The rumors are swirling today that Twitter is on the verge of launching better profile pages for brands – akin in effect to Facebook brand pages (update: non-denial denial posted by Twitter). The debate seems to boil down to “will they be useful to brands” and “will Twitter users mind and/or care?”
Putting on my marketing hat, at first glance sure, getting some extra real estate that I can brand or use in some fashion to better communicate with and engage my community is a good thing. If the opportunity is there, why wouldn’t I make some use of it? But dig a bit deeper and the bigger question becomes clear:
Are Twitter brand pages even worth it?
Let’s face it: the real value on Twitter is found in your content stream, through the engagement and social spread it inspires. The existing profile pages are really only useful as passive follower acquisition tools, in that they are visited (typically) by non-followers who are checking out your account, evaluating if they should follow you or not. So put a nice face on it, show you’re “official” and try to communicate the follower value prop, and move on. Focus on the content stream, because after you get that follow the likelihood that your followers will be jumping back to take a look at your brand’s profile page is probably small enough not to invest much time thinking about.
Incidentally, the same holds largely true for Facebook, which is why so many smart brands and agencies place an emphasis on developing strong editorial strategies for their wall post content over churning yet another tab. According to one agency (your mileage may vary), 96% of fans willnever come back to your page once they Like it the first time. Along the same lines, I’ve seen in numerous client situations where only 1-2 tabs (default non-fan tab being the primary one) get any noticeable traffic regardless of how nice all the other campaign and promotional tabs look. It all points to the newsfeed as your ongoing opportunity to engage with your fans.
Just like with Twitter, on Facebook it’s the content stream that matters, as that’s where the engagement takes place.
Of course, there is the possibility that Twitter will come out and shock everyone by launch some truly compelling functionality on brand pages (if they launch brand pages at all of course, rumor being rumor). But considering the lessons from Facebook, even the most amazing Twitter brand page will have a hard time competing with the content stream for attention from smart marketers.