Twitter, we have a problem. Will the tweet become obsolete?

twitter-dead-croppedTwitter has a big problem.

I have been an enthusiastic user of Twitter since joining in March 2008. In almost 7 years I have posted almost 53000 Tweets and grown a considerable “audience” of Followers. I have told many people over the years how Twitter, more than any other medium, helped me grow my agency. We can draw a direct line between a handful of early key clients who contacted me either via Twitter or because Twitter.

I can even trace over $1 million in agency revenue to one Tweet I made back in 2009 (you’ll have to meet me in person to hear the whole story).

Twitter was a natural extension of this blog, which is why my personal Twitter account shares the same name. I would post content to the blog, share it out via Twitter, drive traffic back to the blog and start a conversation. It was great and it worked a treat. I loved it.

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New study reveals significant Australian spend on content marketing but lack of direction

editorial-strategyvia media release

Producing and distributing engaging content, and measuring the effectiveness of that content, are the top challenges faced by Australian marketers, according to a new study from the Content Marketing Institute, conducted in partnership with The Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) and sponsored by Brightcove (NASDAQ: BCOV).

The study outlined that more than half of Australian marketers employ content marketing strategies and place a high importance on being able to create more engaging, visual content and optimising content for their target audience.

The study also showed that 46% of marketers believe that ROI measurement was an immediate and important criteria to address, identifying a wide variety of parameters they believe are essential for ROI measurement. Australian marketers measure the effectiveness of a content marketing program through changes in website traffic (60%), higher conversion rates (46%), changes in their sales efforts (46%), shifts in SEO ranking (39%) and assessing the time their customers spent on site (38%).

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4 years and 34000 tweets later….

by [me]

I joined Twitter 4 years ago today. At first it was mainly to help co-promote the launch of the Age of Conversation. Like many business owners I was skeptical about this new messaging system and didn’t use it much to begin with.

I remember going to a PubCamp in Sydney hosted by Jed White (who later became a good friend) and being somewhat bemused by a team of people from Happener led by Markus Hafner (who later became a friend) all furiously tweeting from their laptops while speakers did their presentations. It all seemed a bit silly.

But inevitably I began using Twitter more and more. I remember Gavin Heaton (who has become a good friend) telling Gordon and me that it won’t be until you have at least 50 followers and are following at least that many that we’ll see the value in Twitter.

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Are women more productive in Social Media than men?

Social media is quickly becoming extremely important when it comes to the success or failure of a business. Even so, the field is still very new, and a comprehensive understanding of how best to take advantage of social media has not yet been conclusively demonstrated.

It is already quite clear that ideas which spread rapidly through the social media can be used in order to promote a business or a particular organization. At the same time, it is not as easy to identify which ideas will spread rapidly through a group, and to what extent it is possible to facilitate this process. Nevertheless, it is certainly worth asking these questions.

One question that certainly bears asking is the question of how gender relates to the social media. Are women more productive with social media than men are?

A straightforward, cut and dry answer to this question is probably impossible. Nevertheless, there is certainly some evidence to suggest that this might be the case. More than half of adult women participate in the social media on a regular basis. A study conducted by RescueTime found that women spend about 6.43% of their time on social networks, while men spend about 3.96%. This would tend to indicate that women would, if nothing else, have more experience with the social networking interface.

Additionally, while men tend to outnumber women in some of the more obscure social  media sites, and are tied with YouTube, they outnumber men on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The fact that women tend to frequent the more commonly used social networking sites while men tend to use the more obscure ones might  say something about how men and women interact. Men might be more likely to specialize and obsess over specific fields of interest, where women are more interested in general human discussion.

Young women can be expected to be especially fluent in the “language” of social media. Seventy-three percent of women in the “millennial” generation (currently aged 18 to 26), frequent social media at least twice a week. Only 62% of women in “Generation X” can say the same. Only 46% of baby boomers and 30% of the elderly visit social media over twice a week.

The top three topics that women use social media for are entertainment, food, and health and wellness. The vast majority of them use it to stay in touch with friends and family (75%). More than half also use it for fun or to get in touch with people sharing similar interests. What all of this says about productivity is hard to identify.

Businesses hoping to spread awareness about a product related to entertainment, health, or food would probably do better working with more women than men. It might be fair to say that while men may be more likely to be able to identify the best website host, email hosting provider, or even by easily signing up for free Facebook ad placements like different social media marketing tools on the web, women are far more likely to understand how to spread the news.

The evidence seems to suggest that women are generally more skilled at contacting people, communicating with them, and spreading messages than men. It should go without saying, of course, that the skills any given individual has should be evaluated on a person by person basis, rather than on the basis of the performance of the group.

What do you think?

Calling all Newcastle bloggers & social media freaks

The social media community is fairly vibrant and well-established in the Newcastle area now. I think its about time to highlight the great writers, photographers, sights, scenes and ideas floating around the region and put them all in one easy place for everyone to find.

This photo is here for no other reason than its of a Newcastle beach

My team and I are putting together a side project to curate the best Hunter-based content.

