Twitter: successful operation or future cadaver?


So, it’s another social media site being thrown to the wolves of C.I.T’s New Tech class huh? Facebook and YouTube have been poked and prodded, and now it’s Twitter’s turn on the operating table of Dr Thomas Elliot.

First, a little background information: Twitter is what’s known as a micro-blogging site, where posts are restricted to 140 characters each. In theory, this is supposed to be a headline-style site, where “followers” of a person/organisation can get bite sized updates on their friends, favourite companies or celebs, and are sometimes left links to articles further developing the point.

In other words, consider Twitter the digital equivalent of a Post-It® note.

But the question at hand is this: is Twitter a realistically maintainable, and most importantly, profitable, business model?

Well, there are a number of articles supporting Twitter’s business model, and saying it is ALREADY a profit-making business. O.k, it’s not on the levels of the juggernaut that is Facebook, but Facebook had been established since Feb 4 2004, whilst Twitter is a younger venture at a public launch of July 2006.

Also, on a personal note, I have found myself growing more and more weary of Facebook’s constant advertising and changing of their user interface, making it more difficult to enjoy the site. Twitter has now replaced Facebook as my go-to site when checking my social media sites, however there is one HUGE issue with Twitter:

It doesn’t hold a persons interest for as long.

Don’t believe me, check this graph on social media usage out, which shows that although Twitter is growing its membership, 49% of people don’t bother to check it regularly. This is a huge problem for Twitter if they decide to move into full-fledged advertising, rather than just selling Promoted Accounts.

Overall, whilst I do feel Twitter can be a sustainable business model with a few tweaks to improve retention and up the regular checking rate of accounts (such as the introduction of linking to YouTube à la Facebook), it has work to do before it can maximise its profit-making ventures


Youtube is an important tool for marketers…

Apologies for the lateness of this post everyone, swamped with work over the week.

Everyone knows YouTube as a place people go for videos of dogs running into walls, babies laughing, and outrageous stunts. But what about advertising, viral marketing and creating a buzz about a company and it’s offerings through Youtube?

For starters, videos placed by companies can be seen internationally by many potential customers outside the video’s country of origin. This can spread awareness and lay the groundwork for potential moves into new markets.

But, more importantly, putting videos on YouTube is free, apart from the time costs and how much it cost to make the video originally.Some, such as The Natural Confectionary’s “Bring On The Trumpets” ad, is shot using only still shots from a regular camera, meaning it is relatively low cost, but also low involvement. Interactive YouTube videos are becoming more popular now, such as this Pizza ad from New Zealand chain Hell Pizzas. The ad allows for different endings based on choices made by interacting with the video, and viewers are hooked and want to know what happens, meaning thaty are engaging longer with the brand.

But what makes a viral video, a video that is seen and forwarded by many, something which every firm advertising on YouTube through videos should be aiming? These guys seem to know.

Of course, viral videos need to be seen first, and many of the non-interactive videos started as limited exposure ads on television. This first exposes people to the ad, and makes them aware such a thing exist. Ideally, the television ad should show a search term somewhere on the screen, so interested viewers can find the ad easily.

So, whilst traditional advertising methods may be on the decline, YouTube(and digital media as a whole) are not yet in a position to fully replace the traditional mediums.

Whilst YouTube is the second most popular search engine (next to Google), without traditional media, how will you know what to search for?

R.I.P Facebook?

What started as a small news story by a coroner sparked a Twitter trending topic, and now a NTFM assignment. R.I.P Facebook. Is the social media giant on life support, or is it in rude health?

First, a few stats and figures:

In 2011, over 0.5 Billion people had an active Facebook account, with half of these logging in everyday, and was the most popular search term in the U.S.A in 2011  (Video about Facebook)

Facebook themselves claim to have .845 Billion users as of December 2011.

Somehow, I don’t see Mark Zuckerberg being too worried, these are astronomical membership figures, and Facebook has no true competitors in the social media marketplace at this time. Twitter serves a different purpose, and with its 140 character limits and lack of social gaming or app fweatures doews not offer anywhere near the interactivity that Facebook does. Google+ has not been adopted by anywhere near the numbers expected.

Plus, Facebook has beaten Bebo, Myspace, Friendster, Hi-Five and numerous others that attempted to compete with it. It is a juggernaut of social media.

Facebook is in a position where it can extend it’s brand into other areas, which will guard against future competitors and creat new revenue streams( possibly a synchronised YouTube style video site?)

But social media users are a fickle bunch, and our loyalty can be bought and sold for less than a Farmville micro-transaction. Facebook will need to continuously improve and stay fresh if it wants to avoid becoming just another tombstone in the graveyard of social media.

New Blog, New Chapter?

O.k, so apparently for New Technology for Marketers I’ve got to set up a blog for some reason, so I’m now vainly struggling to think of what to write. What will make my blog different, a must read (or even just bearable) for the unwashed masses?

Ideas on @DimaKeane on Twitter, because I’ve got a few ideas bouncing around in my head, but nothing concrete.