A strong Twitter presence can be a connection—as Adam Gray says in Brilliant Social Media—“to the pulse of what’s happening in the world.”
For free! But there’s also a place to pay.
Twitter’s suite of paid Ads includes Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends. The Ads look and act like regular Twitter content except that they’re created by advertisers and are marked “promoted.” (Twitter glossary)
Are Ads worth is? Consider how Ads are posted and priced: deployed through campaigns with set goals and budgets, once the goals are met or the budget is exhausted the Ad no longer appears.
With this approach Twitter Ads can fit all types of budgets and goals–from a few dollars per day for micro-targeted Promoted Tweets to hundreds of thousands of dollars per day for Promoted Trends that are potentially visible to all 320 million monthly active Twitter users.
How do you buy an Ad?
Twitter awards users the right to advertise and sets the price users pay through bidding.
Why bidding? In its Bidding and auctions FAQs, Twitter states, “Auction-based pricing helps ensure advertisers achieve optimal results while creating the best possible experience for users.”
Interesting. The Mississippi Auction Association notes that people love discounts. Auctions entertain by giving the sense that there’s a win to be had. And when people feel good they’ll spend more, in good and bad economies.
So it’s a win-win: with the auction model, Twitter enacts its “best possible experience” value while encouraging users to spend. Advertisers are entertained and may end up paying less than they’d budgeted. Or they may end up paying more—but they’ll feel good about it.
What if an advertiser’s bid is unsuccessful? No Ads? Maybe.
Twitter’s commitment to user experience extends to Twitterers who do not want their Twitter timelines clogged with advertising. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get an Ad. But in a sensible business move, there are alternatives.
If users hate auctions or lose an auction, they can choose automatic bidding or engage the services of a Twitter account representative. Twitter will find a best-possible solution and suggest modifications (such as timing) to meet budgets and objectives. If you want a Twitter Ad, as long as you’re flexible you’ll likely get one.
Twitter Ads can have wildly successful outcomes. Check out the examples in Everything You Need to Know About Twitter Promoted Products.
But—revelation—not all effective Twitter campaigns use Twitter Ads.
Some are built with creativity, audience insight and great timing. Check out Some of the Best Twitter Campaigns Ever.
Should you use Twitter Ads? Like everything in public relations, it depends on your situation as well as your available time, talent and resources.
Weigh your choices and happy Twittering!
Twitter logo: www.iconfinder.com; Illustration: Robyn Fox