Twitter Trends and Tragedies of 2012

Everyone can harness the amazing capabilities of social media sites like Twitter to strengthen a business. Let’s look at the top Twitter trends from last year.  And… Just when you thought you were done reading 2012 re-caps, here we are with another!

Lauren Leto, the creator of the website Texts From Last Night, once said, “Twitter provides us with a wonderful platform to discuss/confront societal problems. We trend Justin Bieber instead.” It’s funny – unavoidably, spirit-crushingly true, but funny nonetheless. The truth is that mass communication tools have always been very powerful. Yet they have probably always been wasted on spreading trivial news and gossip. The telephone changed the world, connecting people across vast distances … so they could exchange recipes or gossip about extramarital affairs. If you look back at human history, you likely can find that letters delivered by horseback, hieroglyphics, and maybe cave paintings have been misused by someone to tell someone else something that was unimportant.

Social media “is what it is,” as my father liked to say (about pretty much anything). It’s up to each one of us – and yes, that includes you – to harness its amazing capabilities into something useful. Socialty can help you make the most out of Twitter, and many other social media services. We help clients leverage social media into something that works for you and works to strengthen your business.

Let’s take a look at the top Twitter trends from last year.

Among the famous people who started their own Twitter accounts in 2012 are soccer legend Pele (@pele), rock icon Neil Young (@neilyoung) and Pope Benedict XVI (@pontifex). According to ABC News, on December 10th the Pope had 608 thousand followers, and that was before his account’s first tweet. One month later, 1.4 million and counting.

Twitter has 140 million active users, and 1 billion tweets are sent about every 60 hours.

The most retweeted message of 2012 was from Barack Obama, who sent “Four more years.” and a picture of his wife hugging him. This low-key celebration of his re-election as President of the United States was retweeted over 800 thousand times and favorited by 300 thousand users. A distant second was pop singer Justin Bieber’s heartfelt message “RIP Avalanna. i love you” when a 6-year-old fan he had befriended died of brain cancer. The message had 224 thousand retweets.

ABC News listed several “Conversations of the Year,” topics that drove messaging through the roof in 2012. These include the aforementioned U.S. national elections, the Summer Olympics in London, and the February 11th death of singer Whitney Houston.

Other important moments for the Twitter service in 2012 involved the boundaries of human life on our planet, and the exploration of another. Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking skydive from the edge of space was one of Twitter’s “Conversations of the Year,” according to ABC News. Other notable tweets that were viewed by millions included live images of Hurricane Sandy – tweeted to Earth from astronauts aboard the International Space Station, live updates of the NASA mission to Mars as Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted from the shuttle’s command center as the Curiosity rover touched down on the Red Planet, and a tweet by film director and part-time adventurer James Cameron – sent from over 35 thousand feet under the ocean during a dive to bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Another cool look back at the top trends on Twitter in 2012 was published by the blog at HootSuite. (HootSuite is a Canadian social media management system that helps users to manage multiple social media accounts.)

HootSuite pointed out that 2012 on Twitter was all about passion, patriotism and battles, with the Summer Olympics and the U.S. elections as its two main examples. I think we all read some heated and grouchy if not downright mean messages. According to HootSuite, election Tweets peaked at over 320 thousand per minute, as the blogger asks us “Should the traditional saying, ‘no politics at the dinner table’ apply to Twitter as well?”

But HootSuite also noted that events like Hurricane Sandy, in which people are afraid or even helpless in the face of disaster or tragedy, show that Twitter and other social media can be a source of support, info and news. “In the aftermath of Sandy’s massive destruction, social became a channel for the world to help and send warm thoughts to those left in the dark,” the blog said.

I think we all should remember Twitter in 2012 for being a way people deal with and make it through life’s difficulties, just like in years past and during important global events. (The Arab Spring Uprisings leap to mind.) In 2012 we saw widespread power outages in and around New York City and other northeastern metropolitan areas – and we also saw simple gestures of kindness and solidarity like store owners stringing together “power strips” and giving free electricity access to passersby. The iPhone, Android smartphones and other “smart” devices proved their value to many, as we saw thousands of people who otherwise had no way to contact far away friends and family, using social media as much as they used simple phone calls as a lifeline. In 2012 we again saw Twitter used as a way for ordinary citizens to communicate with authority figures. Small-town mayors and other civil servants monitored Twitter and responded to questions, complaints, and even the occasional pleas for help, with the touch of a few buttons or a few taps on a touch-screen monitor.

