Today I got to experience the new twitter – where I can view and embed videos directly on my twitter page, as well as share videos posted on twitter. So how can businesses best take advantage of the "new twitter" and online video, for internet marketing? To help answer this question, I interviewed TwitJump's founder Alex Lawrence, twitter app developer and video aficionado. Read on as we share some of the top reasons businesses today should be doing video marketing in twitter, and some tips for planning your own twitter video marketing strategy.
New Twitter Video Versus Old Twitter Video
When we had "old twitter" (or "still the same twitter" for people who have yet to get access), you would click on a link in a twitter post (a "tweet"), and you would be taken to that link outside of twitter and to a 3rd party site. Now, with "new twitter," we have the ability to watch video "in the stream," (just like with pictures and perhaps other multimedia). I.e., you watch video embedded in the page – off the same browser screen where you see your twitter page at twitter.com.
So why did twitter decide to add this feature? Alex suspects it's the company's attempt to get people back to the twitter.com website, which they lost a good chuck of to 3rd party twitter-based websites and apps.
"Twitter is now trying to change that by creating a new design and new features, such as video and pictures in the stream. These ways twitter hopes people will go to twitter.com and use that stream." He says.
The New Twitter.com = Excellent News For Video Professionals
Alex explains that the reason why the new twitter is such a boon to people using rich content like video is the obvious answer: it's easier for people to view and share. "For marketers, it's going to make using video better for getting their message across." He says.
Alex also explains that what's also good news for marketers of video is also good news for developers. Twitter has already established partnerships for streaming video on the twitter.com site – including with YouTube, Vimeo, TwitVid, Flickr, Justin.TV, DeviantART, and others. Alex predicts that as the new streaming API from twitter becomes more available, more 3rd party vendors should be able to also add their video to the twitter stream as well.
"The bottom line is, it's good news all the way around, no matter how the user chooses to access twitter – whether it be through twitter.com, or through tweetdeck, or twitjump, or whatever twitter app you're using – it's going to make video more friendly and more accessible; and easier to watch, and more likely to watch than with old twitter." He says.
Top 5 Twitter Video Marketing Tips With The New Twitter
Here are the top 5 tips for video marketing with Twitter shared by Alex:
#1: Think "TV SEO" (Twitter Video Search Engine Optimization)
Search engines are connecting video as a highly ranking component for organic search results, and often video is a very 'real time' search result – which is what the search engines value greatly.
"Well, video in search results is often of live events, a recent string events, or recently recorded events – so it's started to contribute to quick results in improving search engine rankings particularly as it pertains to Google (which is two-thirds of the search market today)." Says Alex. "So if you're able to post the video along with your tweet, then Google is also showing a liking for tweets as a potential search as well. So with video and twitter, you're kind of 'doubling down' on your visibility in the search engines with twitter video – with real time update through the tweet, as well as real time content through video. People who tweet are simply pulling in things that are hyper-recent (which is what Google and other search engines want); they're not pulling in things that are old.”
#2: Use Twitter Video For Your Real-Time News
I asked Alex to share an actual example of how twitter video is beating the competition: traditional search engines and traditional video (television). Here was his response:
"Recently there was fire that broke out here near Utah (where I live), at an army machine gun facility. The fire burned over 20 thousand acres, and they evacuated maybe 1,700 homes. It lit up the Utah skyline. You could see the fire from everywhere, but you couldn't see local television news coverage of what was happening. So people were taking video with their cell phones, and they were attaching that video to their tweets. Then the local news stations were actually picking up people's twitter feeds and using those videos as part of the community updates (or visual updates).
"It was really interesting to me to watch all that happen in real time, whereas maybe even a year ago you wouldn't have gone to twitter for the real time updates. Before this, you would have had to have gone to a local news station or maybe to Google itself and try and search for data that was probably several hours old. But now with the new twitter, you get real time video that is both very interesting and timely. You get multiple videos in real time from different local perspectives – local videos coming in all over twitter, different fires, different houses burning, and evacuation of animals – all kinds of things that were happening.”
#3: Create Micro-Videos For Twitter (i.e., Keep 'em short!)
Twitter is about micro-blogging – getting your message out quickly and limiting you to short posts. If you expect people to watch your embedded video on their twitter page, then you need to treat your video with the same brevity and get your message out quickly, says Alex. "Condense the message!”
Alex strongly recommends building short video content that's customized for twitter, and cautions against being lazy by instead taking clippings of longer videos.
"Good video content for twitter is about making it a compact length and file size, but having it stand out as a quality piece in itself." He says. "A lot of people have made the mistake in taking video content that wasn't designed for shorter snippets and shorter clips; they go ahead and cut out a portion of it, and then add it to a tweet; and it doesn't have the results they desire, " says Alex. "If you're going to build a meaningful twitter following and you count on using video content to share with them, you should create content that is specifically designed for twitter." His advice: Create some videos specifically designed for your twitter audience, and see how they respond to it.
#4 – Resist The Temptation of Becoming "Television Chatter" On Twitter
No matter how big your business is, your relationship to video, or how much you want to spread the word through twitter, Alex cautions you to resist the temptation of using your twitter account to constantly push video out to your followers.
"You've got to switch to articles, you've got to retweet information that you're seeing in your space, you've got to engage in conversation throughout, the people your following as well as people that are following you." Says Alex.
I asked Alex, what's a "best practice" for how often you can get away with video in twitter?
"I think best practices there's a lot of different people that will say x is best practice, but I've heard anywhere from 1 to 3 videos a day out of 12 tweets a day is probably pushing the envelope." He says.
#5 – Read Twitter Marketing Blogs & Twitter Video App Website Links
Understandably from the newness of what we call twitter video marketing, there isn't much information yet available to the public. (Google "twitter video marketing”, and my own article from last week here on ReelSEO, What's the Business Value of Twitter Marketing?, shows up as the #1 web result. (OK, #2, if you don't count the actual twitter feeds!) So for some good advice on using video in twitter marketing, check out the websites and blogs that are producing video solutions in the twitter space. Alex, of course, also encourages everyone checking out TwitJump's own Twitter links for business. And lastly, certainly pay a visit to Social Media Examiner, which has a ton of expert articles on marketing with twitter that can apply to the new twitter and video (We interviewed Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner all about Facebook Video Marketing).
About TwitJump's Alex Lawrence
Alexander "Alex" Lawrence is the founder of TwitJump, a twitter website and iPhone app. He is also a partner with FundingUniverse, which acquired TwitJump in 2010, and the 34th fastest growing company in the USA according to Inc 500. Alexander has been included by Utah Business Magazine as one of their "top 40 businesspeople under the age of 40”. He teaches a class on Internet Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Weber State University and also writes a column on entrepreneurship for one of the largest newspapers in the State. He maintains a healthy blog following at www.TheEntrepreneursBlog.com and be followed on Twitter @AlexanderLaw. Alex has a BS in Business Management as well as a Masters Degree (MBA). Alex has also announced on his twitter page that he is a Bears fan. (So congratulations for beating the Packers this week. ;)