Tweetrank: Is Twitter going to do their own Edgerank, charge to push all your Tweets?

Twitter are apparently going to rank our Tweets on quality. None, Low, Medium and eventually High. High maybe being like the “Top Tweets” you see in searches. This will allow the “Best” tweets to be seen. The worry for me is that will also allow other tweets to be hidden away. This is a bit like Facebook’s Edgerank where you don’t see all the updates from your connections but will see more updates from friends or brands you interact with more. Twitter too adopting the filter bubble. With 150k or so people on Twitter in Ireland daily and they allegedly sending out a 1 Million tweets in total, filtering may need to happen.

I’m not the only one that was wondering about “Tweetrank“. Facebook allows you to promote posts on your personal Profile on your business Page to ensure everyone sees your update. So will Twitter start doing the same? €50 and a guarantee your own followers see that Tweet of yours.


But with Edgerank doing what it does, you can pay to promote an update so everyone sees it. Is this what Twitter will do too? Pay to ensure everyone that’s connected to you sees your tweet? One of the reasons I like Twitter is that I can dictate the filtering, Facebook doesn’t give me that choice. Now if Twitter allowed people to choose No filter, medium filter, high filter, that would be a great compromise that still makes them money.

Update: August 18th 2013
Twitter is now doing surveys about prioritising your Tweets. It does feel like they are going to do some kind of filtering as the noise on the network goes up.

Katie Price Snickers “ad” on Twitter

Katie Price on Twitter started tweeting about politics and economics and got a reaction (naturally) from her 1.5M followers and then a few tweets later she tweeted that when you’re hungry you’re not yourself with a picture of a Snickers bar.


What a clever idea but I’m sure some will react badly to it. This is already happening without it being as obvious and blatant. Irish sports stars are encouraged/pushed to join Twitter so they can tweet about their sponsors/promotions. One wonders what guidelines are needed for this though.


Facebook for Business: Use ads, use and update Pages

So you may or may not have seen the study we did with the National College of Ireland on Facebook usage. Check it out. It’s good! The main science bits are:

  • 71% of users looked at adverts on their Profile pages, 31% of users looked at adverts on the News Feed page (homepage).
  • Users pay more attention (53% vs. 31%) to page updates in their News Feed Wall rather than adverts to the right-hand side of the Wall.

So we might have banner ad blindness going on around the web and maybe Google Ads on the right side of results don’t get much love but it seems for Facebook so far, ads work and people pay attention to them.

More importantly in my view is that people are naturally paying attention to information that shows up in their News Feed and a business is allowed to send their updates to this News Feed when someone Likes/Becomes a fan of the Business Page. So set up your Facebook Business Page and update on a regular basis. Tie it into a Marketing Calendar. The only cost is your time.

Facebook hits 900k in Ireland

Following on from other snapshots on Facebook usage in Ireland. It’s August 1st and when we look at Facebook numbers in Ireland by going to the Facebook Ad System, it’s telling us that Facebook has doubled in size in the past 7 months, probably in the past 6 months really given 400k were on it in January.

So right now the stats:

  • 905,980 people in Ireland are now on Facebook. In January there were just over 400k.
  • 612,380 people are age 25 and older – 67%
  • 399,440 people are age 30 and older – 44%
  • 134,660 people are age 40 and older – 14%

Remember though that information is optional for most demographics. So while we have 900k, only half have indicated their relationship status:

439,520 people have indicated they are single, in a relationship, engaged or married for example

The older and younger generation:
52,040 people are age 50 and older
55,820 people are under 18

Other stats:

  • 260,420 people are between the ages of 18 and 25
  • 435,460 people are between the ages of 20 and 30

In 5 year increments:

  • 205,860 people are between the ages of 20 and 25
  • 258,400 people are between the ages of 25 and 30
  • 178,920 people are between the ages of 30 and 35
  • 112,920 people are between the ages of 35 and 40
  • 58,880 people are between the ages of 40 and 45
  • 35,640 people are between the ages of 45 and 50
  • 23,280 people are between the ages of 50 and 55
  • 15,560 people are between the ages of 55 and 60
  • 18,580 people are age 60 and older

2,180 Irish people have Pirate as their language of choice on Facebook

85,620 people are at secondary school

Marketing – A game of inches

DIY Network tape measure
Photo owned by zieak (cc)

On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the fucking difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying! I’ll tell you this, in any fight it’s the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch. And I know, if I’m gonna have any life anymore it’s because I’m still willing to fight and die for that inch, because that’s what living is, the six inches in front of your face.

Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday.

I’ve been thinking about marketing for a while and what works and what doesn’t work and I wonder if the distance between the marketing and us is a factor. Close and personal marketing is where it really has a positive effect but there are many obstacles and filters preventing this. Good. There should be.

Think about the various forms of marketing and advertising that are there. They’re sent out from people thousands of miles away and made and distributed hundreds of miles away. With old tech the cost of sending a tailored message to one person was huge but a bland message to thousands was cheap. Broadcast. With new tech it is becoming quite cheap and almost free to market to every individual and respond to each and every piece of feedback from every individual.

The Internet can be thousands of miles away or it can be inches depending on who uses it and in what way. It can remove geographical restrictions but at the same time add new ones that can slow sales and marketing. The biggest one is the inability to personally react to a person.

The best form of marketing is all about how close it is to you and how it reacts to you and gives you what you need, not what they need you to do. Long-distance relationships are hard to do.

Consider some of these forms of marketing:

TV and radio – thousands of miles to dozens with Satellite or broadcast from a tower. Shotgun approach to marketing but with advertising as well as TV shows and their content. Barely knows anything about you, they can’t react to you. Tethered to JNLR figures. The online equivalent is a website, the plain old brochureware type sites, splash page or no.

Billboards – Big large posters hundreds of yards away. Can know a little more about you due to your location and from rough surveys. Still doesn’t know a lot about you, not age, gender or interests. “Works in financial district”, oh great. The online equivalent are banner ads (thus the name).

Sign Holder
Guy with sign in town – Local but broadcast
50 feet to three feet away. Holds the sign announcing what they do. Don’t know you, don’t make effort to know you. The online equivalent is a website, maybe these are banner ads that guess stuff based on your IP address. These are people announcing crap on their Twitter profile that use it as a one way method to get news out there. While they’re in your local area like the town or twitter, they’re not actively contributing.

Chugger in Limerick
Chugger marketing
It’s personal. Some of the nasty creatures put their hand out which many people instinctively respond to by matching it. Then they grasp on and try to sell. These are the people who are conferenes put their hand up to ask a question and instead promote the work they’ve done. “I’ve found when I did X work for a client that”. Online these are the people that respond on mailing lists, LinkedIn, blog comments and Twitter whoring their stuff and not actually giving a damn if they are relevant or not to you. (Pic above from Lette)

George Orwell
Photo owned by markhillary (cc)
Bookstore Recommendations
Did you ever notice the personal recommendations from Waterstone’s staff on little cards on the bookshelves? A person recommending something to you. It has a little more power than just a “buy this book” type card. The online equivalent is a blog of a business recommending products or highlighting a recent product. Amazon tries to do it but it’s automated, cold and misfires a lot.

Online Reactive Marketing:
Google Adwords are a good example of designing ads based on what you want. You tell Google what you want when you enter a search term and Google spits it back to you in the results but it also acts as a guide to commercial companies that want your attention. It in a way reminds me of the very competitive restaurants you walk past in various holiday resorts. You go down the streets hunting for food and the salespeople try and sell you the restaurant’s charms.

Useless Facebook Ad
Facebook demographic marketing
Facebook don’t know what you want. You’re on a social network, not searching. So they just make the ads on it much more personal. They’re still ads though and as yet are not based on your actions or your wants. They know lots about you but they can’t see your reaction and respond to it. It’s getting personal but not personal enough and is done on Facebook and when an ad is placed on a profile it’s in conjunction with 2-3 other advertisers too. That dilutes the message too. Unlike Google Adwords, the inclination to click on the ads isn’t strong. They do not answer the question in your head or one that you asked a few minutes ago, do they? The offline equivalent of this is loyalty cards in Dunnes or Brown Thomas.

Sweet Revenge cupcake plus champagne
Photo owned by Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake (cc)
Value added local marketing – Austin in Bubble Brothers’ shop in the English Market
Austin is two feet away – you have a relationship, communications are two way. You chat about the weather, you bring in local events, you ask Austin about wines and what would work best with what food. You use his expertise, he shares it with you. He’ll recommend a few selections and ask your price range. You know he’s not there to make you pick the most expensive bottle. You’ll come back and he’ll ask how you got on with that wine. The online equivalent is a blog and leaving comments or going on Twitter and asking @bubblebrothers direct.

