We’ve regularly touted the importance of Twitter as a lead generating resource, as part of your social media marketing mix, and as an essential component of your community building strategy. Twitter advertising can push your efforts to the next level.
Twitter makes it incredibly easy for users to discover news, products, specials, and more. As a user, I can follow relevant people, easily segment my searches, share articles I have found, and in general, stay informed of the topics that interest me, both personally and professionally.
On the business side, Twitter lets us interact with engaged users, build our online community, respond to customers, and push our own product updates and deals. This type of interaction — relevant, timely, and engaging — is a gold mine on the advertising front.
As it turns out, Twitter is projected to earn $582.8 million in global ad revenue this year, $950 million next year, and $1.33 billion in 2015, according to Market research firm eMarketer. Since 2010, Twitter has been slowly rolling out advertising features on an invite-only basis, until now. On Tuesday, Twitter’s Kevin Weil announced on stage at Disrupt that Twitter advertising will now be available to everyone.
Here’s what Twitter has to say:
Over the past year we’ve listened carefully to feedback from the thousands of businesses and individuals who’ve had access to the self-serve tool, and made enhancements based on their suggestions, including more targeting and reporting in the UI.
Whether you’re an individual looking to grow your personal brand, or an online retailer looking to increase sales, Twitter’s ad platform has the right products to help achieve your unique goals.
Twitter now offers a plethora of advertising tools, including Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, and Keyword Targeting in Timelines. Here’s an overview:
Promoted Tweets are virtually identical to regular tweets, but advertisers can purchase them to reach a wider audience that includes non-followers and to increase engagement. Advertisers can target tweets to user who either look like your ideal customers or who are searching for keywords that relate to your product or service.
If you choose to target by keyword, you can select exact match, phrase match, or basic keyword match much like with AdWords. You can also select negative keyword targeting to prevent your tweets from showing up for a particular keyword search that’s not relevant to you. These options allow you to allocate your budget in a more cost-effective way.
Promoted Accounts do just that in the “Who to Follow” section on Twitter. These suggestions are made to users based on relevancy with whom they are already following. For brands trying to build up a larger following, this is a great feature for you to use.
And because it’s based on who a user is already following, you can rest assured that Twitter won’t blast your account out to people who simply won’t care. Instead, it’s an extra opportunity to gain followers who will like what you have to say, and potentially become your next brand advocate.
This feature exists in the Trending section of Twitter. Part of the full-service advertising platform on Twitter (which means, it’s not available on the self-serve dashboard), this tool can help your brand’s visibility, and it puts you alongside the conversations that are hot right now. As we all learned from McDonald’s, however, Promoted Trends can backfire, which can make for a very costly error. So, plan accordingly before making the investment.
Keyword Targeting in Timelines
Just recently launched in April 2013, keyword targeting in timelines will serve promoted tweets to users based on keywords they’re using in their tweets or tweets they’ve engaged with. Not to be confused with keyword targeting in search, targeting in timelines serves Promoted Tweets based on keywords in a user’s actual tweets and tweet interactions– a valuable addition for advertisers hoping to reach users with highly relevant and timely messaging.
As an advertiser, you can select your keywords and then conduct your campaign with either phrase match or unordered keyword match to reach relevant users. You can also target based on device, location, and gender. This granularity provides an unparalleled opportunity for brands to capture an audience that is already engaged with the keywords that match their products and services.
With Twitter’s recent rollout of its advertising features to all users, we can expect to see a lot of promoted by while on the microblogging platform. If you’re new to these features, like anything else, we recommend you start small and make sure to test.
Define your objectives and develop your paid advertising strategy accordingly. And of course, make sure to take advantage of the advanced targeting available. While a Twitter ad campaign targeting, “Women, 18-25” may sound perfect, with 200 billion + active monthly users, I think you’ll find your budget runs out fast.
It may seem as though Twitter is late to the game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it quickly surpassed other platforms for paid social ads. The targeting and relevance here is unparalleled. And because of the integrated design, Twitter advertising is a seamless part of the user experience. As long as you target properly, there’s no reason why you won’t get clicks that convert.
Are you going to use Twitter’s advertising tools?