Promoted Tweets: Mindshare POV

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As we predicted in September 2009, Twitter is to sell ads around its search results. But will they succeed and what are the opportunities for brands?

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Promoted Tweets: Mindshare POV

  1. 1. 13/4/2010 Twitter Ads: An Opportunity For Brands Twitter Ads: An Opportunity For Brands
  2. 2. Twitter Ads: An Opportunity For Brands 2010 In a departure from its previous proclamations that it wished to avoid taking on a ‘traditional web advertising model’, Twitter has announced the launch of a new advertising product, Promoted Tweets. This will allow brands to place their tweets at the top of relevant results on Twitter’s search platform. Mindshare predicted this move back in September of 2009 when we said: (If Twitter) can learn to rank results based on relevance…it then creates a space where brands might be able to see real results (from advertising). So if Twitter wants to make serious money from advertising, it may need to learn from Google’s ability to rank content and its ability to monetize those results. Since then the algorithms of the major search engines have been radically updated, with Bing & Google now pulling in content from Twitter (a move which raised significant revenue for the micro- blogging service): in contrast to this, Twitter;s search algorithm has failed to evolve, and the result of this can be seen in the growth of traffic to search.twitter.com in comparison to the Twitter.com: traffic to the search function is essentially flat. Twitter are obviously aware of this and have suggested that they will later roll out the platform so that Promoted Tweets are seen in standard timelines, even when the user isn’t searching for information or even following the brand in question. Twitter are aware of the danger of alienating users with too much advertising, and consequently they have said that they will remove ads that do not ‘resonate’ with the audience: i.e. ads which aren’t retweeted and shared. There is an obvious market for content brands, such as publishers and TV networks, to use this new platform, whether it’s to promote a new show, or to capture traffic around trending news topics. Whilst the ads remain out of time-lines there will be a bigger challenge for other types of company to work out how to make best use of them. Likely applications might include responding to reputation management issues, highlighting special discounts & deals or associating products with particular topics & themes. The challenge for marketers will be crafting enough tweets that resonate with Twitter users as opposed to alienating them, and killing Twitter’s ability to monetise.

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