Twitter in 2012 was also a major source of information for consumers. Tech products, like the Apple iPhone and iPad, drove major spikes in tweet traffic as tech experts and clueless “newbies” alike talked back and forth about upcoming items, when they’d be released and whether or not they were worth buying. Likewise, corporations continued to learn that a fan-base on Twitter can turn from a powerful help into a harmful critic if social media managers aren’t careful. Blogger Seth Fiegerman at Mashable compiled “11 Biggest Social Media Disasters of 2012” – among them:

  1. McDonald’s attempt to get #mcdstories trending, only to have the hashtag hijacked with fast food horror stories
  2. Snickers candy bars being eaten by British celebs in Twitter pics, which wouldn’t have been bad if the company knew that it’s illegal in the U.K. if it isn’t revealed as a paid endorsement
  3. Chick-Fil-A’s founder’s anti-same-sex marriage stance, which ignited many flame wars across social media
  4. Chick-Fil-A’s subsequent related controversy over whether or not the company created a fake Facebook account to defend the company after a Jim Hensen’s Creature Shop Puppet toy recall (ironically, a fake online accounts is called a “sock puppet”)
  5. American Apparel’s attempt to turn Hurricane Sandy into a promotional opportunity, offering 20% off for those in states affected by the storm, in case they were “bored.”

So with the old year behind us and 2013 well underway, we at Socialty hope you’ll remember to the highlights and lowlights of 2012 from Twitter and other social media platforms. And if you haven’t already, contact us to provide you with top-of-the-line social media services for your business. We provide high-quality content and account management, so in 12 months when you look back at 2013 you can say “I’m glad I had Socialty in 2013 to help keep our business growing!”

 

Sources for “Twitter Trends and Tragedies of 2012” were:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/12/top-twitter-trends-of-2012/

http://blog.hootsuite.com/twitter-trends-2012/

http://mashable.com/2012/11/25/social-media-business-disasters-2012/

 

 

Keywords:  Twitter, social media, 2012, HootSuite, business, ABC News, Socialty Inc., Hurricane Sandy

 

Advertisements

What can an online presence do for your small business?

As 2013 approaches, the American small business faces as many challenges as it ever has. Finding the right people, getting fair prices, collecting payments, accessing potential customers, keeping up with demand, finding ways to grow, accessing necessary capital, and affording marketing are all issues that business owners may lose sleep over.

However hard it is out there, having a little help can make a big difference! That’s what Socialty is here for. At Socialty we can help you with customer access, leading to new growth, new revenue, and new success! By leveraging social media and letting Socialty help you to manage your company’s online marketing, you can relieve your stress and improve your bottom line.

Perhaps you’ve already set up a Twitter account, a Facebook business page, or maybe you even started a blog. How can you really leverage your Social Media Outlets and make it work for you? How can you use these online tools to attract new customers for your business? Utilizing social media correctly often requires remembering a simple rule of thumb: simply put, your following will mostly include the people who have done business with you. So to encourage repeat business and attract new customers, Socialty can help you set up one, two, or all of the following ideas!

A popular way to leverage social media is an online promotion. Take a product or service and offer a discount to your online fans. Posting a printable 10% off coupon (with the proper maximum value and/or “limited time only” text) could be a great start! Large companies use this kind of incentive to bring customers into their stores and restaurants all the time, and it improves word-of-mouth (“sharing”) advertising from customer to those all-important friends of the customer!

Use your blog or Twitter account to combine a compelling offer with interesting content. If you own a restaurant, for example, you can get Socialty to help you write and publish a weekly message about new menu items. But you could also have an online poll asking for anonymous feedback about a new dish. Or ask followers to suggest improvements, with the best idea tied to a contest or in-store event. Then take pictures and Socialty can “tweet” them to all your online customers.

Always continue to encourage customers to sign up for an e-newsletter or e-mail offers. You can enter the new registrants into a monthly drawing for a free item or discount. Keeping a constant, steady, but unobtrusive amount of information flowing from your business to the social media communities is the key! (And it’s also Socialty’s specialty!) Once established, you want to keep the online relationship active, because whether they’re a daily customer or someone who purchased something once last year, it’s all about the potential return!

Here’s a true story from my own life: as I wrote this blog, I was about to celebrate my birthday. In the back of my mind, I was wondering where my family and I should have a fancy dinner … I logged on to Facebook, and a locally owned restaurant (where I dine infrequently) had announced a menu change. They had shared a .PDF document of their brand-new menu. I viewed it and thought “I’ll have to go back there someday” … but I just went on with my day. A few hours later, I received an e-mail from the same restaurant. It turns out I had filled out my date of birth when I signed up for e-mail offers, and of course, it was an offer for a free entrée! I called my spouse and set up the birthday dinner.

Without these two online social media efforts, would this business be earning money from my family and friends on this occasion? Probably not. It always pays to advertise, and social media can and will provide your business with more and more leads, referrals, and revenue as the years go on.

There are many different methods of using social media to attract people to your business. Contact Socialty and start strengthening your existing online presence today! We help small businesses to utilize all the social media sites and services to improve relationships with customers.

LinkedIn, It’s Here to Stay…

At Socialty, we have a simple, yet elegant, mission: to help small businesses manage their social media campaigns and online reputations. Socialty creates dynamic content, manages your presence and engages users to create word of mouth buzz. We use an online approach that focuses on sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.

