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Twitter Advertising for Small Businesses Is Coming

The Twitter advertising sign up screen
The Twitter advertising sign up screen

While busineses have been using Facebook self-serve ads to find new customers and gain new fans for a while now, Twitter has this week revealed that  it is to roll out something similar.

With a launch in late March mentioned, Twitter has teamed with American Express to offer the service to SMEs. And they are offering $100 in free advertising to the first 10,000 eligible people to register for the service.

Technically, it is possible to advertise on Twitter right now, although campaigns have been limited to large businesses and on a case-by-case basis. Ads are currently served in three ways:

  • Promoted tweets – displaying a tweet in search results and at the top of people’s timelines
  • Promoted trends – trends that appear in the top 10 hashtag terms because they have been paid for
  • Promoted accounts – meaning you appear in ‘who to follow’ lists.

The difference is that the advertising platform will eventually be made accessable to anyone, in the same way Facebook’s is. Adverts may be displayed in a similar way in which they are now, or things could work slightly differently.

But there is a catch. Things are still at the register your interest your phase as this is not yet a full-blown release. You can sign up here, and Twitter says you will receive a direct message from American Express, in time, explaining more. You also need to be an American Express cardholder (or merchant) and have a US billing address at this stage.

How good will the targeting be?

Bearing in mind how Twitter ads work at the moment, with promoted tweets it is possible to target users according to their location. Promoted tweets also appear in search results for terms that can be specified by the advertiser, in the way a PPC ad works on Google or Bing. Twitter also says it’s possible to display your tweet to ‘users who are like your followers’. Promoted accounts can also be displayed according to location.

When do you pay?

With Twitter advertising, you pay when someone interacts with your tweet – so if they retweet it, click a link, reply or favourite it.