This site showcases the (mostly) digital work of Andrew DiFiore from both Virtual Arts Studios and answerYES Interactive as well as random thoughts and experimental projects too volatile to be contained anywhere else.

 
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    Twitter Web Analytics

    Christopher Golda, founder of BackType (the company behind BackTweet acquired by Twitter in July) and new tech exec for Twitter, announced today the impending launch of Twitter Web Analytics (not to be confused with Twitter Advertiser Analytics) which will help people measure exactly how much traffic their tweets drive to their websites, including how effective that Tweet Button really is. Twitter Web Analytics is currently in beta for a select few but expected to be made available for free in a few weeks. On the whole, a welcome (albeit surprisingly belated) addition to the Twitter platform which has been struggling to stay relevant in the ever escalating battle for social media influence.

    For our clients (where we manage and monitor their social media channels) we have seen as much as 22% of site traffic come from Twitter. More impressive is that these visitors appeared to be of the desired demographic, spending more time engaged with content than the average visitor. Combine this with Facebook and StumbleUpon and you got a pretty hardy social media machine churning out qualified leads to your website. Of course, with social media it is all about content. Good original content. Twitter Web Analytics will be yet another tool in our tool chest for measuring social media ROI.

    Location-based promotions have been around for years and it is no surprise that behemoth social network Facebook would make this technology an integral part of their platform. And brands like Coca-Cola have been taking full advantage of this in smart and engaging ways. The Recycling King campaign created by Israeli ad agency Publicis E-Dologic encourages people to “think green” by having them upload pictures of themselves recycling.

    Coca-Cola registered over 10,000 recycling bins on Facebook Places and then challenged users to vie for the title of Recycling King by checking in to the most bins. Whether or not you feel revealing your whereabouts to virtual strangers raises huge privacy concerns (and Coca-Cola just duped thousands of Israelis to volunteer their purchasing habits), the campaign has proven to be quite successful; with over 26,000 pictures uploaded and more than 250,000 checkins. If you’re a marketer or an environmentalist, it is something to think about.

    Baby Inside is the follow up to Evian’s hugely successful Roller Babies video that not only went viral but was inducted into the Guinness World Records as the Most Viewed Online Video Advertisement (over 25 million as of 8/19/09).

    Both videos are part of the integrated Live Young campaign created by BETC Euro RSCG, Paris. It includes print ads, TV commercials, and social media.

    Watch the video above (best to keep your eye on the T-shirt to get the full effect of the dancing baby) and then participate by adding your own video clip to Evian’s “longest music video” at Let’s Baby Dance microsite (or via an iPhone App). I did.

    Twitter Marketing Tips

    If you haven’t heard by now Twitter is a microblogging social network and a great way drive qualified leads to your website. In addition to the obvious social media benefits (a topic for another blog post), our clients consistently witness referral rates upwards of 6% per month from Twitter! Moreover, we often see that these referrals on average view more pages and spend more time per visit than those coming from other sources. Leveraging Twitter’s demo and  geographics in a site tracking tool like Google Analytics, you can  effectively qualify each referral and do more of the type of tweets generating the desired behavior (e.g. read a blog post, download whitepaper, fill out contact form, buy products).

    I will do a follow up post about Twitter ROI later but for now, here are some helpful tips on Twitter marketing you can start using today.

    Tweet Best Practices

    • Schedule tweets several times every business day between 6am and 1pm. Statistically, this is the time most business people check Twitter.
    • Tweets should be something useful. Most people are looking for information. Repetition is okay but it should be paraphrased so not to look automated.
    • 1 in every 10 tweets can be promotional in nature. We want to encourage following and retweets. Too many promotional tweets too often and this won’t happen.
    • Use #hashtags relevant to the tweets or business (e.g. #tech or #business). Try to use them in the body text of your tweets to conserve on your 140 characters.
    • Try to keep tweets to 120 characters so people can easily retweet without truncating the original text.
    • If tweet is a call to action, be sure to add a shortlink back to the site (or source). In a pinch, can use services like bit.ly or ow.ly to shorten URLs.

    Things to Tweet About

    • News about your business or organization, including your own success stories.
    • News from reliable sources like a partner’s blog.
    • News about your employees or staff (e.g. the company’s softball team wins).
    • Retweets of anything that might interesting to your followers.
    • TwitPic and TwitVid (or YouTube or eHow or HowCast).
    • Special offers just for Twitter followers (get more followers).

    To manage Twitter as well as all your other social channels from the comfort of your desktop or mobile device, I recommend either TweetDeck or  Hootsuite. Both are free, easy to learn, and easy to use. Great for organizing your tweets as well as your follows and followers.

    Social media moves fast so would love to hear about your experiences with Twitter. What tweets have worked for you? Have a Twitter campaign going on right now you want to share?

    There are many opportunities to market your business to Facebook’s massive membership (400 million and counting). One of the more insidious ways is to insert your brand right into an established “ecosystem” where people are already actively engaged. The immensely popular social game FarmVille is one such ecosystem. Not only does it engage millions of players for hours on end but it has marketing “hooks” built into the game play itself.

    FarmVille is a free, browser-based game played through your Facebook account where you harvest crops, feed chickens, and converse with other farmers. At the time of this post, there are over 73 million people playing FarmVille with 26 million playing everyday. It is, in fact, the most popular game online. More people play FarmVille than World of Warcraft so it comes as no surprise that Zynga (the company behind FarmVille) has a revenue run-rate of $600 million. Even in the current recession, the video game industry did nearly $20 billion last year in the US alone.

    One of the paradoxical reasons FarmVille is so successful for Zynga is that players can sidestep the tedious task of farming (e.g. clicking a hundred times to harvest crops or plow a field) by “buying” equipment with FarmVille Cash, effectively accelerating the process of advancing your player’s XP. This virtual cash can be acquired by leveling up (one FarmVille dollar per level) or spending actual real-world cash.

    To promote its “decision engine” Bing, Microsoft offered FarmVille players free FarmVille Cash if they became a fan of Bing on Facebook. As a result:

    • Over 72% of players who clicked on the promo became fans
    • Over 59,000 people published the promo to their news feed
    • Over 70,000 clicks were received on secondary feeds
    • Over 400,000 new fans within 24 hours

    Microsoft stated social media goals are to increase Bing’s user engagement in a positive, intimate, and scalable way and to do this by providing relevant value. The company’s experiment with FarmVille achieves this in spades without being intrusive or overbearing.

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