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    Twitter For Marketing Twitter For Marketing Document Transcript

    •             T W I T TE R   F O R B U S I N E S S   Marketing Management III Assignment  Biju D [MS09A009] | Krishnan G [MS09A022] | Sriram V [MS09A074] | Vino Thomas [MS09A063]  
    •   TWITTER Twitter, founded by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams in March 2006 (launched publicly in July 2006), is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to post their latest General Information updates. An update is limited by 140 characters and can be posted Website twitter.com through three methods: web form, text message, or instant message. Blog twitter.com/blog The company has been busy adding features to the product like Gmail import and search. They recently launched a new site Twitter @twitter section called “Explore” for external and third party tools that Category Consumer Web interact with Twitter and a new visualization tool called Twitter Email pr@twitter.com Blocks. Employees 140 The service was started by Obvious Corp, who also started Odeo. Founded 3/06 Social In April 2008 Twitter launched Twitter Japan in partnership Description networking and with Digital Garage. micro blogging Offices MILESTONES San Francisco, USA 795 Folsom St., Suite 600 • Twitter added Ali Rowghani as CFO. (2/10/10) San Francisco, CA, 94107 USA • Twitter received $5.17M in Series E funding. (1/8/10) • Twitter added Othman Laraki as Director. (1/1/10) • Twitter acquired Mixer Labs for $5.2M. (12/23/09) • Twitter received $100M in Series D funding. (9/25/09) • Twitter received $35M in Series C funding. (2/13/09) • Twitter acquired Values of n. (11/24/08) • Twitter acquired Summize. (7/15/08) • Twitter hires Rudy Winnacker and John Adams, two new Operation Engineers (6/23/08) • Twitter partners with Summize to cover Apple news. (6/9/08) • Twitter survives iPhone 3G Stevenote (6/9/08) • Twitter launches a status blog to communicate to users better about issues with the service. (5/28/08) Page 2 of 18   
    •   • Twitter starts Blacklisting Spammers (5/7/08) • Twitter received $15M in Series B funding. (5/8/08) • Twitter VP Lee Mighdoll Leaves Twitter (4/24/08) • Twitter Chief Architect Blaine Cook Leaves Twitter (4/23/08) THE STORY BEHIND TWITTER Twitter began in a "daylong brainstorming session" that was held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo in an attempt to break a creative slump. During that meeting, Jack Dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using a SMS service to communicate with a small group, a concept partially inspired by the SMS group messaging service TXTMob. The working name was just "Status" for a while. It actually didn’t have a name. We were trying to name it, and mobile was a big aspect of the product early on ... We liked the SMS aspect, and how you could update from anywhere and receive from anywhere. We wanted to capture that in the name — we wanted to capture that feeling: the physical sensation that you’re buzzing your friend’s pocket. It’s like buzzing all over the world. So we did a bunch of name- storming, and we came up with the word "twitch," because the phone kind of vibrates when it moves. But "twitch" is not a good product name because it doesn’t bring up the right imagery. So we looked in the dictionary for words around it, and we came across the word "twitter," and it was just perfect. The definition was "a short burst of inconsequential information," and "chirps from birds." And that’s exactly what the product was. —Jack Dorsey The original product name or codename for the service was twttr, inspired by Flickr and the fact that American SMS short codes are five characters. The developers initially experimented with "10958″ as a short code, though later changed it to "40404″ for "ease of use and memorability." Work on the project started on March 21, 2006, when Dorsey published the first Twitter message at 9:50 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST): "just setting up my twttr". The first Twitter prototype was used as an internal service for Odeo employees, later launching publicly into a full-scale version in July 2006. In October 2006, Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey and other members of Odeo formed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo and all of its assets—including Odeo.com and Twitter.com—from the investors and other shareholders. Twitter later spun off into its own company in April 2007. The tipping point for Twitter's popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. During the event usage went from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000. "The Twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens in the conference hallways, exclusively streaming Twitter messages," remarked Newsweek's Steven Levy. "Hundreds of conference-goers kept tabs on each other via constant twitters. Panelists and speakers mentioned the service, and the bloggers in attendance touted it. Soon everyone was buzzing and posting about this new thing that was Page 3 of 18   
