For going on a year, Twitter’s pitch to big brands and their agencies has centered on the power of promoted tweets as a complement to a TV buy. But a new ad product seems to be cutting TV out of the “Twitter + TV” lovefest.
Twitter introduced “TV conversation targeting” in the U.S. and the U.K. today, which lets marketers show ads to people who are tweeting about a given show before, during and after it runs, according to a blog post. It will be available in Twitter’s self-serve ad tool, not just to bigger brands with a direct-sales relationship.
Up until now, Twitter’s pitch has been about extending marketers’ TV buys. “Already buying TV? Make those ads work harder with Twitter,” the pitch goes. But with the new tool, Twitter advertisers can buy viewers of a show whether they’re also buying ads on TV or not.
Twitter clearly thinks the tool can scale quickly. It intends to bring it to other markets, including Brazil, Canada, France and Spain, in the coming weeks.
The same result would have been possible, albeit more labor-intensive, through Twitter’s keyword targeting tool — through which advertisers can show promoted tweets to users who have tweeted the phrase “Game of Thrones,” for example. But the creation of a tool to enable targeting of people who have tweeted about a show and its characters reflects a subtle shift in positioning away from the symbiotic relationship with networks that Twitter has been nurturing.
The products it’s rolled out effectively make networks a partner, not a competitor. Fast-multiplying “Amplify” deals are billed as a co-selling arrangement, where networks are paid for the sponsor’s pre-roll or branding within tweets sent from their handles and Twitter is paid for the promotion.
And the TV ad targeting introduced in May is offered only to advertisers who have a campaign running on national TV; the idea is that advertisers can pay to reach the same people on Twitter who are likely seeing their TV ad to drive their message home.
But not everyone can afford a TV ad, and this new option may be aimed at the have-nots. It remains to be seen whether Twitter will aggressively market it to larger spenders and effectively turn networks, which had been besties, into frenemies.
The move to Broadcasting House has enabled collaboration
BBC News is hitting a series of social media milestones. Earlier today the@BBCWorld Twitter account hit 5 million followers, at the weekend theGoogle+ celebrated 4 million +1s, Facebook is about to hit the 3 million mark, and the @BBCBreaking account is about to pass the 8 millionmilestone.
Mark Frankel, assistant editor of social news at the BBC, explains the key factors that have helped to grow a following of millions.
1. Being consistent
“There’s no great science behind it,” Frankel said, but having a dedicated social media team means BBC News can push out regular updates.
“We have a team of six who work day and night and at weekends,” Frankel said. There are two night shifts where the social desk is not covered, but it is a near 24/7 operation,” he explained.
BBC News pushes out six to eight posts on Facebook a day, three or four onGoogle+ and, posts 200 to 300 tweets over the course of a week.
2. Showcasing the best of the BBC
Dedicated staffing also means the team is able to highlight “a diet of the BBC’s best content”, Frankel said. “If you subscribe, you are getting the best of BBC News in one place.”
The team work in a joined-up way, posting social media updates linking to a range of output. They are constantly listening to and watching BBC content, enabling them to flag up key pieces, whether a strong interview from Victoria Derbyshire’s show on BBC 5 Live or a line from the BBC News channel.
And as they sit next to the web team, there is constant communication.
3. Close collaboration
The social news team moved into the new BBC Broadcasting House, the new newsroom close to Oxford Circus, in the summer of 2012. This has enabled collaboration.
“We now have a UK area of the newsroom and global area and all within 20 yards of each other,” Frankel said. “So when a story breaks you are very close to the people working on that story.”
4. Joined-up thinking
Frankel and the team have been keen to join up the dots so individual campaigns or conversations “do not live in a vacuum”.
A Twitter Q&A with reporter Tim Willcox in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan was “simply an extension of on-air broadcasting”, Frankel said.
- How has the BBC grown its Facebook following?
5. By thinking visually
The social news team aims to “makes sure the content leaps out of the page” on Facebook, Frankel said. They are aware that Facebook users follow multiple sources so the content must shine.
They use a range of techniques, using embedded video, pinning content to the top of the page, and adding image galleries.
“We think about Facebook as a visual product rather than a text service,” Frankel said. “We think about every story in terns of its presentation.”
6. By thinking globally
The social news team considers the best content for “different regions as they wake up”, Frankel explained.
They direct BBC content to people in different areas of the word using Facebook’s location feature.
