Hello World! #FirstTweet – How famous accounts announced themselves on Twitter

FirstTweet-Twitter

Your first tweet when you join Twitter is both a momentous and pressured occasion. What will you say to your audience of no followers? How will you announce yourselves to the Twitter world? For many high profiled celebrities and brands this becomes even more important, so I’m going to explore what some of the most famous accounts said when they joined Twitter. Thanks to Twitter Discovers #FirstTweet function you can easily find this out without having to scroll through thousands of tweets! So here’s a trip down memory lane at the first tweets sent from some of our best loved accounts.

Top 10 Most Followed Accounts

Let’s start with some of the most followed accounts there are on Twitter:

Katy Perry – 68.9M

Justin Bieber – 63.1M

Barack Obama – 58.5M

Taylor Swift – 56.7M

YouTube – 50.4M

Lady Gaga – 46M

Justin Timberlake – 44.7M

Rihanna – 44.5M

Ellen DeGeneres – 42.7M

Britney Spears – 41.7M

Quite the mix of tweets there!

Major Brands

Lots of brands have embraced Twitter, and here’s how they opened their tweet account!

Coca-Cola – 2.95M

Starbucks – 7.6M

Nike – 4.84M

McDonalds – 2.8M

Adidas – 2.01M

IBM – 189K

Microsoft – 6.44M

Google – 10.9M

Intel – 4.17M

Disney – 4.27M

Social Networks

And now here’s some social networks first tweets…on potentially a rival social channel

Twitters…first Twitter – 37.7M

Facebook – yep Facebook on Twitter… – 13.9M

Instagram – 38.6M

Snapchat – 632K

Pinterest – 2.2M

WhatsApp – 2.31M

Vine – 13.8M

LinkedIn – 970K

Favourite Accounts

And here’s some of my favourite accounts too!

BBC Sport – 3.56M

Mashable – 5.22M

Paddy Power – 509K

The Drum – 128K

Very British Problems – 1.2M

The Lad Bible – 1.2M

Stephen Fry – 9.43M

Buzzfeed – 2.2M

Elizabeth Windsor, Queen UK – 1.25M

The Poke – 197K

Uber Facts – 10.6M

Sky Sports Cricket – 279K

Simpsons QOTD – 336K

Match of the Day – 1.25M

The Apprentice – 231K

Lord Sugar – 4.16M

And here’s the first ever tweet sent by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey – 2.95M

Well there’s a quick sneak peek of the first tweets sent out from some of the most influential Twitter accounts there are. One thing that’s quite consistent with them is that a lot set up their accounts around 2008-2009 just as Twitter was taking off, although that was 2-3 years after the first ever tweet was sent. This illustrates that celebs and major brands weren’t as innovative and first movers of social networks back then. However, now they’re some of the first accounts created when a new social network is set up. It has been so interesting seeing what the first things all these accounts said was, and how Twitter has evolved over the years to help us engage with the people and brands we love.

And just for good measure…here’s my first ‘inspiring’ tweet…!

Thanks for reading, and please do share your first tweets with me! For more digital marketing and social media news, please follow this blog and me on Twitter @DigitalStuart.

Advertisements

We’re Live Now! Is Live Social Streaming the Future

It has been quite a few weeks in the world of social media. First we had the announcement of a new live streaming app called Meerkat and then not too long after that Twitter released its own version, Periscope. So what does live streaming involve. Well you sign in via your Twitter account and then essentially record something live! It’s that simple. When you share the stream it’s posted on your timeline alerting your followers you’re streaming something live and they can choose come and view what’s going on. This gives you a live audience of viewers like you’d have for a TV show.

The competition between Meerkat and Periscope has intensified a lot over the last few weeks as more and more brands and celebrities start to use it. However, when Meerkat launched it was groundbreaking, but annoyingly for them Twitter released their version Periscope just a few days later. So Meerkat’s dominance in the market was there for just a few glittering seconds it seemed. But due to them offering similar features gaining users as quickly as possible is becoming even more so important for them.

So how will social live streaming change the social media landscape. It’s such a novel and unique aspect that’s started to become even more prominent in social media. Gone are the days now where you take a photo or video of an event and then edit it and play or post it a few hours or days afterwards. Now you can bring the audience even closer to what you’re offering. The idea of live streaming is nothing new. TV has been doing it for years and years, and YouTube has streamed live many times. But it’s never been at the average users disposal to do it where they become the broadcaster.

Of course with this live streaming comes copyright and ownership issues. If you’re streaming a concert, or sporting game or an event, you’d need to be careful. But maybe recording something live is still the same as doing it then uploading it after it has happened.

It’ll be interesting to see how the rivalry between the two platforms, Meerkat and Periscope, increases over the coming months and whether one steals a march in the market possibly with new features, offerings or campaigns.

