Category Archives: #RLTM Blog

Updates about The Realtime Report, Conferences and other #RLTM products.

The Realtime Report: A New Home, Bigger Opportunities

The Realtime Report + The Social Media Monthly

As many of you know, The Realtime Report has been on sabbatical for the last few months. Much of that had to do with the fact that I have been going through some exciting changes: last November, I started a new position managing intellectual property for Edelman, working with wicked smart people on projects like the Trust Barometer and other cool data-driven views of the latest industry trends.

But many of you also know how much I have personally vested in The Realtime Report, which originated back in May 2009 as the first-ever Twitter for business conference, and eventually grew into a robust community of PR, marketing, and digital professionals using realtime platforms to engage customers and prospects, and connect online and real-world experiences in exciting new ways.

So I am beyond thrilled to announce that we’ve found a great new home for The Realtime Report. Effective today, #RLTM will be part of The Social Media Monthly family of online and event products, and will soon start publishing again on a regular basis.

I have known Bob Fine, the founder and leader of The Social Media Monthly, for many years, and couldn’t be leaving this community in better hands. He and I have been colleagues–and competitors–since back in the day. I organized the first social media conference on the west coast, but he organized the first one on the east coast, in June 2009. His book, The Big Book of Social Media Case Studies, Stories and Perspectives, has now been used as a textbook at over 10 universities—and he gave me the opportunity of contributing the closing chapter. He continues to be a connector and contributor to the community, sharing best practices, case studies, and organizing events to highlight best practices, solutions, and case studies on a regular basis.

So what happens next?

The Realtime Report website is currently undergoing a makeover and will soon be integrated into The Social Media Monthly from a navigation standpoint. More exciting, Bob and his team will very soon start adding fresh content to The Realtime Report blog again, covering case studies and cool stats you can use.

Even more exciting – you know I love events — Bob is running with the Realtime Marketing Lab concept that we pioneered in October 2013, and has just recently announced the Realtime Marketing Lab Tour, taking it to 9 cities this Spring. (Want an early invite or more details on sponsorships? Hit him up with an email!)

And if you are a subscriber to The Realtime Report, you will be joining a community of over 21,000 readers strong, and will start to receive newsletters from The Social Media Monthly. Of course you can unsubscribe at any time, but wait for the first new edition ‘cause I’ll bet you won’t want to.

Best part, Bob is just as committed to getting you the best access to the info, community, and content you need to be great at your job. Let him know about the types of content and issues you’d like to see covered. Tweet him at @bobfine or send him an email.

Goodbye, Not Farewell

I’m not going anywhere. Yes, I have a fancy new job with a big title that is giving me an opportunity to work on some very cool big projects with some of the smartest people in the business at Edelman. But I will be around: Bob has asked me to stay involved in an advisory role; I hope to write the occasional blog post; and you may even see me at the occasional Realtime Marketing Lab event. Want to keep in touch? Tweet me at @tonia_ries.

And I can’t wait to start reading The Realtime Report again!

This is a guest post by Rupa Ganata, co-founder of men’s grooming online retailer Yes Sir,  and of Brand us Social (BUS).

Social Media Pop Up Shops

From fashion to food, an increasing number of businesses are exchanging goods and services for tweets and Instagram posts in the form of modern day Social Media pop-up shops.

Pop-up shops have become a regular and vital part of high streets around the world—but the latest trend is the exchange of free goods and services in return for tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram posts: the “Social Media” pop-up. At, a men’s grooming company, we will be collaborating with Man Made London to launch London’s first Social Media Barber shop: from September 18 to 20, the & Man Made London Social Media barber shop in Marylebone, London will allow you to pay for a free wet shave or beard trim via a Tweet, Facebook post or Instagram post using our dedicated hash tag #ShaveMeSir.

Other brands have already explored the concept of the Social Media Pop-up. A recent success story was Marc Jacobs, who launched a pop-up store in London’s Covent Garden. The idea was to enhance and magnify customer engagement by exchanging fragrances and manicures for tweets and videos. Shoppers received the chance to pick up their favourite pieces and pay with social media. The pop-up shop was laid out with creative photography and video in mind, with different areas where visitors could go to create that unique image to earn them some freebies. The more creative the posts with the #MJDaisyChain hash tag, the more amazing the prizes. For example, a Tweet and a Vine video won you a Marc Jacobs key ring and a free manicure at the in-store Nail Bar.

