Finally, after a long wait, Twitter advertising will finally become available to small businesses in March. Partnering with American Express, the program will be limited to small businesses that use and accept American Express cards. As a nice little bonus, for the first 10,000 companies that register for the program American Express will be “giving away” $100 in free advertising dollars.
Twitter is working hard to remove barriers to marketing for its 100 million active users and has made a significant change: getting rid of minimum advertising spend requirements and monthly commitments. Up until this point Twitter had sold ads over the phone and it was the only way to purchase.
Small business will now be able to log in to Twitter’s self-serve ad platform, defining a budget and a geographical area. Twitter will then promote the advertiser’s tweets within a user’s feed, as well as in the ‘Who to Follow” section of the site. Being a very open social platform, it’s natural that Twitter ads are completely different from Google’s AdWords program that businesses may be used to. With a different form of advertising also comes a different form of performance, and that performance is what advertisers pay for, being charged only when gaining followers or if users engage with their tweets.
Dick Costolo, Twitter’s CEO, has said that the demand for small business ad access has been massive. He also said that in testing, Twitter ads worked well because companies already have a presence on the network to connect with fans and customers.
Glennz Tees, who runs a digital storefront based out of Austin, Texas told the Associated Press that his sales in December had doubled after he began advertising on Twitter. The campaign was set to post three ads per week, and not only was there a significant increase in sales, but he also saw his number of Twitter followers triple.
According to eMarketer, Twitter generated roughly $140 million in advertising revenue last year. This year their advertising revenue is projected to rake in $260 million, grown spawned primarily by the new self-service advertising system.