Tag Archives: Twitter

Thoughtful Social Media Strategy and Why You Should Avoid Interrupting Your Customers

Thoughtful Social Media Strategy And Why You Should Avoid Interrupting Your Customers

According to a study done at Carnegie Mellon University, interruptive advertising can have a negative impact on a consumer’s impression of a brand as well as their willingness to pay for the brands products. This is an important factor to consider in social media marketing. With the growth in mobile and the expansion of social media networks, consumers have more and more outlets and opportunities to consume information.This is good and bad for brands and retailers. They need to focus on thoughtful social media strategy to continue to attract and engage consumers.


In one respect it gives brands and retailers more mediums through which to reach their customers. However, the flip side of it is customers have more ways to ignore advertising which is commonly known as “banner blindness”.

For many marketers, native advertising on social media appears to be a good solution to the issue of banner blindness. However, the study by Carnegie Mellon raises the question: can blanket native advertising backfire?

In the Carnegie Mellon study “Do Interruptions Pay Off? Effects of Interruptive Ads on Consumers’ Willingness to Pay,” one group of participants were shown ads while playing an online game, and then asked to give a price they would be willing to pay for a coffee mug with the branding of the ad they were shown. The control group was allowed to play the game uninterrupted and then asked the same question.

The results showed, the price participants were willing to pay for the mug dropped when they were interrupted during the game. The study went further, demonstrating interruption can also negatively impact overall brand image. Open ended questions showed participants had more overwhelmingly negative feelings towards the brand responsible for interrupting their game than the control brand that did not interrupt their game.

This study shows us the importance of thoughtful advertising. Social networks provide a great opportunity to reach your target market and tailor your ads to their needs. However, you have to make the ads seamless within the user experience in order to avoid interrupting your customers. The consumer’s use of a social media network should drive the kind of advertising your brand displays.

Consider the following: Facebook is used to connect and stay in touch with friends, Pinterest is used for inspiration, and Twitter is for staying up to date with news and events.

• Facebook provides a great opportunity to connect with loyal customers, people who willingly engage and see your brand as a “friend”.

• Pinterest is a great place for more traditional product advertising, use editorial images of your products to inspire your customer.

• Twitter is a great platform for announcements, including; sales, contests, and events.

Let each social media’s strength, content style and usage drive your advertising strategy to avoid interruption and potentially damaging your brand’s image.

Better Social Media Techniques Increase Fan Interest, Engagement

Better Social Media Techniques Increase Fan Interest, Engagement

Due to the ever increasing number of people using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, businesses and organizations, such as professional sports teams, are expanding their marketing and communication efforts to engage people with their brands through those sites. Now, Nicholas Watanabe, an assistant teaching professor at the University of Missouri, along with colleagues from MU and Louisiana State University, analyzed Major League Baseball (MLB) teams’ use of Twitter to engage and increase fan interest. They found that the more individual teams released original content from their Twitter accounts such as score updates or player profiles, the more followers they gained and engagement they initiated. The researchers say their findings could provide guidance for many businesses struggling with how to use social media.


“The common way of thinking for businesses, including professional sports is that they need to be on social media,” said Brian Soebbing, a co-author on the study. “However, little research has been done on how businesses and organizations can maximize their consumer engagement and interaction on social media, and thus very few best practices exist that are backed by research. This study shows what works to drive fan or customer engagement, as well as what is not successful. Business managers know they need to be on social media, yet many do not know how to handle social media metrics to maximize positive outcomes for their businesses. Hopefully this paper is one step toward providing insight into that practice.”

For their study published in the Journal of Sport Management, Watanabe, Grace Yan, an assistant teaching professor at MU, and Brian Soebbing, an assistant professor at Louisiana State University, analyzed the Twitter accounts of all 30 MLB teams over 13 consecutive months. By monitoring the daily rise and fall in the number of followers for each team’s account and combining those trends with the amount of activity from each account, the researchers were able to determine which activities led to gaining more Twitter followers.

They found that day to day increases in content creation and differences in team success on the field caused little change in the number of Twitter followers. However, they found that larger trends made significant differences in fan engagement and total followers for each account.

