The Old Spice “I’m on a horse” campaign just got smokin’ hot:
Answering tweets with wacky vids on YouTube.
Many of my friends have adopted the “I’m on a horse” motto to describe a wide range of situations and while I liked the commercials, it didn’t go much further than that.
Now I think it’s brilliant. The commercial which started out as very likeable has just become very remarkable and very sharable. Old Spice with the help of W&K have turned a very “sharable” campaign and made it “social.”
They are now tweeting in the voice of the commercials and with the actor from the commercial as the avatar. This is great integration.
And to take it a step further, they are now shooting personalized Youtube responses to messages on Twitter. Check it out and tweet something to @OldSpice.
My friend shot a message out on Twitter the other day about how he loved the new Old Spice commercials and it was pretty cool when he got a reply message on Twitter in character from the @OldSpice account.
Doing a commercial style Youtube reply? That takes things to a whole other level.
As a marketing tool Twitter gets much more interesting and useful when you can filter out 99% of the junk that doesn’t apply to your objectives and focus on the stuff that matters.
The basic search.twitter.com functionality is fine for searching things that are being said about your search terms. The advanced search function offers more ways to slice and dice the stream, but still leaves some room for improvement as it only searches what’s being said and where. From a marketing standpoint who is saying it might be more useful.
Now that the search engines are all pretty geeked up over real time search you can create some very powerful searches and alerts combining Google and Twitter.
1) Target by occupation
Let’s say you have a business that sells an awesome service to attorneys. A simple search on Twitter will turn up thousands of mentions of the word attorney, but many of them will be from people talking about this or that attorney or the need to hire or not hire one. That’s probably not very helpful for your purposes.
However, if you cruise over to Google and use a handful of operators from the Google shortcut library (more on that here) you can create a search that plows through Twitter and gives you a list of all the users that have the word “attorney” in their title (username and/or real name) – Click on this search phrase and see what happens – intitle:”attorney * on twitter” site:twitter.com – what you’ll find is a handy list of attorneys of one sort or another on Twitter.
Without getting too technical, this search basically asks Google to look in the title attribute of profile pages on Twitter – obviously you can use any word to replicate this. The * tells Google to find the words “attorney on Twitter” without regard to order or other words – “on Twitter” appears in the title of every profile page so we need that term to make sure we search profile pages only.
2) Target by bio
In some cases searching through the optional biographical information can be more helpful than the username or real name fields. Maybe you’re looking for a very specific term or some of the folks you are targeting only reference their profession in their bio.
Google search to the rescue here again. This time add the intext attribute, the word bio and our key phrase to search bios – So a search for web designers would look like this – intext:”bio * web designer” site:twitter.com. When you look at this list you might notice that none of the people on the list would have been found by searching in their title, as in the first tip, for web designer. Try it both ways to test for best results.
3) Target by location
Location search by itself is simple using the Twitter advanced search tool – if you want a list of people in Austin you would use this in Twitter – near:”Austin, TX” within:25mi and Twitter would use the location field to show you Austin Tweeters.
But . . . let’s say you wanted to target salons in Austin or maybe the whole of Texas – it’s back to Google to mix and match – (intitle:”salon * on twitter” OR intext:”bio * salon”) intext:”location * TX” site:twitter.com – we search the title, bio and location to get a very targeted list of Salons in Texas on Twitter. Note the OR function for multiple queries.
4) New sign ups
Another handy thing about using any of the searches above is that you can also use the exact operators to create Google Alerts. By going to Google and putting in your search string as described above you’ll get everything they have now, but by setting up an alert you’ll get an email or RSS alert when a new attorney (or whatever you’re targeting) joins Twitter – I can think of some powerful ways to reach out to that new person just trying to find some new friends!
5) Keep up on your industry
Some of the best information shared on Twitter comes in the form of shared links. In other words people tweet out good stuff they find and point people to it using a link. I love to use a filtered Twitter search to further wade through research on entire industries, but reduce the noise by only following tweets that have links in them and eliminating retweets that are essentially duplicates – “small business” OR entrepreneur OR “start up” filter:links – this gets that job done and produces an RSS feed if I want to send it to Google Reader. Don’t forget the “quotation marks” around two or more word phrases or you will get every mention of small and business.
6) Competitive eavesdropping
Lots of people set up basic searches to listen to what their competitors are saying and what others are saying about the competition. I would suggest you take it one step further and create and follow a search that also includes what the conversation they are having with the folks they communicate with – not just what people are saying about them, but to them and vice versa – from:comcastcares OR to:comcastcares.