Please let me know your views on live streaming by commenting below. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow this blog and me on Twitter @DigitalStuart for more social media and digital marketing news!

The development of social media in companies

Imagine the situation. A company sets up a Twitter account, follows some well-known or relevant accounts, then posts a status saying ‘Hello World, First Tweet’, might then send one saying what they offer and might even send a third one with a link to the website. Then they gradually leave it and let the follower count increase and ‘bang’ you’re now a social company. But of course we all know that just setting up a new social media account doesn’t make you the social strategist of the century.

This attitude to social media has now long gone as companies now realise that just doing that is a recipe for social media failure. It’s been amazing to see that only over the past few years how much social media in companies has changed and the opinion of it has grown dramatically.

I remember attending a social media conference last year full of accountants, lawyers and finance professionals who were absolutely blown away by what they were seeing. How can a Facebook page bring me business or leads? Can people actually ask me questions about my products or services online? The room was awash with so much excitement and surprise of how powerful social media was.I then attended another conference with social media professionals a few weeks later and the difference you can imagine when talking to people was incredible. As there I was hearing stories of companies having 300 people in the social media team which blew MY mind this time.

Social media used to be something that maybe the marketing manager would set up and update on the odd occasion. If they fancied it they might reply to a few comments too. But then we got to the stage of having a specialist social media guy to come in and do it. This might have been an intern. Still not much attention paid to it.

Fast forward a few years and it’s remarkable the amount of planning and detail that now goes into social media. We now have actual social media budgets. Money set aside for social media campaigns whether that’s promoted posts or Facebook ads. We now have people coming up with strategies for social media, and how general marketing campaigns can be supported by social, and how social drives those campaigns to success. Community managers create content calendars weeks in advance to plan out what they’re going to post. They also reply to every comment or mention received, rather than ignoring. We don’t just register the number of followers we have, we now analyse the entire follow base, what their interests are, where they’re based, how they interact with the brand and the engagement rates content gets.

A social media team is now essential for any large company that’s taking social media seriously. The team includes community managers, strategists, analysts, buyers and planners. It’s now a whole department in its own right, just like a marketing, HR or finance department. Social media will no longer just be ‘within marketing’. But now a separate entity on its own. So with a whole team of social media people, the investment in it has grown, something unimaginable a few years back when a marketing manager ran a Twitter account on their own.

The future of social media within companies I think is only going to grow even more. Next you will probably see community managers or strategists for specific networks, such as Twitter strategist or an Instagram community manager. Added to this is companies now allocating more and more funds to social media away from outdoor or traditional media. Why invest in a billboard that will be seen by thousands of people over a day, when a social media campaign can be seen by that amount in a second and millions in total.

So it’ll be very interesting reviewing this blog post in five years time to see where social media within companies has gone. For now though its showing no signs of slowing down!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. For more digital marketing and social media stories and updates, please follow this blog or me on Twitter @DigitalStuart.

How social media has changed our lives

For those of you who haven’t heard social media is a pretty big deal. Social media is no longer just a part of our lives and that website we sometimes look at . Rather it now shapes, dictates and influences our lives and what we do. Think about it. When you get a job, make a delicious meal, go on holiday or take a great a pic of a lovely view, what’s the first thing you do? Of course you upload it onto social media. Nowadays if you were to get married, we’d only find out about it via Facebook, not from you calling or texting someone. So we tell people what we’ve been up to now via our social profiles. Which to some degree is a shame, but at the same time is much easier than telling everyone separately. Now you can message everyone through a simple status! We’re becoming a group of people that’s now not afraid to share with others what we’ve been up. In the past I wouldn’t really want someone seeing the food I’ve made, but now I’d love to show people it!

Another way social media is changing our lives is how we interact with brands. Now when you have a compliant, question or enquiry we are less likely to pick up the phone and call the company or send an email. But now we go to social media whether that’s Facebook or Twitter to get the answer. In the past we’d mention a brand in a post and think there’s about a 10% chance they’d reply to us. However now I personally feel if I ask a question on Twitter I expect an answer. I mean if your company got a phone call enquiry you wouldn’t ignore it, so why ignore a tweet.

Social media is also at the forefront in our daily lives when it comes to finding out about what’s going on in the world. We now usually find out the breaking news stories from what’s trending on Twitter rather than on the TV or in the newspaper. This has made us more knowledgeable about the latest current affairs and trends something which we probably weren’t as in tune with if we watched the six o’clock news or picked up the local paper.

So it’s not an underestimation to say social media plays a huge part in our daily lives, and as more networks develop this trend is only going to grow more!

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment! For more social media news please follow this blog or me on Twitter @DigitalStuart.

Twitter Intensifies its Rivalry with New Features

Twitter recently announced plans to introduce a few new features for its users to increase the usability and interface of the social networking site. These new features include group messages when sending Direct Messages and the ability to capture, edit and share video content that’s up to 30 seconds in length. So what do these enhanced features mean for Twitters user base and their rivalry with other social networks.