7. By thinking about the type of content
Frankel and his team post stories based on “what is going to travel”, he explained. “We specifically look for content that will travel further on Facebook.”
Stories that are unlikely to generate much conversation are not shared, and some are avoided as they could result in negative, abusive or even racist comments.
The team is also careful when it comes to posting reports of court cases where comments left by Facebook users could be in contempt of court.
- How did BBC News reach 4 million +1s on Google+?
8. By considering the topics that get traction
For BBC News, the focus has been flagging up particular types of story on Google +, Frankel explained.
“We’ve always felt that the page’s great strength lies with science and technology stories and those about the environment.”
Posts on driver-less cars, global warming, and space have all done well, he explained.
But, perhaps surprisingly, when the team put out a status update to mark the 4 million follower milestone on Monday and asked for feedback, some followers requested more hard news and breaking stories. “So we might decide to mix it up a bit,” Frankel said.
9. By hosting Hangouts
The team has also organised Google+ Hangouts. Some Hangouts have taken place with correspondents off the back of the BBC One programme The Editors, for example.
“The feedback is that people like that they can get involved in the content, not just post on stories,” Frankel said.
10. By continuing to learn
BBC News may have reached a series of milestones but their practices are ever evolving.
“It’s a journey we are still on and we are still discovering new ways of engaging with our audience,” Frankel said.
Mark Frankel will be speaking at news:rewired, our digital journalism conference, on 20 February. Details are here.
Update: This article initially said the BBC News Google page had 4 million followers. It has 3.2 million followers and the milestone it reached was 4 million+1s.
8. 25% OF SMARTPHONE OWNERS AGES 18–44 SAY THEY CAN’T RECALL THE LAST TIME THEIR SMARTPHONE WASN’T NEXT TO THEM
9. EVEN THOUGH 62% OF MARKETERS BLOG OR PLAN TO BLOG IN 2013, ONLY 9% OF US MARKETING COMPANIES EMPLOY A FULL-TIME BLOGGER
As a broadcaster or advertiser, there are countless ways to research your audience, both online and offline.
It can however, be a challenge to establish which disciplines are best to accurately analyse your audience, especially as audience behaviour is changing so rapidly in the wake of widespread smartphone and social media us
Marketers have long relied on market research to decide where and how they should spend their advertising dollars on radio, print and television advertisements. Over time, however, traditional research practices have received a lot of criticism.
Diary-based radio ratings in the US, for instance, may inflate radio listenership, because they are only measured in 15-minute chunks. In other words, listening at any time during a quarter-hour counts for the entire duration, even if the actual time was just for one song.
In the UK, BARB’s TV ratings are in the most basic sense, are like a poll. They ask approximately 5,100 families (which the company claims fully represents the TV-watching public) to turn on their in-home TV measurement boxes on a daily basis, allowing them to analyse viewers’ behaviour.
But is this sample big enough to represent behavioural patterns of a nation of more than 63 million people?
And what about the trend for people to watch exclusively online rather than via TVs? They are not currently captured by BARB.
In the past ten years, marketers have crafted new skillsets and helped market research to evolve rapidly. MROCs, listening posts, web analytics, behavioural economics, netnography, social media analytics, crowdsourcing, neuroscience, biometrics – these are just a few of the emerging research techniques.
Clearly we are moving beyond the era of market research that only focuses on asking questions and measuring the answers.
When the fifth and final series of Breaking Bad premièred, we analysed over 100,000 mentions and noticed that the top emoticon used was the ‘smiley face :)’, reinforcing that the reaction towards the new series of Breaking was overwhelmingly positive.
But being Breaking Bad fans ourselves, we wanted to have a more in-depth look at the data from a different angle, to demonstrate just how nuanced you can be in research using social media.
Rather than looking at overall volume and emotion metrics, we dived into audience behaviour, trying to understand what consumers were … well, consuming, while watching the show.
Interestingly, two thirds of all sweet-related conversation on Twitter indicated that people were eating either cupcakes or cakes to go along with the theme.
The prize for most frequently discussed alcoholic drink was a toss-up between beer (44%) and cocktails (44%). Viewers testing out the icy blue Heisenberg cocktail was a big hit.
It also appears that meth consumers were tweeting a lot more during the second part of the 5th Breaking Bad season than weed or any other drug users, making up 93% of the conversation – though it’s hard to gauge how many of these were serious!
For the grand series finale, Breaking Bad hit 10.3 million viewers, but would TV measurement have been able to decipher more specific audience behaviour?
