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Getting a Realistic Handle on Twitter,
Learning About Groupon

Optometrists and eyecare professionals are examining the best ways to take part in the digital media revolution.

In addition to establishing a Facebook presence for their practice and retail business, some are asking the best way to participate on Twitter. And still others are attempting to determine if participation in group discount sites, like Groupon is a wise approach. CLICK this month looks at both, through reporting on new research and getting advice about Groupon from the company itself, via the Vision Monday Global Leadership Summit session of Groupon speaker, Sara Beth Zivitz, director of business development, who details how Groupon works.

CLICK, Vision Monday's e-newsletter, continues to be an essential resource in its twice-monthly briefings to ECPs about web technology and Internet developments.

Past articles, featuring specific examples, programs and tips that you can use today, are available in our CLICK Archive. Also in the CLICK Arhive are dozens of Cool Tools and important Sites to See which offer content and resource ideas for your sites and your social media activities. The easy-to-access Archives are located under the CLICK button at

Have you tried something new on your website or launched a special social media campaign? Tell us about it and we'll consider it for an upcoming feature in CLICK.

—The Editors


Just Who's Tweeting? Gaining a Clearer Understanding

Reports of Twitter and usage can vary widely. The company itself reported that as of September 2010, 175 million accounts had been created. Firms that track unique visitors to tallied between approximately 20 million and 26 million per month last year.

But because of duplicate accounts, international users, "Twitter quitters" and the fact that many visitors to are simply reading public tweets and not truly using the service, those numbers are nearly all higher than survey data that asks internet users about their online and mobile habits. "Twitter users are a sizeable and growing bunch, but their numbers are considerably smaller than those disseminated by many media outlets and Twitter itself," said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, "Twitter Users: A Vocal Minority."

"In the U.S., this means tens of millions of users, as opposed to hundreds of millions." eMarketer estimates that 20.6 million U.S. adults will access a Twitter account at least monthly this year, up 26.3 percent from 16.4 million last year. Growth will continue in the double digits through 2013, when nearly 28 million adults will be Twitter users in the U.S. Twitter use will continue to grow through 2013, although usage levels and growth rates will be modest compared with earlier forecasts. Still, Twitter will remain a strong force within the social media ecosystem and a viable venue for marketers targeting youthful, engaged audiences.

In 2011, 20.6 million U.S. adult internet users will use Twitter at least once a month, up 26.3 percent over 2010. Usage levels will continue to rise at double-digit rates, reaching 27.7 million U.S. adults in 2013. Among the overall U.S. adult internet user population, 14 percent will be Twitter users in 2013, up from 11 percent in 2011.

These are meaningful numbers for any marketer targeting the Twitter audience. However, Twitter is not growing as fast as eMarketer had projected in its April 2010 forecast. At that time, the company expected Twitter to reach 36 million U.S. adult users by the end of 2012, compared with 24.1 million in the current forecast for 2012.

Further, eMarketer's estimates of the size of the Twittersphere are lower than those of organizations that have focused on traffic or number of Twitter accounts—metrics that include automated accounts, duplicate accounts and casual browsers who do not actually use the service.

Unlike Facebook, which has evolved into a hub for a full spectrum of internet activity—including email, blogging, gaming and video sharing—Twitter remains essentially a text-based communications utility.

Demographically, U.S. Twitter users skew young and female. The Twitter usage rate among 18- to 29-year-olds is double that of the 30-to-49 group, according to a Pew study, and women users slightly outnumber men. By understanding the size, behavior and demographic mix of the Twitter audience, marketers will be in a stronger position to make decisions about investing in Twitter's burgeoning ad vehicles, eMarketer reports.

A demographic profile of Twitter users from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 10 percent of U.S. female internet users and 7 percent of U.S. male internet users took advantage of Twitter. The service was decidedly more popular among younger adults, a result supported by other research. CLICK reported on the Pew Center's info about the growing use of social media last fall.

Mobile is a large and growing platform for Twitter users. comScore noted that in January 2011, 7.8 million U.S. mobile device subscribers used Twitter on their phones—a steep 66 percent increase over the previous January. CLICK reported on some of comScore's social media research in February.

The complete Table of Contents of the study is posted and the full report "Twitter Users: A Vocal Minority" is available for purchase here.


So, How Does Groupon Work?

More than 300 leaders from the vision care field and optical industry gathered in New York last month for Vision Monday's 5th Global Leadership Summit.

