How Do Promoted Tweets Work? - dummies

By Kyle Lacy

Twitter has released some new tools called promoted tweets that can put ads in Twitter on search results and then move to the user feeds. How does that help your marketing campaign? Well, when a user searches for a specific term, the promoted tweet shows up first in the search results before the user sees the list of different conversations about the brand.

Promoted tweets are simply that — tweets promoted by a brand on Twitter. Expect to start seeing promoted tweets being used by a handful of big brands to reach a wider audience with their promotions.

Brands will have the ability to send out promotions that will grow organically.
Brands will have the ability to send out promotions that will grow organically.

The difference between a promoted tweet and a regular tweet is the ability to resonate with Twitter users. If a brand sends out a promoted tweet and it is not shared organically, Twitter will discontinue the use of the promoted tweet.

When something is organically shared in the Twitter world, it means that people are excited about the content being shared. You can tell that something is being organically shared if the tweet is being retweeted (or shared) by numerous people.

The promoted tweets system that Twitter has developed could really annoy people. This system could annoy people to the point of unfollowing your brand on the site. Be extremely careful when investing money into the promoted tweets system.

Promoted tweets have the potential to grow the revenue of your business in terms of sales, but there are negative aspects to the service. With the elusive revenue model still on the horizon, Internet companies are having a hard time keeping advertisers from being completely annoying to their user base. Banner ads are an example of an annoying medium. Promoted tweets could have the potential of affecting Twitter’s message to the public.

What are the positive and negative ramifications of promoted tweets? Here are the pros:

  • Increased sales: This should come as a given when using promoted tweets. The Google model would say that when using a promotion medium through search, your sales will increase. Brands will have the ability to directly influence search results through Twitter, which can (if done correctly) increase revenue.

  • Increased engagement: Zecco showed us that promoted tweets can and will increase user’s engagement with a brand’s content that is shared through Twitter. If your goal is to drive users to your Web site, promoted tweets should be used to gain clicks by users who may not be following your brand but who are searching for it.

For some reason, the negative ramifications of this tool are easier to come up with in the long run:

  • Annoying individuals: Users started without advertising. We enjoy using Twitter (and social media) because it is our content and our ability to share information. When a service introduces content that we did not give permission to share, it could be catastrophic. If you are in a conversation and are rudely interrupted by an individual who did not ask to be involved, it is annoying.

  • Accustomed to ad campaigns: The Google model has worked, but it has also made users accustomed to the ad platforms that share sponsored content based on searches. The same concept is applied to TV advertising: When you see too much of something, you become accustomed to that advertising medium.

  • Third-party applications: Millions of Twitter users access the platform using third-party applications like HootSuite and TweetDeck. Twitter will have a hard time measuring the effectiveness of the promoted tweets when third-party applications are closed systems.

The success of the promoted tweets platform will fully depend on how Twitter decides to implement the ads into user’s timelines. How will Twitter users react to corporate sponsors interrupting their Twitter timelines? Time will tell. It is extremely important for Twitter to move in this direction so that all of us can enjoy the platform for years to come.