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The monetisation of Twitter
TopLineFounder | April 25, 2012
Over the last few months Twitter has followed in the footsteps of Facebook and Google+ by introducing brand pages. This came with a promise to heighten the engagement between brands and followers, giving an extra opportunity for Twitter to be excelled into brands’ top consumer interaction platform and perhaps even enabling greater monetisation opportunities.
Twitter is a great way for brands to connect directly and instantly with their customers, however ensuring that dialogue with customers is effective, two-way and not merely a tool for ‘the hard sell’, is key for brands interaction.
Clearly one of the key objectives for any marketing activity is to increase sales; therefore any channel where there is customer interaction is an opportunity to sell. However, brands and customers both have different reasons for using Twitter. For customers, it is merely a way of chatting with friends and following celebrities, very rarely will they see Twitter as a purchasing tool. Subsequently brands need to overcome this by becoming part of the conversation, which cannot be done through overt sales positioning, instead they should look towards a more relevant engaged approach when using Twitter.
Engaging with Twitter fans to turn into sales
In order to monetise successfully brands need to ensure a flow of communication is opened with followers, sparking up relevant and meaningful conversation will reap rewards for brands who want to turn fans into sales. Engaging fans in conversation will encourage brand advocacy, meaning followers, in-turn, are more likely to recommend the brand to friends and family.
There is clear value for brands in utilising marketing tools such as celebrity endorsement via twitter, as long as you get the right celebrity fit for the brand. For example there would be no use Bentley paying Katie Price to endorse the brand on Twitter as this audience is totally disconnected from Bentley’s core customer base; however a name such as Stephen Fry may provide a more targeted approach for the brand.
But how do brands measure the monetisation of their twitter activity? Until now there has been a number of generic methods for testing how well a social media page or profile is performing; fan growth, engagement and number of interactions, retweets and @mentions, as well as even more advanced approaches which have been created to include tracking click-throughs, but these are not particularly insightful. The evaluation process for these methods, which takes into consideration engagement levels and numbers of posts and retweets, are lengthy ones and require many man hours to collate the information. They also do not lend themselves to the effective real-time environment that we have all grown to expect in the social media world and none of these methods can accurately monitor the impact social media campaigns and day-to-day outreach has on sales.
Now available are more sophisticated measurement tools, which successfully track each tweet or ‘follow’ to the point of sale, effectively monitoring the return in investment of every pound spent on marketing campaign.
This leap in social media monitoring technology is great news for brands and agencies, who will no longer be wondering if their social media investment is providing good value for money. Instead, brands can build effective social media tracking into their performance marketing campaigns to not only monitor effectiveness, but also learn from successfully monetised conversation and campaigns.
Matt Bailey is Commercial Director at Performance Horizon Group. With over 10 years’ experience in the affiliates industry, Matt has held senior positions both network side and in agency. In 2009, Matt was also appointed Chair of the IAB Affiliate Council. In this position Matt was instrumental in shaping the UK affiliate landscape, tasked with developing best practice initiatives for the industry.
Since joining Performance Horizon Group in 2010, Matt has been influential in assisting the company’s rapid growth both in UK and US markets.
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