Twitter Rolling Out Self-Serve Advertising for Small Businesses

Timeline, Premium Ads, patent lawsuits, IPO delays, proof-of-ownership emails—it seems like Facebook has had all the fun lately. But while Mark Zuckerberg and friends are busy soaking up all the attention, Twitter has been flying under the radar, cooking up some sweet new advertising tactics for small businesses.

A few days ago, Twitter officially launched its self-service ad platform for small businesses. Currently only American Express cardmembers and merchants can sign up, but Twitter plans to increase the number of participating small businesses over the coming weeks, and open it up completely in the fall.

Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts have technically been around since November of 2011, when Twitter opened them up to a handful of advertisers for testing and tweaking, so you’ve probably seen them around. But in case you aren’t sure what they are exactly, here’s how they work:

Promoted Tweets

Promoted Tweets take existing tweets and promote them within the search results. These are good for businesses who want to reach a wider group of users or spark engagement from their existing followers. Promoted Tweets are clearly labeled as promoted, but can be retweeted, replied to and favourited, just like regular tweets.

Promoted Accounts

Promoted Accounts suggest a brand’s Twitter account to users with interests similar to those who are already following the brand.


Like Google ads, businesses can set daily spending limits and specify how much they’re willing to pay for each engagement, and also geo-target target specific countries, cities or other geographic areas. Businesses only pay when someone engages with their tweet or follows their account.

If all goes as planned, the self-serve ad platform will allow Twitter to tap into a whole new army of advertisers, bringing in big bucks from small businesses. Twitter is a private company and doesn’t disclose its finances, but according to eMarketer, Twitter will earn about $259.9 million this year and $399.5 million in 2013, mostly from advertising.

About the Author: 
Stacey Santos's picture
Content Strategist

As Stikky Media’s copywriter, Stacey Santos spends her days writing, editing and obsessing over punctuation. She crafts everything from blog posts and articles to web copy and press releases, and is always looking for an excuse to research strange topics. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her playing the piano, getting lost in nature or eating peas. Questions? Comments? Contact Stacey at stacey@stikkymedia.com.


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