Twitter’s Advertising Plan Begins to Take Effect


Twitter’s advertising strategy, put in place early last year seems to paying off. A report published by research firm eMarketer puts micro-blogging site Twitter’s 2011 ad revenues at over $150 million; a threefold increase from $45 million last year. eMarketer estimates that Twitter’s earnings from ad revenues will go up to a whopping $250 million in financial year 2012.

The report also adds that even though more than 50% of Twitter’s subscribers are based outside the United States, non-U.S. ad revenues will only account for 11% of its total earnings.

According to Debra Aho Williamson, an eMarketer principal analyst, “In 2011, it must work overtime to give its early advertisers a positive experience.”

Like most other social networking websites, Twitter spent a large amount of time building up its user base and increasing brand recall before finally introducing advertisements last April. Since, then Twitter has pursued an aggressive marketing strategy by offering customized advertising options to businesses. Twitter’s advertising blitzkrieg is headed by former operations chief and now CEO Dick Costolo.

In the meantime, the jury is still out on Twitter’s effectiveness as a marketing platform with some advertisers adopting a wait and watch approach even as others claim that their ads on Twitter have had the desired effect.

CEO Dick Costolo claims that unlike other social networking sites, Twitter offers advertisers a unique marketing platform by actually merging the ads with the website content.

For example, an advertiser who purchases Twitter’s “Promoted Tweets” package will have his/her advertisement appear as a tweet on top of the page when users search for related keywords. Similarly, advertisers who opt for “Promoted Accounts” will have Twitter directing interested users to their account homepages and “Promoted Trends” owners will have their selected topic show up in Twitter’s list of latest trending topics.

Twitter has over 200 million subscribers. If it is able to marry its massive user base with a successful advertising strategy, it could be laughing all the way to the bank in no time.

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