Thursday, February 24, 2011

5 Things to know about Twitter before you Tweet

When you join twitter, it can feel like you have to learn a whole new language. Here is a list I've compiled of what I think are the top 5 most useful Twitter terms and features to give you a jump-start on your tweeting education.

1. Hashtag You have probably read tweets where people have jumbled words together preceded by the pound sign (#). For example: #britneyspears, #advertising, #deathlyhallows (for all you Harry Potter fans like me). These words are similar to blog keywords; they link your tweet to related tweets with the same hashtag. It is a great way for other users to find your tweets, and a great way for you find out what the 'buzz' is on a topic of your interest if you search or click on a hashtag.

2. Retweet Twitter is all about sharing information. A retweet is a republication of the tweet of another user, and is usually preceded by RT@(username of original tweet) if you add something to the tweet (like a response). Or, you can just click 'retweet,' and Twitter will take care of attribution and tweet it to your followers for you.

3. #followfriday (#ff) Any post preceded or followed by this hashtag will list usernames that other twitter users are suggesting their followers follow. It's polite, and a great way to find and build relationships with potential followers.

4. Trending Trending means that a tweet with a certain hashtag has become 'hot,' or is being tweeted about often at the current moment. Looking at what is trending can help you keep up with the buzz and join the conversation on topics relevant to your twitter account.

5. Lists If someone 'listed' you, that means that they have added you to a list of followers that they have grouped together. It works similar to a blogroll in that it is a great way to recommend and find other users, but it has one other advantage. You can create multiple lists, and put the usernames you follow in organized groups, so that when you click on one of your lists, you can view all of the most current tweets from just those users. It keeps you from having to sort your way through the hundreds of tweets you might be following to get to the information you want.

Hope you find this helpful!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Social media is taking over

Most of my blogs have been focusing on social media lately because it is the newest and fastest growing segment of our industry. And yet, so many users are slow to realize just how useful it can be. And it's hard to keep up, especially since it is evolving almost daily. For instance, less than a month ago on January 25, Facebook launched 'sponsored stories' which gives more visibility of friends' interactions with brands to Facebook users, replacing ads containing traditional promotional copy-it could become a game-changer for online advertising. (find out more here.)

And if you still don't believe me when I say social media is taking over, check out this video I found. It lists some pretty incredible statistics about the worldwide use of social media. Keep in mind, this was created about 8 months ago--numbers have most likely grown exponentially since then. Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The QR Code

What are they?

You may have seen these around somewhere. They’re basically just a pixilated barcode that you can scan with your smart phone, webcam, or actual barcode scanner (should you have one) and lead you to some sort of new media destination. For instance, if you saw a poster for a new film that looks really interesting and there is a QR code in the corner you could scan the code with your phone and it could lead you to that film’s official webpage or even a trailer for it.


Why they’re important for advertisers…

What’s fascinating about these is how many different levels of functionality they provide to those who use them. For advertisers, it provides (among many other things) the ability to track responses to an ad which allows for an easier return on investment.


For consumers it provides a simpler way with which to access something that interests them, it’s as simple as holding up your phone and taking a picture.

…And even corporations

Some companies are even using the barcodes to go paperless thus making them more efficient. For example, ticket providers can allow a concert ticket barcode to be downloaded to a phone, which can then be scanned at the event.

The future of QR codes

Though they originated in Japan, and they've been around for a number of years, they’re still relatively new in the United States. The way in which people use them is evolving, and it’s exciting that we’ll be able to see how people start using these to brand, advertise, and share with consumers.

Have you used a QR code in some way? Share your story with us!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Evan Williams on listening to Twitter users | Video on

Evan Williams on listening to Twitter users | Video on

Thought this was neat. If you have eight minutes, take some time to watch this. Twitter co-founder Evan Williams talks about how Twitter came to be, and how listening to users and allowing interaction between them helped shape his product.

My favorite part--learning how the social media guru uses his creation to listen to feedback and change the product. In such a well-connected society, it isn't hard to understand why this is such a successful business model.  You can use Twitter to do the same, as the gentleman at the end demonstrates, it is quite possibly the world's most useful tool to find immediate feedback on current events and happenings.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Unofficially Official Kearley Superbowl Ad Awards

Here in the office, we talked a little about the Superbowl ads. The ones we liked, and maybe the ones we didn't. After this informal poll, I put together a list of highly coveted Kearley Ad Awards. Enjoy!

Most Memorable--Volkswagon 'Darth Vader'
This cute 30-second spot made quite an impression on most Superbowl viewers. For any Star Wars fan, or anyone who knows imaginative kids (or is still one at heart), it earned a laugh and also highlighted the 2012 VW Passat's pushbutton start feature. The commercial itself has already gotten over 25 million views on Youtube less than a week after its debut. Watch it again here.

Biggest Laugh--Bridgestone 'Reply all'
This not as talked about ad came to mind for me and at least one other person in the office as the funniest commercial to debut on Superbowl Sunday. The main personality's dramatic overreaction to an office blunder draws a somewhat strange connection to the durability of Bridgestone tires, but all the same got a good chuckle from me even after watching it here for the third time.

Most 'New GoDaddy Girl'
I wasn't so sure about this ad myself, but after seeing the reaction of people around me at the game I had to agree with Elisa that this ad deserved a nod. So for most shocking, I nominate GoDaddy's racy commercial with an unexpected spokesperson for their .co domains. If you don't yet know who it is, you can find that out for yourself here.

Most 'Warm and Fuzzy'--NFL 'Best Fans Ever'
Where I watched the Superbowl, when this ad came on the room went quiet. People exchanged smiles and laughed at some of their favorite TV moments. This spot reminds us how the Superbowl permeates American culture--and brings generations together as we remember our favorite TV personalities from the Brady Bunch to Southpark. Remember the good times here if you haven't gotten a chance to enjoy it.

Least likely to succeed--Skechers 'Break Up' featuring Kim Kardashian
It's hard to deny that Ms. Kardashian has become a cultural icon, whose endorsement could be quite valuable. But with all the hype this commercial had leading up to the big day (reportedly having been cut down because of moments 'too hot for family TV'), it didn't quite live up to it. It was sexy, but it wasn't much of anything else--likely appealing to a limited audience of dedicated Kardashian fans. You can watch this ad here.

Which ads were your favorites?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Social Media and Gender

As the media landscape changes, so does the way we approach age and gender groups in our media planning. People no longer fit into neat categories by age and gender (not that they ever really did!), so we must approach our goals and strategy differently as a result.

This recent post on further discusses the implications of these changes.

Johanna Blakley is the Deputy Director of the Norman Lear Center (a media-focused think tank at the University of Southern California). She studies the impact of mass media and entertainment on our world.