Twitter’s advertising platform arrived on the scene in 2010, to the slight apprehension of many major brands. However, over the last four years, the platform has grown massively in popularity and functionality. Now you can promote tweets, accounts and even trends, in far more targeted and meaningful ways.
It’s been less than a year since the service became available in South Africa, but the adoption of this form of social media marketing has been fruitful for the South African brands savvy enough to approach it right.
However, the fee structure and the fact that it didn’t offer location targeting, essentially precluded SME’s, who couldn’t spare a minimum R 50 000 budget for brand building.
Now Twitter has launched its self-serve advertising model in South Africa, opening the door for even very small businesses to get their brand out there.
How Twitter Self-Serve Works
Self-serve ads are somewhat similar to the regular Twitter ad platform, only far more targeted. While Promoted Trends won’t be available, users will have access to:
• Promoted Tweets – Monitors engagement and automatically promotes your most popular tweets to a broader audience, or you can do so manually.
• Promoted accounts – Examines your current followers and tries to find people with similar interests and recommends your account in the ‘Who to follow’ section
Working more off a type of pay-per-click model than a cost-per-impression one, self-serve lets you promote tweets and accounts but only pay if people actually follow your account or interact with your tweet (favorite, retweet or reply). So your budget only gets spent on results.
The user-interface is also quite a lot simpler than its regular advertising platform, and businesses can access it right from their account analytics dashboard. The goal here, obviously being to lower the inertia for new entrants to Twitter advertising.
You will also have more precise control over your budget and what exact geographic location these campaigns should target, down to the city level. This is helpful for local businesses that don’t have much use for having their ads promoted outside their operating area.
South African Brands Do Find Success On Twitter
With the assistance of Ad Dynamo, Twitter’s sales partner in South Africa, traditional Twitter advertising has found quite an impressive degree of success, locally. For instance both MTN and Ster-Kinekor used Promoted Products to create viral campaigns that generated thousands of profitable dialogues with their audience. In the end, MTN managed to get about 70 000 engagement events and a 31% follower growth out of their Overshare campaign, a major brand boost.
Just so you know that this isn’t just an opportunity for big brands, here are some more generic statistics:
• 3 in 5: Ratio of people who follow a brand on Twitter
• 1 in 3: the number of those people who make a purchase from that follow
• 3 in 10: How many people will recommend that brand to someone else after following them.
As you can see Twitter can create measurable and meaningful interactions that aren’t just passive or digitally-contained, they actually do enhance your revenue opportunities.
But beyond this they also humanise your businesses and create a collective narrative for it, encouraging far more valuable results than just a sales boom. It also creates customer loyalty, enhances your brand image and facilitates that ever-elusive word-of-mouth effect that all marketers chase their entire lives.