Erin and I dove into the world of Twitter advertising to learn more about Twitter’s Promoted Products.
Social media sites have used banner ads in the past to put advertising in your face. Twitter wanted to come from a different angle. Promoted tweets, products and accounts are Twitters answer to traditional advertising. Mashable.com provides a great infographic on the history of Twitter’s Promoted Products.
In April 2012, Twitter introduced Promoted tweets. These tweets are ones that appear once at the top of the timeline when users search for keywords, or on a user’s regular home timeline. For example, we searched Twitter for “computer” and a promoted tweet from HP came to the top of the timeline, followed by regular users’ tweets. You can tell it is a Promoted Tweet because of the promoted icon and text in the bottom left corner of the tweet.
After seeing success from Promoted Tweets, Twitter expanded its advertising options to include Promoted Trends in June 2010. Basically, when a company buys a Promoted Trend, it comes to the top of the Trending Topics list on the sidebar. Then, if users click a Promoted Trend, a Promoted Tweet for the same product will appear at the top of the trend timeline. The other tweets under a Promoted Trend are natural, organic and not promoted.
To develop even more revenue, Promoted Accounts were the final installment to Twitter’s advertising plan in October 2010. Promoted Accounts appear under the “Suggestions for you” box on the homepage. Which promoted account shows up on each user’s page depends on their list of who they are already following. For example, Erin follows many Twitter accounts that would interest women, such as clothing lines. In her “Suggestions for you” box, Elizabeth Arden was promoted as an account for her to follow.
The Bottom Line
Promoted Products works because it’s an unconventional way for Twitter to subtly advertise while making a pretty penny. How many times have you been on Facebook and been annoyed or disturbed by the advertisements that appear on your page? We think Twitter does a great job at “organically” pleasing companies and users at the same time.