Social Media River Blog

Archive for the Twitter Category

Twitter Launching Enhanced Brand Pages

Twitter has just launched enhanced brand pages update to a small selection of brands and partners. Twitter will be rolling out the launch for a wider audience likely soon although no specific time frame has been provided. The shift is towards a more visual and contextual brand page, with the following new features:

  • wide banner image under the account information
  • featured “promoted” tweet at the top of the page
  • consistency between different Twitter apps and web

Social Media Promotion Beyond Widgets: Community and Brand Lifestyle Pages

A new website architecture trend is to promote social media engagement with a distinguished section or a community page in addition to placing social media icons and various social media plug-ins on a website. These engagement pages typically carry an inviting name such as “[Brand name] Life” or “Community”.

This new trend and pattern in promoting social media engagement is increasing especially among popular youth brands that build their brand image specifically on the premise of sharing and breathing the same life style as their audience. For these youth brands, social media “fans” are their brand image, and at key in staying relevant in the minds of their audience. Let’s take a look at the following samples of promoting social media engagement on a website beyond icons, widgets, and blog links.

1) Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters recently redesigned their website with a greater emphasis on navigation on mobile devices and integration of social media engagement. Urban Outfitters builds up a strong image as a social media savvy company by featuring a Community area with 11 unique interaction points for action, 8 of them related to social media engagement on their blog, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter. Rather than just displaying social media icons or links to the first blog posts, the Community page acts as a front door to seamlessly step into the the world of social media by Urban Outfitters.

2) Armani Exchange

Armani Exchange, who has also recently been re-shaping their website, had created a portal page that emphasizes news, events, giveaways, behind scenes and social media. The page offers several action points to deepen the engagement with the consumer and the time spent on the website. The page is not titled as “social media” but as “life”, sending a message: Media engagement is a “natural” part of the Armani Exchange brand, not an extension.

3) Hollister

Hollister’s rather minimalist website architecture also emphasizes social media as a home base for the Hollister community. Out of four main tabs for the website’s navigation (Dudes, Bettys, Cali Looks, HCO Life), the last tab “HCO Life” is designed as a simple yet strong gateway to integrate social medial engagement. True, Hollister is not integrating that much of social media onto their website but their strategy to emphasize social media engagement on its own page is powerful. Where as Aramani Excahnge offers multiple engagement options on their “AX Life” portal page, Hollister has chosen to foster an opposite strategy: “Everyone, go to Facebook, and Facebook only”. This website’s message is further re-enforced at Hollister stores by the staff who is time to time instructed to finish each transaction taking place with a phrase such as “Check out us on Facebook”. Each buying customer leaves a Hollister store with a paper bags with a similar message: “Check out HCo. on facebook”. The social media strategy has been extremely successful: With over 5,468,600 likes, Hollister has one of the largest fan bases on Facebook with an ongoing lively chatter and commenting on various wall posts, new products and new models.

4) Marimekko

Although the last example, Marimekko, doesn’t belong to the category of companies creating social media portal areas, Marimekko’s use of the concept “tribe” belongs to this same social media philosophy of identifying and building communities and talks perfectly, in this case, to Marimekko brand’s modern and urban fashion community. (Perhaps at a later point, Marimekko will be integrating its tribe of fans further on their website.)

© 2011. Meri Kuusi-Shields /Social Media River / Interaria. All rights reserved.

“Twitter is about 1000% more useful than Facebook.” – Facebook’s Social Construction on Twitter

This blog post examines how Facebook is constructed on Twitter: what type of tweets about Facebook are common on Twitter; how do Twitter users address and refer to Facebook. To get some idea, I collected (between June 6 – 7, 2011) about 27 tweets (of which 23 is referenced in this post) that reflect experiences of using Facebook. I specifically selected tweets that express personal opinions and the member’s take on Facebook. These tweets by majority approach Facebook as a personal social media and networking site, and not as a company or business forum. Most tweeters (estimating from their avatar picture) are teenagers and young adults, approximately between 15 – 30 years of age, and they hold personal Facebook accounts, and do not operate (or reference in their tweets) company pages. From the collected data, I can clearly identify four different ways to tweet about Facebook.

1) Comparing Twitter and Facebook

The first group of tweets are about comparing Twitter and Facebook. Since the tweets are posted on Twitter, they are quite favorable towards the use of Twitter and often examine Facebook in a fairly critical light. However, @stayfojonas does notice this bias nature in her tweet: “LOL it’s so funny cause everyone on twitter, hates facebook. & everyone on facebook, hates twitter.” While some balance between Twitter and Facebook, @MrFornicator expresses clearly that Twitter and Facebook are meant for different type of social communication styles, of which @2FBS sees as being restricting calling his views of one of a “Twitter Police”.

