Job Profiles which Twitter should create right now!

On December 25, 2009, in Twitter, by Ramanujam

After wondering for long about how Twitter is going to make money, we did learn from many sources that Twitter was indeed profitable for this calender year. Thanks to the search deals which this San Fransisco based company has struck with the two big giants Google and Microsoft. By feeding in real time tweets in the search results of Google and Bing, Twitter has pocketed a massive $25 million according to the reports from Bloomberg. With $155 million VC funding in the bank and a valuation some where around a billion dollars, Twitter is definitely here to stay for quite a good period of time.

Twitter is definitely not perfect and except the search deal, the company has not made any real money till date. With ample scope for improvement in various arenas, Twitter is definitely going to hire more talented folks to get things done. Here is a take on the job profiles which Twitter ought to create right now.

The Whale Killer

The fail whale is one thing which most of early Twitter users would have seen every other minute. For those who are unaware, the fail whale shows up whenever there is a server failure. It mainly happens when there is a huge blow of traffic to the website. Things have improved a lot over the past few months but the fail whale still makes its presence felt once in a while. When many of the big corporations are using Twitter in full swing, it is really important to have a highly reliable server. With plans for corporate accounts, Twitter definitely cannot afford showing the fail whale to its paying customers. The ‘whale killer‘ needs to ensure that the website stays up and running round the clock without any intermissions.

The Trend Setter

Twitter Trending Topics‘ is really a valuable section to find what people are talking about. This is also one of the favorite destinations for spammers. As illustrated in the picture we can see that one of the spamming topics made its way in to the trending list. Getting on the list will give immense exposure in the form of traffic even if it is for a few minutes. Although some quality check is being done in the recent times, we can still see some spammy content once in a while. Not to leave aside the NSFW topics which get on top of the list many times. It is also important to combat spam to make Twitter a better place. Automating this process is greatly possible but only to a certain extent. The ‘Trend Setter‘ needs to keep this section clean and ensure that spammers don’t take advantage.

The Securitas

Twitter has faced many security infringement issues and it keeps increasing with its popularity. Some of them were the server status vulnerability, compromise of DNS records, leakage of confidential documents and more importantly the recent site hack by the so called Iranian cyber army. The path has definitely not been smooth for this company with a little over 100 employees. Recruiting ‘Securitas‘ – the roman goddess of security to the team might help!

The Money Minter

We have talked about it with our friends, we have discussed the possibilities, we have even made suggestions but we are still unsure as to how Twitter is going to make money! Twitter is one huge information repository with many different monetization possibilities. The recent search brought in a pretty good sum and it was indeed a great start. The machinery is set in place, the molten metal is ready to get cast and all Twitter needs to do is find the right money minters to bring in the magic.

Some of these profiles may exist already and they are definitely doing a wonderful job. This post was just an informal take on this topic.

Image Credits: Trends , Money Mint , Securitas

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Now that every business be it large or small is on Twitter trying to promote their brand, the big question is are they getting any return for the time and money which they invest. Whenever we speak of a successful Twitter or social media marketing story we point to Dell, Ford, Zappos or a similar big name brand. These companies have dedicated teams which take care of the social media marketing services and and no wonder they reap the benefits. Moreover it is not such a big deal for an established brand like Dell or Ford to get the message sent across the table.

Every day our twitter timeline gets spammed filled with several messages similar to the ones below.
“I just entered to win a Macbook pro. Simply RT to participate < some random link>”
“XYZ is giving away free passes to that dumb event, Check out how to get one for you <some random link>”

I have always wondered how successful are these campaigns and how well they provide a return to the people/companies who start these on Twitter. I explored one such recent campaign conducted by CyberMonday.fm which as the name suggests is a website where people can find coupons for laptops and other electronic gadgets.  The one started by CyberModay.fm was nothing new. They gave away a Macbook Pro to one random person who posted a pre-written tweet like the one above on their profile. Sounds fair! It is like entering a raffle where in instead of buying a raffle ticket you just post a tweet. So do you think CyberMonday.fm got their money’s worth doing this? Let’s see!

The Math Part

  • Total Money spent for the campaign : $1199

(The winner was provided a $1,199.00 gift certificate to the Apple store in lieu of a Mac Book Pro.)

  • Total number of Retweets : 63000 + (via Topsy.com)

topsy

  • Total number of clicks: 286,000 + (via bit.ly public stats)

cybermonday1

One good measure for internet campaigns is CPC or the Cost Per Click. It might not be totally applicable to a Twitter marketing campaign but it is definitely one good measure to look into.

CPC = Cost /Clicks
For this campaign
CPC = 1199/286000 = ~$0.004

$0.0004 is an extremely good CPC for any internet marketing campaign. Comparing it with Google Adwords, the minimum cost which an advertiser has to pay to obtain one click is ten cents ($0.10). Imagine how much money the advertiser would have spent if he had to get 286,000 clicks on Google and that too a major part of it on a single day. I know i am comparing apples and oranges here but this comparison was just to give a rough idea.

No wonder that the alexa graph of CyberMonday.fm had a big spike and rose up 19700%! The pictures and the numbers speak for themselves.

cybermonday_alexa

Using Paid Tweets? – Nah!

If the advertiser had decided to use a paid to tweet service like ad.ly or Sponsoredtweets.com, do you think they would have obtained similar returns? Definitely not!

For a budget of $1200 it would be possible to get less than 3 tweets from a web celebrity like Shoemoney or JohnChow. One other option is to get 1200 tweets from low profile tweeters paying them $1 a tweet. We should also not forget that the company in between (ad.ly or sponsoredtweets.com) takes a 50% cut for providing the service. Looking at a recent ad posted by Shoemoney, it gives a really bad impression.

Here is a paid tweet which was posted by Shoemoney. He charges somewhere north of $1000 for making a single tweet.

shoemoney1

Here is the outcome. If the advertiser had paid $500 for this tweet the CPC is more than $1.This might be the worst case though. A recent screenshot in one of his blog posts revealed that one such paid tweet sent more than 8000 clicks.

shoemoney2-1

Some Takeaways

  • CPC is definitely not a good metric for Twitter marketing campaigns but i thought it would be a good measure for this case study
  • Traffic does matter but what matters more is the number of conversions that the campaign yields. For example if the Commission BluePrint advertiser who paid Shoemoney had enough subscriptions or purchases then it is well and good. Integrating a conversion tracker and measuring it will definitely tell more about the success or failure of the campaign.
  • For CyberMonday.fm , they had to show the best deals to people and make them purchase it from a third party site like BestBuy, Dell etc who in turn will pay a % commission for making the sale. Obviously a huge traffic burst would have done the trick for them.
  • Cybermonday.fm is not a household name and i bet 9 out of 10 people would not have heard about them before this campaign. One thing to note is how a relatively unknown brand can pull up a successful campaign on Twitter.
  • More than conversions, sales, traffic one other factor which many of the advertisers look for is brand exposure. A single tweet from a celebrity will definitely send the message far and wide.

There is no doubt that more and more businesses are going to use Twitter to promote their products and the amount of spam is going to increase drastically. One other thing to note is every one else except Twitter are making money in this process! How is Twiiter going to make money?

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