Is This Thing On? How to Tell if Twitter Marketing is Working

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Do people actually read your tweets? Does anybody actually click on the videos and articles you tirelessly link to in your tweets? Does anybody care what you’re tweeting? Well, if you’re a high-paying advertiser, you can use Twitter’s fancy analytics tool it unleashed last winter. If you are just a small business, however, how in the heck are you supposed to know if this Twitter thing is actually working?

First off, analytics aren’t just for the big boys. Hootsuite, the increasingly popular dashboard for marketers to keep in touch with their Twitterverse, came out with its own version of analytics a few weeks back. Social media marketers drooled at the potential such a tool could have and the promise Hootsuite posed was that any business could now see how their followers responded to their tweets. So far, the Hootsuite’s analytics reports deliver. Easy to read and even easier to use, the reports offer a glimpse into what your followers like. Followers of Brandsplat on Twitter, for example, love links to stories about weird food items, our Friday “Five Things You Might Have Missed” blog and anything celeb- or tech-related. With these reports, blogs and links can be pushed to your followers to suit their tastes.

That said, try not to overthink your Twitter content. Twitter is still supposed to be a good time and fun for people to read. And nothing is more boring than a strictly-calculated Twitter account that makes all the right moves but never joins the party. Listening and joining the conversation is a good way to get emerged in Twitter while seeing firsthand what folks respond to. Talk to your followers and you’ll quickly get a gauge on what they want.

As a test, we ran a contest for one of my non-profit clients. We tweeted trivia questions and gave free tickets away to the first responders. Turns out people actually read our tweets! We got a hundred or so responses from local people.

Twitter and its accompanying analytics boom have truly only just begun. The longer we engage in back-and-forth social interaction, the more we learn about the people who follow and buy from us. While there’s no surefire formula to tweet success, we know that reading and listening are just as important as tweeting.

Five Things You Might Have Missed

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In a sleepy spring news week with nary a peep of drama from the usual suspects, social media, tech and marketing news has been scarce. Yet we put our digging super powers to work and found 5 things you might have missed!

  1. The Branded Mini Movie: If you’ve missed the avalanche of short movies pushed out by brands like BMW, Royal Caribbean and Denny’s lately, you might be the only one. Yet Internet short films top our list because of the surprising resurgence and the even more surprising viewer response. A dramatic infomercial film for The Better Sleep Council starring Shannen Doherty scored big YouTube views and ignited the blogs back in January. Branded mini movies may not be new, but 2011 is likely to be known as the year the genre exploded.
  2. J. Crew Gets Edgy: Okay, not really (and just typing those words made us laugh). I mean, J. Crew thinks vanilla is spicy. Nonetheless, the company stirred up an unwanted controversy when it featured creative director Jenna Lyons and her 5-year-old son after a toenail painting session. People with nothing better to do have erupted and called the ad all sorts of ridiculous things. This non-scandal is as stupid as they come but it makes our list because for the first time since the Clintons left the White House, people are actually buzzing about J. Crew.
  3. If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… This U.S. Air Force flowchart, courtesy of Social Media Penguin, is a clear reminder of how to respond to negative comments about our products or business online. In short, the military, along with Ghandi and your mom, still believes silence is the strongest action you can take when dealing with haters and their comments.
  4. The Just Because Blog: We’ve noticed industry-related blogs and company blogs taking a moment during the week to just blow off steam and post something odd, silly or just plain fun. And you know what? We love it! The Just Because blog provides followers a break from the barrage of news and chatter they get in their newsfeeds all day long. Yes, we want people to follow our ultra-serious and important blog… but we also want our readers to stick around and the Just Because blog is a nice way to encourage that.
  5. Not Every Joke is a Hit: Personally, we had a good laugh when we saw the pictures of a billboard promoting AMC’s zombie series The Walking Dead placed cleverly outside a funeral home. But some folks in the UK were not amused. The billboard has been removed and Clear Channel has apologized.

 

 

Five Things You Might Have Missed!

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Friday is here, which means it is time for another high-flying, stair-climbing, sugar-coated edition of Five Things You Might Have Missed!

1.) Cold Beer Here: The Twitter Beer guy from Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners baseball, tops our list for sheer DIY digital marketing genius. @MSbeervendor is saving himself trips up and down the treacherous steps and saving beer drinkers time by having customers tweet their location. It’s Twitter marketing at its finest and good old-fashioned ingenuity.

2.) Flipping for Klip: Watching the video mapping videos by Klip Collective is a mind-blowing experience that almost makes you forget you’re watching advertising. As the creators of video mapping, Klip is turning any flat surface into a video canvas. Cool to look at for sure — and even cooler to imagine the possibilities for the future of outdoor and ambient advertising.

3.) A Bird’s Eye View: The Raptor Resource Project hatched a creative way to get people personally involved with its mission to save falcons, eagles, hawks and owls. With BirdCams, viewers get an intimate look at the daily lives of birds of prey. Last week, a real life nature soap opera unfolded as thousands tuned in to see a Decorah eagle care for its newborn chicks while waiting for the third egg to hatch.

4.) Candy Gone Crazy: The world of sweet treats has been delivering big time viral video weirdness lately. From Skittle’s frisky kitty to Sarah Silverman making out with a unicorn for Juicy Fruit, candy makers have also become hit video makers. Our latest favorite is Dragee, the Zen-filled glutton for punishment for Mentos.

5.) Thrown for a Loop: Drivers in Bogata, Columbia, saw their childhood come to life when a giant replica of Hot Wheel’s signature loop was put up on a freeway. Hot Wheels has been all about cool outdoor ads lately and this one is no exception.