#NewNewTwitter: A New Opportunity for Marketers

Twitter announced a new interface, rolling out over the next few weeks, this morning. You can preview the interface and the new features at fly.twitter.com.

Compared to this change, the previous change to New Twitter (the current interface) was minor. This is a major change and for marketers, it is a far more interesting change. New brand pages give marketers a new home, but the changes to everyone’s stream is where the real opportunities are.

As a marketer, and particularly if you are a B2B marketer or focused on a niche market, here is why I believe you should care about the #NewNewTwitter (as it is being called today on Twitter) individuals are using:

1. Discover. Discover. Discover.

The integration of the Discover tab is a huge change for marketers. Individuals and marketers can be “discovered” now through their updates or the content they are sharing on a topic.

2. Media Integration

The integration of images has been significantly improved and video has been added. Small “View Image” and video links with a small icon give tweets that include media additional visual weight in the interface.

Here are things marketers will need to do to quickly take advantage of these changes as they are rolled out.

1. Use Keywords and Hashtags

Discover will make the use of keywords and hashtags more important than ever. Twitter’s “power users” have used search and followed hashtags or keywords, but the new Discover tab makes this a much more integral part of the interface and will increase the use of these features. Historically, content was shared on Twitter to be acted on (retweeted, replied to or clicked). Now, marketers will need to craft tweets for both discover and action.

2. Use Photos and Videos Liberally

The integration of photos and videos effectively allows you to share significantly more information directly on Twitter with a single tweet. Marketers should integrate photo and video sharing if they have not already to take advantage of the additional visual weight these tweets have in the interface and the additional engagement they are likely to drive.

Aside: hopefully this is the end of “This video of you made me laugh” twitter spam tactics, now a “real” video could be attached directly to the tweet!

As a Twitter user, for me this is a primarily a new interface. However, as a marketer, the new interface looks to unlock a number of new opportunities to be discovered, share information and increase engagement. This might be the most important update to Twitter yet for marketers.

Your Turn

What do you think of #NewNewTwitter and what other new opportunities does it present for marketers? Share your view in the comments below or with me on the new Twitter (@wittlake).

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  • http://www.facebook.com/cindyfsolomon Cindy F Solomon

    Thanks Eric.  I’m particularly interested in how this will affect Twitter Chats – seems like it adds more value if content can be displayed within the stream

    • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

      Hi Cindy, it will be interested. I attempted to participate in a Twitter chat late last week using New Twitter, and I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone else!

      Then again, tools like Stanzr or TweetChat have always been far better for that specific purpose. Hopefully third party tools will integrate some of the new functions as well, so we do not have to choose between Twitter’s core features and the usability enhancements many of the tools offer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/surplusrobyn Robyn GovLiquidation

    Thanks for the info! We share original content videos with our followers on a regular basis, so this is exciting for us.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this great info Eric! I just “discovered” the new interface and I agree with you about using more photos and video…although, at some point, I will yearn for the #goodolddays when Twitter was just a conversation.

    • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

      I hear you! For me, conversation seems to be slowly moving towards G+, and G+ doesn’t make a conversation like that discoverable the way Twitter did.

      Thanks for the comment, and I’m still open to Twitter conversation!

  • http://twitter.com/janetcallaway Janet Callaway

    Eric, aloha. Thanks so much for the heads up on this.  Look forward to exploring and becoming familiar with it over the weekend.  Appreciate your comments.  Aloha. Janet

    • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

      Thanks Janet! Interested to hear what you think of it once you dig in!

  • http://windmillnetworking.com/ Neal Schaffer | Social Media

    Greetings Eric ;-) Yes, the visual is an interesting one.  I still don’t see that happening in my timeline yet – but I will be on the lookout.  That being said, it really comes down to how many are using Twitter.com versus Twitter/Social Media dashboards.  The other one is how mobile affects (or does not affect) this.  Would love to get some stats on this.  Maybe ideas for another blog post? ;-)

    Stay good,@NealSchaffer:twitter 

    • http://twitter.com/CoachInAction CoachInAction

      Hi Eric and Neal. This is my first thought too. Love to know how many people use the Twitter interface -v- Dashboards. Can understand Twitter trying to pull people back towards them by giving marketeers more to play with, but will the user appreciate this interference in the conversation. Watching this space with interest. Kathryn

      • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

        Thanks for taking the time to comment. My question is: does Twitter really want to pull people ‘back’ to the interface, or do they want the interface to be more attractive for new users, making them more likely to (1) adopt Twitter and (2) spend more time on Twitter.com as ‘consumers’ (beyond conversation)?

        I’m guessing the later group is very important to Twitter and the future of the advertising side of their business model, but time will tell. Good question, will be interesting to see how it plays out!

    • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

      Hi Neal,

      I’m viewing the usage question a bit differently. Today’s ardent Hootsuite or Tweetdeck users may not switch to the web, but we already have some elements of discovery, and support for various media platforms, as part of the tools we use.

      For newer Twitter users or people that spend less time on Twitter (no, that isn’t a confession that a spend a significant amount of time on Twitter!), I think the changes are interesting. In the end, as Twitter looks to become a destination, a place where people can spend time and discover or find new things, this marks the change.

      My prediction: soon Twitter will be talking about the amount of time spent on the site in relation to other (non-Facebook) social media sites as they ramp up their advertising programs. These changes are part of what will make that possible.

  • Lindsay – 3seven9

    Nice post Eric. I agree that the new interface presents a lot of opportunities for marketers – particularly as users are able to passively come across a business’ content from using Discover, as you mention!

    What I find interesting is the experimentation of allowing Launch Partners to customise their page with a banner and choice of tweet – I wonder whether they will take this forward for other brands? The other point of interest to me is that it is now more  accessible to those who have previously found Twitter confusing, thus increasing the potential for a wide user base. We also investigated how the redesign helps businesses: http://ow.ly/7U693

    • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

      Hi Lindsay,

      I think you are spot on, this change is more about today’s light users and expanding the Twitter user base. The impact on today’s dedicated Twitter users, even though they are the ones talking about it the most, is probably smaller. Those people are using third party tools that already offer some of these same features. Now, people first starting out will potentially use more of these features as well.

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  • http://www.ladyfaceale.com Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie

    A picture’s worth a thousand words. We’ll look forward to posting the latest beer board & pictures of all our #craftbeer. Discover offers a whole new opportunity for smaller niche markets like ours. Thanks for the article.

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