Twitter moving to 280 characters in tweets from 140.

Twitter announced on their blog last night that they will be expanding the character limit in tweets from 140 to 280 to random accounts, but will be a test for all Twitter users in the near future.

According to Twitter product manager, Aliza Rosen, “We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean). Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this.”

aliza rosen twitter announcement

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, also made the brief announcement from his personal Twitter account yesterday which was met with both positive and negative feedback.

twitter going to 280 charaters

Still, Twitter pointed to people who post primarily in Japanese, Chinese and Korean, languages with alphabets that allow the expression of more thoughts in fewer characters. Those users tend to bump up against the character limits less often, which Twitter said leads to more frequent messages.

As a result, Twitter said, if rules around characters are loosened, English-speaking users — who tend to use more characters in tweets — will also hit character limits less frequently. That may, in turn, lead English-speaking users to post more regularly.

The test will begin in small groups around the world. The company has not said whether it will roll the change out to all users in the future.

Twitter said the people who will get to test the 280-character tweets will be randomly selected. Whether that may include prominent Twitter users like President Trump is unclear.

Although we tend to believe that much of this is stemming from flat growth and new user acquisition, and also pressure from shareholders to update a stale platform, we personally welcome the change and are interested in seeing how tweets and people will react to the change and update. It will certainly provide us with a lot more data from a social listening perspective for our client base.

Author: Eric Graham, Digital Marketing Manager


Perception and Listening in Marketing with Ford Motors

 Perception and Listening in Marketing

Perception: a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.

I sat in a seminar and an afternoon session last week put on by a company called Brandwatch and their Now You Know (#NYK) Conference, and the topic in this breakout session was called “Evaluating Consumer’s Propensity for American Made Products”. The focus was on the Ford Motor Company. The gist of the session was to determine if people in this country buy Ford, or any brand because their products are made in the USA. We all generally “know” that Ford cars and trucks are made in the USA by US workers in US factories, right? Isn’t that why so many people buy Ford vehicles?

ford marketing campaigns american made

We saw videos of people, mostly men, in focus groups being asked why they buy Ford products, and invariably the answer was because their trucks and cars are made in America by American workers. After all, Ford is an entrenched American car and truck company. But interestingly, the data suggests otherwise. Yes, it’s true we love to buy American, and American made Ford trucks, but how do we know if a car or truck or even a widget is in fact made in the USA? Actually, according to FTC guidelines, to say you are “Made in the USA”:

“Made in the USA” means that “all or virtually all” the product has been made in America.

ford truck marketing strategy


That certainly leaves some room for making that claim.

With vehicles, a made in the USA claim to be on the Fortune Magazine list of “Most American Vehicles” means that a vehicle must be made of at least 75% U.S. parts among other things.

All that said, per Fortune Magazine the most American Car in the United States is in fact…the Toyota Camry. Followed closely by the Toyota Sienna. So, perception and reality can diverge.

In fact, the all-American Ford F-150 Truck dropped off the list completely in 2015 for NOT being American made. So, why is it that people are still buying Ford trucks and cars because they believe them to be American made? A quick check of their website and I couldn’t find one single instance of the phrases “American Made” or “Made in the USA”. In fact, on their company page, there is not even one instance of the words America or American. Not one. So, again, why do people want to buy supposed American made Ford vehicles? Marketing and perception, that’s why.

The Laws of Perception in Marketing

the law of perception marketing


There’s no crime at all, in creating a perception that dances around reality. In the marketing world, perception in marketing has four distinct stages while a consumer is processing information about a product or brand; Sensation is when a person’s senses are initially exposed to the external stimulus of a product. Like the overload you get when walking into a Starbucks store. Attention is the next the phase, which is when mental processing gives in to an external stimulus from a product or brand. The third is Interpretation; when we assign meaning to the sensory stimulus of a product or brand. Last, and most important to you as a brand or marketer is Retention; the storage of information into our short and long-term memory. If we go back to our story about the perception of Ford as an American made brand, it’s easy to see with imagery, commercials and videos of American workers assembling cars and trucks in American factories, strolling through American cornfields, splashing through water, or the familiar and easy voice of Toby Keith as can be seen in the video commercial below:

But that’s not always enough anymore. The marketing scene is extremely noisy, and consumers are constantly bombarded with similar messaging across an endless stream of channels. You might even have to create a perception of being bigger than you really are. To battle through this noise and create a perception, you also must stand out in the crowd. But how do you do that?

