Rugby and Tweeting; an interesting mix!

Last weekend I had a weekend pass for my belated 40th birthday present from my wife and children which took the form of tickets for both days of Twickenham World 7s Rugby.

As an ex player and an avid rugby fan, I was very much looking forward to the weekend and, combine this with spending 3 nights at my Dad’s away from the interrupted sleep I get at home from my young family, the weekends appeal was even higher!

What I wasn’t expecting was an email the night before from the RFU promoting the use of Social Media over the weekend along with asking me to get involved with the key sponsors of the weekend – O2, HSBC and Marriott Hotels. Unsure of what to expect from the proposed hashtag (#7stakeover) and the Twitter account to follow (@Official_RFU), I set off to Twickenham.

Arriving at Twickenham early on Saturday morning to a carnival atmosphere, I decided to shoot a quick video on Social Cam of the drummers before I entered the actual Stadium which I then posted to my Facebook page and my Twitter account.

I then added the hashtag feed to my Tweet Deck account just to see what was trending (LMFAO was requested a lot!). Little did I know that Twickenham would boast over 103,000 people over the weekend and the social networks of Twitter and Facebook along with Social Cam etc were going wild. Thousands of people were Tweeting song requests which were broadcasted over the speaker system with the account holder credited. In addition, The Marriott Hotel were asking the crowd to “like” their Facebook page for the chance to win weekend breaks. The crowd could also “Tweet” pictures taken which, if selected, were posted onto the large screens at either end of the stadium.

Having “followed” the RFU Twitter account, I was also able to view scores in real time when I was in the car park having lunch so I didn’t miss a thing!

The final swansong was HSBC doing a 360 real time “Fan Cam” of the whole stadium and then allowing people to go in and tag themselves in the crowd, which I did – very impressive.

To me, the use of Social Media really impacted positively on the weekend and shows how, if embraced by organisations large or small, the likes of Twitter and Facebook can really play a huge part in enhancing customer experiences and promoting brands positively. By the end of the weekend, even my father who is 67 and a social media dinosaur, really understood how effective social media can be!

Social Media – do it now!

Following on from Bath Marketing Consultancy‘s last post on social media and effective SEO, I thought it would be helpful to elaborate on certain key points to try and demonstrate how effective these 2 initiatives can be for an organisation, especially those who operate as small to medium businesses.

One area I think is key is that social media is not a generation initiative. I have lost count of the number of clients I speak to who dismiss Twitter, Blogging and Facebook as things that “teenagers do.” Yes, teenagers do use Facebook and Twitter, but the fastest growing group of social media users are adults in their 40’s. Twitter has only been around for 6 years, but is already used by 200million people and over 1billion “Tweets” are posted each week. Similarly, Facebook is nearly at 1billion users so platforms like these cannot simply be ignored or dismissed.

The big question a business should ask itself is whether its target market are using Twitter etc. If so, and it is very likely that they are, why would you not want to interact with your target market on a free platform?!

Social media doesn’t have any geographic boundaries to it and allows organisations to create trust with their brand. It allows people within an organisation to develop relationships, share knowledge, interact and above all, meet new people.

Even the major brands and companies across the globe use Twitter. If you want to test this, put something negative about BT or Eon on Twitter and watch how quickly someone replies to your comment! Why do they do this? Well, the users of a product or service are who control marketing to a certain extent. Would you base your decision on where to go on holiday on the glossy brochure? Unlikely. More likely is a visit to Trip Advisor to see what other people thought about the hotel or the beach. People trust other people and if you came across a review from someone you know from a social media platform, you are even more likely yo believe them!

A very famous quote from E Qualman, Socialnomics, a while ago was “we dont have a choice of whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”

Twitter Facts for Internet Marketers

I recently came across a very interesting article by By Anna Johnson about Twitter based on Twitter’s recent 2010 developer conference, Chirp, the company’s co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone revealed some intriguing statistics about the company.

Here are some facts and figures of interest to Internet marketers:

Twitter has 105,779,710 (just under 106 million) users
Twitter is growing by 300,000 users per day
Twitter gets 180 million unique visitors per day
75 percent of Twitter’s traffic is outside Twitter.com i.e. one out of four Twitter users accesses Twitter via a third party like Tweet Deck
Twitter users post 55 million tweets per day
T
witter’s search engine gets 600 million search queries per day and are expected to rise to 1 billion per day by May 2010

If anyone is ever in doubt about the use of Twitter within online marketing, I think these should dispell any negative myths!