There were 9.6 Million Tweets during the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony (WSJ.com). They were mainly comments from those watching the show unfolding on television and from those watching from the bleachers at the Olympic Stadium. Tweets were both positive and negative but on a whole they represented an engaged audience. In this way, Twitter has set the record for the first “social” Olympics. To give perspective to this, during the Beijing Olympics there were a respectable few million Twitter users and today there are over 140 million active Twitter users. That growth is felt in every journalistic breath spoken or written over the London Olympics. It is the Olympic audience and the athletes themselves who, over the course of the first few days of the games, have led media coverage through their use of Twitter.
Trending Twitter topics, which more traditional media has honed in, on include criticism of NBC for the delayed broadcasting of events to primetime. Whether satellite stations would have had it any other way , interestingly, has not made a significant impact on the discussion. Having said that, stories covering NBC and what is being tweeted seems to be rising again (see the following trend line chat below). Equally damning of both NBC and Twitter is their agreement making Twitter the official narrator of the Olympics, and in nearly the same breadth Guy Adams, The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, having his Twitter account blocked when he posted a colourful tweet complaining of NBC’s choice to favour revenues rather than journalistic integrity, “The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel,..” referring to the delay of the Opening Ceremony.
Athletes have embraced Twitter in some cased for the first time as an avenue to communicate with their nation and their fans. Messages of thanks for support and apologies for not capturing a medal for their country are interspersed with cries of support and enthusiasm from the public. There are lessons to be learned as well , a 17-year-old (@rileyy_69) was recently arrested after sending a malicious tweet to Olympic diver, Tom Daley following his failure to achieve a medal during the final. Tom chose to re-tweet the comment which increased his support.
These are but two examples that sit within a larger set of coverage in the more traditional media. Both print and web/social media are looking to Twitter to guide what interests the reader. And, in many cases the reader is the driving force.
Tags: NBC, Olympics, Twitter
At many companies, the corporate communications team is going beyond Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to bring their C-level executives into social media conversations. For perspective on how one corporate leader got started in social media, check out And Now a Tweet from Your CEO, a short WSJ.com Q&A with Mark T. Bertolini, chairman and chief executive of Aetna Inc. He talks about how he got going and his goals for using Twitter, including “re-establish(ing) the credibility of corporate leadership”.
Follow Mark T. Bertolini: @mtbert
Read the WSJ.com interview, And Now a Tweet from Your CEO.
Tags: Aetna, Social Media, Twitter
For the longest time, I pondered upon the question that many of us faced in the last few years: to Tweet or not to Tweet. More importantly, how would I use Twitter that would bring value to me and my followers?
Finally, I took the plunge. Little did I know that what started off as a casual update would become an important part of my morning routine: I can no longer imagine my morning coffee without my Twitter updates.
My Twitter stream is my “quick peek” into the day’s news and updates – a brief description is definitely easier to digest. To make it easier to follow, I group all my news updates under a List titled News, which is my first stop to get the scoop of the day.
Twitter also gave me an opportunity to connect with people in several areas of interest that I would not have connected otherwise. I find it particularly helpful in areas that are somewhat undefined and still open to interpretation, such as social media measurement. Again, Lists come in very handy here. I created several Lists that focus on social media, measurement, technology updates, and PR-related news.
Finally, I find that Twitter is a great platform to participate in regularly scheduled “chats” and a good way to meet your industry peers and contribute to relevant discussions. One of my personal favorites is #measurePR led by @Shonali. The chat happens biweekly and often invites interesting guests that discuss the latest and greatest in the measurement industry.
Twitter is, after all, a social media platform, and used right, it does just that: gives you an opportunity to follow, meet, and interact with your peers, friends, and coworkers, as well as find and engage with people who share your interests and passions.
Tags: Social Media, Twitter
In the summer of 2011, Netflix was the future of video and its stock was at an all-time high. Within a quarter, the company lost two-thirds of its market value and its strategy was a shambles.
Between July and October 2011, the company unbundled its DVD and streaming services, increased its prices for the second time in a year, announced that it expected to lose a million customers and that it would spin off its DVD service under the brand “Qwikster”, and then canceled Qwikster less than a month later.
Netflix’s stock price has not recovered.
Netflix was trying to mitigate some powerful strategic threats in the summer of 2011, but the company lost control of its message.
I charted Netflix’s Dow Jones Insight Media Index (IMI) for 380,000 news stories since last July. Since October, Netflix’s IMI has returned to its summer 2011 levels, but the company’s stock price is stuck in the doldrums.
The Netflix debacle is more of a strategic than a communications fable, but there are some clear lessons for marketers:
- Think ahead. By delaying the inevitable unbundling until the last minute, Netflix maximized the pain for their customers and themselves.
- Keep it simple. Netflix was founded on a principle of simplicity, but Qwikster was just baffling.
- Own your name. Someone already owned @Qwikster on Twitter. This expensive error signaled a lack of preparation to the markets.
- Think twice before doubling down. Netflix followed its unpopular unbundling with a baffling spinoff.
Tags: measurement, media measurement, Netflix, Social Media, Twitter
Calling Game of Thrones a ‘cultural phenomenon’ may be bold; calling it a social media hit cannot be denied. After season one’s finale was broadcast in June 2011, the anticipation for season two grew exponentially as tiny morsels of information carefully managed by HBO were gradually fed to starving fans lurking on social networks.
To what extent did anticipation for Game of Thrones grow as the premiere date (1 April) approached? The following charts illustrate key dates leading up to the event.
The top coverage peak in early March followed the unveiling of the ‘epic’ teaser trailer while, after a slight slowdown, there was a marked increase in media attention ahead of the much-awaited airing.
The most prominent source group was blogs, followed by message boards, a clear indication of how online influencers increasingly fill the gap of traditional media for entertainment news.
While 76% of the buzz was domestic, 39% of non-US coverage originated in Spain regarding the US premiere. Season two launches in Spain on 23 April, but the US airing is currently the global focus.
Note the peak in late March, when HBO released new character photos. Trends show the most mentioned characters are Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, while Tyrion Lannister is frequently cited for his role as Hand of the King in the new season.
Tags: Game of Thrones, HBO, measurement, Social Media, Twitter