Twitter is undergoing a lot of transformation and changes to their marketing strategy to target smaller businesses rather than just making Twitter an open market for large businesses (read big spending brands) through their ad service such as Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, which allows advertisers to promote themselves to relevant users (Xbox and Rockstars Games are the brands to follow on one of the first case studies here).
Twitter’s new CEO Dick Costolo is working on a self-service ad tool, which will allow smaller businesses to advertise on the site on a smaller scale, letting them take advantage of targeting different possibilities such as location and through location based services. This will basically allow businesses to promote ads based on who/where their followers are.
Twitter’s Current Trends
Twitter’s co-founders (Biz Stone and Evan Williams) yesterday appeared at a chat moderated by Business week, addressing issues and vision for Twitter’s future. The short story here is that the co-founders are extremely comfortable with the growth of Twitter and the developments within the advertising space of Twitter. The co-founders, despite met criticism, made it very clear that Twitter clearly labels tweets or trends that are advertising, making it easier for their users to distinguish between what’s what, and what’s not. However, at the same time (funnily enough) they made a point of stating that Twitter is a blend of advertisement and non-advertisement content and it’s a place for commercial content to appear as part of Twitter’s content.
The Upcoming Trends
The great thing about Twitter, which is part of their vision, is to become an indispensible service for spreading consuming information worldwide. Let me highlight here: consuming information. Well, apart from the fact that the word ‘consuming’ is up to the users to define, another thing mentioned at the chat was this remark: “I want to ask you to name another platform where you can send a message to 5 million people for free”. Well, Twitter CEO, we are in 2010, and new things are developing at a very fast pace, and this attitude is great and at the same time limiting, as 1) they are incorporating advertisement into their consuming informative space, and thus sending a message to 5 million people isn’t exactly 1) easily accessible to all and 2) free for larger businesses who are using Twitter’s promotional services and 2) the next big thing might just take everyone by storm, and being cocky about your services doesn’t exactly make you reek of good karma. I love Twitter, but refuse to believe that it’s the best thing that’s hit us yet; that is still to come.
However the next step Twitter is taking is one I’m very excited about, as it gives marketers amazing opportunities. As Twitter develops and as advertising becomes a more integrated and sophisticated part of their service, targeted advertising becomes accessible and available through advertising based on topics and for example through spread of tweets. The possibility of finding your target audience through that and not necessarily knowing them in the research phase actually becomes a reality and gives and allows space for growth and experimentation in campaigns as they roll out. Yay! Exciting stuff!!
The Newbie On The Block
On to more new things! Another interesting development taking place, and definitely one to watch is Status.net which is an open-source micro-blogging site, but more importantly, an alternative to Twitter. Status.net are partnering up with ABC News Radio, who are ready to jump on to the social media wagon, and promote themselves through platforms that reminisce Twitter, Facebook and applications. Dan Patterson (digital manager for ABC News Radio) is going to put emphasis on the interactive experience, build news distribution and audience engagement. First of all, who hasn’t thought of/isn’t doing that already, and second of all, sounds like a lot of exciting stuff going on at the moment, can’t wait to follow their development!