In the past year social networking has exploded in popularity. According to a recent press release and interview Twitter reps stated the company now boasts 105 million registered users. Far less than the nearly 500 million that the number two website on the internet Facebook claims. But still more than a 400% increase year over year. Since its beginning Twitter has been building their subscriber base and focused exclusively on improving the user experience, now they have recently announced they will start to monetize their service. The new advertising model will begin with a service that Twitter calls “Promoted Tweets”. Which will initially be 140 characters tweets paid for by advertisers that appear at the top of Twitter search results. Some of the big name companies that have signed on for the first phase include: Best Buy, Virgin America, Sony Pictures, Starbucks, and Red Bull. Twitters first phase will include tests to gauge user response to each tweeted ad and those with a low user response will stop being shown. Advertisers will pay for each clickthrough that comes from a Promoted Tweet, the ads will be pulled from tweets in the advertisers timeline and shown based on keywords the user has search for.
What does this mean for the tens of thousands of marketers and advertisers already using the free social media network to sell their own products? For one it means increased competition for clicks from prospective customers. Twitter and its promoted advertisers have the obvious advantage of being able to show ads on search results based on specifically targeted keywords, while individuals are only able to use their own timelines. Many people are viewing the new Promoted Tweets system has an increase in Twitter spam which may lower clickthrough rates across the board. In addition to individuals promoting their own links, there are several companies which have been offering paid tweets for awhile now. You may have heard of a website called RevTwt which provides a service where users tweet ads with links and get compensated from clickthroughs or paid a flat fee per ad tweet based on their number of followers. Another site called Sponsored Tweets is attempting to create a market place similar to an auction site where you can bid to place tweets on celebrity accounts and accounts with large numbers of followers. Celebrity tweeters set a minimum price to tweet on their accounts ranging from just a few dollars to over $10,000 per tweet. A site called Ad.ly offers a similar service, however each of these services are only beneficial to you if you have followers.
Each of these third party services don’t set prices based purely on follower counts, but also on follower quality. Tweets on accounts with a large number of spam and/or bot followers are worth less than accounts with highly engaged, trusting followers. If you are looking to advertise on Twitter and you can’t afford Promoted Tweets, follower numbers and quality are still the most important aspects of marketing on Twitter.
There are several popular methods for acquiring and keeping followers. Each of them with variable and disputable degrees of success. The most popular method is to follow tweeters whose timeline or profile contains keywords related to your business and hope they will follow back. People now are even more reluctant to follow accounts which might be spam accounts and you will lose followers quickly if all you tweet are ads. Many marketers prefer a mass approach that focuses more on getting large numbers of followers as opposed to lower numbers of targeted followers. This approach will focus more on accounts with the highest likelihood of following back while tweeting less niche specific content and more messages that would appeal to a larger audience.
These types of strategies reignite the debate of whether you should follow back everyone who follows you or only a select few who you think are especially interesting. Many people have to decided to unfollow the majority of their followers to weed out spam tweets and more closely follow real people. Tweeters who follow a small amount of people believe that having more people following you without gaining something in return i.e., a follow back, makes your Twitter account look more interesting and garner more respect among prospective followers. However a recent survey has shown that the majority of people don’t use the number of followers as a deciding factor in determining whether or not to follow someones tweets. On the other side many individuals and companies alike believe not only is it polite and good business practice to follow everyone who follows you, but they are more likely to remain your follower. They also maybe more tolerant of ads and sponsored tweets being shown on your account. Advertisers know this and will typically pay more per tweet on accounts where the tweeter follows less people, they don’t care if it costs you followers, they’re just looking for the highest clickthrough rate possible. Tweeters wanting to only follow a fraction of their followers argue that it quickly becomes too difficult to follow every tweet in your timeline when you follow back everyone. However this argument becomes immaterial after you follow as little as 500 active tweeters because it is impossible to keep up with that many tweets and most business tweeters, even those who don’t follow back, still follow thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of people.
On my own business Twitter account I have chosen to follow back everyone who follows me and to unfollow those who don’t. There are several reasons why I chose this strategy. Another blog put it a little harshly but accurately when it said they only have a limited number of spots to follow others, so if they don’t get a follow back it’s a waste of that spot. The second reason is that despite all the direct message spam out there, I would like to connect with my followers and give them the opportunity to DM me if they wish. Lastly, it fits with my strategy of acquiring new followers using the targeted following method and requiring a follow back. I’ve talked to many people who have had both success and failure with all the methods described in this article. No matter how you decide to acquire followers it will be small businesses and individual marketers, who were initially drawn to Twitter because of the platforms free nature, that will be hurt by the new advertising model.
I’d appreciate any feedback readers and tweeters can tell me about whether you follow back everyone who follows you? Do you tweet ads from third party sites like ad.ly or sponsored tweets? Or do you immediately unfollow people who tweet advertisements on their timelines? Please let me know what you have to say in the social networking forum at my business info and investing site and check out the list of 400 interesting, active tweeters who will follow you back.
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MLA Style Citation:
Slacozzi, David "How Will Twitter’s Promoted Tweets Affect Marketers." How Will Twitter’s Promoted Tweets Affect Marketers. 23 Jun. 2010. uberarticles.com. 23 Dec 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/business/advertising/how-will-twitters-promoted-tweets-affect-marketers/>.
APA Style Citation:
Slacozzi, D (2010, June 23). How Will Twitter’s Promoted Tweets Affect Marketers. Retrieved December 23, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/business/advertising/how-will-twitters-promoted-tweets-affect-marketers/
Chicago Style Citation:
Slacozzi, David "How Will Twitter’s Promoted Tweets Affect Marketers" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/business/advertising/how-will-twitters-promoted-tweets-affect-marketers/
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