Some brands have also incorporated a ‘pay with picture’ strategy that encompasses the rising trend of visual social media in 2014. For example, frozen food brand Bird’s Eye turned interactive image posts into free meals in a London pop-up. And Nokia celebrated the Lumia 630 by launching the #100aires Pop-up in East London in June, where one-off art pieces were up for sale using social currency.

Let us know if your brand has plans to experiment with a social media pop-up concept!

About the Author

Rupa GanatraRupa is co-founder of Yes Sir, one of Europe’s leading men’s grooming online retailers and co-founder of Brand us Social (BUS), a forward-looking Social Media and Digital intelligence and events company providing news, data and conferences. She was recently featured as the Top 35 under 35 Women in the UK in Management Today and the Sunday Times.

Weibo Users Embrace ALS #IceBucketChallenge in China; Raise $400,000 To Date

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has generated a fair amount of debate. Rich Becker sums up the arguments in support and against #IceBucketChallenge here. Whatever your perspective, you can’t argue with the windfall of $88.5 million and 1.9 million new donors that the campaign has raised to date.

Today I received an email from a PR firm answering one of the questions I’ve had about the campaign: has the #IceBucketChallenge made a splash outside North America? I am connected to a lot of people around the world, but haven’t really seen anyone outside of my American and some Canadian friends posting about the campaign.

Well it turns out there’s at least one other region where #IceBucketChallenge has caught on: China.

On China’s Weibo platform, over 1.58 million users have talked about #IceBucketChallenge, and a total of 1.43 billion people have viewed posts about the topic. Chinese internet users, from tech billionaires to celebrities have taken the icy bath in support of the charity.  In comparison, people have shared 1.2 million videos on Facebook and mentioned the phenomenon 2.2 million times on Twitter.

More importantly, Weibo’s users are also contributing to the cause and have donated almost $400,000–a fraction of the total collected so far, but I would guess that the ALS Association does not typically see very many donations from China.

Is #IceBucketChallenge a hit in your country, as well? Let us know!

Realtime Marketing: How To Plan For The Moment

This is a guest post by Matthew Yeoman of the Social Media Marketing blog.
Photo credit: Gerd Altmann realtime marketing works, it’s because you have something much bigger than you doing your marketing for you. It’s simple: if many people are already interested in a particular event, and you create a realtime marketing campaign that is centered around that event, the public awareness associated with the event benefits your marketing efforts.

This concept plays off an idea presented by Stephen McIntyre, the Managing Director of Twitter Europe, at the Dublin Web Summit last year. His quote, borrowed from Rory Sutherland, was about social media marketing in general, but applies directly to realtime marketing: “Brands don’t have target markets, they have target moments.”

How Does the “Moment” Do Your Realtime Marketing For You?

People use social media to post something random about their lives – which you can’t plan for. But they also use social media to check up on key events, and to share content related to these events – this you can easily plan for. Those who take the time to plan for key moments will have text, video, images, and GIFs that speak to these moments. When the time is right, they are shared on social media and the moment does the marketing for them.

If you want to see success from your realtime marketing campaigns, with minimal effort, this is what you will want to do. Here’s a Gif that captures this concept in a silly way:

The example above was for a big marketing moment that you should still have fresh on your mind, the FIFA World Cup. It shaped up to be the largest sporting event on social media ever. A number of brands that created World Cup content for this key moment had the hype around the tournament doing their marketing for them as people were interested in the sporting spectacle already – these brands just had content ready for it. The Realtime Report has already covered a number of World Cup marketing examples; and here’s my personal favorite:

But what if your product or service doesn’t fit into a sporting event? Let’s look at examples of other ways you can let the moment do the marketing for your brand.

What moments can you plan ahead for?