My friend/my work colleague/my shared situation person
In the office you might ask for a recommendation for a good Italian restaurant or back to the wine idea, you might ask for recommendations on a good Italian red wine. This shared space can be virtual where you can ask in the status update in Facebook or ask on Twitter. You get answers back from the personal network you have. Anyone recommend some wine to go with this? Online you might see Mike from Curious Wines on Twitter reply to that information request and you’ll respect his opinion as he’s the wine expert or you might respect that of an office colleague who knows a bit about wine. Being of use to the wine searcher or to the person the wine searcher goes to is personal marketing. It’s close enough to be reactive and works well enough that the relationship will remain personal over time.

As a company or a marketer, how are you fighting for those inches? How are you getting to know your customers and letting them get to know you?

Advertising on Facebook: bad ads are bad for everyone

I’ve just spent the past hour and a half going through Facebook, looking at the various ads targeted to Irish people and getting more and more annoyed with them. The standard of copy, design and actions after clicking an ad makes me want to bang my head against a wall. If badly designed ads are most common on Facebook it means people will pay less attention to them. This is bad for Facebook from a revenue perspective and bad for advertisers who work hard for good copy as people will self-train themselves to ignore all ads due to bad experiences. Here are some tips on what to do and what not do with examples from this evening.

Here are some tips:

Include an image:
This ad is boring plain text. An image would have gotten our attention more.
Useless facebook ad

Target your ads:
This ad asks are you from Ulster. 3/4 of the population that are outside of Ulster also see this ad. Not smart.
Useless facebook ad

Target your copy:
The ad here knows my age so mentions it in the ad itself. You can target deeper than that though. How about my gender, my employment, my martial status?

Useless facebook ad

Have a landing page if going offsite:
These ads sent us to the front page of the websites. Why? Have a targeted ad send us to a targeted page. Make sure the page is designed to ask an action of the person that’s landed.
Useless facebook ad Useless facebook ad

This ad sends us to a specific product page but it isn’t streamlined or have the same copy as the ad that sent you there:
Useless facebook ad

If sending to a page, make sure there’s activity.
This ad sends you to a page that looks pretty dead:
Useless facebook ad

If sending to a page for booze or other goods, make it legal
14 year olds can become fans of this booze. Not good.

Useless facebook ad

Gorillas and eyebrows = sales jumps. Gaming people is that easy?

While the ads for Cadburys are not near the genius of the Burger King marketing campaigns they do seem highly effective. The Gorilla ad spawned dozens of spoofs and people are still talking about it:

This is the Bonnie Tyler version (The original was removed from YouTube)

And now we have the eyebrows ad and everyone is going wild for it. Fantastic:

Is that it?

Some thoughts:

  • If this was an ad for Taytos would it have worked?
  • Would it have worked as well if the Gorilla ad didn’t exist?
  • If this ad came first, then the Gorilla ad, again would it have worked as well?
  • Is this a proof that if you have enough spend, a simple ad saturated in mainstream advertising but also being spread virally (this means the people spread it and mutate it and you can’t control it, not the “we’re a viral marketing company” horseshit you see) still has massive reach.
  • How much of the success of this is down to the creative and down to the coverage spend?
  • With some media groups on their knees maybe going back to less social type engagement can now give a good return on the investment going in, even if it’s not very measureable. TV, radio and print is now more competitive with online for once.
  • How many other companies are going to try and do the same in the next 12 months?

Facebook Ad campaigns now generate more data to help you

Facebook yesterday announced that they are now providing more data to advertisers
Over on I’ve covered creating Facebook Ad campaigns before and in some detail. Facebook allows you to target people based on their profile data and you can get very granular with the data. Facebook sent out a notice yesterday letting advertisers know that they’ve added more metrics to their ad campaigns:

Photo owned by mudpig (cc)

“Responder Demographics” report: Facebook users spend a lot of time
connecting with friends and family on Facebook – uploading photos,
writing on each others’ Walls, posting notes. Now you can find out
who is interacting with your ads. This report provides the aggregate
age, gender and geographic location of the users who have clicked
on your ad.

This is good. It gives you more feedback on how your add is performing which will allow you to write even better copy for the ads that you have.

“Responder Profiles” report: In addition to age, gender and
geographic location of the users who have clicked on your ad,
we’re happy to provide psychographic information of these same
users. This data is aggregated from user profiles and shows common
interests, favorite TV shows, movies, books and music.

This is probably a bit scary but you will now know more about the group of people clicking on your ads and will know that an ad that mentions X is liked by people who like Pearl Jam and The Wire etc. Like the above, the more data you have on these people, the better you can make your ads which gives value to you and those clicking on them.