Tweeting to your Market: Advertising on Twitter

Social media platforms like Facebook offer various means of reaching out to advertise to your target market, but what sort of advertising opportunities exist in social sites that offer a narrower field of function, like Twitter?

Twitter is ideally positioned to become an effective marketing medium because it is not only a social networking site, but also a micro blog. Aside from actively “tweeting” and joining in hashtag conversations though, are there more specific advertising opportunities businesses can use in Twitter?

Twitter Advertising Opportunities: Promoted Tweets and Accounts

In the second quarter of 2010, Twitter launched “Promoted Tweets.” Seen thereafter, a slew of other promoted promotions were rolled out to complement promoted tweets, and they present excellent advertising opportunities to businesses that can use them effectively. Among the most valuable promotions in terms of marketing are probably promoted tweets and promoted accounts.

Regular tweets are promoted when a Twitter user pays for it to be promoted. It will still look and act like a regular tweet, with the exception of a small promoted icon and attribution at the bottom, as well as where the tweet appears. A promoted tweet appears at the top of tweet search results, in search results for promoted trends, in enhanced profile pages, and home timelines (if they are relevant to the user), among others.

In a similar vein, regular accounts are promoted when an account pays for their promotion. What happens thereafter is the account is suggested more heavily to Twitter users in the Who to Follow widget and page, people search results, and the Similar to You widget.

Smaller Business Marketing through Twitter

So what opportunities do the promoted tweets and accounts offer the small business entrepreneur or marketer?

You can look at it like a cross between search optimization (only in Twitter search) and target marketing. When your tweets and accounts get seen first because they are the top search results or because they are suggested to users who may be interested, they your promoted tweets or accounts gain significant visibility. This means the tweets and accounts you promote reach your target audience better, rather than becoming buried under a flood of other tweets or account suggestions in Who to Follow.

How do you Advertise in 140-Character format?

The potential of promoted tweets and accounts, however far-reaching and impactful, can only be truly realized if you can advertise efficiently in 140 characters. This character limit for tweets severely limits sales pitch script and marketing copy, but there is also a silver lining.

There are a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure your short tweets advertise effectively:

• Keywords:  Always include relevant keywords at least 1 to 2 times within your tweet.

• Links:  Place links at the very beginning or near the end of your tweet, where they are more likely to be followed.

• Verbiage:  Your tweet is a sales script in 140 characters. Make use of verbiage that clicks with your target audience.

• #tags:  Never forget relevant and quirky #tags.

• @tags:  Target relevant Twitter accounts through @tags.

Advertising on Twitter, when done effectively, can bring in voluminous targeted traffic and profit. Better yet, even small businesses can launch advertising efforts on Twitter.