Twitter is part of most publishers’ online arsenals today, ranging from sporadic “tweets” to a dedicated component of the social media strategy. Now a new service called LiveIntent says it can offer a way to boost followers, revenue and that all-important “resonance” for publishers in the Twitter world.
“The number one problem with Twitter is, who should I follow?” says LiveIntent media director Michael Tito. “There are so many sources of social media that users are not getting the value they could be. For advertisers, how do you establish meaningful connections?”
Serves Three Types of Feeds: Targeted, Sponsored and Organic
Clicking on the Twitter button at most publisher sites takes the user away from the site and into Twitter. With LiveIntent, users click on the Twitter button and see a scroll down screen customized for their profile with five to seven different versions of three kinds of feeds: targeted feeds that represent the content area the user is in (the sports page, for instance, will yield feeds around sports); sponsor feed introductions (such as a feed for Samsung on LiveIntent client Huffington Post); and organic feeds. “For example, imagine being on TMZ and seeing an article about Lindsay Lohan,” says Tito. “She is on Twitter and we would display a feed from her as well.”
Users can select or deselect any feed and customize the window for themselves. Publishers can also block competing or conflicting links. “What we’re against doing is promoting non-related sites,” says LiveIntent COO Dave Hendricks. “If you’re the Huffington Post, you don’t want Drudge showing up in your window.”
In addition to the Huffington Post, current publishing clients include Ziff Davis Media and digital publisher DM2 Media.
LiveIntent offers the technology for free to publishers while offering a 50-50 revenue share on the sponsored feeds, which it sells via a “vickrey auction” in which the top bidder ends up paying the second highest bidder’s price.
“Promoted Tweets is Twitter’s monetization approach and we’re basically a recommendations play,” says Hendricks. “With promoted Tweets, you place bids and in order to be successful you need to have what Twitter calls ‘resonance’—a secret sauce of influence, which helps certain tweets float to the top. Basically, if you don’t have a reputation, you can’t bid for Promoted Tweets and be successful. The more followers re-tweeting and clicking links, the more response they’ll have and the more success they’ll have overall in the Promoted Tweets game.”
LiveIntent predicts how followers will respond to certain tweets within the context of the site and their behavioral attributes. “Better quality follows means more real-time SEO,” says Tito. “Not so much in the number of follows but the activity—that gives you a higher SEO ranking than a competitor just writing the same story.”
DM2 Media is an early adopter of LiveIntent and is just starting to focus on the revenue component. “Our readers are tech experts in all fields and we’re always looking for next gen tools to connect with our audience,” says CEO Nick Friese. “Our competitors weren’t leveraging the platform and this was a way to give us a leg up. We’re a pretty lean and mean organization and this was easy to implement and offered a new way to engage our audience.”
What a Follower is Worth
To demonstrate the potential value of a Twitter follower, LiveIntent offers an example of a publisher with 50,000 followers, 25 tweets per day and an average of clickthrough of 1.5 percent (publishers can plug their own numbers into the formula below). When the user clicks, they see an average of 2.5 pages and three ads per page. The number of ad impressions per month is more than four million. If the publisher is monetizing that at a $30 ECPM—yield will be $126,563.
Divide that by 50,000 and the value is $2.53 per user for one month. If they follow for three months that jumps to $7.59, and if the follower continues for six months their value jumps to $15.19.
|Ad Rev/Follow (1mo.):||$2.53|
|Ad Rev/Follow (3mo.):||$7.59|
|Ad Rev/Follow (6mo.):||$15.19|
Next up, LiveIntent is looking to develop a similar value model for other social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. “YouTube is probably the next channel we roll out on,” says Hendricks. “The idea is, how do you leverage social media to drive repeat SEO, repeat page views and revenue?”