Twitter is known as the SMS of Internet. It is a micro-blogging platform allowing you to share content in only 140-character long messages.
It counts over 200 million active users, 340 million Tweets generated daily, and over 1.6 billion search queries each day. It is a fantastic platform to reinforce your brand image, grow your prospects base, engage with customers, reply to their inquiries, run promotions, and much more. [Updated Sept, 10th 2013]
While Linkedin users are mainly B2B decision makers and Facebook users B2C consumers, Twitter users are both B2B and B2C-type individuals. They visit Twitter to scan a large thread of news and information, often without a specific mindset. People seeking professional advices would visit Linkedin. People willing to check out their friend’s updates would visit Facebook.
Tip: This is a very important idea to keep in mind, and this is why the content you will share on Twitter should be very different from the one you share on Facebook or Linkedin.
According to a survey by Market Probe International (May 2013),
– “72% of people are more likely to buy from a company if they have followed or interacted with the business through Twitter.
– 82% are more likely to recommend a SMB if they have followed their Twitter account.
– 86% said they’re more likely to go to a SMB if a friend recommended it on Twitter.”
2) Advertising framework
The biggest difference between Twitter advertising and other social advertising is that Twitter advertising is based only on sponsored content integrated into the Twitter model. This is what is called native advertising, an “online advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing valuable content in the context of the user’s experience. Native ad formats match both the form and the function of the user experience in which it is placed, integrated in the business model.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Tip: This is one notion to understand clearly; I would call it smooth advertising. Native advertising is way less intrusive than any other online advertisements because natural ads integrate into the business model of the platform. Twitter does not propose specific ad spaces; therefore, ads do not disrupt the user experience.
3) Advertising tools
Twitter advertising allows advertisers to promote their account, get a Tweet to appear in a user’s timeline, or topics to be featured as “trends”. The self-advertising program is widely available in the USA, but not yet in Europe. According to the last news, it should be open to all companies by the end of this year. for now, if you are a European company and you want to advertise with Twitter, be ready to pay a minimum amount of €5.000/ month for at least three months.
Tip: Instead of investing your annual marketing budget right now, take advantage of this delay to create your account, learn how to use the platform, start building an audience. And by the end of this year, you’ll have access to the self-serving platform (for budgets between €1 and €5.000). You can also try to register now. You won’t be able to advertise yet with a small budget, but you’ll be on the “waiting list”.
- Promoted Accounts
“For businesses and brands who want to grow their follower base”
Promoted Accounts scan your current followers database and appear on pages of users with similar interests on the “Who to follow” section, as well as in search results, according to the targeting options you selected.
Tip: It is a great way to grow your follower’s database quickly.
- Promoted Tweets
“Make your Tweets count even more with advanced targeting and tools”
It is a very good way to strengthen a particular message to the right target, at the right time, and the right place. Promoted Tweets will be seen in users’ timeline or in search results, according to the targeting options you selected.
A promoted Tweet is a Tweet that you decide to sponsor on the platform. You can either:
– Create an ad copy, meaning that you create a specific Tweet to be promoted (with a call-to-action or a promotional offer);
– Manually pick one of the Tweets you already published;
– Or, let Twitter select up to 5 of your most engaging and fresh Tweets. In that case, Twitter will automatically rotate the Tweets according to the level of engagement they generate.
Tip: If you decide to promote a Tweet manually, make sure to select one with a clear and unique Call-to- Action.
- Promoted Trends
“Larger brands can gain mass awareness in our list of trending topics”
Promoted trends are displayed at the top of the trend list (on the left column of every page on Twitter) for an entire day. When people click on the Promoted Trend, they are led to your marketing message displayed through your Promoted Tweet.
- Lead Generation cards
Lead Generation cards are not really advertising solutions, but are a great way to generate leads, and revenue from your Promoted Tweets. No need to send your Twitter audience to your contact page on your website, get their information securely directly from the Twitter platform.
Lead Generation Cards are registration forms associated with a Promoted Tweet. When a customer clicks on the Promoted element to expand the Tweet, they will see an option to sign up with their Twitter @usernames as well as email addresses. You will then receive the contact information directly.
As advertisers already know, the more clicks and pages visit required, the less conversion. Thanks to Twitter Lead Generation Cards, reduce the number of clicks your audience has to make to subscribe to your offers and get even more leads.
Tip: Make sure to have a clear Call-To-Action inviting people to expand your tweet and register their contact information. (Lead Generation Cards are not available through the self-advertising program yet, only managed accounts.)
Twitter offers different levels of ad targeting:
– Location (countries, states/regions, major metropolitan areas),
– Keywords: reach people that search, tweet about or engage with specific keywords,
– Interests and similarity to existing followers: reach people with specific interest or people who follow specific accounts,
– Device targeting.