Perception in marketing


 Is changing perception enough for your brand?

In today’s world, speed is everything as is being nimble and adaptable. But you can test different strategies, and the ones that work should be at least partially repeatable in all your campaigns. It also doesn’t hurt to be unique. Unique in your angle, unique in your message, just don’t be afraid to set yourself apart without sacrificing your primary brand message. But is it enough to create or even change the perception of your brand and/or your products?

Absolutely, and unequivocally no. It’s a great start to be sure, but you absolutely cannot relax once a customer makes a purchase. You need to continue to foster these perceptions to create that emotional connection, but you also need to delight and create brand loyalty which Ford and Starbucks do very well. They foster superior customer service which in and of itself creates a perception of caring. Maybe not 100% of the time, as no business does, but they approach that elusive proportion.

social listening companies


What is the perception of your brand, and how do you find out?

Lastly, you need to monitor your perception with your fans. Listen to what they have to say. Will they recommend it to friends and family? Why or Why Not? What are people saying about your brand or products? You can do this by going to websites, discussion boards, and of course social media channels and searching for your brand and products. You can also ask. But you need to be allotting time every day to simply LISTEN. Only then can you discover what your customer’s perception of your business is, and only after that can you determine how you will need to either change that perception or further cement that perception when it’s working.

It’s very hard and very time consuming to determine what that perception of your business is. That’s where companies like ours, iWeSocial, and others can help but taking the work out of listening. We listen for you across the entire web, give you all the data and conversations, develop insights and next steps, but it’s still up to you to create that perception and go through the steps we have listed here, and use the examples of those successful businesses like Ford and Starbucks who have mastered the art of perception.

If you need help with determining the perception of your brand across the web, want to know next steps, or need extra help to listen what’s being said about your brand and products, contact us at or call us at 720.880.5492. Your customers are talking, are you listening?

Author Eric Graham, Digital Marketing Manager- iWeSocial

Who’s leading the Internet of Things (IoT) Marketing Battle?

Internet of Things (IoT) Marketing Battle

Introduction to IBM and Microsoft IoT

Social media marketing is more of a subtle art than an exact science and big brands often make the mistake of comparing it with traditional marketing. You cannot have an “if you build it they will come” approach. We see this with comparing the effectiveness of two giants, IBM and Microsoft in the IoT space. Although just a three-month sample, looking at marketing activities between these two IoT market leaders, we see a winner. There is a clear distinction between how IBM and Microsoft promote their IoT products and services to the market.

The Analysis

In a recent Forrester Wave report looking at the top IoT software platforms (published November 2016), both IBM and Microsoft were identified as leaders. This analysis looked at these two market leaders to understand how effective their marketing efforts have been in this space. Specifically, social listening and analytics tactics were used to assess Q1 2017 (Jan., Feb., and Mar.) performance of these two IoT vendors, to understand:

  • Share of Voice and social media reach
  • Overall marketing effectiveness (what worked)
    • Top Post comparison
    • Top Media comparison
    • Top Author comparison
  • Influencer marketing and engagement strategy

free iot report

Followers and Page Likes Comparison

When comparing IBM and Microsoft’s IoT social presence, IBM has the edge with 6,628 Facebook Page Likes and 68.2K Twitter Followers, compared to Microsoft’s 2,289 Facebook Page Likes and 41.5K Twitter Followers.

ibm watson iot


Twitter was the highest conversation channel represented for both IBM and Microsoft in Q1 of 2017. There were over 134K posts that mentioned IBM IoT compared to over 54K posts mentioning Microsoft IoT. IBM significantly outperformed Microsoft with Engagements (12,205 compared to 275). There was a low conversation count identified for both brands on Facebook.

microsoft iot


Looking at a high-level social metrics view comparing IBM and Microsoft’s IoT efforts, IBM (71% share) significantly outperformed Microsoft (29% share). IBM saw a peak in conversation the week of February 13th with their announcement of the IBM Watson IoT Headquarters in Munich. IBM also realized a higher Passion Intensity index compared to Microsoft. Interestingly, Microsoft IoT conversation netted a higher negative tone compared to IBM.

ibm watson analytics

Looking at the Passion Intensity Index of these two brands, IBM IoT saw a very strong Brand Passion Index with a score of 96 compared to Microsoft IoT Passion Intensity Index of 75. Top emotions identified with IBM, include: Great, Excited, Proud, and Happy.

