things are progressing.  This past week I watched several things happen that created the tipping point I’d been wondering would happen.  I achieved a Google page rank of 4 and when my technorati tool is working I see I have an authority of 14.  Yahoo has almost 16,000 links to me and I’ve seen my Twitter followers organically increase – I don’t promote outside my blog.  The result, deep reach in traffic from long tail search.  Search traffic is above referral traffic for the first time ever and set a new steady state that equals my steady state of referrals.  Naturally, I wanted to know why.

There are a lot of blogs out there that give SEO how-tos.  I’ve read most of them and tried most everything in the last couple of months.  They all talk about the necessity of heavy linking in you blog posts to grab the long tail.  They talk about actively posting comments across other blogs that point back to you.  They talk about reciprocating links.  They say that where you have your tags on your sites and blogs make a difference.   Your are encouraged to blog often.  This might work for your company website. I say, it helps, but for social media, that isn’t it.  I’ve done these things from the beginning.  Linking still seems to be the trick but it is tied to social media participation rather than links that act like banners.

This is what I found…

The biggest way to break through the noise in social media marketing is to participate in social media.

  1. Participate in non-company communities.  Learn from your customers as much as you educate them.
  2. Become a featured blogger.  Become a thought leader.
  3. Use Twitter to promote other’s content as much as you promote your own (RT).  Pay it forward.
  4. Blog often, but blog with relevance.  If you have nothing to say, don’t say anything.
  5. Don’t be snarky.  Encourage and educate rather than berate.

Now that you are using social media in marketing, try participating to get that extra boost and break through the noise.

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Filed under: b2b, networking, social media, , , , , , , , , , ,

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