Twitter has become the most popular social media platform on the planet. With over 230 million currently active users, Twitter defines the pulse of an increasingly connected culture centered around quick information built around social networks and common interests. Increasingly, companies are using Twitter as an effective way to build their company's brand awareness, as well as drive traffic to their primary website. In order to do this, companies have spent time and effort determining the best ways to organically grow their Twitter following, which can then translate into increased website traffic. While growing a Twitter following organically is certainly a laudable goal, it is often an inefficient and uneconomical way for a company to spend its time. Fortunately, there is another way.
In the lead up and weeks following Twitter's IPO, the company had long been working on ways to better monetize their platform. They had the captive audience, now all they needed was the monetization. The result of this effort has been a suite of marketing tools for businesses to use to build their Twitter following and brand awareness in far less time and with far less effort than was needed in the past. These tools include:
Promoted tweets have been available for businesses for a while, but it was not until recently that they started to dramatically grow in popularity. Promoted tweets allow a business to buy the top of Twitter users' timelines and search results. The dramatic growth is largely attributed to the fact that businesses can narrowly and specifically target where the promoted tweets will appear. Targeting can be broken down into three main categories:
1) Keyword Targeting: Keyword targeting allows businesses to specify their audience based on what individual users are tweeting about, so marketing dollars are only spent advertising to users actively talking about a given category.
2) Interest Targeting: Similar to keyword targeting, interest targeting allows businesses to reach users with specific interests. The difference here is that users need only have expressed an interest at some point instead of through their recent tweets. This method allows you to reach a potentially larger audience, at the potential cost of somewhat diminished accuracy.
3) Demographic Targeting: Demographic targeting allows businesses to be more specific about who will see their advertisements on Twitter. Typically this method of targeting is used in conjunction with keyword or interest targeting. Demographic facts that can be used include geographical location, device being used, gender and age, among others.
One major improvement to the Twitter advertiser interface has been the introduction of extensive and real-time analytics, so businesses can see exactly which marketing campaigns are working and with whom. These tools can drastically increase the effectiveness of each advertising dollar spent if they are used wisely to adjust and augment which marketing campaigns are being run.