Since 2006, Twitter has 500, 000, 000 active users. It is the fastest growing social media platform today. More importantly, it has become a viable advertising medium for businesses/brands/non-profits organizations to build their client base, increase community engagement and communicate with targeted audiences. Twitter has generated $139.5 million in ad sales in 2011, according to estimates from eMarketer. Ad revenues are expected to grow 86.3% to $259.9 million this year. Needless to say, companies are utilizing Twitter ads as a vehicle to reach out to their desired audiences. When you consider some of the most important goals in the public relations field: increasing communication and engagement with targeted audiences, Twitter ads can help achieve the above goals. To review in more detail, there are three different advertising options to increase a Twitter’s account exposure: Promoted Tweets, Accounts and Trends.
A brief overview of the different advertising options:
Simply allows your tweets to reach a larger targeted audience and increase your opportunity to engage current or new followers.
Through this advertising option, your account is listed under the ‘Who to Follow’ tab. The promoted account is suggested to users who don’t currently follow the account, but may find it interesting. This option helps to expose an account to a wider audience.
This option, is by far the most extensive type of Twitter advertising. Promoted Trends is part of a campaign that designs a custom hashtag, which is listed under ‘Trends’ tab. In addition promoted tweets are also listed at the top of the trends list.
It is important to note that Promoted Tweets and Accounts can be customized with a set daily budget and allows you to target users based on location, gender, and by device. Promoted Trends is managed by Twitter ads specialists that develops a custom campaign to build exposure.The cost of Promoted Trends is estimated at $200, 000 per campaign. Additionally, all promoted Twitter advertising is marked as “promoted” next to the paid ad.
Twitter advertising allows self service options: setting a daily budget for ads, the ability to stop ads and free analytics to measure effectiveness.
While there are obvious benefits of Twitter ads such as, the ability to target audiences based on age, gender, geography, interests or by device there are other social media platforms that allow for better targeting customization. Another potential drawback to this option is that all paid Twitter ads are listed as promoted/paid content. This could act as deterrent for users or they become desensitized to the bombardment of advertisements and ignore featured ads.
Twitter advertising offers a new medium for organizations/companies to target users in real-time and engage in two-way communication. It offers a new way to build relationships and opportunity to target an audience that may not have easy to reach. Using Twitter advertising can help support many public relations goals (i.e, a company responding to crisis, creating awareness about an event, sharing breaking news about a product/fundraising, reaching out news journalists). However, Twitter advertising should be one component of an overall social media strategy and other platforms should be used to target desired audiences.