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Twitter Advertising

Advertising on Twitter

Twitter are relatively new to the world of online advertising having only revealed plans to advertise in 2010 and as yet it’s only available to a select number of multinational mega brands. They have adopted a somewhat unique approach to advertising with three distinct ad types available to advertisers. It’s worth noting now that Twitter advertising is big budget stuff and as yet it doesn’t offer an advertising product that small-to-medium sized businesses can afford.

Twitter has been slow to get in on the online advertising game and they are still very much in a trial and error period. The big spenders on Twitter advertising at the moment are the likes of Red Bull and Starbucks, so don’t expect to see your local plumber in the Promoted Trends anytime soon.

With the big money circulating around Twitter ads at the moment, it seems as though they will be taking a top-down approach to online advertising – working on serving the big spenders well before extending the reach of advertising to serve smaller, local businesses.

The three forms of advertising on Twitter are Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts.

Promoted Tweets

Promoted Tweets bear the same functionality as regular tweets so users can reply, retweet or favourite as usual.

Promoted Tweets are essentially existing tweets that are then actively promoted on a cost-per-engagement (CPE) basis so you only pay for tweets that are replied to, retweeted or ‘favourited’ (if favourited is even a word!?).

Similarly to PPC advertising on Google, ad impressions cost nothing however if the promoted tweet doesn’t prompt interaction amongst the target audience it eventually disappears. Only one promoted tweet is shown per search result page.

Promoted Trends

Within Twitter Trends, Promoted Trends allow businesses to get listed with the latest trends. Primarily used as a brand building tool, Promoted Trends is effectively a way of kickstarting a conversation amongst Twitter users about your product or service and is suited primarily to new launches or innovations which appeal to the Twitter generation. There is no definitive guide available on what Promoted Trends cost but it’s estimated at over $100,000 per day to have your business listed as a Promoted Trend.

Promoted Accounts

Promoted Accounts displays one listing under ‘Who to follow, Suggestions to you’ and works on the basis of user profiling used by Twitter. In Twitters own example of how this works, people who follow gaming websites may be recommended to follow Microsoft Xbox (@xbox) if they haven’t already done so.

Promoted Accounts is a follower generation tool and is seen as an effective means of brand building online as it highlights products or services to those Twitters most likely to find it useful and retweet or discuss.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter also offers  an analysis tool to it’s advertisers. Twitter’s analysis tool displays metrics for impressions, retweets, clicks, replies and follows (on Promoted Accounts) in real time.

Are there other ways to advertise on Twitter?

There are external advertising services for Twitter such as sponsoredtweets.com which is effectively celebrity endorsement of products and services through Twitter. Thousands of celebrity and non-celebrity Twitter users tweet on behalf of advertisers with costs per tweet ranging from as low as 20 cents to thousands of dollars per tweet. This service is focused on US based celebrities at present but there is nothing to suggest Australia won’t soon follow given the popularity of social media in the country.

Can Twitter Help My Business?

For the vast majority of Australian businesses, advertising on Twitter will not feature on the horizon for marketing budgets for some time yet. Google AdWords, SEO and even Facebook Advertising (in some instances) present a far more affordable and cost-effective means of advertising online in 2011 and the medium-term future at least.

If the current Twitter advertising setup excludes your business from advertising on Twitter, all is not lost with the popular social media platform. Having a Twitter account and actively engaging with your target audience can help you to determine what appeals to your target market – what else are they following? what are they saying about your business and others?

Tweeting, retweeting and staying actively involved in the online community may identify opportunities for your business but most importantly, it puts your business at the tip of the tongue and at the fingertips or prospective customers. It may take time and effort to tweet relevant information that Twitter users find informative but if doing so contributes to the visibility and awareness of your brand, then it’s worth the effort.

To learn more about social media optimisation and online advertising, read the latest on the roi.com.au Blog or call us on 1300 650 274 to find out how social media can help your business.