Twitter has a new face, and the webosphere has been abuzz with the news since it broke last week.
The new Twitter claims to be new-user-friendly by providing a tighter, more controlled, and more intuitive interface. Following close on the heels of Google+, Twitter has also implemented the ability for companies to launch customized brand pages, complete with embedded multimedia.
The #LetsFly redesign (Twitter’s codename for the project) gives companies a better opportunity for effective branding, making a business’s Twitter page a true extension of discourse and engagement. These sleek new design changes make Twitter.com a more attractive Web destination, as many charged that previous Web interfaces for Twitter were enough of an impediment that third party dashboards have become a must for most companies with an eye on social engagement.
When asked how Twitter would stand out in the social networking field, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo responded, “We will offer simplicity in a world of complexity.” If Costolo and Twitter make good on this promise and streamline the navigation through its jargon-filled, hash-tagged conversations, Twitter houses exponentially more traffic potential than previously suggested.
Structural Changes and What They Mean for Users
Users have responded positively to the featured video component that #NewTwitter introduces, which may help grow the already staggering amount of video footage that has been uploaded to the Web in recent years.
YouTube alone claims that more than 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, which means an incredible 8 years worth of footage is uploaded to YouTube each day and that more than 500 tweets per minute include a YouTube link.
Twitter has poised itself to take advantage of this wealth of YouTube virality by giving it a natural home in the Twitter architecture. With changes geared at making conversations easer to follow, we expect to see a marginally increased social ROI and content traffic for companies that aggressively take advantage of the available branded resources Twitter offers.
The rollout of embeddable tweets means that a user can, in one click, place a tweet on his or her website, porting to any destination on the Web. With this all-important functionality, readers can click on links and #hashtags as well as follow, retweet, favorite, and reply directly from the embedded tweet.
So far, the changes seem to be well received. A recent poll of Mashable readers found that 41% of respondents “love” the new changes, citing ease of use and sleek design as key opinion drivers.
Twitter SEO Tactics You Can Still Count On
Even though this seems like a cosmic shift in the Twitterverse, some basic laws still prevail for SEOs keen to glean as much traction as possible from the brevity of tweets.
- Write tweets that are keyword-rich. Use buzz words, and always try to start your tweet with the primary keyword you are targeting;
- Remember the importance of a tweet’s lead-in. The first 42 characters of a tweet are what’s indexed in Google’s title tag, so make them count.
- Spread the link love. Take advantage of #NewTwitter’s media embedding options. Remember to use a link shortener to control your character usage and to track the performance of your links. Bit.ly and TinyURL are two of many that provide this effective, free service.
- Optimize your Twitter bio. You get an extra 20 characters in your bio, so try to use all 160 to convey the focus of your brand.
Do you have any other tips? Please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
So, Just How Important is Brand Engagement on Twitter?
According to Entrepreneur.com, only 53.6% of the 10,000 largest websites have at least one social plug-in or link to one of the 4 major social platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. It’s not indicated how the firm that conducted the study, BrightEdge Technologies, defined “largest.” A Facebook display icon or plug-in is present on approximately 50.3% of those largest sites, with Twitter following behind in second place at a respectable 42.5%.
The same study found that websites that display a Twitter share button are linked to nearly 7x more often than sites that do not have Tweet buttons embedded. Websites that featured a Twitter share button were mentioned 27 times on average in user tweets, while those that do not have feature buttons are mentioned only 4 times on average in user tweets.
As with any strategy, it’s important to keep context in mind. Twitter is an important part of an inbound marketing strategy, but it’s not the only channel you should be paying attention to– nor is it, according to the numbers, the most important. The SEOMoz team ran an analysis on the impact of actionable social media features – likes, tweets, shares, and so on. The correlation of page rankings matched up the closest with total Facebook shares, followed by the sum of Facebook shares, comments, and likes. Twitter lingered in the bottom half of the data set, promising only a .15 or slightly better correlation between top ranking pages and a high volume of tweets to a specific URL.
However, this data was aggregated from #OldTwitter, and time will tell whether the Twitter changes have been substantial enough to keep the social media giants in a neck and neck race, constantly attempting to outgun and outperform competitors. And if #NewTwitter turns out to be less than impressive in the long, run, well, nothing says it better than this freshly embedded tweet:
Generate Buzz on the New Twitter?
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