I hate them. I hate contests on Twitter.
There, I said it. This is coming from someone who used to be neck deep into social media – both as a user and as a marketer. Well I still am a fan of the social web, I just hate the way brands are throwing in some of their marketing into it. While some brands get it, most don’t. They’re flooding my timeline with contests of some sort and it’s happening every single day.
Picture this – A guy is happily surfing the web when he suddenly notices one of those cheap-shot advertisements for adult phone-friend networks. There’s nothing shocking about it – except that the ad carries the photograph of someone he knows. His sister! The ad carries his sister’s photo in such a way that it appears inviting, with a text on it that says, “Call Me Now – ***”.
How did his sister’s photo land on an advertisement for such a company? The so called friendship network somehow got hold of his sister’s photograph, which appears to be self-shot using a phone camera, and pasted it on one of their ads. This ad could be appearing for millions of other users too. The guy panics and confronts his sister.
His sister reveals that the photo used on the ad was shared by her sometime back with another guy who she used to chat with. She never met the guy in real, she only talked to him over the phone or online messaging tools.
There’s something odd yet enticing about the buttons you see on the web. Every button appears coated with sugar or melted chocolate. So when such a thing appears on a page, it grabs your eyeballs and somehow tells your brain to pass on a signal to your hand and your fingers click on it. It happens in less than a fraction of a second and at times you don’t even know what that button does. Take the newly introduced Subscriptions feature on Facebook, for example, it allows you to subscribe to another user’s public feed (in case you’re not in their friend’s list) or manage updates you’ll receive from that user (if they are your friend).
If you’ve seen this button alongside a profile recently, chances are that you’ve clicked it first and then when updates from that stranger started appearing on your newsfeed, you went nuts. This isn’t abnormal. It happens to the best of us and it’s an obvious reason why we have buttons all over the web. I will not get into the design thought that goes behind creating these but rather the human aspect of it.
I love Twitter. As much as I hate it for making me so lazy that I don’t feel like blogging anymore, I like it for the micro conversations that one can have with brands. Be it registering an issue you’re having with a specific product/service or just passing on your feedback, Twitter works pretty well given it’s nature of being open. It’s obvious. Your tweets are out there in the open and if brands don’t listen and get back to you to solve your problem, it doesn’t reflect a good image.
So here are my favorite Indian brands on Twitter:
It’s almost ironical. Blogs are a big part of the social media and yet microblogging and social networking tools such as Twitter and Facebook are potential blogger killers. At least I can say for myself.
Twitter has led to thoughts escaping the mind, followed by a few quick keypad punches on a mobile device and boom! What could have been an entire meaty blog post had just been reduced to a couple of 140 character long status updates on Twitter. All this followed by real-time reactions and mini-discussions from people all over. Twitter is the new quickly-blog-and-get-reactions blogging tool. Or what they call it in the sensible world – microblogging.