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Two New Conversion Tracking Features From Twitter

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Social media marketers are constantly looking to improve their performance and in order to do so they must have the most accurate and detailed analytics possible.

However, it looks like Twitter has seen this need and decided to do something. Recently, the company has revealed two new conversion tracking features: transaction values and key conversion tags.

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Through the new transaction values feature, marketers are able to view sales (e.g. conversion value) that are driven by their Promoted Tweet campaigns. The analytic information derived from the new feature is aggregated and reported back to marketers in their Twitter Ads analytics dashboard. The second new feature released by Twitter, key conversion tags, enables marketers to optimize their campaigns by allowing them to select a single conversion event to track. This selection also lets marketers view “distilled analytics” within Twitter’s Ads, displaying only the types of conversion they care about most during specific campaigns.

“In the 30 days since beginning beta testing, Live Nation has run Promoted Tweet campaigns using the Website Card to drive ticket sales for popular music acts. @LiveNation’s analytics now reveal that they drove a return on ad investment of 819% during the testing period,” states the official blog post from Twitter announcing the new features.

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Despite Slow User Growth, Twitter’s Stock Is Increasing By 15%

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Since Twitter became a public company, many investors have wandered the stock based on the strength of the social network’s user growth each quarter.

On Thursday, Twitter reported having 288 million monthly active users, compared to estimates for upward of 295 million. That represented a gain of just 4 million active users during the holiday quarter, or about 1.4% growth quarter-over-quarter.

The good news is, Wall Street reacted by sending Twitter’s stock up more than 10% after hours. It effectively gave Twitter a pass on its sluggish user growth for two reasons. First, Twitter crushed analyst estimates for revenue and earnings in the fourth quarter, with revenue more than doubling year-over-year to $479 million, showing that the company’s monetisation engine is very strong.

This is definitely Twitter’s first billion-dollar revenue year.

The impressive financial numbers alone probably wouldn’t have been enough to shift investor focus away from user growth, which brings us to the second factor. In the earnings release and on the call that followed, Twitter executives assured investors that user growth would be higher in the current quarter.

“I want to highlight that the user numbers we saw in January of this year indicate that our MAU trend has already turned around and our Q1 trend is likely to be back in the range of absolute net adds that we saw during the first three quarters of 2014,” Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, said on the call. “Monetisation was strong and user adds were generally fine, but most importantly management commented that 1Q net adds should return to historical levels of 13-16 million.”

Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with Sterne Agee, called Twiter’s user growth for the holiday quarter “unimpressive,” but added that “management indicated MAU trends have rebounded in January.”  Bhatia also noted the unexpected explanation from Twitter that a “bug” with iOS 8 somehow cost the social network four million users during the quarter — more or less the difference between it hitting and missing user targets.

All of that was enough to give Twitter a pass for this quarter, but it now must live up to the greater user growth expectations that it has set for the coming quarter. Because no matter how much Twitter may be trying to shift the narrative to its broader logged-out user base and new revenue-generation efforts, Wall Street is still not turning its attention away from that monthly active user number.

“Beyond the very positive business story, the user growth story – or, more specifically, absence of meaningful user growth, with a reported gain of only 4 million this past quarter – will probably continue to concern some investors,” stated Brian Wieser, a senior research analyst at Pivotal Research Group. “Many will continue to focus on related metrics as a key one against which to hold management accountable.”

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Twitter’s stock is increasing by 15%

Twitter Will Begin Monitoring The Apps In Your Smartphone

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Twitter will soon start monitoring on the apps you download.

The latest Twitter app update will add a setting that allows the social network to keep track of the apps you download, as the company announced on Wednesday.

According to Twitter, the goal of this update is to provide users with a “more tailored experience.” By tracking the apps people are downloading, the social media company can gauge users’ interests and display better suggestions of new accounts to follow and, obviously, more relevant ads.

The feature, which called “app graph” by the company will also be used to personalise the content that appears in users’ timeline from accounts they don’t follow. Twitter has confirmed in August that users would begin seeing tweets and favorites from accounts they don’t follow in their timeline. It wasn’t clear at the time exactly how Twitter planned to make those changes but the company says app graph will help inform those additions.

Once the update goes live, users are automatically guided to the tracking, though Twitter will notify users within the app once it starts and you can choose to ignore it. Twitter notes that the option is only tracking a list of the apps users have downloaded and is not accessing any data within those apps.

However, if you are not too fond of this “monitoring system”, you can opt out of the tracking through the the main Twitter app’s settings menu. On iOS this is through setting -> account -> privacy -> “Tailor Twitter based on my apps.” Similarly, Android users can disable the setting through settings -> account -> other -> “Tailor Twitter based on my apps.”

Twitter is not the first social network to use your activity outside of its app to inform what kinds of ads you see. Facebook relies on users’ browsing history to show relevant ads. Moreover, both iOS and Android allow developers to access information about what kinds of apps their users are downloading, though not all developers choose to take advantage of these tools.

Twitter Introduces “Twitter Offers” Which Linked To User’s Credit Card

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Here is a good news: Twitter might help you to save some money.