Now being able to send messages to a group of people means Twitter is competing more against other established apps such as Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp. One of drawbacks of Twitter was that their Direct Messaging system wasn’t that useful and was really there just as other social networks have it and because people might use it. I personally don’t really utilise the Direct Messaging feature on Twitter as there are so many other uses like Retweeting, Favouriting and discovering trends that I use it for. For brands having this new update could save them a lot of time when contacting users to tell them something such as they’ve won a prize. Twitter has always been behind when it comes to messaging but now as they’ve placed greater emphasis on it, their competition against the other networks might increase, and see Direct Messages being used more.

Twitter’s new video feature for me is one of the best things they’ve done for some time as it was frustrating recording a video then not being able to upload it onto the network. If you wanted to upload a video to Twitter you’d have to do it via their app Vine, from YouTube or another video streaming site such as Vimeo. But now users can record them, edit to a desired length, then share to their audience. This is a great move for brands who can add more creativity to their content and not feel restricted to just status updates with words or images. Vine is a wonderful tool for 6 second videos on loop, but now being able to record 30 second ones means more can be put into it and edited to something that’s of a higher quality…rather than a rush. The engagement rates for brands will also increase due to the improved content quality and variety in posting, something which us social media people love to monitor. For the rivalry of Twitter this is an essential feature due to Facebook and Instagram now both allowing autoplaying videos, so this feature has never been so crucial for them.

Both these new updates for Twitter illustrate that the social network has got some good plans to keep its competitive edge on the other networks out there, which is needed having recently seen Instagram having more active users than it. For me Twitter has been quite lazy recently as they don’t seem to be evolving as much as other social networks. You look at Instagram for example, they’ve introduced many new features, as have Facebook and Snapchat, but Twitter does seem to be quite reactive. Looking at Twitter now and a year ago, there’s not many changes in terms of functionality. The interface has changed a lot, but the new features are the first for some time.

So the new features Twitter has installed have been a welcome change to users and marketers a like. Let’s hope this is the start of many.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow this blog and me on Twitter @DigitalStuart for more social media and digital marketing news and views.

My Marketing and Social Media Predictions for 2015!!!

First of all let me take this moment to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! In this blog I’m going to highlight some of my predictions for 2015 in the social media and marketing space.

Instagram to Continue its Growth 

I recently wrote how Instagram now has more active users than Twitter and in 2015 I expect the photo sharing app to continue its growth in users. It wouldn’t surprise me if Instagram introduced many new features in the coming months of 2015 in addition to the recent ones. Also Instagram for business will increase as brands look to take advantage of Instagrams growing audience.

Social Advertising Spend

Many brands are now allocating funds for social media usage whether that’s for Promoted Posts on Twitter, Facebook ads, or investing in creative content, I expect more money to be spent on this growing trend. Brands are now spending more money on digital marketing activities such as social media, search or mobile, meaning greater focus is on these areas rather than traditional marketing.

The Rise of Snapchat

2015 should see the mobile app Snapchat increase it’s presence on the social media space. At the moment Snapchat only allows you to send photos but recently they announced plans to introduce a payment system called Snapcash, so more new features could be added to the app. I expect Snapchat to add greater enhanced features such as profile pages, more filters on Snaps and possibly a greater messaging system. Of course these are features that would enhance Snapchat’s service.

Mobile to Grow Even More

Every year we say that mobile will grow in the coming year, and you kind of think how much more can it grow?! But 2015 will once again see brands and consumers presence on mobile increase. This rise will see brands spend more money on mobile whether that’s creating or developing a mobile optimised site, introducing mobile payments or releasing an app, this sector is rising. Additionally, mobile advertising will grow as brands try to secure the screen on smartphones, as apps such as Twitter and Facebook enhance their advertising platforms. Also more people now have smartphones so brands are seeing this opportunity to advertise to a whole new audience as well as offer their products and services online.

Wearable Technology All The Rage

Wearable technology is going to rise even more as the year progresses through releases such as Smartwatches. This could see more watches that now offer users the chance to send texts, access email and other apps…oh…and maybe it’ll tell the time too.

Big Data will be…Big

Gone are the days of looking at data from your customers and ignoring it, but now these figures are becoming even more vital to gain great insights into a brands audience. 2015 will see social media and marketing managers analyse more data than ever to really find out who their audience is and what they like. This will see an increase in brands using analytics tools to see for instance what interests their social media followers are in to, where they are from, who they follow, whether they’re male or female and a whole multitude of other stats. All these demographic, geographic and psychographic insights will enable brands to create content that is more tailored to the audience, thus increasing engagement.

