Friday Wrap #39: Twitter limits, mobile heat, a tweet’s value, gamifying for collaboration, and more

Posted on February 22, 2013 7:42 am by | Content | Business | Channels | Content Curation | Customer Service | Gamification | Marketing | Measurement | Mobile | Social Media | Twitter

Friday Wrap #39

(c) Can Stock Photo
Friday seems to have arrived faster than usual this week. The laws of physics say that’s not possible. I say, Where did the week go? Not that there was any shortage of news you may have missed. Here’s this week’s rundown, drawn from items I have saved to my link blog, LinksFromShel.Tumblr.com

Best laid plans: Twitter limits derail Coke’s Super Bowl plans

If there’s a case to be made for maintaining your own owned platforms in addition to using social channels owned by third parties in your marketing efforts, it’s Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl experience. Despite establishing a social media “war room” to execute plans for a Twitter campaign during the game, the iconic brand went dark for more than 90 minutes after exceeding Twitter’s daily and hourly tweet limits. The rules exist to curtail spam, but the daily cap of 1,000 tweets is “further broken down into smaller limits for semi-hourly intervals,” reports Cotton Delo in AdAge Digital. The Coke team thanked individual users who participated in its campaign. Knowing that would easily exceed the limit, Coca-Cola went through official channels to get permission to send more tweets. Then they exceeded the new limit, leading Twitter to adjust upwardly again—which happened during that 98 minutes of Twitter silence. “Coca-Cola’s plight on Super Bowl Sunday illustrates the complexity brands must sort through when they’re contemplating intricate executions that rely on Twitter,” Delo writes. “However, creating separate accounts that have higher tweet publishing limits for big advertisers to freely engage one-to-one with their audience is not in Twitter’s plan, though it can raise the limit on a case-by-case limit, as it did for Coca-Coca.”

Think mobile’s hot? You ain’t seen nothing yet

In four short years, monthly mobile data traffic will reach 11.2 exabytes, 13 times its current peak. This growth is symbolic of results of a number of reports pointing to the rapid adoption of mobile as a primary access tool (prompting IBM to launch a MobileFirst initiative). Ericsson released a report showing mobile traffic on data networks doubling over the last two years, while Cisco says global traffic on data networks grew 70% last year. “The traffic on mobile networks in 2012—885 petabytes—was nearly 12 times greater than total Internet traffic around the world in 2000, back when the web was taking off,” according to Kevin Kelleher, writing for Fortune. (The emphasis is mine.) Wireless data traffic will continue to grow 66% annually over the next five years, with smartphones experiencing 81% traffic growth and tablets hitting 113%. Smartphones, though, will be “the biggest eaters of mobile-network data.” Now are you convinced that you need to get busy with a mobile strategy?

What is your tweet worth? Ask Twitter

New from Twitter: assignment of a value to tweets, which the company will attach to the public metadata of your messages, a move designed to “help developers more selectively curate massive amounts of status updates,” according to Mashable‘s Sam Laird. By now, the designations of “none,” “low” and “medium” have begun appearing in the metadata, with a “high” value slated to appear later. We don’t know exactly how tweets will be ranked, although “medium” and “high” value posts “will be roughly analogous to the ‘TopTweets’ results you get when you search a word or hashtag.” The move will benefit users, according to Laird, “as the change should help surface better content.” Twitter wins, too, of course; the company will “have the power to designate ‘high’ value tweets (in some cases, perhaps, for a price) and possibly experiment with new ways of displaying tweets.”

Listen only when spoken to

Plenty of research has supported the notion that people expect brands to engage with them via social media. A new study seems to suggest that consumers prefer brands to wait until they’re actually asked a question before making their presence known. Social intelligence company NetBase found that 58% of consumers want companies to respond to complaints they post via social channels, but 51% wants to be able to talk about brands without the brands listening in. Forty-three percent believe a brand monitoring social conversations is an invasion of privacy; baby boomers are more opposed to monitoring of their conversations than any other demographic, 36% compared to only 17% of Millennials. Still, there are those pesky 48% that want companies to improve products and services based on what they learn via social media. It’s all in an ebook, “Social Listening vs. Digital Pricy, a Consumer Study: Your Practical Guide for How to Engage Consumers Based on Their Attitude Toward Privacy.” Learn more in the write-up from The Daily Dog.

