With 200 million users, Twitter is the distant runner-up to Facebook in the social media industry (Facebook has 750 million active users by comparison). So while you are certainly reaching a smaller audience with Twitter, the truth is still that there are 200 million eyes who can watch, or even follow, your feed. This has caused Twitter—once very leery about its site being used for marketing purposes—to begin implementing various ways for companies to target consumers via Twitter. Here is a basic rundown of the ways in which Twitter is beginning to help companies reach their audiences with ads.
Historically, Twitter has not been an ad platform exactly, but rather a way for people to address their followers in much the same way as a blog (in fact, using Twitter has often been referred to as “micro-blogging”). That is to say, there was no direct “advertising” on Twitter. A company could promote themselves through a presence on Twitter, but it was primarily an act of branding and generating brand interest. However, recent changes to Twitter have opened up a few possibilities for more “direct” advertising practices.
Promoted Tweets: The Oldest Form of Twitter Ad
Promoted Tweets, unlike the other methods of advertising on Twitter, are not exactly “new” anymore. This method has been part of the Twitter infrastructure since 2010. Like all of the methods on this list, the Promoted Tweets are paid marketing options. A Promoted Tweet is a lot like a sponsored search result in Google: By creating a tweet with certain keyword-targeted content, a company can bid on those keywords in order to obtain a position at the top of Twitter search results on those keywords, based on a CPM pricing model. As such, it is best to think of Promoted Tweets in much the same way as a Google AdWords campaign. The differences, of course, being the reach of your advertisements (limited to Twitter users) and the audience of your advertisements (limited to Twitter users). Using Promoted Tweets, then, is a good way to bring more potential followers to your company Twitter account, as well as a way to potentially create a bit of a sales niche for yourself.
Targeted Promoted Tweets: A Relatively New Feature
In July, Twitter added a function to their existing “Promoted Tweets” feature. Instead of only being able to target Twitter en masse, this feature allowed companies to send Promoted Tweets directly to those who were already following the company. This constitutes a powerful tool for those interested in building their brand through Twitter. This may seem redundant. If they are following you, after all, why do you need to pay to send followers a message? However, the truth is that most people on Twitter follow hundreds if not thousands of different Twitter feeds, and so getting read by someone who follows you is not actually a guaranteed thing. Promoted Tweets focused on your followers, then, allow for a way to keep yourself on the forefront of your followers’ minds.
However, what was missing until just this month was the ability to target people specifically other than your followers with your Promoted Tweets. This rounds out the package, allowing your company to set up keyword-focused tweets which will be displayed based on any number of different criteria. With just a few keystrokes, you can create a tweet focused on things such as current trends in a given sector of your audience. However, at this time, most of the factors which determine who sees such Promoted Tweets are determined by Twitter algorithms. While not insurmountable, it is now important to consider how to create your Promoted Tweets for maximum Twitter exposure.
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