Breakdown: 4 Ways Brands Are Earning –and Buying– Followers on Twitter

Update: July 6th, I added a 4th way, as I recently met a developer this weekend who showed me the scripts he created to quickly auto follow thousands of folks. Companies who don’t have iconic brands with millions of adoring fans, often have to resort to other ways to get the attention of the market.  This isn’t evil, nor is it uncommon, it’s just business, and was here before the web, and will be afterwards.  Don’t get mad or emotional about it, let’s break it down to understand how it’s going to work, if you’re a concerned user, use this post to figure out how to beat it.  If you’re a marketer, figure out what works –and throw away what … Continue readingBreakdown: 4 Ways Brands Are Earning –and Buying– Followers on Twitter

Contextual Ads Based Off Social Network Profile: Twitter and Facebook

Things are moving very quickly now, in fact I was pleased to learn about these contextual ads from my new friend Cory O’Brien in SF yesterday. In my latest report “The Future of the Social Web” we pointed that in the near future we’ll start to see web pages dynamically created based on user profile ID in social networks. Essentially, your corporate, media, or ecommerce site could provide contextual media, content, and advertisement based on users’ info before they login. [In the Future, The Era of Social Context Will Serve Personalized Content, Media, and Ads to Users based on their Social Networking Information] Here’s an early example of a contextualized advertising campaign from VW (by agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, … Continue readingContextual Ads Based Off Social Network Profile: Twitter and Facebook

What Brands Want From A Twitter Client

After chatting with Loic today of Seesmic, we discussed what brands may want from Twitter.  It’s true, I’m getting more client calls from the world’s top brands about how to use tools like Twitter as a collective team. Based upon my discussions with them, here’s what I see are some key needs in: What Brands Want In a Twitter Client: Listening: Ability to quickly scan what is being said about the brand, products, services, employees and competitors. Although difficult expect sentiment tools to appear that help brands with thousands of mentions manage the discussion. Ability to understand who is saying what, and understand their influence. Management: Manage multiple accounts (Dell has about 35 seperate accounts) from a central team. Enable … Continue readingWhat Brands Want From A Twitter Client

7 Questions Some Brands Are Asking About Twitter

This by no means represents all brands, but just some brands, perhaps those that are a bit more sophisticated. Last Friday I had a conversation with a manufacturing firm that had some relativily sophisticated questions about how they will prepare their plan around Twitter. This was a nice break from the “why does Twitter matter” questions I usually get, as they were thinking through a plan. Here’s some of the excellent questions this organization, and a handful of others brands are starting to ask: Should we create multiple accounts for different divisions? How should we name them?  How should the content be different? Is it ok to just tweet out news on our main corporate account? Or should we be … Continue reading7 Questions Some Brands Are Asking About Twitter

It’s About Intent: Affiliate Links in Twitter

Humans have a way of always experimenting with new systems to see how they can be monetized or streamlined –it’s a natural part of the web. A few months ago, I experimented with Magpie Twitter ads as an analyst, and quickly found the community revolted against it. Another revolt could be at hand as I’ve recently learned that some Twitter users are putting in affiliate links in their Tweets (some are not disclosed), thereby recommending products (like to Amazon) resulting in them generating a cut of revenue if the product is purchased. I know if someone buys a Kindle based on your affiliate link, that person can generate $35, not bad for a simple link. Of course, it comes down … Continue readingIt’s About Intent: Affiliate Links in Twitter

What Happens When Twitter Gets Mainstream Attention

Twitter is getting a tremendous amount of buzz from brands, celebrities, media, politicians, and athletes. Despite the hype, it’s still a very small social networking site (likely under 10mm), compared to the social giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and MySpace (150-300mm), see my stats page to learn more. I assert that mainstream attention is different than mainstream usage. Even respected analyst firm Gartner suggests that the backlash may start as this microblogging tool gets mainstream attention, although I’ll suggest we haven’t even begun to see the upcoming revolt, as the pivot point is dependent on mainstream usage. Here’s what we should expect to happen over the next few months: Mainstream media and celebrities to flood Twitter The tool, having received … Continue readingWhat Happens When Twitter Gets Mainstream Attention

Video: How To Use Twitter and Connect in the Comments

I’m getting more and more client calls asking about Twitter, although I tend to think most of my readers are the super social elite folks you’d find in Friendfeed. Yet, in reality, many agencies, brands, and executives are just hearing about this microblogging services from the recent media buzz. The above video, created by Lee and Sachi LeFever (I hung out with them in SXSW) of CommonCraft is available here on YouTube, or you can use their license and use for internal education. If you’re seeking to find some of my Forrester colleagues, Alexis Karlin in our web marketing team has an ongoing roster of Forrester employees who happen to be on Twitter. If you happen to be a client, … Continue readingVideo: How To Use Twitter and Connect in the Comments

Sponsored Aggregation: Impacts to Twitter, Federated Media, Microsoft, and the Community

My job is to dissect new and moving parts into ways that business decision makers can understand, I hope to do just that: Web Strategy Summary Twitter is finally monetizing. Working with social media marketing vendor Federated Media, Microsoft has sponsored an aggregation tool that collects all the voices and tweets of executives. While none of the executives were paid, and it’s not influencing their editorial, these public tweets are being monetized by the brands involved. (Added this previous sentence, thanks to Dom in the comments) It’s featured from the Twitter homepage (top right column) this program called ExecTweet gives exposure to the voices of executives and promotes Microsoft’s campaign. Getting the Facts I just got off the phone with … Continue readingSponsored Aggregation: Impacts to Twitter, Federated Media, Microsoft, and the Community

The Future of Twitter: Social CRM

Twitter has multiple business models to choose from I get asked over and over: “How do you think Twitter will monetize? What’s their business model?” While it’s clear they’re already experimenting with ‘house’ ads, ads that promote features of their service, I’m not sure that’s going to be the right direction for them. We already know that click through rates on social networks are low, why? because people are there to communicate with each other –not search for information like Google or on a media site. It’s possible they could turn on ads in the search tool, as people are seeking information. Yet all of these tactics have been done on other social sites, I think that Twitter has a … Continue readingThe Future of Twitter: Social CRM