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Will Twitter Advertising Take Flight?

A recent post I read has prompted me to jump back into the debate about the value of Twitter advertising. Somewhat ironically people will hear the term advertising being stamped on a popular website such as Twitter and think: “what a sell out”. But it is these same people that will log into their twitter accounts daily –or hourly for the twitter daft- and take most heed of these adverts. Although Twitter have been dancing around the advertising pole for some time, it is only now that they have begun seriously courting the proposition and some would suggest that this is the advertising platform of the future.

Working in SEO means that you have to keep an open mind when it comes to the web, and social media sites often constitute somewhat of a bone of contention. Many SEO’s or SEM’s have a hard time nailing down the concrete value of social media or social networking and the fact is that you can’t look at it that way. The value of this isn’t so much in the platform but the users. Twitter for one is like a human marketplace and the open and human nature of it is what differentiates it from the likes of search engines as an advertising platform.

Promoting Promoted Tweets

Twitter's 'Promoted Tweets' program is the example by which future propositions will gain merit to go forward and Twitter are keen to suggest that the service is having some measure of success. In contrast to the average 1% who click on your common display ad, an average of 5% are clicking on, replying to or forwarding ads from promoted tweets. That’s a substantial mark-up and seems to suggest the impulsive nature of Tweeting itself is making the idea of ads on Twitter more palatable to its users than some might have thought.

Advertising Expansion

In light of all this, Twitter are certainly throwing fuel on the fire in terms of possible advertising having promoted their ad program leader, Dick Costolo to chief executive and popping up at a variety of events such as the Madison Avenue Advertising Week. Furthermore they’ve been expanding in terms of advertisers utilising their service and in the size of their advertising department.

Cutting It With the Heavyweights

While Twitter does not yet carry anywhere near the weight of Google or Facebook in terms of numbers and reach in an advertising capacity, it starkly echoes the early days of each in terms of their rise to prominence. However, another setback is that companies can already have profiles on Twitter. Why bother advertising. Well, probably the same reason that websites still use AdWords.

So will Twitter be the advertising platform of the future? Hard to say really. At the moment Twitter don’t have the weight to cut it with the big boys, but a more organised and effective marketing strategy and better geo-targeting from more small advertisers could be the way forward. What’s your opinion on Twitter advertising?

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