After years with no clear path to monetization, Twitter now offers three different methods for advertising or “promoting” your business: Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, and Promoted Tweets. Which service is right for you will vary depending on the type of campaign you’re planning. Do you want to acquire followers? Build buzz around a new product? Or, just spread your message as far as possible through the Twittersphere?
The first step is understanding how Twitter’s Promoted advertising works and the benefits of each service. Once you know how Twitter can promote your business, you will be able to choose the best strategy for your social media campaign. So, let’s begin with an overview of each type of Twitter Promotion.
Promoted Accounts on Twitter
Promoted Accounts are designed to help you acquire new followers. When a new user signs up, Twitter has a feature called “Who to Follow.” Typically new users will see upper echelon Twitterati that are closely aligned with any interests that the new user has already expressed. For instance, someone who has chosen to follow
When you’re a paying Promoted Accounts advertiser, your ad will instead be displayed in the Who to Follow box, along with a note indicating to users that yours is a promoted result rather than an organic result. Promoted Accounts use the same algorithm explained above to determine whether or not a new user would be interested in seeing a particular advertiser’s message and helps you more finely target the people who might have followed you anyway if they knew about you.
Paying for Promoted Accounts
Promoted Accounts works on a pay per follower model. Instead of paying only for impressions, you only pay when people decide to follow you. According to Pierre Legrain, Product Marketing Manager at Twitter, the pricing per follower works on a bidding basis with most bids ranging between $.50 cents and $5 dollars. Other industry experts believe that most accepted bids really fall between the $1 and $3 dollar per follower range.
Promoted Trend: Advertise a Trending Topic on Twitter
Promoted Trends allows you to advertise directly on a Twitter users’ homepage. Ads appear in the “Trending” area, with a “Promoted” box next to it to indicate that your trend is an ad, not an organic listing. Promoted Trends have the benefit of putting your advertising message front and center without waiting for a user to type in a specific search message. Promoted Trends also have the potential to result in many more impressions, which in turn, can lead to higher engagement with your ad.
Typically, Twitter Trends are the result of an algorithm that ranks the most talked about topics and displays them each user’s homepage according to interest. For example, if Comic Con is taking place in San Diego and attendees get excited and generate a massive number of tweets, people interested in San Diego, Graphic Novels, Conventions and Super Heros might see #comiccon as Trending. However, because the algorithm takes into account a users interest, classical music fans in Chicago are unlikely to see the same trends on their own home page.
The Costs of Promoted Trends
Promoted Trends use the same system to put advertising messages into the mix of trends. However, Promoted Trends are not for the faint of heart or for businesses with a small marketing budget. The cost of entry can be steep with some estimates ranging from $80,000-$120,000 per day.
Promoted Tweets: Ads That Showcase Your Brand
Promoted Tweets are probably the most familiar form of Twitter advertising. Unlike the previous ads, Promoted Tweets are a hybrid because while they are ads, they are also still tweets. Using a bidding system like Google’s Adwords or Facebook Ads, advertisers place a bid indicating how much they are willing to pay for the promotion. Then, the winning bidders have their tweet promoted to appear within search results for that term.
The caveat is that only tweets can be promoted. You can not write a separate advertising message to appear as a Promoted Tweet. Keep this in mind when crafting your campaign because you will want to create a set of tweets that both promote your brand and engage users without being to “salesy.”
Paying for Promoted Tweets
Promoted Tweets are pioneering a new form of payment for online advertising: Pay Per Engagement. You pay whenever someone “engages” with your ad. So what counts as an engagement on Twitter? Typically, this means:
- Retweeting or replying your tweet (anything that results in an @ mention)
- Clicking on your tweet to visit a link or your profile page
- Favoriting your Tweet
Which Twitter Promotion is Best for Your Business?
Like any advertising medium, you need to know your numbers and do some testing to determine the best type of Twitter Promotion for your business.
- If you know what a follower is worth to your brand, you’ll know what you can pay afford to pay on a cost-per-follower basis for follower acquisition. In this case, a Promoted Account can be great exposure and offer a long-term return on investment (ROI).
- If you want to spread your message far and wide — and your budget will allow it — Promoted Trends offers a level of social media exposure that is difficult to duplicate any other way.
- When it comes to costs, Promoted Tweets may be the most effective model for advertising on Twitter. Much like PPC, you don’t pay unless a user explicitly expresses interest in your message. However, you can still get your message exposed to a lot of people like you would with CPM advertising.
Once you’ve decided the goals you want to achieve with your Twitter advertising, here is the official link to get started: http://business.twitter.com/advertise/start/.
Have you advertised on Twitter? Leave a comment and let us know which type of promotion worked best!