With social media taking over as a main platform for marketers, the news that Twitter has offered its advertising services to small businesses in the UK is certainly interesting to a variety of companies.Twitter’s previous policies meant businesses outside the US had to have a relationship with Twitter to produce ads, which ultimately limited the social network. The new rules mean that Twitter are now selling advertising space directly to small companies across the country, increasing their own revenue with the potential of increasing the revenue of others.
Twitter Ads works in a PPC format, where businesses can have their accounts and tweets sponsored, but they will only be charged when people follow the promoted account or retweet, reply, favourite or click on your Promoted Tweets, and businesses will not be charged for organic activity.
Investing in promoted accounts means that users can build a community of followers, which can be advantageous as there are more people to send your message to and engage with. A great feature of the process is that the business can choose who to target, with a list of different options to choose from, for example gender, location or accounts ‘similar to their’ followers. This works well for companies who would like to influence a specific sector. The account will then appear in search results and in certain “Who to follow” side bars (which is the Twitter recommendation engine). Twitter claims to own a ‘magical algorithm’ which finds users who may be interested in your business, and shows them to potential followers with a yellow ‘promoted’ icon next to your name. This ensures audiences know that your account or tweet is an advert. Promoted tweets appear as regular tweets, but instead they are shown throughout the twitter-sphere, with again the option to choose the desired target audience. And to make sure you do not overspend, companies can set their own budgets. When the account reaches its budget it will then stop, so even businesses with a small budget can invest.
Not only do you get the advertising service, but also a full analytics which allows users to track different components of their Twitter Ads activity. This can benefit the company as it allows them to learn more about the behaviour of customers, and then can use the information to alter a campaign to be successful.
So what do we think? Is it something small businesses should invest in? With the ever increasing number of Twitter users, this could work well for small businesses who do not have much recognition to raise awareness, and to the right target audience. But it is something that needs to be properly planned out for the long term with a clear strategy to achieve the best results.