After Twitter finally went public at the end of November 2013, the next step for them was to find new ways of getting revenue. So for the first time ever, Twitter announced that it will allow small and medium sized enterprises from the UK, Ireland and Canada to buy ad space on the popular micro-blogging website.
As Ravi Narasimhan, product manager at Twitter, says, “all you need is a Twitter account and a credit card” – and basically, “if you can tweet, you can advertise on Twitter” (The Guardian). Ravi also adds, “you’re in control of your ads, the audience you want to reach, and of course your budget. Best of all, you will only be charged when people follow your Promoted Account or retweet, reply, favorite or click on your Promoted Tweets” and he also confirms that you will never be “charged for your organic Twitter activity.”
Twitter advertising is making a huge difference for SMEs, helping them get better results on Twitter, and a lot faster than they would organically. We’re already seeing that it has the potential to prove itself just as useful and successful as Facebook Advertising.
It’s extremely easy to start advertising on Twitter, and there are several different types of advertising choices that you can choose from:
One of the things that many businesses struggle with on Twitter is being able to build a strong community of followers. This usually takes a long time, and it can be quite difficult to get to the people that will really help you grow your business – brand advocates, influencers, and potential customers that are interested in your products or services.
It’s very important to have a following of people who are genuinely interested in your business, as they are the people that will actually interact and engage with you, retweet you, recommend you to their own followers, and thus helping you grow your business.
Normally, it takes a long time to build such a strong following, and it can take as much as entire months of hard, daily work. However, by promoting your account, you can easily jumpstart your follower numbers – and the best part is that you will be able to reach followers that are likely to be interested in your brand.
By targeting properly, people that are similar to your followers will be able to see your brands’ Twitter handle showing up in their search results, and in the “Who To Follow” box:
If you’ve decided to use the Promoted Account features, you can set your own budget and only be charged when someone follows your Promoted Account – which makes for a great deal, as you pay exactly for what you get, without going over your budget.
This is a very similar advertising option to Facebook’s Promoted Posts. It’s very easy for tweets to get lost in a matter of seconds, so if you want to make sure one of your tweets is seen by as many people as possible, this is a great tool to achieve that. For example, you might be promoting a new event, a new product or service, or a new resource that you’ve made available on your website. By promoting your tweet, you will ensure that you maximize the amount of people that will be able to see it. Your Promoted Tweet will appear at the top of users’ timelines, and in their search results.
What makes Promoted Tweets different from Facebook’s Promoted Posts is that not only your current followers will be able to see them, but also potential followers, when they make searches. This way you reach a much larger audience, and you will be able to increase your reach and thus potentially increase your followers and your engagement levels.
There are different ways that you can target your Promoted Tweets:
- By keywords
- By interests
- By gender
- By geography
- By device
- By similarity to existing followers
The targeting options are very broad and will allow you to easily target exactly the people you want.
Last but not least comes the Promoted Trends feature. A Twitter trend is a particular topic that is very popular at a given moment among users. If a topic is trending, users will be easily able to see it on the left hand side of their timeline:
Generally, people who want to explore Twitter will go to the trends list to start their wandering. If you want to amplify your voice on Twitter, by promoting a trend you ensure that it will reach a lot of people, as it will appear at the top of the trends list for a whole day.
A Promoted Trend will probably help you reach the most people – so make sure you use a great hashtag.
You can use this feature for various reasons, but it probably works best when there’s a major development in the works – it could be an event, a product or service launch or an announcement that your audience will be interested in.
You can target your trend geographically, by country or even globally.
Tracking and Analytics
If you decide to use Twitter advertising for your business, you will also be granted access to comprehensive analytics that will help you track the success of your campaigns. They will also help you understand your customers better so that you will know how to create a better campaign. You will also be able to see how your Promoted Tweets and Promoted Account are performing in real time.
It’s a very useful feature that provides comprehensive and insightful data.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the pricing for Twitter Advertising is quite fair – you pay exactly for the engagement you receive:
- New follows
- Retweets, replies and favorites
- Clicks on Promoted Tweets
- The pricing process is very straightforward:
- Start by setting a daily budget for each of your campaigns
- Place a bid – meaning that you can decide the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a follow or click.
- Make changes – after a few days, you can make changes to your budgets and bids based on your performance.
Overall, Twitter offers businesses of all shapes and sizes a great way to boost their engagement through their advertising features. Have you tried using Twitter Ads yet? Let us know what results you’ve had in your comments!