Realtime campaigns and viral marketing are all about eliciting strong reactions from large events by using brief messages. Social media users are starved for the latest gossip, and new ways to share their interests with people. The content that you provide needs to speak to this. Here are some examples of how you can let an event do your marketing for you by tying in with a moment:

  • A museum can create an original ad campaign in preparation for the Game of Thrones season finale. Highlight the best of your historical collection and how it ties in with the violent drama.
  • If there’s a celebrity wedding taking place, an event management company could join the conversation on relevant hashtags on Twitter. A well prepared event management team will get a few photos ready ahead of time for the day of the wedding and tweet them out in congratulations. Those may be the easiest retweets you ever get.
  • Controversial trials are a great time for those in the law industry to work up an analysis of the legal precedent and send it out over social media channels. People want to be better informed about the issues, so this can also go a long way towards further establishing you as an authority in your field.
  • On a more local scale: a flower company could deliver some flowers to a local politician upon their most recent win and document what happened with a video. A music store can have an employee taking photos at local concerts. Putting these moments on Instagram, Twitter, and Vine with connected hashtags will get you local mentions and retweets.

Once you have tried one of these tactics, it is time to sit down and look at your analytics and see how well they performed. Most realtime marketing moments occur over and over again – celebrities will continue to get married, controversial trials will happen, exciting TV shows have a finale every year. Your analytics will show you what your audience is responding to, and you can be better prepared for the next time one of these moments comes around.

What is the danger of not preparing for viral marketing moments?

Many businesses that are new to social media use them as reactive, rather than proactive, marketing opportunities. They login once they see something going on, have their 140 character say, or post something inconsequential to their Facebook, and all too often they’re ignored. Think about your Twitter feed right now. It likely contains maybe the last hour’s worth of tweets unless you start scrolling down. With Twitter users only paying attention to the last hour of their tweets, do you have time to see a real time marketing moment, create content worth sharing, and get it in time? Likely not – the moment will pass you by and you’ll be just another ignored piece of content from what social media now considers “old news” – a time frame that could be as short as an hour!


About the Author:

Matthew YeomanMatthew Yeoman is the blogger/writer/creator over on the Social Media Marketing blog. You can find him there every Friday with the latest news on Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Google, and Vimeo marketing developments, and find useful tips on how to use these social platforms.

Social Media News Ticker: Instagram Launches Bolt, Foursquare Debuts New Logo, Facebook Drops Gifts

Check out all the latest social media news from the last two weeks, including changes and new features for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Foursquare:
Facebook Messenger


  • Facebook forces users worldwide to download Messenger for mobile chat – Facebook is no longer allowing messaging in its main iPhone and Android apps; now users worldwide must download its standalone Messenger app. Mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message in their main Facebook apps or sites like before. (TechCrunch)
  • Facebook gives up on Gifts – Facebook is shutting down the remainder of its Gifts service, which allowed users to send digital gift cards to friends; the shutdown is effective August 12th (re/code)
  • Bet you didn’t notice this tiny but revealing Facebook design change – the globe notification icon at the top of Facebook’s navigation bar now looks different depending on where users are logging in; Americans see North and South America, while users in Asia, Africa and Europe see an icon of the Eastern Hemisphere (Quartz)


  •  Twitter testing easier-to-use hashtags – Twitter is testing a feature that will better organize hashtags; it adds an expanded label to some hashtag searches, giving the hashtags “a sense of legitimacy and order as related to a certain event or subject” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Twitter acquires password startup Mitro – Twitter acquired small password security startup Mitro, with plans to keep the team but not the product; Mitro’s product will live on as an open source project (TechCrunch)
  • Twitter joins the deep learning party – Twitter acquired MadBits, a New York startup using “deep learning” to help computers “understand” images, an approach to artificial intelligence (re/code)



  •  Instagram launches one-touch photo and video messaging app Bolt outside the US – last week Instagram officially released its Snapchat competitor, standalone app Bolt, but only in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand; the app is designed for lightning-fast, ephemeral one-to-one video and photo messaging” and came into the public eye after banner ads for the product were accidentally leaked on Instagram (TechCrunch)

new Foursquare logo


Any social media updates that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Media Fragmentation: 3 Strategies For How Business Marketers Can Keep Up

This is a guest post written by Lisa Smith, Director of Media and Markets Research/Mindwave Research.

