Twitter's growth in the past 6 months has been remarkable. For most of the two years prior to November 2008, it had between a million and two million active users. Since November, it has grown to an estimated 8 million users as of last month and is poised to top 10 million users by the end of April.
Last week's Ashton Kutcher vs CNN follower battle (won by Ashton) and Oprah's "Welcome to the 21st Century" tweet should give Twitter all the publicity it needs to convert into a mainstream social media tool. Due to all this explosive user growth, many tracking experts predict that Twitter will reach 100 million users within the next year, placing it in MySpace usage territory.
What exactly is the motivation for people to join and use Twitter? What is causing all this excitement about micro-blogging at 140 characters or less?
MarketingProfs (Allen Weiss of USC’s Marshall School) just released a new study of Twitter followers and identified the primary motivators for using Twitter. It's not really about obtaining the most followers. It's not really about saying something brilliant to the world and getting responses.
What it's really about this: "It's cool to learn new things from people."
As reported in Mashable:
People use Twitter for all sorts of reasons. But what are those reasons, exactly? Is it about marketing, gathering intelligence, connecting, community? Is it for social reasons?
In a word: Yes.
Twitter may be used as just another lead-generation tool. Or it may be about connecting with new friends. But above all, people on Twitter are truly motivated by learning new things and getting information real-time, as it’s developing.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, April 22, 2009,
25 years ago, Howard Stern was just starting his reign of New York radio, working afternoons at W-eNN-B-C. A lot has changed in radio and in media since 1984...but Stern's ability to respond to "fan opportunity" and break the audience barrier was just as strong as it is today.
Take a look at this YouTube video of Stern's guest appearance on a NYC local daytime TV talk show. In just a few minutes, he 'thinks like a fan, and treats them like the star' (even if the audience participant is treated like a porn star).
Engaged with the audience.
Responding to immediate opportunity.
All things you can do, too, whether through radio programming, TV interviewing, blogging or social networking.
With today's technology, it's much easier to engage, interact, respond and deliver content to an audience than 25 years ago. And you can do it with or without the embarrassing moustache, heinous haircut and goggle glasses.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, April 21, 2009,
"Radio is at the tipping point, and it doesn’t want to know much about the way its customers are changing."
Joint Communications' John Parikhal tells Tom Taylor of Radio-Info.com in yesterday's daily newsletter he's worried about radio tuning out its listeners:
"Internet companies are checking out the customer six ways to Sunday. But radio will tell you they don't have the money to research their customer. I truly think we’re at the tipping point, because for any business, you have to know who your customers are.
For radio, it's 5 different customers:
#1 - Wall Street or another 'lender'.
#2 – The advertiser. And radio should focus a lot more on the advertiser, because it has given them very short shrift. The more innovative companies are trying to become the digital and media marketing experts for the local guy, to help them move more product. Their competition is Craigslist and emerging online city directories.
#3 - The FCC, and I sense that radio will be hearing from them within a year.
#4 - The employees. With a few notable exceptions, they have been treated the way no customer should ever be treated. This whirlwind of firings and layoffs has nothing to do with performance, and the message it sends is very negative. People are now very, very wary about making radio a career.
#5 - The listener. But radio thinks 'all we have to do is keep the listeners we’ve got.' That’s a fool's game. You have to grow the pie, and to do that, you need to know more about your listener than their favorite songs or that they like sports on the radio. The listener doesn't care that radio is in a recession and won't invest in understanding their changing needs."
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Thursday, April 16, 2009,
It's not often The Celebrity Apprentice gets credited with doing something hip and contemporary.
This weekend, the show partnered with an identify theft protection product called LifeLock. As part of the marketing, they came up with this social media campaign that is designed to be viral, shared and used for social media profiles.
Take a look at this Global Tribune news report I received from a friend today...it caught my attention:
It's content designed to be shared. It's easy to share. It's customizable to include the viewer when emailed to friends. All good objectives.
The Action Test: This viral video actually got me interested in testing out their product...I've posted it on my Facebook to share with my friends...and I've now blogged on it. That's good impact!
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, April 13, 2009,