Is Twitter A Viable Source For Ad Agency New Business?

August 31, 2009

twitter

According to ComScore Inc., Twitter attracted 21.2 million U.S. visitors in July, up 783,000 from the previous year. Right now only 26% of companies use social media for business purposes, but 70% have plans to jump in according to a recent Russell Herder Survey. However, just getting involved does not guarantee you success. Twitter is so new that it is almost impossible to predict what will succeed and what might be an embarrassing failure!

Twitter is still a relative black box and I am very skeptical of anyone who claims to know how to leverage Twitter in a business setting. According to Jeffrey Kalmikoff, Chief Creative Officer for Threadless, nobody has any idea of what they are doing on social media. “It’s just how comfortable your company is in taking risk. Some things pay off and some things don’t.”

What agency leaders have to get comfortable with is that to connect with your target clients on these new media like Twitter, you have to cede absolute control of your advertising message. A very uncomfortable feeling for agencies that have spent their whole lives perfecting one way conversations, versus generating open dialogues where consumers can be extremely blunt.

If you take a look what’s happening out there, there can be little doubt about Twitters ability to influence public perceptions and awareness. JetBlue’s recent Monthly Pass Promotion became a trending topic on Twitter just after it went live in market. According to Lindsey Petersen from JetBlue’s frequent flier program, they were “completely bombarded”. Less than 36 hours after launching the promotion they were concerned about having to pull the promotion due to a lack of seats.

And here is a great agency example. A couple of months ago Barry Judge, CMO for BestBuy, Twittered after a meeting that he had just met with two people from Crispin Porter and that he thought that the agency was “the smartest agency on the planet”. The chatter that ensued from that tweet about Crispin was pretty amazing.

In my day to day discussions with various agencies, I find that:

  • Some feel that Twitter is waste of time because it is full of inane chatter between people that do not matter or have no influence.
  • Others are a little scared of it and to be quite frank are not sure how to get involved.
  • There are those who are involved but really do not use it seriously. They too send inane tweets and have no plan or strategy.
  • There are those few who are serious about Twitter. They have a plan, they are active, experimenting and making an effort to make it work. Some are even reporting some significant successes.

So, you can choose to sit on the sideline and wait for the “fad’ to pass, and maybe it won’t. Or, you can get involved, take some risks, experiment and find out for yourself if it works for you. You will never know until you try.

 

 

 

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Dell Makes $3million From Twitter Sales! Will this be a wakeup call for agencies?

June 25, 2009

dellOn Saturday, June 13 Slashdot.org reported that Dell had made $3,000,000 from Twitter sales.

“Dell has admitted to raking in over $3 million from advertising its products on Twitter. The PC maker has been using Twitter for two years, and employs proprietary software to track sales from users clicking through from Twitter links. Of that $3 million, the company claims that $1 million was made in the past six months, following an explosion in Twitter’s popularity. (72.5% of Twitter users joined in 2009.) The majority of sales have come through the @DellOutlet account, which posts six to ten special offers a week — with at least half of these being Twitter exclusives. Though the $3 million is a drop in the bucket given Dell’s $12.3 billion in revenue during the first quarter of this year, it further bolsters Twitter’s case for charging businesses.”

We now have documented proof that social media channels can and do drive sales. This should help dispel some of the myths that surround the world of social media. By rights it has earned its place alongside other media and channels on the communications plan.

The press release highlights some interesting facts that I believe are worth considering more closely:

  • Dell has been using Twitter for two years. That’s probably 28-18 months before most of us had even heard of it, or if we had, we did not pay it much attention. I may be wrong but, my guess is that Dell’s foray into Twitter did not happen as a result of an agency recommendation.
  • Dell have developed proprietary software to track sales of users clicking through twitter links. This tells me that Dell invested their time and money developing this internally.
  • Dell sends out 6-10 special offers each week with at least half being Twitter exclusives. This approach not only reflects their heritage of direct to consumer commerce, but also demonstrates great direct marketing discipline with tracking and measurement.

While they are correct when they say that $3 million is a “drop in the bucket” right now from a revenue perspective, who knows what it might grow to be in time to come?

I applaud their efforts and their tenacity. They did not give up after 3-6 months but kept working at it to make it work. They are now ahead of most, if not all, of their competitors. They have a track record, know what works and what does not, and are best positioned to take future advantage of the channel as it develops.

For those agencies that have yet to embrace social media as an integral component of their new business development strategy, this should be a wakeup call. Used both correctly and strategically, it can be used to improve your agency prospecting efforts exponentially.

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Another Social Media Wakeup Call For Ad Agencies!

June 17, 2009

wake up callOn Saturday, June 13 Slashdot.org reported that Dell had made $3,000,000 from Twitter sales.

“Dell has admitted to raking in over $3 million from advertising its products on Twitter. The PC maker has been using Twitter for two years, and employs proprietary software to track sales from users clicking through from Twitter links. Of that $3 million, the company claims that $1 million was made in the past six months, following an explosion in Twitter’s popularity. (72.5% of Twitter users joined in 2009.) The majority of sales have come through the @DellOutlet account, which posts six to ten special offers a week — with at least half of these being Twitter exclusives. Though the $3 million is a drop in the bucket given Dell’s $12.3 billion in revenue during the first quarter of this year, it further bolsters Twitter’s case for charging businesses.”

We now have documented proof that social media channels can and do drive sales. This should help dispel some of the myths that surround the world of social media. By rights it has earned its place alongside other media and channels on the communications plan.

The press release highlights some interesting facts that I believe are worth considering more closely:

  • Dell has been using Twitter for two years. That’s probably 28-18 months before most of us had even heard of it, or if we had, we did not pay it much attention. I may be wrong but, my guess is that Dell’s foray into Twitter did not happen as a result of an agency recommendation.
  • Dell have developed proprietary software to track sales of users clicking through twitter links. This tells me that Dell invested their time and money developing this internally.
  • Dell sends out 6-10 special offers each week with at least half being Twitter exclusives. This approach not only reflects their heritage of direct to consumer commerce, but also demonstrates great direct marketing discipline with tracking and measurement.

While they are correct when they say that $3 million is a “drop in the bucket” right now from a revenue perspective, who knows what it might grow to be in time to come?

I applaud their efforts and their tenacity. They did not give up after 3-6 months but kept working at it to make it work. They are now ahead of most, if not all, of their competitors. They have a track record, know what works and what does not, and are best positioned to take future advantage of the channel as it develops.

For those agencies that have yet to embrace social media as an integral component of their new business development strategy, this should be a wakeup call. Used both correctly and strategically, it can be used to improve your agency prospecting efforts exponentially.

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