#TwitterFuture & Avoiding the IPO Fail Whale

 Image via  The New York Times

After Facebook’s fumbled IPO back in May, experts and financial analysts have struggled to determine the value of social networking sites. So with only 55 percent of companies that market on Twitter saying they’re “satisfied with the business value they achieve” from the platform, you can imagine the apprehension that followed Twitter’s IPO announcement in September. And while it may be too early to call their recent IPO a success, here’s a few ways to grown and improve the #TwitterFuture:

Listen Harder – Twitter is essentially a listening tool. Now a public company, Twitter needs to open its ears to users as well as business analysts and investors. Some Tweeters have been with the company since it started in 2006 and helped the company cultivate hash tags and @replies. These Tweeters are the same users who worry about the success of promoted Tweets and complicated enhancements.

Old Dog, New TricksWith the addition of new timelines and tracking capabilities the steps are already in motion for this one, provided Twitter treads lightly. Remember last year’s backlash against the “new” Facebook Timeline profile? We sure do. Change can be a scary thing, and while there’s definitely room to improve over at Twitter, new features should be rolled out slowly and offer the ability to roll back.

#TwitterFuture – The savvy folks at companies including Banana Republic, CNNMoney, CNBC and Mashable saw the Twitter IPO as marketing gold. Given the relative anonymity of the company’s co-founders (compared to The Social Network) and generally positive response to the IPO, Twitter would be wise to take a note from these accounts and keep promoting a positive image. Reach out and give back to the global community. Share in the holiday spirit and remember the power of PR.

 Famed author William Gibson, perhaps best known for coining the term “cyberspace,” summed up our thoughts on the future of Twitter beautifully: “I hope they keep it simple. It works because it’s simple. I was never interested in Facebook or MySpace because the environment seemed too top-down mediated. They feel like malls to me. But Twitter actually feels like the street. You can bump into anybody on Twitter.”