Today let’s take an in-depth look at LinkedIn, one of the fastest-growing social media sites. LinkedIn maintains a specialist approach to social media marketing.

On October 16, LinkedIn held a press conference to announce its new profile page design and other changes, upgrades, and statistics.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Weiner began the event (also streamed online from company headquarters in Mountain View, California) by saying that LinkedIn is “about connecting talent with opportunity at a massive scale.” The social media networking site and its features aren’t “just tools that enable people to find their dream jobs,” Weiner said, “but tools that enable people to be great at the jobs they’re already in.”

The CEO then shared LinkedIn’s company mission statement: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” He then emphasized the word professionals, and said that is the context with which LinkedIn creates value for its members as a social media service. Worldwide there is “one social platform – LinkedIn – that has that exclusive focus on a professional context.”

Weiner stated that LinkedIn has over 175 million registered members, and has added 50 million of those in the last year alone. LinkedIn is currently adding an average of 2 new members every second. Interestingly, Brazil has recently become the fourth nation in which more than 10 million LinkedIn members reside. The other top countries are the United States, India, and the United Kingdom.

LinkedIn ultimately helps professionals “connect, find, and be found by other professionals,” said Weiner. It has become “the professional profile of record.”

The CEO pointed out a phenomenon, saying that people update their profiles when they aren’t looking for work. He contrasted this to a traditional resume, which is often only dusted off and updated when a job change is wanted or needed.

Weiner went on to talk about the increasing importance of what LinkedIn calls “mobile solutions,” using the social media site via smartphones and tablet applications, especially via the iPad. He announced that mobile utilization (how often LinkedIn is being accessed by a person using an app) has increased from 10% last year to 23% now. In other words, LinkedIn is being used more and more by people who aren’t necessarily sitting at a desk in an office.

Weiner seemed proud to announce that over one million unique website domains have deployed a “Share On LinkedIn” button. This allows any LinkedIn member to easily post links from interesting or enjoyable online content to their own LinkedIn page, which then is viewable by that member’s professional contacts. Also, thousands of companies are utilizing a button to “Apply With LinkedIn” which makes filling out online job applications easier.

Over the last few months, LinkedIn has improved or introduced several features, said Weiner. He included:

  • A redesigned homepage at http://www.linkedin.com/
  • New capabilities for receiving optional notifications
  • New capabilities and apps for smartphones
  • Apps for the iPad tablet
  • The Endorsements feature (which allows members to vouch for other members who have a certain skill or ability)
  • A feature allowing members to “follow” professional luminaries
  • Long form content publication made affordable/free for those luminaries
  • “Engagement increases” such as status updates, “like” buttons, and the ability to comment on other peoples’ content

The press conference was then turned over to Deep Nishar, Head of Product for LinkedIn. He led off with a statement of the company’s product philosophy. It is to “build insanely brilliant and simple products that change people’s lives.”

Nishar then announced statistics provided by comScore, Inc. (http://www.comscore.com/) – LinkedIn has 135 million unique visitors per month and ranks 26th overall in the entire world (as of August 2012).

One month ago, said Nishar, the site launched a new design for the “LinkedIn Company” pages. It features insights into what is going on at a given company, and potentially it can share fresh information. On one corner of the page, the new design features “How You’re Connected,” listing “First Degree Connections” (people you know), “Second Degree Connections” (people those people know), and total employees of that company who are members of LinkedIn. Nishar added that the new company pages also feature a products section and a careers section, and that currently there are over 2 million “LinkedIn Company” pages.

Nishar then spoke about “LinkedIn Today.” He called it the “defacto professional trade magazine” for members and stated that by utilizing the knowledge of who members are, what members’ networks are, and what industries they are part of, it provides a tailored view of daily news they should be reading. It “gives insight and helps [the members] do [their] jobs today.”

The Product Head then mentioned that LinkedIn recently launched its “Top Leadership Series,” a sort of long-form blog which is being written by “150 of the most powerful business luminaries” from around the world. They represent 11 countries, he added, and they post “about what they care about to share it with the community.” The group includes a Nobel Prize winner and a MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” grant winner. The group as a whole has authored 29 books from the New York Times Bestseller List.

Nishar also expressed his pride in the “Endorsements” feature, repeating that LinkedIn is adding 175,000 new profiles per day (about the same as 2 per second), and announced that profiles on the site are now being viewed 25 million times every day.

When you choose to bring your social media campaigns to Socialty, you can definitely count on our company’s expertise to help you to create, freshen up, and then to maintain a dynamic profile page on LinkedIn.

In 2012, it’s more important than ever that you and your company’s interests be represented accurately and honestly on websites such as LinkedIn. Isn’t it time for you to contact us? Then you can “Keep Social and Carry On!”

Watch the entire press conference at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqfefJ6SYTk&feature=plcp

Keywords: LinkedIn, members, social media, professional, socialty, connections, page design, media campaigns

%d bloggers like this: