Recently Twitter revealed their Q2 earnings for Year 2014 and, in a huge surprise to its critics, Twitter has posted substantial growth in terms of monthly active users and revenue, and as a result their share price surged by 30%. We have compiled all the key facts that have contributed enormously to Twitter’s recent success and can be very useful to help brands to use Twitter to grow their businesses.
Whereas Facebook is mainly to socialize with friends and family, LinkedIn is for business networking and Pinterest is all about lifestyle, Twitter is one of the social media tools that cannot be categorized for a specific demographic. On Twitter you can mingle with friends, family and colleagues in a discreet way and at the same time you can also engage with brands to get updates and deals… or moan about their products and services! In fact, when Twitter launched their IPO, they categorically said (on S1 form) that “Twitter is what you like to be” and to certain extent businesses are launching their Twitter campaign on same lines. For example, if you look at recent experiments from brands aiming at promotion and commerce, they are not using traditional display advertising ads; instead they are more interactive, data driven and deeply linked to transactions.
We have collected five recent Twitter marketing and commerce examples to give more insight to readers’ on what may lie in the future of Twitter marketing, especially digital marketers and brands!
1.Tweet To Add Product to Shopping Basket
With Amazon and Twitter’s recent partnership, Twitter users can add any Amazon product to their shopping cart just via hashtag (#AmazonCart). The way it works is, first the shopper links their Amazon and Twitter accounts and then, whenever they see any link to an Amazon product on their timeline, they can reply to that tweet with #AmazonCart in order to add that item to their Amazon shopping cart so that they can buy later.
2.Tweet(s) to Macro Blog
Marc Andreessen (Netscape founder and investor), followed by Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO), has recently started a new trend (#tweetstorm) on Twitter where they tweeted multiple times in a very short interval to present their views on a topic. Usually, they tweeted about 10 tweets and if we sum up total characters based on 140chars/tweet, it would be around 1400chars or around 350 words, which is enough to present your views on a subject. These tweets became an instant hit and received thousands of retweets, replies and favorites, which means the reach has gone beyond million people, and are also picked up by popular technology blogs to feed into their content.
3.Live Twitter Streaming at #LFW
During London Fashion Week in April this year, Burberry live streamed their entire fashion show on Twitter and as a result was trending on Twitter for almost the whole week – needless to say it brought huge publicity to their brand as thousands of people were engaging, commenting and analyzing their products.
— Burberry (@Burberry) February 17, 2014
4.Real Time Twitter Data Charts
Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts tracks the ups and downs of trendy songs on the social network over the previous hour, 24 hours, and seven days. The sophisticated system takes into account US-based tweets including combinations of artist names, songs titles, Twitter handles, hashtags, words like “listen”, #nowplaying and streaming links to work out who’s hot and who’s cooling down like a hot egg in a bucket of ice cream.
— billboard (@billboard) May 27, 2014
5.Tweet to Find Product
Payasugym.com has introduced tweet-to-find-product service, which allows users to find nearest gym simply by a tweet with location. See example below:
— PayasUgym.com (@payasUgym) April 11, 2014
Twitter recently launched a mute option, which according to them will work as follows:
“Muting a user on Twitter means their Tweets and Retweets will no longer be visible in your home timeline, and you will no longer receive push or SMS notifications from that user. The muted user will still be able to fave, reply to, and retweet your Tweets; you just won’t see any of that activity in your timeline. The muted user will not know that you’ve muted them, and of course you can unmute at any time.”
Twitter was immediately buzzed from all walks of life about its benefits, drawbacks and potential uses. It is still too early to predict how this feature is going to affect businesses and how marketing agencies will use this for their clients, but we have collected some thoughts around the implications of rolling out this option.
Why People use the Mute Option:
Both Twitter and the Twitterati hailed this feature as useful for avoiding spam or noisy people. Muting is also suggested as a polite alternative to Unfollowing people, especially when it is your colleague, family or friend.
Twitter is adding an option to 'mute' noisy people you aren't quite ready to unfollow http://t.co/UA2WGbvOOE
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 13, 2014
Feel obliged to follow someone but find their endless droning about pop music to be exhausting? 'Mute' is the answer https://t.co/XVCLosTUp9
— Bruce Daisley (@brucedaisley) May 12, 2014
— Bruce Daisley (@brucedaisley) May 12, 2014
Twitter's new "mute" button means you never have to unfollow someone again http://t.co/TqhYiWQi0H
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) May 13, 2014
But some people have issues with this
Many people are bewildered by how the mute option is different from Unfollow, especially if we take emotional issues out of it, and then an industry expert also suggested that the feature should be time-bound i.e. mute people when they are really chirpy about an event or current affair that is not relevant for followers.
You can ready mute people on twitter by Unfollowing them. I don't understand why you need a mute function as well?
— Alrick September (@Septizzle) May 14, 2014
I wish by default Twitter had made "Mute" be temporary for a day or week instead of a pseudo-block. http://t.co/BB6XwVgWVX
— Josh Elman (@joshelman) May 13, 2014
How does the mute option affect businesses?
The early verdict is that muting may not be good for businesses, as it would be very difficult to determine who exactly views your tweet, and that may result in lower engagement with your followers. Top tech blogger Mike Arrington even stated that followers who mute an account are fake followers. Overall, this feature may limit the reach, and therefore another drawback is that brands may be struggle to run promotional campaigns like follow us or retweet for a reward.
Following / follower counts are now truly meaningless https://t.co/7u28cVRYyA the 'mute' button.
— Dan Shure (@dan_shure) May 13, 2014
Getting significantly fewer mentions since Twitter instituted mute. Hmm.
— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) May 13, 2014
— Simply Measured (@simplymeasured) May 13, 2014
— Michael Arrington (@arrington) May 13, 2014
— azeem (@azeem) May 12, 2014
But marketer may invent a way to mention people in their tweet to ensure that message is reached across despite muting, however, that may force more spamming than now.
dear followers: i will now @reply each of you individually every day to make sure i am not on mute you can thank twitter for that
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) May 12, 2014
To sum up, Twitter promotion is going to change and it remains to seen whether Twitter advertising will become more prominent or marketers will come up with ideas that encourage more personal engagement to avoid muting.
One of the best ways to increase your reach on twitter is to use the right hashtag, which can link to audience sentiments and trigger higher engagement. Hashtags should be precise, easy to remember and unique.
KitKat is one of the brands that have successfully converted their famous tag line (“Have a break”) into an hashtag (#Haveabreak) on Twitter that people can relate to and often tweet with, which enables the brand to engage with and reach out to their potential customers.
For example, the following user uses the hashtag when having a break from a busy morning and KitKat retweets with a quote which results in multiple favourites and retweets.
— KITKAT (@KITKAT) May 1, 2014
In the examples below, KitKat replies to tweets with #Haveabreak and that invokes others to join in the conversation or favourite and retweet those replies.
— KITKAT (@KITKAT) April 30, 2014
— KITKAT (@KITKAT) April 29, 2014
— KITKAT (@KITKAT) April 29, 2014
KitKat often posts very funny images (around the have a break theme) with the hashtag, which again triggers many engagements in the form of favourites, replies, and retweets.
— KITKAT (@KITKAT) May 2, 2014
Overall, businesses like KitKat can use their tagline as a hashtag to engage people and slowly help them build buzz around their brand. However, the key is simplicity and entertaining content, so that the audience can relate to it.