microsoft iot passion index

Looking at the top terms and hashtags used by each brand, “MicrosoftCorporation” was frequently used within the Microsoft IoT conversation. Whereas, “Watson” and “IBMInterconnect” were frequently used within the IBM IoT conversation. Terms like BigData, Cloud, and Security were used more with IBM compared to Microsoft. IBM also used “Recruiting” terms as part of their IoT conversation. Note: Use related industry terms and hashtags to increase the reach of your primary term.

iot wordcloud

A couple of key events drove IBM’s conversation for Q1, 2017. On February 15th, IBM announced the opening of their IBM Watson IoT Headquarters in Munich. IBM successfully leveraged several promotional materials for this announcement including a wonderful video highlighting the opening.

ibm iot

We see other excellent examples of IBM using video effectively in their IoT marketing efforts. On January 26th, IBM Japan posted a video that demonstrated Bluemix with Watson, Blockchain, and IoT technologies. This single video was viewed over 37K times and shared over 100 times.

ibm watson live video


We see IBM using video across multiple channels effectively as well. In the below Twitter post, IBM used video and an industry influencer to increase their IoT presence.

ibm watson security and iot

free iot report

Compare this to Microsoft’s IoT historical trend and top posts. Microsoft relied on traditional news outlets and social posting to promote their IoT brand. Although a steady conversation trend, nothing of significance to note from Microsoft’s IoT marketing efforts for the quarter.

microsoft social media iot

When comparing how IBM and Microsoft are leveraging key influencers, IBM again has a clear advantage. The top 3 influencers that engaged in the IBM IoT conversation had a combined Follower base of 280K+. This creates a great opportunity for IBM. Note: Marketers should “listen” and engage, promote, converse with key Influencers to further promote their own brand.

What is iot

We see another great example of influencer marketing from IBM on the below Facebook post where Rebecca Jarvis, Chief Business, Technology, & Economics Correspondent interviews IBM Watson at CES. This interview has been viewed over 13K times and shared over 175 times. This is a very strategic influencer outreach by IBM as Rebecca has over 200K Followers on Facebook.

Rebecca Jarvis, Chief Business, Technology, & Economics Correspondent interviews IBM Watson at CES.


Marketing professionals are beginning to realize that social interactions with online users with large followings can be tremendously beneficial. We see this with IBM’s IoT marketing efforts. IBM was very effective in leveraging key industry influencers to promote their IoT offering.

Influencer marketing has become top of mind for many marketing professionals. In a recent survey of 100 marketing professionals in the US, nearly a third (32 percent) consider influencer marketing an essential part of their strategy. Furthermore, 40 percent found more success by working with influential social media users than through traditional ad campaigns.

Along with influencer marketing, we found that IBM successfully created and promoted an assortment of compelling video content. Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Youtube, marketing professionals should be thinking about how best to incorporate video into their marketing mix. In a 2016 survey of over 5,000 marketers, a significant 60% of marketers use video in their marketing and 73% plan on increasing their use of video. The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video.

So, what did we learn? The question surrounding social media marketing today is not whether you are doing it, but rather how effective you are at doing it. Most of us marketers have moved beyond the traditional vanity metrics of a number of likes and shares (if you haven’t, you should), to analyzing what’s important with your marketing efforts. We see from this analysis that using social analytics tactics, we can identify key drivers of successful marketing campaigns. We can also understand where our own brand stacks up against our greatest rivals.


Author: Evan Escobedo, VP and GM iWeSocial,


free iot report


The Evolution of Market Research and the importance of Social Media Listening

The Evolution of Market Research and the importance of Social Media Listening

by Pete Knoblock

Wouldn’t it be nice to know how your customers really feel about the product / service you are providing them? Do you wonder if they are recommending you to other people or are they bashing you on Twitter to thousands? How many complaints have gone unanswered? Why didn’t your Radio commercial bring in new business, and how come your competitor’s Facebook (call-to-action) post brought in 50 new customers last week? And why didn’t anyone tell you that a waiter was unfriendly, your facilities were dirty, nobody responded to a customer’s complaint, etc., etc.


Not knowing the answers to these questions can expedite the trip to Chapter 7 or 13. Many business owners think they know how to market their business, but they are fooling themselves. If every business owner knew how to market their business, there would be no tangible phone books, no direct mail and certainly a lot less of the street corner sign flippers. Areas of focus in 2016 and beyond should be knowing what consumers are saying about your brand in real-time.


