Tag Archive | "Twitter"

After 12 Years of Losses, Twitter Finally Turns a Profit

Even seasoned Wall Street analysts were a bit surprised by Twitter’s latest financial report for the fourth quarter of 2017. No, the surprise was not really in the amount of profit it made for that quarter but on the fact that the company made a profit at all—a first in its 12-year existence.

In an announcement, the San Francisco-based social media company revealed that it earned a profit of $ 91 million for the fourth quarter of 2017. This is a very big improvement for the firm which announced a huge $ 167 million loss for the same period during the previous year. In addition, its quarterly revenue was reported to be $ 732 million or a 2 percent increase from 2016’s fourth quarter level.

However, the company still posted a net loss of $ 108 million for its entire 2017 financial performance. But the figure is still viewed as a favorable development considering that the company posted an even bigger annual loss of $ 457 million in 2016.

“We’re pleased with our performance in 2017 and our return to revenue growth in the fourth quarter,” Twitter CFO Ned Segal explained. Aside from the 2 percent increase in the fourth quarter total revenue, he also highlighted that advertising revenue rose by 7 percent. He attributed the growth to improved user engagement and revenue products as well as better sales execution and higher advertiser ROI.

As expected, the market reacted positively to the company’s announcement. Twitter’s shares rose by more than 20 percent following the announcement.

While Twitter announced that its monthly active users grew to 330 million, up 4 percent from the previous year, there are still many issues that could hamper the company’s future growth. For one, it’s facing increased scrutiny after an exposé by The New York Times revealed that the social media website is populated with millions of fake accounts created for users who are willing pay to artificially boost their number of followers.

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Search Engine Land’s Community Corner: Staff changes at SEL, a new Google Twitter account to follow, and an awards reminder

This week brings a warm hello and a fond goodbye within the Search Engine Land team, along with another channel to stay up to date on Google search info, the Search Engine Land Awards and more honors for the search marketing community. Search Engine Land staff changes Good night and good luck, Jess…



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7 Examples of Brands Mastering Twitter for Social Customer Care

Twitter Customer Care

These days, there’s little doubt that social media is plays a pivotal role in a brand’s marketing strategy. After all, with roughly 2 billion internet users on social networks and counting, there’s massive reach and resonance potential.

But couple widespread adoption with shifting consumer preferences and expectations—and the smell of major change is in the air. Social media is no longer just a marketing tool and a space to encourage positive engagement with your audience, it’s a customer service opportunity that deserves every marketer’s attention and action.

As Dan Gingiss, McDonald’s Corporation’s Senior Director of Global Social Media, told me in his Behind the Curtain interview a few months back: marketers need to stop thinking that customer service is someone else’s problem:

“When we interrupt people’s social media feeds with marketing messages, we hope that they will engage with our fun and interesting marketing content. But sometimes, all we do is remind them that they had some other problem with our brand. Since social media is the first and only channel where customers can talk back, marketers need to listen and engage.”

Twitter presents one of the most unique and challenging social care opportunities. It’s real-time, fast-paced environment seems to be a go-to place for consumers to air grievances, call out for help or sing a brand’s praises—something Twitter itself has recognized.

“Fifty years ago, the 1-800 number revolutionized customer service. Customers suddenly had a free, live connection to companies from the comfort of their homes,” Twitter says in its Customer Service on Twitter Playbook. “We are at a similar inflection point for how brands deliver customer service: today, people are contacting brands via Twitter with the expectation of a helpful and human response; all on stage for the world to see.”

With that said, over the past few months, several B2B and B2C brands with social customer care programs have caught my eye on Twitter. Below I share some those brands and respective examples.

#1 – Amazon

From children’s books to groceries for tonight’s dinner menu, there’s no question that Amazon is revolutionizing the way we shop for nearly everything. So, it may not surprise you that they’ve stepped up to meet consumer demand for fast and personalized customer service on social media. In fact, like many brands are now doing, Amazon has a dedicated support account on Twitter: @AmazonHelp.

But what’s really impressive is that the Twitter helpline is equipped to offer support in multiple languages including English, French, German, Portuguese and Italian. In addition, customer service agents include their initials on all communications, which adds a human element. Finally, it appears that Amazon helpers are also on the lookout for opportunities to engage with happy customers who haven’t even engaged them directly.

This example is sort of a roll up of these traits. With a customer expressing his happiness for being able to watch a series on Amazon Prime, Amazon responds with a question to continue the engagement and a GIF to make a splash—and all in Spanish, with the conversation carrying on for a few tweets.

