Twitter’s looking to entice more brands and creators to build communities in the app with a new Community showcase option for professional profiles now being tested internally.
As you can see in this example, posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Twitter’s experimenting with another new Professional Profile option which would enable you to display a chosen community up front on your Twitter presence.
That could help you guide more people to join your more exclusive, topic-aligned Twitter discussion, and enhance the value of Twitter Communities in your process.
Twitter’s Professional Profiles, which are now available to all users, provide brands and creators with a range of additional profile display options, including business category notation, location listing (for brands with a physical store or presence), additional contact info options and more.
Twitter’s also working on additional profile display elements, including a customized ‘Link’ display option, which would enable you to choose from various pre-set CTAs that would then be shown in a prominent button on your profile page.
Twitter’s been working to build out its Professional Account options in order to get more businesses to focus on their Twitter presence, which, in turn, will ideally get them more active, and help them build more reliance on the app to connect with their target audience.
Adding a community highlight display could be another step on this path, while it would also help Twitter further promote its Communities option as a connection tool, and another way for businesses, in particular, to build a more focused, engaged audience in the app.
Though building community is obviously about far more than simply launching a group. The challenge in building a community is that it takes time, and resources, to effectively manage, moderate and maintain group discussion, and make it a more engaging and exclusive experience. And within that, you also need to see engagement – which, thus far, it’s not clear that Twitter’s Communities will actually provide.
At this stage, anecdotally at least, Twitter’s Communities don’t appear to be adding much in additional enhancement, with most Twitter Communities seeing limited engagement. Part of the reason for that is likely the variance in approach – Twitter has always been about the ‘public square’, and enabling everybody to have their say on the latest topics and tweets, for all to see. Communities goes in the opposite direction, in limiting that discussion, which, as we’ve seen on Facebook, can have also benefits. But does it work on Twitter, where most users are looking to share their thoughts with all of their followers?
It’s difficult to make a true assessment without full Communities take-up data, which Twitter hasn't released, though it has said that it is happy with Communities take-up thus far, so it may be that Twitter's groups are more engaging, overall, than they might seem.
And clearly, there is value in more private discussions and communities. More and more Facebook engagement, for example, has shifted to private groups over time, and away from public posting, and in this respect, it makes sense that Twitter users, too, may also be looking to avoid the public scrutiny, and the negativity that can come with such, by sharing within more focused, aligned and like-minded groups.
It makes sense, and maybe, professional communities can enhance that value, which could make this Professional Accounts addition a worthy proposition.
Either way, it would be another consideration in your tweet strategy, which could provide another bridge in converting followers into dedicated fans – and ultimately, paying customers as well.
We'll keep you updated on any progress.