Paid advertising in social media continues to blur the lines of social networking and digital media. Newer social networking sites, like Twitter, have only recently begun to monetize their sites toward profitability. Ranked as one of the top ten most visited websites in the world (according to Alexa), Twitter remains a very intriguing channel to add to your digital marketing mix.
In April 2010, Twitter introduced its advertising program, Promoted Tweets. Since then, advertising revenue has amounted to $45 million in 2010 and is expected to grow to $150 million in 2011, according eMarketer Inc.
What are Promoted Tweets?
According to Twitter:
“Promoted Tweets are a new form of advertising unique to Twitter that enable you to speak to users that don’t currently follow your account.”
Promoted Tweets appear directly within the content of search results and include the designation “Promoted by”. They are otherwise a normal tweet and can be interacted with as such.
Much like Google AdWords, Promoted Tweets are found by a user’s search that is related to the keywords that appear within your tweet.
Also, in November 2010, Twitter announced that it would begin testing Promoted Tweets within the timeline of those who use the third-party application HootSuite. Below is an example of what a Promoted Tweet looks like in a HootSuite timeline:
There has been little indication of when Promoted Tweets will open up to other third-party applications or within the Twitter interface.
What do Promoted Tweets cost?
Promoted Tweets follow a Cost-per-Engagement model, so you are charged when a user retweets, replies to, clicks on, or favorites the Promoted Tweet. Retweet impressions are free.
How do I start advertising on Twitter?
Promoted Tweets are still in Beta testing with a select number of businesses. However, Twitter invites those who are interested to sign-up and be notified when the platform becomes more readily available. The sign-up process is easy, you simply need to fill-out a short form located here. You should note that before you start advertising, you need to understand how Twitter will become integrated within your current digital marketing strategy.
The early Promoted Tweets results have been mixed with Coca-Cola and Virgin American toting success while Best Buy and PepsiCo have not reinvested in Twitter advertising after their initial test.
Before you start advertising on Twitter, make sure that you have defined and achievable goals, and understand the purpose of the channel within your digital marketing strategy. Your intent should be to join the conversation that is taking place on the social internet and not blast your brand message indiscriminately.
Advertising your brand on Twitter may be the missing piece of your 2011 digital marketing plan – to find out, start by searching for your brand on Twitter to see what conversations are taking place. How could advertising then help to influence the conversation taking place amongst consumers to produce ROI for your campaign?
Have a success story? We’d love to hear about it! Questions? Leave us a comment.