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Can you keep a secret? So can I.

I recently read a blog post that detailed a rather upsetting interaction between a fan and the panel of judges from Top Chef. SymiGoddess fell in to a full-blown foodie swoon upon seeing the beloved bad-ass experts at a local bar, and as a Top Chef fanatic I could totally relate to her excited impulse to share her luck via Twitter. Symi sent out tweets buy cytotec saying, 'I just met @PadmaLakshmi I'm in love,'? and 'Tonight just got surreal @ the esquire. Top Chef in the house!!!'? Everything was going swimmingly until her evening was interrupted by staff from Bravo telling her that she had compromised the location of the celebrities and needed to stop tweeting. 'Now.'? To me there are two exciting things about being part of the Twittersphere, and the first is that you're always the first to hear a 'scoop.'? We like to get our news in real time so we're among the elite who get to hear exciting new things before anyone else. Twitter is the first place I hear most of my news, from the death of Osama Bin Laden, to the latest celebrity engagement ring Tweetpic. I stay plugged in, because I like to be among the first to know. That's what makes it fun and makes me feel elite ' I am special to know new things. I saw that Mila Kunis was working out next to one of my friends in a Boston gym, and yeah, I felt a thrill knowing that information. The second thing that makes Twitter cool is that while the Top Chef celebs may have felt at risk, it is the possibility of doing an 'a la minute'? update of your news that makes Twitter special. I tweeted where to find the Stanley Cup the day after the Bruins won, and it was my ability to share real-time information that made one of my co-workers forever indebted to me. (You know who you are.) People love to share their micro-news and be among the few who are looked to for information. While influencers on Twitter are not officially members of the press, the lines are becoming more blurred and often someone who sends a tweet to their followers can reach more people than a local newspaper. Being someone who makes the news is really cool. Granted, there is much more that is interesting and fun about Twitter, but reading Symi's blog post made me feel sad, because they ruined the fun part of being a micro-journalist. People need to prepare for how real-time news will affect their life and learn to roll with it, because it's happening, and their best option is to jump on board.

What's New In Social Media This Week'?¦

Check out the latest social media news for this week'?¦ GroupMe, a social media startup, is giving brands the opportunity to create and engage in group messaging conversations about them.  The brands will have the ability to send messages, answer questions, share photos, post promotions and more.  Read more'?¦ Ever wondered how the click-per-share ratio compares between Facebook and Twitter?  Mashable pulled 3 months worth of their social data and calculated the click-per-share rate.  Twitter users are more likely to share an article but not read it, while Facebook users click on more articles than they share.  Also, Twitter received about .38 clicks per tweet while Facebook received 3.31 clicks per engagement ' which is 8.7x more clicks than a tweet.  Read more'?¦ Only .05% of Twitter users' tweets attract attention.  Of the 260 million tweets with URLs that were analyzed by Yahoo Research, nearly 50% of the tweets came from 'elite'? users: media, celebrities, organizations, and bloggers.  Read more'?¦ Twitter has released a new set of developer tools that will make it easier to embed fully-functional tweets on the Web.  Read more'?¦

Will u be my Valentine...on Twitter?

