Marketing Technology » Twitter http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook Combining marketing and technology to develop new markets and grow existing ones Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:47:54 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 The new Twitter interface: bye, bye backgrounds http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2010/09/16/the-new-twitter-interface-bye-bye-backgrounds/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2010/09/16/the-new-twitter-interface-bye-bye-backgrounds/#comments Thu, 16 Sep 2010 09:04:15 +0000 admin http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/?p=622 Playing with the new Twitter interface, one thing struck me immediately: the increase in the relative width of the content area means that backgrounds are essentially now redundant. See what I mean below, which shows the difference between the two in a browser set with an active width of 1,268 pixels:

Before: the old Twitter interface

After: the new Twitter interface

Why is this a problem? As @joannejacobs points out, this is already an issue for those with smaller screen resolutions. Well, maybe it won’t be long term but I see two immediate issues that brands in particular will need to address:

  1. Because Twitter is rolling out the new interface on a staggered basis (for marketing rather than technical reasons, I suggest) those who have not yet been “issued” with the new interface can’t actually see the problem even though it is affecting those who have right now.
  2. Companies who use their backgrounds to impart useful information like who runs their accounts, useful URLs and telephone numbers, etc. will have to find another way to convey this info.

The online ecosystems that have sprung up around Twitter do seem to be getting kicked in the teeth with this new update. Some have already argued that the inclusion of rich media in the web interface now makes third party applications using the Twitter API redundant, and this – albeit very minor – change could well hit the advertising revenues of all the Twitter theme download sites.

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Twitter: The New Mobile Marketing http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/02/10/twitter-the-new-mobile-marketing/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/02/10/twitter-the-new-mobile-marketing/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2009 11:06:37 +0000 admin http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/?p=388 As micro-blogging platform Twitter enters the mainstream and its founders contemplate charging for commercial accounts, marketers should begin to explore its application as a direct response channel.

This blog has been critical in the past of companies and celebrities tripping over themselves – and their virtual tongues – to climb aboard the Twitter bandwagon. Appropriate use of the platform is going to be relevant for some time yet. However, as it moves from the early adopter to early majority group of the technology adoption lifecycle, the Twitter community will become more open and receptive to marketing activities that deliver value to them.

The biggest opportunity might lie with direct response. Much has been made in the past of the benefits of using SMS as a channel for soliciting responses from customers. However, unless SMS is also used to elicit the response, it requires the customer to consciously change their device in order to respond. Call me old-fashioned, but I also believe that consumers are more cautious about sending texts that reveal their phone numbers to anonymous recipients, in part because of a plethora of scare stories and the use of the channel by unscrupulous companies.

Instead, marketers can now experiment with Twitter for direct response. Rather than use a mobile shortcode and keyword, they can invite customers to “D @company keyword” via Twitter, without any of the inbound or outbound SMS costs associated with mobile marketing. Yet like text messaging, the company can begin to build a relationship with the customer via Twitter – and even follow their updates to understand what motivates and interests them.

Now that Twitter is mainstream, how long before we see the first mainstream use of Twitter as a direct response channel?

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Twitter losing its cool http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/02/03/twitter-losing-its-cool/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/02/03/twitter-losing-its-cool/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2009 14:22:19 +0000 admin http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/02/03/twitter-losing-its-cool/ Eli Manning

I’m worried about Twitter. Worried because it’s going mainstream. The celebs have arrived and with them the media in their droves. You can’t turn on the TV or radio or read a newspaper without some presenter or journalist talking or writing about it. And that can only mean one thing…

It’s no longer cool.

The big problem is that it’s now just another channel for “audience interaction”, just like the telephones, texting and blogging before it. A way to “connect” with the ordinary man and woman on the street. Only that’s exactly what these Twitter-loving celebs are not doing.

Take a look at The Times’ list of the top 50 most popular Twitter celebrities. Popularity! Is the biggest number really best?

I don’t think so. In fact, there are only 15 of that 50 who are following more than 10% of the number of people following them. The first, Eli Manning, is unbelievably following more people than are following him. Now that’s humility. I’m calling this the Twitter Reciprocity Index. I think it’s a fair measure of the two-way nature of member interaction. 10% seems like a reasonable average for the normal person. Interesting to see politicians in this list – maybe they can teach the slebs a lesson or two about engaging with the audience. Their rank in The Times’ list is at the end.

  1. Eli Manning (@elimanning) – 43rd
  2. Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) – 24th
  3. Karl Rove (@KarlRove) – 23rd
  4. Arnold Schwarzenegger (@schwarzenegger) – 18th
  5. MC Hammer (@MCHammer) – 9th
  6. Yoko Ono (@yokoono) – 42nd
  7. Rick Sanchez (@ricksanchezcnn) – 4th
  8. Will Carling (@willcarling) – 34th
  9. Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) – 1st
  10. Regina Spektor (@reginaspektor) – 44th
  11. Toby Young (@toadmeister) – 50th
  12. Roots Manuva (@rootsmanuva) – 49th
  13. Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) – 38th
  14. Xzibit (@mrxtothaz) – 47th
  15. Jimmy Carr (@jimmycarr) – 19th

The booby prize goes to Alan Carr (@AlanCarr) and London Mayor Boris Johnson (@MayorofLondon) who, despite all their followers (13,552 and 2,796 respectively), haven’t yet lowered themselves enough to follow anyone.

What do you think – does the presence of celebrity and the media furore make you like Twitter more or less?

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