Twitter is now helping small businesses reach audiences through cheaper promotional tweets. On February 17, 2012, Twitter announced that they are implementing a new advertising platform specifically for small businesses. This new platform won’t be open to all businesses until late March, but for right now they are testing the waters with current American Express card users and for businesses that accept or use American Express. In fact, American Express is giving $100 advertising money to the first 10,000 eligible users. So the question is how will this new Twitter advertising platform affect small business owners who want to implement a social advertising strategy?
First we must understand why Twitter is targeting small business owners, and actually, the answer is quite simple. Twitter wants to increase advertising revenue and they know that most business owners cannot afford to advertise, excluding the Fortune 500 companies of course. Twitter wants to make their new advertising platform user friendly, more targeted, and much cheaper so all business owners who have a desire to advertise can without the large financial burden. Also, Twitter has realized that it will make more money by allowing cheaper services to several small business owners than relying solely on the Fortune 500 companies who can pay for advertising. And, simply put, if this new advertising platform is successful, it could boost the Twitter stock prices.
So what does this new platform mean for small business owners? It all depends on who your target customers are. For instance, if your targeted users are not using Twitter, it may be pointless to try this new platform. However, if a majority of your customers are active Twitter users, and the potential customers you want are active tweeters, you should at least try this small business advertising platform. It all depends on where your customers are interacting.
For one of the trial small business owners, the Twitter advertising platform has been a success! Glennz Tees, based in Austin Texas, tested the platform in late 2011 and had the successful experience they were hoping for! In December of 2011, their sales have doubled from the previous year, and their followers have tripled to 22,000. So for them, it has worked. But Twitter is still testing the waters. They want to ensure that this platform is effective before allowing non-American Express users to utilize it.
So how will Twitter make money off of your advertisements? They call it CPE, Cost-per-Engagement, and they will only charge you when you are followed, or when your advertisements are selected or retweeted. Before, companies were charged for retweets, replies, clicks or when your tweet was favored. Now Twitter has made their advertising cheaper by removing the charges for replies and favorites to accommodate the small business owners.
So why consider Twitter for advertising? In 2011, social networking accounted for nearly one out of every five minutes spent online globally. Even more shocking, social media surpassed porn as the number one activity on the web! So what is the point of these two stats? To illustrate the impact social media has on users throughout the world. How do these stats relate to this post? Twitter is a social networking site and there is a high chance that your customers are actively using Twitter. But research to make sure your target users are on Twitter before you start spending money on customers who aren’t there. After all, if you are not an American Express user, you have until late March to decide if this platform is right for you. And if it is, your business should consider it.