Cards, Buttons, and Bots (Tweet, Tweet!)

Marketers have recognized the great potential for spreading their messages through shared content on social media. Now Twitter is bringing out new tools for tapping into that potential alongside the new chatbots designed to increase user engagement.

On May 23, Twitter announced that “a new, customizable Direct Message Card” was available to “in limited beta to Twitter advertisers.”  Combining eye-catching pictures or videos with :fully customizable call-to-action buttons,” the card gives marketers a way to reach new customers and further engage existing ones, as well as foster shares of branded interactive experiences, particularly for brands that use chatbots.

On June 13, Twitter further expanded the options for businesses to connect with customers through Direct Messaging with new buttons. As the Twitter blog put it, “ Now, businesses can attach buttons to messages to make it easy for people to take actions outside of the Direct Message conversation – like composing a Tweet, following an account, or opening a website within the Twitter app.”

Realizing that the goal of marketing is sometimes better met through actions than words, Twitter opened up that possibility. It also offered choices, allowing multiple buttons, which would enable up to three different calls to action to be on each message.

While opening up the door to action, Twitter hasn’t neglected the social aspect of social media: for example, sharing. Accordingly, one of the button’s function is to tweet about a brand’s bot, which makes them in effect “brand advocates.”  Twitter also points out that this button can work in tandem with the Direct Message Card to “help other users discover and start talking to your bot.”

It also stresses the power of communication across social media account in recommending the possibility of sparking “a conversation with a different account you own.”  The logic of that is that given that some businesses keep up more than one account, say “a brand might run a marketing-related bot in Direct Messages in one account but provide customer service through another account.” The button can bridge the way between the two “to seamlessly guide users into a new conversation.”

Twitter encourages businesses to try its new features by describing some actual use cases. It offers the example of Focus Features. Its bot show trailers for films, and also offers other functions through the buttons, like helping people get the answers to their questions, and purchase movie tickets. To promote the movie The Beguiled, it added a quiz with a sharable score to encourage a person’s followers to participate.

Another film-related bot that made use of the Twitter button is Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. This bot allowed people to interact (virtually) with the movie’s characters. Sharing was incentivized with a button offering “exclusive content” to those who share the bot on Twitter.

Buttons plus bots add up to more effective audience reach and engagement, two primary goals of marketing for brands. If the cards and button combination takes off, Twitter may become a much bigger player in the brand-building arena. 

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