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Archive for April, 2009

Twitter angst redux-10 reasons why people bail on Twitter

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According to a recent article by Nielsen Online, more than 60 percent of U.S. Twitter users fail to return the following month. Or Twitter’s audience retention rate is currently about 40 percent. If this surprises you, then perhaps you have not been using Twitter the “right ” way either. Yea, I know I have said on numerous occasions and to more people than I care to count, that although there are many ways to use Twitter, there is no clear cut right way to use Twitter. However, there are indeed, wrong ways to use Twitter. If you use Twitter the wrong way, I guarantee you, you will walk before the month is out, dissing it as the door hits you in the ass…

This is only part of the reason why 60% of Twitter users do not return. But in a nutshell, it boils down to ten distinct reasons why people do not return:

-By using Twitter incorrectly, people fail to see the value of Twitter. If you can’t see the reason to do something, then why hang around? We’re an impatient society, wanting everything now, Twitter isn’t about the quick hit.

-By using it as a one way communication mechanism, as if it was an email blast, people fail to see the return on their efforts.

-By not engaging in conversations with people on Twitter- you cannot possibly understand the value.

-If people new to Twitter think it’s about the number of followers or the number of  people you follow, then they are failing to see what the true purpose of Twitter is.

-If people new to Twitter have never been educated on how Twitter can be used, then they may never understand how to use Twitter.

-If someone thinks that Twitter is a race, then after one month, they will never return. Twitter is a marathon/long distance race.

-Twitter requires effort. Some people are lazy. Some assume just by signing up that that might be enough, when they cannot see the value right away, they will bolt.

-Without any type of proper education or instruction-everything seems foreign and impossible.

-If taught to use Twitter the wrong way, Twitter people will push back, met with resistance, N00bs will bail.

So although it may surprise some that the numbers of people jumping ship so early on in their Twitter experience is so high, when you think about it. It makes perfect sense. The key or trick is, If we show people the way twitter should be used, that number will go down as the numbers of people still joining continues to go up.

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Twitter Angst

It’s tough to avoid writing about Twitter, it’s everywhere, but you know what? That’s ok. We did the same for Facebook too. As more and more N00bs flock to Twitter, I thought it was important that right out of the blocks, some things are done right. Here is a vlog promoting some of the things that you might want to think about. In short, I talk about tweeting as yourself, using your pic as an avatar,understand why you are following and why you follow and lastly-it’s all about value.

Don’t Blame Social Media

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I was reading an editorial by Jonah Bloom of Adage titled, “In a crisis, don’t get too distracted by Twitterati” in which he essentially says that social media people are the one’s that fuel the fire when brands screw up.

To which I might say, “What’s wrong with that”?

In the social media sphere, yes the mob mentality does it exist. And when things go awry for brands, bloggers and the Twitterati alike, will flock to the subject and beat it to death- points taken and noted. I get that.

But…

Saying that  Brand marketers can’t respond to the Twitterati and or bloggers “because of the incredulity and self importance of their wailing”, couldn’t be further from the point.

The problem is, brands are afraid to engage. They are afraid of putting a face to the brand, and they drag their feet. When in actuality they have the perfect vehicle to be proactive-social media. But instead they are still sitting around deciding whether they want to engage their users/consumers using social media.

What are you waiting on? A crisis?

Don’t blame the promoters and champions of social media for the mistakes that a brand makes. And don’t blame them for the mistakes that a brand continues to make after the fact.

Social media pundits, champions and promoters are just as quick to ask why a brand has not done something, as they are to point out when a brand does something great as well. In fact Peter Kim provides a huge list of companies enagaged in some aspect of social media. A positive.

Beth Harte just did an awesome post on a Dominos franchise that’s getting it right…another positive.

But I suppose that get’s overlooked since it’s an inconvenient truth.

What Social Media is Not

After a few client meetings over the last few days, I found myself going backwards. so I decided to throw this slide deck up. I’m thinking of just pointing any and all future clients here.

Here we go again, Yankee fans chant,”Pepsi Sucks”.

