Category Archives: Twitter

Inc. 500 Companies Seeing Positive Results From SM Use

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Inc. 500 Companies using Social Media and ACTUALLY seeing positive results is on the rise.  More small businesses need to view the importance of Social Media the same as their larger counterparts.

Interesting to note that Facebook success rates have gone up from 54% to 85% while services like twitter and blogging have gone down.

Overall the importance  of Social Media in a Inc. 500 companies business strategy has gone up 16% year over year.   These companies will continue to use these conduits for client acquisition and retention as 2011 unfolds.

Article from eMarketer

On stats from Umass Dartmoth Center for Marketing Research

Written by Chris Van Dusen

Chris Van Dusen is a tech enthusiast, remote efficiency specialist and entrepreneur.  He is the president of i-FFICIENCY, a consultancy he co-founded to help small businesses and startups leverage new technology in the sales process.  Chris is also Director of Business Development and New Media for Rief Media, a full service marketing and communications firm.
twitter: @ifficiency


Social Media Propels Egypt Uprising

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egypt social mediaThe outrage, animosity and antagonism against the current regime of Hosni Mubarak is best followed real-time at #Cairo and #Egypt on Twitter. The influence of mass effervescence, the conviction that the protestors display and its myriad manifestations is translating into whats being seen and reported on the streets of Egypt. This is possibly not a revolution brought forth by social media alone, but blogs, Twitter, Facebook & YouTube have had a consequential role to play in Egypt. Social media once again flexes its muscle to be the catalyst for change, in this case a historic one.

Take for instance Ramy Raoof, a digital activist with Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, (A poster boy for Western media in Egypt!) who is using his blog to spread the message, mobilize support and organize protests. The blog is being used to devise plans to exhibit police atrocities, antagonism of the ordinary Egyptian and furnish plans to save detainees.
Raoof has also been incredibly innovative in linking Bambuser to his blog, which enables live broadcast of protests from different regions from his mobile. His Flickr page, has images collated and updated in an organized fashion which is actively used by protestors, media and government agencies.
The ‘Twitterverse’ has been incredibly supportive of this mass movement. Tweets coming from within Egypt (in spite of blocked internet) is helping followers from around the world to be abreast of the situation on the ground. Even journalists like Ben Wademen of CNN, are using Tweets, when unable to use OB vans.

To help Egyptians, in case of an internet blackout, Google’s SayNow (A brand new acquisition) has launched a ‘tweet via voice’ service, where the protestors can call a central number to leave tweets automatically tagged #Egypt & #Cairo.

[This YouTube video which went viral has the message of an 8 year old to President Mubarak has a quarter of a million views in 72 hours.]

Remember, Egypt has a decent internet penetration of 22%, a total of 16 Million internet users (1/5th of internet users of Africa) compared to neighbors like Sudan and Libya have only 10.2% and 5% respectively. Tunisia, a country which influenced the Egypt uprising strongly also has a remarkably high penetration of 34%. A pattern of correlation between internet penetration and mass movement is emerging.
The Egypt revolution is certainly the result of resentment which emerged from lack of freedom and democracy combined with poor economic conditions and unemployment. But, to commence and sustain movements of this proportion (2 Million people at Tahrir square yesterday), we need innovative, effective and efficient tools. Revolution is as much about emotions and sentiments as much as it is about politics and economics. Social media provides the solutions to these requirements in today’s age. As we see, this movement has succeeded enough to get an autocratic ruler of 30 years to concede defeat, yet another evidence of just how critically influential this medium is turning out to be. To quote an Indian blogger “I have tremendous renewed respect for all pre-internet revolutions!”.

Written by Arun Varma

Follow me on Twitter@varmaarun  or Mail me at

Arun is a digital marketing professional who previously worked with Google in India before seeing snow for the first time as a current MBA student at HULT International Business School in Cambridge. He also is a business quiz enthusiast and has hosted and conceptualized several of them.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg to Focus on China

China Facebook

[tweetmeme source=”equalman” only_single=false founder Mark Zuckerberg vacationed in China during the holidays.  During this vacation he casually met with the top executives from Sina and Baidu.  Sina’s Weibo is a Twitter-like microblogging service.  Baidu is the Google of Chinese search.

