With the growing power of social media trends on influencing modern consumers behaviour, it’s crucial to develop your marketing strategies centred around Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
As a marketer, I am always looking for new platforms and features on social media to better influence and engage my audience. Twitter requires no introduction, I just discovered their recently launched feature – Twitter Spaces.
Twitter had only just launched Fleets, their equivalent of Stories on Instagram and Facebook. Soon after, they announced the rollout of Spaces — a feature centred around audio-only chat rooms.
While still in its beta phase, the findings dictate that it will prove to be a value-added feature for organisations when widely available.
But first, let’s dive into what Twitter Spaces is all about:
What Is Twitter Spaces?
Twitter Spaces takes inspiration from a platform called Clubhouse, which is an invite-only audio-based social media application.
Clubhouse has been a massive hit among its selected clientele, trending among the socialite and tech entrepreneur crowd.
Why is it trending?
Its users describe the application as a live podcast. You can join different chat rooms at your discretion and participate in conversations about topics you find interesting. It’s like an audio-only chat room version of YouTube.
Twitter decided to adopt the format and refurbish it for their platform, except that it’s not invite-only and only caters to Twitter’s colossal audience.
While Clubhouse is rather loose on moderation, Twitter’s rules and guidelines are reasonably stringent, weeding out any chances of online harassment.
It’s touted to be big on inclusivity, letting you meet new people and engage in different conversations while staying in your comfort zone.
In its beta phase, the control audience is carefully selected from groups prone to harassment and trolling.
The goal behind this is to test how harassment-free this online space can prove to be. So far, the initial reception and responses have been positive.
How Does It Work?
Twitter Spaces shares similar features with many other social media platforms, such as the option of hand-gesture styled reactions, sharing tweets in Spaces, and live transcriptions of the sessions.
However, it is also very different in some ways. Let’s take a look at how the platform works!
Joining A Space
Since the Spaces feature is currently in beta testing, only the testing group participants can create Spaces.
However, anyone from the general public can join one. With time, Twitter will keep increasing the number of people who can create Spaces. After gaining access, you can start Spaces in two ways:
- By long pressing the Compose button, then clicking on the Spaces icon on the far left
- Clicking on your profile image on Fleets, scrolling to the far left, then clicking on Spaces
At present, Twitter restricts the platform to ten speakers, but this number is likely to increase as the audience base grows. Now, let’s get into the specifics:
Additionally, the decision on who can have speaking privileges lies with the host of a Space. They can select three options:
- People the speaker follows
- People who the speaker has invited to speak via DM
Also, hosts can remove, report, or block speakers during a discussion, and only they are authorised to end a session. You can also receive better realtime feedback on Twitter Spaces, this is due to the fact that listeners of a Twitter Space can send emoji’s this allows the host to receive realtime feedback on their discussions quickly.
Policy And Violations
Generally, Twitter has a stringent reporting policy to keep trolls in check and allow users to report miscreants immediately.
They retain copies of all Spaces for a month, letting its team review each session for any violation of rules.
In the event of a violation, the Twitter team allows users to appeal within thirty days if they feel wrongfully indicted.
Within those thirty days – or 90 days in exceptional cases – the host can download a copy of the session and the audio.
How Twitter Spaces Is Beneficial For Organisations
While we’ve talked plenty about Twitter Spaces’ features, we haven’t quite discussed how it is beneficial for organisations.
How can companies use this feature to enhance their audience reach and boost their marketing strategy?
Keep in mind that these are my first impressions of this new feature. As it becomes more widely available, I think its marketing potential and strength of audience outreach will become even more obvious.
We may see social media influencers adopting ways to incorporate Spaces in their overall strategy in the near future!
But first, let’s look at the definite ways we already know it can influence your marketing strategy:
Marketing New Features To Audiences
Since Twitter Spaces is a conversational feature, with the host having the privilege of adding participants, brands can use it to market new products.
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to go beyond your usual customer base and target new people to get generalised feedback.
Engaging with non-customers helps you gauge how they perceive your brand vis-à-vis your competition. I found Twitter Spaces very helpful, letting you target individuals who aren’t your patrons.
However, if you’re looking to test out new features, the best feedback usually comes from people who use your product or service regularly.
They are the best resource to help guide your product development because they are the ones who will be using what you put out. Twitter Spaces is an excellent avenue to target your existing customer base.
All you have to do is set up a Space, add your subscribers or followers, and ask them to provide their feedback regarding needed improvements to your product.
Twitter Space will let you engage directly with your followers in a closed setting, providing a focused and regulated environment for constructive conversation.
It’s a much more cost-effective feedback method than sending out surveys, and it lets you use your existing set of Twitter followers to gain unique insights.
Gaining Valuable Audience Feedback
I discussed the impact of Twitter Spaces on testing out new features for your products. But even when it comes to acquiring generalised feedback about existing products and your overall brand, Spaces can prove to be a valuable resource.
Engaging with audiences in the real world through focus groups is an arduous process; often, your reach is restricted. However, Twitter Spaces lets you target a significant portion of your base in a short time and with minimal effort.
Meanwhile, brands across the board are moving towards online customer surveys, using aids such as Google Forms. But here’s the catch: surveys are quite restrictive because of one-way communication, and they lack the nuance of real-life human conversation.
Twitter Spaces allows you to engage with your audience directly and get the natural responses that surveys fail to deliver.
And since they’re digital, they grant audiences anonymity to answer in full confidence without the fear of having their privacy breached.
Also, Spaces allows you to use social listening to target the ideal audience for your feedback sessions, based on their preferences, mutual contacts, and likes on Twitter.
You can track Twitter for mentions of your brands, products, competitors, keywords and other relevant data to target the appropriate audience.
Hosting Discussions On Trending Topics
If you wish to become an authority figure in your niche, it’s imperative to stay abreast of what’s trending within the industry.
Thought leadership positions you as an authority in your field, someone who has their finger on the pulse of your industry and drives the way your audience thinks and makes decisions.
Almost 60% of business decision-makers said that thought leadership positively impacted their business.
Hosting and contributing to discussions on trending topics allows you to network with relevant influencers, demonstrate your expertise as a veritable authority, and enhance your relationship with your customers.
Twitter Spaces allows you to substitute in-panel talks with online discussions in a cost-effective and streamlined manner.
As a host, you would have complete control over who joins the discussions and who is allowed to speak. If you feel someone is breaching the rules, you have the authority to kick them out.
Real-Time Interaction With Followers
The problem with conventional advertising avenues and audience engagement measures is that they’re reasonably one-sided. You launch a new product, put out a campaign, and sit back, hoping for a response.
But thanks to social media, audiences have gotten used to direct, two-way interactions with brands. Around 80% of business buyers and 64% of consumers expect real-time interactions these days, with timely replies.
No matter how interactive Twitter may be, it’s still not direct and doesn’t promise live engagement. That’s where I believe Twitter Spaces to be particularly effective, real-time live engagement is very much possible, and brands can engage with their followers through real-time discussions.
And this eventually paves the way for audience interaction on a massive scale, allowing followers to share your discussions with their networks, increasing your audience base.
Spaces has allowed Twitter to catch up to other platforms, delivering the best features of live engagement while perfecting the user experience through regulation features.
In my opinion, it offers a safe and productive space for organisations to develop and engage with their followers. Brands who want to break down barriers between themselves and their audiences should certainly look into this new feature to enhance their audience engagement strategy.