Maybe you remember when media research was just about capturing TV viewership and print readership? Even when we first began analyzing web site traffic we had a manageable set of properties to measure.

But today, the pervasiveness of social media, the continued digitization of content, and the fragmentation of media platforms have given consumers and business decision makers a bewilderingly broad array of offline and online sources—creating significant challenges for marketers when it comes to measuring audiences and effectively targeting prospects throughout a decision-making process.

Welcome to the Era of Media Sprawl

  • Social media, blogs, and discussion boards mean that users generate as much online content as brands do.
  • Online searches deliver instant sources on virtually any topic you can imagine.
  • TV and print digitization makes news and entertainment available anywhere, anytime.

Your customers are now getting their information from an ever-growing number of sources. For example, research shows that B2B decision makers today use an average of 10 different sources when making purchase decisions about complex, enterprise-wide technology solutions.

More Access to Information = More Collaborative Decision Makers

This media fragmentation has also affected business buying behavior. Easier access to more information brings new decision-making functions into focus and adds layers to the buying process.

Our experience with research tracking media consumption and buying behaviors in the B2B tech markets shows significant shifts in who is involved:

20 years ago:

B2B tech buying largely done in IT departments with CIOs and IT managers unilaterally driving purchase decisions.
Past 20 years: Internet becomes prevalent means for tech brands to connect and engage directly with customers, from end users to IT decision makers.
Today:  B2B buying decision model is highly collaborative where corporate and management are active participants in needs determination and evaluation.

Shifting the B2B Media Research Model

The challenge for marketers: how to track real business prospects through all the various online and offline touch points. Looking to create an effective integrated media plan, with optimized exposure to the right audience at the right time? Here are three strategies that will get you there:

1. Find true B2B decision makers who are actively involved in the buying journey.

The ubiquitous access to information turns many employees into instant business influencers. They may make requests based on seeing a Facebook post, or alert others about interesting content by re-sharing information via a tweet, but they don’t necessarily direct specific buying decisions. Influencers can provide needed input at certain stages of a purchase cycle, but they are a difficult and inefficient target when nearly everyone is an influencer. The solution? Make sure you have identified your true decision-making customers who are actively involved in the purchase decision. And we emphasize “active” because there is a difference in content engagement with decision makers who are waiting for the next purchase cycle versus those who are currently in it.

2. Create product-specific content based on how decision makers consume information.

Unless you’re dealing with a very homogeneous B2B product or service portfolio, research shows that the type of solution you are selling absolutely matters in establishing your content strategy. Our tech-industry clients develop, manufacture, and sell hardware, software, and services that range from end-user devices and applications to enterprise network solutions and management tools. And who their customers are, as well as their content usage for purchase decisions, varies widely depending on the product or service in question.

Here’s one example from the Tap research comparing decision makers involved in buying mobile products to those involved in the buying process for unified communications devices. As you can see, the former are far more likely to turn to search engines or mobile apps for information, while the latter are looking at entirely different types and sources of content.

Media fragmentation in IT buying

 3. Drive specific content known to have greater weight at certain decision points.

We know that the B2B purchase process is a non-linear buying journey – much more than a progression of steps from “determining the need” to “approving the purchase”. As we think about the process as a journey, we see that simply analyzing content consumption in aggregate for a purchase decision is not enough to help marketers and media planners think about an integrated media strategy. That approach misses subtleties such as when a particular source is no longer useful, but the decision is still active. Advertisers need more flexibility in tailoring optimal content to deliver messages that drive critical decision points. As brands create more of their own content for demand gen efforts, recognizing how and when the content is used in the decision journey enables a better balance of the overall marketing and media strategy.

So What’s Next?

Will content and access methods continue to fragment further, creating additional challenges for media research? Or will we hit an over-exposure point that forces a consolidation of information, making it difficult to separate and measure one type of content versus another?

Either way, it’s critical for our measurement strategies and tracking studies to evolve in order to stay connected to business customers throughout these changing dynamics.