A major element of the 2011 program was a two-part session on digital media trends, including a highly-anticipated afternoon keynote presentation from Groupon which has revolutionized the way consumers access products and services in their local markets, fueled by social media and the rise of mobile apps.

Sara Beth Zivitz, director of business development for Groupon, provided some insights into the rapid growth of the company and talked about how the company evaluates participation. Now in 44 countries with more than 65 million subscribers, Groupon increasingly appeals to businesses across a broad spectrum that want to be included, Zivitz said, to the point where "we turn down seven deals for every one we accept."

She also talked about how businesses can learn more about the process of submitting deals via GrouponWorks, the company's business information resource center.

The numbers are impressive. There are more than 50 million subscribers to Groupon worldwide. Groupon's own website is currently attracting more than 25 million unique visitors, per Google Analytics. Zivitz also reported that there have been more than 28 million Groupons sold, saving U.S. consumers over $1 billion. She described Groupon's subscribers as "educated, affluent and mostly female." Ninety-eight percent say they would recommend Groupon to a friend—and in fact, more than a third of Groupon's new subscribers are acquired through word-of-mouth. More than 15 percent of the transactions for Groupon members are conducted on a mobile device, she noted.

Want to watch Zivitz' presentation and hear what she said, along with Q&A's from the VM Global Leadership attendees?

Log on to the website.

April 22 is the 41st celebration of Earth Day and this site is a wealthy resource of news and activities planned around the world for this campaign. Run by the Earth Day Network, the site is geared toward mobilizing companies, organizations and groups to develop sustainability initiatives. It also features the award-winning Educator's Network with links to over 300 lesson plans, programs and guides for teachers and other groups to build participation. also provides links to Earth Day TV and a comprehensive listing of Earth Day events in communities around the U.S. Themed "A Billion Acts of Green," the site is also mounting its largest pledge event ever, including "Maps of Green" and encouraging signups and displaying a Leaderboard, showing what participating individuals and groups are doing to commit to the cause.


Environmental Leader is a daily trade publication keeping corporate executives fully informed about energy, environmental and sustainability news. This free daily e-newsletter keeps readers informed of key sustainability news and initiatives among all businesses. The website features updates on company programs, supply chain management updates, design and innovation news and conferences around the country on the topic. A number of whitepapers are available for download as are consumer and business studies from a range of sectors.


Maui Jim, the premium polarized sunglass maker, has re-launched its website in partnership with Chicago-based Lyons Consulting Group, an eCommerce design, development and support firm. Built on LCG Commerce, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform powered by Magento, the new site uses best practices in design, implementation, and maintenance. now features a variety of new functionalities that are flexible, easy to manage, and based on a platform that would support plans for international online growth. New efficiencies include: a backend system that allows Maui Jim employees to manage and update contextually and culturally appropriate content for their various sales regions and a new platform for a Maui Jim eCommerce business channel. "We needed a site with a fresh look, flexibility in managing content, and an opportunity for us to easily expand into the international market. Lyons Consulting Group has provided just that," said Larry Mills, chief information officer of Maui Jim.


To educate consumers on the performance benefits of NEOX and SOLFX sun lenses,Transitions Optical, Inc. and Walman/Soderberg have collaborated to launch a new microsite. A key component of the site is an eyecare professional (ECP) locator that allows prospective patients to find a local ECP that offers the NEOX Transitions SOLFX sun lens. To be added to the locator tool, ECPs should contact the optical Help Desk at (877) 863-2759. The lens, which is offered exclusively through Walman/Soderberg's network of 35 labs, debuted last year to wide appeal among golfers, due to its increased depth perception, improved distance vision and superior clarity.

"Golfers love wearing the NEOX Transitions SOLFX sun lens on the course because it helps them see the contours of the green and follow their ball better," said Grady Lenski, global director, sunwear, Transitions Optical. "We want to make sure golfers know this self-adjusting sun lens can help them while they enjoy other outdoor activities with similar lighting conditions."

Added Craig Giles, vice president of Soderberg,"This site will help consumers understand the multiple benefits of the NEOX Transitions SOLFX sun lens while driving them to an eyecare professional. We want to make sure visitors are aware of the full value of the lens and are able to purchase the product in their area." The site features an interactive tool that allows users to choose an activity (golf, cycling, running and tennis) and change the lighting conditions from cloudy to mid-light to sunny. As the lighting condition changes, the lenses change from a contrast-enhancing green tint to a darker color in the same hue. The site also compares NEOX Transitions SOLFX sun lenses to static sun lenses. The microsite officially launched during the Transitions Championship, a PGA TOUR event held last March at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Florida.


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