We’re already helping adidas, Heinz, Unilever, Heineken, eBay, Jaguar, Intel, Moët & Chandon & Expedia.
The Wall recently published this article by me on Twitter’s next moves. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
Twitter bounced back from a rough start to 2014 with a positive array of Q2 results, reporting stronger-than-expected financials and continued user growth. But what are Twitter’s next steps to further monetise the platform and stand strong amongst its competitors?
Attracting users – and keeping them interested
Twitter can update its platform to make life easier for brands, but ultimately, its success depends on attracting users and keeping them interested. Even Twitter itself admits that it isn’t the most user friendly social platform, and it has been reported that the vast majority of people that sign up for Twitter don’t use it that frequently.
Twitter’s timeline is a big part of this problem, having received a lot of criticism for being over-complicated and not aesthetically pleasing. In recent months, Twitter has made an effort to make its service easier for new users to grasp. It has been spotted trialling hashtag translations, and have released embedded tweets-within-tweets. Such features allow users to understand tweets better, as well as tidy up the interface.
CEO Dick Costolo also suggested there is a possibility of Twitter following in Facebook’s footsteps and incorporating an algorithmic timeline, a change that would certainly make Twitter easier to digest. However, Twitter’s USP has always been the fact that the content you see is of-the-moment and timely. Filtering posts would make it easier to follow, but would perhaps move Twitter towards a bit of an identity crisis as it gets a little too close to Facebook.
Twitter’s video strategy
Social video is a welcome alternative to untargeted TV placements and offers brands a more measurable alternative that’s become popular with advertisers. Facebook has been busy bolstering its video offering, and YouTube’s revenues continue to grow strongly. Twitter, however, still has a surprisingly low amount of video content. That’s now likely to change.
Previously, advertisers could target their video content on Twitter using user data, and we’ve seen a growing wave of embedded sports-related videos ads from brands like ESPN. But this option has so far been less accessible than competitor offerings.
Twitter recently announced its native video product – “Promoted Video”- to make it easier for brands to upload and share video content, helping them measure distribution and effectiveness. New, enhanced metrics will bring Twitter up to speed as a video platform, bringing them on par with Facebook and YouTube.
Twitter’s promoted video content will not autoplay in the feed in the way that Facebook’s new Premium Video Ads do. Users will instead be able to click on what they want to watch and view it in their timeline. The feature comes on a cost per view pricing model - an attractive feature for marketers looking for set returns, allowing them to pay each time a user clicks to watch the video.
Twitter has the potential to be the ultimate impulse purchase platform, and has been introducing a range of features to bring the platform to the fore of social commerce.
The platform has been keeping us guessing recently with tests of a ‘Buy Now’ button, users spotting a ‘Payment and Shipping’ button and its acquisition with CardSpring, a card start-up that links companies to bank cards and tracks online activity to offline purchases.
Twitter’s retweet function offers users an instant and very easy method of sharing content. This viral nature puts the platform in a strong position when running e-commerce promotions, with the potential for tweets about offers and products to spread quickly.
This is an area where Twitter has potential to lead the industry with innovative solutions for advertisers, rather than merely keep up with Facebook’s offering. Its recent acquisitions and developments are glimpse of things to come, but as always, this needs to be carefully balanced with keeping users happy.
Twitter lacks the huge amounts of personal user data that Facebook holds, meaning it can’t deliver targeted ads with the same degree of accuracy.
Recent updates and acquisitions suggest Twitter is counteracting this, adopting other methods of analysing its users to better target ads.
Last year Twitter introduced a new website tag for remarketing, helping marketers create tailored audiences from website visitors. It also acquired a digital ad exchange MoPub to boost its location-based mobile advertising offering, now an important part of Twitter’s overall business. This has allowed Twitter to connect its 270+ million users to billions of monthly mobile ads served by MoPub, broadening Twitter’s mobile ad ecosystem. This is a key part of Twitter’s long-term revenue generation strategy (and a big part of why Q2 was such a success for the platform).
More recently, we’ve seen updates to SocialRank, its analytics service looking into influential and engaged users, to now search users by location and keyword searches. The recent acquisition of image search company Madbits will also help Twitter analyse its users via their photos, offering more accuracy when targeting ads.
Following its ‘Promoted Video’ offering, Twitter continues to offer marketers even more control with its recent launch of performance-based tools, making it easier for marketers and SMBs to measure and optimise promotions. Twitter’s ‘objective-based campaigns’ mean marketers pay only for actions that meet objectives – like driving followers, tweet engagements and app installs. It is the next logical step in Twitter’s transition from a primarily branding, to a direct-response platform.
It’s clear that Twitter is under pressure on a number of fronts, but it does seem to be working hard to improve its service, attract and keep users, and offer more to brands. We’ve already seen a marked improvement from Q1 to Q2; recent moves and acquisitions seem to indicate that Twitter is not only keeping up with the crowd, but showing potential to lead the way by building on its strengths.
There has been a vast increase in the number of people accessing the internet and using it on handheld devices in the UK, according to data just released from the Office of National Statistics.
It found that 43 million UK adults accessed the internet in the last three months and of these, 76% accessed it daily. In fact, 21 million more adults accessed the internet daily in 2014 than in 2006.
The research also found that the 16-24 year old age group is most likely to access the internet ‘on the go’ using a mobile device, with a huge 96% using a handheld device to go online over the last three months.
