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Jul 22, 2009

5 Rules for Buying and Selling Advertising on Twitter

Can you buy a tweet as an ad on Twitter? Yes.

Can you sell a tweet as an ad on Twitter? Yes, but...

Here's some background to guide your decisions.

Rules for Sellers

With high jobless rates, millions are eager to make money from Twitter; or justify the time spent on Twitter to gain followers. Since Twitter is seemingly simple, millions are incentivized to try. But...
  1. Do you have 50,000 followers? Or at least 20,000? Advertisers have no interest to buy a smaller audience.
  2. Can you tweet frequently enough to give advertisers the impressions that they need?
  3. Can you deliver enough clicks to beat AdWords? Does the rate you charge beat Adwords' average of $0.50 per click?
  4. Assuming that you can deliver 100 clicks per day for an ad buyer, who will sell the ads? How much will it cost to sell the ads?
  5. At $50 per day, does this revenue cover your selling cost and tweeting time?
Like any media, building the circulation, selling ads, and distributing tweets is a fulltime job. Do you have the will, skills, and tenacity?

Why Buy Ads on Twitter

Why would marketers buy tweets as ads on Twitter?

Twitter is the first comprehensive marketing tool that allows a marketer to track the entire marketing funnel. (ed: You read this first, here. No doubt, other blogs and journalists will copy and fail to attribute the source. Sad ;-)
  • Gain suspects as followers
  • Call to action through clicks on tweets
  • Digital word-of-mouth through satisfied customers
No other media provides countable returns at the top, bottom, and through the funnel. It's not only the cheapest marketing, but the most comprehensive. No other media, TV, radio, newspapers, AdWords, coupons, deliver the full funnel.

As most Twitter users have learned, it's not easy to get huge followings. Further, it's very difficult to gain clicks on tweets. Most tweets are simply ignored. Without followers and clicks, can one gain retweets and digital word-of-mouth?

This is the role of a Twitter network.

Rules for Buying Twitter Ads

Hundreds of Twitter networks claim to deliver. A strong Twitter ad network helps marketers gain on all aspects of the marketing funnel, i.e. followers, clicks, and re-tweets. Here's what to look for:
  1. Huge followings and tweet frequency matters. Without both, advertisers cannot gain enough impressions to earn followers, clicks, and re-tweets.
  2. Avoid the hard sell. Keep your tweets entertaining and educational. Twitter is a social network, not condusive to a one-tweet close.
  3. Can you target with relevant ads? Not in the traditional sense of a purchased mailing list. Those who say otherwise, don't understand Twitter. They are selling what you want to hear. The majority of people follow on Twitter as a social gesture, not necessarily common interests. Further, the Twitter SUL (Suggested User List) pushes newbies to follow random accounts. However, the clicks are targeted since users opt-in on tweets that interest them. Thus, #1 above rules completely when applied to Twitter marketing.
  4. Should you use a random third-party ad system that sends tweets on unknown accounts? Like all advertising, it's better to associate with known parties when sending your ads as tweets. Rather than 20,000 accounts with 50 followers each; it's better to use 50 accounts with 20,000 followers each. The latter lends more credibility, brand image; and thus better results.
  5. Many tweets is better than one repetitive tweet. As stated in rule 2, keep the conversation entertaining and interesting.
Should you buy Twitter ads?


It's inexpensive, more comprehensive in terms of measured ROI; and in the hands of the right Twitter network - incredibly effective.

Have you had success with Twitter marketing?

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