The league is leveraging digital media in many ways to produce benefits for fans, sponsors and the NHL. One such program was #NHLTweetup, which saw the league sponsor fan tweetups in locations such as Chicago, Nashville and New Zealand. The program was run at minimal cost to the league; the investment included 250 man hours, 13 pieces of autographed merchandise and gift bags with a total value of just $1,000.
The power of combining Twitter and real-world events is pretty easy to recognize, but the NHL took the time to quantify it. This program created results for the NHL in at least three ways:
Reach and impressions: Out of 150 people who attended one NHL tweetup in New York City, 100 of them had Twitter personas that could be analyzed. The NHL found out each fan had an average of 213 followers per person. Extrapolating this across all of those who attended the international events, the league estimates that the program created impressions on more than 230,000 people via Twitter. Of course, the social impressions didn’t stop there — the tweetups resulted in the most blog posts the sport had seen since the NHL Winter Classic.
Yesterday Facebook released new tools to help improve users’ control of Facebook sharing and data. The reaction to these new tools has been generally very positive (and, in my opinion, deservedly so). But there's been some interesting buzz among social media gurus, particularly about problems with the new Facebook Groups functionality. These gripes seem to be based less on a consideration of how the average consumer will use Groups than on a set of use cases and problems unique to social media professionals. In short, I worry social media specialists are making the classic mistake that trips up marketers time and again: You are not the target market!
I believe there are three reasons that social media professionals may end up judging new tools based on their biases and not upon the potential use and adoption by the average consumer. These reasons are:
Social media professionals are Creators and Conversationalists: Creators create the content that others consume in social venues, and Conversationalists post frequent status updates. Social media professionals are (not surprisingly) big Creators and Conversationalists, but the average consumer is not--fewer than one in four online adults in the US have Creator behaviors and fewer than one in three are Conversationalists.
Obviously, as a regular blogger, I think social media are the cat's meow. However, when I use social media, I don't lapse into that blissed-out state that cats enjoy when they bust open a jar of catnip. Your experience may be different:
If you believe that Twitter is of net-benefit for the world, and only someone who hasn't used it much would say otherwise, then what's good for Twitter is good for the rest of us, too. Costolo's adventures with the last world-changing messaging system he [led] may have worked out better for himself than for the rest of us in the long run, but his work at Twitter so far has been key at building staying power for this new, more accessible way for people around the world to speak with each other.
That's the concluding paragraph from a ReadWriteWeb story about Twitter's new CEO. It's just the sort of gushy, overblown statement that plays well in the pocket universe of people with a vested interested in social media using social media to sign hosannas on the highest about social media. Outside the pocket universe, it's just the sort of hyperbolic prose that makes people who are on the fence about Twitter, who don't necessarily see it as good for the rest of us, nervous that anything sold that hard must not be as good as advertised. For people who still look at their email inbox with despair, Twitter may be one more channel of communication that they don't need.
Something amazing has happened to social media in the past couple of years: Overall adoption of social technologies has effectively reached saturation. We're now at the point where more than 80% of US online users engage with social media - and although there's been some hand-wringing over the fact social media adoption has plateaued at that level, let's keep things in perspective: 80% engage with social media! That's as many people as own a DVD player or use SMS.
This kind of scale gives marketers the potential to generate reach through social media. Sure, it's a new and unfamiliar kind of reach for many marketers - rather than just shouting uniform messages at millions of people, they must engage directly with their audiences and then hope those audiences turn around and talk to and influence millions more users. But as we've proven, this new model of reach can also provide the same kind of massive scale that the old reach models did: Just a tiny handful of Mass Connectors will create 256 billion influence impressions in the US this year.
On September 15th between 11am-12pm EDT Forrester held an interactive TweetJam on the future of cloud computing including Forrester analysts Jennifer Belissent, Mike Cansfield, Pascal Matzke, Stefan Ried, Peter O’Neill , myself and many other experts and interested participants. Using the hashtag #cloudjam (use this tag to search for the results in Twitter), we asked a variety of questions.
We had a great turnout, with more than 400 tweets (at last count) from over 40 unique Tweeter’s. A high level overview of the key words and topics that were mentioned during the TweetJam is visualized in the attached graphic using the ManyEyes data visualization tool.
Below you will find a short summary of some key takeaways and quotes from the TweetJam:
1. What really is cloud computing? Let’s get rid of 'cloud washing!'
On Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new and improved user interface for its Web site. Twitter’s new Web functionality is a significant evolution that promises to attract more visits to Twitter.com, improve Twitterers’ interactions with content and each other, and ease adoption for Twitter newbies. The changes will roll out over the next few weeks, and there are implications for users and advertisers. (For example, if you have one of those elaborate, custom background images that conveys URLs or contact data, I hope you’re not too attached to it.)