    •   sort of instant messaging and sort of blogging and maybe even a bit of sending a stream of telegrams." Reaction at the festival was overwhelmingly positive. Laughing Squid blogger Scott Beale said Twitter "absolutely rul[ed]" SXSW. Social software researcher Danah Boyd said Twitter "own[ed]" the festival. Twitter staff accepted their prize for the festival's Web Award with the remark "we'd like to thank you in 140 characters or less. And we just did!" In total, Twitter has raised over US$57 million from venture capitalists. The exact amounts of funding have not been publicly released. Twitter's first round of funding was for an undisclosed amount that is rumored to have been between $1 million and $5 million. Its B round of funding in 2008 was for $22 million and its C round of funding in 2009 was for $35 million from Institutional Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital along with an undisclosed amount from other investors including Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital and Insight Venture Partners. Twitter is backed by Union Square Ventures, Digital Garage, Spark Capital, and Bezos Expeditions. The Industry Standard has remarked that Twitter's long-term viability is limited by a lack of revenue. Twitter board member Todd Chaffee forecast that the company could make money from e-commerce noting that many users may want to buy items directly from Twitter since they already use it to get product recommendations and since companies already use it to promote products. Some of Twitter's documents covering revenue and user growth were published on TechCrunch after they were retrieved by the hacker, Croll Hacker. These contained internal projections that in 2009 they would have revenues of $400,000 in the third quarter (Q3) and $4 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) along with 25 million users at the end of the year. The projections for the end of 2013 were $1.54 billion in revenue, $111 million in net earnings, and 1 billion users. No information about how Twitter plans to achieve those numbers has been published. Biz Stone published a blog post suggesting legal action for revealing the details was a possibility. Page 4 of 18   
    •   RATIONALE OF STARTING TWITTER Jack Dorsey’s vision of SMS based Social Network According to Jack Dorsey Twitter did not happen out of thin air and land in a branch, it has its conceptual roots in the world of vehicle dispatch where cars and bikes around the town constantly update to one another about their whereabouts and what they are up to. It was when Dorsey visualized the vehicle dispatch system through the eyes of social, mobile Web where anyone can update their whereabouts and status the big idea of Twitter was born. The most distinguishing aspect of Twitter is its ability to locate at a glance what one’s friends are up to or they say they are up to. Even though an Instant Messenger could provide people with a similar service, but IM is bound to a computer and thereby limits excitement of messaging. Twitter on the other hand provides people the facility to do real time update from anywhere in the world thereby making instant messaging more active and lively. The above picture was an extrapolation of this concept as envisioned by Jack. This document later went on to be the basis for the Web’s most rapidly growing information channel and micro messaging service called “Twitter”. Page 5 of 18   
    •   The other factor that led to the creation of Twitter is lack of availability of low cost electronic device during early 2000’s which could be used to send instant messages and help people to in touch with each other. By 2006 SMS had become popular throughout US and this further drove the idea of coming up with an application which people could use from any location at any time to communicate using short and crisp messages. Another important aspect of Twitter is that it facilitates the process of following. In Twitter one does not follow a person, but you follow what a person produce or state. Twitter does not position itself as a social networking website as there is no social pressure of having to call others friends or relatives as one does not deal with them at a personal level but deal with what they write. Twitter also plays an important role in news gathering and news creation. When you have a mass of people updating or discussing about a particular thing there is a trend being created. This shows the immediacy and relevancy of the discussions and keeps people updated about what is happening with the masses. Initially the name of the service was “Status”, but in process of conveying the purpose, feeling and relevance of the service to people the name was changed as Twitter. The dictionary meaning of Twitter is “a short burst of inconsequential information”. Twittering also refers to the sound birds make to communicate with each other. Bird tweets sounds meaningless to humans, on the same line a lot of messages shared between the sender and receiver would look meaningless to a third person, but that can convey a lot of message between sender and the recipient. Twitter was one such platform which people used to share messages using several notations that helped them keep it short. So Twitter as envisioned by its creators is a new way to communicate and interact with