“Mr Zuckerberg came to get a better understanding of  China’s Weibo market,” Sina said in a statement.

If Zuckerberg plans to fulfill his vision of connecting the world, than expanison into China is crucial.  China has 1.6 billion people and an estimated 420 million Internet users.

Facebook and Twitter are currently blocked by China’s government.  Beijing has set up a huge online censorship system oft dubbed the “Great Firewall of China” that blocks sites or removes Internet content on sensitive topics.

Chinese social networks RenRen and QZone are the dominant players in the market.  Twitter replica Weibo, According to Eric Johnson via Yahoo, is set to pass Twitter in the number of users in 2011. China’s third largest social media service,, is popular with white collar workers. Kaixin001 has developed some very popular social games, like ‘Slave Manor’ and ‘Happy Farm’.  According to the data from Analysys International Enfodesk, social game users in China are around 85 million.  By 2013 this is estimated to equate to a market potential of $431 million.

At a recent visit to Stanford, Zuckeberg indicated he was “spending a lot of time” studying Chinese.

“It’s kind of a personal challenge this year, I’m taking an hour a day and I’m learning Chinese. I’m trying to understand the language, the culture, the mindset– it’s just such an important part of the world,” said Zuckerberg.

“It makes sense–he is interested in the Chinese Internet, he’s made that very plain. Obviously this is one of the big dark spots for Facebook because it is blocked here in China,” said Kaiser Kuo Director International Media Relations at Baidu. “He has had a long-standing interest in China. I’m sure he wants to get the advice of someone who knows the Internet landscape well here.”

If Facebook were to team up with Baidu or Sina they would be strong alliances against Facebook’s current and foreseeable competition of Google and Twitter in other markets.

Which begs the question, is there a sequel to the blockbuster movie “The Social Network?”  Rumor is the working title is “The Red Social Network.”

By Erik Qualman

Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business

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Hat Tips: Image courtesy of BNET &

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Best Time to Post

[tweetmeme source=”equalman” only_single=false times it’s not what you post, but when you post.  The most important thing is to still post great content, however you can severly hamper your great content by posting at the wrong time.

General guidelines:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are your best days
  • Saturday is the worst day
  • Holidays are slow traffic days (except commerce sites)
  • 10 am – 11:30 am and 1 – 3:30 pm are best times to post
  • Stagger posts based on time zones

A recent study by Virtue specific to Facebook also shows that Social Media may follow similar patterns to the rest of the traditional Web.

  • The three biggest usage spikes tend to occur on weekdays at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET.
  • The biggest spike occurs at 3:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.
  • Weekday usage is pretty steady, however Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET is consistently the busiest period.

Fans are less active on Sunday compared to all other days of the week; most sites slowest traffic day is Saturday, followed by Sunday.

This is interesting since so many schools and companies block Facebook from 9 – 5 pm.  Tough to block mobile devices though.

There are exceptions to the above rules, depending on what you are posting, but these are good general guides for most sites, social media activity and blogs. I’ve been fortunate to have access to statistics to hundreds of different sites/blogs during my sixteen year career and roughly 90% of the time the above holds true.

When I was the Head of Marketing at Travelzoo our production team always sent out the Top 20 e-mail list to the 21 million subscribers on Wednesday at roughly 11 am.  Why?  This gave it the best chance to be read.  You should do the same thing when you post.  If you have an incredible Tweet you need to get out, but it’s 2 a.m. on a Saturday, use a tool like hootsuite to schedule for the tweet to go out when more potential readers might read it.

Ironically, this post may not be picked up as much as it could since I’m posting it in the afternoon on a Monday following a holiday.

Other good posts on this topic: YouTube Traffic PattersBest Time to Send E-Mail, When are Facebook Users Most Active?Conversion Volume by Day

By Erik Qualman

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More Twitter Thoughts from Brasil

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Highest Twitter Penetration in the World = Brazil

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comScore recently released some interesting social media statistics on Brazil, the world’s 5th most populated country.

