Given all the pressure on Twitter to, you know, start actually making money now that it’s gone public, it should come as no surprise that Twitter is beefing up its ad services. And they’re doing it on both ends of the advertiser spectrum for small businesses and major players alike.
Let’s talk about two of the changes:
Promoted Accounts in Timelines on Mobile Devices
Monday Twitter announced that it will now serve up Promoted Accounts on home timelines on mobile phones. These will show on both iPhones and Android devices, but only on their official app and not others like Echofon. Here’s an example:
The coolest thing Promoted Accounts on mobile is that they look more like Promoted Tweets. In fact you can create a new ad or use any existing tweets. This is only available for mobile and very easy to set up. You’ll see a little beta section in the user interface when creating your campaign.
What’s interesting is that while you can make the call to action to follow your account, you can also write ad text, use other CTAs and even include links to your site. Of course Twitter explicitly says “Don’t: Add extra links that distract from the Follow button” in their best practices, but there’s no need to do that. As of right now, use Promoted Accounts on mobile in essence just like Promoted Tweets, except virtually for free. You’ll still pay for anyone that follows you – and you can’t use this trick on desktop.
I’m not telling you to do this; just that if you were, you probably want to get your free ads in now before Twitter closes this loophole. As one of my coaches once told me, “Always, always, always, always do what’s right. Always. …but if you’re going to do something wrong, do it big and do it alone.” I’ve kind of screwed up the alone thing here, but you can still go big.
One interesting side effect of this change is how viewers are able to mute ads. Now to stop an ad from showing in the future and remove from the current timeline, a viewer needs to press and hold down on the Promoted Account (or Promoted Tweet) to get the following screen:
Then simply click on the “Dismiss Tweet” link.
Twitter Retargeting (Tailored Audiences)
The bigger Twitter news is that it is now offering Tailored Audiences in beta through a number of its select partners like AdRoll and Chango. So what are Tailored Audiences? I’m so glad you asked, rhetorical device. In essence: twitter retargeting.
Twitter retargeting works the same as facebook retargeting. Once you set up an account with one of Twitter’s preferred partners, you place their code on your site and can start cookie-ing (cooking?) site visitors. You can then serve up both Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts to these visitors while they are on twitter – whether on mobile, desktop, or tablet.
Right now Twitter is only offering Tailored Audiences to advertisers with full-service accounts (that carry a $15,000 per quarter minimum commitment) and have at least 500,000 monthly visitors. I’d expect they’ll loosen this up soon, but then again it is one of the hooks they can use to get advertisers to commit to a full-service account and minimum spend. Also, I expected they would have opened up their small business/self service advertising platform in more countries already, so don’t peg me Twitterdamus.