Twitter bullish on small advertisers

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

Harnessing the power of Twitter for advertising is one of the holy grails of modern marketing. But does anyone know how? 

Well, David Szetela, the owner of a medium sized online-ad agency was recently approached by Twitter to advertise on the popular social networking site, which he gladly did in conjunction with Facebook and Google AdWord campaigns. 

Although the $4,000 Szetela spent advertising on Twitter was much less than the cash he spent on other platforms, he claims the ads had much more impact, resulting in orders in the "high hundreds."

He says Twitter’s "ability to target so efficiently and interject advertisements into a social conversation is unique."

Perhaps this has something to do with the influential nature of Twitter.

Rather than a basic ad that must entice someone to click on it or navigate to it, Twitter is more like a friend recommending a product of idea. You’re much more likely to take a suggestion from a friend rather than click on an ad you have no association with.

According to David Hallerman, an analyst at research firm eMarketer, it’s the small and mid-sized companies that should be important to Twitter mostly because these are the people spending around $26 billion USD on online advertising every year.

Although Twitter has seen some mild success from major campaigns from the likes of Coca Cola, the potential profit from numerous small and mid-sized companies yield is staggering.

"Twitter has built an audience, but in order to achieve the scale and revenue that Google and Facebook are seeing it needs to show that marketing dollars spent on the site can perform well for mom and pops, not just big companies," explained Jonathan Strauss, chief executive of Snowball Factory Inc., a company that tracks marketing campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.

With a relatively new advertising campaign launched in 2010, the site is expected to generate around $150 million in ad revenue this year, up $45 million from 2010, says eMarketer. Part of this growth is expected to be from Twitter self-service advertising system that lets small businesses buy and run ads on Twitter much like Google AdWords.

According to Adam Bain, former News Corp-er and now president of global revenue at Twitter, Twitter ads "can deliver value for any business, large or small, by giving them new ways to amplify their existing Twitter presence and accelerate awareness and conversations about their products."

(Via WSJ)