Amazon Social Care Example

To me, all this signals their deep commitment to meeting their customer’s needs and building relationships. And from a marketing perspective, this certainly strengthens the value add of their brand and reinforces loyalty.

#2 – UPS

Like every courier service, UPS has an important job to do: get every package delivered to the right location, at the right time, and without any damage to the package contents. However, on a daily basis, UPS is tasked with delivering roughly 19.1 million packages and documents around the globe—so mistakes most certainly happen for one reason or another.

But for anyone who’s ever been waiting on a special package, mistakes really rile us up and we don’t really care what the circumstances are. After all, couriers are in the business of delivering—so if things go wrong, we expect a quick fix. To provide that fast service and meet their customers where they’re comfortable, UPS has established a customer service Twitter account: @UPSHelp.

What stood out to me, is that UPS utilizes Twitter’s private messaging feature. To resolve any issue, UPS needs the tracking numbers for the packages involved, which is private customer information. So, more often than not, you’ll notice a “Send a private message” option at the end of a tweet. This makes it easy for customers to take the next step to get their gripe resolved and protect their information.

UPS Social Care Example

#3 – Intel

While any organization engaging in social care is bound to field customer complaints, sometimes providing a great social care is answering simple questions and real-time troubleshooting.

Intel is a great example of a brand delivering precise recommendations and resources to help their customers troubleshoot a range of issues. In addition, like UPS, Intel also leverages the “Send a private message” feature when appropriate to take a public conversation private. In the example below, Intel gives this customer everything he needs to solve his issue.

Intel Social Care Example

#4 – Constant Contact

Constant Contact has built its business on helping their customers communicate effectively with their respective audiences. So, it’s only right that they’d make easy and fast communication a priority by engaging in social care.

Like others on our list, Constant Contact has a dedicated customer service account on Twitter: @CTCTHelp. What I found interesting here is the proactive communication that’s happening. Customer service reps aren’t just responding to inquiries and complaints, but also sharing important information and reminders—from holiday best wishes and grammar tips to links to the latest product updates and bug fixes.

Constant Contact Social Care Example

#5 – Starbucks

After nearly 50 years in business and with thousands of stores worldwide, there’s no question that Starbucks has cultivated a massive and loyal following of coffee fanatics around the globe. But while the deep brand affinity Starbucks has built is a testament to their product and service, like any business, fans can be just as easily dismayed as overjoyed.

So—from a customer lamenting the end of a seasonal drink’s annual run and bad service experiences to a happy customer indulging in her first Peppermint Mocha of 2018—Starbucks embraces all feedback and makes it a point to respond to (apparently) every engagement with the brand on Twitter. To really drive it home, Starbucks appears to be continually monitoring related hashtags and even non-tagged mentions of the brand, to level up its “we’re here for you” persona in real life and on Twitter.

Starbucks Social Care Example

#6 – Buffer

The award for calming, empathetic and personalized social care goes to Buffer. Whether someone is throwing out an idea for improving the platform or experiencing a performance issue, Buffer helpers make a serious effort to let folks know they understand their frustration, are there to help and can work to find a solution. Also, whoever is responding to a request or complaint always signs their full name within the Tweet, adding an extra human touch and level of transparency.

Below is a great example. The user is asking for some scheduling information guidance, and Buffer’s Octavio delivers with a detailed, personalized and upbeat response.

Buffer Social Care Example

#7 – LinkedIn (client)

There may be no better endorsement of the importance and benefit of embracing customer service on Twitter than other social networks taking part in it all. Such is the case with LinkedIn. Through its dedicated @LinkedInHelp account, the LinkedIn Customer Service team is standing at the ready to offer guidance and help troubleshoot issues.

As with others mentioned in this post, LinkedIn helpers provide personalized responses to users, signing each message with initials or a full name. While the example below is a simple and easily remedied issue, the service rep attached a screenshot to make it easy for the user to find the menu item they’re looking for, but also added additional troubleshooting instructions just in case.

LinkedIn Social Care Example

Great Social Care = Better Brand Experiences

While most social customer care programs are likely administered by a brand’s customer service team, the marketing department can and should be a dedicated partner. At the end of the day, more and more people are using Twitter and other social media sites to share their brand experiences—and those experiences not only have the potential to impact a brand’s identity, but they’re also gold mines for marketing insights.

The bottom line? If your brand isn’t on the path to providing social customer care, now is the time to consider making moves. As social media becomes increasingly embedded in our daily lives and culture, brands have the opportunity to use social care as a marketing advantage and relationship building tool.

