Corporate Eye

Brands Get Another Chance on Twitter with Enhanced Promoted Tweets

This week, Twitter announced on its blog that it’s rolling out an enhanced version of the promoted tweets program giving brands another chance to get in front of Twitter users. The question is how users will react to the new promoted tweets that will appear in their existing Twitter timelines with a small callout indicating the tweet is an ad as shown in the image below from Twitter.

The new promoted tweets feature is launching with 20 brands, including:

  • Best Western
  • Dell
  • Gatorade
  • Groupon
  • HBO
  • JetBlue
  • LivingSocial
  • Microsoft Xbox
  • Red Bull
  • Sephora
  • Starbucks
  • Sumitt Entertainment’s “50/50”
  • TNT
  • Virgin America

You’ll only see promoted tweets in your Twitter timeline from these brands if you already follow them on Twitter. If you follow these brands and they publish a promoted tweet, that tweet will appear at the top (or near the top) of your Twitter timeline (only on Twitter.com). The promoted tweet will scroll through your Twitter timeline like other tweets and you can remove it from your timeline with one click.

Twitter claims that the number of promoted tweets users see will be limited so as not to hurt the user experience. AdAge estimates that four or five ads could be displayed in a single session. Of course, Twitter is quick to point out that users will only see promoted tweets from brands they’re already following on Twitter, so they’ve already expressed interest in receiving updates from these brands. With that line of thinking, Twitter expects the brand promoted tweets to be well received.

Brands pay for promoted tweets through a bidding process where they bid on a per-engagement price and pay when Twitter users actually engage with the promoted tweet by retweeting it, replying to it, clicking on it, or favoriting it.

During the test period, non-profit organizations will also be able to publish promoted tweets. If you follow any of the following charitable organizations, you might see promoted tweets from them in your Twitter timeline in the near future:

  • charity: water
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Room to Read
  • The American Red Cross
  • Water.org

There is no word on how long the promoted tweets test will last, but it will be interesting to see how Twitter users react to it. Will they stop following brands that publish promoted tweets? Will they be accepting of promoted tweets? Only time will tell.

What do you think of the enhanced promoted tweets for brands initiative on Twitter? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: Twitter

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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