Twitter advertising for SMB – Is it worth it?

Twitter advertisement image by Think Big OnlineTwitter had recently introduced its advertising services and as one of the most popular social media networks, a lot of businesses tend to assume that it’s worth investing into – but is it really? While large companies and businesses with their legion of marketing experts and huge marketing budgets would find it easy to invest in new opportunities such as the ones being offered by Twitter advertising, the same thing cannot be said about SMBs or small to medium sized businesses who often find it to be a daunting task especially when they have no prior experience in paid social media network advertising.

For SMBs operating with limited resources, how are they to know whether or not Twitter ads are worth investing into or not? While one may argue that every business is distinct in its own way, there are several factors across businesses of various sizes that make Twitter advertisements successful for some businesses and a desperate struggle for others.

 

How can Twitter advertising be of benefit to you?

  • Direct Twitter users from the social media network into your business page – Twitter advertising functions very much like a typical search engine – ads are shown only to targeted demographics.  This means that you can target specific keywords, followers and website visitors as well as captivate people who share similar interests in what you have to offer.  As a social media marketing tool, Twitter enables businesses to effectively customize their ad messages and provide an experience that offers value and relevance among target prospects yielding higher and more profitable conversion rates.
  • Affordable cost – Advertising through Twitter is fairly affordable (often cheaper than PPC).  Some keywords on Google’s paid search can cost you more than a hundred dollars per click.  As the most dominant search engine on the planet, Google is almost always filled with ads many of which carry premium cost.  Although its cost is not always lower, Twitter advertisement often present an affordable and cost-efficient alternative for SMBs and you can just as easily perform trials to assess results.
  • Specify your own audiences – Advertising with Twitter lets you take advantage of some pretty impressive features especially the one called “Promoted Accounts”.  The idea is to acquire more followers with interest-based targeting.  Targeting can be as broad or specific as you like enabling you to acquire the kind of audience that best suits your business.

What to look out for in Twitter advertising

  • Reporting and tracking results – One thing that you should know about Twitter advertising is that it’s reporting and tracking tool is not nearly as powerful as most web marketers would like.  If you are using Adwords to manage your web marketing campaign, you may be in for quite an adjustment with Twitter where you will find no geographical and daily reports.  This can be a significant drawback for people who value measurable data to make sense of their marketing effort.  All you can do is keep track of key metrics yourself on a day to day basis including the number of clicks, leads, followers, cost per lead as well as cost for engaging leads.
  • Limited support – SMBs will find very limited support from Twitter when it comes to troubleshooting issues or discussing marketing strategies for Twitter ads.  It’s not something that is unique to Twitter as a social media network but it can present a significant disadvantage for small businesses when they can’t afford to employ teams of experts to regularly keep track of their account and offer professional insights and advice.
  • Limited parameters for ad campaigns – Unlike Adwords, people need to manually adjust the parameters of their ad campaign.  Twitter does not offer a feature to automatically run or stop your ad campaign on set days nor increase or decrease your bids as necessary which can put SMBs at a disadvantage.  To compensate, you can set a low daily budget keeping bids lower than that of Twitter’s bid suggestions and adjusting start and end dates for your Twitter advertising campaign – manually that is.

Indeed Twitter ads can present a great approach for SMBs looking to create a good consumer base to connect and market to, ultimately making a sale and yielding profits.  Make no mistake though – investing in Twitter advertisement requires good account management, creativity and consistent effort. It’s not easy but it certainly has its advantages!

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