With Twitter’s recent valuation being estimated at anything from 12.8 billion dollars (their own valuation) to 15 billion dollars (the “whisper number,) there’s been speculation as to the type of business model the microblogging site will adopt in the future. Just how will Twitter be able to capitalise on its users and their activity – and much like Facebook, how well will it be able to deliver advertisements to them?
Right now mobile’s likely to be the most fertile ground for Twitter when it comes to ads. After all, it’s been reported the social networking site’s outdoing its rivals when it comes to the percentage of revenue received from this medium. Twitter derived some 52 percent from ad revenue alone in 2012 – more than both Facebook and Google.
This could be to do with the fact that Twitter has distinct advantages over its rivals – namely Facebook and Google Plus – when it comes to mobile. The text-based platform means that ads can be viewed easily in the twitter stream rather than posted in the margins and its 140 character tweets ensures that ads are a lot easier to stomach for the average user.
As well as this, in two years time Twitter’s expected to earn more than one billion dollars in ad revenue – 62 percent of that from mobile – potentially outstripping Facebook by some seven percent. That’s a lot of “noise” that advertisers can cash in on – it’s just important that they know what they’re looking for and how they’ll profit from it.
After all, Facebook proved the perfect testing ground for those snapping on its heels – despite the scepticism around its IPO and initial drop in shares, the site’s successfully capitalised on its mobile users.
So what does this mean for businesses looking to build a strong presence on Twitter and to understand and engage with their audiences effectively? First of all, their sites should be primed for the mobile by making sure they’re responsive. This means they’ll inevitably keep users engaged who’ll be able to purchase goods, services or simply receive information effectively. However good the product or service it’s unhelpful to say the least if, for example, when users get to your site it doesn’t load sufficiently.
Investing in social media management tools and maximising on the potential of their customer bases is another way for businesses to successfully analyse Twitter influencers and communities and gain access to reports that help get insights into consumer behaviour. While for larger businesses it’s all about the money – with Google’s seeming ongoing push for marketers to move to PPC as it increases the “not provided” percentage of searches through analytics – it’s definitely a benefit to be able to invest in paid ads.
However smaller businesses with tighter budgets shouldn’t despair – after they’ve invested what they can in ads, it could be a great idea to use target audiences for email and content marketing campaigns. After all, if certain groups have already been successfully pinpointed as being able to benefit from your company’s products and/or services, seen the ads on the user-friendly format that is the Twitter timeline, a follow-up strategy’s a great way to use this data effectively.
However businesses choose to use Twitter as an advertising tool, businesses need to be ready for the inevitable shift to mobile and have action plans in place to ensure they don’t get left behind.
Tags: B2B Services, Professional Services, Social Media Marketing, Twitter