How to Use the Power of Twitter’s Archive to Drive a Multi-Channel Social Strategy


After almost ten years, Twitter has become the pulse of the planet. Users post more than 6,500 new Tweets every second, sharing information about everything, from the mundane to the world-changing.

While some might be worried about Twitter’s growth slowing down, it’s just as important as ever to digital marketers. In fact, Twitter is a core ingredient in a successful multi-channel social media strategy and there are a number of ways brands can take advantage of this rich resource to improve their social programs.

Why the Twitter archive matters

Twitter owns the moment. It’s where news breaks, reactions happen and opinions form, all in real time. Since 2006, those moments have multiplied into an archive of hundreds of billions of Tweets, an incredible record of the world’s response to events – big and small.

This record comprises one of the world’s richest social data sources – a vast archive of hundreds of billions of Tweets. The good news for all of us is that this archive is both robust and accessible. Because of the work Twitter and Gnip have done to maintain data integrity over time, brands can reliably access Tweets from any time in Twitter’s history, either through Twitter/Gnip or through a third party partner, depending on what they need. And it’s not just their own Tweets either – the Twitter data archive is full-fidelity and open to the world.

The data in the Twitter archive is perfect for research. Brands can use this data treasure trove to understand how customers talk about their products and their competitors, how people reacted to news, what features customers like or don’t like, how a past campaign performed and so much more.

And it turns out this data can be useful for purposes well beyond Twitter itself. You can use Twitter data to inform a campaign you’re planning on Facebook or Instagram. Find out what worked before, what didn’t work, what you can improve. Learn how people share content from other networks on Twitter, or how they react to information they’ve seen elsewhere.

People turn to Twitter to complain about Facebook being down, discuss a new Snapchat feature, or share a new YouTube video. You can learn a great deal from these conversations and then use that insight to inform your social strategy both on Twitter and off.

How brands can use the Twitter archive

So what can you, as a brand marketer, actually do with the Twitter archive? How can you tap into this resource to improve your campaigns? There are a number of quick and simple ways you can use Twitter data to help your social strategy, but I would encourage you to think beyond the obvious to try to find some higher-growing fruit to munch on. Here are a few ideas:

Tap into the zeitgeist. Identify major trends you want to be involved in (or discover those you don’t). Use Twitter data to see what a trend is really about, the kinds of content others are posting, and whether it makes sense for you to participate. Generally, the kinds of things you see on Twitter will reflect the conversation in other channels, so if people are badmouthing or posting negative content about something on Twitter, that’s probably what they’re doing on Facebook or Tumblr, as well.

Become a social ethnographer. Spend some time observing the people and culture around a topic important to your brand. Study how people talk about that topic, the kinds of language and hashtags they use, the sorts of media they share. Before you ever post something targeted toward a new community, get to know that community and how they interact with each other. You can extend this knowledge beyond Twitter; the photography community on Instagram likely cares about the same kinds of content as the photography community on Twitter. In fact, it’s probably a lot of the same people.

Focus on the delta. Move beyond simple volume counts as your go-to metric. Instead, look for changes in volumes to better illustrate increases or decreases in interest in a topic over time. Drill into the Tweets to learn how content has changed for a particular topic. You can even pinpoint key inflection points by identifying acceleration or deceleration in a conversation. When does the conversation shift and why?

Control crisis communication. If the worst should happen and you find yourself dealing with a brand crisis, turn to Twitter first to understand the extent of the conversation about the crisis. In fact, you might even discover the crisis on Twitter before it pops up on other channels. Either way, Twitter will help you learn what people are talking about, as well as the size of the crisis, and prepare you to respond accordingly across channels. Even better, you can use Twitter data to be proactive before the next crisis hits. Study past crises, whether they’re yours or a competitor’s, to learn how news spread, how stakeholders reacted and what messages resonated. Update your crisis communication plan based on what you learn.

Research the competition. See what people say about your competitors. Compare share of voice and see how you measure up. But more importantly, what kinds of things are people saying about your competitors? What you can learn from these conversations to inform your social media content? And beyond that, pay attention to what your competitors doing on Twitter – successfully or unsuccessfully – that you can use to inform your own approach, on Twitter and beyond.

Learn from the past. Look at Tweets about evergreen events that happen regularly, like sporting events, conferences and ceremonies. Learn from past events to plan for future ones. Pay particular attention to questions and suggestions from event participants to find areas you can improve on next time. Find out what people liked, the topics that generated the most excitement, the content you can re-use, and the channels where you can best reach your audience.

With a little work, you can make Twitter’s immense dataset work for you. Better understand what people are talking about on Twitter to help inform your content strategy across channels and tap into the power of Twitter to create a more intelligent multi-channel marketing plan.

Jenn Deering Davis is the editor in chief of Union Metrics.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Vroooom! 3 Ways Consumer Marketers Can Accelerate Growth in a Multi-Channel World



Author: Sean ONeill

Many industries felt the impact of our recent financial crisis, including automotive. Traditionally an integral part of our economy and culture, car sales in once strong markets are in decline due to lack of consumer confidence and changes in the way people buy. Today, more and more people conduct research online instead of visiting car dealerships.