7) Trending photos
Photos have become very big on Twitter and the real time nature of the tool means photos show up there before they show up most anywhere. If you want to find an image related to a hot trend, or anything for that matter, simply put the search phase you have in mind follow by one of the more well known Twitter image uploading services such as TwitPic and you’ll get nothing but images. So, your search on Twitter might be – olympics twitpic OR ow.ly (You can add more photosharing sites to expand the search).
There, Twitter just go way more interesting didn’t it?
Your phone is going, you’ve got a direct message from someone on Twitter, and a new Facebook message also. Which do you look at first? Never fear! The above will take you through the hierarchy of digital distractions.
Some of you may have heard of Danah Boyd before, she’s a fairly well known researcher in all this new media malarky. When I was doing my dissertation a few years back now on social networking and it’s value to business, I got in touch and asked her a few questions. This was before that thing called Twitter, which everyone talks about now. My research focussed partly on how people and brands were using Facebook and considering it was for an academic piece of research for University, it was something I actually quite enjoyed doing.
Now, I’m living and breathing it all daily and Danah is part of the research team in New England at Microsoft and has written a hugely scientific yet interesting and informative paper on the conversational aspects of retweeting. It’s currently in draft form with the finished copy to be published in January 2010, yet still already spans 11 pages. The other researchers involved are Scott Golder and Gilad Lotan.
The report is based on analysis of over over 700,000 tweets (440,000 or so users), taken in samples of five minute chunks between January and June 2006. This, I feel is a problem when undertaking such research. Because of the enormity of the numbers, it is expected that this kinda thing isn’t conducted and written over night. However, samples taken in 2006 will have only been focussing on the VERY early adopters. Usage patterns will have changed since then. Although I signed up on Twitter in April 2007, it wasn’t until mid to late 2008 that I really started using and understanding the service. My uses, habits and processes for using Twitter have changed since then. It’s impossible to be able to follow everyone back now for starters and I now use services like Twitterfeed which pushes new posts out that I publish here on to Twitter. It’s a lot deeper than a simple Facebook status update (which is what most compare it to who haven’t tried it out).
If ever you wondered why people retweet and what they do it for, wonder no longer!
Highly recommend checking out the rest of it here and also follow Danah on Twitter here. Scott is @redlog and Gilad is @gilgul.
I noticed this rather bullish full page advert from Microsoft in a recent issue of MCV and it struck me that we’re now entering in to a new era of social gaming. The potential is limitless.
Before it’s even available for gamers to try out today, the functionality with Twitter and Facebook on the 360 is being talked up, and talked up it should. This cannot be underestimated. It’s bringing social networking in to your living room and on your TV. It’s also a huge USP for the Xbox 360 in it’s ongoing and bloody battle against the Playstation 3. The launch of the PS3 Slim was timely met by Microsoft with a price cut of their own and puts the ball back in Sony’s court.
For social networking to now be a selling point on a games console shows how far it’s come. This is great news for Facebook and Twitter (perhaps more so for Twitter) because it takes it to another level, that bit more mainstream. Everyone uses Facebook, Twitter is still a nice communications tool. It might help more people understand it and ‘get’ it.
Little is known how they are going to look on your TV screen and how they are going to connect to your gaming experience and whilst I hope my feeds are not going to be spammed by friends who have just gained achievement X on game X, it shows that gaming is no longer something that’s done by a stereotypically aged male in a darkened room. They are now the entertainment hubs, in your living room and providing fun for all the family.
According to recent research by analyst house CCS Insight, the BBC’s iPlayer came out on top in a poll of what the most desired mobile service is with users saying that they want to get access to the TV and radio programmes on their phone.
There are a handful of handsets out there which currently have the ability to play programmes from the iPlayer through 3G and Wifi, for example, a whole host of Nokia’s like the N85, N96 and N97 phone, Samsung’s, Sony-Ericsson’s and the iPhone. The iPhone can however, only stream over Wifi. Considering the amount of storage available on the iPhone, I’d love to to be able to download a programme in an evening and watch it while travelling in to work in the morning. I’d like to think over time, it will be possible!
Consumers’ mobile internet usage is on the increase due to phones like the iPhone coming with ‘all you can eat’ data packages. I use my phone more for web browsing and emailing than I do for actual phone calls. That’s something the telco’s will have noticed as a growing trend and it represents an opportunity for mobile operators to revitalise their ARPU (average revenue per user) and create new data-oriented business models as voice revenues continue to decline.