- Device Targeting
Twitter real value proposition is its device targeting: offering ad targeting according to the device users utilize. And knowing that 60% of Twitter users connect with their mobile device monthly, device targeting becomes a strong comparative advantage. This is a great way to reach on-the-go customers with timely messaging. Advertisers can choose to target desktop computers and laptops, iOS, Android, as well as other mobile devices. Mobile device targeting is a great way to reach specific mobile users.
Tip: If you do not select a specific devise, the default setting will target users across all devices.
- Mobile Marketing opportunity
Mobile notifications are a great technique to promote exclusive content, special deals and events, and Twitter will soon be the preferred publisher for mobile advertising. You can now reach users 24/7, wherever they might be. And they don’t even need to have a Twitter account. To know more about this, read the full report here.
5) Advertising model and budget
The Twitter advertising model is based on a Cost per Engagement pricing. The advertiser pays only for the actions that a user takes with the promoted element:
– Promoted Accounts: you pay only when a user click on “follow” on your account;
– Promoted Tweets: you pay when people engage with the Promoted Tweet (retweet, reply, favorite or click on);
– Promoted Trends: you pay when people click on the Promoted Trend;
– Lead Generation Cards: you pay when people register their information through the form.
There is not different cost depending on the type of engagement.
You will never be charged for your organic activity on Twitter.
NB: “Cost Per Lead” is not the Twitter terminology. Twitter only talks about “Cost Per Engagement“. In order to generate a lead via the Lead Generation Cards, the user would have to click on the call-to-action “Sign up!” or “Join the club”, etc. This click is an engagement, this is why Twitter will only refer to Cost Per Engagement. Cost Per Lead is a terminology used mostly by marketers and was used here for a better understanding.
- Keep control over your budget!
Twitter allows you to set a lifetime and daily budget for the promoted element you run. As soon as your daily budget is reached, the campaign will stop. You will never be charged for more than what you set up initially.
In terms of engagement, the advertiser pays only for the first engagement a user takes with the promoted element. For instance, if a user “retweet” and then “favorite” a Promoted Tweet, the advertiser will only pay one time for the first engagement, being here the retweet. Or if you linked a Lead Generation Card to your Promoted Tweet, and the user retweet and then sign up, you will still pay only for the first action the user took with that Tweet.
But, if a user interacts with two different promoted elements from your company: Promoted Tweet + Promoted Trend OR Promoted Tweet 1 + Promoted Tweet 2 the next day, then, the advertiser will pay for two distinct engagement.
- Auction model
Like the other social networks (and digital advertising solutions such as Bing and Google campaigns), Twitter ads also run according to a bidding model. You decide the maximum amount you are willing to pay and you place your bid. The maximum amount you will pay per engagement is that bid.
You actually don’t need to pay that full amount, you just need to pay one cent above a competitive bid. Therefore, the minimum cost an advertiser will incur is €0.01 per engagement, supposing that no one else is bidding on the same target (keywords, location, etc.) For instance, if you said you’re ready to pay 1€50 maximum per engagement, and your competition said they would only pay €0,80, then you win the bid and the effective cost per engagement you will pay is €0,81.
Tip: No need to worry too much about the amount of your bids. Twitter will give you suggestions according to what is done in your market and how to optimize your campaign. It is very important that you try to optimize your campaign constantly, for obvious reasons of course, but also because the more effective your campaigns, the higher your quality score on Twitter, and consequently, the lower your price to win the auction.
All advertising models work the same: the platform wants you to perform well because it is in their interest that you choose their platform to advertise. This is why they’ll help you maximize your value for money, and satisfaction with the products.
Twitter analytics help you track multiple components of your advertising activity, get in-depth information regarding your audience and their behavior on the platform and finally the possibility to adjust your campaign to get even better results.
The follower dashboard will give you insightful information regarding your audience: interests, geography, device used and engagement. You will be able to see the performance of your promoted products in real time according to the number of impressions, retweets, clicks, mentions, replies, and follows as they happen. A dashboard will give you a complete appreciation of your activity on Twitter, as well as the performance of every single tweet or trend.
A specific dashboard will also show how many leads were generated from each promoted tweet (if a card was associated with the tweet) and the cost associated.
Tip: Find out what kind of tweet drive the more engagement from your audience and make sure to share more of this type of content (may that be coupons, funny pictures or promotional videos).
As a final advice, remember to integrate your social media strategy with your off line marketing activities: communication around your Twitter account across all existing digital properties and physical collateral and encourage people to follow you on Twitter or opt-in for SMS updates via the Fast Follow option. Don’t forget to integrate Twitter buttons (follow, share) on your website and blogs.
Companies sometimes think that social activity is a side component of their marketing strategy, when it’s not. Social activity should support your overall marketing activities and integrate as much as possible through everything you do online and offline.
Are you advertising on Twitter? If so, don’t hesitate to share your experience in the comment below!
This article focus on the advertising solutions offered by Twitter. A full report on How to use Twitter for Small and Medium Businesses will soon be available here.
by Florence Poirel