As social media has become increasingly interwoven into the way people communicate and seek out information, you've probably noticed commercials that display the URL to the company's page on a social media site as opposed to their business' webpage. You might have seen some directing you to their Facebook page, like this:
and like this:
or maybe ads that were directing you to visit a business' YouTube page, like this:
It's a pretty easy and inexpensive way to get people to hop over to your site when they're already killing an hour checking out friends' updates on Facebook or watching the latest viral videos on YouTube. Now, with the new-new Twitter redesign that rolled out yesterday, they're hoping that businesses will begin to utilize their Twitter profile pages in a similar way.
In making their interface easier to navigate and visually more appealing, Twitter is making a push for businesses to direct consumers to their brand pages in what is pretty clearly a siege on an area of marketing that has previously been exclusively Facebook territory. In a new blog post released yesterday to accompany the new design launch, Twitter is now allowing corporate accounts to promote tweets to the top of their page (a pretty savvy way to push a promotion by a business) as well as track the number of retweets of a post. More from their blog post:
You can also control the message visitors see when they first come to your profile page by promoting a Tweet to the top of your page’s timeline. This Tweet helps you highlight your most engaging and important content and better connect with your target audience. The Promoted Tweet on your profile page will appear auto-expanded so that visitors to your page can instantly see the photo or video content that you link to from your Tweet.
Twitter has also quickly gained the upper hand over Facebook in the aesthetic department. In a quick comparison, which McDonalds page is more likely to catch your attention:
Immediately, the McDonalds Twitter page is more engaging and, really, makes the McDonalds Facebook page look like an Angelfire website. Granted, McDonalds Facebook followers (nearly 12 million) easily dwarfs the amount of followers that the McDonalds Twitter page has (a paltry 195K). Facebook's simply been at this social media marketing game much longer and, white bread design or not, basically wrote the rules on how to market via social media. New-new Twitter may very well entice company brands to use their site primarily, but for now it's got some serious campaigning to do in order to really convince businesses to jump ship from the massive accessibility of Facebook.
As of right now, Facebook can practically operate as a company's primary webpage with all of the capability it offers and that's a big draw for businesses. However, Twitter's new design will allow businesses to post rich media that can be played within the stream of tweets. It remains to be seen how well this can be applied or if it can even match the apps that can be developed for companies to employ on their Facebook page.
While Facebook's utilities far out-class Twitter's offerings, the design of Twitter is a really strong selling point. People like clean, shiny things and can be easily lead astray with such pretty attractions. It'll be interesting if Facebook will up the ante in 2012 and begin offering businesses more design opportunities for their company brand page or if they'll remain steadfast in their aesthetic uniformity.