Twitter is the micro-blogging Godzilla.  It’s a social media behemoth capable of housing over 460 million accounts and managing 175 million outgoing Tweets daily.

Tokyo doesn’t stand a chance.

What began in 2006 as a “daylong brainstorming session” has blossomed into a highly successful social media medium second only to Facebook.  Millions of individuals utilize their Twitter handles (usernames) to voice their opinions amongst their peers in brief bursts of information.  These bursts are limited by 140 characters and can vary in content about their lives, recent news or just random thoughts.  These “Tweets” can be amplified by adding “hashtags (#)”, making specific terms searchable in Twitter’s search bar for more avid users looking for targeted content.  Here’s an example:

 

Twitter Advertising Hashtags

 

Since it’s inception, Twitter has done a good job at monetizing its efforts.  A few services provide a continuous revenue stream, especially Promoted Trends.  When a hashtag is used often by thousands of active Twitter users in a short period of time, it’s considered a “Trending” topic.  In other words, that hashtag will show up on the Twitter homepage on the left-hand side of the page for ALL users to see. Big businesses can purchase a top spot on that list for a day for the low cost of $120,000.  Yup, just 120,000 clams.  The pricing can fluctuate based on availability and timing.  However, there is one focus Twitter falls a tad short on, and that’s Twitter Advertising.

 

Twitter Promoted Trend JohnSocial

 

Twitter users can advertise their personal/business profiles in two ways:

1.) Promoted Tweets –allows users to promote specific tweets that are prominently displayed to current followers and those with similar interests. To elaborate, if someone types in “Nike” in the Twitter search bar, a Promoted Tweet from Nike is aggregated at the top of the feed and displayed in a prominent position. So, users choose how much they want to spend daily and Twitter allocates those funds toward individual clicks based on search results from Twitter users.

 

Twitter Advertising Promoted Tweets

 

For example, Bill wants to spend $10 dollars a day.  He will be charged between $0.01 and $1.50 (you specify max bid) for each click. Twitter then provides a rough estimate of how many followers he will receive based on a historical analysis of how followers have engaged with his Tweets in the past.  In this case, it’s 41-62 new followers per day.

2.) Promoted Account – Twitter will display your account prominently in the “Who to Follow” section to users that are most likely to be interested in your account. You only pay for new followers that you gain. So, if you wanted to spend $5 a day, you would be charged $0.01 to $1.50 (you specify max bid) ONLY if Twitter users click the “Follow” button, becoming one of your Followers and counting as a conversion.  It’s very easy to receive impressions, but you only pay for NEW followers.

 

Promoted Accounts JohnSocial

 

Advertising with Twitter is simple and very easy to manage.  However, it lacks the detailed categories and Interest Targeting that Facebook provides.  The only way to target individuals is by general location, while Facebook allows users to target  accounts by age, interests, marital status, etc.  This could be in part to the fact that Twitter requires A LOT less information than Facebook does.  Most users have a Twitter handle, a brief description and a website URL.  That’s pretty much it.  Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll see more ways to target users on Twitter.  Only the future will tell.  Visit: http://advertising.twitter.com/ for more information on Twitter Advertising.