social media marketing twitter

You’ve Been Promoted! Twitter Offers Advertising Options

mccauley servicesIf you’re a frequent Twitter user, you’ve probably noticed the tweets of people or organizations that you don’t follow have started showing up in your feed along with a little orange box. Twitter is now offering forms of advertising to companies looking to capitalize on the search-engine-like capabilities of the social media platform: promoted tweets, accounts, and trends.

According to Twitter’s website, promoted tweets are the space purchased by advertisers to show up on the Twitter feed of a certain group of people characterized by the people users follows and their interests. Promoted accounts are similar except they show up in the “Who to Follow” box, and promoted trends appear in the trend box underneath that. Promoted tweets and trends are currently in the Beta stage, while promoted accounts are available.

These forms of social media advertisements work on a cost-per-engagement basis in which a company advertising through a promoted tweet pays their bid price every time a Twitter user clicks on, retweets, replies to, or favorites your tweet. Bid prices can range based on the popularity of your topic and are available in Twitter search where they are targeted toward keywords. Promoted accounts are charged on a cost-per-follow basis, meaning the bid price is charged each time a Twitter user follows that account. Promoted trends are offered on a flat daily fee usually costing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but your trend is posted at the top of each logged-in Twitter user’s Trend list, regardless of location.

The high cost of advertising on Twitter has turned off many potential clients including HBO and Toyota according to an article on VentureBeat.com. However, the article’s author, Tom Cheredar, speculates that this high cost is due to the fact that, “Unlike search engine marketing, those who advertise their message with Twitter have a better chance of creating a long-term relationship with consumers.”

The newest addition to Twitter’s list of promoted content includes an enhanced profile page to allow for more company brand identity than usually allowed on a typical Twitter profile including a header image (similar to Facebook’s new Timeline cover photo), featured content including automatically expanding videos in promoted tweets, and a matching mobile version of your profile.

While Twitter advertising may help companies target customers who are more likely to be loyal, does the high cost of their promoted options give advertisers a good return on investment (ROI)? The Twitter website offers case studies of companies who have taken advantage of the promoted offerings and used them to their full potential. One men’s apparel company, Bonobos, offered a sale on a style of pants only through Twitter, a “Twixclusive.” Over 80 people retweeted the offer in about 8 minutes, and the company reported a 1200% ROI in 24 hours. The case study also reports that, for Bonobos, it was 13 times more cost-effective to get new customers from Twitter than any other marketing approach.

While this case study is obviously meant to highlight the best case scenario, it shows the potential that Twitter’s promoted advertising offers companies. If your organization is looking into investing a large amount into social media advertising like that offered though Twitter, it’s best to thoroughly research your social media campaign.

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Bombs Away! What is a Twitter Bomb?

The advent of social media means marketers are trying many new ways—some sneaky and some legitimate—to get their names in front of more potential customers. Twitter, while a helpful, fun, and interesting form of social media, also works as a sort of search engine for individuals looking at hash tags. People looking to take advantage of Twitter’s hash tag and trending topic algorithms use a type of guerilla marketing technique called Twitter bombing.

twitter-bombTwitter bombing is the use of trending topics or popular Twitter hash tags to direct people to unrelated websites or products. Many political groups have taken advantage of this tactic to trash opposing candidates. Companies use popular trending topics from around the world to attach links to their tweets and drive more people to their websites.

The key in Twitter bombing is that multiple accounts (sometimes thousands) are created to overtake the normal trending results. While in a typical fashion, this seems like black hat SEO, some companies are smudging the boundaries to utilize Twitter bombing without annoying users. Skittles encouraged its customers to tweet using the hash tag “#Skittles” and they would appear on the company’s homepage. This resulted in thousands of people using the word “Skittles” along with other hash tags, spreading the company’s name far beyond their regular audience.

The not-so-accepted way of Twitter bombing involves creating multiple dummy accounts and sending a large number of tweets in a short period of time. This method is usually pretty irritating for Twitter users who are actually trying to use the social media site to gain specific information. It’s also a rather ineffective way to market when you actually do the math. The amount of time and man power spent on creating so many accounts to bombard the Twitter search results is outweighed by the short amount of time the “bombs” will be a top search result.

Because Twitter is a constant stream of tweets from millions of people, there are tons of new hash tags and trending topic tweets flooding in every second. Getting your bombs to the top of search engine results is like a salmon struggling to swim upstream in a violent current. Instead, Twitter is now offering sponsored tweets which are strategically focused toward your target market.

Because social media is still new (and ever-changing) marketers are coming up with new ways to engage the users of these internet playgrounds. Remember, though, it’s more important for your business to have a solid set of faithful and interactive followers than thousands of “friends” that aren’t engaged in your social media. Effective social media marketing is more than a number of followers! This is an instance in which quality really is better than quantity.

For more information on social media marketing make sure to check out our website. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for marketing tips and the latest in marketing news.

What is a Twoosh and how does it benefit other marketing efforts?

You’ve probably heard the phrase “twoosh” from social media experts and those that are habitually tweeting, but do you know what it really means or how it can benefit your other marketing efforts?  We asked the social media coordinators here at McCauley Marketing Services for their input on the term:

“A twoosh is simply a tweet that unintentionally uses exactly the 140 character maximum allotted for each update on Twitter.  It’s a social media status symbol of sorts, like making a perfect grade on an exam, because your message fits precisely into the site’s confines.”

Our coordinator then explained that the Facebook fan page capability that allows Facebook to be tied directly to Twitter will likely increase the amount of twooshes as it automatically feeds the first 140 characters of your post.   Just like you can’t expect a perfect score or result from everything you attempt, our response to frequently asked marketing questions like this one should instead serve as a tool to help you maximize your marketing ROI for every message you produce.

The increasing connectedness illustrated by the Facebook/ Twitter example above also highlights the importance of making sure your business’ marketing messages are clearly expressed and branded effectively.  As we’ve discussed previously in McCauley Service’s newsletters and marketing frequently asked questions, the contents of your message are equally (if not more) important than your advertising message’s length.  To learn more about the advertising, public relations, and graphic design services McCauley Marketing provides visit our website and continue to read our blog.