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Oh brand managers, where art thou?  Apparently Pepsi didn’t read my earlier post on why brands move so fast on damage control. Maybe they should. Why? Because they need to move pretty damn quick to soothe the Yankee Fans they pissed off with their promotion of giving away free Yankee tickets and Pepsi-Cola products. Call it the anti-promotion.

In an Adage post titled, Pepsi Promotion Ends With Chants of ‘Pepsi Sucks’ Pepsi shows what happens when brand managers and product marketers fail to plan. They can plan to FAIL! can you say #PepsiFail?

pepsi

Watch how quick this anti-promotion spreads virally on Twitter and the blogosphere. Brand managers, have you learned anything yet?

Why do we move faster for damage control than we do for brand control?

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Can I get an amen? OK maybe it’s too soon in this post to ask for that. But really, I could not help but to think about the shitstorm that has happened over the last 7 days with Dominos and Amazon, and that maybe companies big and small, might want to take the time to better understand how they go about branding themselves either using social media or not.

I know, we’re not talking about a branding issue here. Or are we?

You see, it’s not so much how they brand, but rather, how fast, or the pace and the speed in which they do it. The reason I’m thinking out loud about this, is that I’ve now watched in 3 very high profile cases (Amazon, Motrin and Dominoes) how quickly large brands have moved to incorporate damage control via certain media channels, formats and vehicles- which led me to postulate-

Why don’t they move this fast in branding in general, controlling the brand or creating and shaping the message? What’s holding them back?

I suppose we can sit here and be quick to criticize or answer that question by stating a) If they are moving too fast then they must be trying to shove the message down out throats, and grab market share. And of course we know that’s not cool with their core audience, the blogosphere,  social media pundits, marketers and the Twitter mob, etc., etc., etc. Right?

Or… We could criticize them for moving too slow and missing the boat and of course that’s not cool with their core audience, the blogosphere, social media pundits, marketers and the Twitter Mob…Right?

So they can’t win.

But what strikes me is this. Have you ever heard this statement? “You never know how fast someone can run until they’re running for their life.”  Which always begs this question: Why don’t they run like that all the time?

We 2.0 is better than Me 2.0

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I was just reading a blog post by Paul Dunay in which he waxes on about Dan Schawbel’s new book Me 2.0 Paul recommends it to anyone who is looking to build a personal brand.

I think that the onset of social media and social networks has allowed people to certainly increase their levels of exposure and their personal brand awareness, but it only works if others care to notice or pay attention to you. In other words-Your personal brand needs other people. That’s not a “me” issue, that’s a “we” issue.

I think my personal brand would grow and does grow more when I give more, share more, and basically act in a selfless manner towards others. I feel better about myself. Again though, even my attitude about my “personal brand” doesn’t fly unless there are others present. Others need to be there. Wherever there might actually be at that moment. Could be Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, my Blog, a Seesmic or You Tube video, doesn’t matter.

Rather than doing things that made me look good and position me better.  I feel better about myself when I’m able to give of myself instead of giving to myself.

In fact did you know that Altruistic acts can improve your quality of life in several ways, and are absolutely worth the effort? Here’s another great question for you: What makes Chris Brogan more happy? and what does he do better than anyone else? He gives, he shares and provides for his readers and followers- tips, pointers, guides, e-books, links and resources that can make them better at what they do. He doesn’t sell it. He gives it away, every day!

And why is Chris in the position he is in today? Is it because he took from others, because he was more concerned about his personal brand? Because he’s makin’ bank on others? No. Actually Chris is, where he is, because of what he shares and because of the people that it has affected, and has impacted. Chris will be the first to tell you that without the people that read his blog or follow his tweets or watch his vids, he’s just another hack. Actually he might tell you that anyways.

But my point is this, if you pay it forward. Or if you think of others more than yourself that that can have just as much of an impact on your personal brand as it would be if you solely concentrated on your personal brand.

I like what Dan is doing, don’t get me wrong. He has picked a niche and has cornered the market on personal brands; and right now social media, in all of its wonderous technicolor glory, can do amazing things for you and your personal brand. I’m merely saying that you might also want to think about the why, the how and most importantly, “the We”.


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The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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