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Would People Pay to Read Your Tweets? Considering the Potential of ‘Super Followers’ on Twitter

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“Would people pay to read my tweets?”

That’s the question that every Twitter user with 10k or more followers was thinking when the company provided an overview of its in development ‘Super Follow’ option this week.  

Twitter Super Follow

As you can see here, as a ‘Super’ follower of someone on Twitter, people could theoretically pay $4.99 per month to get things like:

  • A supporter badge
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Exclusive content
  • Deals and discounts
  • Community access

Twitter would look to further facilitate the Super Follow process by incorporating audience segmentation tools into its various functions, as you can see in these screenshots.

Twitter Super Follow

Users would be able to run Twitter Spaces which only their super followers could join, post tweets that only their super followers could read and reply to, and share Fleets with their paying audience exclusively. The newsletter subscription element would be built into Twitter’s new Revue integration

Which is interesting, right? It adds a whole new range of options for building a Twitter following, and could provide more incentive for the platform’s most active and most popular users to keep sharing new content on the platform, which, really, is a key element that’s lacking in the Twitter experience.

But will users actually pay for your tweets?

In all honesty, in the majority of cases, the answer is probably no – but then again, maybe this will be the impetus that motivates users to do more with their Twitter audience, creating valuable, unique content to generate additional income. 

But it’s similar to the top YouTube stars – if you tell people that the highest-earning YouTuber is a kid who does unboxing videos, they lose their minds, and generally exclaim something along the theme of ‘well, I could do that.’

Yes, you could. But you probably wouldn’t be any good at it.

The illusion of social media celebrity is that it’s easy to build a following and get paid. The barrier for entry is low, the quality of content is nothing mind-blowing. Anyone can play a few video games on camera, and scream a little bit as they do, right?

The thing is, while the top stars make it look easy, being engaging, creating good content, content that people will come back for, that people will actually pay to see, is actually very difficult.

You have to be valuable for one, whether that’s through providing information or entertainment. If it’s the former, then is this information that people could get elsewhere? If they can get it for free someplace else, why would they pay you for the same? If it’s the latter, then you’ll want to be seeing strong engagement with your tweets. If your audience is regularly Liking and commenting on your stuff, then there’s a good chance they see unique value in what you post, and you may be able to monetize it.

If you’re not hitting the mark on either of these things, ain’t nobody going to pay for your exclusive tweets – and this is before you even consider the challenges of consistency.

Various surveys and polls have shown that there’s a fairly strong resistance to paying for tweet content. Because it’s available for free now, and most of it isn’t that valuable. Really, how would your audience react if you stopped tweeting? Would they miss your content? If you go on holiday, do people ask why you stopped sharing updates? 

The honest truth is that most Twitter accounts are largely replaceable, and if you do want to monetize your tweet content, you’ll need to assess what it is, exactly, that makes up your unique value proposition. 

Whether that means going niche, writing more original content, running exclusive interviews on Spaces. If you’re serious about making money via tweet, you’ll need to consider what value you plan to bring to your audience to justify that additional cost.

Because while it might be enticing to think that ‘hey, if only 10k of my 80k followers subscribe, that’s $50k per month* – BOOM’. While it might seem like a no-brainer, if the feature does eventually get released, and everyone starts looking to monetize their Twitter presence, fewer and fewer users will end up making money, and the cream will eventually rise to the top.

If and when Twitter does launch Super Followers, and you are thinking of going for it, it’ll be worth mapping out a structured plan of attack, rather than just seeing who might throw you a few bucks your way to keep doing what you always have. 

I mean, that might work too, but subscription fatigue is real, and not every ‘power user’ and ‘guru’ is going to get rich from their 280 character missives.

There are other considerations here too:

  • With Twitter users able to prompt payment from their audience, that could potentially change influencer marketing on the platform, and help weed out those with big numbers versus those with actual influence. Now, users will be able to literally demonstrate that they can influence audience action, by showing that they’ve got X amount of people to pay for their tweets. That could become a key separator in choosing the Twitter influencers brands work with.
  • The introduction of non-public tweets will have impacts for brand monitoring efforts, as some mentions will now be hidden from view. How big an impact that will have will depend on how many users adopt the Super Follow option, but it could be significant, depending on how the process rolls out
  • It could also have an impact on retweets and engagement, as Super followers likely won’t be able to retweet those tweets. That could change engagement behaviors more broadly if a lot of people take it up, and followers get used to not having retweets as an option
  • For brands, it’ll be interesting to see how Super Follows are integrated, or not, into third-party platforms like Hootsuite, and how they can be managed via Twitter’s API. Super Follows could be great for building brand community, but you will need to be able to manage such within your regular workflow to maximize the benefits. 

There’s a lot to consider here, and the option will likely have a significant impact on the broader tweet experience, in many ways.

But it will be particularly interesting to see how it separates the wheat from the chaff, with many ‘influencers’ potentially set to take an ego hit when they ask their audience to pay up. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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The Drum | What Does The Growth Of Little Red Book Mean For Post-pandemic China?

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The Drum | What Does The Growth Of Little Red Book Mean For Post-pandemic China?

The shopping app proves that consumer confidence and community are key to a thriving business post-Covid, writes Michaela Zhu of Emerging Communications.

Little Red Book, aka Xiaohongshu, or more simply ‘Red’, is a leading Chinese social shopping app. With over 300 million users (and counting), western brands are taking notice – and with good reason.

Little Red Book first appeared in 2013. From modest beginnings focussing on female beauty products, the app expanded to help all kinds of global brands connect with Chinese consumers. Whether it’s holiday inspiration, university choices or luxury fashion, Little Red Book is now the go-to app for lifestyle content and shopping.

With a unique mix of social sharing, long-form articles, live-streaming and e-commerce, it’s a vital part of the Chinese social media landscape. What’s more: Little Red Book is the place for interacting with Chinese gen Z and millennial audiences. In July 2022, nearly 30% of Little Red Book’s active users were under 24 years. Another 40% of users fall into the 25-35 age bracket.

Discover how Little Red Book has transformed over the last few years, key trends, and how to integrate them into your China digital strategy.

How Little Red Book is changing post-Covid China

By 2019, Little Red Book attracted over 200 million users. Fast forward nearly four years, and the platform has maintained its grip on affluent Chinese consumers. It’s one of the few social media platforms where growth still exceeds 30% year-on-year. Little Red Book is here to stay, and in a big way.

This user growth has brought significant changes in content, especially as Chinese consumers adapt to post-pandemic life. Gone are the days when Little Red Book catered exclusively to beauty and fashion niches. Instead, people use the platform to make significant life decisions as well as day-to-day purchases. With content on entering high school, getting married and buying property (to name just a few), you’ll find almost every aspect of daily life up for discussion.

While the relaxing of Covid restrictions has brought drastic changes alongside feelings of liberation, there’s understandable uncertainty among Chinese Gen Z. Long-term lockdown life caused younger generations to pay close attention to their immediate environment. There’s a focus on simplifying their lives and recycling items, as well as yearning for distant places and global cuisines.

A related trend for Little Red Book is the growing Chinese travel industry. Unsurprisingly, the recent easing of travel restrictions resulted in a travel bonanza. For example, two billion trips are expected during this Lunar New Year period. These figures are nearly double the previous year’s and represent a 70% recovery on 2019 levels.

China branding: two essential trends

For content marketing in China, there are two major Little Red Book trends that any marketer needs to know. These are the recent surge in travel-related content and the shift toward new minimalism and ‘rational consumption’.

1. Exploring opportunities for the travel sector

With China’s international borders reopening, travel is no longer a far-away dream. Many Chinese visited their nation’s most popular cities during the pandemic years. Others opted for secluded opulence, spawning the growth of glamping as a trend. Indeed, this luxury camping culture saw ‘glamping’ searches on Little Red book increase by 746% during 2022.

In 2023, foreign countries are also a possibility. As a result, nearby destinations such as Tibet and Southeast Asia predict a strong rebound in the coming months.

Global brands such as Marriott Bonvoy are already capitalizing on these trends, hitting the mark with their China marketing campaigns. For instance, the 2021 Power of Travel campaign used 10 Chinese key opinion leaders to show how travel inspired their lives.

With influencers including Chinese gen Z creatives, families and business executives – the brand showed their relevance to the China market as well as inspiration for rediscovering ourselves through post-Covid travel.

2. Embracing minimalist and rational consumption

In the aftermath of an unprecedented pandemic and global economic downturns, people all over the world are simplifying and streamlining their daily lives.

China is no different, and its younger population has particularly embraced a minimalist mindset. This doesn’t mean stopping purchases completely, but instead shows a shift towards ‘rational consumption’.

Young people are especially shunning impulse purchase decisions, resulting in a decline in ‘hard selling’ and live broadcast sales events. This trend has worked in Little Red Book’s favor due to the platform’s focus on in-depth consumer reviews and trusted user-generated content. Put simply, it’s all about building confidence and community before purchases take place.

