So Twitter’s announced their monetisation model, “promoted tweets” will be seen from search queries around brands. To a lot of journos this looks a lot like ad sense / search engine monetisation that the likes of Overture / Google introduced years ago. But there’s more to this with Twitter.
People forget that social media allows and moves people to share information and content easily. An ad that is actual a social interaction can be shared with a network fare more than a search query.
Let’s look at an example; I do a search for Virgin America, because I’m looking for a flight from NYC to San Francisco and I’m using twitter because I want to see if anyone’s had any experience on Virgin America flights, I see a “Promoted tweet” from Virgin America saying something like – “20% off of flights between Boulder and Las Vegas from us for the next 24 hours” now I’m not flying from Boulder to Vegas, but that’s a tweet I would send on (or ReTweet) to my network. All of a sudden that one promoted tweet impression has turned into nearly 1000 impressions as it goes to my network.
Let’s say I see a starbucks tweet that says that on the 15th you can bring in a mug and get a free coffee, if I bookmark that, or favourite it, that means that Starbucks has a richer bit of information and knows that I’m interested in their brand and their promotion.
Don’t get me wrong, this is assuming that brands are serious about social media and are actively engaging with the community. Brands need to offer real value and give something of benefits to the audience. The brands that pay attention and give people serious value are the ones who will be able to have their messages amplified.
For the brands who do it right, social is going to be huge for traffic acquisition because of the ability to amplify a message. That’s what all the pundits are missing in their analysis of promoted tweets. The ability to interact with the tweet and send it on to my network is huge. In the same way that building an application for facebook for a brand get’s into the news feed and gets users commenting and interacting with the brand in an amplified way.
Social media does acquisition and engagement in a way that search can’t. And that’s why I totally believe that social media will only get bigger and better as a source of costumers for companies that are smart enough to use it well.