Twitter have opened up a self-serve ad platform which, on the surface, appears to be good news for marketers. A closer inspection should having you pausing for thought. First, it’s only available to small to mid-sized businesses, and the payment option is restricted to American Express. The platform used is a keyword bidding system much like Adwords and similar keyword bidding advertising options. It’s a first-come-first-served basis limited to 10,000 businesses, and those who do sign up will receive $100 in free advertising credits.
Is it right for your business? Perhaps the only way to know is by signing on and using those free credits. However, statistics suggest that click-throughs may not be that great. If conversion levels are good, and the bid price on your keywords are not too high, then Twitters self-serve platform may be better than Adwords.
Whilst much is being said about Twitters new ad platform, another report from Shareaholic makes interesting reading when it comes to traffic sources. Facebook still leads the way with StumbleUpon a clear second. Google and Twitter share third and fourth at around 3.6%. Of interest is the relatively new and in beta Pinterest which is already fifth at 3.6% (Twitter fourth at 3.61%).
Before jumping in to a Twitter ad campaign, I’d be looking at my current Twitter traffic to see which pages they are going too, and whether or not there is a reasonable conversion rate. I would also compare that to other social media traffic sources like Facebook, StumbleUpon and Google. New advertising options can be good news for marketers. They can also be a trap for some, with their advertising dollars spread too thinly and not working across the board.
If you like Twitter, and you receive good traffic and sales, then sign up, use their free credit, and see what sort of traffic numbers and conversions you receive. If the cost is high (per keyword), and the click-through and conversion low, then it may be wise to leave it be and to concentrate on what is already working.