For more in-depth insights into Chinese social media trends, download our guide to getting started with Little Red Book.

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8 Core Disciplines for a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy [Infographic]

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8 Core Disciplines for a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy [Infographic]

Are you looking to create an effective social media marketing strategy? Want to learn the core disciplines you need to pay attention to?

The team from MDG Advertising share their social media tips in this infographic.

They break things down as follows:

  • Strategy
  • Auditing
  • Technology
  • Paid media
  • Content development
  • Customer response
  • Compliance and risk assessment
  • Measurement

Check out the infographic for more detail.

A version of this post was first published on the Red Website Design blog.

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Five Ways To Make Your Startup Stand Out From The Competition

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Five Ways To Make Your Startup Stand Out From The Competition

Making your business stand out from others in a crowded marketplace is key to its success. High-quality products and services, a smart pricing strategy, and effective marketing are just the basics. The most successful entrepreneurs have a few extra tricks that separate their business from the rest of the pack.

Tell a strong story

Businesses need to do two things to succeed; be relevant and distinctive. As Steven Hess, founding partner at WhiteCap, explains, doing one without the other will lead to failure. “Being relevant on its own leads to a focus on price and an inevitable sublimation into the sea of sameness, and customers will not look for you,” he says. “Being distinctive without solving a problem leads to gimmickry and longer-term weakness. You have to do both, and one way of uniting the two is with a strong story.”

This could focus on the founder’s story, what led them to set out on their business journey, how they identified the problem they are solving, and how they are solving it uniquely. Stories can also be drawn from customers; how are they using your products or services? What problem does it solve for them?

“You also need to look at how your competitors are presenting themselves and then present yourself in the opposite way,” says Hess. “This will feel uncomfortable, and most businesses fail at this point. Why do ads for cars, financial services, estate agents, etc., look the same? It’s because most of us don’t want to stand out. We’re afraid to fail and be seen to fail. But if we are not being seen, being distinctive and solving a real problem, we’ve already failed.”

Focus your messaging on customer needs

A company’s messaging has to be focused on its potential customer’s biggest wants and needs. It should clarify what people will get if they buy from you, what transformation they will see, and how they will feel afterward. “Most importantly, it should communicate what people will miss out on if they don’t buy from your startup,” says business growth consultant Charlie Day. “When you shift your messaging from simply trying to grow a business and make money to focusing on your customer’s biggest wants and needs, the sales and growth will come, and it will set you apart from others.”

Target an underrepresented audience

This can be a powerful way for startups to stand out. “By focusing on a group that larger companies often overlook, they can differentiate themselves and appeal to a unique and untapped market,” says Vladislav Podolyako, founder and CEO of Folderly. “And by providing solutions to the specific needs and challenges of this audience, startups can establish a strong reputation and build a loyal customer base.”

For example, a fitness startup targeting older adults can stand out by offering specialized classes, products, or resources. By providing solutions to the physical limitations of older adults, the startup can differentiate itself from other companies, address the unique fitness challenges faced by older adults, and build a loyal customer base.

However, as Podolyako points out, this strategy must be carefully thought out. He says: “The startup may be associated with an older audience only, so you should work with PR agencies to get the positioning right and potentially think about creating a sub-brand.”

Differentiate your social media strategy

A unique voice and communication style will make you stand out on social media. However, it’s not just what you say but what you do that makes the difference. “If everyone is offering ‘how to’ tips on LinkedIn, create some short form behind-the-scenes videos. If everyone is doing special offers on Facebook, publish some tip-based stories,” says Catherine Warrilow, managing director of Daysout.com. “Make yourself accessible for customer support on the social media channels used by your audience, for example, via What’s App or Messenger.”

Respond promptly to customer calls

Making it easy for customers to contact you and get a response is vital for customer engagement and retention. Yet, businesses are surprisingly poor at answering their phones, listing phone numbers on their websites, and responding to voicemails. It’s a massive turn-off for customers, as a survey by global communications company Moneypenny revealed, with unanswered phone calls topping the list of consumer gripes, cited by 43% of respondents, followed by annoying hold music (35%).

Joanna Swash, Group CEO of Moneypenny, says: “Customers use the phone when they have an urgent or sensitive issue to discuss, so companies cannot afford to provide a poor call experience; business will be taken elsewhere. By mastering the art of call handling, businesses can keep their customers happy and loyal and boost the bottom line in the process.”

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