Posts Tagged ‘research’

Twitter, advertising, television, and #secondscreen experience

May 22, 2013

I asked Mr. T.J. Adeshola, an account manager with Twitter, to speak with my Social Media class and he graciously agreed (T.J. and I were classmates together in graduate school at the University of Georgia- we even co-authored a paper about blogging).

I wanted to share some of his (wait for bad Twitter pun) “TWinsights” with you.

Adeshola, whose clients include ESPN (his former employer), Anheuser-Busch (parent company of Bud Light), and Forman-Brown (makers of Jack Daniels), among others, said that many of the brands he works with understand the importance of being in the social space but often want advice on how to execute best practices and content strategies.

Adeshola works with advertisers to amplify their messages on the platform using Twitter promoted products in the forms of promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends. While Twitter users want to know how to get verified and how to get more followers, brands are the same way, Adeshola said. They often utilize Twitter to broaden their follower base so that they can create a contingent brand advocates on the platform.

He said that the hashtag is “an aggregation of conversation” and as such no one can really “own” a hashtag per se.

There’s no specific number of tweets it takes in order to trend. “If there’s a huge event (i.e. Grammy’s) that day, it becomes more difficult for topics unrelated to that event to trend nationally. For example, there were over 24 million tweets during the Superbowl! As you can imagine, that much volume can make it difficult for a non-Super Bowl related hashtag to trend organically,” Adeshola said.

Adeshola said that companies try to incorporate social strategy as part of an overall integrated strategy (“to sprinkle some social juice on it,” as he puts it). Social shouldn’t be viewed as a singular approach, however, Adeshola cautioned.

“The idea is not to look at all social channels as one big platform,” he said. “You guys go to Facebook for different reasons than you go to Twitter, or for different reasons than you go to Pinterest or for different reasons than you go to Instagram and that’s something everybody needs to keep in mind at all times. When you’re looking at types of engagement that occur on Twitter, they’re different than the types of engagement that occur on Facebook.”

Aware of the prevalence and influence of TV and how many shows are already using Twitter hashtags to promote their shows, Adeshola said that Twitter provides the perfect “second screen” experience for viewers.

makeitplatinum
“We believe that we are the ideal second screen experience so with that we are the perfect extension of television, so if BudLight Platinum has a commercial and they say Make It Platinum, which is a hashtag they utilize, Twitter is the destination for conversation around the advertisement, so our goal is to step in as a companion and help amplify these initiatives,” Adeshola said.

The Bird is ever mindful to not just be a “one trick pony” so the popular Social Networking Site is looking to evolve the platform and services with television a natural place for future synergies, Adeshola said.

“Shows want an extension of their show to live elsewhere,” he said. “They want companion interaction, they want companion engagement. The great thing about that is that Pretty Little Liars might end, but the hashtag that’s used within the show organizes all of the related conversations on Twitter, so it’s really the perfect play for advertisers, marketers and content providers alike.”

** Update: On May 23, Twitter announced TV ad targeting similar to what Adeshola was describing, as illustrated in the video below**

Note: I’m cross-posting this on geoffreygraybeal.com AND my Social Media Class’ Digital & Social Media Literacy blog.

Presenting on a Grand Stage

April 26, 2013

After presenting at the International Symposium on Online Journalism last week, I wanted to share some takeaways/tips on how academics can make a more engaging presentation (particularly on a grand stage like ISOJ). I could easily title this blog post “Presentation Tips (Do What I Say, Not What I Did).”

ISOJ brings together some of the world’s leading journalists, news execs, journalism scholars and students. For the most part, the non-academics delivered far more engaging, dynamic memorable presentations than the academics (myself included). Academics are accustomed to presenting research to a small group of peers deeply entrenched in a core subject area. ISOJ is a whole different ballgame. The crowd is large (350+ in attendance, plus thousands more watching on two livestreams- one in English, one in Spanish). The audience is diverse (people from 30 different countries were present and a mix of different professions as previously noted). The coverage is intense (expect to be tweeted, recorded, blogged about and so forth).

Academics who get the privilege of presenting on this grand stage (acceptance rates are low so it truly is an honor to be selected) should heed the following advice, IMHO:
 
1)Forget the standard academic format. Yes, you’ll want to talk about the background, your research questions and what your findings are, but doing so shouldn’t follow the standard cookie cutter approach that non-academics either don’t understand or eyes glaze over at the verbose language.
 
2)Own the Stage: If you’re like me, you’re used to hiding behind the podium. The podium is a place to see the complex underpinnings of the research you’re describing, or place notes/talking points. Most of the non-academics owned the stage. They stood out front and center with the big screen behind them, much like you often find at a TED talk.

Make Like Don Draper: Channel your inner "Mad Men" when making a presentation. The fictional ad man is brilliant at making a pitch.

Make Like Don Draper: Channel your inner “Mad Men” when making a presentation. The fictional ad man is brilliant at making a pitch.

 
3)Be Tweetable. Have at least one “killer quote” that’s short, memorable and likely to be tweeted- and shared (getting your message to a wider audience).

David Ho of The Wall Street Journal had at least two such moments:

“The first step in thinking mobile first is don’t think mobile last,” he said.

