I do not work for Twitter and I have no insights into their plans. However, when Twitter grows up I want it to be a true social marketing delivery platform. My passion for Twitter, and the fact that it is a tool that enables unique, self-created, social experiences is known.
However, the fact that Twitter is able to work in such a flexible manner is both a blessing and a curse. It is being utilized as everything from a marketing platform to a way for school kids to chat. It does an acceptable job satisfying some of the basic needs but it does not fully deliver on anything, not yet.
Here is the roadmap I want Twitter to follow to ultimate become my social marketing delivery platform. It’s not complete as I do have another job to do, but should give folks something to think about.
- Twitter is still too unreliable to be a platform that enterprises, or even SMB users, can count on. The last couple of days have seen more slow periods, and complete outages, than are acceptable over the course of several months. Make the platform scalable. It is not easy but it is critical.
- Provide a first round of smart search. While I am unsure of the backend, use Lucene/Solr to get high-performance search that can answer questions like this:
- Show me everyone that has mentioned my product in the last 24 hours.
- Show me only those users, in the American Northeast, who have indicated that they are looking for products similar to what I sell?
- Show me the % of my tweets that are actually read by a user. Tricky as there is no real definition of “read” yet. Ultimately I need to be able to tell how the results I get with Twitter compare to other marketing means such as bulk e-mails.
- Enable me to easily group my followers into distribution groups based upon the information Twitter knows about them. For example, I want to slice and dice groups by geography, sex, and interest specified in their BIO.
- I like where Tweetdeck has gone with the Facebook integration, give me that out of the box and more. I want to be able to send Tweets directly to e-mail (I’ve had to copy/paste tweets several times already), to IM, and to e-mail and voice mail.
- Yes, voice mail, I want some simple Text to Speech for those users that are in their cars who do not have the time to read on the go.
- Auto-translate of Tweets to the end-users language. Yes, it will not be perfect but the power of Twitter is the ease of communication. Powerful, two way communication. Let me distribute and work with people in ways they are used to.
- Provide me with richer analytic capabilities. Please show me, geographically, every place that my Tweets were delivered. As users launch links in my Tweets, make it possible for me to tie that back to the initial distributor, providing detailed and summary data.
I do think Twitter will have to provide some basic CRM capabilities for all of this to fly. Ideally this would be done through rich interface that lets it work with multiple CRM systems, but time will tell.
What do you think? Is this where you want Twitter to go?