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Having looked at the use of Twitter by charities in the UK, and being impressed by number of organisations that have used it to promote their causes, I've decided to take a look at how many retailers are using the service.
There are some great examples of companies using Twitter in the US; Zappos has used it to communicate with customers and for marketing purposes, while Dell says it has made $1m in sales from using Twitter.
So how many UK retailers have signed up for a Twitter account?
By now it's a fair assumption to say that the new Skittles social media drenched website has owned the week in internet marketing. According to the March 5 Google Trends index it spiked more than 100 percent in news reference volume this week, and more than 50 percent in actual searches.
Now that the buzz is fading just a little, we asked Mars PR Manager and spokesperson Ryan Bowling to put the launch in perspective.
What is Twitter? "A microblogging service" doesn't quite fit right. Maybe because that just doesn't sound as cool as Twitter.
A growing number of people are suggesting that Twitter is a search engine. As I was going through my feeds today, I came across several posts discussing just that. This is officially a meme.
There’s so much talk about social media that it is easy for people to become cynical, perhaps losing track of the fact that it can have a positive impact on your business.
So how can you determine whether a social media strategy is proving beneficial to your business? How do you know that it is working out for you? And is now really the best time to find out?
Rather than focusing on individual social media campaigns, I’d like to look at social media measurement from the perspective of a business that a) buys into social media, b) commits to it over a period of time, and as such c) has an integrated social media strategy. You people know who you are!
When it comes to innovation, look to the non-profits. When you're short of marketing megabucks, necessity can be the mother of some pretty interesting inventions. Consider the Obama campaign, or PETA.org's fascinating forays into viral marketing.
Amnesty International UK has just announced a new initiative that takes into account a factor that's huge in email marketing, but little used in social media: timing. At 1:10 p.m. on Friday, they're asking supporters to drop a coordinated social media bomb to raise awareness about violence against women in the UK.
Why Friday, why 1:10, you ask? Relevance. Friday March 6 is International Womens Day, and one in ten is the ratio of women in Britain who are victims of rape or violence.
A recent study by Netpop Research serves to only further assert the fact that social media is rapidly changing the way brands operate, due to the increase of consumer control.
The report is purely US-based, but it certainly seems fair to suggest that this trend can be applied globally, as there is an ever-growing permeation of social media into daily consumer life. The study concludes that there is a shift in consumer internet usage from entertainment towards communication, and it's being driven by social media and networking sites.
It's hard to say that Rupert Murdoch's $550m acquisition of MySpace in 2005 wasn't a savvy move. Last year alone, despite missing revenue targets, MySpace pulled in more revenue than Murdoch paid to acquire the popular social network.
But all does not appear to be well at the world's second-largest social network. Despite the fact that under News Corp., MySpace has become the best-monetized social network, it has lost significant ground amongst consumers. Last year Facebook surpassed it as the world's largest social network and it's poised to become the largest social network in the United States as well, a country that MySpace had previously dominated.
Greg Jackson is Executive director and responsible for online strategy for Tangent PLC, whose recent clients have included Borders and the Labour Party.
Tangent has recently been working with the Labour Party, revamping its website, and developing LabourList, a blog / social media site, as well as promoting the party via sites like Facebook and Twitter.
I have been talking to Greg about Labour's use of social media, as well as the company's work launching Borders' first e-commerce site in the UK...
One lazy Friday a few weeks ago we rolled out an experiment by displaying all mentions of ‘Econsultancy’ on Twitter onto our homepage. It received a lot of attention, and some people thought we were nuts.
Now Skittles.com has gone one better by turning its entire site into a massive social media experiment. It is possibly the bravest move I have yet seen, in terms of a global brand getting into bed with social media and social networks.
Matthew Yeomans is the founder of Custom Communications and has worked in journalism for the last fifteen years. He is currently Managing Director at social media agency Radar DDB.
I have been talking to Matthew about the difficulties involved in social media measurement, and social media in general...