Twitter Launches Brand Pages: What It Means For You

Yesterday, Twitter announced the launch of its highly anticipated brand pages. The move is being lauded as the next logical step for the social network in attempting to bring its offerings in line with competitive services for companies -- like the already-launched Google+ brand pages and the perennial favorite Facebook pages. But how exactly will the changes help brands or change the way they interact? 

First, the the pages offer marketers more branding opportunities. A large banner on the top of the page will let you show off your logo or other creative without worry that it'll get lost behind the Twitter stream like your custom background images may on your current pages.  

Second, you'll be able to make a tweet sticky by pinning it to the top of your stream -- with media like photos or videos -- for as long as you choose. 

These features sound -- and are -- good news to marketers who've wanted better tools to create a destination for their audiences on Twitter. But remember, the majority of interaction with your followers on Twitter happens in the stream, not on your brand page. So while these new tools will let you position your Twitter presence better to capture new followers, you still have to have a clear strategy for engaging your followers once you've got them . . .

Which brings me to the change that I think will make the biggest difference to marketers -- and it's not on the brand pages themselves. The brand pages were launched as part of a general redesign, which includes a feature they're calling "Discover." Think of it as a more robust -- and smarter -- version of clicking on a hashtag.  Twitter describes it like this, "When you use Discover, you’ll see results reflecting your interests — based on your current location, what you follow and what’s happening in the world. As you use Twitter more, Discover gets even better at serving up more content just for you."  

The content a user explores in Discover will include images and video in-line, creating an experience that almost looks more like Tumblr than the Twitter you're used to.  All of this means that while the design of your brand pages will be more compelling, the content you create is where you can really have an impact. If you're looking to take the fullest advantage of this Twitter redesign, you should be thinking about how you can make your content as compelling and relevant as possible to your audience

Shocking advice? Certainly not. It's the same principle that successful Twitter marketers have been following for years. (More on that, and other Twitter principles, in an upcoming report.)  But now you can expect that your most creative elements will be seen in the stream -- and your most relevant content will be Discovered by more users. So the biggest change isn't what you're doing on Twitter, but rather how seriously you take your Twitter content strategy. 

So what do you think, marketers? Are you excited about the changes?  

Comments

Like your point about the

Like your point about the interaction happening in the stream. It has to be about meeting somewhere in the middle and where better than mid-stream! If it's just about visiting a company site you might as well just go to their own website.

twitter new brand pages and redesign

Let’s not get side tracked here, there’s one main underlying reason for all these new changes from Twitter: the profit!

With over 300 million tweets a day they were lacking a proper advertising system to cash in from all that.

http://www.vectorash.ro/twitter-brand-pages-and-redesign/

Further issues with the Brand page

Melissa,

I completely agree that brands need to focus more on the Discover feature rather than just the brand pages. Issues such as 65% of traffic accessing Twitter via third party clients (that don't support brand pages) is just one of the reasons why companies shouldn't spend all their efforts on the brand page.

I have posted some words on this and further issues that companies need to be aware when planning their new Twitter strategy in a recent blog post. http://thestreetcommentator.com/2011/12/20/the-new-twitter-where-should-...

Would be great to hear your thoughts.

Retail Branding

Twitter is positioned to become the 24/7/365 branding tool of choice. Having "Brand Pages" is a great move to provide the hub & spoke model of brand communications. Compared to say Facebook or Google+, Twitter has the unique ability to converse in a focused manner. Think of Facebook & Google+ like a cable or satellite provide as you cruise across the many channels (friends) posted on your stream - a bit superficial. Twitter is more like programming (the shows/topics) and results in deeper communications. Next step is for markerters to begin building Twitter programming much a program series that helps communicate the brands unique attributes in a fun and entertaining way allowing their fans to respond, share, learn and quickly measure impact. I'd be hiring wrters for my brand and creating storylines for each season to keep the brand relevant and interesting!