Tuesday Twitter Topics

Here are a few interesting stories about Twitter that I’d like to share with you:

The Teen, The Tweet, And The Governor:
The story about what happens when a teenager tells a governor “#heblowsalot” on Twitter. The governor’s office reacted and the girl’s school demanded that she’d write a letter of apology, which she refused. A telling tale of how over-reaction can create a crisis out of nothing.

Marmite soars up Twitter after 20-tonne spillage
In the UK, Marmite became the top trending topic on Twitter this morning after 23.5 tonnes of it were spilled on the motorway. Lot’s of witty comments were all over Twitter, like this one by @clurr:

there’s 20 tonnes of marmite on the m1! quick, to sheffield with toast”

In Chile, Protesting Students Tweak Tweets to Win Global Support:
Students in Chile are using Twitter to gain support for protests of the costs of education. More about this social movement can be found at http://mobilized2011.tk/

Citroën To Begin Twitter Race; Route Determined By Followers’ Tweets
Citroën recently launched a competition in which participants were asked to tweet directions and tell the driver of a car, where she should travel. By calculating which direction is the most requested, she would drive towards that direction until the next request is processed. One of the participants would then be able to win the new Citroën DS5.

Arabic highest growth on Twitter, English expression stabilizes below 40%
English no longer make up the majority of tweets on Twitter, 60% of tweets are in other languages. Arabic sees explosive growth, according to a study by Semiocast.

Access to Twitter in China during Golf World Cup
International golf stars, spectators and media at the World Cup on the southern Chinese island of Hainan enjoyed uncensored Internet access denied to 1.3 billion Chinese. The owners of the five-star Mission Hills golf complex in Hainan managed to temporarily lift the Chinese ban of sites like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

The Swedish Liberal Party leaves Twitter

[Updated] In September 2010, there was a general election to the Swedish parliament. Once again, it was expected that this would be the election in which social media would prove to have a strong influence on opinion. The jury is still out on what the real effects were, but most political parties and many politicians were active with blogs, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Since then, Twitter and Facebook have continued to grow at amazing speed. Twitter now has more than 200 million users who publish some 250 million tweets per day. One would like to believe that the importance of Twitter as a communications channel has grown even more during the last 12 months. But apparently some think it is too much work to pay attention to what is being discussed on the microblog. The Swedish Liberal Party, which was the fourth largest party in the last election and is currently part of the ruling centre-right coalition, yesterday announced they were no longer going to log on to Twitter, at least not for a while.

folkpartiet twitter

The tweet reads, my translation:

“We are now logging off from Twitter for a while. We don’t have enough personell to sit and monitor this channel. If you want to continue discussion [sic] you’re welcome to do it on (link to Facebook page)”.

As I noted in this analysis of Swedish political parties on Twitter, the Liberal Party was the last of the established parties to start using Twitter. The account was registered in January 2009, but while all the other parties started tweeting during that period, the Liberal Party didn’t start tweeting actively until November 2009. Now, they are also the first to leave Twitter, if only for the time being.

Tweetstats for Folkpartiet 2009

The account currently has 4,133 followers but it has only been active in periods. It went almost silent after May this year, with the strange exception of two days in October. During the party’s national congress, it sent out 150 tweets in two days. Only two days later, it is announced that the party is logging off.

Twitter graph for Folkpartiet


Below: number of tweets in October 2011.

Twitter graph for Folkpartiet

If find it interesting and a bit surprising to make such a move, especially since we are seeing more and more evidence that Twitter is at the heart of movements such as Occupy Wall Street and others. Twitter is and will continue to be a great place for interacting with opinion leaders and to bring forward political views. As a party, it will be at your disadvantage to log off for longer periods of time and try to come back when there is an election coming up. You can’t start to build relationships when you need them. They need to be cultivated over time.

Update: When people started commenting about this on Twitter (?!), the Liberal Party felt a need to clarify that they have not abandoned Twitter entirely. They are reorganizing and will still use the account, although “not as frequently as they would wish”.