“We found that trends such as an increased number of total tweets from an account over a long period of time as well as long winning streaks, overall winning percentage, and how often teams played on national television all helped increase the number of followers a team had on its Twitter account,” said Yan, who is in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “On the other hand, long losing streaks and fewer tweets in general correlated with losses in total number of followers. This shows that while teams’ social media producers can’t necessarily control success on the field, they can make a difference in maintaining fans by continuing to create social media content to engage existing fans and potentially bring in new ones.”

Watanabe and his colleagues also found that while higher levels of activity on teams’ Twitter accounts such as original content creation led to more followers, that trend did not apply to activities such as “favoriting” or “retweeting” messages produced by other people. The researchers say that although this study focuses on MLB teams, the findings can apply to teams in all professional sports, as well as many businesses looking to engage fans with their brands.

Watanabe says the next step in this research is to analyze the rise and fall of MLB teams’ followers in economic terms. He says being able to place a monetary value on Twitter followers and engagement is an important aspect of future research on social media as a business application.

10 Reasons That Prove Email Marketing Should Be Your Top Priority

10 Reasons That Prove Email Marketing Should Be Your Top Priority
By Michelle Hummel

People tend to think email marketing does not get the same attention as social media. However, what people don’t realize is it proves to be one of the most effective direct means of growing your business.

10 Reasons That Prove Email Marketing Should Be Your Top Priority:

1. Email Use
With over 3.2 billion email accounts in the world today, 95% of the world’s population have direct access and 91% check their emails at least once a day. Email is an integral part of our daily lives and no one can really quit emailing.

2. Reach
The idea of reach for email is completely different than social media. For social networking, reach refers to the number of followers and likes who have seen your message. With email, reach is determined by whether the person has opened it or not. Research shows 18% of emails are blocked and 4% are delivered to the junk or spam folder. However, on Facebook, 74% of the messages are missed. Therefore email proves to be more reliable.

3. Life Span
75% of Facebook posts last around 2 hours while the life of a tweet is just 5 minutes. However, an email stays in your inbox and it requires an additional action, even if you want to delete it.

4. Return on Investment
As per the Email Marketing Benchmark Report of 2014, 60% of marketers stated that email marketing produces ROI. For every $1, the standard return on email marketing is $44.24.

5. Analytics
Email has set up solid metrics that have served as the standard for many years. Open Rates, Unsubscribes and Growth can be easily tracked with sales and profits. With a simple formula, you can determine the value of your email subscribers.

6. Engagement
People don’t usually talk about email and engagement in the same sentence. However, emails are excellent engagement vehicles and can serve as a two-way street. Best practice is not to send emails with a no-reply address. Be sure you make it easy for your customers to communicate with you.

7. Integration
The best part is that social media and email are friends. Many services allow you to post your email messages out to various social networks. This connection is great for business growth and helps in establishing cross platform initiatives.

8. Promotional
Around 77% of people prefer to get promotional content via email, while only 4% prefer it via Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook is viewed as a platform for establishing connections and to interact with family and friends. Emails are perceived differently, mainly due to its privacy and simplicity. In a recent survey, 70% of recipients stated that they have used discounts and promotional coupons received in promotional emails.

9. Mobility
Litmus stated that 66% of Gmail inboxes are accessed via mobile phones. A major number of transactions will be done online, and mobile email amounts to 13% of it. Smart marketers have learned how to embrace email and carve out a whole new channel to promote their products.

10. Personalization
Email has the power to send promotional content to hundreds of people at one time while still maintaining the same standards of personalization.

In conclusion, Email marketing has proven to be a networking channel that can truly help you establish a valued relationship between you and your subscriber.

Michelle Hummel is a passionate internet marketer with over 10 years of successful online business development, sales and marketing experience. She also holds a valuable internet marketing degree; however, with the ever-changing world of web marketing, she strives to learn something new every day. Michelle travels nationwide to share her wisdom and provide social media keynotes with in-depth training. She is writing a book titled: “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media.”

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.

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 marissa@modernmedia.co 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)

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, FOXNews.com readers are not the most satisfied, as the site has fallen 7%, for a score of 76.

USATODAY.com has generated a 4% gain, reaching 76 – tying FOXNEWS.com for the very first time. ABCNEWS.com has fallen to 74, followed by NYTimes.com (73). CNN.com has fallen by 4%, tying TheHuffingtonpost.com 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.