The social media company has launched its newest Twitter Offers, which lets marketers run promotions that you can redeem via your credit card. If a Twitter Offer appears in your timeline, now you can add the Offer to your credit card or debit card. When you click to buy the item, the discount will be applied, but the cash back won’t show up for a few days.

As with Twitter’s Buy button, to redeem the offer, users have to click on it. Next they’ll be directed to a landing page where they can enter their credit- or debit card info.

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Once you enter your card information, Twitter has it on hand so you can redeem future offers without that hassle.  For advertisers, Twitter Offers presents a way to track ROI for Twitter-based promotions. If 50 people redeem an Offer, for instance, they can work out how much they spent for each redemption.

Twitter is planning to cooperate with a various of unnamed brands for Twitter Offers this holiday season.

Twitter’s Master Plan On 2015

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Around this time last year, the big question about Twitter was how much would the social network and the company’s culture change after going public. The answer is that it would change quite a bit, especially in 2015.

Lately, Twitter enjoyed its precious time with Wall Street in its first three months as a public company, with the stock briefly soaring above $70. That came to an abrupt end the day that Twitter released its first earnings report in February. Twitter beat Wall Street estimates for revenue and earnings, yet user growth came in below estimates. The stock fell by more than 20% overnight.

Some version of that episode has repeated itself after multiple earnings reports since then, forcing Twitter’s top execs to stress user growth above all else and prove to investors that it is a mainstream service like Facebook. Twitter’s CEO deputised and then replaced a series of execs to help reignite growth, but with minimal results. Meanwhile, executives pressed for more product ideas.

The result of those efforts will increasingly be seen throughout the next year.

The new Twitter

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During Twitter’s first Analyst Day event this month, the company’s executives attempted to renew investor confidence by laying out plans to speed up product development and release a wide range of new features.

Twitter plans to introduce an upgraded timeline for new users which reduce the friction of having to find people to follow when first signing up on the social network, perhaps for existing users who just haven’t found the most engaging conversations to follow. This way, Twitter hopes it can improve user onboarding and retention.

The social media company will also begin highlighting tweets users may have missed while away, introduce native video editing and sharing features and more breaking news alerts. All of them may designated to boost user engagement and pave the way for stronger advertising options.

It’s all part of Twitter’s strategy to expand on its service as much as possible without undermining the fundamentals of what makes Twitter.

“Obviously, Twitter will always be a real-time network. That is our No. 1 priority when we think about the user experience,” Anthony Noto, Twitter’s recently hired CFO, said during the company’s most recent earnings call. “But there are time periods when something incredibly relevant to you as a user could have occurred hours ago before you open up the Twitter app. And we will see unique opportunities like that to give you content that’s incredibly relevant, even if it’s not based on what happened most recently.”

Standalone apps

Facebook has been pushing hard to release more standalone apps in order to be more effective and cater specific uses. Now Twitter plans to follow suit.

Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, told analysts at the event this month that the company plans to introduce more standalone apps. He didn’t provide more details about what types of apps there may be, though the team suggested some might make use of Twitter content framed in a different way. Some obvious candidates, based on pure speculation, might be messaging apps or news-focused applications.

“Like Vine, we believe there are complementary applications that can live outside of Twitter that will help us grow [to the] largest daily audience in the world,” Costolo said.

So far, Twitter has had mixed success with its standalone apps. Vine has gained a strong following. On the other hand, Twitter Music was killed off earlier this year.

Acquisitions

As expected, Twitter has made several notable acquisitions after its IPO, including social TV analytics companies, a commerce startup and an Android lock screen app. This action may continue in 2015. In September, Twitter raised $1.8 billion in a convertible debt offering, roughly the same amount it raised from its public offering a little less than a year earlier. The additional capital gives Twitter more cash on hand for future acquisitions, though still far less than the cash available to rivals like Facebook and Google.

Costolo said that Twitter will be “opportunistic” about acquisitions.

AMC Theatre Gets The First Opportunity To Try Twitter’s “Buy” Button

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Twitter will test its latest “Buy” button in a real-world with its first holiday promotion.

Starting Thursday, AMC Theatres will offer a $30 gift card via its Twitter account, which has more than 251,000 followers, and Promoted Tweets. Those who click the tweet with the Buy button will be led to a landing page where they can enter credit card information. After purchase, the card will be mailed to their home (or the home of the recipient, if it’s a gift) within five to seven days. Moreover, buyers will also receive a voucher for free popcorn at the theatres if they purchase the gift card.

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Twitter’s Buy button (which was initially called “Buy Now”) first launched in June with a promo for online shopping site Fancy. Twitter officially announced the button in September with offers from Burberry and The Home Depot to artists like Ryan Adams and Megadeth. For the venture, Twitter partnered with Stripe, an online payments service.

Twitter that has struggled with moderate user growth since 2013 has mobilised all of its efforts to monetize the service to the fullest by offering more and better targeting for advertisers. Now, with the new buy button available, eCommerce section is going to utilise Twitter to reach more customers as well.