About the Author

Lisa Smith brings a fully integrated global market perspective to her understanding of these challenges through 20 years of experience working with B2B Media research. Her views come from 13 years in IT publishing at United Business Media/TechWeb/CMP Media, 6 years on the agency side at T3, working in strategy and planning roles, and 2 years on the research vendor side managing the Tap tech industry media study. More information regarding her work/experience and data to support this post can be found at

Social Networking Stats: Twitter’s User Growth Exceeds Expectations, #RLTM Scoreboard

The #RLTM Scoreboard: Social Networking Stats for the Week

Facebook: 1.32 billion monthly active users via Facebook
YouTube over 1 billion monthly unique users via YouTube
Twitter: 271 million monthly active users via Twitter
Qzone: 599 million monthly active users via TechCrunch
Sina Weibo: over 500 million users via The Next Web
Renren: over 170 million users via iResearch iUser Tracker
VK: over 230 million registered accounts via VK
LinkedIn: 300 million members via LinkedIn
Google Plus: 343 million monthly active users via GlobalWebIndex
Tumblr: 197 million blogs via Tumblr
Instagram: 200 million monthly active users via Instagram
Vine: 40 million registered users via Vine
Tagged: 11 million unique monthly users via Tagged
Foursquare: 50 million users via Foursquare
Pinterest: 70 million users via The Next Web
Reddit: 114 million monthly unique visitors via Reddit
WhatsApp: 500 million users via WhatsApp
Messenger: 200 million users via re/code
SnapChat:  ???? via TechCrunch

Please email if you have additional updates, or a social network that you feel should be on the list.  

Twitter’s Q2 User Growth Exceeds Expectations, Tops 271 Million

Twitter Q2 results exceed expectationsTwitter recently announced its second quarter results for 2014, with both revenue and user growth surpassing analyst expectations. After two quarters in a row showing decelerating user growth, this quarter’s results offered great news for Twitter.

The number of Twitter’s monthly active users topped 271 million (higher than the 267 million expected by analysts), for a year-over-year growth of 24%. Mobile monthly active users rose 29% to reach 211 million.

Timeline views were also on the rise, with 173 billion views, up from 157 billion in Q1.

Twitter’s sales more than doubled, reaching $312.2 million (earlier projections expected this number to be only around $282.8 million.)

What helped boost revenue and increase user growth? According to Twitter, new tools (including several centered around the World Cup) and new user profiles helped to engage users, as well as added capabilities for advertisers both in the U.S. and internationally.

Mobile advertising was responsible for a significant chunk of advertising revenue (81%), and international revenue more than doubled.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said Twitter’s reach is even larger than the number of monthly active users: “The size of our audience on our owned and operated properties is two to three times that of just our monthly active user base, which we believe ranks us among the top 10 largest digitally connected audiences in the world.” (Bloomberg)

Adidas Teams With Champs Sports To Create Instagram Mini Series

Following their impressive World Cup ad campaign, Adidas has teamed up with Champs Sports to create four different online shows that will air only on Champs Sport’s Instagram page.

#adicolorTV first debuted last Friday and at least 25 episodes will run on Instagram over a six week period.

Episodes will be categorized into four different shows: “Lace Up” will feature professional athletes like DeMarco Murray (Dallas Cowboys) and Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins) sporting Adidas wear, “Elements of GAME” will star rapper Lil Jon dressed as a high school science teacher, “QVG” is a parody on the home-shopping channel experience, and “The Stans” is a sitcom featuring Adidas’ classic Stan Smith sneaker collection.

In each of these mini series, the athletes and celebrities will be showing off their funky, yet comical personalities (AdWeek).

Following Adidas and Champs’ Tumblr-based 2013 adicolorTV, this year’s campaign is the first-ever video series designed specifically for Instagram.

According to Scott Burton, director of marketing for Champs Sports, the duo’s target demographic is male, high school varsity athletes, and the decision to create 15-second clips on Instagram was an attempt to generate more sharable, rewatchable and memorable content (AdWeek).

