It should come as no surprise that Twitter is interested in making money. They have taken $1.16BN in funding since inception (2006) and, while estimates vary greatly, conservative figures place them at ~$300M in revenue for 2012. As their revenue growth is primarily driven by advertising dollars (insert snarkycomment about Google being a one trick pony here), Twitter has made some changes to their platform recently that will help to ensure the business model has a chance at success.
This article is adapted from a talk I gave recently at the B2B Corporate Social Media Summit. Did you know that McDonalds views their partnership with Wal-Mart as an opportunity to train new store managers? If you want to be a store manager or a franchise owner, chances are you will spend some of your time stationed at a McDonalds inside Wal-Mart.
Why? Simple. There are fewer moving parts.
- A Wal-Mart McDonalds does not have a drive through. That's one less thing to worry about.
- A Wal-Mart McDonalds does not have a parking lot for which it is responsible. One less thing to worry about.
- A Wal-Mart McDonalds does not have an exterior building facade for which it is responsible. One less thing to worry about.
We have all heard the hypothetical question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Well, the answer to that question probably depends on your perspective. What’s curious to me about this mental exercise is how close of a parallel you can draw to Facebook. The Facebook EdgeRank algorithm determines who sees your posts in the newsfeed. There is simply too much information flowing through Facebook for the average account to see all updates from all connections (be it people or Brand connections). So, the challenge for a social media marketer is to determine how best to cut through the noise so that the maximum number of posts are seen by the most people.
In other words: If you post to Facebook and nobody sees it, did you really post to Facebook?
Some time ago, Twitter announced their “interest targeting” tool for advertisers. This new advertising mechanism allows advertisers to target more than 350 interest-related categories. These categories are determined based on what Twitter has been able to deduce about you from your historical tweets/interactions (who you follow, etc) on their platform. It’s an interesting move for Twitter primarily because their sign up process is so basic. To create a new Twitter account you need a name and an email address. That’s it.
We are a few weeks into college football season and this fact has been repeatedly bashed into my brain. Why? I live in the southeastern United States. In the past it’s been difficult to ignore college football in the South (and I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to have a conversation with….well, anyone). Today, it’s impossible to ignore if you spend time on a social network (this might not be interesting to 35% of you). Beyond the fans having conversations on Facebook and Twitter, the teams themselves are also well-versed in the social space. Here are a few data points.