Call, Configure, Commerce: The Twitter cards of the future
“You don’t win by being loud. You win by being good.” That’s Twitter’s philosophy and it’s leading them down some very interesting, new roads. This past week, the company delivered a 7-hour, 500-slide presentation to the press and investors at the first Twitter Analyst Day.
I wanted to listen to the whole presentation because I’m a diehard Twitter fan and I believe in its power as a marketing tool. But alas, 7 plus hours was a bit much. If you’re up for the challenge, you can access the presentation here. Or you can keep reading and I’ll fill you in on some of the highlights.
Making OnBoarding Easier
Twitter’s biggest issue is getting new users past the learning curve. We live in a world of “@” symbols and hashtags, but for the social media newbie, a Twitter tweet can look like a coded message. . . which, in a way, it is.
To keep people from tuning out before they’ve tuned in, Twitter is rolling out the Instant Timeline. When a new user signs up, their timeline will populate with popular content based on the member’s interests. They’re also making it easier to import contacts from other sources, so you can instantly hook up with friends who already have Twitter accounts. Twitter’s VP of product growth Christian Oestlien says this new process has already increased the number of people new users follow by 190%. They’ve also seen a 10% rise in sign-up completions.
Once a person has completed the sign-up process, they’ll continue to get prompts and tips to help them navigate and get more out of the service. In addition to totally new visitors, Twitter will also use the Instant Timeline feature to recapture those who signed up but haven’t returned in awhile.
The Future is the Cards
On the marketing side, Twitter’s future can be seen in the cards. Twitter cards are ad units with some kind of media or functionality attached to the Tweet. Images and video are the most popular options, but VP of Product Kevin Weil showed off a few more sophisticated options.
The Configurator let’s you customize car options and get a quote without leaving Twitter. Insane!
My favorite is the Polling card. People love to share their opinion and right now the only way to conduct a poll is with a hashtag. How much more effective would it be if all people had to do was click their choice from a single Tweet?
Twitter is also still working on T-commerce cards that let users buy products without leaving the timeline.
For smaller marketers, Twitter is playing around with their version of Facebook’s promoted posts. It’s call Quick Promote and it’s a simple way to turn any Tweet into a paid promotion.
Twitter is also working on a direct messaging feature that allows you to start a conversation in public but move it to a private chat. They’re also heavily invested in video so expect to see a full video upload tool that let’s you edit and post on the fly.
If you were even thinking about giving up on Twitter, don’t. The best is yet to come.