The Importance of Twitter during Real-Time Events for Brands

Over the past 6 weeks I have led our data analysis of real-time events at Clearspring such as the Super Bowl, the Grammy’s and the Academy Awards.  We have been live tweeting the data behind the events using many different signals across our network.  One trend is becoming more apparent during these real-time events which is the importance of Twitter.

The reason for Twitter’s rise during these events can be attributed to a few factors:

  1. More people are watching these events with a phone or tablet next to them instead of a laptop.  Twitter’s integration into these platforms especially iOS is important to note.
  2. Twitter’s mobile apps are simple to use and the 140 character limit actually plays in their favor during these events.  Short updates, re-tweets and replies make it easy to “be social” without taking attention away from the TV screen.
  3. Twitter is where the celebrities are.  During these events whether they be award shows, political debates or sporting events, musicians, actors, writers and athletes are sharing their opinions with the world and it is the best way to follow along.

Here is one example showing the amount of social activity by service during and immediately after Adele’s Grammy performance.  Twitter activity is almost two times bigger than Facebook.

So how can brands take advantage of Twitter during real-time events?  Brands can take advantage of Twitter’s popularity by bidding on promoted hashtags, accounts and tweets related to the event that draw attention back to your brand.  The other obvious play is to leverage celebrities that will be tweeting about the event to mention your brand or use your promoted hashtag or tweet.

Marketing via Twitter and using Twitter for earned media is still nacent, but you can tip the court in your favor by taking advantage times when Twitter users are highly engaged.

My Personal 2011 Infographic

We had a great idea back in September when we were creating the 5th Birthday Infographic for AddThis, and planning the year end infographic we release in December each year, that wouldn’t it be great if we could give our publishers their own infographic.  The design and development team of Jeff, Foo and Aaron did a great job of getting these graphics out to our publishers this week.  Now publishers who use AddThis can have a nice recap for their 2011 that they can post on their blogs  Here is mine:

AddThis Recaps the Year in Sharing

2011 was an incredible year for social sharing.  I spent the free time over the past 2 weeks processing incredible amounts of data (we process 70+ terabytes per week!), and Jeff did an awesome job turning my spreadsheets into a great infographic.  I am really excited to share with you the great nuggets we were able to find amongst the 11MM+ publishers and 1.2B+ users who share through AddThis.

2011-addthis-trends-infographic-600px

Using Social Media Trends to Help You Get A Job

On November 15th, I am going to be speaking at the University Club of DC on behalf of Syracuse University about how social media is changing the way we network and get jobs.  I participated on a panel back in April on a similar topic at American University’s Social Learning Summit.

About 3 years ago, companies started wising up to using social networks to promote their brand and connect with customers.  These channels opened up a new form of 2 way conversations, whether companies wanted that or not.  The exciting thing about this new way of interacting with customers was that it created entire new teams within companies usually led by someone with the title “Social Media Manager.”

Fast forward 18 months, and these same channels are no longer for B2C companies to connect with customers.  These social channels have given companies or brands the ability to reach customers with offerings, loyalty rewards, even the ability to view job postings.  On the other end of the conversation is you.

When you create a profile on a social network, you in effect are creating a brand.  My Facebook profile, my Tweets, this blog, it is a representation of me and my brand.  Your online brand can work for you or against you, and knowing how and when to use it can greatly improve your chances at making key connections and getting a job.

I can’t wait to share my insights on the tools we use and the trends we see in when it come time to getting a job and networking.  To register for the event click here.  If you can’t make it out to the event, you will be able to follow along on twitter via #SUDCSocialMedia.

5 Years of Sharing, millions of domains, billions of users, trillions of views

We celebrated a birthday this month, as AddThis turned 5 years old.  In 5 years we have seen over 1.7 trillion views of our tools, the fall of MySpace, and the rise of Facebook and Twitter.  AddThis goes way beyond simple sharing tools.  We process over 70 TBs of data a week so that our publishers can learn what impact their content is having on the social web.

As the director of product for AddThis for the last 10 months, it is amazing to see the evolution of such a simple set of tools become something so essential that over 10 million publishers worldwide use our product.  Every day is a fun challenge of building a product for over 1.2 billion users.

Five years in Internet time feels like an eternity, and the data we have can clearly show and predict trends happening across the web.  The infographic we released today shows some of those trends.  It will be fun to see what trends emerge over the next 5 years.



Weiner is at fault, but is Twitter partially responsible?

