Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Questions about Advertising on Twitter

As I have been doubting for the longest time about how to make Twitter profitable, I found this very interesting article about how Twitter intend to generate revenues from its activities. Indeed, they have already launched an advertising platform, “Promoted Tweets”, which remains in an early stage, and needs some improvement.

How well can I segment my audience?
Twitter didn’t comment on the news, so there aren’t explicit details about how the targeting will work. "Ad Age" says users will be targeted based on the people and products they already follow. Makes sense, but in-stream ads will be more effective if Twitter can offer more granularity.
In the case of Red Bull, for example, has a potential ad recipient tweeted about energy drinks in general? Or can Red Bull target them because they’ve tweeted about being tired? Will keyword-based targeting be an option? What about geographical targeting, or segmenting messages based on different times of day (dayparting)? What kinds of segmentation on Twitter would be most useful to your campaigns?

My Thoughts: I believe it is important that Twitter provides a clear tool, which would be easy to use to the announcer, in order to set clear advertising strategies. Google has made a great job by creating tools which will provide great estimations of campaigns’ success, and ways to think a keyword campaign.

How much control do I have over the content?
Social media marketing is about giving up “control” over consumer reactions, but not about completely aborting a brand’s core messaging. The 140 character limit for tweets means that messages need to be quick, catchy and yet still retain the brand’s unique “voice,” all while delivering a pitch or call to action.

Will Twitter offer assistance with customizing these messages? What about retweets? Will users be able to forward an ad in its entirety, or will they be able to retweet it with their own (potentially cheeky or negative) commentary? Are there filters to ensure that Red Bull's in-stream ads don’t show up between other tweets that contain profanity or other undesirable content?

My Thoughts: On this one, I don’t see any solutions. Social media is about giving up control, and hence, it is important to provide great content which will lower the risk of bad buzz. Also, social media is not for all companies. It is important to have a strong brand equity, which will secure a great conversation with the audience, and hence lower the number of bad comments and negative buzz.

How do I determine my ROI?
This has been an obstacle for many social media campaigns that aren’t tied to specific ad units. Twitter could solve this by giving advertisers custom, shortened URLs for their promoted tweets, and providing the analytics on clicks.
The company has its own URL shortener – t.co – that makes this possible. A t.co link within an ad could even drive traffic to special landing pages, or serve as a link to download a coupon. This would make Twitter a more effective tool for direct response marketers, not just brands. How would your team determine the ROI of an ad in a Twitter timeline?

This would be very interesting to have tools to estimate return on investment. Especially because announcers will compare Google keywords campaign efficiency versus Twitter, or Facebook. It is therefore important to provide data of the interest to go for Twitter.