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Op-Ed: Filling in the $7.5 Billion Gap – What Marketers Want to See in a Twitter Redesign

Twitter-Logo-300x293We’re jumping back into the op-ed game with a debut entry from Jack Holt, a former strategic planner at the likes of Akamai and Broadwing who currently serves as co-founder/CEO of of Austin/SF-based brand research firm, Mattr. Below, the Austin-based Holt talks, you guessed it, Twitter redesign. Take it away, sir and if you care to follow Holt on Twitter, you can find him here.

As a social media platform, could anything be better than $665 million in revenue? Surprisingly, yes. You could have Facebook’s $8 billion.

But instead of taking Facebook’s approach to cashing in, Twitter has fallen behind, leaving marketers everywhere rushing to understand the value of a follower, a retweet, and a hashtag — and finding nothing.

Have you heard the expression “better abused than ignored”? Well, marketers have one big, fat, totally rational fear of the latter — or, more specifically, silence. After all, only 29 percent of tweets get a reaction of any kind.

If you’re struggling to find an effective Twitter advertising strategy, you’re in good company. Brands big and small are fretting over what to tweet or post, and Twitter’s losing cash as a result. So how can Twitter kick-start 2014 to make up the difference? By catering its application updates to what marketers want to see.

#WSTD: What Should Twitter Do?

The most recent update to Twitter was disappointingly aesthetic. From a usability standpoint, Twitter has significantly reduced the size of and moved the tweet text box, lowering that activity’s weight on the page. And, by adding an icon action to enter a tweet on the top right corner, they’ve increased the call to action a bit, but it’s still not nearly as visually heavy as it was before.

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The Onion, Lenovo Lampoon Fantasy Football Bros in ‘Tough Season’

“For some people, fantasy football feels real. For others it is real.” So claims Tough Season, The Onion’s new fantasy football series, developed in cooperation with DigitasLBI and Lenovo. Most of us, I think, know someone for whom this is true. Someone who loses sleep over the draft, and talks about NFL players as “my guys.” Someone like Tough Season’s Brad Blevins. Brad takes fantasy football way too seriously, despite the fact that his team, Brad’s Awesome Team, never wins his league. But he’s convinced, of course, that this season will be different.

Brad’s creepy rival Harris is focused on humiliating him, but Brad is intent on avoiding “The Watermelon Dance” (You really have to watch to see this one, I won’t give it away) at all costs. As the owner of three consecutive championships, Huge Giant Robots is the team to beat, with their mysterious owner Mr. Z. keeping his identity a secret. Episode one of the show flashed back to last season, with Brad’s tearful goodbye to Matt Forte and end-of-season humiliation. Episode two focuses on the draft.

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Euro RSCG London’s New Agency Site Completely Twitter-Centric


Euro’s London office is nixing the standard agency website model in favor of one that’s completely reliant on social media. What exactly are they doing, you ask? Well, the agency, whose clients include Reckitt & Benckiser, Citroen, Dulux and Kraft, is letting its 200 or so staffers run its new online hub in real-time using Twitter hashtags. The employees can control the site by tweeting specific hashtags while the names of recent tweeters are integrated into the site’s design to show who is influencing the site and which hashtags they are using.

In a statement, Euro RSCG London CEO Russ Lidstone says, “The agency listens to its employees and connects with its clients on a completely new level. This new Twitter centric website embodies our belief that social media should sit at the heart of what we do.”

In addition to Twitter, the London office is making use of Google Maps to provide directions to the office and highlight its network reach, while implementing LinkedIn to access management profiles.

More: “Euro RSCG Launches Social Media Arm

Tweeters Do Battle with Apple Products in ‘Beat It’ Spoof

Eat your heart out, Weird Al. The Pantless Knights, those merry pranksters behind the “New Dork” clip from earlier this year, are back and armed with a bevy of Apple gear in this homage to Michael Jackson‘s classic tune called “Tweet It.” We have to say the set, moves and attire are pretty spot-on in this parody, which pits iPads vs. iPhones–though we’re not sure if anything can top the prison “Thriller” tribute. Full credits and lyrics for “Tweet It” can be found here.

More: “Friday’s Illegal Ad: The Best Use for iPhone4′s FaceTime

Twitter’s New Homepage Focuses on Search

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In a bid to make Twitter’s main landing page more understandable to new users, admins added a search bar. An explanation for the change was posted to the company’s blog.

Defining a “tweet” for the uninitiated and explaining how to create an account doesn’t resonate with everyone. “Why would I want to do that?” is a common reaction. However, demonstrating the power of Twitter as a discovery engine for what is happening right now through our Search and Trends often awakens a sense of wonder which inevitably leads to a much more compelling question, “How do I get involved?”

More than 7,000 of you follow us on Twitter, but one question we always ask is how many of you actually use the service. It’s our opinion that until a bulletproof (or nearly so) analytics tool is developed it will be hard to gauge how effective it truly is. Nonetheless, the search tool is a small step to making the site more appealing to first time visitors who may not understand it. Hell, we’re a year in and we still have a lot to learn.

Follow us at twitter dot com slash agencyspy.

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