Twitter opens its advertising to small and medium businesses in UK, Ireland and Canada and adds custom timelines worldwide
Recommended link: Twitter blog
With the virtual ink barely dry on the Twitter IPO, Twitter has sought to increase its revenue per user from advertising by offering its Promoted Accounts, Tweets and Trends products to smaller businesses in a limited number of countries outside the US - we will update readers when more countries are added. If you had previously tried to sign up via this form you would have seen a minimum monthly spend of $10,000, but this has now been removed, opening up more competition within the ad auction.
Ten things you need to know about Twitter's new advertising options
So this is big news for many small businesses, particularly those such as B2B companies whose audiences tend to be more active on Twitter than Facebook. So, you may be wondering what the model are. Here are the 10 key features to keep it simple
- You set a daily budget and spend is capped at that amount.
- It’s a Cost per click (CPC) model.
- The price you pay is based on your bid.
- There is no longer a minimum monthly spend.
- You have 3 ad options: Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends products which are shown below.
- Promoted Tweets are the original ad product with Twitter targeting options now extended to include targeting by keywords in their timeline, interests and geography, geography (country and metropolitan), device and similarity to existing followers. Twitter have clearly learned from Facebook's targeting options... You can see in the example below they are boosted to the top of the timeline.
- Promoted Accounts are recommended accounts to follow, unfortunately it’s not possible to give a reason to follow other than the social proof of others who already follow the account.
- Promoted Trends boost you to the top of the trends list. Likewise Promoted Trends tend to be around a hashtag unique to an event or a campaign. So they could be called Promoted Hashtags - this better suggests what these are. The #SouthPole2013 trend is a Virgin Money / charity promotion. As you click-through on a trend Twitter users will see more tweets and images that they may want to share.
- Twitter suggests allocating more of your budget to Promoted accounts to build your follower base while Promoted Tweets are best suited to a special offer, new product or event.
- Remember that many business Twitter users like me use Twitter clients like Hootsuite so will never see these ads (for now at least)!! Of course this is less the case for consumer users who will likely use Twitter’s own client or mobile app.
Also new on Twitter! Custom Timelines
These are best explained if you know Storify, which enables users to curate tweets (or other social updates) about an event - here’s an example of Storify - great for event organisers to summarise their event, or arrange a Q&A.
Here’s an example of a custom timeline embedded into the Guardian site and below how it looks on Twitter - not as nice as Storify, but better with images and easier to setup by using a hashtag - here are the instructions on how to create a custom timeline. You have flexibility on which tweets to add as with Storify.
It looks like events and will be the main use case for these. How do you see it? Have you got other ideas for marketing applications?
If you're looking for more advice on using Twitter as a free marketing tool, read our newly updated 7 Steps guide to Twitter marketing or our Influencer outreach using Twitter guide.