There is no denying that Facebook has really got its grip on online advertising, especially in the mobile arena. With ad revenue at $3.5 billion in the last quarter and mobile making up around 80% of that revenue, is everyone else playing catch up?
One of the reasons for its massive success is the data set it holds on its users and the fact it allows marketers' access to this data to precision target their ads.
Not to be outdone Twitter is adding more and more functionality to its own ad offering.
No Longer A Postcode Lottery
First up is postcode targeting.
US business has long been able to target specific locations, and now we are able to do something similar in the UK.
This is a boon especially for many small businesses for whom advertising across the whole of the UK would be a waste of ad impressions. One thing advertisers should have in mind is that in some locations reach could be very small. Especially if you include even more segmentation criteria, such as gender, language or device type.
One thing businesses should be aware of is that Twitter's UK audience is largely mobile, with over 80% of users accessing the service through a mobile device.
Therefore any destination you are sending ad clicks to should be optimised for mobile conversions in order to avoid wasted ad spend.
Twitter Going Off The Reservation
Not content with being able to offer highly targeted ads, Twitter now offers the ability to display your ads off-site. Basically any 3rd party application, website or even TV program could now potentially carry a Twitter ad.
In the last quarter of 2014 there were 185 billion Tweet impressions off Twitter's own platform. This is obviously a massive opportunity for brands to increase their reach to like minded audiences that may not even be on Twitter. In addition, with the speed at which Tweets flow through the normal feed it provides even more opportunity for ads to be seen.
The example Twitter gives is of a Nissan promoted Tweet and the fact that this could also display within Flipboard. Due to the fact Flipboard already integrates Tweets into its application there would be no additional creative required by the advertiser, it would seamlessly appear within the app.
With the flexibility of placement, syndicating Tweets in this way could be a boon for both Twitter and advertisers alike. In some ways this is similar to the content ad networks Google distributes its ads to and certainly something that Facebook has yet to achieve.
Twitter Back in Bed With Google
And if that wasn't enough to convince you, more recently Twitter has announced a new deal with Google.
Tweets will once again feature in the search results. Whether this is Google admitting they can't get enough insight from Google+ alone of the fact that Twitter contains such a rich stream of real-time information we don't yet know. But if Google are willing to spend money access to Twitter's data, may be marketers not already taking advantage should consider Twitter at least in their research and monitoring.
Now that social has found its revenue stream, for the platforms at least, expect to see many more innovations from all involved during 2015.
If you need help with your Social Media Marketing get in touch with us on 01379 330330.