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The RAAKonteur #54 – Why Twitter users matter for brands, new FB Edgerank tool & the rise of QR codes

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22 August 2011

Listening pays, especially to Twitter

Twitter is often sneered upon as being the little brother of the omni-present Facebook. But let's be honest: almost everyone who's anyone uses Twitter. And now we have our beliefs confirmed. A report has found that Twitter users are more likely to impact your brand than any other social network. An interesting read: especially the bit about how their influence goes well beyond the Twitter platform.

In related news: a Forrester study has measured the effect that Listening & Monitoring on Social Media has on your business. 63% of businesses have seen a positive impact on brand awareness, 50% on overall business success.

And investing pays, if it is through Twitter

The hedge fund that is using Twitter sentiment analysis to predict the stock markets and make investments has outperformed other hedge funds in its first month of trading.

Will QR take off after all?

That's what this study from Comscore seems to suggest. 14 million Americans (or 6.2.% of mobile users) scanned a QR code in the month of June.

The study also analyzed the source and location of QR code scanning, finding that users are most likely to scan codes found in newspapers/magazines and on product packaging and do so while at home or in a store.

On the other hand: if agencies keep finding creative uses for the QR code, like this one from Victoria's Secret, that'll help too.


The Social Media panic

So two gents are sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for organising riots via Facebook. In San Francisco, authorities switched off mobile cell towers to stop a protest.

Here at RAAK we are firm believers in the power of social media. But we think authorities are going too far. Yes, a strong sentence can send out the right message. Jordan Blackshaw, 20, set up an "event" called Smash Down in Northwich Town. That is more serious than a flippant status update. Still, 4 years is a bit much. Our advice for San Francisco: engaging, and not censorship, is the answer.

What to buy with $ 12 billion

This year certainties have been rocked and political, social and media terra firma has shifted markedly. This week an earthquake. Google bought Motorola. Doomsayers there were a-plenty. Was Google doing a Nokia? First touting an operating system as being open for everybody, and then hogging it for its own hardware? Nope, reckons The Economist. It is a smart strategic move.

Apple and Microsoft have found a way to slow down, and even benefit from Android’s advance: going after makers of smartphones running Android for patent infringements. This tactic has put a price on Android, which Google gives away free.


Have you got the Edge?

There are still heaps of brands out there who measure the success of their Facebook Page by the amount of people that Like it. If you know a little bit about how Facebook's Edgerank works, you realise that Likes are a skewed measure and one needs to take into account other parameters. There's the Engagement Level and this week we came across Edgerank Checker, a tool that measures the Edgerank score of your Page.

It's not 100% clear how it works, because Edgerank is not a page-wide value (see more info in this Twitter conversation with someone from ERC), but it could be an interesting extra parameter for measuring Facebook success.

Foursquare pushes on

Foursquare has been struggling a bit with adding value to the increasingly futile act of checking-in. But this week they released Foursquare Lists, a feature that might just give them an edge. So when you go to Milan and want to know what's happening there, you create a list and ask your friends-in-the-know to give you tips. Strange: this only works on your desktop profile page, not on the mobile app.

Oh, and this should give Foursquare a little push. Barack Obama is now checking in. Why be a President, if you can be a Mayor.


Free coffee for all

Jonathan Stark did an intriguing experiment this week regarding mobile payments and social sharing. He made his Starbucks iPhone Card (with which you can easily pay in selected Starbucks outlets) available for people to use. So they could buy coffee with it. It had a limited amount on it, but people could top it up again by donating some cash. Result: over a few days 500 people added more than $8,000 to the card.

But then it went a bit wrong: a programmer called Sam Odio hacked the card and transferred money to his personal account. It was then that Starbucks blocked the card. 

Creative Of The Week – Soulwax

Yes we know, Björk is the one that's setting a new benchmark with her iPad album. But when it comes to using the web to do something interesting with audio and music, we want to put the spotlight on Soulwax.

They've created an app and a site called Radio Soulwax, where they plan to release 24 of their infamous 1-hour mixes. So far so what, but they've also created a specific set of visuals for each mix, based on the noble art of the record sleeve. And they're giving it away for free. Kudos.


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