Social media insights in Brazil include:

  • Traffic to Social Networking sites grew 51% in the past year, with sites in the category currently reaching more than 36 million visitors age 15 and older
  • Facebook experienced triple-digital growth, increasing its audience 479% in the past year
  • Traffic to Orkut grew 30% in the past year, while Twitter climbed 86%
  • reached 23% of the entire Brazilian online population, the highest penetration in the world
  • Visitation to the Blogs category grew 48% to 29 million visitors. Blogger ranked as the top blog destination with more than 21 million visitors

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3 Reasons Why Twitter Profitablity Is Near

By Erik Qualman [tweetmeme source=”equalman” only_single=false

With 160 million* users, the release of the new Twitter interface could easily turn the Twitter blue into a vibrant green of cash.

twitter profitable“Obviously, there’s more opportunities for more info to be displayed now,” Biz Stone, Twitter’s co-founder, told in an interview about Twitter’s overhaul. “It’s a great opportunity for all sorts of content, including ads.”

As Twitter user @hunterwalk tweeted, “#NewTwitter is like a @Twitter mullet – work on the left and party on the right.” (Hat tip to The Huffington Post.)

And this should be quite a party. With the enhanced functionality (especially on the new right pane) there is less reason for users to leave the Twitter nest. It has been rolled out to some users to date and Twitter indicates it may take a few weeks until it is everywhere.

This design will attract more readers rather than tweeters, as information on Twitter is now much easier to consume for the average user. And what are readers great for? Readers consume digital advertising.

When asked by PBS News Hour what has been Twitter co-founder and CEO Evan Williams’ biggest lesson over the last four years on how users are interacting and using Twitter, Williams responded, “One major thing we have learned is that not everybody is seeking to share their thoughts with the world, which a lot of the emphasis was on at first, a lot of people come to Twitter to find out what is happening. We are trying to make that experience a lot better.” Again, the new design reflects this – an ease for readers/voyeurs.

1. Social Commerce

For the people who are coming to find out what is happening, they also want to know what the people they’re following are buying. What products and services are they using? What do they like and dislike? This is the tip of social commerce; which takes word-of-mouth to world-of-mouth. The potential is huge, as 78 percent of us trust peer recommendations.

Google’s recently launched Instant Search is proactively attacking the pressure it is feeling from Twitter and Facebook. Inherently, these two social media giants have the platform for a much better search experience – social search. When someone posts something on Twitter, not only can they get an answer from another user, but now they can receive an answer/advertisement in the right pane. Over time, these answers and advertisements will become more intelligent based on user behavior and feedback. The people at Google are very smart, but even they may not be able to avoid the seismic shift of social search that is coming our way.

2. Targeted ads

As Stone alludes to, there is also plenty of room and functionality to run very targeted ads (Twitter profitability here we come anyone?).

“It’s faster, it’s easier and it’s a richer experience,” said Williams. “Simple things that are cryptic on Twitter today become a lot more clear.”

This is the key point.

The Twitter of old was very cumbersome to navigate and this new experience is a radical change. If you don’t believe this is a big deal, the glossy video/advertisement Twitter produced underscores how big internally Twitter feels this is (the video already has over 1.3 million views). Twitter is no longer a toy, but a mainstay in the Internet marketplace.

3. 200 million users at a local level

No question, Twitter has its eye on 200 million users and beyond by the end of the year. Part of Facebook’s success in growing to over 500 million users is it makes it inherently easy for mother and grandmothers to join the fun. The new Twitter design also simplifies things for the non-socialmediarati.

And more and more users will be finding out about items in their local area as a result of mapping inclusion assisted by embedded geo-location functionality. This is a similar success model that Facebook has been able to leverage. Not merely being dependent on Fortune 500 marketing dollars, but having small businesses be able to easily purchase advertising that drives results.

As reported by Mashable, the Twitter partnerships include 16 different companies: DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, PhotoZou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, Ustream, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube.

We’ve heard the Twitter founders’ thoughts; what do you think of the new Twitter and potential advertisements in the near future?

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*This number seems to range from 145 to 190 million depending on whom you talk to at Twitter at any given point in time.