Once again we have summarised recent Twitter developments and their impact on businesses, brands and digital agencies that are helping their customers to make full benefit of the Twitter platform.
1.Twitter continues to introduce new features and widgets:
a. Twitter and The New York Times test a feature that lets people tweet highlighted text
The New York Times recently tried a new Twitter feature in which users can tweet specific highlighted text within an article. Twitter also said in a blog post that the story chosen for the experiment, “The God of ‘SNL’ Will See You Now”, was tweeted 11 times more than the average of the top 500 shared NYT stories from last month.
b. Twitter timeline flips to put emphasis on engagements
Twitter just reversed the format of its timeline with a new conversation view. The full timeline will still display in the old-style ‘newest stuff at the top’ view, but now there are linked Twitter engagements which group tweets in a Facebook-like conversation format. At first glance this might seem like a simple enhancement that relates interconnected tweets together with a thin blue line and an elegant foldout box, but the aim is for this to make the timeline feel more human and less Twitter. The new feature is rolling out on Twitter.com, iPhone and Android apps and features an ‘old’ tweet first, with newer replies to it in order afterwards.
2. Twitter is gearing up for an IPO later this year or early next year!
Not many people have any doubt that Silicon Valley based micro-blogging site Twitter is on the road to a public offering and the way things are progressing the company is on track to file for a public offering early next year in order to tap the markets in spring of 2014. But, according to pundits, in order to do that, the company needed to hit three major milestones:
1. Over 400 million users
2. About a billion dollars in revenues.
3. Building a strong management team
It would appear that by hiring the Google Ad Director and ex-MD of Live Nation, together with new statistics about the number of accounts, Twitter is on the way to achieving the first and third milestones. However, as per eMarketers, Twitter will hit about $580 million in revenues this year which is some way short of one billion dollars.
3. Hashtag continues to be the epicentre of Twitter’s scheduling strategy
Hashtags have become synonymous with Twitter and recently the company has revealed an infographic with a blog post highlighting tips to select the best hashtag for your tweet. The main rationales behind releasing this hashtag guideline are:
a. To ensure the tweet is shared with the right group of users by finding the right hashtag for that group.
b. To filter what can otherwise be a wide array of difficult-to-categorize information.
c. To join any conversation on the platform by adding the appropriate hashtag to a tweet.
In summary, Twitter has emphasised making your hashtag notable, fitting it in with other marketing activities such as ads or campaigns and not being afraid to attach it to a popular term or phrase.(Like below -:))
4. Usage of Twitter is aligned to smartphone growth
The Pew Research Centre Study revealed the following:
a. Some 15% of online adults use Twitter as of February 2012.
b. 8% do so on a typical day.
c. Overall Twitter usage has nearly doubled since November 2010.
d. The percentage of online adults who use Twitter on a typical day has doubled since May 2011. e. The proportion of adults using Twitter on a typical day has quadrupled (now 8%) since late 2010 when it stood at 2%.
According to the study, the two takeaway points to be considered in marketing campaign planning are:
f. The growth of smartphone adoption is highly correlated to the growth of Twitter usage.
g. The 400% growth in Twitter usage by 18-24 year olds.
5. What are the takeaways for business?
1. Share mobile friendly content on Twitter
Twitter’s correlation to smartphones means businesses must make sure whatever content they are sharing on Twitter is mobile friendly and should be aligned to the right time, such as when people are travelling, watching live events or viewing favourite TV programs.
2. Use hashtags to extend reach beyond your followers
Don’t over-use hashtags but if you can find or create the right one don’t be afraid to use them as they take your conversation beyond the reach of your followers and help to create an identity on the social platform.
3. Increase Twitter engagement for higher reach
The new Twitter timeline with expandable conversation box means that businesses must try to engage with their audience as much as they can to get higher and highlighted impressions on the timeline and subsequently greater interest and conversion.
4. IPO means Twitter, like Facebook, will become more advertising centric
Twitter wants to go public and in order to do so it needs to grow really fast, both in terms of revenues and users. Businesses should not be very surprised, therefore, if Twitter rolls out many new features and widgets in the future; we will keep you updated on those advances and advise how businesses can drive more traffic and sales using new Twitter features.