These changes in the way people buy have affected the marketing landscape across the board, not just in automotive. With industries such as media, retail, finance, and education, the internet has changed the way people buy and has also led to increased levels of competition. As a result of this surge of information available online, the average buyer now spends more time independently researching purchases instead of visiting more traditional shop-fronts like dealerships.

Today, as consumer spend is returning, consumer marketers of luxury goods must do more to attract and engage buyers and maintain loyalty with their brand. For example, one report from management consulting firm McKinsey showed that for an average automobile purchase there are now as little as 1.6 visits to car dealerships compared to the average of five visits from buyers 10 years ago.

This is reflective of the challenge for marketing luxury consumer products across the board, where customers are now on multiple channels such as social, web, mobile, and email. In this environment, the physical store has become less important for information gathering.

Consumer marketers now need to be wherever their customers are, not just in-store. They need to tie up all those data points and go beyond simply collecting information about potential customers to really keeping these potential customers engaged with the brand over time.

To adapt to this changing market, here are three actions marketers can take to maximize the potential for growth:

1. Get Timely Data

Like all marketers, those involved in leasing cars, selling insurance, and taking out contracts over several years find a lot of potential for generating new business from targeted and timely messaging. As a consumer marketer, you can align your sales and marketing process in such a way that cross-channel visits are tracked, messaging is automated, and persona-based and timely alerts are sent to sales for follow-up. The best way to do this is by using a marketing automation platform.

For example, a challenge like creating an automated process to reach out to lease holders can be solved with marketing automation technology. In this case solving that challenge means that opportunities to help customers find a new car when their lease was coming to an end don’t fall through the cracks. Instead, a marketing automation platform can automatically generate a lead for each lease approaching maturity and send an alert to the account manager involved.

So by using the right technologies to analyze interest and interaction and by triggering the right flow of content to engage the buyer, you can significantly increase customer retention.

2. Engage in Linked Multi-Channel Marketing

Across almost all industries we see that customers use multiple devices to research and connect with products and services. This is particularly relevant when it comes to consumer-geared businesses; however, aligning a consistent message across all devices—led by insight and tracking all of that data—continues to be a big challenge.

In many large organizations, there is often a hodgepodge of different tools, all operating in their own communication silos.

By using a full marketing automation suite and not simply a standalone email marketing system, you will create a consolidated approach where it’s possible to connect with potential customers across all of their channels and build a profile based off of all of their interactions. Having this profile in one place helps you communicate with your audience more effectively and personally, making it more likely that they will take action and purchase.

Let’s use the example of an automotive dealer. Say it wants to run a campaign targeting those who have purchased cars within a certain timeframe, interested in upgrading their vehicle. The first thing is to send some information on why it would be beneficial to change and what kind of deals they could get. If the dealer relies solely on email, then the messaging might not be consistent when the buyer visits the dealer’s website or social media pages. And if the buyer accesses the content via mobile it should be optimized for mobile. So, the best thing for the dealership to do in this case is to provide consistent and engaging messaging to the user across all of these channels, taking into account the actions they have taken previously. Without linking up all of these channels into one system, the communications will not be personalized and consistent with buyer behavior. If the buyer has received an email and then clicked on the website and then shared a picture of a car with their social network, then they should receive messaging personalized for their stage of the buyer journey. This can only be accomplished by mapping the entire journey. Here’s how this journey can be illustrated:

multi-channel life

3. Perform Enhanced Analytics

Increasingly, emerging markets are where businesses are now experiencing growth, which means they must improve segmentation by splitting their database into the most meaningful audience for each campaign and deliver more location-specific information.

Behavioral data, such as understanding click-through rates, keywords, time spent per page, and repeat visits, is a vital part of creating targeted messaging.

With traditional markets slowing, it is more important than ever to find ways to entice potential buyers and upsell to your existing client base. You can do this by tracking both demographic and firmographic data and understanding the value of your content not just at a first touch but at a multi-touch level.

First touch attribution is great at giving an indication on campaign performance and how many potential customers have been brought in due to that campaign, but this can give misleading data in today’s world, where buyers don’t engage straight away with the business. Instead, these prospects often touch multiple channels before they engage. So only multi-touch attribution can show marketers the true value of their content on influencing deals over time.

Tying It All Together

There are several ways to get timely data, implement a multi-channel strategy, and monitor buyer behavior, but by providing one system of record for all of your customer engagement, marketing automation software provides marketers with an easy, centralized way to gain insight into your customer journey. By showing you which content is working for you and what can be enhanced, this will help you decide the best strategies to optimize revenue and accelerate growth for your business.

How are you engaging with your customer in a coordinated, cross-channel way? Where are you struggling? Please share in the comments below.

Vroooom! 3 Ways Consumer Marketers Can Accelerate Growth in a Multi-Channel World was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

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