What brands have caught your eye on Twitter for their social care efforts? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Twitter Doubles Its Character Limit for Select Languages

Twitter is about to address one issue that has annoyed users of the social media platform for the longest time – its restrictive 140-character limit per tweet. On Tuesday, the company finally announced that it is now doubling the character limit per tweet from 140 to 280 characters.

However, the expansion to the new 280-character limit will not be applicable to all languages supported by the platform. The new cap will be imposed on select languages such as English, French, Portuguese and Spanish but the 140-character limit will still be used for other languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean according to Tech Crunch.

Apparently, some languages like Japanese, for instance, only require fewer words to express the same amount of information as compared to other languages such as English. According to company data, 9 percent of English tweets reached the 140-character mark while only a minuscule 0.4 percent of Japanese tweets were observed to reach the threshold, Business Insider reported. In addition, most English tweets have 34 characters compared to the 15-character tweets common for Japanese users.

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SearchCap: Bing Ads keyword tool, SEO cost & Twitter AMP

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Bing Ads keyword tool, SEO cost & Twitter AMP appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Biz Stone’s Return to Twitter Boosts Stock

Twitter’s prodigal son has returned after six years, and shareholders are sitting up and taking notice.

According to multiple reports, shares of the social media company were boosted by the return of co-founder Biz Stone. Following the announcement, midday trading saw stocks climb by 2% before closing at 1.35% to $ 19.49 in New York. Company shares have surged by 21% in the past three months.

The rebound was a welcome development for Twitter, which took a blow last year after the exodus of its top executives, retrenchment of 9% of its total workers, and a stock plunge. The company hit rock bottom when acquisition talks with Salesforce collapsed.

Apparently, Stone accepted the invitation of Jack Dorsey, another co-founder who returned to the front office two years ago, to usher the company into the future amid the threat posed by growing competition.

In a blog post, Stone revealed that he’s not looking to replace anybody in the company. Instead, he will be resuming the role that he played before he left Twitter in 2011.

“My top focus will be to guide the company culture, that energy, that feeling,” he said. “It’s important that everyone understands the whole story of Twitter and each of our roles in that story. I’ll shape the experience internally so it’s also felt outside the company.”

But a bump in Twitter’s market value after Stone’s return doesn’t necessarily mean a bright future ahead for the company. In fact, there are a few reasons why the Jelly founder probably won’t make much of a difference.

Aside from his ambiguous role in the company, which can still change in the future, things were really not that great when he was there. The issue with Twitter has always been its continued struggle with user growth. Only 60% of its 100 million monthly active users actually post a tweet.

The fact that Stone’s baby, Jelly, folded up and sold to Pinterest in just three years also does not provide much inspiration.

Finally, it’s unclear how Stone will be able to reverse Twitter’s fortunes, particularly when the company hasn’t significantly increased its social media footprint in recent years, unlike Facebook, Instagram, or even Snapchat, for instance.

Nevertheless, Stone is confident about Twitter’s future. As he wrote in his Medium blog, “Twitter has woven itself into the fabric of our global society. The world needs Twitter, and it’s here to stay.”

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Twitter Considering Premium Subscriptions for Marketers

The 11 year history of Twitter is a compelling model of how a simple and free user-centric content service, supported by advertising, can grow to have tremendous reach and an huge impact on culture. Facebook is another example on a larger scale. But the key difference between the two services is ad revenue. Unlike Facebook, Twitter just hasn’t been able to attract the ad dollars.

Journalist Andrew Tavani’s scoop a few days revealed what may be Twitter’s new initiative to drive revenue not from paid ads, but from paying users:

Tavani also noted that the ‘advanced TweetDeck’ monthly subscription fee Twitter is exploring in the survey is $ 19.99 and would have a list of marketer-centric features.

Shortly after Tavani’s sharp-eyed reporting took over the Twitterverse, company spokeswoman Brielle Villablanca confirmed with Reuters that Twitter is conducting a survey “to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”

This move is very similar to LinkedIn’s paid premium memberships and could prove to be a successful revenue booster for the Twitter. But as pointed out here, it won’t cure what fundamentally ails the business of Twitter.

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Trump Has Made Twitter Relevant Again — Twitter Should be Ecstatic — Instead They Are Conflicted — Blinded by Political Bias

Up until the campaign, Twitter was in my opinion fading from public consciousness, with Facebook starting to dominate as the place to go for breaking news. Trump single handedly changed that. Twitter is on top of the world with every news network, at the top of every TV news broadcast it seems they are referencing a tweet by President Elect Donald Trump.

