Twitter Twiddles Thumbs While Dell Makes Money
As many wait around for what' become an interminably long time for Twitter to come up with (or at least adopt one of the thousands of ideas suggested) a revenue model, Dell, and several others, have come up with their own method of extracting money from Tweets. AdPulp points to an article on internetnews.com which reports Dell, over the past year and a half, has seen $1 million in revenue directly from its presence on Twitter.
Dell has no less than thirty task-specific accounts on Twitter but the one that returned that million dollars was its Dell Outlet account which hypes discounts available at the company's Home Outlet Store.
Yes, $1 million over the course of a year and a half isn't a lot of money but it's a proof point Twitter can do a company good without any additional overhead (excepting the additional time a current employee may spend managing the Twitter account.
You can check out all Dell's Twitter accounts here. Like an old school point and choose candy store, there's something there for everyone.
So as the folks over at Twitter seemingly do nothing to sustain themselves beyond their investment capital, people have come up with an endless list of methods Twitter can benefit (and make money) for themselves. Writing on Mashable, David Spark sums up a few in Sixteen Great Twitter Moments.
Topic: Brands, Social
Since brands are going to use Dell on Twitter as a proof of concept/case study, and I see a huge growth in this micro-sharing arena coming in '09, Twitter definitely needs to hurry up with their monetization efforts if they want to capitalize on the oncoming wave of companies that will be moving ad/marketing dollars towards Twitter.
One obvious way to do this that allows normal users to continue to use the service for free but offers added value to companies while making revenue in return would be for Twitter to offer advanced stats and tracking of a Twitter account. Then, companies can pay to track views, unique visitors, retweets, etc., which is what they're going to want to do anyways to justify the costs associated with running a successful Twitter campaign that doesn't have a direct tie to ROI like the Dell campaign did.
Thanks for this example of how a company can get Twitter right and actually see a return on investment. Twitter keeps getting bigger but you never know when it could peak, and if it peaks before they have their monetization plan, they'll be leaving money on the table and maybe even hurt their long term prospects.