Twitter has recently launched a self-service ad platform to allow small businesses to purchase promoted tweets and promoted trends which are relevant to their brand. Although Twitter is all the rage in today’s connected society, it is important to remember that when it comes to placing ads a large readership does not equal a justified return on investment.
For example, a couple weeks ago McDonalds purchased the trend #McDStories with hopes of people sharing tales of happiness and fond memories related to the fast food chain. To the dismay of the franchise, the hashtag soon turned into a “bashtag” with Twitter users flooding the site with sarcastic stories about diabetes, obesity, chemically engineered chicken nuggets and many other horror stories. Despite pulling the campaign after two hours, McDonalds was unable to prevent the continual use of the hashtag, causing the topic to stay atop of the Twitter trend charts of the day based on the sheer numbers of Tweets using the tag.
The previous example brings us to the point that when it comes to online advertising, users now have power to the level of being able to determine the success of a campaign. In the past traditional Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising (e.g. Google ads, banner ads, search engine ads, etc.) allowed companies to have complete say over their messages since the ads are a form of one way communication. Users read the ads and decide whether or not to click through; aside from that there is not much else they can do.
Today when it comes to Twitter and other forms of social media advertising, marketers and business owners need to realize they are are engaging in a conversation with consumers. By putting an ad out through social sites, companies are stepping out and giving customers the chance to respond positively or negatively to everything that is said.
Although this aspect carries additional risks to the older forms of advertising, the payoff is significantly higher. According to Twitter, their promoted tweets carry about a 3 to 5 percent engagement rate whereas traditional PPC ads average around 0.5%-1%
Overall, if you are now considering Twitter advertising for your company the key question to ask before making the leap is whether your company has the resources to not just monitor the chatter around your brand, but also the ability to respond accordingly, since Twitter is a two way street.