Everyday a friend or a friend of a friend decries Twitter as foolish, a waste of time or both. Twitter is an important social media “curation tool” and curation is the next web revolution. Since some of my friend’s eyes roll when I say things like "curation is the next web revolution" today’s post explains why curating Twitter’s democracy is important to Internet marketing. Reach, the ability to publish a message to thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions, used to be strictly controlled by a handful of media gatekeepers.
Twitter creates idea meritocracy. Cool informative content springs legs and walks around the world without gatekeeper permission, advocacy or approval. Spending seven years working as a Director of E-Commerce I learned valuable things about Twitter including:
- Twitter generates PageRank
- Twitter loves Google
- Twitter's large number economics
- Twitter extends "curation" reach
Google and other search engines have an impossible task. They must survey and map the ever-expanding web. I didn't realize, until reading Linked: How Everything Is Connected To Everything Else by Barabasi that almost half "the web" is never and will never be indexed in any search engine. As a former Director of E-Commerce I wanted 100% of our content in Google. You can't earn search traffic to pages not included and traffic = money.
The Holy Grail is earning links from sites with high PageRank. PageRank is Google's algorithmic page value from 0 to 10. I've only ever seen one 10 and it was a Google page. Higher is better. @ScentTrail’s PR4 is not bad but tells me I need to share more linkable content, content people ReTweet to followers. Gaining links from high PR sites is almost impossible unless you too have a high PR. If this sounds like “the rich get richer” or CATCH-22 you win a prize. Most high PR sites know what they have and want payment for links if your site’s PR is lower. Tools like Twitter that generate PageRank are great.
Twitter Loves Google
I couldn't hire enough writers to create the depth of ever changing content needed for content marketing. Google values breadth and depth of content AND how often it changes to stay current. You can see why Twitter loves Google. Twitter is built with Google’s control of search engine marketing in mind. Twitter content changes frequently and simultaneously across millions of authors something so algorithmically positive it is similar to stroking a dog’s belly.
The more I follow the more content I receive expanding my "curatorial reach" (discussed below). Twitter also helps Internet marketers understand what topics resonate. I wrote a post on Saturday for Technorati called Facebook and Social Media Marketing that has earned over 450 Retweets. This immediate viral feedback says, “You are on to something.” I wrote the piece after email discussions with Internet marketing friends as something to do on a slow Saturday. As an Internet Marketer I've learned to think like a baseball player. Getting 4 "hits" per every 10 “at bats” means I'm doing great. If my batting average falls below 4 out of 10 I adjust things using Twitter to test and Tweet, test and Tweet. Once Twitter followers exceed 1,000 feedback comes fast and furious so “hits” and “misses” are immediately understandable.
Twitter’s Large Number Economics - Facebook and Social Media Marketing
Let's do numbers using my most recent Technorati post, Facebook and Social Media Marketing:
# of Retweets = 451 (this may go up a little with time, but 24 hours is usually 90% of the viral lift)
Avg # Twitter Followers = 126
Reach of piece = 56,826 people (451 RT's X 126 avg. followers)
Conversion rate = 1% (if we were selling something which I'm not directly doing in this particular piece)
"Sales @ 1% = 568
$30 cost = $17,047 (if we were selling something for $30 and made 1% or 568 sales)
Creation Costs = $500 (a couple of hours of my time)
Net profit $16,500
Twitter’s law of large numbers says creation costs are small and potential return large EVEN if only a small number of people in the 56,000 who received this tweet actually take an action. There are few Internet marketing things I can do where a $500 investment can reach 50,000, 100,000 or even a million people as fast and cheap as Twitter.
Twitter Extends Curation Reach
Writing about startups (Hope, Heroes and Startups on ScentTrail and Technorait) I'm seeing the “curation tool” trend mentioned in my opening. Startups such as DailyDigital, Spring Metrics and Loyalese are developing tools to help businesses and consumers make sense of and money from the already overwhelming and still expanding web. Twitter is a "curation tool" because it helps bring in more information on more topics than I could round up without it. Twitter "employs" my friends and friends of friends as watchers or "content curators". When I want to know the latest on social media I know what five friend's tweets to check. When I want to know about art or cancer I know where to go too. As long as I abide by the hidden quid pro quo, contribute cool stuff people who follow me will find interesting, Twitter extends my reach by adding followers. Twitter is chaotic. Golden needles are buried in its dense haystacks. There is a lot of startup entrepreneur energy and innovation around creating tools to find those golden needles. I suspect Twitter 2012 will be very different than the tool we use now.
Learning Google's Secrets
As a Director of E-Commerce, my job before ScentTrail E-Commerce, making a living was tied to Google. I had to understand something, the Google algorithm, kept more secure and secret than the formula for Coca Cola. It is possible to understand general things about Google from its reflection, from what it values. Twitter and Facebook were built to appeal to Google and they do. Social media brings other benefits, but if you do what I used to for a living other benefits are moot. My team and I tweeted because it works. I write knowing Twitter’s curation democracy may be difficult to understand if you haven't gotten the "grease" of search engine marketing all over your best clothes :).
@ScentTrail on Twitter