Twitter made me get over my Facebook addiction lol

Dear Facebook, Just wait, one day they’ll abandon you as well. Sincerely, Myspace. #ImperfectTeens_

Twitter is about 1000% more useful than Facebook.

Twitter makes me want to have drinks with people I’ve never met, and Facebook makes me want to throw drinks at people I already know..

If you have 3 tweets in a row that say what you’re cooking, what song you’re listening to, and what your mood is… just go back to Facebook.

@2FBS (In response to @MrFornicator >>)
@MrFornicator Ahhh.. more self appointed Twitter Police. Just what the world needs.

LOL it’s so funny cause everyone on twitter, hates facebook. & everyone on facebook, hates twitter.

2) Facebook Through Metaphors

The second group of tweets that stand out from the data are tweets that describe the use and essence of Facebook through metaphors. In this selection the metaphors are quite critical, calling Facebook a “refrigerator” and  a “jail”, and “just a vacation spot”.  These tweets are part of a Twitter’s “quote” genre, a widely popular and accepted style to express oneself on Twitter.

Facebook is like a refrigerator. you get bored and keep checking but nothing ever changes

Facebook’s like jail. You sit around and waste time, write on walls, and get poked by people you don’t know. #ImperfectTeens_

Twitter = Heavily populated city. Facebook = Just a vacation spot. Myspace = A ghost town. #LetsBeReal

3) Commenting Facebook Features

The third group of tweets make comments on Facebook’s various features, sometimes reminiscing the good old times in Facebook and describing problems with new features. @Borgore critiques Facebook’s strict terms of use policy, @MaggDaddy sees Facebook as a great automated birthday reminder, frequent users @john_maalouf, @Adri_Mane, and @jess3 bring up each different aspects of Facebook features that require improvements. Twitter act as a forum to express these opinions to the public.

My photos were too abusive for facebook’s sake, ladies in their bikinis can harm our young children yet lady gaga…

Facebook = Birthday reminder

Buy And Sell Stocks Via Facebook! What can’t be done on Facebook these days!

>#ThingsIHate Facebook Instant Messages as SOON as I log on.

Facebook status updates became wall postings. They used to mean so much. You had it by your name like a quote… now its meaningless.

Ugh Facebook has decided to poke back everyone, even the little freaks who poked me like a year ago. Awkwardddd.

4) Dealing With Social Life in Facebook

The fourth and last group of tweets describe the significant place of Facebook in user’s life, pointing out awkward moments in Facebook, clashes between the real life relationships and interaction in social media, and dealing with the social media network of friends and family. This tweeting style was by quantity the most popular, although the small data really can only suggest this but not to confirm it. Teenagers and young adults appear to be quite aware of how Facebook features are used to build and express relationships. One’s status is important, and so is the ability to block unwanted friends and interaction. On the other hand reconnecting with old friends is seen as a valuable part of Facebook.  Some tweets address the virtual nature of Facebook wishing that life was as easy to manage as are Facebook’s features. Twitter is used as forum to vent about bad Facebook experiences, and bring attention to the good Facebook experiences that may potentially challenge Twitter’s status quo.

That awkward moment when you are about to “like” someones facebook status and then you see it was posted 45 seconds ago, so you wait on it.

I can delete you from Facebook & block you on twitter but I can’t delete memories or block you from my heart

Facebook should change the name from “friend request” to “I’ve seen you before but I just want to be nosy and not speak!

I wish blocking people out of my life was as easy as blocking them on Facebook.

If your relationship status on Facebook says, “It’s complicated” then stop kidding yourself & change it to “Single”

Dear mom, What happened to that line “I’m not one of your little friends,” Sincerely, stop trying to request me on Facebook.

Posting depressing song lyrics as Facebook statuses will make people want to punch you, not feel sorry for you. #JustSaying #LMTL

Facebook reconnecting me with people from 6 or 7 years back. That’s why I like it!

Wow I got re-connected with a super old friend way back when I was like 19, on facebook! So happy when these things happen.

Ugh Facebook has decided to poke back everyone, even the little freaks who poked me like a year ago. Awkwardddd.

Twitter users who tweet about Facebook on Twitter compare the different usage and needs of Facebook and Twitter, express their frustration over specific Facebook’s features, use metaphoric quote style to express the essence of Facebook, and critique settings and etiquette that make socializing in Facebook awkward.  Twitter is a communication platform that allows enough distance and anonymity from “the jail” to freely reflect and vent one’s Facebook opinions and experiences.

© 2011. Meri Kuusi-Shields /Social Media River / Interaria. All rights reserved.