Yesterday I was reading an article by Dave Copeland titled “Companies unsure how to drive users to Twitter brand pages“. It’s certainly an issue that many companies consider, and comes hand and hand with ‘How do we get people back to our site?’.
The benefits of getting a customer to visit your branded pages are obvious. You can use a web page to cross-sell, advertise your product’s benefits, show your wealth of knowledge, encourage sharing with potential customers and ‘physically’ sell a product (ecommerce).
Copeland’s article discusses Twitter’s big plans for 2012. Improving branded pages to the point where people want/need to visit them. Currently the design doesn’t encourage this. Many people stay on their own feed and broadcast from there. The only time they’ll take notice of your brand is when they initially find you and then when on the rare occasions when they see your branded messages on their feed.
We all know that information posted on social networking sites has a tiny finite life.
This make the importance of the message paramount.
At first Twitter’s plans will involve those advertisers willing to cough up a $25,000 dowry in order to be included in the future development. Until it’s perfected, the smaller businesses who can’t stump up the cash will be left in the dark, running their brand presences on the old system.
It’s tempting to dismiss Twitter altogether. The promise it once held for advertising has all but vanished and you’re now a small fish in a very big and ever-growing lake. As individuals grow and change their profiles, companies that broadcast and do little to maintain interest will find themselves ‘unfollowed’, or have no interaction with real people.
There’s lots of focus at the moment on the visual elements of the web. Interest in visual-bookmarking sites like Posterous, Tumblr, Pinterest and so forth is rising as our collective capacity for information seems to regress. It would be easy to switch to solely creating visual messages, appealing to that kind of market but you’d be missing out.
But there’s so much Twitter can still offer consumers, we just have to make brand presence fit their needs.
Re-thinking your Twitter presence
- Worry about your message before the imagery
It doesn’t matter how fancy your brand page is if you don’t have a a handle on your message. Your presence should be appropriate to the medium but also needs to represent your brand, it needs to be strong and passionate enough that people want to follow it and find out more. Having a real representative helps, broadcasting an advertising message does not.
- Stop trying to drive people to a different page
People are using a page for a reason, stop focussing on getting more page views n a particular channel and work on interactions. If you can supply an answer without sending a customer to another site that’s great work.
- Encourage a following from the start
When someone first encounters your brand, find ways to encourage them to follow your Twitter presence, the best way to do this is have a legitimate reason and if the message is right then they should have. ‘Get the latest news about our company’ isn’t Inspirational. ‘Get a daily tip to save you £10’ grabs my attention.
- Publish appropriate content
If you are sharing your own content make it great. If someone’s left a micro-blogging site like Twitter then they’re more likely to be impressed by concise information which relates perfectly to the title of the piece.
- Read about bigger brands but do your own thing
Brands like those investing heavily in Twitter have the capacity to do big and interesting things, marketing attempts that make headlines. But little brands have to use their skill to do the same. They need to think carefully about what they can do well on their budget and how much a ‘follow’ is worth.
Obviously it’s important to manage your brand’s expectations of what Twitter can do. Engagement is getting harder but ignoring the online buzz about your brand is stupid. Whatever you do, take the time to think about why it’ll benefit your audience. They’re the key, everything else is pretty fluff.