Twitter, social media’s version of the sound bite, is in the news these days more for the misstatements and malaprops of its celebrity users than as a celebration of real-time communication among the masses. It seems everyone from world famous athletes and movie stars to the kid down the street have had their 15 minutes of shame in 140 characters or less.
It also appears that Twitter is planning to bolster reputation and utility beyond the leering eyes of the TMZs and Gawkers of the world. In a blog item posted Aug. 9 on the website Market Pilgrim, writer Frank Reed notes that Twitter is retrenching to focus on serving businesses in an effort to grow its own business. As Reed opines, “Twitter understands that the novelty has worn off.” And it is taking steps to enhance the use of Tweets in the business world.
According to Reed, Twitter is now partnering with Datalogix to track and analyze the impact a Twitter message makes on online sales. The company posted a statement explaining its relationship with Datalogix and its plans to jump-start the next phase of its enterprise, and that in doing so it must learn to take advantage of the fact that more than 90 percent of retail sales still take place in brick and mortar stores.
“In partnership with Datalogix (DLX), a company that specializes in measuring the offline impact of online ads, we’re announcing a new capability we call ‘offline sales impact’ to answer that challenge. Starting today, we can now quantify the impact of promoted and organic tweets on offline sales for consumer packaged goods (CPG).”
Reed reports that Twitter’s own testing reflects positively on its use to drive retail sales.
“[E]ngagement drives greater in-store sales (+12% over a control group), brand’s organic tweets drive sales (+8% over a control group)…,” Reed wrote.
Given the heightened awareness of privacy concerns in social media and electronic communications of late, Twitter is taking steps to protect its users as Datalogix prepares to mine Twitter’s database. According to guidelines agreed upon by the two companies, Datalogix will not provide Twitter with information on purchases by Twitter account holders; Datalogix will provide advertisers only with anonymous, aggregated information, Datalogix will not incorporate Twitter’s user data into its own database on users; and Twitter users will be able to opt out of the studies.