Of course, this particular insight isn’t especially valuable to a broadcaster, but consider how it could be applied to gathering a deeper understanding of shared audience interests, demographic breakdown, minute-by-minute content analysis and other rich insights that are potentially harvestable from this new wave of research techniques.
So where does that leave traditional research practices? Doomed inside a basement of established research methods along with misleading or incorrect conclusions?
Perhaps not – it’s more likely they’ll all be used in beautiful harmony to complement one another – but there is a message for all organisations navigating media challenges moving forward. As MariaLuara Di Domenico says:
“Corporate market researchers believe that the leading agency in 2020 is just as likely to be Google, Facebook or a company from outside the industry as it is to be one of the ‘old guard’.”
Measuring social media data can help us understand the attitudinal aspect and this will become a substantially more important field to monitor as times goes on. We believe that social media analytics does have long term potential to supplement what with the why, and be more granular and on a larger scale than ever before.
3 in 10 broadband internet users aged 15-17 say they occasionally post comments to social media sites about the TV shows they watch, a figure which remains relatively high (25%) among 18-34-year-olds, but drops to just 10% of respondents aged 35 and older, according to survey result from Horowitz Associates. (To be fair, the figure for the 35+ crowd could be heavily influenced by low rates among older Americans, many of whom aren’t using social networks.) A good deal of those commenters are engaging on social while watching TV.
Specifically, 26% of the 15-17-year-old respondents said they post comments while watching TV, as do 17% of 18-34-year-olds. This activity is much less common among the 35 and older crowd (6%), though the same caveat applies with respect to the broad age range. Read the rest at MarketingCharts.
1. Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not aLuxury
While I’d argue that investing time and resources into a social media strategy is most definitely a necessity in 2013, I believe the tipping point in public sentiment from ‘should have’ to ‘must have’ will occur in 2014.
Businesses are already coming to terms with the need to integrate their social media efforts with their content strategy, and are seeing the impact of social media in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue.
As businesses see these very real and measurable benefits, I believe we’ll see a move away from assigning social media tasks to existing employees, and see even more companies hiring social media strategists or full-time social media managers.
The benefits of social media are many, but they include:
- Improved social signals (which are a factor in the search ranking algorithm).
- Company branding
- Improved brand awareness
- Word-of-mouth advertising
- Increased customer loyalty and trust
- Improved audience reach and influence
Social media is also one of the three pillars of SEO.
While Facebook FB -3.08% continues to lead the pack in terms of number of active monthly users (1.15 billion at last count), Google+ is quickly gaining steam, and in fact, now has the second highest number of monthly users (343 million).
With Google using the platform to collect personal information (think demographics, location, etc.), Google+ should no longer be thought of as ‘just’ another social network. It’s increasingly proving itself to be an integral part of Google’s grand scheme in terms of SEO, social signals and providing a more personalized search experience. This is especially apparent with the importance of Google Authorship, which I project will be one of the keycomponents to Google’s search ranking algorithm by the end of 2014.
I believe that businesses who are finding themselves spread thin with their social media efforts will increasingly turn to Google+ as the closest thing we have to a ‘one size fits all’ social network.
As Google+ moves towards even greater integration with other aspects of the web – as they’ve already done with their foray into local search – I think we’ll see its growth skyrocket, both in terms of business and personal use. For information on how to start using Google+, read “How to Breathe Life into Your Google+ Profile.”
3. Image-Centric Networks Will See Huge Success
We’ve seen a consistent trend in 2013 toward sharing through image andvideo, rather than text-based content. Visual content will increasingly become a critical piece of any solid content strategy, and social networking site Pinterest will continue to shed its reputation as a ‘women’s only’ network and become an integral part of retailers’ marketing strategies.
Other image-based social media sites like Slideshare, Tumblr, Path, and Mobli will continue to grow, and businesses will need to become more mindful about the ‘sharability’ factor of photos on their websites and blogs in order to derive significant benefit from their social media content marketing efforts.
4. We’ll Witness the Rise of Micro-Video
It seems that writing 140 characters and taking 3 minute long videos is becoming too tedious for many of us. Micro video to the rescue!
With the emergence of micro video apps like Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing. And not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video, and Vine allowing precisely 6 seconds, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones.
It will be interesting to see if and how these bite-sized pieces of content will change the playing field when it comes to video-based social media.
5. Foursquare Will Decline Sharply
With stale traffic numbers, and significant difficulties raising capital in 2013, Foursquare continues to struggle its way towards 2014.