This month’s Ofcom’s Communications Market Report backs this evidence up, discovering that 16-24 year olds in the UK spend three times longer on their smart device than the average adult.
However, the Ofcom’s most interesting findings were focused on the ‘millennium generation’, who are now the most tech savvy age group in the UK. The study shows that the communications habits of younger people are changing fundamentally, with 12-15 year olds now spending just 3% of their communications time making voice calls, as opposed to 94% using text based services like instant messaging and social networking.
Glasses up to the future!
When one chapter ends and another begins, more often than not, we’ll raise a glass. It was this insight that drove the concept for our global ‘Parting Glass’ campaign with Tullamore D.E.W.: inviting fans from around the world to raise a glass to their own new beginnings.
Whether it was a wedding, stag do or new job, we encouraged Tullamore’s social media community to show us how they celebrated their ‘Parting Glass’ moments through videos, images or witty texts. Uploading their content to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, people simply had to add the #PartingGlass hashtag to enter.
By submitting their own Parting Glass moment, fans were automatically entered into a competition to be part of Tullamore’s own ‘Parting Glass’ moment. Those who displayed the most authentic celebratory moment would have the opportunity to attend the opening of Tullamore’s brand new distillery in Ireland!
Having been destroyed in a fire 60 years ago, bringing the distillery back to its hometown is a significant moment for the brand’s history, so a fantastic, unique occasion for our Tullamore fans to get involved in.
And for those fans who didn’t manage to create their own content, the Tullamore website hosted a collection of videos covering different ‘Parting Glass’ moments for the social community to personalise and share with their friends – a unique way to mark the moment.
In total, we saw over 400 images of celebrations and images of fans embarking on new hobbies and adventures – all with Tullamore in the frame.
The ‘Parting Glass ‘campaign reached over 4 million Facebook users, with a variety of entries from across five different markets.
So why not pour a glass of Tullamore D.E.W., and enjoy some of our favourites below!
New Facebook tracking tool works across devices
Facebook has created a new reporting tool, which will allow advertisers to track consumers across devices. The advertiser can find out which device a user saw an ad on, and where they made a purchase. This allows them to discover when a mobile ad led to a desktop sale, or vice versa. The tool places trackers on an advertiser’s sites and apps, which can measure a variety of conversion types: web views, basket adds and purchases.
Twitter releases Promoted Video beta
Twitter has launched a beta version of its Promoted Video ads, which will charge advertisers only when a user hits play. The network claims its intention is to create a richer video experience for users, but it must also have revenue generation in mind. Here’s what the ads look like on mobile.
Twitter adds celebrity mobile features
Twitter has added two new mobile features that it hopes will facilitate conversation between celebrities. Now, verified users on both Android and iPhone can receive mobile alerts whenever another verified user follows them, while those on iPhone can also choose to view only verified users in their stream.
Fanta produces comedy series for Vine
Fanta is taking to Vine to produce a set of weekly comedy videos. Dubbed #FantaForTheFunny, the campaign will enlist three different Vine celebrities, in the hope that it will appeal to teens and young adults.
Groupon sees success on Snapchat
Groupon has launched on Snapchat. The brand’s opening gambit saw it send out a Snap promoting a deal for Wiz Khalifa tickets. They sold out in two minutes after 700 clicks, 250 screenshots and 1,000 direct messages, all resulting from that one piece of content. Another example has seen Groupon set up a competition, asking fans for their best ‘hey grill’ chat up lines, for the chance to win (you guessed it) a grill.
AT&T’s @SummerBreak campaign spreads across social
Telecoms company, AT&T, has created a cross-platform social media campaign around ‘Summer Breaks’. This includes a set of YouTube videos, uploaded three times a week, as well as content on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine and Snapchat. For the latter, it has accrued almost 45,000 followers in two months, all from scratch and without the help of paid media.
AmEx produces content through design partnership
American Express has partnered with a number of artists to produce a series of social content on the theme of design. This will be posted between now and the end of the year, and it’s already producing some effective results: Instagram interactions have doubled, while Twitter favourites have increased three times over.
Brands talk shark week on social
In case you missed it, last week was shark week. Naturally, a number of brands wanted a bite (sorry) of the action. Here are some of the best examples.
— Travelocity Gnome (@RoamingGnome) August 9, 2014
— REDD’S® Apple Ale (@ReddsAppleAle) August 10, 2014
— Sprint (@sprint) August 10, 2014
Premier League to get tough on Vines
The UK’s Premier League is looking to clamp down on people sharing unofficial Vines. The Premier League’s director of communications, Dan Johnson, said of the move:
You can understand that fans see something, they can capture it, they can share it, but ultimately it is against the law. It’s a breach of copyright and we would discourage fans from doing it, we’re developing technologies like gif crawlers, Vine crawlers, working with Twitter to look to curtail this kind of activity.
We’ll see how successful they are. If we’re honest, we’re pretty sceptical.
Online now accounts for more than half our daily media consumption globally, and social media takes up 50% of that online media time, according to the latest figures from GlobalWebIndex.
A recent report looked at how adults typically spend their media time each day, finding that online now accounts for more than half of adults’ total daily time spent on media, compared with 23% for traditional TV, in second place.
Global Web Index’s research also shows that social networking accounts for just over a quarter of daily online activity, and all social media activities combined take up 50% of people’s online media time.