Social Media - 9/10 - Digital Marketing Agency

AdTech Sydney – Twitter Pro's and Con's

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There was a lot of talk yesterday at AdTech about Twitter, and how people would be twittering at the conference about what was going on. this was supposed to be a good way of keeping people who weren’t able to attend the conference up to date.

One of the (many) tags for following it was AdTechSyd#. However, when you search that in Twitter , like most Twitter streams, you get a lot of random thoughts which are not easy to read and the disjointed manner makes it difficult to identify and hold onto the useful or interesting pieces of information.

The Tweets include such useful lines as “at AdTech”, “Big night last night at AdTech”, “, “Wifi isn’t working”, “Great comment by Matt”.

While others had longer comments, and even coherent sentences, they were either taken straight from the speech or were a random thought of the writer, both of which need context for understanding. A bit like trying to read the doodlings in someone else’s lecture notes, you try to guess what they are talking about.

Which begs the question – when it comes to wanting to know what went on at a conference – do I really need a real-time stream of random sentences, or would it be better to read a thoughtfully composed (after the fact) blog post? I suspect strongly the latter.  Real time isn’t a necessity for some situations, such as reporting on a speech at a   Digital Marketing conference!

There were some good tips for those agencies who could be bothered trawling through all the Tweets. For example, some comments along the lines of “Why do agencies always have to be the leaders, why can’t they be team players?”.

This was rebutted with the line “Because agencies want to say: we are gurus of the bleeding edge, instead of gurus of the bleeding obvious.” It was also echoed with other comments in agreement from, I assume, Client companies, not agencies.

This is a good insight into the disenchantment clients might feel with their agencies, and shows how Twitter can let you know about mood or opinions on your brand/industry, and from replies, how widespread those opinions might be.

With all the different information sources on the web nowadays, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of each, and for Twitter it seems to be:

  • Good for ascertaining mood/vibe
  • Suboptimal for getting the facts
  • Good for multiple-opinions in one place
  • Good for real time updates on time-critical topics
  • Lacks context

Why Do We Bother With Status Updates?

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I sometimes feel vaguely guilty, a bit narcissistic, a lot self-obsessed when I am updating my status on Facebook. While I haven’t yet been bothered to create status updates for my Twitter profile, I at least thrice weekly update my Facebook status (unless I have a continuously pertinent one, such as last weeks “Tracy feels like caramel slice, apple tart and chocolate custard”).

Psychologies is a magazine I love to read, and this months issue had some pertinent insight, really nailing down what it is about status updates that make them cringe-worthy yet addictive.

Internet psychologist Graham Jones, says that status updates aren’t completely strange and unprecedented, because we drop mundane, unsolicited, comments like this into every day conversations. For example “I’m so full, I just had this massive lunch.” This is part of our general conversational skill set, helping to give context to the listener, aiming to get them to understand our circumstances. Online, we want to add to the image we have made of ourselves – our profile pic, favourite books, job history – by adding topical, sometimes inconsequential context through status updates.

While you might initially think that people who are self concious would likely shy away from social media, due to not wanting to draw attention to themselves, it is actually a perfect platform for those kind of people because it is highly manageable and easily edited. In this one way they can have 100% control over what image they portray.

The article also likens online sharing to people writing biographies, but in this case you don’t have to wait until you are famous or paid to do it, it is a more democratic and basic form of biography.

While it is maybe narcissistic to imagine people are interested in the minutiae of your life, it also provides connection to other people in these time-poor days.  You might not see your best friend for two weeks, but you can get a general gist of what is important to her at the time, you can also feel the connection by putting yourself out there, maintaining or creating connections.

The article summed it up nicely in this quote:

“What these sites do is feed that need for relatedness. And they reinforce the idea that our story is just as important as someone else’s story, and the stories of our lives are important”.

New Online Marketing Idea – Skittles

By | Social Media, Uncategorized | No Comments

I have come across this very interesting new online campaign for the Mars Inc product Skittles, (although it has actually been up for a little while now.)

Mars has changed the domain skittles.com to be a Twitter search page for the term ‘skittles’. This is not the first time something like this has been done, see Modernista.com which uses not just Twitter, but different social media venues, however the overlay is a bit unprofessional looking.  I-Crossing is the agency responsible for the new Skittles campaign and their representative says that the point of it is to show that Mars (or Skittles at least) considers the consumers to be the defining parameters of their brand.

It is a very brave move, because it is not going to be moderated and so people could obviously use it as a platform for themselves, other products, political statements, negative rants, etc.  There have been lots of negative comments about Skittles (although, how negative can you be about lollies?), but equally there have been lots of positive comments. More importantly, Skittles has moved to be one of the top discussed terms on Twitter.

I have nothing but praise for this brave move. It is difficult to come up with a new interesting angle for making a visitor come to a product site. Viral games or video’s are already old hat, so I think it is genius to come up with something so innovative, even if it is second hand, and then having the guts to put it out there unmoderated.

There are some calling I-crossing and Skittles copy-cats, but this is evolution, it is copy and improvement.  Skittles.com is a slight improvement on Modernista because it looks more professional but copies the intent of the idea.

p.s. I wanted to post a Google Trends pic to try and see/show the traffic changes to the site recently, but none is registering yet…

Social Media on the Government Filter

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This article on the ABC reminded me of the funny little filtering trial the Government is trying to put into place (wasn’t it meant to go ahead in December?), because to be honest, with the fires, and the Economic Crisis, and my establishing my business and all, I had forgotten that this even existed…

Anyway, while the article is very short, only outlining that the big ISP providers are refusing to participate (that includes iiNet, Telstra and Optus – wait, how did Telstra get out of this?), there is around 20 times the content written below the article in the comments.

This week seems to be social media week for me – posts only about user generated content, images, discussion, etc. And like I said on Monday, while it might not be as ‘impartial’ as the news (note the ‘ ‘ marks around impartial – very important), there is an overwhelming amount of user generated content compared to actual news content.

The theme of the comments regarding the Government Filter is as follows:

1. The majority who care to comment on this story believe that the filters won’t work.

2. Those who DO believe the filters will help, accuse those who don’t want them of not caring for the children (which is an excellent result for Today Tonight and the Filters PR people)

3. Many people (including the police supposedly)  think the money could be better spent going towards a police taskforce to handle this, rather than a filter (agree).

4. A filter like this worked in New Zealand (? I am trying to confirm this now, it seems strange).

5. There is some debate on whether those ISPs are actually refusing to participate, or whether they are being excluded by Conroy because they have spoken out about how they are against it.

See how much more you get from reading the comments, than reading just the news story alone? I mean, of course you can’t rely on it 100%, but hopefully the lies on each side balance the other out.  And after all, it isn’t like we have been trusting the media over the last couple of years anyway.

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