In the poll as mentioned above, navigation/maps and unlimited music are the next most desired mobile services after iPlayer, according to the analyst’s report, with around 20% of the votes on each. Maps have been ever present on the more top end of phones for the last few years, I was using an N95 and it’s ‘Maps’ programme about 2 years ago now but it’s becoming more commonplace and a standard feature.
Multiplayer games and other mobile TV were desired by four per cent of the vote apiece, with video calling being requested by just three per cent. Video calling was once a key feature for some top end phones on Vodafone a few years back in 2005. It was expensive, you were prohibited by others needing a front facing camera and well, it never did catch on did it. Picture to the left is Vodafone’s Christmas 2005 handsets which were heavily pushing the 3G technology, increased download speeds and mobile TV.
Interestingly, the respondents of the survey showed that gender informs hardware choice, with Samsung mobiles being twice as popular with women than men – but the reverse being true for the iPhone and BlackBerry. 90% of the users questioned had visited Facebook on their mobile with only 14% having visited Twitter. This for me would be a clear indication of the age of the large majority of users polled, where it was said that 18-35 year olds were polled. I’d think they were mostly of the younger age bracket as it’s well known that Twitter is more widely used by 35+.
The BBC have implemented some pretty cool stuff on site along with providing the usual brilliant Glastonbury coverage. It’s almost as if I’m there! Without getting muddy or wet. Last year they got 600,000 visitors in the week of Glastonbury to their page and I firmly believe with the harnessing of the social web they can double that.
Along with using wireless video cameras which overlook different parts of the festival site to give us, the people who aren’t there, a taste of the atmosphere, the site also includes an aggregation of Twitter feeds from various BBC presenters and journalists and will also be experimenting with Audioboo, the audio blogging service.
It looks to have everything you could possibly need to know about Glastonbury, all in one place and all integrated very nicely. You’ve got the weather forecast, BBC blogs, radio and TV listings, some stunning photography, videos of performances, webcams, a dedicated page for each artist and the ability for fans to comment on their performances on site. All relevant, useful and social.
They have a presence also on Flickr allowing you to comment on each individual image and share further. It will be interesting to see if it’s updated with the best of this years imagery as currently the images shown are from 2008.
What I probably found most interesting was almost an active encouragement to share the site content on your site, blog or social networking profile so you can embed the content with ease by simply copying the embed code and adding it to a post. They have a page on site listing all the embeddable content available here. I only chose not embed in this instance because it’s fairly image heavy already.
Similarly you can add a widget to see some live webcam footage, the weather etc. The red button plays a much more prominent role this year also, providing the user the opportunity to watch exactly what they want to, personalised TV.
Another nice little feature I thought was seeing who were the most popular artist pages on site. In a sense this could be seen as a barometer of how successful their performances have been in the real world, at Glastonbury. I’ve watched some of the footage from Lady Gaga’s performance and am not surprised it’s the most viewed, such an eccentric and entertaining performer.
Mobile also seems to be something that’s not been forgotten with the site being optimised to work on your iPhone’s and N97′s with a more limited service also on basic web enabled mobiles.
“We’re seeing a big difference in the number of people web browsing on phones this year. Call it the ‘iPhone effect’ or just cheap data tariffs, but there was no way we could let people have a poor experience on our festival sites,” Tim Clarke, a senior content producer for BBC Audio and Music online said.
To conclude, here are just a few ways the BBC have fully embraced old and new methods to reach out to a greater audience on a much more interactive level.
This is an example of how you can best capture the essence of what is typically a very real world physical event, online.
On the face of it this looks like a really innovative and forward thinking use of tech, providing another way that some clever people are using Twitter for yet another mash-up. This time it has the clout of Vodafone behind it, itself speaking volumes for the medium with some actual investment behind it and solid rationale. Vodafone want to make a song and dance about abolishing roaming charges and by making itself front of mind when thinking about holidaying, it’s doing just that. Clever.
There’s been a lot of buzz about hashtag spamming, most famously used (and abused to horrible effect) by Habitat. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then see more here, here and here. I hope this also serves as a case study for any brand looking to get in to the dark and dangerous waters of the social web of how NOT to do it. When did anyone at Habitat think that using irrelevant messaging would target the relevant and targeted customers who would shop at Habitat.
This, on the other hand, makes brilliant use of the hashtag #ukhols. Check it out and see what you think.