At first glance, the new Twitter.com interface seems to be a minor redesign of the current Web site. The left column containing the tweet stream is largely untouched, but the right column holding Twitter follower counts and trending topics is much wider. The extra width accommodates a new “detail pane” that improves engagement with tweets and discovery of other Twitter users.
Click on a tweet in the left column, and the detail pane permits viewing and interaction with the content of that tweet. What is displayed in the detail pane depends on the nature of the tweet:
Videos: If the tweet contains a link to a video from sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and USTREAM, that video plays in the detail pane.
Maps: If the tweet is a check-in via services such as foursquare, the detail pane displays a map.
Pictures: If the tweet includes a link to a picture posted using services such as Flickr, DailyBooth, Twitpic and DeviantArt, that image appears in the detail pane.
Hashtags: If you click on a hashtag within a tweet, the detail pane conveys up-to-the-moment search results.
Tonight (Tuesday, September 14) Twitter is holding a press event to make an announcement. The event is scheduled for 4 pm PDT (7 pm EDT). No details are available yet. I'll be attending the conference along with my peer Melissa Parrish.
If you're interested in getting the Twitter news as it is available, visit this page during the event and refresh often. Or, I'll also be sharing Twitter-sized updates via Twitter: @augieray.
Live Blog Transcripts:
3:55 pm The crowd is set and waiting for the Twitter press event to get underway. I'll update this page throughout the event--hit F5 or click the refresh button from time to time if you're following along live.
4:06 pm Biz Stone (@biz) and Evan Williams (@ev) are getting us kicked off. There's an egg on the screen and Biz promises to tell us whats in the egg.
4:10 pm Ev says that "Twitter is getting better--and bigger." Twitter mobile users are up 250% this year, thanks to their own branded apps. 16% of new users getting started on mobile.
4:15 pm Twitter levels the playing field between creators and consumers of content more than any other platform before. In the beginning, they put emphasis on publishing via Twitter, but in order to get started on Twitter, you don't have to tweet any more than you need to create a Web page to use the Web.
4:20 pm 90% of the content on Twitter is public, so helping people find the content relevant to them is the challenge. Twitter gets 90M tweets/day and growth continues quite strongly--chart shows no leveling of tweets/day!
Have questions about cloud computing and the top challenges and opportunities it presents to vendors and users? Then join us for an interactive Tweet Jam on Twitter about the future of cloud computing on Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT (17:00 – 18:00 CEST) using the Twitter hashtag #cloudjam. Joining me (@hkisker) will be my analyst colleagues Mike Cansfield (@mikecansfield), Pascal Matzke (@pascalmatzke), Thomas Mendel (@drthomasmendel), and Stefan Ried (@stefanried). We’ll share the results of our recent research on the long term future of cloud computing and discuss how it will change the way tech vendors engage with customers.
Looking through the current industry hype around the cloud, Forrester believes cloud computing is a sustainable, long-term IT paradigm. Underpinned by both technology and economic disruptions, we think the cloud will fundamentally change the way technology providers engage with business customers and individual users. However, many customers are suffering from "cloud confusion" as vendors' marketing stretches cloud across a wide variety of capabilities.
To help, we recently developed a new taxonomy of the cloud computing markets (see graphic) to give vendors and customers clear definitions and labels for cloud capabilities. With this segmentation in hand, cloud vendors and users can better discuss the challenges and benefits of cloud computing today and in the future.
Henry's article isn't incorrect in its assessment of Twitter's challenges for growth. The microblog does tend to appeal more to those in tech circles than others, and it has a relatively high barrier to entry because it works best after you've dedicated time to find, follow and list the people you care to track. But it is the way Henry equates traffic and users to mainstream that makes me think we might need a different yardstick by which to measure mainstream.
According to the article, Twitter has 145 million users worldwide, but Twitter.com only welcomes slightly less than 29 million unique users each month. On this basis, it might seem to be more niche than mainstream, but if 29 million is not mainstream, then neither is:
As more marketers take to Facebook and Twitter -- and as users' friend lists on these networks continues to grow -- it strikes me that it may be getting ever harder for marketers to actually get a message through to their target customers. After all, if the average Twitter user follows several hundred people, and all those people post on average a few tweets per day, and then the average Twitter user checks in only a couple times per day and reads maybe 40 or 50 tweets per check-in . . . they're missing a lot of messages, right? If you assume that logic is right (though obviously the data points are all just ballpark guesses right now), it got me wondering: If a marketer has 100,000 followers on Twitter, or 100,000 fans on Facebook, and they post something, what percentage of those followers or fans ever actually see that marketing message?
I've collected the data around this and am in the process of building a model to find the answer to my question -- and I'll be writing a report about that topic this month. In the meantime, though, I'd love to get your thoughts on the topic.
- Do you feel as if it's getting harder or easier for marketers to get a message to users through social media?
- Which social networks do you feel are the most cluttered, and which are the least cluttered?