Tips and Tricks to Twitter’s New Brand Pages

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The results of a recently released eye tracking study will help companies make best use of the new brand Twitter page features—convincing visitors to become followers.

Twitter’s enhanced profile pages took off in early December for only 21 select advertisers such as Coca-cola, Bing and McDonald’s. Most were brands already using Twitter to display commercial content, but the new brand page provides a large header banner, and the ability to pin a select tweet to the top of the feed, which auto-expands to display embedded media.

The study on these new brand pages, observed eye movements and online actions to see which aspects the users focused on, were distracted by, and connected to.

Headers

The study found that companies should avoid product advertisement in headers, such as how McDonald’s advertised a Big Mac on its header, because it emits a corporate, promotional feel, so users will skim by it. The use of the header to show a promotion link on @Staples page, enticed users, but links aren’t clickable in headers so that frustrated them—instead the headers should direct them to tweeted promotion links.

Tweets

It also showed that tweets with an image or those that use the new auto-expanded video box feature keeps the users focus and gives them a feel for the company. HP visitors connected with a tweet image of a dog looking at them and felt it showed a more humorous side of HP.

Another highlight of the study was that reading a range of tweets can help the user see how the company interacts with customers through replys, retweets, or responding to complaints. When HP did this, users said they liked how they felt HP was being honest and genuine with followers.

After this study, brands hope Twitter will use the feedback to provide continued improvements, even though already they have seen growth. Since launching the new page, Bing’s Twitter base expanded by nearly 50 percent in the last six months, as well as a 28 percent increase in retweets last month.


40 Million Mobile Users Access Social Media Daily

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According to comScore, approximately 40 million mobile device users access social media on a daily basis. This enormous number of mobile users who access social sites comes as no surprise. Facebook has already announced that its global active mobile user base has topped 350 million, which is nearly 44% of its active user base. These mobile users also make up 33% of total Facebook traffic.

According to comScore, Facebook is in the lead of highest mobile users in the US with a whopping 57.3M users. This is an impressive lead over the next two competitors, Twitter and LinkedIn, which have 13.3M and 5.4M users, respectively. Mobile use of Twitter is up nearly 75% year over year, and Facebook will likely see  similar results following their newly released iPad app, and upgrades to their existing mobile apps.

Google sees this large number as the perfect opportunity to grow their own social networking numbers. Ice Cream Sandwich (the newest version of Android) spotlights Google+. Android is currently the most used smartphone OS in the US, taking up 43% of the total market share. Considering these impressive numbers, Android could be the most realistic chance for Google to close some of the gap on Facebook.

ComScore estimates that the amount of mobile users accessing social network in the US are barely 70 million. According to data from Nielson, there are now over 100 million people in the US who can access the internet from their mobile devices. These numbers will likely continue to see huge increases in the near future, as mobile phones and tablets become more and more sophisticated.


Social Buttons Lead To Substantial Increase in Mentions

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BrightEdge recently published a study showing the correlation between social buttons and social shares by the public. The company’s data indicated that sites featuring a tweet widget / button received seven times more twitter mentions than sites that didn’t display the icon. This research was taken from the top 10,000 websites on the internet and this data not only helps companies realize how crucial social media widgets are on their websites, but also opens the door for an enormous amount of online marketing potential.

Their research reported that of the 10,000 largest sites, 53.6% of them have social media buttons on their first page, a .8% increase from July. Of these embedded social media icons, Facebook was the dominant force with a 50% usage. Twitter and Google +1 were next in line with usages of 42.5% and 8.5%. Although company social media efforts are improving, roughly half of the 10,000 largest sites are not taking advantage of these free tools, a problem pointed out by BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu.

View the full report here.


Twitter Improved User Retention Rates With Counter Intuition

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The most common methodology for user experience optimization is  simplifying the conversion process to make it as easy as possible for someone to interact with your site. This often involves shortening steps, simplifying pages and cleaning up clunky designs. However, Twitter discovered that inserting additional steps into the sign up process actually improved user sign up rates because it allowed them to give their service more context and engage users with the site before they officially created their account.

In an interview with AllThingsD, Twitter product lead Josh Elman did not disclose the abandonment rate for their sign up process, but noted that adding more steps increased sign-ups 29 percent. In the interview, he disclosed the “a-ha” moment when a Twitter user shifts their visiting patterns from being a casual to active user.

Elman reported when someone follows 30 accounts and roughly 10 of those follow them back, the user becomes more active on the site. Following this metric disclosure, Business Insider used the Twitter API to research how many people fall into this category and determined that based on Twitter’s definition of an active user, fewer than 21 million exist. While it sounds small, it’s difficult to provide context since there aren’t any other services with a similar metric that provide access to their data.