Social Media News Ticker: Facebook Tests ‘Buy’ Button, Twitter Acquires CardSpring

Check out all the latest social media news from the last two weeks, including changes and new features for Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, YouTube and Vine:

Facebook Mentions app






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

2014 World Cup: Social Media Campaign Round-Up

The 2014 World Cup was host to countless ad campaigns, and record breaking social media statistics. Here are some of the brands that created tons of social media buzz during the month-long tournament:


Adidas has been crowned as the ‘most talked about‘ brand connected to the 2014 World Cup, generating 1.59 million conversations across Twitter, Facebook, blogs and Tumblr. Adidas’ all in or nothing campaign truly captured the intense emotions of the tournament, and racked up 917,000 mentions on Twitter with #allin or nothing.

“The Dream,” the campaign’s most recognizable video featuring the world’s greatest player, Leonel Messi, earned 36 million views on Youtube (Forbes).

Adidas reported 5.8 million new followers across all of its major social media platforms during the tournament. The brand’s @adidasfootball account – known for its images of the stadiums, locker rooms and tunnels just before the game – became a fan favorite. Adidas also created a Twitter account for Brazuca (@brazuca), the tournament’s official match ball, which was the largest growing account on Twitter during the tournament with 2.98 million followers. The handle also saw 53,000 interactions throughout the World Cup – making it one of the most engaged on Twitter.

Adidas’ “The Dugout,” a series of interactive videos and interviews on YouTube, proved to be popular amongst fans as well, featuring various soccer greats including Brazil’s Kaka and Cafu, and former English soccer player David Beckham.

Adidas concluded its #Allin campaign with a video titled “The Final” in anticipation for the tournament’s championship match between Germany and Argentina. The video has over 18 million views.


The Nike soccer twitter account, @nikefootball, received more than 2.3 million followers, and its #RiskEverything campaign, made up of three videos – The Last Game, Winner Stays, and Men in the Arena – mustered up 400 million online views (Women’s Wear Daily).

There have also been 22 million campaign interactions on Facebook including likes, comments and shares, and #RiskEverything has been used 650,000 times on Twitter.

An animated version of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a Swedish soccer player who appeared on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” throughout the tournament, is also part of the Risk Everything campaign. The #AskZlatan interactive campaign earned over 10.5 million digital views.

Nike also teamed up with Google to create eight different realtime mobile ads in 15 different countries during the World Cup. The ads, which were released on Google’s Display Network, included unique 3D technology that allowed mobile users to rotate their devices to see images at different angles, as well as add different filters and headlines. The eight advertisements generated two million interactions across 200 different countries (Wall Street Journal).

McDonald's Player Escort Program allowed children to walk out onto the field hand-in-hand with the world's greatest players.

McDonald’s Player Escort Program allowed children to walk out onto the field hand-in-hand with the world’s greatest players.


McDonald’s proved to be very busy during the month-long tournament, campaigning for the World Cup on the field, on mobile devices, and in the restaurant.

On the field, the McDonald’s Player Escort Program  gave 1,408 children, from countries all over the world, the opportunity to walk out onto the field hand-in-hand with players at the beginning of all 64 matches. Each child was sporting red and gold colored jerseys.

Alongside their “Trick-shot” video, which received over 6 million views online, McDonald’s launched their “Gol” campaign. Centered around the campaign was a gaming app that allowed customers to use one of McDonald’s twelve newly designed french-fry boxes as a virtual goal.

McDonald’s also introduced FryFutbol on YouTube, featuring re-enactments of key moments from every match of the tournament — using only french fries.


Though VW did not receive as much attention as Nike, Adidas and McDonald’s during the 2014 World Cup, their series of realtime “Goooooooolf Celebration Videos” deserve an “A+”- at least in the creativity department.

After each team scored, VW released a video featuring a Golf GTI painted in the team’s colors, jetting across the field. Yet, instead of screaming the highly popular soccer celebration: “Goooaaal”, the announcer hollers out: “Gooooooolf”. Each of the 32 teams participating had nine different variations of the video, which rotated as they scored.

The videos ran alongside live-streamed matches on ESPN.com, as well as on ESPNFC.com and Univision.com (Clickz). The videos were also posted on VW’s twitter account, @VW.

