“Dead in a year” is a phrase I’ve heard accompany many a mention of Twitter.
Yet it’s still here, and for all the negative headlines, it boasts over 500 million tweets per day from 320 million active users.
While many marked the platform’s 10th birthday this week by speculating over its future, let’s instead focus on what makes Twitter great and what brands could lose if it does indeed fall.
Many brands have well-established social strategies and while Facebook has long been considered the dominant player in the social sphere versus say, Google+ (and look what’s happened to that…).
Twitter has played a vital role. Brands know that an instantly accessible, real-time, well-developed voice and presence on Twitter can help develop their relationship with consumers.
More than this, it can be an everyday conduit and conversation between brands and consumer – an opportunity to add value and cement what gives their brand meaning – known as its brand purpose.
Twitter excels in three main areas for brands; campaigning, entertainment and personalisation, of which we have had some great examples over the last decade.
WWF’s #EndangeredEmoji campaign is a great example of how brands can use Twitter as a call to action. It highlighted the fact that seventeen animals within the emoji keyboard are in fact endangered.
WWF encouraged emoji users to re-evaluate something they use every day and became a call to action. After a user enrolled in the campaign by re-tweeting the launch tweet, @WWF tracked down how often users tweeted one of the #EndangeredEmoji and encouraged them to donate.
Playing on how much we use emojis, WWF used Twitter to draw our attention to a global cause and made making a difference simple.
From the moment it launched, Twitter has been a platform for entertainment. It allows brands to jump on an opportunity, hijack a news story and draw relevant focus to the brand. This is something Paddy Power does particularly well.
Whether it’s a Jesus look-alike in Italy, a blind footballer kicking a cat into a tree or a vet tranquillising chavs at Cheltenham, Paddy Power is known for pushing boundaries and getting people talking.
Twitter allows brands to immediately distribute content to people all over the world.
Twitter provides a direct line of communication between brands and consumers, whether it’s to solve a problem or showcase a new product.
Last Christmas, eBay used Twitter as a forum to help solve consumers’ Christmas dilemmas at a time of year when they need a helping hand, and when brands are guilty of outshouting one another and not putting consumers first.
Through the hashtag #eBayElves, consumers could ask eBay’s elves for help. Requests included help to find a Christmas gift for the dreaded in-laws or Christmas pudding recipes.
Twitter enabled eBay to speak directly to consumers catering to their individual dilemmas, while also building association with the brand as a festive shopping destination.
The unique interface of Twitter enabled all these campaigns to run as effectively as they did. While Facebook is the dominant social platform, Twitter has in many ways proved stronger at giving brands a voice.
Brands, in turn, have a better understanding of how to use the platform effectively to benefit both brand and consumer. Here’s hoping Twitter finds a business model which enables it to thrive for another ten years.
By Nick Tate, head of marketing at Naked Communications