Twitter is arguably the most popular and powerful social media platform of the day. Promoting your product or service on Twitter is essential in 2014, particularly if your target demographic is the 30-and-under group. Consumers expect to see relevant businesses successfully utilizing the platform to promote their brands.
Twitter now offers advertisers several options for promoting their brands on the platform. Promoted tweets, trends and accounts offer advertisers a wide range of opportunities for raising the profile of their products and services on the Twitter platform.
Promoted trends and tweets can display in the timelines of users who are targeted using several methods. Ads may be targeted to users who search for a specific term or hashtag. Ads can also be targeted to users based on cookie data stored in their browsers. For example, if a Twitter user visited a particular brand site that saved cookies in his browser, advertising software can be configured to respond to the user’s past visit to the brand’s site with a targeted tweet for the brand on Twitter.
The most basic form of paid advertising on Twitter is the Promoted Tweet. A promoted tweet is targeted to one or more audiences, and the post is highlighted in users’ timelines. Promoted tweets can appear in users’ timelines as the result of searching for a particular hashtag or search term, or the ads can appear in timelines of users identified as being a member of a targeted demographic. Users do not need to follow the brand account to receive paid tweets in their timelines.
Twitter utilizes a cost-per-engagement price structure to charge for promoted tweets. Advertisers are only charged when users interact with the post. In other words, the advertiser only pays for the ad if users click on the post, reply to, favorite or retweet the post.
Promoted tweets appear at the top of users’ timelines when the page refreshes to accommodate new tweets. The “Dismiss” icon appears next to a promoted tweet so that users have the option to delete the tweets from view. Users can also completely disable promoted tweets by deactivating the option in their Twitter settings. Additionally, the Twitter platform supports the Do Not Track (DNT) feature, so users who have configured their browsers for DNT will not see tweets based on their saved cookie data.
Promoted trends are sponsored hashtagged topics that advertisers can purchase to expand their reach on the platform. Promoted trends display at the top of users’ Trends list on their timeline pages. The word “Promoted” displays next to the tagged term. When the user clicks on the hyperlinked term, a search results page with tweets tagged with the promoted tag opens. The user can then save the search by clicking the “Save” option in the upper right corner of the search results page.
Twitter provides a unique dashboard for each promotion type. The dashboard provides the business user with analytic tools and performance indicators with which you can assess the performance of your campaigns.
Analysts report that tweets and trends targeted based on searches are more effective than tweets that display in users’ timelines. This assertion stands to reason because users who are actively searching for a certain topic will be more likely to respond to an ad promoting a brand relative to the topic they are researching. Note that targeted tweets based on searches receive considerably less exposure than those blasted to timelines of the target audience.
Marketers can also advertise with promoted Twitter accounts. Promoted accounts are devoted entirely to a brand, and can be timeline-based or configured to respond to user searches, as well. Additionally, promoted accounts display in users’ “People to Follow” lists. The main goal for many with promoted accounts is to build a follower base for the brand’s Twitter account. Research shows that users who follow brand accounts are much more likely to engage with the brand, both on the platform and in terms of product purchases. One study found that Twitter users who follow a brand are 72 percent more likely to purchase the brand, and 85 percent of users feel more connected with the brand when they follow the business on Twitter.
When advertisers promote a brand account on Twitter, the goal of most is to attract followers. Followers are important to a brand’s Twitter account for a few reasons. First of all, accounts with a large number of followers get noticed on the platform. Studies find that 73 percent of users who follow a brand account do so to obtain timely updates about the product or service. Sixty-one percent follow a brand in order to provide feedback and share ideas with the company.
Promoted accounts get noticed even by those who do not follow the brand. Thirty-four percent of users in one study interacted with a small to medium sized business based on seeing the business’ Twitter handle in an ad. Moreover, 32 percent indicated that they would be more likely to use the business or purchase the product as the result of seeing a paid tweet.
Reaching a Target Audience
Twitter now supports advertisers’ CRM contact lists for creating targeted audiences on the platform. Businesses working with Twitter ad partners can cross-reference email addresses from CRM systems with addresses associated with Twitter handles. Promoted tweets can then be created to display only to these high potential leads.
If your CRM system collects Twitter handles or IDs from leads and customers, advertisers can utilize publicly available information, such as users’ profiles, followers list and public timelines to create a targeted audience list.
Twitter Ad Partners
Twitter works with several companies to provide integrated ad services to businesses of any size. As of early 2014, Twitter’s ad partners include:
- – Adara
- – AdRoll
- – BlueKai
- – Chango
- – DataXu
- – Dstillery
- – Lotame
- – Quantcast
- – ValueClick
- – [x+1]
Twitter provides an online tool to help advertisers get started promoting their brands on the platform. Just open the Twitter Business Start Advertising page in a browser and answer a few questions. Create a business account, or add advertising functionality to your existing account, if prompted. Provide payment information. You must have a payment source on file in order to create your first campaign. Identify where your business is located, and then select a general monthly budget for your digital advertising campaigns.
Take advantage of Twitter creative partners and advertising consultants if you need assistance identifying your target audience and creating a campaign that will generate a significant ROI. You also have the option of exploring the well-documented processes for advertising on the platform, then moving at your own pace to create and conduct your campaigns. Remember that, with Promoted Tweets, your account is only charged when users interact with your ad. Explore the possibilities and get your brand known on this year’s hottest, most influential social media platform.