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Twitter’s Advertising Options

October 14th, 2010 · 3 Comments

So the CEO just asked the CMO, “How is our advertising on Twitter working?” and you were within earshot.  The problem is of course you’re not advertising on Twitter because…  Well, to start with some of us in social media feel it’s unsavory to advertise (I’m not one of these, as you can tell by the ads on this blog.) The early advertising options available on Twitter were horrible, paid tweets that people had little or no control over inserted to frequently, etc.

Well now we have real Twitter advertising available to you some.  The choices are… limited compared to what you may be used to in other mediums.  But Twitter is very jealously guarding their user community to avoid a Facebook Beacon experience.  Either that or they can’t figure out how to actually make any money yet.  On the other hand as this article relates, it took Amazon.com a very long time to turn a profit too.  And not too many people today are questioning Amazon’s business acumen.

The advertising program is only open to invited guests and you’re most likely not on that list.  Otherwise why would you be reading this?  But you put your name on the list to be considered on this page by clicking the this form link at the bottom of the page above the video.

As I’m not in the beta test group for these advertising products I’ve only gathered information on them available elsewhere on the web. I can’t speculate on how they are priced or sold.

Twitter’s Advertising Choices

  • Promoted Tweets-It’s really search engine advertising similar to Google Adwords.  Your promoted tweet will appear (to users who don’t already follow you) only if that person performs a search on the Twitter.com website.  Ads don’t appear yet in desktop clients like TweetDeck or HootSuite or on other websites which may display tweets.  Here is a video about how Promoted Tweets works.
  • Promoted Trends- Introduced in June and made more realistic with the latest updates to the Twitter website, where they display trending topics in the right hand column.  This is a much more broad form of distribution and more closely resembles traditional advertising.  It shows an ad placement as a Trending Topic.  When a user clicks on that topic a search is performed on the term which then displays a Promoted Tweet at the top of the search results.  Users can select a location for their Trending Topics, either country or city based, so it would seem that Twitter will sell Promoted Trends on a geographical basis- but this is speculation.
    One caveat- Twitter states that, “If a topic doesn’t already meet a minimum level of popularity on Twitter, it can’t be a Promoted Trend.”  So for an advertiser you can’t just throw anything up there.  It needs to get some momentum of it’s own to appear.
    UPDATE: I just noticed for the first time that there is a Promoted Trending Topic Displayed in TweetDeck.  So I guess either Twitter is testing today or it’s getting rolled out.  Let me know if you know anything.
  • Promoted Accounts- Work again only on the Twitter website and use the new Suggested Followers list under the “Who to Follow” column.  To have your ad placed as a promoted account on a given user’s page it apparently will need to match the profile Twitter’s algorithm has selected.  I think from reading Twitter’s description of the new service that it will “pin” a promoted account to the top of user’s suggestions.  But the account would need to fall into the list of suggested accounts organically.  In other words you can’t to people that you don’t have fit with already.


One thing that’s obvious to me is that Twitter is taking pains to ensure that their advertising fits within the natural scheme of the way Twitter works. In other words it isn’t interruptive,  it is only moving a promotion to the top of a page it would have most likely appeared on eventually anyway.  This means that to be able to use any of these Twitter advertising products you need to establish an effective Twitter presence and build up a following and a history.  (If you need help with that contact me.)  You can’t simply buy your way onto the lists.  I like this design and look forward to seeing how well it succeeds.

Thanks to Marketing Excellence blog for inspiring this post.

Give me 1 Good Reason why you think Twitter’s new advertising scheme won’t work.

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Tags: Reasons For Net Marketing

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tweets that mention Twitter’s Advertising Options -- Topsy.com // Oct 14, 2010 at 7:25 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gerald Scott, Wes Tarry, Android, khan, Tweeter Store and others. Tweeter Store said: Twitter's Advertising Options http://bit.ly/bkR10t [...]

  • 2 Observations 2011-10-14 | Stefan Leijon // Oct 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    [...]  Twitter’s Advertising Options This has been in the works for some time now. How will Twitter make money? We also heard about the [...]

  • 3 Pat Ferdinandi // Oct 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Things worth talking about and spreading are ReTweeted at no cost. Will promoters actually be able to push or buy their way? If they bubble to the top and stay there longer, will people really trust them or just scroll down to the real meat?

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