At long last Twitter has decided to allow brands to create Facebook/Google+ style brand pages. This along with a major redesign focused on usability & discoverability of content was unveiled yesterday.
With a slew of launch partners such as Best Buy, American Express, Dell, GE, Nike, Heineken, Disney and more, Twitter is following in the footsteps of Google’s recent roll-out of Google+ brand pages.
One of the primary reasons for the rollout is to better support advertisers. According to eMarketer, Twitter’s global ad revenue is projected to reach $139.5 million in 2011 and approach $399 million in 2013.
By creating branded destinations vs. simply aggregating content, advertisers may engage in more robust programs via Twitter if the possibility to drive additional engagement with specific content over longer periods of time becomes a consistent option.
What is the value for a brand to embrace the change? Here are 5 feature benefits of the new Twitter Brand pages.
1) Customizable Headers | Brands have the ability to further express their essence with a larger profile image and a customizable header.
In the Pepsi example below, they take a creative approach to their header
2) Promoted Tweet | Brands have the opportunity to control the message visitors see when they first come to the profile page via a promoted tweet at the top of the timeline.
The “Top Tweet” becomes a showcase opportunity to drive additional engagement on relevant content, be it promotional, educational, etc.. without the risk of being lost in the timeline.
3) Auto Expand Embedded Content | Promoted content will also go beyond simple links and actually show the content, if it is a video, etc… top tweet will auto-expand to reveal photos or videos from various sources.
4) Optimized Moderation | – The update now allows brands to separate their @ replies & mentions. This will be extremely useful for those that manage the day-to-day engagement on behalf of brands. Users also have a nice option to speak directly to the brand with the new layout with the “Tweet to Brand” option directly under the header.
5) Advertising Performance | Twitters advertising offerings have grown considerably over the last year. With options tied to promoted tweets, accounts & profiles. By creating additional opportunities to drive dwell time on a branded destination, in theory the opportunity to drive additional impressions and clicks becomes greater.
The one issue I have initially is related to how Twitter content is consumed. With a large number of individuals consuming their tweets via platforms outside of Twitter directly & TweetDeck, it will be interesting to see if there is more of an emphasis to not only follow a particular brand, but to also drive directly to their branded presence when specific campaigns are in action.
Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360