Follow the Eurovision on social media

The first of two semi finals of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place tonight in Copenhagen, Denmark. New this year is the ambition to bring the participants closer to the audience via social media.

The Social Green Room
Social media has become increasingly important as the place to read and share opinions about the contest. So to make it even easier to find live reporting from the participating countries, the Danish public service television channel DR has created a Social Green Room that collects updates from the artists official Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. You can either follow a stream of updates or select updates from one country.

Official Eurovision social media channels:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EurovisionSongContest

Instagram: http://instagram.com/eurovision

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Eurovision and https://twitter.com/eurovisionpress

Twitter hashtags: #eurovision #esc2014

eurovision-ticktock

Like in recent years, some artists are promoting hashtags of their own, like the Ukraine’s #ticktock. You can also use the country code for each country as a hashtag, like #SWE for Sweden and #DEN for Denmark. A list of country codes can be found here.

How to find the gender of your Twitter followers

If your Twitter account is eligible for advertising, it also has an analytics section that allows you to see the gender of your followers. Just go to https://ads.twitter.com and Analytics > Followers and you will find information about your followers top interests, top locations and gender. Apparently 67% of my followers are male, 33% female.

twitterfollowers

Twitter suspends Zlatan Ibrahimovic parody account without notice

zlatan twitter account

A parody Twitter account with about 90,000 followers was suspended yesterday without warning. The account @ZIbrahomovic has been entertaining Twitter users for almost two years with funny, but fake, quotes from Swedish football icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The account has been up front with the fact that it is not the real Zlatan, but that hasn’t stopped several Swedish news outlets from publishing it as real quotes. SVT, the Swedish public service tv channel, once published a fake quote that said:

“If FIFA does not give me the Ballon d’Or I need to talk to Santa Claus”

And Dagens Nyheter, the largest Swedish daily, once published a quote that read:

“Ronaldo will never play in PSG. They don’t produce as much hairspray in France as he needs.”

Both fake, of course. But now the parody account has been closed down without a warning, which is a bit odd, since there are plenty of other accounts that are allowed to continue as long as they state in the Twitter bio that they are not the person or company they pretend to be.

Funny Twitter chat
The closing down of “fake Zlatan” coincides with a hilarious Twitter Q&A that the real Ibrahimovic (@ibra_official) held yesterday under the Nike campaign hashtag #daretozlatan. Whether there is a connection between the two things remains to be seen. Zlatan’s PR Manager has declined that he has asked Twitter to suspend the account.

Metro in the UK has a list of some of the great chat responses from Ibra. Read them here. If you ask me, they are a little to good to be from Zlatan himself, but then again, I’m a born skeptic…

The problem with bad targeting of promoted tweets

Twitter made a successful debut on NYSE a few days ago and as a listed company there will surely be an increased attention to revenues in the months ahead. Revenues that will come from for example promoted accounts, trends and tweets. So prepare to see more sponsored tweets in your Twitter feed from now on.

We can already see more examples of businesses that are experimenting with advertising on Twitter. One key factor in the future success of Twitter is its ability to gather enough relevant data about its users so that advertisers can target their key audiences properly. If you advertise on Facebook you are able to select targets based on age, geography, interest and so forth in quite som detail. At the moment, either Twitter isn’t able to provide this data to its advertisers, or the advertisers are ignoring it.

More often than not, ads on Twitter will look like the one below. This promoted tweet was visible in my feed two days ago.

sponsored tweet

For Twitter to be able to increase revenues from sponsored tweets, it is vital that the ones we are exposed to are as relevant as possible. I blogged recently on my Swedish blog about the nasty and angry responses to one promoted tweet on the Swedish market by Scandinavian Airlines, SAS. Users have been spoiled since they have been able to use Twitter for free for so long and any change towards more ads is seen as a deterioration.

The tweet pictured above is totally irrelevant to me for two reasons. First of all the timing. Why advertise a Halloween tweet more than two weeks after Halloween? Second, why is this ad in my feed at all? I am from Sweden and I have noted both my country of origin and language (Swedish) in my Twitter settings. Sure Becker is an international company but they have no representation in Sweden. The chance that this message is relevant to me is next to zero.

That’s just one of many similar examples from the last week or so. Here are two more. The first is a post by Al Jazeera and I can’t even read the letters.

Promoted tweet

The second is a tweet from @ANGAus.

Promoted tweet

Obviously, I will never be a customer to America’s Natural Gas Alliance. So why am I exposed to these irrelevant ads? I can think of a number of reasons, some mentioned above. However, I think it comes down to this sentence on the business section on Twitter regarding pricing for promoted tweets.

“You’ll only be charged when people follow your Promoted Account or retweet, reply, favorite or click on your Promoted Tweets.”

This basically means that an advertiser never pays extra for having its tweets posted in the feeds of people who would never be interested in its message. The advertiser only pays for interactions and if users are exposed to an irrelevant ad they just ignore it. The only part that loses is the user who is bothered with ads that make absolutely no sense.

As I understand, advertising on Twitter is limited to a number of markets. So hopefully when more markets open up, targeting of ads will become better and Swedes will get ads from local businesses instead. Because ads on Twitter are here to stay, might as well make them as relevant as possible.

Ryanair crash lands in Twitter chat

In a recent survey published in Britain’s premier consumer magazine, Which?, budget airline Ryanair was voted last among 100 top brands in quality of customer service. Perhaps the airline is finally starting to realize that it needs to improve its awful reputation in order to remain competitive and make an effort not to “unnecessarily piss people off”.

“Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary told shareholders Friday his airline must improve how it treats passengers and handles complaints so that customers don’t feel pushed around by staff and unfairly imposed charges – and potentially take business to other airlines offering more than Ryanair’s budget model.”

But if Ryanair thought a Q&A session on Twitter with CEO Michael O’Leary would do any good, they failed miserably. The thing with inviting customers to a public debate is that you will not always get the responses you wish. We’ve seen a number of cases where critics have hijacked hashtags on Twitter because it’s a great opportunity to get exposure for your complaints. In a case with a brand that so many people hate, you would obviously expect that critics would take advantage of the situation. People who would otherwise have been silent, now feel there’s an excuse to voice their opinions.

Some examples under the hashtag #GrillMOL on Monday were:

“Were you born an arsehole or has it progressed throughout your life?”

“Is it company policy for your staff to be rude and unhelpful as possible?”

“Due to fly to Riga on Saturday but can’t go as my mum in law is losing her cancer battle. 388 quid to re-book seems unfair”

“Why no response for a refund request (sent reg. post) in over a month from seriously ill girl with special needs? @Ryanair #scum”

Here’s another great tweet from @AndyGilder, mocking Ryanair:

Twitter chat Ryainair Michael O'Leary

O’Leary’s history of nasty macho responses to everyone from customers to journalists and politicians has earned him the title “aviation’s most hated man”. The Twitter chat was no exception as he started out commenting female Twitter users’ avatars: “Nice pic. Phwoaaarr! MOL”, to which others responded:

@Ryanair how is it appropriate for an airline CEO to be a sexist pig?”, and: “People who fly Ryanair: do you also think this is an acceptable thing to tweet at a woman?”

A brand in trouble could make use of social media if their intent is genuine, if they are really there to listen and be prepared to change. If you open up a dialogue with critics just to mock them, prepare for disaster.

However, as is often the case, even bad publicity will get you attention and the @Ryanair Twitter account has gained nearly 2,000 new followers in the next two days. Perhaps this could be the start of something new, after all. But until the company changes its approach to customer service and to its own employees, I will not fly with Ryanair.

ryanair twitter