The business of building on tweets

There is a science to producing compelling social media content and creating engagement online, according to Twitter’s head of media for Australia, Danny Keens.

Speaking to The Newspaper Works after his presentation at the 2014 Future Forum last month, Mr Keens said that building an audience on the social web didn’t necessarily require a large pre-existing public profile – but could be achieved through effective communication with one’s desired audience.

“It’s not just about sending a tweet anymore, it’s about attaching images, sometimes it might be about attaching audio [through SoundCloud], and sometimes it’s about doing multi-photo upload and, of course, using a hashtag,” he said.

“We can pull data and basically can work out when people should be using the platform, what day of the week, what time of the day, to get the best engagement.”

Mr Keens, a former television producer for Channel Nine’s ’60 Minutes’ and ESPN, joined Twitter in August last year as the Australian director of media partnerships.

Australia has a high Twitter adoption rate proportionate to other countries, and Mr Keens says that the numbers of active users still do not give a full reflection of the medium’s influence.

“It reaches every Australian…even outside our core user base, brand exposure for Twitter is national,” he said.

“I don’t think there would be an Australian that wouldn’t recognise the Twitter logo, that wouldn’t have seen a tweet, or heard about a tweet, or read a tweet today – and that’s the big thing.

“When we think about the reach of Twitter, it’s the reach not just within the platform itself…thanks to media companies like the News Corps and Fairfaxs of this world, who take that Twitter content and publish that on their websites.”

Eighty per cent of Twitter users access the platform via mobile, and Mr Keens said that the company was looking at how the platform would develop as new technologies emerged.

“We have a whole division in San Francisco that is constantly running experiments, constantly evolving the platform,” he said. “We work very closely with Google; we’re doing experiments with Google Glass at the moment. We work very closely with any of the companies that are moving into the wearables space, including Apple.”

Twitter Australia recently hired Flip Prior, a former reporter for West Australian Newspapers and communications and partnerships manager for The Walkley Foundation, as its partnerships manager for news and government. Mr Keens said that the new role would allow Twitter to further its partnerships with government and help it find ways to better “harness the power of the platform” to better communicate with constituents.

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