Twitter has been a key element in spreading the word about what is going on in Iran at the moment, even though it says it was not coerced into changing maintenance times by the State Department to help the protests. Here is what Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder had to say:
"The State Dept does not have access to our decision making process.When we worked with our network provider to reschedule this planned maintenance, we did so because events in Iran were tied directly to the growing significance of Twitter as an important communication and information network.
"We decided together to move the date. It made sense for Twitter and for NTT America to keep services active during this highly visible global event."
Whilst on the BBC site this morning I was very interested to see this panel on a news article on Iran:
I had an interesting experience today. I was on Twitter and happened to comment on the fact many people were discussing the merits (good ones) of the American TV series Mad Men and that I should head off to Amazon and purchase Series 1. Within a matter of minutes I had been notified (via my webmail account) that I had a follower: Betty Draper or, in Twitter parlance, @bettydraper. Looking on her Twitter profile I quickly saw that she was an actress and one who had over 11,000 followers. What's more the language that she used seem to be very different to that used by other folks on Twitter - it actually looked 'staged'!
What I find interesting is that the series, let's call it the brand, doesn't go out of mind once a series finishes but keeps talking to its target audience - it literally has a conversation with them. Within the Twitter profile page of Betty Draper you will also find links to other characters from the series who are conversing with her using Twitter, people like Peggy Olson and Ken Cosgrove!! What's more the bio link from the Twitter profile takes me to the personal blog of Betty Draper, hosted at Blogger, where she discusses table manners, a Snickernoodle recipe and business cards.
Whether you hate the idea or not, I think that this mix of social media applications will not just increase but intensify in the future. I don't think it's a bad thing as it shows creativity and does offer glimpses of how businesses could potentially engage with their target audiences. On the eMarketing Award course that I deliver I discuss the difference between transactional marketing and relationship marketing. I think that Mad Men, through cable network AMC, practice a very effective form of relationship marketing.
I stand corrected. The actual Twitter accounts were created by fans of Mad Men not AMC, though it does seem that Twitter received DMCA takedown notices and temporarily suspended the accounts. However, it would appear that the accounts were restored as the organisation identified that these people were actually "brand ambassadors" not "brand damagers". As a matter of fact this is far better for the brand than if they had set everything up themselves - true Social Media Marketing!