Via Makthavare.se.

Why we follow brands on Twitter

Market research firm Labs42 surveyed 500 Twitter users about how they interact with brands. The majority of respondents (aged 18+) followed 10 brands or less. The main reason to follow a brand on Twitter was to get discounts.

chart why we follow brands on twitter

Based on these answers, it would be easy to conclude that discounts and promotions would be the quickest way to build a large following on Twitter. However, when looking at some Swedish brands, the really successful ones are using Twitter mainly as a channel to inform about products and business related topics, in combination with answering questions from consumers. Check out @hm and@spotify as good examples. Sports retail chain Stadium is one example of an account with mainly promotions, but it is only followed by 500 people.

This survey had very few options to the question “why do you follow [brands]”. Another similar survey from last year revealed that information about new products is one of the main reasons to follow brands.

Why we follow brands on Twitter

Also see this white paper about Swedish businesses on Twitter:

100 Swedish brands now have more than 1,000 followers on Twitter

Swedish brands on Twitter are getting more and more followers. Now there are more than 100 brands or businesses that have 1,000 followers or more, (currently 103 accounts). In January 2011, only 60 accounts had that many followers. Some of them, like H&M, are growing with amazing speed, adding about 70,000 new followers per month to its main corporate account (H&M also have several local accounts).

Swedish brands, avatars on Twitter - by www.kullin.net

The top 10 Swedish brands on Twitter in terms of number of followers, are (as of Aug 25, 2011, compared to May 3):

  1. H&M (@hm) – 431,000 (179,900)
  2. Spotify (@spotify) – 161,000 (99,400)
  3. Stardoll (@stardoll) – 134,000 (77,600)
  4. Adland (@adland) – 26,900 (24,500)
  5. Acne Online (@acneonline) – 24,900 (20,500)
  6. Pingdom (@pingdom) – 20,200 (7,200)
  7. Ericsson Labs/Tor Bjorn Minde (@ericssonlabs) – 16,700 (13,700)
  8. Propellerhead (@propellerheadsw) – 10,100 (7,900)
  9. SJ (@SJ_AB) – 9,300 (7,500)
  10. Ericsson Press (@ericssonpress) – 9,300 (7,900)

A fast mover above is Pingdom, which is new on the top ten list. The number of followers have almost tripled since May, 2011.

For a full list of more than 540 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts, check this list.

Manchester police starts naming and shaming rioters on Twitter

There’s been a lot of talk about the use of social media during the UK riots, both for good (see #riotcleanup) and for bad purposes. Additional focus was added today when PM David Cameron discussed the possibilities of limiting the use of social media in times of social unrest. It has been interesting to study how for example the UK police have used channels like Flickr and Twitter to get help with identification of suspects. Now, however, it seems that the Greater Manchester police might have taken the use of social media one step too far.

Today, the Greater Manchester police started to tweet the names and birth dates of people who have been convicted in relation to the UK riots.

After this tweet, the @gmpolice Twitter account has published dozens of tweets this evening with the names, birth dates and crimes the people have been convicted for. Like this one below (I have masked the name of the individual).

Many of these tweets have been retweeted by hundreds of users on Twitter which spreads their names to a very wide audience. This has already created a lot of negative reactions, like the following tweet.

I can only agree with @iamminihorse, there is a huge difference between names being in the public domain and publishing them on a platform like Twitter where people can easily share them with potentially thousands of others. These things have a tendency to get out of hand and will the Manchester police take any responsibility in case some people will try to take revenge on the convicted people or their families? No, this was a bad idea from the very start.

55 fascinating statistics about social media in Sweden

Sweden is ranked first of 138 countries in its use of computing and communications technology, according to an annual study from the World Economic Forum. So perhaps it’s no surprise that Swedes are quick to adopt social media and for example the Swedish blogosphere has been very lively for several years with top blogs that attract as many as one million visits per week.

In order to give you a better view of the Swedish social media landscape, I have compiled a presentation with 55 fascinating statistics. Enjoy!