That’s where you come in. We’re looking for people who’d like to contribute to a well-run online magazine for Newcastle and the Hunter. Its a chance for you to raise your profile, discuss burning issues, highlight the things you love and get some additional traffic and link-love along the way.

It’s a little bit Huffington Post (without heavy politics), a little bit Daily Candy, a little bit Digital Ministry (community contribution, not the geeky content), a little bit Gridskipper.

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If you only buy one book this year, buy this one on Friday

Earlier this year we were involved in the publication of the collaborative marketing book Age of Conversation 3: Its time to get busy.

Age of Conversation 3: Its time to get busy

Join the Age of Conversation

The book has gained plenty of attention but this Friday 15 October we want to dial it all the way up to 11 with a concerted online effort of promotion and sales.

Friday is Blog Action Day – and this year’s focus for Blog Action Day is water. To participate in Blog Action Day, you simply register your blog and then write a post. BUT what can you write about? Here’s where Age of Conversation comes in!

You see, our chosen charity for this edition of the Age of Conversation is Charity: Water, who are also one of the participating partners for Blog Action Day. So what we’d like you to do is to help us with a Bum Rush on the Amazon charts – generate sales for AoC3 and raise money for charity: water.

charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects.

Amazingly, just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. An average water project costs $5,000 and can serve 250 people with clean, safe water – so purchasing a copy of the Age of Conversation 3 really can make a difference to someone’s life!

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Practice what you preach

How many marketers and advertising experts actually practice what they preach?

Until recently it probably wasn’t a very viable option.

How many times has your media rep, who happily suggests where to spend your hard-earned advertising budget, actually “invested” his or her own funds in an ad campaign?

How often has your agency account manager had to feel the anxiety of committing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a campaign that could make or break their business?

For that matter, when was the last time you saw an advertising agency run their own highly-creative, cutting-edge 30 second television spot during prime time?

You haven’t, have you. Agencies enter awards and then drum up column inches in trade press. Its called PR.

Truth is that most of the marketing and advertising experts who businesses rely on don’t actually practice what they preach. And, to be fair, in many cases its not very practical to expect them to.

But the emergence of social media and inbound marketing means that a new generation of marketers has emerged who do have skin in the game, who do actually live, breathe and experience the highs and lows of the strategies they extol.

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Its time to get busy: the Age of Conversation has arrived

Age of Conversation 3: It's time to get busy

If you want to learn about social media and modern marketing then look no further than Age of Conversation 3. In one book you can hear from 171 of the World’s leading bloggers and marketers as they discuss 10 fascinating topics such as Conversational Branding, Measurement, Influence and Pitching Social Media.

For the third book in this series, Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan undertook the mammoth task of attracting, editing and compiling in a wonderful example of modern collaboration. Fifteen countries are represented with authors coming from places as diverse as Oman, Finland, India, Mexico, Portugal, Ukraine and of course Australia and the USA. It truly is an International effort.

I think John Rosen says it best on the back cover:

Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan have created a true phenomenon – one that will be studied for yours and be recognized as a turning point in our vision of the author……the author of the future will be a coordinator, conductor and guide who directs a global workforce of the best and brightest in completing the ultimate endeavour.

Age of Conversation 3 is now available on Amazon in hardcover, softcover and even a Kindle version. Once again, all proceeds from sales of the book will go to children’s charities.

I am extremely proud to be a small part of the Age of Conversation for a third time. Please buy a few copies for yourself, your clients or your company. Spread the word and help us raise some money for children’s charities. But most importantly – get busy and join the conversation.

Meet the authors:

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Meet the authors of Age of Conversation 3

Coming soon, Age of Conversation 3

The latest edition of the exciting collaborative Age of Conversation marketing book series is about to go on sale with the release of “Age of Conversation 3: Its time to get busy” now at the publishers.

Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton have had the monumental task of compiling and editing the contributions of around 170 authors from around the world and now the book is close to release.

Very soon you will be able to purchase it directly from Amazon or a number of other online book stores. The new cover was designed by Chris Wilson. And the new website was created by the hard working team at Sticky.

There are some extremely talented marketers contributing this book so I can’t wait to read it myself. Stay tuned for more announcements soon, but in the meantime you can meet the authors:

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Newcastle coffee tweet-up on ABC Radio

Every Friday morning since March 2009 an intrepid crew of social media types have gathered at local cafes to chat and meet in real life (IRL). As social networks such as Twitter have grown, so have the number of people who have been dropping in for a coffee and a chat. This has recently included Anthony Scully of 1233ABC radio who interviewed several of us at a recent coffee morning.

You can listen to the interviews with  @billfredtom @hyperbrendan @jentally @mediahunter @ofdphoto @the_git here on the ABC website

Meanwhile, Newcastle Coffee mornings are being held each Friday from 745am to 9am at Sprocket Cafe, cnr Hunter & Watt Sts Newcastle (except over Xmas break). Follow the #newcastlecoffee hashtag on Twitter to keep up to date.