There is a lot of buzz and mixed reviews regarding Twitter’s new ad program called Promoted Tweets. The program delivers contextually relevant ads in a user’s search results. The Promoted Tweets will appear at the top of your search results based on the context of your search terms much like Google’s AdSense program.
The first advertising partners that are going to invest in testing Promoted Tweets include: Best Buy, Red Bull, Bravo, Sony Pictures, Starbucks, and Virgin America.
Twitter says the messages will be clearly labeled as “promoted” and will function just like any other tweet with the ability for users to retweet (repost), reply, or bookmark the message. In fact, what users do with these Promoted Tweets may be crucial to the success of Twitter’s new advertising program. Further, if people don’t interact with a particular Promoted Tweet, it will disappear from the search results. The company is also considering pushing Promoted Tweets into your Twitter stream even if you’re not following a specific advertiser.
Both users and companies are split about the program. 26% of companies say they would try the program without knowing the cost of advertising. The companies interested would pay $50 per month on advertising through Twitter to see its effectiveness. 43% of the companies were unsure while 31% had no interest at all.
42% of users lacked confidence in the program and seemed to think it would be no better than spam. 31% are reserving judgement until they can see the Promoted Tweet in action. On the flip side, 27% believed this program was a sensible model to bring ads into the Twitter universe. Here’s what some of the users are saying:
“Great, twitter is going to inject spam into timelines .”
“I don’t understand why a company like @Starbucks gains more from buying a twitter sponsored ad than from just interacting with customers.”
Whether or not Promoted Tweets will be thought of as spam or relevant messages depends largely on how users respond to the ads. Moreover, how users respond will determine the program’s success. Companies are not going to pay for advertising if there’s no interaction taking place.
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