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Sports are finding a place in the photo-driven virility of social media
Social media has rapidly become a key driver of traffic to brand websites and content, and now more people are thinking about different ways to tailor their Web presence to get fans onto their site.
The NBA is leveraging what great power its pictures and graphics are and, during the 2012 playoffs, have launched their official Tumblr and Pinterest accounts. While the NBA clearly has a lot of its own content to share (and hope Web virility boosts their Web traffic and media buzz, the organization is also getting fans involved by encouraging them to share their own photos at personal and professional games.
The NBA’s Tumblr page is focused on photos from recent pro basketball events — championships, great images of players, victory shots, etc. The NBA’s Pinterest boards will have two main strategies: e-commerce and character.
With many style, design and fashion companies taking to Pinterest to drive brand awareness and sales of certain item, the NBA is noticing that they don't have to be a fashion company to reap the benefits of such sharing potential. The organization plans to feature throwback apparel tied to the NBA calendar and current merchandise. And in the character section, the NBA will feature all of the great images they have of players and coaches that made history.
Earilier this month it was announced that Pinterest is rapidly climbing the social ladder to become the third most popular network online in the US -- just behind Facebook and Twitter, according to a new report out by Experian Hitwise.
The report shows that Pinterest received 21.5 million visits in the last week of January -- a staggering 30x more than a single week it had in July. The total visits in March show that Pinterest is rapidly creeping up on Twitter's 183 million visits with its own 104 million. Facebook is in a league of its own with 7 billion visits in March. LinkedIn, Tagged and Google+ rounded out the top six with 86 million, 72 million and 61 million hits, respectively.
Pinterest, with its strength in building brand and product awareness by creating an early shareable wish-list of goods is targeted more toward women, but a surprising number of men also frequent the site -- giving the new service a 60/40 split.
The Tumblr and Pinterest offerings are being formed to give a more robust offering to the organization that already claims about 260 million combined Facebook likes and Twitter follows and is timed at the height of the playoff season.
Already the Twitter event that the NBA named “Hoops Around the World” has encouraged thousands of people around the world to share photos of their neighborhood nets in action with the @NBA account -- sporting the hashtag #hoops. Throughout the playoffs, the NBA will continue to retweet amazing photos of the #hoop shots and later compile an interactive world map showcasing all the submissions for the finals.
Perhaps the NBA will encourage other non-retail centric brands to adjust their social media strategy to leverage their photos and video on sites like Pinterest and Tumblr -- where all that really matters is whether an image resonates with enough people.
The NBA Tumblr is expected to launch Wednesday and the official Pinterest will be later in the week.
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
How do you make money from Twitter?
There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.