Twitter can predict the future and Facebook makes you happy

I know I haven’t posted anything for a while, and hope to do better!  In the meantime, here’s a summary of something I put up over for my day (and night) job at Rabbit, a weekly digest of things that caught our eye:

Viewers tune into online video longer if they discover via Twitter

Last year research came out from TubeMogul showing that 53% of viewers are gone after the first 60 seconds of an online video.

Now TubeMogul has new research out showing that there might be a way to get people to watch for longer: Get the video talked about on Twitter.      TubeMogul found that while music videos are watched on average for 1:30 minutes, if people discover it on Twitter (i.e via social media friend recommendations), the average viewing time increases to 2:30 minutes.

Twitter and promotional posts

The big news last week on Twitter was the announcement that the service introduced something not dissimilar to sponsored search on Google.  US media strategist Ben Kunz sums up the news in 140 characters:

“Twitter finally launches its ad model. Inserts paid tweets only into search results. CPM price structure. Minimal disruption. More may come.”

According to the Telegraph, most Twitter users look unfavourably on the notion, with only 24% saying they’d want to see a promotion in their feed.   However, industry news website Mashable points to airline Virgin America’s way of using promoted tweets, which is ’super specific.’

For example, Virgin America is running a ‘best geek moment’ promotion, which targets passengers actually using the airline’s in-flight wi-fi.   Passengers seeing the tweet are encouraged to take a picture of the ‘geek moment’ and upload online via twitpic.

Rather than annoy Twitter users, Mashable points out that this clever way of using promotional tweets by the airline might actually pleasantly surprise passengers that the airline cares about their experience.

Business blogs generate leads…if they are updated

Research from Hubspot shows that business blogs do start generating leads for their parent brands, so long as there is enough searchable content on there.

According to Marketing Charts, once you have 24+ articles up, you start to have enough content to make an impact on search engines and to get people linking back to you.

Moreover, businesses with blogs generate 67% more leads than those without.

Worth reading – the lost generation of marketers

In her Brand Strategy blog, Marketing Week’s Ruth Mortimer points us to an FT interview featuring Unilever’s outgoing CMO Simon Clift.

In it, Clift warns that digital marketing is producing a generational skills gap among marketers.    But that so-called lost generation isn’t those aged 50+, it is actually marketers aged 30-45, who Clift says have positions of responsibilty, which necessitates knowledge of social media.    That generation has neither grown up with the phenomenon, nor has children at home who use the various online tools.

Clift also says the changing landscape is good news for PR, calling digital PR “word of mouth on steroids.”

Necessity is the mother of invention, some lessons from Ford

The econsultancy blog has an interesting article about a talk given by Ford’s VP of global marketing, Jon Farley, in New York.     Farley said that while Ford had been losing market share for 14 years straight, over the past year it has gained it.

One reason is changing its product lines, but another is changing the way it markets itself.   With ad budgets having been drastically cut there is now less of a reliance on traditional marketing methods.

One instance of this working has been the Ford Fiesta Movement.   Ford has heavily marketed the new model in the US, even though it is still only available in Europe.     It has done so through  teams of ‘agents’ or volunteers in the US who create their own ads and film their exploits around the Fiesta for a chance to win cars.
Facebook makes you happy

People who share updates and messages on Facebook are happier than people who just passively look at stuff on the site.   So says, er, Facebook.

Stands to reason, if you participate or engage, either on or offline, you are more connected to the world around you and probably happier.

However, Read Write Web, which reports the story, takes Facebook to task though for no longer sharing user data for research, and instead pushes out ‘Facebook is good for you’ type surveys.

Bird herd – a new collaborative Twitter tool

There are various collaborative Twitter tools on the market that allow teams to jointly manage a single account, such as co-tweet and (the one we tend to recommend) hootsuite.

Techcrunch points us to another alternative, BirdHerd, which doesn’t have as many feature, but is lightweight and easy to use.

Essentially by linking BirdHerd to an organisation’s Twitter account, you can let other people post via their own accounts simply by sending a DM.

We’ve started trialling this for the Rabbit account, and though in private beta, the TechCrunch code of ‘TechCrunch300′ worked for us when signing up for an account (

Twitter predicts the future

Or at least, according to HP Labs, it can predict cinema box office revenues simply by looking at the volume and sentiment of tweets.

However, that means Twitter could also figure out how well a product will sell, or who will win an election – for example tweets about (UK) Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg during the 1st general election debate were very much in tune with the later polls and press coverage.

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