In his landmark work, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell described the subject of the title as that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.
If no one has beat me to it, I declare last week (week of April 13, 2009) as the Official Tipping Point of Social Media.
–Ashton Kutcher got almost as much news coverage as Barack Obama did last week when he challenged CNN to a “race” to see who could be first to attract one million followers on Twitter. Kutcher won, but CNN got to 1 million a few hours later.
– Oprah Tweets for the first time on her top-rated TV show, and, almost overnight, Twitter garners another million Twitterers.
Update: Tuesday, April 21, 2009. From Hitwise:
“Share of US Internet visits to Twitter increased 24% on Friday, April 17, the day of Oprah’s first Tweet. Comparing visits with the previous Friday, visits were up 43%.
Hitwise clickstream data reveals that on April 17, 37% of visits to Twitter.com were new visitors (as opposed to returning). The service typically has a high ratio of new visitors as it is still very much in a growth phase. However, the percentage of new visitors was 5% higher on Friday than the previous day and the average for March. To give a benchmark, Facebook’s ratio of new visitors was 8% in March.
The search term “oprah twitter” was the #35 highest search term with the word “twitter” last week and the #7 with “oprah”. Considering that our search data is weekly and that the show only aired on Friday, this is impressive.”
–Facebook reports that the fastest growing segment of new Facebookers is women 55+, many of them grandmothers who are signing up in order to communicate with their grandkids and be in touch with their families. Obviously, gone are the days when mom thrusts a telephone at a recalcitrant grandkid with the admonition “Come talk to grandma!”
–Facebook reports membership of more than 200 million people, after just passing the 175 million mark in February.
–Susan Boyle, she the surprise of “Britain’s Got Talent,” sets a record for more than 100 million YouTube views in a single week (which calculates to about 165.3 views per second for the entire week).
And the hits just keep on comin’!
–Today, April 20, 2009, Barbara Walters loses here Twitter Virginity on The View and Tweets for the first time.
–There are at least 25 Facebook Groups with membership of more than a million people, some “for” (1,000,000 Strong for Stephen T Colbert) or “against” (I Dont Care How Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like A Dumbass).
– Ironically, some of the largest groups on Facebook are those protesting some of the changes and policies of Facebook.
Making lists of whom you should follow on Twitter has become a cottage industry! Just enter “who to follow on Twitter” in your friendly Google search bar!
It seems as if there’s another race to see whether Facebook or Twitter can garner the most press and PR. (YouTube should get down on their knees and thank someone for Susan Boyle.) Right now, I have Twitter in the lead as it exits the “early adopter” and moves into the “early mainstream” phase.
And speaking of cottage industries, some celebrities have become sort of modern folk heros on Twitter. Who’da thunk that MC Hammer (MCHammer) could be so interesting that almost a half a million people follow him. Shaquille O’Neal (The_Real_Shaq) gives us his own unique take on the world, and the large shadow that he casts upon it, with his unique use of the English language and his personal spelling methodology. One of his favorite pastimes is a Twitter version of hide-and-seek, where fellow Twitterers are urged to find him in very public locations to win basketball game tickets. Personalities like The Office’s Rainn Wilson (rainnwilson) and film director Kevin Smith (thatkevinsmith) have huge Twitter followings, as does Ashton Kutcher’s wife (mrskutcher), film star Demi Moore.
In another turn of irony, celebrities seem to have figured out Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and use it to enhance their own very interesting personal brands. Yet, most (and that’s a BIG most) companies still haven’t figured out how to use it. A recent report states that 50% of companies who launch social media efforts will fail at it!
Most marketers haven’t figured out that Tweeting only on some sort of “buy now” offer is B-O-R-I-N-G and ultimately leads to an “Unfollow.” Or, that a Facebook page for a business that fails to engage prospective consumers will not generate any traction.
There’s a whole bunch of folks who know how to do this (I humbly consider myself one of them) and I follow about 50-60 of them on Twitter. Reading their Tweets and clicking their links is like going to Social Media Marketing grad school. If I can figure this out sitting in front of my Mac in Atlanta, GA, you’d think that the marketing folks at those big Fortune 500 brands could do it too.
Obligatory Twitter Request: If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, I would appreciate it very much. You can do by clicking the little yellow Twitter bird on the right.
See how easy that was?