Twitter just launched their long-awaited ad program, not to be confused with their @ (“at”) program, and it is called Promoted Tweets. In its initial implementation, the Promoted Tweets will appear only in search results on Twitter.com when users search from that page. Only one Promoted Tweet will appear in the search results at a time and it will remain at the top of the results. It is identified as a Promoted Tweet in small highlighted text, plus the whole tweet turns yellow when you mouse over it.
B2B companies now have the ability to purchase Twitter search terms to gain more visibility for their tweets. It appears that only existing tweets can be promoted, and Twitter states that if those Promoted Tweets do not resonate with users, that is if people don’t click or retweet, the tweets will be removed. So this is like Google Ad Words for Twitter Search, but with the company trying to encourage the community aspect of the site and ensure their advertisers are providing value. This first roll-out features tweets from a handful of companies like Starbucks and Best Buy, so we can see the Promoted Tweets in action, but we do not have access to the back end to learn more about the process of placing them.
Here are some suggestions for things that marketers can now on Twitter once Promoted Tweets are opened up to any business.
1. Gain More Impressions
Most tweets have a short lifespan. They are seen by your followers who happen to be checking Twitter when your tweet comes through. And that is a smaller percentage than you may realize. Using hashtags and @mentions to specific followers will raise the number of people who are exposed to your tweet. By purchasing certain keywords, your tweet is exposed to more people than would otherwise see it, including people who don’t even follow you or your conversations.
2. Expand the Reach of Your Keywords
One of the keys to marketing on the web, and one of the big benefits of social media, is the use of keywords to drive traffic back to your targeted sites. By purchasing those keywords and associating them with Promoted Tweets that include links back to your site, you expand the reach of your keywords through Twitter search.
3. Test Your Tweets
Since Twitter has said that Promoted Tweets must resonate with users, this will allow marketers to test tweets to determine that resonance. This is similar to testing different ads in Google Ad Words. The only difference is that Twitter has said they will remove non-resonating ads, while Google will continue to take your money if people click on them.
4. Sponsor Hashtags
Hashtags are used on Twitter to connect conversations across topics and events. While you can add the relevant hashtags to your tweets to become part of the conversation, if you buy the hashtags for your Promoted Tweets, that puts your tweets in front of more people searching for those terms. Until Twitter reveals the back end of this system or releases some rules, I don’t know if this is possible. There may be certain terms that are blocked from use, like Twitter or tweet. These sorts of things will determine whether Twitter remains an open system, or moves more towards a closed system.
5. Increase Speed of Message
Depending on the responsiveness of the Promoted Tweets system, you can broadcast a message quickly to both your followers and to those searching for the purchased keywords. Expanding reach is one thing, but being able to make an impact quickly is even better.
Like so many things in social media, this is rolling out in phases. Depending on what the response to Promoted Tweets is, Twitter has suggested that this system will push sponsored tweets to users’ tweet streams, as well as third party applications. It will be interesting to see how that system gets implemented and continues to leverage keyword search.
Have you thought about how you will use Promoted Tweets for your B2B company?