Note: This article was originally published in 2012 and reflects information current to that time. To learn more about the paid advertising services we recommend and provide, including Twitter Ads, please refer to our PPC Services.
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 Twitter Ads platform for small businesses. 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:
Promoting Tweets with Twitter Ads
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.
Promoting Accounts with Twitter Ads
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.