“You can expect to see a blending of sport, pop-culture, music, and humor coming to life in a way that no other brand can do it,” says Kelly Olmstead, director of brand marketing for Adidas. “You’ll see episodes ranging from classroom lessons taught by Lil Jon, Von Miller showing us the best touchdown dance in the industry, and DeMarco Murray and RG3 pulling off a great Stan Smith impersonation.” (Fast Company)

Though this Instagram-specific video series may be the first of its kind, Adidas and Champs Sports are not the only companies to use the social network to share unique video content. Perhaps one of the more creative video campaigns featured on Instagram was Mini’s #AsktheNEWMINI series. Followers could ask the new car any question, through any social network using the hashtag, and the MINI would respond in a way that showed off the car’s new features. The campaign led to over 30 creative videos (Econsultancy).

Starbucks ranks among the top brands sharing Instagram videos as well, hosting numerous creative and artsy videos featuring coffee and cup designs.

You can also take a look at AdWeek’s most recent Instagram Brand Video Rankings.

Has your brand considered using Instagram video?

Customer Satisfaction: Social Media Websites Rank Among The Worst

How satisfied are consumers with social media sites? Today, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its yearly E-Business Report, which takes an in-depth look at user satisfaction with social media, as well as portals and search engines, and news and opinion websites. Overall, e-business websites have seen a 2.9% increase in customer satisfaction since 2013, reaching 73.4 on ACSI’s 100-point scale.

Social Media

The bad news: social media websites rank among the worst-performing companies researched by the ACSI.

However, there’s also good news: they have improved since 2013. Climbing 4.4% to 71, social media outlets are now the fourth lowest-scoring category in the ACSI; consumers are even less satisfied by airlines, subscription TV, and internet service providers.ACSI 1

Facebook and LinkedIn generated higher satisfaction this year, but according to their own users, these platforms are still worst in the industry. However, both platforms generated an 8% increase in user satisfaction, reaching an ACSI score of 67 – LinkedIn’s highest score to date. Twitter reached a record high as well, up 6% reaching a score of 69.

Pinterest has emerged as the new favorite social network for consumers, increasing 6% to an ACSI score of 76. Improved features and search capabilities have launched the site to the top of the social media category for the very first time.

After leading the category for four consecutive years, Wikipedia is the only major site to experience a decrease in user satisfaction, falling 5% for a score of 74 (and now ranking below Pinterest). Though struggling to maintain active contributors, Wikipedia remains as the world’s sixth most-visited website, and continues to overpower most of the industry.

YouTube has increased 3% to 73, matching the average of  the “all other” social media category, which includes Instagram, Reddit, and Tumblr. Google+ has remained the same at 71.

Privacy concerns and an abundance of advertisements are responsible for low user satisfaction in social media, according to ACSI.

Search Engines and Portals

Customer satisfaction with search engines and portals increased 5.3%, reaching a score of 80 – largely because of the world’s most popular search engine, Google, which generated an 8% increase and an ACSI score of 83.

ACIS2User satisfaction for other search engines and portals fall far below Google, however. Large competitors have seen their numbers fall – Bing has fallen 4% to 73, tying MSN (who fell 1%), while Yahoo! dropped 7% to 71 – its lowest score, and third consecutive year of decline. AOL remains in last place declining 1% to 70.

With Google as the leader, search engines have proven to give customers a better overall experience than any other e-business category. Because search engine freshness of content is much better than newspaper websites and social media networks, ads are more tolerated on search engines, according to ACIS.


News and Opinion Websites

User satisfaction with news and opinion websites has increased 1.4% to 74 – led by sources outside of mainstream media. Larger media organizations have registered declines in reader satisfaction, while the total score of smaller internet news sources (including BBC and NPR) has jumped 7% to 77.

For the first time in five years, readers are not the most satisfied, as the site has fallen 7%, for a score of 76. has generated a 4% gain, reaching 76 – tying for the very first time. has fallen to 74, followed by (73). has fallen by 4%, tying at the bottom with 70.

Are you surprised by consumers’ lack of satisfaction with social media websites?

The ACSI E-Business Report (2014) is based off interviews with 6,259 customers of these three categories, chosen and contacted randomly between May 6 and May 29, 2014.

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