Twitter is undervalued for two reasons. First, it has unrealized advertising revenue from millennial-focused brands. Secondly, due to lack of policy, meme accounts and their clickbait advertising scheme create a devalued user experience. In order to capture this value, Twitter must double down on efforts to police negating content as well as provide solutions to help advertisers deploy brand voice activations.
PROBLEM 1: Adoption of Best Practices
The explosion of social has changed the frequency in which brands can advertise. As a result, 88% of millennials don’t trust advertisements.* To regain trust, brands must build strong voices that are speaking to, rather than selling at potential customers. 80% of consumers say that the most influential factor of following a brand on social is in being authentic.**
Twitter is the platform best suited for building a brand voice. The conversational focus of the platform, combined with the virality of retweeting, make the Twitter uniquely positioned to deliver authentic brand advertisements.
Wendy’s distinctive brand voice is an example of Twitter’s power best activated.
This viral tweet is powerful because the 70,000 people who retweeted the content are endorsing the brand and thus acting as influencers. According to Annalect, “Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.” While other brands such as Chipotle and Wendy’s have adopted these practices, most advertisers are not as savvy.
Jewelry brand Alex and Ani (200,000 Twitter followers) is a prime example. Their engagement rate is .025% or 1/45th of their Instagram engagement rate (1.13%). Why? Because like most brands, their Twitter strategy is reposting content from Instagram. The resulting lack of engagement is discouraging and creates a snowball effect of doubt around the platform’s advertising products.
The doubt in Twitter has progressed to the point where companies as large as Breyers have publicly abandoned the platform.
While improvement in video personalization has resulted in an increase in clickthrough rates and drop in cost per engagement, the decline in advertising dollars (down 8% in the US in 2018***) can be best attributed to brands not understanding how to be successful on Twitter.
PROBLEM 2: Content Monitoring
Meme twitter accounts are spamming users with click-bait advertisements that drive a negative experience. A high percentage of Twitter’s global traffic comes from these meme accounts (account examples:@funnyvideos, @lmao, @sarcasm, etc.). Ten of these accounts alone, owned by Viral.net, are responsible for 0.435% of global traffic. In comparison, Donald Trump is also responsible for 0.435% and Justin Bieber is at 0.05% of total traffic. In my research, I found over a hundred accounts with a cumulative 24 million followers in the beauty and hip-hop space alone.
These meme accounts monetize through a shady form of retweeting click-bait advertisement. As seen below, @TheShoeBible retweets a post from a bot account @tiffany_jones7 to its 1.8 million followers. This advertisement disrupts the users’ newsfeed and appears as content. Because these account owners prioritize short-term monetization, they don’t care that they are devaluing the user experience by servicing non-personalized spam advertisements.
A combination of product and policy will solve both problems. Twitter should establish a policy that bans the spam advertising model. In order for the account owners to continue to be incentivized to create content, Twitter must increase expected account value. This is accomplished by replacing click-bait advertisement revenue with brand deals, facilitated by Niche, Twitters influencer marketing platform. Furthermore, Twitter can help brands build their voice on the platform by contracting these accounts owners, who specialize in content creation and offering a consulting service solution.
These solutions, drive advertising revenue to Twitter through brand deals and capture unrealized advertising budgets by the success brands experience in brand voice advertisements. Furthermore, the user experience and thus Twitter’s value drastically improves as additive brand content replaces spam advertisements.
- * https://www.reuters.com/article/us-twitter-results/twitter-surprises-with-revenue-turnaround-shares-surge-idUSKBN1FS1R
- * * http://brandbuddha.com/branding-stats/
- * **https://www.reuters.com/article/us-twitter-results/twitter-surprises-with-revenue-turnarou