A couple of months ago, Twitter announced some changes to its brand pages, the biggest of which, I believe, are an expanded header area (fig. 1 below), and a “promoted,” or featured tweet at the top of the page (fig. 2):
These changes — especially the latter — can be critical in attracting new followers during what I call the Twitter “discovery” process for brands. This is when users explore the site to see if a certain brand is active on Twitter, and what its profile looks like. (I’ll often just type a brand name into search, or just type “twitter.com/[Brand name here]”.) This can also happen if someone clicks on a Twitter link promoted elsewhere — a brand’s website, for instance — or through a promoted trend.
Twitter is a conversation-based platform; turning the brand pages into expanded destinations may be helpful during the “discovery” process. Overall, I think the updates miss the mark for brands a bit, especially when a vast majority of the Twitter experience is stream-based.
Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever followed a brand based on how its profile looks. I look at the quality of its tweets (more on that below), its tweet frequency and maybe its follow/follower ratio. Usually, I’ll only follow a brand if it tweets me, which brings me to my point:
None of the aforementioned Twitter brand page changes make me more likely to follow a brand on Twitter. To me, it comes down to what the brand actually says and does:
- Is the brand listening to the conversation (using a tool like Radian6) and responding accordingly?
- What is the brand actually doing to get its followers involved and acting on its behalf?
- Are its posts (and responses) relevant, timely and helpful?
- When customer service issues happen, are its tweets tied to real actions?
This is what it comes down to for me — how about you? What are your thoughts on Twitter’s brand page updates? Please leave your thoughts as comments below!