Could you imagine if your customers were saying this about your product or service on Facebook and your organization didn’t know about it?


social media listening


But first, a chronology…


Old School Social Media Listening

Traditional methods of Listening is not in the present and is almost too late once the brand receives the information. Traditional methods included mailing out a survey in the actual mail (this could take months depending on how long it took to get a valid sample)! Then hoping to get a 5-10% response rate and a valid sample (Usually with 5% + / – margin of error). Several steps had to take place before finally getting the data ready for a deliverable. Such steps included, hand coding the surveys once the data was received, running a statistical analysis, handing off reams of data to the analyst, cross-tabulating, putting those numbers into workable English and ultimately presenting the data in a way which makes sense to mid-management or C-Suite individuals.


the old ways of social media listening



Alexander Bell

We then graduated into telephone surveys using call centers and IVR (interactive voice response) systems based on POS (point of service) information (let’s not forget how long that took to implement and become active). Survey fields could also take months to receive the necessary amount of data to conduct statistically valid analysis. Operations were similar to tangible surveys. The key point again was the amount of time it took from consumer input to brand action.


interactive voice response


Al Gore – The Internet

Online surveys were the next wave of market research technological advances. Again, the wait time to get enough information was not real time. Sure, there’s always going to be the 800 number, contact us forms via the brand’s contact us webpage, long-form writing, etc.; but again, it’s just not quick enough to act upon.


al gore invented the internet


BUT, if a brand really wants to be current with its former, existing and potential customers, it needs to be socially aware of what is being said about them in real-time. Speed to action is vital to extend a consumer’s loyalty, impress, excite and any other variation which leads to a moneyed transaction, likelihood to recommend and likelihood to return.


social media customer service


So what is Social Media Listening?

Twenty years ago, this industry didn’t exist. Now, it’s an absolute requisite for a company to succeed in market-share expansion, crisis monitoring, customer service, sales, strategy, public relations, marketing and beyond.


Social Media Listening simply defined is the following:


“Listening is observing, interpreting and acting upon active conversation in real time. Any time a former, existing or potential consumer mentions your brand’s name on publicly available social media channels; there’s always someone observing, interpreting and acting upon that person’s quote.”



Dynamic Social Media

Social Media is about as dynamic as it gets. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. continue to change their algorithms to increase usage which in turn provides more money into these Tech Giants. All the while, Social Media firms continue to scramble to comprehend the dynamics so they too, can increase their client-base; which in turn, that client base can go advertise on those giant social sites. It’s all cyclical, but the orbit is never the same.


Another item to consider when reading this, and it’s the same for any vertical; consumer sentiment can change within seconds. A brand’s image can be positively engaged in one minute and in the next minute, its stock price has plummeted by 5% or more. And there are plenty of examples out there which reflect this:


Ø  Angry / Offensive tweet from C-Suite or Celebrity

Ø  Product recall

Ø  Health Concerns

Ø  Sensitive information

Ø  Political Views

Ø  Accusations

Ø  Imagery



These are just a few areas where organizations need to be at the ready in case a forced or unforced error comes across the Public Relations’ Monitor.


Sentiment is happening in real-time and organizations need to have the ability to understand where it’s coming from, how it happened, why it happened and what to do next. Not to mention, consumers demand a response in 30 seconds or less.


Gen X, Millennials, Boomers…

The lovers of Direct Mail are wasting their money. When you live in an apartment complex at the age of 25, do you want to get an ad about a Garage Door company? How about a Plumber? Air Conditioning? Yet, on an individual’s Facebook Page there’s targeted advertising based on that individual’s demographic and a few other ‘clandestine’ (yet legal) metrics.


If there’s a topic on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. which falls into your industry, wouldn’t you want to know who’s talking about it, how old, is it Global, is it National, what gender?


Welcome to the Jungle of social listening

It’s the 21st Century folks. If you are relying upon 20th Century tactics, you’re missing the train. Social Listening is becoming more and more dynamic in terms of data availability. We’re unearthing metrics which are not available to just any organization. It’s paramount for an organization to take its temperature, implement a recourse if need-be and track the success of that campaign all within 60 seconds. If you don’t, your competitors will, and they will GLADLY take your customers with them.


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