10 years ago Twitter posted their first tweet; now more than 500 million are posted every day. While they remain the go-to destination for brands and users looking for real-time information, Twitter hopes to become more than a social network. In fact, the brand hopes to become the hub for people to explore their interests.
From the ‘#’ to the promoted ad product, Twitter has been a major player in the social media revolution that has turned modern marketing on its head. Now brands can target individuals, start a two-way conversation, create interactive content via polls and join in on real-time issues.
CEO Jack Dorsey has a long-term strategy in place to ensure Twitter grows both users and advertisers. And it revolves around positioning Twitter as an “interest network”.
Twitter is a pivotal tool in the conversations, cultural moments and news events that are going on around the world. Its reputation as the resource of choice when something important happens has made them an invaluable resource for personal and corporate moments alike. Its real-time nature is still its biggest strength.
Twitter’s UK managing director Dara Nasr, discusses how he plans to grow Twitter as an ‘interest network’ rather than a social one, by highlighting all the topics that people are talking about. He explains: “Twitter is the shortest distance between you and what you are passionate about. We have 500 million tweets a day so almost every subject is covered. What we want to do is capitalise on this massive source on information.”
In the US, Twitter recently launched its first TV ad campaign aiming to do just that by targeting sports fans. A similar campaign is expected in the UK after Twitter appointed Lucky Generals to come up with creative for this market.
Twitter was the first social network to come up with a promoted ad product. Launched in April 2010, the promoted tweet was a big change from the previously popular banner ad, and its success led Twitter to launch promoted trends, promoted accounts and most recently promoted moments.
Twitter users are renowned for being passionate and engaged with other people’s tweets and so Twitter wanted brands to be able to utilize that engagement. So it was important for them to develop a product that was similar and suited to the organic product.
Twitter ads average engagement rate levels remain high between 1% and 3%.
Forrester marketing analyst Erna Alfred Liousas claims the key to maintaining brands’ interest in advertising on Twitter is to continue investment in the capabilities and communications that support its direction to be an interest network.
Twitter’s MD promises brands increased innovation and sophistication of products, in particular in targeting and analytics. The ability to target by keyword or interest really helps advertisers that have a tight plan to engage with their target market. Improved insight tools also enable advertisers to view other topics that interest their target market, adding an extra layer of sophistication and insight into their campaigns.
Twitter has also had a major impact on marketing, particularly in the areas of reactive, real-time and customer service. Hannah Beesley, social director at creative agency Iris Worldwide, highlights how events such as Oreo’s blackout ad during the Super Bowl in 2013 “woke brands up to the power of joining the conversation” and the risks.
Peter Markey, CMO at the Post Office, says Twitter is a vital part of the marketing mix because of its openness and transparency. “Twitter reminds all good marketers that your brand has to be authentic.”
Social media and our use of it will continue to evolve, and Twitter must evolve too. For marketers, the desire to draw customers closer to their brands will only intensify further and Twitter has steps in place to ensure they provide marketers with a platform which enables exactly that.
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