Twitter Explains Its Monetization Plans as IPO Nears
Weill said Twitter is now better at monetizing its "promoted trends" income streams. Using as an example a recent Samsung campaign for its Galaxy 4 smartphone and smartwatch combination, Weill said that "we're finding that their aggregated promoted trends brought a lift in brand conversation, we saw a 30 percent lift in positive mentions, and across all the types of conversations--from considerations to intent to try out to purchase--we saw increases in the amount of conversation from running promoted trends." Twitter reports that people exposed to promoted trends are 30 percent more likely to search for that particular product and 50 percent more likely to visit product Websites, Weill said. Lead-Generation Tool ComingWeill said that "we've actually built a product for this on Twitter. It's called the Lead-Gen Card, and what it does is massively shorten the distance between an impression and a conversion, which is a lead generated on Twitter. Right within Twitter, you can run a lead-gen campaign, based on the fact that we know who the user is; we have username, Twitter handle, and we have email for them. "Rather than making somebody fill out a form to submit an email address for a product they're interested in, they can click a single button across devices and whether it's on the Web, on a mobile device, on a tablet ... It's a single click, it just works, and we're seeing great results from it," Weill said. The distance between an impression and a conversion is very small, regardless of the platform you're on, Weill said, so the easier the process is, the better. Traffic-Conversion Tool Another new revenue-producing product in the works is a traffic-conversion product, which it intends to sell to retailers. This measures how the social network drives conversions to commercial Websites. It's now in beta testing. Can Twitter actually affect in-store sales with promoted tweets? Yes, Weill said. On this, the company is working on monetizing a new, as-yet-unnamed service with Datalogix, which has access to retail and services purchases via loyalty cards. "The way this works is that you run a promoted tweet on Twitter; then someone who sees the tweet actually makes a purchase in the store," Weill said. "We can do a double-blind, privacy-preserving data match with Datalogix--Twitter never sees Datalogix, Datalogix never sees Twitter privacy data--and we're able to compare for a user who was exposed to the campaign versus a user who was not exposed to the campaign, and how did that person's behavior change?" Datalogix is able to identify users who look identical in their spending behaviors over the last six months and determine their brand-following activities after they are exposed to a promoted tweet campaign. "They are able to look at how their purchasing behavor changes," Weill said. "We've now done about 40 of these studies, and the aggregates across them show just one exposure to a promoted tweet drives an 8 percent lift in sales," Weill said. Television Targeting on the Way Finally, Twitter is also working on a television-targeting product. Turns out that millions of TV viewers tweet their friends while watching their favorite shows. An example of this was the final episode of the wildly popular AMC cable network drama, "Breaking Bad," when millions of viewers traded opinions in real time about the surprise ending to the show. "We think Twitter makes TV better, and that TV makes Twitter better," Weill said. "They are complementary platforms. We're working with a company that maps conversations on Twitter with television shows and their commercials and when the commercials run. We'll give advertisers a way to reach those Twitter users--either synchronously, right as the show is happening and they're still watching--or the next day as they wander around the store." One could say the business and creative imagination at Twitter has no lack of substance. This is why its IPO is such an anticipated event.
A new Twitter product that's just now ready for prime time is a lead generation tool.