So… bear with me while I try to refrain from technical marketing jargon and attempt to break down Twitter Analytics and why it matters for Black Twitter (maybe more than anyone else).
In 2012, Samsung contacted me on Twitter after I had left my Blackberry in a cab while making a trip back home to Philadelphia. I threw a social media tantrum about my phone because anyone with half a brain will tell you that Blackberry is the ultimate phone when it came to business. My Blackberry was arguably more important than my girlfriend at the time. Anyway, right after I lost my Blackberry I took my big whiny ass into T-Mobile across the street from my hotel and purchased a Samsung Galaxy II (or III — I forget). I tweeted my pain and mentioned the phone. A Samsung rep replied, “Sorry for your loss. However, we think you have found a suitable replacement.” I found it humorous and I followed the account. They suggested certain business apps and more. The transition was less painful than I thought.
Samsung checked in here and there. Sent me free earbuds and more. Finally, in December of 2014, I was contacted in regards to my love for cooking and the availability of a stove. My kitchen at my home in Santa Monica is a Gas Operated System (corny tech joke) and the range offered was electric, so I had it sent to my mom. She got the flat top range, the over-the-range microwave, and purchased the fridge and dishwasher on extreme discounts.
Being from my background, I analyzed the angle but not too deeply; I mulled it over just enough to know that I wasn’t being “gotten over on.” I eventually got to the point where I proceeded to look deeper. “How can we all win? How can I massively monetize? What’s the move?” People don’t really click on ads because… well, they’re ads. Unless it’s something the person wants, the ad will likely never be clicked. HOWEVER, placement works. Not just your typical product placement in a movie. Give the item to a reputable person and allow them to do the leg work. Call it Hashtag Marketing. Even items that you pay for or subscribe to follow the aforementioned concept: #HatcheryBox as well as many others. Clicking on that hashtag will link you directly to your own little community. Whereas #BlackTwitter was more organically built. It’s a community of neighbors whether we agree or disagree. We’re still one big community with one tweet of separation, maybe and likely the biggest community of its kind on Twitter. Black Twitter can also send a hashtag onto the Twitter scoreboard within minutes. One night in December, we had #ChocolateWomenAppreciation trending within 11 minutes. We’ve gotten many social issues to trend, some of which Twitter took down before they came to their senses.
In my research I found that Mashable, a site with millions of followers, will get a range of 500 – 2500 clicks on a story depending on the headline. To put that in perspective, I could and have (on this very site) written opinion pieces regarding life and relationships that have gotten the same amount of clicks. Why? Because of network and engagement. BlackTwitter is consistently engaged with one another. In another article here Mashable’s likely engagement rate is around .11%. Yes, that low. It wouldn’t be too hard pressed to say that many other sites share the same numbers. None of them interact — they’re simply bots tweeting out links. However, an influential Black Twitter member can see engagement rates per tweet that are considerably higher. Especially product related tweets. On average, 10% of your followers at best see your tweets. I have 10k followers, meaning that 1,000 at best see any given tweet that I put out. We win because our community/social media infrastructure translates to our tweets being retweeted and discussed possibly for hours (see: $200 dates).
This explains why your beloved Don Lemon tried to appoint himself King Of BlackTwitter. Why your favorite (or most hated) dining establishments choose to hijack the lingo and concepts of BlackTwitter for their target marketing (talk about appropriation). This is also why media outlets suddenly title articles in ways that are likely to inflame Twitter, especially Black Twitter. “Infiltrate Black Twitter and watch your engagement rate improve” is the current formula and IT IS a sustainable one.
How we can create a way to benefit is open to discussion. However, I do believe that placement and social media reviews are a couple of the ways. Black Twitter is a vast populace of people with blogs, radio shows, YouTube Channels, and much more. The black dollar has a ton of power. I think that we should begin to control the Black Twitter dollar before it gets too far away from us.