The micro-blogging social network Twitter turned five years old on March 21 2011. It boasts an eye popping 200 million registered users a main ingredient for generating profits and revenue for any online business. With that in mind it's important to know that Twitter is now ramping up it's business objective to sell advertising in mass quantities following the heels of big internet movers like Google and Facebook. Many new and established businesses use Adwords to push unknown products and services to their target audiences and many have seen profitable returns. The question is, can advertising your start-up business on Twitter accomplish the same thing?
Beginning March 2011, business and individuals can pay to have promoted tweets appear in registered members timelines. The idea is similar to promoted ads on Google search results pages. The tweets will be targeted to other users whose profiles match the criteria of the targeted tweets. Will this new ad revenue program be beneficial to your business especially for start-up companies? Only time will tell. So far the same idea is working well for Facebook generating hundreds of millions in revenue for them each year and creating a market valuation of $50 billion. Advertisers also seem to like Facebook's results as more are signing up for that program every month.
So how much does Twitter charge for advertising? There are three options to choose from:
According to Twitter, Promoted Tweets are offered on a Cost-per-Engagement (CPE) basis, so you only pay when a user Retweets, replies to, clicks on or favorites your Promoted Tweet. Retweeted impressions by engaged users are free. You pay your own set price with no guarantee of any clicks. In twitter’s case, you pay a set price for someone to tweet a message but with no guarantee of any return.
Next are Promoted Trends. Promoted Trends is the exclusive opportunity to feature a Trend related to your business at the top of Twitter's Trends list. Trends are generally bought by higher budget businesses. When a user clicks on the Trend, they're taken to the conversation for that trend - with your Promoted Tweets pegged to the top of the timeline: Cost: Twitter doesn’t have an official promoted trends rate sheet, but professionals in advertising say the current rate for a one-day promoted trends sale has ranged between $70,000 and $80,000 coming down from $100,000 a day.
Last are Promoted Accounts. Promoted Accounts highlight your account to users most likely to find it interesting. Twitter looks at your account and followers to identify similar accounts and similar followers, for amazing accuracy. Users find Promoted Accounts a useful part of discovering new businesses, content, and people on Twitter.
Most entrepreneurs and start-ups operate on small business budgets and must make every marketing and advertising dollar count or risk being outgunned by their competitors. Based on Twitter's monthly and yearly user growth it seems only like a good idea to test the advertising waters there. Twitter has already started training its sales and marketing staff on how to lure in your small business advertising dollars. They have major competition with other big social networks so creating an edge seems to be key to their future success. Twitter is doing something slightly different from the others, by mainly focusing on advertising sales through Promoted Accounts with pay-per-follow.
Twitter's paid ad system is a risk like any other but one worth taking as it's poised to go public very soon. This means they're geared to provide an ad system that gives mom and pop businesses a return on their investment. This could prove relevant to their survival. Everyone now gravitate to large social networks, but not everyone will be interested in your promoted product or content. It's key that whatever you pay to promote through Twitter be popular and relevant to the target audience, nothing matters more than this to your audience.
More Entrepreneurrookie articles about social media and twitter for business marketing:
- Why Good Tweets Build Good Traffic and Site Rank
- Why You Should Use Social Media and SEO to Get Your Startup Noticed