What was your favorite World Cup social media campaign?

The TSA’s Shockingly Real Instagram Account

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has created an increasingly popular Instagram account, displaying some of the most alarming items that haven been confiscated at security checkpoints. And there’s no shortage of images to post. The TSA claims an average of 40 firearms (mostly loaded) every week, and has found contraband including knives, grenades, rocket launchers, cannonballs and even snakes (Wired).

Since the feed’s creation about a year ago, the account has 160 posts and over 100,000 followers. Each week, the head and only member of the TSA’s social media team, Bob Burns – better known as Blogger Bob – reviews reports from over 450 airports across the country and posts the most compelling incidents.

Though these photos are meant to be a warning to future fliers, reminding them of the consequences of carrying prohibited items, there is no denying the account is an attempt to legitimize the oft-criticized, time consuming practices of the TSA. According to Bob, the the Instagram account has helped give the governmental organization a bit more personality and credibility, telling Wired: “You change the conversation from people complaining about TSA to people saying, ‘Wow look what TSA found, I can’t believe someone would try to come through with this.’ We like to show not only that our workforce is capable of finding these things, but we’d like to educate people.”

The account is not only limited to displaying prohibited items. The TSA’s bomb-sniffing dogs and distinguished employees have made appearances on the feed as well. TSA promotions and programs have also been advertised on the account.

The TSA’s social presence extends beyond Instagram, also managing a blog and Twitter account . On the blog, a regular “Week in Review” post reveals the weeks most notable confiscations, as well as a tally of firearms-including where they were found, and if they were loaded (The Daily Beast). The Twitter account has been used to address and resolve customer complaints according to Ross Feinstein, the TSA Press Secretary.

Though the TSA has taken advantage of the social media outlets available, Feinstein has made it known that deep down, the organization wishes their Instagram account did not exist: “We would love to put a blog post on our website every Friday that says, ‘We did not discover any firearms at checkpoints nationwide, we didn’t discover any prohibited items like knives or any suspicious items whatsoever.’ While we like utilizing social media, we’d rather not find these items” (Wired).

However, as long as the TSA keeps finding these items, it certainly makes for an interesting Instagram feed — and an important outlet for a government organization that often comes under fire from frustrated travelers.

Most-Tweeted Sports Event In History: Germany vs. Brazil

Though the 2014 World Cup action has begun to die down, now with only two teams remaining, the social media frenzy surrounding the tournament has not.

During Tuesday’s semi-final match, where Germany dominated host nation Brazil with a 7-1 victory, tweets reached a peak volume of 530,166 tweets per minute – making it the most talked about sporting event in Twitter history. The match itself generated 35.6 millions tweets total.

The Germany vs. Brazil match easily broke the previous record (from Super Bowl 2014) of 24.9 million tweets, with a maximum volume of 381,605 tweets per minute. Germany vs. Brazil also beat out the next-most tweeted World Cup game, the Brazil vs. Chile match, which earned 16.4 million tweets (TechCrunch).

Germany’s fifth goal, scored by Sami Khedria in the 29th minute, was the most talked about moment of the game: it provoked 580,166 tweets per minute (yet another new record). Toni Kroos’ pair of goals were not far behind with 497,425 and 508,601 tweets per minute.


Germany’s Miroslav Klose was the match’s most mentioned player, after becoming the all-time record goal scorer in World Cup history, with 16.

Though much of the game’s tweets were directed at the action, many saw the embarrassing loss for Brazil as an opportunity to poke fun at the country.

Social media chatter extends far beyond the matches: on Saturday night, Rio’s famous statue of Christ the Redeemer will be lit up in the colors of each of the finalist’s flags (Germany and Argentina) from 7-9 PM. To encourage even more participation, Twitter has created a campaign in which users can vote using #ArmsWideOpen followed by #GER or #ARG. Whichever team receives the most amount of tweets will see their colors will be lit the longest; the results will change in realtime as more fans vote.

For the past month, the World Cup has created quite a buzz around social media, sparking over 300 million tweets and over a billion Facebook interactions. By the end of Sunday’s championship match between Germany and Argentina, signifying the conclusion of the tournament, the 2014 World Cup is expected to be the biggest social media event ever.