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Twitter attempts to lure advertisers with $1 million in free credits

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Twitter will run a promotion alongside Small Business Saturday this weekend, giving away up to $1 million in free credits to new advertisers, in its latest attempt to monetise the platform.

 

“In support of the Shop Small initiative and Small Business Saturday this weekend, we are giving away up to $1 million in free advertising credits to new advertisers,” Richard Alfonsi, Twitter vice president of global online sales, wrote in a blog.

 

Shop Small and Small Business Saturday, both held in the United States, are designed to act as a “filler” between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

 

Twitter’s promotion is designed to support the Shop Small initiative and Small Business Saturday.

 

The first 10,000 eligible small businesses will receive $100 in free Twitter advertising credits, which can be used for Twitter’s Promoted Tweets or Promoted Accounts.

 

The move comes after Twitter said it would allow businesses to target users based on interests, releasing guidelines in relation to Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts campaigns.

 

The new feature, dubbed “interest targeting”, is designed to help businesses connect with more users and deliver tailored messages to people who are more likely to engage with their tweets.

 

According to Kevin Weil, director of product management at Twitter, there are two “flavours” of interest targeting.

 

“For broader reach, you can target more than 350 interest categories, ranging from education to home and garden to investing to soccer,” Weil wrote in a blog.

 

“If you were promoting a new animated film about dogs, you could select animation (under movies and television), cartoons (under hobbies and interests), and dogs (under pets).”

 

Weil said if you want to target a more precise set of users, you can create customer segments by specifying certain usernames that are relevant to your product, event or initiative.

 

“This new feature will help you reach beyond your followers and users with similar interests, and target the most relevant audience for your campaign,” he said.

 

According to Weil, Twitter has tested interest targeting with a select group of beta advertisers, many of whom “have seen significantly increased audience reach”.

 

“Others have creatively defined custom audiences to reach a very specific set of users,” he said.