We love Twitter. After all, they are one of the last major social networks out there that enables you to organically grow your audience, and connect with your target market without having to pay a hefty price in advertising dollars.
They have been busy recently as well, rolling out new features over the recent months that gives it’s users (and marketers especially) more and more tools that they can use to connect with their audiences, and analyze your results. Some of these are a few months old, and others are brand new. So, let’s take a quick peek at some of what we consider to be some of the more impactful changes, and how you can use these for your business or brand.
Part of Twitter’s allure has always been it’s simplicity and a 140 character limit certainly meets that requirement. However, there are times when it can be frustrating to try to have a meaningful conversation one text snippet at a time. Plus, if you were using direct messages to converse, oftentimes your messages would be inverted making any meaningful conversation confusing at times, not to mention having to worry about pestering prospects with continuous alerts.
In August, Twitter rolled out a big change to it’s direct message platform without a tremendous amount of splash. They increased their Direct Message character limits from 140 characters to over 10,000 characters, which will give users the ability to send messages that are pretty much as long as they desire them to be.
From a marketer’s perspective, this is a substantial change as you can reach out and connect with prospects in a much more meaningful (and direct) way. Instead of an annoying autoresponder that is squeezed into 140 characters or less, you can construct a meaningful thank you message for those new followers who also happen to be directly within your target market with specific links included if you want to direct their eyes to one of your offerings.
A word of caution though. We wouldn’t suggest that you abuse this feature and simply blast out a lengthy message to any new follower. Much like a new LinkedIn connection, you want to take the time to research your new follower and send them a personalized message that has substance. Otherwise you will simply be that account that sends auto-DM’s, and it is still just as easy to ignore a 5,000 character DM as a 140 character one.
More recently, Twitter has recently begun to roll out a new polls feature where you can actually embed a poll within your tweet and ask your followers (and anyone else who may see the post) the ability to weigh in and vote.
We feel like this will be especially important from a research and engagement perspective for companies, as their audience can turn into an instant focus group for feedback on new products, website features, and even thoughts on industry news. While no statistics are out yet since the feature is brand new, it is an interesting new feature worth paying attention to.
These polls will only be able to offer 2 choices, and will remain live for 24 hours after you post them.
— Twitter (@twitter) October 21, 2015
For those brands or companies with a larger audience, Twitter has rolled out a new suite of analytics features. Per Twitter, “Brand Hub helps advertisers quickly understand their brand’s share of conversation, key audiences, and trends about their brand’s conversation.”
Part of “Brand Hubs” appeal is that it will provide more traditional advertising-type of information, plus a new TrueVoice™ metric, which will give companies a real-time measure of their share of the conversation on the network. It will give new insight into how users are conversing with your brand, even going so far as to offer the top phrases that are associated with your company.
They will also have expanded audience reporting which will offer information about your user’s gender, location, income levels, occupation types, and other key demographic attributes, as well as “key influencer” data.
While Twitter may not get the press of a Google, Amazon, or Facebook, they are definitely continuing to innovate and are using their massive warchest of data to provide new features that will continue to add additional value to its business users. Only time will tell whether these new features will provide their intended impact.