Your social interactions affect perceptions of your brand

While some consumers may not want you monitoring their conversations about your brand, another study concludes that “a well rounded social communications practice that serves both as a marketing outlet and as a place for consumers to solve service issues will help. Interestingly, J.D. Power conducted both studies. In this one, they spoke with 23,000 consumers and covered 100 brands in six industries, finding that not many companies did both marketing and service all that well. “Hardly any companies are doing equally well on social marketing and social servicing,” says Jacqueline Anderson, Power’s director of social media and text analytics. (She’s quoted in an Aaron Barr story on MediaPost’s Marketing Daily.) That gap negatively affects brand perception. The study found that nearly a third of consumers in the 30-49 age group and 38% of those over 50interaact with companies “via their social marketing (compared with only 23% of consuemrs 18-29),” writes Barr. “However, 43% of the younger demographic use the channels for social media interactions, while only 18% of those over 50 do.” Among highly satisfied consumers, intent to buy was “positively impacted” by online interaction with the brand among 85% of respondents. However, 10% with low satisfaction scores noted their intent to purchase was “negatively impacted” by their experiences with the company’s social interactions.

Gamification results in increased collaboration

NTT Data launched a collaboration platform dubbed Socially three years ago, but only a measly 400 employees (out of 7,000 in the division) ever signed on, despite a concerted internal marketing effort. To try turning things around, the company made the portal into a game. “In the spirit of true online game design, we incorporated challenges, rules, points, badges, leaderboards, social media and, most importantly, incentives,” write NTT’s Imran Sayeed and Naurren Jeeraj in a Harvard Business Review blog case study. “By offering the employee (the “player”) a sense of purpose and aspiration to an otherwise mundane and boring task, now Socially delivered an alternative setting within the workplace for people to meet, collaborate, mentor and learn new skills.” Six months later, 4,000 employees were participating. Today, most of the company shares knowledge and builds relationships on the platform. It’s another example of smartly-applied gamification. Change efforts—like getting employees to adopt a new knowledge-sharing behavior—works when it is “designed around human nature—rather than enforcing a corporate appeal,” the pair assert.

Real-time content marketing works with planning and permission

Edelman Digital Managing Director David Armano tells the tale of the company’s execution of a real-time content marketing effort on behalf of Cars.com during the Super Bowl in a post on his Logic + Emotion blog. The review of what it took to pull it off makes it clear that real-time marketing can work, but it takes advance planning, cooperation among previously isolated communication groups, and permission from the organization to improvise without having to get approval for every word. Armano says he was influenced by a Harvard Business Review article that made the case for advertisers to act more like newsrooms. “Traditionally advertising has been planned well in advance and that planning doesn’t often leave room for improvisation,” Armano writes. “But don’t mistake improvisation for lack of planning.” The cars.com team—which included representatives from a number of entities—worked together in a command center.” Armano shares a video of the team in action and a graphic that recounts the process of bringing the team together in its newsroom-like configuration.

How to measure Twitter and Vine ROI

With Twitter’s anemic analytics—and the lack of any analytics for the Twitter six-second video service, Vine—how can you tell if your tweets and Vines are producing results? HubSpot makes the case for “closed-loop reporting,” “the process of tracking the path of a user who clicks on a link in a tweet, visits a page on your website, completes a form on a landing page to become a lead, and ultimately, converts into a customer—so you can directly attribute customers to your Twitter marketing and evaluate the effectiveness of Twitter as a marketing channel for your business,” writes Anum Hussain on HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Blog. The two key measures to focus on are customers generated through leads acquired by Twitter along with Twitter reach and database growth. What you need are an analytics tool (HubSpot offers one, of course), tracking tokens for different sources, and campaign tracking (to produce deeper insights). Hussain provides detailed steps for measuring visits, leads and customers generated, along with a step-by-step buide for measuring Twitter reach and database growth. As for Vine, “data-driven marketers still find ways to track how they’re performing,” including tracking hashtags and monitoring the growth in the number of followers to your Vine content.

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