With other social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offering location-based features, it seems like only a matter of time before Foursquare folds and their users are absorbed into these other networks.
6. MySpace, Love it or Hate it, Will Grow
With their radical makeover and re-branding efforts earlier this year, MySpace appears to be getting its second wind. Offering an iPhone app that allows users to network, receive private messages, and listen to their own personalized radio station, MySpace seems to be on track for growth in 2014.
I don’t see MySpace ever again competing in the same space as Facebook or Twitter, but it will be interesting to see how the network grows among bands and music-lovers.
7. LinkedIn Will Become a Major Player for B2B Business Growth
Still holding steady as the #1 social networking site for professionals with 238 million users, LinkedIn isn’t just sitting on its heels. With the launch of itsInfluencers program, LinkedIn is positioning itself as not only another networking site, but as one of the largest sources of content creation and curation for professionals.
As it grows and attracts even more users, the advantages of being “linked in” will become enormous for B2B marketers. For a guide on how to use LinkedIn for Marketing, see my article “The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Marketing.”
Facebook and Twitter show no signs of imminent decline, but it will be interesting to see how they innovate to keep up with the growth of Google+ as well as image and video-based networks.
With social media behemoth Facebook turning 10 in 2014 (has it really been that long?), they’ll continue to focus efforts on mobile, and on offering advertisers opportunities to better target their ads. And while Twitter continues to be the golden child amongst B2B marketers, I’m curious to see if and how the rise of Google+ will impact its market share.
I de-mystify SEO and online marketing for business owners.
Gone are the days when your career is confined or bound to a set schedule. Now, the opportunity to change your career trajectory can happen anywhere, at any time. People are cultivating their goals and aspirations on the go, and finding that their career is more satisfying when it transcends what they do from 9-5. Your professional identity can span beyond the desk we sit in now, to where we aspire to be perhaps five, or even ten years from now.
Whether you’re at your office in Denver, standing in line at a coffee shop in Dubai, or on your couch at home — the LinkedIn experience and knowledge flow is seamless from one device to the other, and from one timezone to the next. When you combine the unique business knowledge accessible on LinkedIn with the power of a global professional network, you can turn an aspiration into a reality. And we want to help make each of your professional moments matter — whenever and wherever you may be.
Today in San Francisco, at our live press event, we shared that in the third quarter of 2013, mobile accounted for 38% of unique visiting members. In some markets, it has eclipsed 50% and members who use LinkedIn on mobile and desktop are 2.5 times more active than those that use desktop only. We believe mobile plays an integral role in the changing landscape of work and here are three ways we plan to make LinkedIn an indispensable part of your daily professional life:
- Reinvent: The mobile landscape changes and evolves at a remarkable speed. Resting on our laurels is not an option. Our teams work hard to remain vigilant, nimble and adaptable. That’s why we have completely reimagined LinkedIn app for iPad this morning and why we’ll continue to innovate and bring fresh new and modern experiences to your fingertips.
- Redefine: Not all professionals are the same and the definition of “work” is evolving. Work is no longer tied to a desk. Today, work is a recruiter out in the field being able to quickly respond to a candidate’s application or a sales professional managing their relationships on the go. The way our members are engaging with mobile is changing and different apps for different needs makes sense. Last week, we introduced a brand new mobile experience tailored for recruiters and today, we previewed on stage a completely integrated Pulse and LinkedIn experience, personalized around the professional news you care about and the topics that matter most to you. We look forward to launching the new Pulse experience very soon.
- Reimagine: LinkedIn’s growth has been very strong, but it’s our continued expansion into new areas that is the most exciting. As we look at the different expectations of mobile compared to desktop, we have an opportunity to change the way people think about how LinkedIn can help you advance your career or take you to the next level. And today, we’re excited to unveil how we believe we can transform your inbox with the power of LinkedIn through the launch of LinkedIn Intro. Giving you quick access to everything you need to know about someone right within the email will be a game-changer for how you manage your inbox – where we spend 28% of our day.
We believe LinkedIn can power every professional moment you have, whether it is on the road, in the office and everywhere in between. We want to help you make the these moments matter, productive, and seamless.
Throughout the day, you’ll hear more from our team about the specific launches of LinkedIn app for iPad and LinkedIn Intro, so keep checking the LinkedIn Blog for more details, and we look forward to continue bringing you a great LinkedIn experience across all devices and platforms.