Who says chivalry is dead? At least it's not on Twitter ' according to the top tweet on Boston's trending topic 'valentinesday'? on the 14th: What more could a girl ask for on Valentine's Day?! A perfect gentleman and a Big Mac ' check. It is true, social media has even changed Valentine's Day. On February 14 Valentine's Day dominated many news feeds as Twitter erupted with tweets of love as well as tweets of contempt for what many dubbed yesterday on the Twittosphere as the 'Hallmark Holiday.'? Who needs Cupid when there's Twitter? In 2008, Twitter added a new feature especially for the holiday of love ' Valentine tweets. Each time a user sent a message directed at someone (@username), and added a <3 symbol, the person hearted would be asked if they 'heart' back via a giant 'YES' button. Valentine's Day: Not just for Hallmark anymore Of course, you do not have to be Hallmark to benefit from Valentine's Day. Regardless of the diverse reactions to Valentine's Day on Twitter, many companies, such as Hershey's, Macy's and AT&T to name just a few, took advantage of the Holiday to promote their products through Twitter this year. Even Coca Cola didn't miss the chance to send out some V-day love with a sponsored top tweet. Here are just a few highlights of this year's V-day Twitter promotions: AT&T: 'Shout your love from the mountaintop.'? The campaign began Thursday and encouraged users to post declarations of love to AT&T's Facebook page. In turn, on Valentine's Day AT&T's mountain men would pick some posts to 'shout'? from the top of Mount Baldy in Southern California using HTC Inspire 4G phones. The hashtag #LoveShout was also paid for on Twitter as a promoted trend. My M&M's: Promoted personalized M&M's as a way to get a message across that may be hard to say using the M&M character Red, who has trouble showing his emotional side. Along with a variety of digital and traditional media used in the promotion, M&M used the Twitter handle MyMMscom as a way for users to share gift ideas and get discount codes for the candies. Macy's: The Sweetest Tweets Contest (Macy's first promotional contest through Twitter) prompted users to interact with the brand by tweeting love notes using the #sweetesttweets hashtag. The winner receives a three-stone diamond ring. Pizza Hut: Using the hashtag #iluvPH, users tweeted their best pick-up lines for a chance to win a free order of Pizza Hut's Hershey chocolate dunkers. Hershey's: Hershey's Valentine's Day Twitter Party. Using the #Hersheys tag on Twitter on February 3 users followed hostess @ResourcefulMom who was joined by representatives from The Hershey Company to chat about Hershey's Valentine's Day gifts and give away prizes. The grand prize being a Blu-ray player, two romantic comedies and, of course, a variety of Hershey's Valentine's treats. Hallmark (UK): Repeated last year's Twittermantic competition: By following @HallmarkUK and tweeting a romantic verse to them using the hashtag #TM for a chance to win a romantic weekend break.

Are Promoted Tweets in Timelines for the Birds?

 In early November, Twitter launched a new type of paid ad that would place tweets directly into the timelines of Twitter users regardless of whether the user follows a brand or not. This latest launch is the third phase of Twitter's paid advertisement offering which currently includes Promoted Trends, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets. Ad placements will be targeted based on the types of friends and brands a user already follows. The initial roll out of the new paid ads will only be appearing for consumers who use the third party client HootSuite to manage their Twitter accounts (reaching some 900,000 users). Depending on ad effectiveness, Twitter will roll out the paid tweets to other third party clients, and eventually Twitter.com. The greatest advantage of paid tweets in timelines over other paid Twitter ads available is paid tweets provide increased reach over all other paid ads. While users have already expressed concern over timeline ads sullying the Twitter experience, a Twitter spokesman insists paid tweets are intended as means of extending a brand's normal tweets to a larger audience. Through analysis of link clicks, 'favoriting'? and re-tweeting, Twitter promises to scrap tweets that aren't 'working'?. While I'm inclined to believe that Twitter seeks to preserve the user experience at all costs, I highly doubt the company has the bandwidth to keep promoted tweets in timelines in check. Spammers currently run amok on Twitter creating a lack of confidence in Twitter's ability to ditch the ads that aren't garnering user attention, or prevent paid timeline ads from containing blatant and overt ad messaging rather than 'normal tweet'? language. The act of monitoring tweets from a brand that pays for ad placement also seems to be a conflict of interest for Twitter. In the end, what will Twitter sacrifice? The ad revenue (that it will be sharing with its third party clients)? Or the user experience? So what are the implications and challenges for advertisers, marketers and brands? Remember that Twitter, like most social networks, exists for its users, not brands. Social media is not a space where the brand 'talks'?, but rather listens to consumers. Don't discount the savvy of the social network user.  Users today, especially the XYZ generations, can see right through poorly concealed ad messaging and will ignore it faster than a text from their mom. The key to receiving the most benefit from a promoted timeline tweet will be to use the tool as it's intended, spreading your normal tweets to the masses. Remember to keep your messaging and content engaging.  Users will already be turned off by the yellow box exclaiming your tweet was promoted, but if the content is truly engaging a user might consider ignoring the paid attempt to reach them.  In the end, a promoted timeline tweet could not only build awareness for a brand, promotion or product launch, but could also aid in growing a brand's network. Sources: http://www.thestar.com/business/media/article/885243--twitter-moving-toward-paid-tweets-in-users-timelines http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=146822 http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/02/twitter_ads_in_user_timelines/

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