All of us our sick of hearing about Anthony Weiner and all the jokes that are associated with what he did and his name.  Everyone says the guy is an idiot, and I agree he is an idiot for lying.  Some of my technology compatriots have said he is an idiot for not knowing how Twitter works, but this is where my views differ.

As the story goes, Weiner got himself in trouble when he typed the “@” symbol, which in Twitter speak means you are mentioning the person’s name instead of the letter “d,” which means you are sending a private message to the person, when he composed his tweet.  As a result a “private” direct message became a public message.  Are you kidding?  How intuitive is that?  From a product, Twitter is lacking the fit and finish, and I am putting that kindly.  It is the reason that there are tons of 3rd party Twitter clients and that it is a tool that most people use to read tweets instead of write tweets.  Perhaps Apple and iOS will make Twitter a better product for the massess to use and contribute to.

Weiner is wrong for lying and that is why he is being asked to resign.  He even may be an idiot for not knowing the difference between typing an “@” and a “d,” but Twitter has done a poor job in evolving the product around the syntax that is being created around its product.  The hashtag, @ mentions, direct mentions, replies, and retweets, all have made Twitter a better product, but how it is implemented in Twitter.com is very unintuitive.

Gizmodo’s Obit for AIM

Gizmodo did a nostalgia post about how AIM was the first Facebook before there was even MySpace.  We used to say that all the time when I was at AOL, that we beat Twitter and MySpace/Facebook to the punch with a lot of the features users of those service love today.

It definitely brought a smile to my face to see Gizmodo praise AIM 5.x.  My favorite AIM version I worked on was AIM 5.5 on Windows, back when I still used a Windows machine.  That particular client really was close to perfect, and achieved perfection thanks to James Dennis’ DeadAIM addon that removed the Ad and added a few other key features.  CNet calls it plain, but by then we had built a nice Expression engine and had audio and video chat.

What made AIM so important back then was the away message which were as irrelevant as a lot of Tweets are today, like “In the Shower” or “I am watching Survivor.”  We used to watch our users in usability tests view each of their friends Away Messages.  It even drove us to create a simple web page where you could view all of your buddies current Away Messages and their profiles.

Ah, profiles, 1024  characters (HTML markup included) of personalized goodness.  This was MySpace years before Tom became everyone’s friend.  Profiles were so important, that when we launched the ill fated AIM Triton without profiles, I added an AIM plugin to put them back. (Props to Justin for keeping his old Running Man blog alive on Blogspot after AOL Journals was shut down.)

So while Gizmodo declares AIM dead, I think they missed the AIM Desktop death by a few years.  AIM is making a big push on being a web destination and they still have a respected mobile experience.  Hopefully AIM 5.5 can rest in peace, as the real-time communication platform moves on to what’s next.

 

New TwitterMan for AIM 6.8 Beta

I posted a new version of TwitterMan for AIM 6.8 Beta 3. This plugin was a collaboration between myself and one of my teammates, Gus.

This build will only work with the latest AIM 6.8 Beta or newer. For those unfamiliar with TwitterMan, this AIM plugin will set your status message on Twitter to the same status you have currently set on AIM. Recently Twitter added the ability to push your Twitter status to social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, and others. So now TwitterMan will be able to propagate your AIM status from AIM to Twitter then to Facebook for example. The latest version will securely store your Twitter credentials so you do not have to enter them every time you sign into AIM. The latest version appears at the bottom of your buddy list where you can log into Twitter and manage your settings.

We will be making some improvements over time, including getting alerts when your Twitter Friend Feed has changed.

A Twitter Plugin for SXSW

A year ago at SouthBySouthwest (SXSW) Twitter became mainstream in the developer community. The amount of traffic that Twitter experienced over the one week conference was incredible as it seemed that everyone announced their plans each evening via the service. With SXSW, starting this weekend and the Open AIM announcement this week, I thought I would release the latest version of the Twitter plugin for Windows. The plugin supports AIM 6.5+ or AIM Lite.

This plugin will update your status message on Twitter when your status message on AIM changes. The first time your status message on AIM changes, you will be prompted for your Twitter username and password. You can prevent this from happening by installing the plugin, signing on to the AIM client, choosing the Actions button at the bottom of the Buddy List, and selecting “Set Your Status.” Enter in your Twitter credentials, and you will be all set to go.

You can follow along my twitter feed and all the happenings at SXSW and beyond here.