Twitter Gets Ready for a Social Fight
As Twitter prepares to become a publicly traded company, it's releasing features that show it is absolutely (and without question) ready to wage a rather a serious fight in the social media wars.
The first signal that Twitter could be a contender was the release of an analytics solution. While the platform failed to impress at its initial launch in June 2013 (at least in my opinion), it has becoming increasingly useful over time - if only as a means to verify performance as reported by other analytics platforms or social media management systems.
At the time of launch, users of the Twitter Analytics platform could access their timeline activity (with a graph detailing the mentions and number of follows/unfollows), demographics on followers (including their most unique and top interests), as well as data on their followers gender and location. It was good data, but it wasn't enough.
Recently, however, Twitter has made it possible for social media marketers to add their website to the system - adding another very useful layer of insights. For the first time it's possible to see, direct from the source, the impact that tweets had on a marketers actual website traffic - showing the number of tweets about a URL and how many actual link clicks resulted from the Twitter system.
Once you've got the whole analytics thing figured out, replete with some confidence that Twitter can actually drive traffic (despite some reports that Twitter was virtually meaningless), social media marketers will finally be ready to put the network through the digital paces. And, fellow Internet professionals, Twitter seems to be ready.
This week Twitter announced that social media marketers using its Ad Products can now schedule both organic and promoted tweets for specific dates and times - up to one year in advance. These scheduled tweets can be useful when promoting content as there's no need to send tweets at non-optimal times (weekends, holidays, late-nights), giving advertisers the flexibility to plan.
That's pretty much what it's going to take for Twitter to be a genuine force in the social media wars - the data for social media marketers to make good decisions, and the ability for advertisers to act upon that information in good conscious.