Every company in the world would love this free attention, except maybe Twitter itself. Why, because they are a collective of leftists run by an extremely leftist CEO Jack Dorsey. They are at the cutting edge of banning those they disagree with, such as Breitbart reporter and gay conservative libertarian nationalist activist Milo Yiannopoulos. Twitter permanently banned MILO in July 2016 for what the company cited as “inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.”

There are numerous other bans of conservatives and it’s clear that Twitter bans conservatives with one standard and leftist with another. For instance, BlackLivesMatters, which makes pro-communist tweets, says fuck capitalism, says police are dangerous and tells kids not to trust them and calls ex-Breitbart CEO and primary Trump advisor a white nationalist without any evidence… is alive and well on Twitter.

The question is… Is Twitter a business anymore, or just another leftist political site? If it is, then it needs to take legal responsibility for ALL posts from its users. If it’s going to edit out political speech from those it disagrees, then it’s starting to move into the territory of being a news site rather than a platform. Right?

At the Recode conference yesterday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said per the Guardian:

Asked how he felt about Trump’s use of the service, Dorsey said: “Complicated”.

“I feel very proud of the role of the service and what it stands for and everything that we’ve done, and that continues to accelerate every single day. Especially as it’s had such a spotlight on it through his usage and through the election.”

It sounds as if he really meant… Conflicted. Conflicted by his and his employees leftist views at possibly (eventually) the expense of his companies shareholders?

Can you imagine if Twitter banned a President Trump? I can.

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The Twitter Election Comes to a Close

Twitter says that people in the U.S. sent 1 billion Tweets about the election since the primary debates began in August of last year. That’s a lot of tweets!

Donald Trump, who has over 13 million Twitter followers and Hillary Clinton, who has 10.2 million followers have both used Twitter to attack each other and to motivate their base. Trump in particular has been prolific on Twitter, usually tweeting 5-15 times per day.

Trump, just yesterday in Pennsylvania, told a huge crowd attending his rally, that many of his events are only scheduled the day before, and he simply sends out a tweet and thousands show up. The power of Twitter in politics this year has been phenomenal.

Clinton has also used Twitter effectively and has the most retweeted tweet between the two candidates:

Of course, tweets can be both good and bad. Here are graphs that Twitter put out showing the number of tweets over the course of the campaign:

trump-hill

policy

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Twitter Improves the Use of Direct Messages as CRM

Twitter announced today new features that help companies use the Direct Messages aspect of their platform to improve communications with customers. They have enabled companies to build in Quick Replies and Welcome Messages via Direct Messages so that businesses can serve customers better.

The new tools let businesses better incorporate Direct Messages into their CRM strategies. Twitter hopes that this further encourages businesses to make its platform the heart of their customers experience.

Quick Replies and Welcome Messages

Twitter’s new Welcome Messages allow businesses to pre-set greetings or offer information at the top of their Twitter feed to encourage questions and speed resolutions.

“Businesses can create multiple welcome messages and deep link directly to a specific greeting from Tweets, websites, or apps,” said Ian Cairns (@cairns), Customer Service Product Manager. “Welcome messages help businesses demonstrate their commitment to service and help people learn what options exist to engage with a business in Direct Messages.”

The Quick Replies feature gives businesses a way to automate replies to customers by letting them choose from a list of options. Businesses could combine Quick Replies and Welcome Messages in order to make the customer interaction more efficient and effective. Cairns says that they might, for example, prompt faster resolutions by encouraging customers to provide specific information before a customer service agent is actually involved.

Twitter noted that Pizza Hut is using the new features to improve the customer experience. “We are constantly pursuing ways to simplify our ordering experience,” said Baron Concors, Global Chief Digital Officer at Pizza Hut. “This platform allows our consumers to quickly order or get information within Twitter where they are already spending a great deal of their time.”

Twitter has listed these companies as currently incorporating the new features into their Direct Messages experience with customers: @EvernoteHelps, @PizzaHut, @AirbnbHelp, @SpotifyCares, @NortonSupport, @Tesco,@TfLTravelAlerts, @WeatherNetwork, and @AirTailor.

Information for Developers

Twitter has worked to integrate these new features with a number of ecommerce tools including: Assist, Audiense, Conversable, Conversocial, Dexter, Hobbynote,Lithium, Massively, Proxima, Rozie, Spredfast, Sprinklr, and Sprout Social .

They recommend you contact them directory to enable a custom approach for your business.

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