Meanwhile, Facebook has announced its Buy button in June to help businesses drive sales through the News Feed and on their Facebook Pages. A Facebook representative declined to say whether the company has any holiday promotions planned that can be used simultaneously with the button.

Introducing Fabric: A Toolkit For Developers To Build Apps On Twitter’s Platform

twitter-fabric-appDuring Twitter’s Flight conference, Dick Costolo - Twitter’s CEO - introduced Fabric, a set of APIs directed for developers to encourage them to build apps and services on top of the Twitter platform.

During the introductory session of the new APIs, Costolo stated that Twitter “wanted to approach this not from the perspective of what would be best for Twitter, but what would help [developers] be most productive.”

Fabric is built upon Twitter’s social platform, yet also ties in features from the social media app. However, it’s not just about making apps that let you sign in with Twitter so they can push more ads in user’s timeline. Twitter Mobile Platform Director, Jeff Seibert, showed off a TestFlight solution for distributing the pre-release builds to testers without requiring account creation, letting you send particular builds with specific links.

Of course, the Twitter social platform itself is not completely neglected. There’s now a native Twitter SDK for mobile, letting developers create Twitter clients that show rich media from the service as well as integrate universal Twitter logins in mobile apps. This solution also helps developers integrate MoPub to increase revenue by routing ads through the highest-bidding network.

Twitter Is Targeting Small to Medium Businesses For Their Ad Platform

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The actual percentage of SMBs that incorporate Twitter as a part of their social media marketing strategy.

Small and medium sized Australian businesses can now advertise on Twitter. The social media company is launching its self service ad platform in Australia, as it looks to broaden its audience base and uplift ad revenue.

Small and medium sized Australian businesses will now be able to advertise on the social platform for the first time using its promoted tweets, promoted accounts and targeting tools. Previously, there was a minimum spend required from advertisers to use its full service offering. Now, advertisers can advertise on the platform as easily as sending a tweet.

The self-service ad platform has already been released to more than 20 countries in the past 12 months. In the US, many small and medium sized businesses use Twitter’s advertising platform. They are expected to participate just like larger businesses. The platform is being launched in Australia by Richard Aflonsi, Twitter’s Vice President of global online sales.

Furthermore, Twitter also revealed its modular training program to encourage agencies in how to get the best out of Twitter for clients, thus scaling up a brand strategy team to work more closely with clients. The social media corporate expects small businesses that already use Twitter to organically take up the opportunity to boost their reach with paid ads, which has happened overseas.

Twitter is publishing a research report designed to persuade small businesses. It claims 61% of people had recently discovered a new small business on Twitter, and 31% went on to make a purchase. It also claims that 70% of respondents “feel better about an SMB after reading its tweets”.

Moreover, Twitter defines an small and medium sized business term as “any company that is not a large corporate, ranging from retailers to app developers.” The company has surveyed 1,000 Australians who use Twitter every month and follow a small business.

Now It’s Possible To Add Items To Your Amazon Wishlist With A Tweet

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Tweet it now, buy it later.

Recently, Amazon has revealed a new shopping hashtag that allows online purchasers to automatically add items to their wish list with a tweet. After sending a tweet containing the #AmazonWishList hashtag and a link to the item (or replying to a tweet containing an Amazon link), the MyAmazon Twitter account should reply with the status of the item, including when it gets added to your list, if it’s out of stock and how you can buy it.

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This is the second time Twitter has partnered with Amazon. Previously, the social media giant introduced a special hashtag, #AmazonCart, which allows users to add items to their Amazon shopping cart. As with that hashtag, users who want to take advantage of #AmazonWishList will need to link their Amazon and Twitter accounts.

It’s clear that Twitter has been geared up its experiments that put shopping and buying services in users’ Twitter timelines in recent months. The company confirmed that it began experimenting a “Buy now” button earlier this year. A payments and shipping option also appeared later in some users settings menu, prompting speculation that the social network may be moving closer to launching a native shopping service.

New Updates From Twitter: New Font Style, Colour and Auto Mention

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Twitter has new updates to its design to enhance your tweeting experience.

The recent updates was revealed in a two-part official tweet by Twitter on Wednesday. In those tweets, Twitter announced a brand new font intended to improve “speed and readability”, more color options on user profiles, and new buttons on profile pages to automatically mention and send tweets or direct messages to another user.

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The first feature, Twitter’s web font, a Sans-Serif system default font (Arial on Windows, Helvetica Neue on OS X and Droid Sans on Android), is a ‘back to square one’ decision when a few months ago the company decided to use Gotham Narrow.

Twitter did not respond immediately to the comments regarding the specifics of the changes, but some users are already voicing their disappointment, especially toward the new font:

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“This latest change follows a design tweak to Twitter’s sign-up page last week, which took months of effort,” said Twitter product manager, Christian Oestlien.

Another new feature, the buttons on profile pages, is designed to make it easier for people to communicate with other users quickly. For example, if you click “Tweet to” while seeing one of your friend’s profiles, the Tweet box opens a new tweet with “@yourfriend” already at the beginning. Same thing happens on the message button, which sets up a direct message to the referred account. However, many experts stated that the new profile color options are just the icing on the cake.