Twitter – Playing on both sides
Twitter is a data giant. The online and social networking service has more than 310 million active users, 1.3 billion accounts have been created and 6000 Tweets are sent every second.
The company is different from the examples in our previous posts. The online news and social networking service is very popular for blogging but also for promoting products and services. 65% of US companies of more than 100 employees use Twitter for marketing, 80% of all users have mentioned a brand in a Tweet, more than 50% of users checked a company’s website, searched for the brand or retweeted after seeing that company mentioned in Tweets.
Unsurprisingly then, up to 90% of Twitter’s revenue is based on advertising. Users can pay to have their account, tweets or trends promoted, such as appearing on the Twitter feeds of potential customers. Promoted Tweets cost between 50 cents and $2 per “engagement” (each time a person interacts with a tweet, by clicking on one of its links), promoted accounts cost between 2 and 4 dollars for every new follower and promoted trends can cost as much as 200 000 dollars per day.
Twitter also enables users to track the data that is created in relation to their account, which is a very useful data analysis tool for companies. Twitter analytics gives users their monthly tweet performances. The possibilities go much further than that though, the analytics tool can show users the particular interests of their followers based on the subject of their tweet. Follower Bio Tag Cloud shows the most common keywords used by your followers. The audience’s behaviour can be monitored to find out what the best time to tweet is.
However, average businesses do not have the tools to capitalise the gathered information. The ingenuity in Twitter is that is also offers analysis services. The company has thus started partnerships with companies that are specialised in these services, such as IBM. Twitter perfectly demonstrates how your data can be turned into a commodity for others.
The social media giant is thus special in that it accumulates data and offers it for analysis for the benefit of companies, rather than analysing it to enhance its own service.