Monday, April 6

What's Your RSS CPC ROI?

Twitter users must come to terms with a unique outcome of their 140 character text blasts = they are completely disposable. That's my assessment after spending the last month in the tweetosphere.

I'm "following" 240 people. About 20% of them tweet throughout the day, 50% tweet maybe one or two times daily, the final 30% rarely. I log on to Twitter twice a day, each time greeted with over 200 posts to view. It's akin to self-induced bite-size spam. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you IamDiddy!

Unlike Facebook status posts --which are less frequent and encourage dialogue via attached Comments -- most Twitter users tweet and rarely look back. You might get a response from someone using the "@username" feature, but it is difficult to track them or build any kind of conversation.

The fact that Twitter is now being lauded as the Google Killer says it all. Google is about finding and accessing mass amounts of information. Requiring a search engine to sort through social content betrays Twitter's limited 1:1 communication value.

So how do brands capitalize on microblogging? You can push out custom online discounts like Dell or create brand ambassadors like Sharpie. But at some point your tweets are going to get buried faster than a Monday morning email newsletter.

Kudos to Intuit Turbotax for being the first to identify Twitter as a content generator, not a communication channel. They just announced that they will distribute their tweets via Google Adsense search buys:
The search giant has started offering marketers ad units that stream their five most recent "tweets" across the Google AdSense network. Intuit used several of the measures available for any AdSense campaign to target the ads, which are running on sites such as Bebo, Facebook, Hi5, MySpace and Alltop.
This provides a much broader audience and overcomes the tweet overload blindspots. The only part I don't understand is their campaign objective:
"We could have used this as an acquisition vehicle, but we're looking at it more like a conversational vehicle," Mr. Greenberg said. We're measuring this [in part by] how many followers can we get. Can we get to 100,000 by allowing people to know we're a resource?" When a user clicks on an ad it takes them not to but to

Hmmm. Can you prove the value of those future Twitter followers (or the current 1,270)? Especially if the CPA is a 50 cent search link click? An email opt-in, er I mean Twitter follow, does not necessarily count as a conversation. Although it is the next CMO conversation waiting to happen, right after you explain why those 4,500 Facebook Fans are so important.

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