people. At the same time it also gives exposure to what is happening in the world and keeps people around the world connected. Twitter being an open-ended tool for communication people are given the liberty to make of it whatever they wish. They seek value and they add value to the tool, people are given the liberty whom to listen and whom to follow. This makes this service more users centric. WHY 140 CHARACTERS? The creators of Twitter must have believed that brevity is the soul of wit meaning few words are the essence of intelligence. The art of communication is in conveying a message in short and sweet manner. Twitter’s evolution was really inspired by SMS; the constraint of 140 characters was borrowed from SMS. SMS from basic phones are limited to 160 characters before they are split into 2 messages. So to minimize the hassle and thinking around receiving a message without having them split this restriction of 140 characters was imposed. 20 characters were kept aside for the user name and 140 characters for the content of the message. Page 6 of 18   
    •   Being inherently designed on SMS length limitation ensures that Twitter works well on all mobile devices. It’s one of the few social services that essentially work just as effectively on your phone as on the web interface. This puts Twitter ahead of all its competitors in mobile social services like foursquare and brightkite etc. The simplicity of Twitter makes it abundantly usable on the go. People do not have to use complex formatting standards, no rich media compatibilities to overcome, no pagination. Creative limitations are good as they make people reflect and edit the material before sharing it with the recipients. This helps in ensuring that people are thrifty and utilize the limited resource available in most efficient manner. The effort of trying to communicate something meaningful with short allotment of human language can be a valuable mental exercise that helps you to hone the ability to communicate short and sweet manner with fellow humans. Social networking these days has become an obligation to read the never ending torrent of RSS feeds, overflowing inbox and Facebook messages. Twitter from this perspective is a low obligation tool as it neither forces people to read each and every tweet nor go back and read the tweets one miss. The message conveyed being small the social expectation around the message being read is less which makes communication more refreshing. The signal to noise ratio in tweets is fairly less compared to that on a blog or a long email. Often it is after reading half of blog that you realize it was not worth reading it. The opportunity cost involved in reading long and uninteresting messages is very less in case of Twitter. The content length being low the probability of having banal messages in Twitter is also very less. There are apprehensions regarding Twitter hastening the decline of the civilization. Concerns have been raised on future generations being malformed with SMS abbreviations and 140 character chunk that in turn could prove to be a death of the language commonly known. But just as Televisions have not killed Radio and internet has not killed printed media we can believe keeping it short does not necessarily mean killing the long. Short form of expression turns out to be extremely effective distribution method for long. The imposed brevity on Twitter makes it a nice place to hang around. The answer to the question if 140 characters enough for tweets would be another question “Would Twitter be twice good and beneficial if the owners raise the level cap to 280?” TWITTER FOR MARKETING The microblogging site Twitter is the latest sensation in the internet world, initially started as a tool for staying connected with friends by knowing what they are doing it has grown to find many purposes. One such purpose which we will be concentrating in this article is its usage by companies to stay up-to-date with the latest news about their businesses. Companies are using twitter as a cheap advertising channel to stay connected with their customers, employees, new and prospective clients and job seekers. It is also being used as an effective tool for building the company’s brand awareness, informing about new product lines and advertising of products. Many of the retailers are using twitter to inform their customers about exciting offers that they run. Page 7 of 18   
    •   Having said the above it is not that all the companies are using twitter in the same/all the ways mentioned above, some of them use it for advertising others let their employees tweet and listen, while others use twitter to keep a track of their reputation and public opinion about their company. In brief there are four ways in which companies use twitter for marketing they are: Direct Companies using twitter as marketing or a public relations channel, much like an extension to their corporate blogs, they will post blogs about important news, announcements, and exciting offers and many a times they post a link which will route the user to the company’s home page. The message that the company is delivering should come out with a personal touch or should be phrased well; otherwise it