However, it’s almost as if you’re putting a sign up outside you’re house, “Hello Mr Burglar, just letting you know that I’m off on holiday for 2 weeks so during that time my house will be empty. Feel free to take whatever you like, no one will be here to stop you”
Granted, I’m being a little facetious in so far that you don’t give out your exact address, just providing the first half of your post code but by providing your name (which most people do on their Twitter page) it wouldn’t be hard to find out more if you wanted to.
What I do like though is the ‘Top Destinations’ part of the site which is where you can see which part of the world holiday makers are heading to using #ukhols. Perhaps predictably, considering the people the site would interest, the US was ahead of the curve, with at the time of writing New York being the top destination to be heading to. Paris followed in 2nd place with Vancouver in 3rd.
While the idea for me is more a showcase of the technology and what can be done with it more than it’s something of real value and use, Vodafone have to be applauded for taking a further leap in to the social space. Over the past year, they’ve really made a push for getting involved. Their ‘Live Guy’ campaign, which saw people tracking a man across the UK via GPS and Twitter in order to win a netbook was hugely innovative, engaging and interactive while they recently ran a ‘Twitter Hunt’ to advertise the HTC Magic phone. This is going to be the way of companies looking to engage with savvy internet users who love some shiny new way of engagement, myself included. Thumbs up here.
Something starts to get really big when the spammers wade in and the jokers make fun. The below video is freakin’ hilarious.
So everyone’s going tweet this, tweet that, what on twearth is this all about and how are they ever going to make any twoney? Ok maybe with less of the tw’s but there you tw-go. Let’s forget about the money part for a moment, in a recent interview Biz Stone said that they are currently working on value, the more value they can provide through Twitter, the more it will be worth. I think they’ll be alright for some reason.
This has probably done the rounds already in the tech circles but it’s still pretty fantastic.
The following is an article written by Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter and featured in the British newspaper, The Times, today (Monday, April 13th) so for those that didn’t see it or are over in the US and elsewhere this is for you. (I’ve added in a few Twitter cartoons just for fun..)
Twitter appears to be the embodiment of youth culture with tech-savvy and fast-thumbed teens firing off short updates filled with abbreviations about their lives. But it turns out that the keenest users are the greying brigades of the middle aged.
More mature users, led by famous tweeters such as Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross and Sarah Brown, are the driving force behind the popularity of the site. New research shows that 45-54 years olds are 36 percent more likely than the average to visit the site, with figures from comScore, the internet market researchers, showing that the majority of the 10 million Twitter users worldwide are aged 35 or older.
Twitter is a social networking and “microblogging” site, where users post short updates – “tweets” of up to 140 characters via the website or a mobile phone. More than 3.5 million people signed up in the first two months of this year.
Celebrities such as Russell Brand and Jamie Oliver are avid users, while Barack Obama used it as a tool during last year’s presidential elections to talk directly and quickly to hundreds and thousands of followers.
Stephen Fry, 51, the actor and comedian whose tweets are followed by about 400,000 people, has become a leading advocate for the service. “I love how Twitter confirms all too often assaulted belief that most humans are kind, curious, knowledgeable, tolerant and funny” he wrote on his blog. (Is your Twitter page a blog in the traditional form? I’m not so sure)
Celebrity tweeters have pushed others towards the site “It’s the role model thing” said Richard Drake, 51, from London. “You see Stephen Fry and think, they’re doing it, so why can’t you?” You’re not teenagers, so you’re no longer following the crowd to the same degree perhaps. “But you think, well, he’s finding it interesting, there’s something happening there, and people my age are doing it.”
Other social networking websites, such as Facebook and MySpace have also seen an increase in the number of older people signing up in recent months. But the simplicity of Twitter has made it most popular with the golden oldies and 2o percent of all tweeters in Britain are over the age of 55, compared with 12 percent of all Facebook users.
However, it seems that the young are being put off by the increasing number of older users. “I do think there’s a feeling that, if your parents are doing it, suddenly it’s not cool any more” said Jamie Gavin, an analyst at comScore.
Ageing tweeters also said that whereas Facebook seemed to reveal every aspect of your life – something the young seem more at ease at doing – Twitter was less intrusive, and often is used by people at work. “I only Twitter professionally,” said Ian Williams, 41, an executive at a price comparison website. “For us, it’s just another communications tool. That’s the beauty of Twitter, if you decide something is not interesting or inane, you can stop following it. It’s just not invasive”