How Twitter Can Help You Become a Media Darling?

What if you are a professor no student cares about or own a market research agency no client comes to? You can still become a media darling with the help of Twitter, as yet another ‘study‘ on Twitter has shown. This time, it is two profs from Rutgers University, Mor Naaman and Jeffrey Boase (see, even I am contributing to their popularity).

They collected 3000 tweets from the public timeline on Twitter (hundreds of tweets are posted every minute, so shouldn’t be much), classified each of those tweets into one of these categories – Information Sharing, Self Promotion, Opinions/Complaints, Random thoughts, Me Now, Question to followers, Presence maintenance, Anecdote me, anecdote others. In the end, they “realized” that 80% of the users are ‘Meformers’ or simply talking about themselves.

This is a simple ‘study’ that can get people famous. It has been tried and tested. All you need is to find a catchy phrase to conclude with – like in this case, it is meformers. In a ‘study’ conducted last month, the phrase that caught media attention was ‘40% of tweets are pointless babble‘.

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More Social Networking Means More Time Spent on Email?

A new study by Nielsen into the consumption patterns of internet users of social media and email has ‘proved’ that the heaviest consumers of social media are also those who spend the most time on email services.

According to Nielsen, the findings are not surprising at all. “Intuitively this makes some sense. Social media sites like Facebook send messages to your inbox every time someone comments on your posting or something you’ve participated in, and depending on your settings, can send updates on almost every activity. Also, it’s perfectly logical that as people make connections though social media, they maintain those connections outside of the specific platform and may extend those connections to email, a phone conversation or even in-person meetings“, the company writes on their blog.

But is the email activity high simply because you get more friend requests? It does not sound logical. The graph shows a very wide gap between heavy social media users and others. It probably indicates that people who are heavy social media users are actually heavy internet users as well in the general sense. These are the people who watch a lot of videos on Youtube, subscribe to a lot of newsletters, blogs, etc. It could then mean that not only is their email consumption high, but overall internet consumption for such a group of people is high.

Attributing more emails consumed to merely more friends notifications does not sound ‘intuitive’.

Bull Whip Effect on Website Activity, Ad Spending and Valuations

Bullwhip effect is a term used in Supply Chain systems to describe the forecasting error that occurs as you move upstream in the supply chain cycle. A classic example is the manufacture of baby diapers. A baby might need two diapers in a day. Mommy would assume three would be the right number. The local distributor might estimate the total number of diapers required at four per baby and the manufacturer ends up making five per baby.

I noticed a similar trend when reading through a few stats today.

More people are using social media today – It consumes 17% of all internet time compared to 6% last year (link)

Advertisers see the increased activity and so increase the spending – Ad spending on social networks increased 119% in the past year (link)

Investors see the increased advertiser interest and so see the social media much more valuable – Twitter valued at 1 billion and receives $150 million funding in just the past two weeks

What they are failing to see is the usage of social media is actually falling. The activity on Twitter has started to stagnate and fall. (link)

The gap between the actual potential of the website and the valuation is alarming. Is this actually a bullwhip effect in action or am I reading too much between the lines?

5 things to do when your site gets a bad review

Suppose this: You have just invested a few thousand dollars and built your own niche social network website. And you frantically write to the influential bloggers telling them about your product, hoping that atleast one of them finds your website worthy enough to write about. You are happy to see traffic pouring in one fine day, but it turns out that the blogger has rubbished your site. It is a make-or-break point. Your website can be finished even before it has started. Here are five things to do if you are faced with the same situation:

Relax, it’s publicity nevertheless

Remember the cliche – ‘No publicity is bad publicity’. Any review is bound to send you traffic, Google juice and follow-up reviews by other bloggers who got to know about your site from the first review. There might be scores of people who may in fact come to know about your website and take a liking to it. Bloggers are not your niche audience always. They are just the reviewers. In spite of the bashing your website receives at the hands of the blogger, your niche audience might still like it. And the blogger just gave a chance for them to do so by reviewing your site.

Comment politely

No matter it’s a bad review. Still, come across to the readers as a dignified founder. Thank the blogger for taking time and resources in reviewing your website. Politely, answer any of the questions that the blogger or the readers have posted in the comments. Do not justify everything that has been written about your website. There can be features that you thought was great but many found it silly. Accept any flaws in your website. In short, convey to the readers that you are willing to learn and make the website in tune with what the niche audience would want.

Find out newer ideas suggested there

What looks like a severe bash can also look like an amazing set of suggestions, if taken in the right spirit. The blogger might find it silly that your social network website does not even have an ‘Import Contacts’ feature. Realize that your website just got one more positive suggestion! You may also thank the blogger or the reader for suggesting that feature and mention that you might add it in the next round of development. It not only pacifies them, but also gets your website closer to what the audience wants.

Find out what people like

Go through the comments and find out the little things that the people might have liked about your website. It can simply be the unique concept. It can be one special feature that do not exist in the other websites. There should be something that the reader might still find good on your site, in spite of the overall negative picture. Note these features. They could be your website’s USP. Try to build on that. They are going to be the areas of strength that shall see you through in periods of “crisis” as these, as well as in the future.

Build a rapport with the blogger

The blogger who reviewed your website is not a villain. He is not paid to trash your website. Accept that it was his honest opinion. It is extremely important to build a rapport with the blogger. Do not simply stop with commenting on the blog post. Instead, mail the blogger personally thanking him for the review explaining a few misconceptions that he could have held. In short, try building a rapport with him. Also, ensure that you keep the blogger in the loop with regards to the important changes and feature additions you might do in the future. The readers should know that the website is on the right track. This is extremely important when it comes to making loyal users out of mere blog readers.