Content is the King of 2015

The marketing term that has been banished round for some time is ‘content’, and how ‘it is king’, and this will continue to be the case in 2015. There’s never been a more valuable time for brands to create and post content whether that’s a photo, a video or a status update which is interesting, shareable, creates awareness, is fun and of high quality. That’s why brands will invest money in developing this content whether that’s in house designers or outsourcing it to agencies.

Real Time Marketing (RTM) is the REAL Deal

More brands are now taking the opportunity to exploit internet trends and popular news stories with creative and humorous content. I’ll take you back to the summer when Apples ‘Bendgate’ was in full flight, and brands quickly jumped on the bandwagon. This is a classic example of a news story creating a massive influx of hilarity and fun from brands. I’ve previously written about how Real Time Marketing is the way to go as it illustrates to a brands audience that they’re current and at the same time keeping an eager eye on what’s going on in the news. I fully see more brands allocating time and money to creating great RTM campaigns in the year to come.

Of course, RTM isn’t always the best strategy to take as if you, and your competitors are all doing it, it doesn’t make it unique anymore. Thus it’s very important to have the first mover advantage of getting there before anymore else and getting something out quickly. However, always be aware that misfortune could happen to anyone…so it was Apple one day, it could easily be you another day…

Storytelling

When we say storytelling we aren’t about to tell you a fariytale…or maybe we are depending on the brand, but this is how brands can differentiate themselves by telling us a story of their brand or campaign. Take for instance John Lewis’ successful Monty the Penguin Christmas advert. This told us the romantic story of Monty and Mabel the penguins and their search for love and to spend Christmas together. These stories add emotion to us as viewers and in some cases make us relate with the narrative…maybe the love side, not being a penguin! Having a great story behind how your brand started or your campaign attracts the audience and creates fantastic social media content!

Personalisation

Brands more than ever are not trying to just post content that is targeted at the masses, but now is aimed at niche and specific people who can then in turn relate to it. The upcoming year will see brands trying to be much more personal with their activities. Obviously this won’t mean posting 100,000 different Twitter status’ for 100,000 followers, but a greater number of posts will target a brands audience. This comes hand in hand with big data and analysing a brands audience, as when they can see who their audience is, personalisation becomes easier.

There’s a lot of Talk about Chat Apps

One thing I’ve noticed over the past year is how much chat apps such as WhatsApp and We Chat have grown, and 2015 won’t see this stop. However, brands haven’t really exploited them yet, maybe because of their nature, but I’d be excited to see how brands in 2015 will use these as the apps audience base grows.

A New Social Network? Is it needed?

There’s always one social network that suddenly grows and takes the social media landscape by storm. 2011 was Google+ (more a drizzle), 2012 it was Pinterest, 2013 was Instagram and 2014 was Snapchat, so who will it be in 2015? There might be a growth in current networks but could an entirely new one come to our attention. But is another social network needed? I mean I work in social media and am amerced in it everyday but even I struggle to follow what’s going on, on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and all the others, so how someone that doesn’t work in social media copes I don’t know! I don’t think my life at the moment needs another social network. I’d maybe prefer it to replace a current one. However, if the new network was unique and did something completely different I might find time for it!

So there’s some of my 2015 predictions! I’ll probably be writing a blog post in December to see if any of these happened…or if my mystic meg abilities are totally wrong! if you have any predictions for 2015 please feel free to comment. For more digital marketing news follow this blog, and me on Twitter @DigitalStuart .

Like or Dislike the Idea of a New button on Facebook

After much speculation and public demand, Mark Zuckerberg recently suggested that he’s considered putting a ‘Dislike’ button on Facebook in addition to the standard Like button. But this was merely a consideration, not something that would be installed anytime soon as Facebook tries to add more emotion to its posts.

I think a Dislike button isn’t a great idea due to the potential berating it could give Facebook users. Consider for a minute. I’ve updated a lovely photo of the London skyline, and bang! Someone clicks Dislike. I immediately feel depressed and sad that someone doesn’t like by post. So a Dislike button in this context is a nightmare! Although the other side of it is if you do update your status with a sad post such as a family member passing away, people would engage with that. There’s nothing more awkward that Liking a sad and emotional status!

So Facebook wants to add more emotions to their posts. Maybe it could be like a questionnaire answer template. ‘Like A lot’, ‘Like’, ‘Moderately Like’, ‘Moderately Dislike’, ‘Dislike’, ‘Dislike A lot’. Or maybe I want to indicate that I’ve ‘Laughed’ at your status or ‘Felt Sad’. Whatever the type of engagement you get it’ll be quite complicated with so many emotional options, but at the same time gives the user more freedom over engaging with status’, rather than just to Comment, Like or Share.

It appears that Facebook is in the early stages of this new engagement approach, but this could be the next big change for the social network.

Many thanks for reading and please feel free to share your comments. To keep up to date with the digital marketing industry please follow me on Twitter @DigitalStuart, or click Follow on this blog.