Digital Bytes: Twitter helps journalists

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. In this week’s FWM Digital Bytes, we look at how journalists are using Twitter, Nestle’s new GPS powered campaign and the continued rise of ebooks…

Twitter: a help and a hinderance

Social media isn’t just helping brands connect with potential customers, it’s also proving an important research tool for journalists. A new study carried out by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University has found that 28 per cent of UK journalists believe that sites such as Facebook and Twitter are essential for their job. Broadcast journalists were found to be the biggest users of social media, while magazine journalists were least likely to use it.  “The majority of [journalists] use two or three social media tools regularly for professional tasks,” the report found. “The most popular social media tools are microblogs, namely Twitter, professional social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, and social networking sites, such as Facebook. 47.9 per cent of respondents had more than 500 followers/friends on their preferred social networking or microblogging site, and only 13.7 per cent had fewer than 100 followers/friends.” The report’s findings weren’t all good news for social media though. It also found that social media is regarded as a drain on journalists’ time, with 34 per cent of respondants saying they disagreed with the statement that ‘social media improves productivity’.

Nestle know where you live

Nestlé UK have launched a GPS based competition that locates winners the moment they open specially picked chocolate bars. GPS trackers have been fitted into a handful of KitKat, Aero Peppermint and Yorkie bars and when a winning bar is opened, it will automatically alert the Nestle team who will track down the winner and send them a check for £10,000. Nestle are supporting this activity with a series of outdoor billboards that feature integrated NFC and QR touchpoints. Users can use the touchpoints to access a mobile landing page that offers the chance to win one of 2,000 secondary prizes. Graham Walker, Nestlé UK’s trade communications manager, said: “Nestlé Confectionery is delighted to be first to market with this highly innovative GPS based promotion. We believe this promotion will particularly appeal to men, attracting them to the chocolate singles category and thus driving incremental sales.”

Twitter reveal new look

Twitter have unveiled a new look designed to “help you get to know people better”. The company’s chief executive Dick Costolo revealed the new layout on American breakfast TV on Tuesday, showing that the site now features a header photo (not unlike Facebook’s cover photo) and gives greater prominance to photos, with the image section moving up in the left hand pane and featuring bigger thumbnails. “Starting today you can make your presence on Twitter more meaningful with new Twitter profiles,” a post on the Twitter blog reads. “Upload an all-new header photo on mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android or, and the same image will appear whenever anyone views your profile on the web or these apps. You can upload your header photo, which appears above your Tweets, to express yourself instantly, anywhere.” The site’s mobile and tablet have also been changed as part of the redevelopment.

Children turning to e-books

Children could become more accustomed to reading from an e-reader or tablet than from a traditional pritned book, according to a new report commissioned by the Pubishers’ Association. The research has revealed that sales of children’s e-books have almost tripled since last year, with over 2.6 million kids’ e-books sold in total. Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publisher’s Association, said:  “The growth in children’s e-books is really a reflection of the fact that children’s digital books have become more possible in the last 12 months. For example it has only been in the last year where the publishing format has allowed for flowable text, and that is one of the reasons why children’s books have taken off in digital recently.” Sarah Odedine, managing director of children’s fiction publisher, Hot Key Books, added: “It is entirely possible that people will be more used to reading from a screen than a page, and I do not think it matters in the least, so long as they are reading. I think it is marvelous. There was a time when there weren’t any paperbacks.”

Reading infographic

More facts and stats on the future of reading can be seen in‘s great infographic. They’ve found that consumers who own an e-reader read 24 books a year, while those who don’t only read 15. They also found that the Amazon Kindle is by far and away the most popular e-reader, and that Baby Boomers are 19% more likely than any other age group to own an e-reader. The infographic can be seen here.