July 16, 2009

Twitter doesn't do impressions

If you are in charge of a website with advertising on it, you should know that cost per impression is dead and you really need to find a new way of creating value to your content.


It's the new skool word of mouth, and what better way to break news or spread something useful/cool/silly/controversial than by using Twitter.

And Twitter doesn't do impressions. It does response - and it SHOWS me the value of what I share.

How does what I put on Twitter become valuable?

If you follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/richardphelps) and I share a link that you feel compelled to click, then that link just became valuable.

The more people who follow me that click that link, makes the link more valuable. If you like it so much, you feel you need to "re-tweet" my post, then the people who follow you also get it. Then their followers... and so on. Simulate the "Pyramid effect" and before you know it, the value of my link goes through the roof.

The value is created by response - NOT impression (or billboarding)

Nifty huh.

I'm now investigating ways to generate cash from valuable links - after all, I am 'advertising' or hey, lets even say 'promoting' something. Hell, lets even call it 'direct marketing' - and therein lies the rub.

So lets go back to the start of this post - if you are in charge of a website and you KNOW that impressions are dead - what kind of marketing/advertising/promotion should you be engaging in?

An Experiment
By the way, if you do follow me - and you got to this blog post via my Twitter post, the link you clicked to get here was tracked! So thanks for clicking. You will see a bar at the top of this window. Please help this experiment by clicking Tweet (if you have a Twitter account) or Share (if you don't and got here from Facebook, or somewhere else).

By the way, if you don't see a bar at the top and wondering what i'm talking about, click HERE and you can participate as well - coz you're very special indeed :)

UPDATE - 31 July 2009

30 clicks in 15 days. Not a bad effort. It does make it clear that every Tweet has a fairly short life expectancy/shelf life (or Tweet Life):

You can see the interest at the start then a tailoff toward the end. The reason it falls off over time, is that beyond the initial 'tweet' on the 15th, the only other place this tweet went, was to my friends on Facebook, then vanished into the bog of eternal dead tweets.

Increasing the life of a Tweet link

Re-tweeting by your followers/friends is the virtual 'wind' that keeps the numbers up, over time. So, the more it's re-tweeted, the further its blown around the web. It also gets you more followers.

A valuable Tweet is definitely something topical and rides the wave. My July 2 tweet linking a very unique Transformers review (by Topless Robot) had a longer Tweet life than my experiment above, but achieved half the result:

It got me 32 clicks over a month - most over the first 3 days. This (compared to 30 tweets over 15 days for my experiment) shows that while this tweet achieved its intention, it was competing against many other Tweeters on the same topic.

The little 'pickup' on July 14th you can see, is probably from a Twitter Search result from the words 'Transformers Review'.

What about "Hash Tags". These look like this: #transformers #iranelection etc. (Click them to see how these work). Hash tags will definitely gain you and I a wider yield of exposure on the topic, and is another way to get more followers, but I'm more interested in making the life of your Tweet longer, not bigger.

One other way to increase the life of a Tweet link, is to keep re-sending the same Tweet over and over again. Of course, doing this will lose you followers - so yeah, not productive.

One company (so far) has come up with an answer to increasing the life of your Tweet. I'll post my thoughts on their idea in an upcoming blog post - or follow me on Twitter as I am likely to plug them in the next few days.

No comments: