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The UK online customer service (OCS) market is expected to grow by up to 20% this year, according to a new Econsultancy report which highlights the fact that businesses are starting to wise up to the importance of investing in the provision of proper service and support online.
It may be a tough time to raise money if you're a young startup but that doesn't mean that funding isn't out there.
Bit.ly, the rockstar URL shortening service that we've profiled on the Econsultancy blog before, proves that; it just managed to raise $2mn from private investors.
Twitter's growing mainstream popularity is a hot topic. It's why those of us in the tech and digital marketing worlds can't seem to go a day without reading news headlines about the microblogging service that has fascinated us all.
But Twitter isn't perfect; there is a dark side.
Just like J. Lo said, love don't cost a thing. While the world has shown the love for Twitter, and it hasn't cost a thing, the day of revenue reckoning is upon it. Twitter executives say that it will soon offer paid-for “commercial” accounts to give businesses additional features unavailable to casual Tweeters.
This will not set up a toll gate for the six million people currently using the site. Nor will it stop small businesses from having a Tweeter handle. But it does give some clues as to how Tweeter will be used as a marketing platform and how it will make money. There's a lot to like about this strategy. Among them:
Now you can Tweet your way to cheaper groceries. Coupons.com has inked a deal with Twitter through which followers of Coupons.com will automatically receive new coupon offers as they become available. The tweets will include links to the printable coupons for quick printing.
Coupons.com launched a Facebook application earlier this year, after acquiring mobile grocery shopping application Grocery iQ to integrate digital coupons into the shopping experience. It currently has 657 Facebook friends and is the leading coupon app. Grocery iQ is available on the iPhone and will be included on Google's Android handsets this summer.
One of the great paradoxes of the internet is that the more information we have, the more myopic we get. This myopia is a dangerous thing. We have brilliant political thinkers and economists blogging every day, yet most people get their news from biased factoids. And from a strictly democratic economic standpoint, businesses need options. But as a business, we're in the middle of a myopia that borders on blindness.
The subject is of course, Twitter, Facebook, and Google. May the internet Gods continue to bless all three. Irrational exuberance surrounds all of them right now. But when they have to live up to those expectations of consistent triple-digit quarterly growth, and they have to face competition, and they have to struggle with advocacy groups that want to brand themselves at their expense, these three will change. Yet, they dominate press coverage and conference events and people speak of them as if they are immune to bad breaks or random events. They're not.
Last week, research showed that SME’s were quickly taking up Twitter and adapting its many uses to suit their businesses. However, worrying research from ntl:Telewest Business has been released today that reveals more than 80% of the UK’s top 100 tech companies don’t appear to be using it for business communication purposes.
The research report comes from a study of the FTSE techMARK 100 and found that workers from eight of the top ten companies are not embracing Twitter, despite the recent surge in interest across the media, commercial organisations and the general public.
A growing number of charities and non-profits have gone social. From Facebook to Twitter, social media has an obvious appeal: the costs of getting involved are low, awareness can be generated virally and people naturally tend to use social media to engage around topics and causes that are important to them.
But what isn't so well understood is how social media can best be applied to the non-profit sector in meaningful ways.
You might imagine that many of the top digital agencies will be fearsome Twitter users, not least because many agency staffers regularly use the platform to communicate.
So have the majority of agencies claimed Twitter accounts for their brand names? Are they tweeting about their innovative campaigns and web projects, to spread the word and gain kudos?
I was perplexed to discover that many agencies haven’t yet bothered, and I’m not sure what message that sends out to the client-side.
In the on-demand version of Mothra meets Godzilla, CRM behemoth Salesforce.com has joined forces with...you guessed it. Twitter.
If its possible that a Twitter story has flown under the radar recently, this one has. Two social media analysts have now reported this alliance of biblical proportions. Twitter, is of course growing at a rate of 1,000 percent. Salesforce.com has a market share in the on-demand sales force automation business that grows at the rate of 50 percent.
The Tweet was on at the Search Engine Strategies conference today as author and internet entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki unpacked a box of tricks, optimization sites, and a few controversial concepts to increase the business effectiveness of using Twitter. His most surprising advice: don't be too impressed with your amount of followers.
"I think the most important measure of success on Twitter is "retweets,'" he said in his conference keynote. "The number of people following you means less and less."
That comment contradicts some of Kawasaki's own recent writing, but a 1,000 percent growth rate will cause an expert to reconsider his thinking. Kawasaki listed some of the people and organizations that top the amount of followers to show that the average business person can't compete, and can't be relevant when Twitter followers are stacked up against CNN and Barack Obama. Kawasaki said he is able to attract followers because of the quality of the links he includes in Tweets. The quality then leads to retweets, which can be measured at ReTweet, and can mark a trail for interested customers.
As Twitter continues its mainstream march, it's no surprise that it's actively being used by celebrities. From Shaquille O'Neal to Demi Moore, Twitter is being used by a growing number of celebrities who want to engage directly with their fans.
But proving that (most) celebrities are just like everyone else, Twitter is starting to cause twouble for the celeb-set too.