Twitter has always been a hard thing for me to get a handle on. For one, it always seems to skew a little young and it didn’t have a great infrastructure for targeted ads until very recently. In the last year Twitter has made huge strides in being friendly to advertisers and they’ve also done a great job of doing it without alienating their fanbase. Clearly they learned a huge lesson from the failures of Myspace. They didn’t dilute their core product and alienate their fanbase. They managed to integrate more advertising pretty seamlessly. By doing things like putting a promoted topic in with the trending ones and not changing the user experience, twitter has become a great place for advertisers without sacrificing the simplicity that made them unique and interesting in the first place.
While the promoted topics weren’t really targeted regionally at first, over the last year they’ve started to become a great place for regional and local marketing to get the word out in a major city for a major event very soon. In the next year Twitter will make some huge strides in making themselves accessible to local businesses. They’ve talked at length about just how in depth their targeting can be, and unlike Facebook and Myspace, it can change up to the minute.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a great place for short term and event marketing. With Facebook you have to take some time to build up your event page, maybe even a few weeks. With Twitter’s promoted items you can have your event scene and get a following built in a few days or even a few hours (although you should still give it some solid time to build). Twitter has taken its big advantage, the fact that their feeds move a lot faster than other social media sites, and developed an infrastructure that takes full advantage of the fact. The result is that Twitter is one of the best places on the web to promote a marketing event. I’ve talked a lot in the last few weeks about what the major video game retailers, like Gamestop, have been doing on social media. That’s because, more than any industry I’ve seen, they’re taking advantage of the new things Twitter has to offer for businesses. Twitter is offering a level of demographic targeting unheard of before, and they’re able to do it in a timely manner. Once they really start rolling out the regional advertising and promoted topics they could very quickly unseat Facebook as the place to spend your time and advertising dollars.
Another advantage of Twitter in 2012 is that they are working to overcome the idea that they tend to skew toward a younger demographic. In the past, advertisers had a difficult time advertising toward kids largely because they aren’t the ones who control the cash flow. A lot of big companies eschewed advertising directly to kids and instead focused those ads on the adult women demo (i.e. Mom). They’ve forgone advertising to kids altogether, the logic being, to “cut out the middle man” and not rely on kids to convince their parents to fork over their cash. Thanks to social media and digital streaming this has started to become antiquated thinking. By targeting specific demos with ads that are easy to vary and easy to send to different people virtually whenever you want you give kids something they can take to their parents directly instead of relying on them to sell your message on their own. Also, just like with Facebook, the Twitter audience will start getting a bit older and more and more of the over 25 crowed will join in. In 2012 Twitter could find itself the far and away most diverse social media platform as far as age groups go.
One thing I talked about at length some time ago but I haven’t mention in a while is the notion of a Flash Sale. Basically you tell your social media followers you have a deal going on in the next “x hours” (or minutes if you want to see who is really paying attention) It’s a great way to spread your message virally and will establish your Twitter as the place to go for awesome deals. With Twitter being friendlier to advertisers and growing in demos in a big way it would be a great time to try one out. You could also get a great gage on how much your customer base is online and just what kind of audience you have without all that expensive and time consuming focus grouping.
Last 5 posts by Joshua Sinason
- Amazon Owner Buys Washington Post: What That Could Mean For The Digital Space - August 29th, 2013
- Food Trucks Use Social Media Better Than Restaurants - May 30th, 2013
- Streamy Awards Highlight Talent Making It Big On Small Budgets - February 21st, 2013
- Facebook vs. Google: Clash of the Digital Titans - February 8th, 2013
- The Relics of Mass Market Marketing - January 25th, 2013