When Twitter launched brand pages for select partners in December, there was a lot of fanfare. And now that the hype has died down, there’s a new study that explores just how people are reacting to these newly branded corporate Twitter pages.
SimpleUsability examined all of the 21 initial Twitter brand pages that launched in partnership with Twitter in December. The first batch of brand to create these new Twitter pages include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Staples and HP.
The new brand pages allow for a custom header, a “pinned” tweet that can include multimedia like a video at the top of the page, and several other smaller changes that separate them from the regular profile page on the new Twitter layout.
The study examined the 21 initial brand pages and how they were effective (or not effective) at courting engagement. The researchers tracked eye movement in order to see how users interacted with the various pages.
One of the biggest problems with brand pages that the study found is that – unlike with Facebook brand pages – a user rarely needs to visit a brand’s page on Twitter once they are following that brand. So, after a follow, the actual brand page becomes less than useful to the user – and therefore to the brand itself.
However, the SimpleUsability study did find that those brand pages that did succeed had a more human than corporate feel, and included some multimedia or discounts for their visitors.
Here are some other key takeaways from the study:
- Custom header images work best when they direct users how to interact with the page
- Using the custom header purely as an advertisement causes users to skip over it and focus on the pinned tweet
- Contests and promotions highlighted in the custom header worked well, but the lack of clickability caused some confusion
- The pinned tweet needs to take advantage of multimedia by including a picture or video
- Incorporating the same message in the custom header and the pinned tweet was received well by users
- Video is a big draw for users, attracting their attention instantly