will be treated as a bunch of self-serving, self-promotional tweets. Now let us look at the tweeting history of a company using twitter in direct way. Company - Kingfisher Airlines @flykingfisher Here is an advertisement about the “Teen Patti” contest by kingfisher, it provides a link in the first tweet which routes the user to the contest web page, let us look at another example in which kingfisher tweets about the introduction of a new Door-to-Door cargo delivery service across major cities. The example is as show below, Apart from these, important tweets company news like induction of a new personal into the board, retweets from followers praising the service of kingfisher is displayed, here’s one shown below, This method of direct tweeting by companies in building brand, bringing awareness to new services brought out by them is increasing and more and more Indian companies are using twitter for this form of communication. Page 8 of 18   
    •   Indirect The second method in which companies tweet is by letting their employees tweet rather than they tweeting. By this way the companies let employees enhance their repute through a proxy. Employees twittering away with excitement about their work, developments in their industry, new products, or other interesting tidbits, even if unrelated to the company itself, can promote positive feelings for whichever business they (indirectly) represent. Another reason may be to promote their employees as influential leaders. A classic example of this is Forrester Research which has a home page for twitter http://www.forrester.com/twitter This page give the twitter links of various analysts of the company, the employees of these company enhance the company’s image due to their tweeting. A snapshot of the CIO’s Twitter page is shown below: While this method has its positive side, this method also has an equally or even bigger negative side, where employees tweet about the negativities in the company, this can harm the reputation of the company. A classic example of this is the series of tweets from an employee of Yahoo! Who was tweeting about the lay-offs in the company, an excerpt from her tweet is as shown below, • I checked the employee directory and a couple of people are gone from the East coast that I know. About 2 hours ago from web • They have pretty pre-printed signs on doors of the rooms where they are telling people unlike the red sharpie signs from the last round. About 2 hours ago from web • Five people I trained were cut in NY, none from Boston. One girl in NY that started at the same time as me also got the axe. About 2 hours ago from web Internal Some companies use internally to communicate with other employees about the projects that they are working on or to share ideas, but while sharing ideas of this nature it is very important that the idea remains confidential. This kind of communication while theoretically possible is not often encouraged by employers. There are other tools to micro-blog of this nature, the most commonly used ones are the “Yammer” and “present.ly”. A screenshot of the private micro blogging site Yammer is as shown below: Page 9 of 18   
    •   Inbound Signalling Many companies rather prefer to be active Twitter listeners than Twitter participants. By using tools like search.twitter.com and tweetdeck companies are able to keep a track of what is being told about them, their products or even the industry as a whole Smart companies are tuning in to these micro-conversations to get early warnings of problems and to collect feedback on product issues or ideas. Shown below is a snapshot of Twitter-trend tracking service called Twendz, this tool goes beyond simple Twitter searches to tracking sentiments as well. Page 10 of 18   
    •   The snapshot above is just one metric of the many others which serve as a feedback for the company, if there is a company tweet on a new product development then based on the emotion generated the company can make changes suitably. If the public emotion is positive then it is one more reason for the company to proceed, if the emotion is negative then it is a reason for the company to introspect. How Companies feed into twitter? There are a number of ways in which companies feed their data in twitter; while a lot of them use the Twitter web some of them used interfaces like TweetDeck, HootSuite etc. Companies also use mobile interfaces like UberTwitter, Dabr etc. Interestingly out of the 101+ Indian brands using Twitter almost all of the media companies used Facebook pages. Facebook pages is an interesting application of Facebook, this lets people to be connected not only with fans in facebook but also has an interface that connects it with Twitter. Wikipedia below gives the share of various methods through which people use Twitter for tweeting, Main Twitter website 46.79% Cross-platform TweetDeck 8.48% Cross-platform Tweetie 2.83% Mac OS X, iPhone OS Twitterrific 1.63% Mac OS X, iPhone OS Seesmic Desktop 1.11% Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 OpenBeak (formerly TwitterBerry) 0.99% BlackBerry OS HootSuite 0.63% Cross-platform web application twhirl 0.40% Cross-platform OrSiSo NA Cross-platform Other 37.14% Page 11 of 18   
