written by Samir Balwani
Let’s consider a question that just won’t die, “How will Twitter make money?“. They’ve created a great product that’s been talked about on CNN and is starting to gain mainstream appeal. But with all the success there still exists a huge obstacle, “How do they turn a profit?”.
We’re finally hearing rumors of a place to monetize Twitter. CNET reported that Twitter CEO Evan Williams is considering a paid enterprise model.
There are a lot of possibilities for “commercial” accounts, as Williams put it. Twitter could give corporations access to analytics and data unavailable in free Twitter accounts…
If done correctly this could make Twitter even more important to businesses creating an online presence.
In light of this, I’ve put together a list of features that I’d be willing to pay for. I invite you to add your suggestions by commenting to this post, and maybe it’ll get included in Twitter’s enterprise version.
Anyway, here’s what I think Twitter needs to create a successful paid membership.
A graph outlining how many followers I had yesterday and how have today would make reporting a lot easier. It’d help understand what my followers like and what they dislike, and allow to me watch the trend.
Who Unfollowed Me
Right now when someone unfollows me, I don’t even get a notice. Unless I’m being vigilant of how many followers I have daily, I wouldn’t even know that someone didn’t like what I’m saying. I’d love to know who unfollowed me so I could understand the type of people that don’t enjoy what I say.
How many people visited my Twitter page? Where are they coming from? How many of them are following me? I’d really love to get the answer to these questions. In my mind the easiest way for Twitter to implement this would be to just allow us to embed our Google Analytics code onto our Twitter page and Tweet pages.
Tracking and Monitoring:
A lot of the stream tracking occurs in 3rd party applications right now. If I’m paying for Twitter, I’d expect Twitter itself to offer me the
A separate tab to track keywords I choose. Also, I was disappointed when replies got changed to only tweets that start with @leftthebox. Enterprise users
should be able to track all tweets with their user-name.
One of the greatest uses of Twitter is promoting links and services. Offering a way to track how many people clicked a link I shared would be useful. Knowing many other Twitter users re-posted the link would be a nice feature too.
Biography and Page Customization:
The current biography space is lacking, to say the least. There’s no place to share information like email, other social media profiles, and blog links. It would be nice to not be forced to put all that information on my background, but instead actually customize my page to look how I want it.
Since a lot of these features may be a bit much to put on the clean Twitter layout, a desktop client might be a good idea. However it shouldn’t be limited by the API rules in place now, especially in regards to real-time updates.
Twitter is being heralded as a necessity for many social media campaigns and businesses
are already adopting it. It’s up to Twitter to take advantage of this turn in events. Their main asset is information and by giving companies access to the information they need to make their Twitter campaigns more successful, you create a win win situation for everyone.
Samir Balwani is a Social Media Strategist working with companies to effectively use the Internet. You can get more of his thoughts at Left The Box and by following Samir on Twitter