Brad Jordan, head of social media at Receptional, explains why Twitter's new brand pages won't have the sticking power of their Facebook rivals.
Last week, Twitter unveiled a major redesign that has slowly rolled out across the social network to its continually growing user base. Whilst much of the media attention has been on Twitter’s new brand pages, it is in fact one of the lesser talked about elements of the redesign that has the capacity to make a huge shift in the way we consume media, and have the greatest effect on brands.
Early this year, LinkedIn launched an aggregated news platform called LinkedIn Today. Using a voting algorithm that aims to match popular content with those who may be interested, LinkedIn Today compiles news from a combination of individuals, industries and news sources you follow, presenting it to the user. The more likes, shares and discussions an article generates amongst a user’s peers, the more likely it is to appear on their edition of LinkedIn Today.
Whilst this was a great achievement in terms of improving the user experience, and providing tailored content that would most likely interest the user, LinkedIn Today has also had huge effects on readership levels, with major news sites reporting LinkedIn today becoming one of their primary sources of website traffic.
Discover, one of Twitter’s new features released in the new update, aims to pull together customised content for users, based on similar algorithms. Discover will display to users a customised stream of entertaining content, based on things trending within the user’s online world, based on popularity, as well as location, connections and language. Much like LinkedIn Today, the more the user engages with Discover, the more it will learn to serve up content the user is likely to find interesting.
Traditionally, links shared on Twitter pass by in a relatively short time, and unless the content is engaging enough, it can be lost in the ever flowing stream of updates each user receives from their followers. Discover will give content the chance to have much more staying power on a fast, ever changing platform. Dependent on how the algorithm has been put together, and how much users engage with the discover feature, this could ultimately change the way millions of users will discover and consume content online.
Twitter’s new brand pages have been well designed, however I don’t expect them to have the sticking power of the more dynamic Facebook brand pages, primarily because of the difference in time users spend on each platform. At least, they do not have the ability to affect content distribution and traffic in such a powerful way.
Creating great content is key for both social and search marketing. For brands, encouraging sharing of their content over social platforms is now more paramount than it ever was, both in b2c and b2b markets. Organisations must make it as simple and encouraging as possible for readers to share content, in order to influence a much wider audience.
Brad Jordan is head of social media at Receptional (www.receptional.com). He specialises in social media marketing, digital media and PR, working with clients in both b2b and b2c sectors. You can read more on his blog www.bradj.co.uk