    •   HOW INDIA INC IS USING TWITTER? As part of the assignment, we followed nearly 25 Indian companies in Twitter and tried to analyse how they perform in this social networking site. We chose the companies from different domains and below are the comprehensive list of 6 companies and brief description on how the employ Twitter for their business purposes. Bharti Airtel Bharti Airtel is the largest cellular service provider in India, with more than 110 million subscribers. Bharti, the sixth-largest integrated telecom Company details operator offers fixed line services and broadband services in India and Srilanka AirtelKerala, AirtelKK, AirtelGujarat, AirtelKolkatta, AirtelSrilanka, Twitter Account(s) airtelcallhome airtelCLT20, Airtelbroadband, Airtelnews • Announcements on latest call packages, offers and plans. • All customer queries answered. How they use it? • Latest news on Bharti Airtel (Including the latest Zain deal details, contract with Nokia Siemens). • Tweets in regional languages too. Frequency of 2-3 tweets per week tweets Posts done Web interface through Page 12 of 18   
    •   Deccan Chargers Deccan Chargers is the franchise that represents the city of Hyderabad in Company details the Indian Premier League. They are the current holders of the IPL Trophy, winning the second season held in South Africa in 2009. Twitter Account(s) ChargersHome • Team news • Exclusive discounts on team merchandise • Team members tweeting fans directly How they use it? • Trivial news about the team players • Conducting polls among fans • Photo previews (photos of team with IPL trophy) Frequency of Everyday tweets Posts done through Facebook Page 13 of 18   
    •   Cleartrip Cleartrip is an Indian company that permits online booking of flight tickets and hotels. The company's products include search and booking for domestic and International flights, search and booking for over 5,500 Company details domestic hotels and 109,000 international hotels, Railway Tickets, holiday packages, insurance and mobile services for travel and global destination guides. Twitter Account(s) Cleartrip • General News • Getting feedback from customers • Suggestion/Clarification on how to use their service (ex. How to signup, How to avail offers, How to get printout of the booked How they use it? tickets) • Receiving customer complaints • Registering testimonials of satisfied customers • Thanking customers for their feedback and references Frequency of Everyday tweets Posts done through Web interface Page 14 of 18   
    •   Dell India Dell India is the subsidiary of Dell Inc., the multinational information Company details technology corporation that develops, sells and supports personal computers and other computer-related products, as a merchant. Twitter Account(s) DellHomeSalesIn • Latest news on customization of their products • Specification and price details of their new laptop offerings How they use it? • Exclusive pictures of their new products • Re-tweets from customers • Store details Frequency of Everyday tweets Posts done through TweetDeck Page 15 of 18   
    •   Fastrack Fastrack is the brand from Tata stable selling sunglasses and watches Company details targeting the young Indians. Positioned as the India's most loved youth fashion brand Twitter Account(s) Fastrack • News on latest products with pics • Details of offers, discounted sales How they use it? • Replies to customers on their queries regarding product and other offerings • Links to their home page Frequency of 3-4 tweets per week tweets Posts done through TweetDeck Page 16 of 18   
    •   Kingfisher Company details Kingfisher beer is an Indian Beer brewed by United Breweries Group. With a market share of 34%, it is India's largest selling beer and is currently available in 52 countries outside India. Twitter Account(s) kingfisherworld How they use it? • Promoting their product • Re-tweeting/Sharing the nice experience of their consumers • Sharing party photos from flickr, picasa of their customers which goes well with their tagline - Enjoy the King of Good Times Frequency of Everyday tweets Posts done through TweetDeck               Page 17 of 18   
    •   CONCLUSION Twitter has given a new face to the marketing activities through social networks. From February 2008 to February 2009, it clocked in at a whopping 1,382 percent growth rate. No marketer can miss this opportunity lying online and should use twitter as a channel to target their audience. We conclude the search into Twitter with few notes. • Instead of approaching Twitter as a place to broadcast information about the company, think of it as a place to build relationships. • Listen regularly for comments about the company, brand and products—and be prepared to address concerns, offer customer service or thank people for praise. • Ask questions, float ideas and solicit feedback through Twitter. • When people raise customer service issues on Twitter, they generally expect a quick reply— within a day, if not within a few hours, depending on the nature of your business. • Using Twitter as a new marketing medium is never a big investment, but if used well it can reap big benefits. ______________________________________________ Page 18 of 18