Twitter Ad Experiments With Big Brands

By September 27, 2010
Two Blue Birds

One of advertising’s new categories is accessing real-time data streams, and microblogging service Twitter hopes to give brands this opportunity. Their new advertising products are currently being tested by big names such as Coca-Cola, Virgin America and Starbucks.

A lot of this testing, such as by PepsiCo and Best Buy, has not resulted in ad buys, but some were made for now charge. Some tests were done for no charge. Test results were mixed, according to the Wall Street Journal. Chief Operating Officer Dick Costolo commented on exceeded expectations, “on average 5% of Twitter users who saw a Promoted Tweet interacted with it, a rate that is ‘an order of magnitude greater’ than most online ad campaigns.”

“Promoted Tweets,” which are paid messages that appear in search results on the Twitter site, appear as the first listing. Favorably, nearly eighty percent of Promoted Tweets or Promoted Trends made a second buy. Soon the company will also release an ad product that reflects user’s search habits or tweet message content. While the adoption levels are smaller than the number of Internet users in general, the site sees ninety million tweets per day, three times the number made in January, from 160 million global users.

Brands will pay $100,000 for promoted material, a figure quoted by These will appear not just in search results, but next to verified celebrity accounts, according to their Valleywag blog, such as “@KimKardashian and @50Cent tweets.” But as the WSJ coverage explains, this is a minute amount compared to more established online ad spending. “Marketers this year are expected to spend about $1.7 billion on social networks—just 6.7% of the total $25.1 billion market, according to research firm eMarketer Inc.”

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