I was attending a new client meeting last Thursday. And as it happens, they have a leg up on many of our customers as they are already trying their hand at social media. Bravo to any business that is taking the leap to engage with their customers in new ways.
During our conversation about opportunities to work together, the question came: “What is the next big and best thing? Is it Twitter or Facebook? Is Twitter dying?” I think many are still unsure and don’t want to hop on a trend that may be short lived, but realize that they cannot afford to be out of the game.
Social media and technolgy are here to stay. We all need to find a way to in-corporate it into the way we communicate with our customers and how it will best leverage your products and services based on your target market. I saw this post on Mashable.com, written by Jennifer Van Grove, about the 5 Twitter trends to watch for. In light of the many clients we are working with (and those that are still unsure where to go next), 5 of social media’s “guru’s” weigh in with their thoughts. For me, I think Guy Kawasaki, one of the most recognized Twitter users and a former Apple evangelist, says it best “When the internet was young it was primarily personal websites, but it since became commercial, but not in a bad way. It became a platform. Twitter is emulating the internet, and isn’t just turning into a marketing platform, but simply becoming a platform used for multiple things.”
@bcadgroup we want to know how you are using twitter. Tweet us and let us know.
We’ve been taking an active analytical look at emerging Twitter related trends on a monthly basis. This month instead of analyzing the state of the Twittersphere on our own, we thought we’d give some of the web’s most experimental, influential, and knowledgeable thought leaders an opportunity to share their perspectives on Twitter trends.
Given that BlogWorld Expo is currently underway in Las Vegas, with the best of the best wandering the halls, we decided to stop a few of the greats — Steve Rubel, Chris Pirillo, Leo Laporte, Brian Solis, and Guy Kawasaki — to get their candid take on the what’s trending in the Twittersphere.
1. Pirillo: Big Bloggers Tweeting More, Blogging Less
Lifecaster, blogger, and über web geek, Chris Pirillo [@chrispirillo] says that more and more bloggers are tweeting instead of blogging. Pirillo believes that Twitter* offers pithy bloggers the opportunity to save the “time and energy poured into long-from blog posts, and instead find a way to say the same thing in 140 characters.”One of his favorite lines to repeat is, “Twitter is a great place to tell the world what you’re thinking before you’ve had a chance to think about it.”
While this certainly isn’t a new idea, Pirillo has a legitimate point about it being a growing trend. In our chat, Pirillo used BlogWorld Expo as a prime example of his point. He spoke to the fact that the most prolific bloggers are in attendance and yet we’re seeing media, news, and updates about the show trickle out via Twitter instead of longer form blogs.
Unlike some bloggers opposed to the notion that Twitter may be usurping the blogosphere, Pirillo believes the trend to be what it is, and that Twitter actually “augments blogging. It’s a different medium, so while blog posts index well on Google*, tweets may not…Twitter is for flash in the pan information.”
Looking at the bigger picture, the trend is an important one to watch now that prolific bloggers with large audiences have been able to port those same audiences, attract new followers, and expand their reach on Twitter. Given the financial opportunities made available through Twitter ad platforms like IZEA’s Sponsored Tweets, bloggers, like Pirillo, can still profit in shorter form. This means we could see a shift in preferred mediums, with brevity potentially being more rewarding.
2. Kawasaki: The Evolution of Twitter as a Platform
The Alltop co-founder and original Apple evangelist has been known to push a few buttons using the micro medium, but he continues to be one of the most retweeted users on Twitter, and has been vocal about using tweets to drive traffic. Which is why it comes as no surprise that he tells us that Twitter is moving away from just the personal, “we chatter,” and becoming heavily used by brands.
Kawasaki says, “When the internet was young it was primarily personal websites, but it since became commercial, but not in a bad way. It became a platform. Twitter is emulating the internet, and isn’t just turning into a marketing platform, but simply becoming a platform used for multiple things.”
What was once just a place for conversation amongst friends has evolved into a vehicle where brands can set up shop and drive real business. He even believes Twitter has matured beyond the original expectations and use cases that its founders envisioned. Kawasaki cites the Kogi Korean BBQ truck as an example of a business using Twitter as a platform in a way that Twitter most certainly didn’t plan for.
3. Solis: Semantic Intelligence
Brian Solis [@briansolis], PR 2.0 guru and consummate networker, has been focused of late on analyzing tweets and Twitter-specific behaviors, he even recently led a study on Twitter airline analysis. Given that his eye is so predominantly focused on Twitter data, we tend to agree with his analysis that Twitter is heading in the direction of more filtered and intelligent conversations.Solis notes that as users follow more and more Twitterers, their ability to stay connected to individual users and their respective tweets diminishes greatly. Though the noise is commonly accepted by many a Twitterer as normal, Solis believes that the next big Twitter trend will be a more intelligent Twitter experience. He says, “the future of Twitter is semantic intelligence, where what you click, what you read, and what you do, act to determine what you like, with applications serving you the tweets you really want.”
Solis points to the iPhone app, my6sense, as a perfect example of semantic intelligence applied to social media streams. The app functions as an RSS reader, but you can share stories with Twitter, FriendFeed*, and Facebook*. The stories you read and share are then used to recommend articles, and the more you use it the better it works.
Solis believes that soon we will see more specialized services developed to work in a similar fashion in relation to tweets and Twitter updates, and he’s hoping that Twitter will build it into the API.
4. Rubel: Twitter Curation
Edelman Digital’s Senior Vice President, Steve Rubel [@steverubel] is on the same wavelength as Solis, and also believes that “Twitter is too linear, so separating the junk from the art” is a challenge that is only getting tougher. His perspective, however, is that we’re going to start to see more Twitter curators work to package tweets in more digestible streams.The notion of organizing collections of tweets and Twitterers isn’t new, but Rubel speaks of curation as if there’s a human touch finding the works of art from within the rubbish so that you don’t have to. As an example, Rubel offers up Muck Rack, from Sawhorse Media, which actively organizes and collects tweets from journalists.
Rubel believes that this is just the beginning as demand for finding tweets of interest will continue grow, which means “we’re likely to see media companies built on top of twitter, curating tweets… so while the job market for journalists is bleak, the career opportunities for editors and curators is evergreen.”
5. Laporte: User Generated Twitter Lists
Leo Laporte [@leolaporte] is the founder of the TWiT Netcast Network, as well as the host and producer of the Tech Guy radio show. As a renowned voice in the technology space, Laporte’s excitement, shared by the likes of other influential techies like Robert Scoble, around the newly released Twitter Lists is palpable.Laporte believes Twitter Lists to be “huge” and important for vastly improving the overall Twitter experience for new and seasoned users alike. Laporte states, “One of the issues with Twitter is that it’s been so simple, so Twitter Lists is a big breakthrough. They finally realized that they have been leaving all of this extra stuff on the table.”
When it comes to the new Twitter Lists, Laporte emphatically rejoices, “user-generated lists, long live the king.”
And we tend to agree. We’ve covered the new Twitter Lists prior to and post launch, and find there to be immense potential and power for all Twitterers. The easily-accessed follower lists highlight how many lists each Twitterer is on in a very a public way, which ultimately provides a new metric for measuring Twitter influence and relevance. We also think that Twitter Lists will help the company tackle their ongoing user retention problem.