Need a little weekend reading? We’ve compiled our top ten Twitter stories of the week, which includes six marketing tips for brands looking to exploit the power of visual social media, a look at what everyone was talking about online in 2012, a review of social business over the past year, why customer service is going social and news that Nielsen has created a new metric based entirely on tweet data.
Here are our top 10 Twitter stories of the week.
While the true origins of social media can be traced back to the late 1970s and the first bulletin board system (BBS), the medium didn’t really begin to develop until the launch of the Mosaic web browser in 1993, which gave birth to the world wide web. From here, we never looked back. AOL and blogging led to Friendster and MySpace, which gave us Facebook and then Twitter. But even as far as 2006 social media was predominately a text-based pursuit. So what’s changed?
Did you know that the death of Whitney Houston made the late R&B star the most searched-for term on Google in 2012, ahead of Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 presidential election and The Hunger Games? TBH (“to be honest”) was the most mentioned phrase on Facebook this year, and #nowplaying, #oomf (“one of my followers”) and #blessed were Twitter’s most-used hashtags.
2012 will be remembered as the year when Facebook reached one billion active users, Twitter started generating one billion new tweets every 2-3 days and Pinterest emerged as a viable social network for retail marketing, but the platforms themselves have also had a very busy year, certainly when it comes to the little matter of their business. In the past twelve months Twitter has acquired Summify,Posterous, RestEngine and Dasient, Facebook shelled out $1 billion for Instagram and Google+ – get this – launched a search page.
Customer service is going social. A recent study revealed that 80 percent of companies plan to use social media for customer service by the end of 2012, and 71 percent of users who receive positive customer support through a brand on a social channel go on to recommend them to their friends. More than 23 million people discovered new brands through social media this year – up from 18 million in 2010 – and 15.1 million refer to social media before making purchase decisions.
Do you watch TV while cruising online? If so, you’re not alone. 42 percent of Americans watch TV while they’re on their laptops, smartphones or tablets. And Nielsen, in its quest to “provide clients the most complete understanding of what consumers watch and buy” is teaming with Twitter to create a new metric based entirely on tweet data.
Social media provides a number of benefits for brands of all shapes and sizes across almost every industry, such as raising awareness of products and services, boosting website traffic and driving sales. But it isn’t all about marketing, as this medium is also a fertile source for research, and brands are quickly catching on – a recent survey revealed that 65 percent of firms rated “marketplace insight” as one of social media’s top perks.
A year is a long time, but it’s an eternity in social media. Do you remember all the way back to January, when Pinterest was named the best new startup of 2011, and Facebook introduced Timeline? In May Facebook had their much-hyped IPO, August saw Instagram top Twitter for daily active users and in November, President Obama’s election victory message became the most retweeted Twitter post of all time.
Back in September Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced that all users would be able to download their tweets before the end of the year. He repeated that claim last month (much to the chagrin of some of his development team). Good news: it appears that Costolo is making good on his promise as a “a very small percentage” of users are able to access a new archive feature on Twitter.com, and one of those lucky testers just might be you.
Every significant social media platform is and always has been free. There is no cost barrier to entry. Everyone can join, and everyone is welcome to use these tools to raise awareness of their brand, product and services, boost website traffic and drive sales. But there are no guarantees. And nobody ever said it was going to be easy. Posting text, photos, videos and comments, blogging, research, curation, engaging, listening and analytics… all of these things come with a huge cost, and it isn’t financial. It’s effort. It’s resources. And it’s time. Your time.
If your company STILL isn’t on Twitter, we have some stats that may help you make the case to higher ups. We told you earlier that 71 percent of users who receive positive customer support through a brand on a social channel go on to recommend them to their friends, but we know that isn’t enough hard data for some naysayers. But THIS should be.
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(Twitter image via Shutterstock.)