 “The mouse is dead,” he also declared

Longtime Guardian staffer Emily Bell made a great NBA analogy for journalism, declaring “The power has gone from the league to the franchise to the individual.”

Deseret Media CEO Clark Gilbert had a great line about disruption rendering really smart people completely incapable.

4)Think Visually. Graphics and visual imaging tell a story and are more compelling and engaging than text-heavy slides (we all know not to use a bunch of texts but the standard academic study privileges findings).
 
5)Know Your Audience: A typical academic conference is to a small group of scholarly peers that know the subject you’re talking about. At ISOJ you have a mix of students, scholars, journalists and managers from industry and the academy. Keep your language simple and stay on message. Tell a cohesive story in whatever short amount of time you have to do so.
 
6)Show Passion and Personality: Yes, we’re discussing serious matters, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also have fun in doing so. The Washington Post’s Joey Marburger explained how the Tardis time machine from the long-running television series Doctor Who is an example of how mobile devices connect people to the rest. Even Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, responded to a question by saying “Whoomp There It Is” (which naturally prompted a tweet with a link to the Tag Team video). Don’t be afraid to use humor in your talk or to show a lighter, more personable side.

In looking back at the video of my presentation, I #fail(ed) to do most of these. After two presentations at ISOJ, I’m confident that the third time will be the charm.  I look forward to the next time I get the opportunity to take the stage in Austin and some stellar presentations from ISOJ2014.

Wireless devices disrupt newspapers

October 4, 2011

“The faster the disruption of print by tablet happens, the faster newspaper owners can jettison print expenses and get closer to sustainable (but not yet proven) mainly-digital business models.”

-Ken Doctor, newsonomics blog post

Newspaper executives and industry observers are starting to pay attention to two significant developments that are altering their business: disruption and the continued emergence of wireless mobile devices (specifically smartphones and tablet devices).

In a blog post on “the newsonomics of disruption,”  digital news analyst Ken Doctor writes about tablet disruption of tablet, tablet disruption of laptops, tablet disruption of smartphones and most importantly, local news disruption and tablet news disruption.

“Digital disruption is now increasing,” according to Doctor. “Audiences are even more up for grabs than they were a couple of years ago. Advertising and sponsorship dollars, pounds and euros, are also being more greatly swayed by these disruptive winds than they were in 2009.”

In an article first published in Editor & Publisher and republished on his Reflections of a Newsosaur blog, Alan Mutter writes that “publishers have not failed to embrace disruptive experimentation because they are not smart enough to do so. The video embedded below (note: also embedded on this blog) is proof that the folks at Knight Ridder in 1994 had a pretty good idea of what the future might hold. But the newspaper business historically was so successful that publishers didn’t need, or want, to change much about it. Consequently, risk-taking and experimentation took a back seat to business as usual. ”

“With print circulation and advertising revenues falling to ever-lower lows for each of the last five years, newspapers now must find new ways to cost-effectively create content; build new web, mobile and social audiences, and monetize their traffic as profitably as Facebook and Google do,” Mutter continues. “To do that, they will have to bring the creative chaos of Silicon Valley into every corner of their businesses. This means launching multiple, carefully planned initiatives across the full array of print and digital media.”

These newspaper disruptions brought on by wireless mobile devices is precisely what I’m looking at for my dissertation.  I’m interested not only in the disruption to newspaper business models, but what publishers are doing about it.  A good headline for an article about my work would be “Wireless devices disrupt newspaper business models, publishers respond.”

Here’s a brief summary of my ongoing dissertation research:

Firms are now operating in hypercompetitive, emergent, dynamic, unstable, highly volatile environments in which a sustained competitive advantage may no longer be possible.  Disruptive innovation (disruption) may alter not only business models, but the strategic processes used to address the disruption.

Disruptive innovation can either disrupt or sustain a firm or industry either through business model innovations or radical product innovations.  There is not one clear definition for business models, but revenue streams and consumer values are vital to most business-model concepts.  Circulation revenue and advertising in print have long made up the traditional newspaper business model now being disrupted by the Internet and mobile devices. Whereas the Internet served as the first wave of disruption to newspaper business models, wireless mobile devices represent a second wave of disruption.

Newspapers are now experimenting with emerging models for online and mobile content, but have a history of failing to act on risk-taking experimentation that brings about change even though companies like Knight Ridder designed a futuristic tablet nearly two decades ago that closely resembles today’s iPad, and other newspaper companies commissioned a group to address disruption.  Wireless mobile devices have emerged as a critical news delivery platform and offer potential to newspapers at the same time as they continue to disrupt existing newspaper business models.

The highly uncertain “emergent” disrupted environment, characterized by evolving business models, unclear industry boundaries, new competitors and consumer preferences that are not well known, can have a dramatic impact on the managerial process of newspaper managers.  Newspaper managers’ decision speed, participation, comprehensiveness, and perceptions of the environment can affect the business model implemented to address business model innovation in order to gain a competitive advantage.  My dissertation explores these internal strategy processes newspaper executives are using to develop strategies and tactics to address mobile disruption.