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Archives: January 2011

Self Serving: New Details On Twitter Ad Platform Beta Tests

Twitter has begun quietly testing a new self-serve ad system, rolling it out to few beta testers, according to a report which the service refutes. The arrival of such a system has been speculated on for months: In October, shortly after taking the CEO reigns, Dick Costolo confirmed that the company was planning a self-serve ad system that would eventually deliver ads based on location.
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Learn How Twitter, Facebook Can Grow Your Business From World-Class Social Media Experts

Exciting news from our parent company, mediabistro: a new online course, Social Marketing Boot Camp, will be offered that will teach you how to use social media – including Facebook, Twitter and more – to market your business. And this course will tap into some of the biggest names in social media for live lessons, including Kara Swisher, Brian Solis and Mari Smith.
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AdTweets: Twitter Testing Self-Serving Advertising Platform

This one’s been coming for a long time – Twitter has begun testing out a new Google Adwords-a-like self-serving ad platform that it plans to roll out later in 2011, reports MediaPost.

Clix Marketing Founder David Szetela began supporting a handful of clients this week. Among them, Guy Kawasaki, who signed on to promote his forthcoming book: Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.

Advertisers participating in the program must commit to three months, Szetela says. “Twitter plans to open up the platform to other beta users in February,” he adds.

The self-serve platform lets advertisers create two types of campaigns: Promoted Tweets, which encourage users to engage with the tweet; and Promoted Accounts, which aims to increase the number of followers for an account.

Similar to Facebook, Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter, Twitter’s self-serve platform requires the advertiser to enter a name, and date and time to run the campaign. It also asks for “interests” and “search keywords,” as well as a maximum bid and daily budget.

“Interests” refer to words in profiles Twitter members write to describe themselves such as favorite books, music, clubs and industry associations. The interest topics and keywords relevant to the campaign assist in targeting campaigns. In Facebook there are about 16,000 interest categories that advertisers can use to target members, Szetela says.

It also partially clears up questions I’ve had before about what happens to retweeted ads:

Retweets can be Promoted, but Twitter requires confirmation that the person turning the retweet into a Promoted Tweet has the authority to use it. For example, if AOL Cofounder Steve Case retweeted a tweet by Guy Kawasaki, Case would need to give Kawasaki permission to run the retweet as a Promoted Tweet.

And with a rich variety of options there should be something here for every brand and marketer.

There are several ad payment options: Pay for engagement events (CPE), Pay for impressions (CPM) or Exclusive for daily Promoted Trends. CPE costs the advertiser a minimum of 10 cents each time someone clicks on the link in the tweet, as well as retweets, @replies or favorites for the Promoted Tweet.

Promoted Accounts aim to help companies increase their follower base on Twitter. When there is a relevant recommendation, a Promoted Account will show in the first position down the right rail. Promoted Accounts are suggested to users based on similar Twitter accounts they already follow.

When an advertiser promotes an account, Twitter’s algorithm looks at existing accounts that the person follows, as well as keywords targeted to determine when to show an impression. The advertiser is charged when a user chooses to follow the account.

The self-serve platform also integrates analytics tools that allow advertisers to determine return on investment (ROI).

Incidentally, it’s not called AdTweets, but it might as well be (hat tip to Stefan Wolpers). I like the promoted accounts feature, which hopefully will provide the same conversion rates as promoting your page on Facebook, which works brilliantly for the right brands.

Could be a huge step towards Twitter’s march towards sustainable (and impressive) profitability.

(Source: MediaPost.)

How Hosting a Photo Contest on Twitter can Help Your Brand go Viral

Companies big and small are jumping onto the Twitter photo contest bandwagon and fans are happily playing along. It’s the kind of fan contest that generates buzz and visual results, with the potential to go viral – the buzzword every corporate marketer hears in their dreams.
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People Spending More Time on Twitter.com, Logging in Less [Study]

New numbers from Experian suggest that American adults are logging in to Twitter.com less often than a year ago, but they’re spending more time on the site during each session. However, there’s more than doom and gloom in the numbers if you dig a little deeper.
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Does It Matter Who Is Following You On Twitter?

No. And yes.

No, it doesn’t matter because following a person on Twitter gives you exactly the same amount of privilege as not following a person. The only difference is seeing those tweets in your stream. You don’t gain any kind of insider’s pass – anyone can send a reply to anyone else whether they’re following each other or not. It’s just a plus one.

And no, it doesn’t matter if even the worst kind of people follow you – spammers, bots, mass marketers and Jonas Brothers’ fans – because you can block them with the simple click of a button.

But: if enough of these people are following you and you don’t do anything about it, then yes, it matters. Because anytime anybody checks out your network all they’re going to see is a mounting pile of crud. And that can be a very influential part in their decision process about whether you’re somebody they want to connect with. Or not.

Less importantly, you’ll also risk being marked down by the various online influence raters and verifiers. This doesn’t matter as much, but it can affect your exposure.

Keep it clean, and guess what? You’ll start to see more of the right kind of people tagging along on your journey.

(As always, right is a relative term; right is what’s right for you.)

Keeping your Twitter network optimised works both ways, so pay attention to who you follow and who is following you. Your overall network tells us a lot about who you are as a person – don’t just bring anyone along for the ride.

Twitter Confirms that it is Blocked in Egypt

In an effort to stem anti-government protests, Egyptian authorities have blocked access to Twitter from within the country. Twitter officially acknowledged that both Twitter.com and its mobile applications were blocked last night.
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Top 5 Ways to Follow Obama’s State of the Union on Twitter

The State of the Union may not have the same great commercials as the Super Bowl, but it’s still an annual television event that gets people talking. Whether you’re tuning in because you genuinely care about Obama’s vision for America, because you just want to sound intelligent at your next dinner party, or because all of your favorite shows are interrupted and there isn’t anything else to watch, Twitter can enhance the experience at least a little. Here are the top 5 ways to reap those benefits.

Read more at Social Times

The Birdy Politic: Fact-Checking the State of the Union in Real-Time

Gone are the days when political junkies would have to wait for a speech to be over before talking heads could endlessly parse each word. The Huffington Post will provide real-time analysis and fact-checking of Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and the Republican rebuttal Tuesday night, and, with our incredible shrinking news cycle and the rise of participatory journalism, the approach only makes sense.
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What Movie Would Win “Best Picture” if Twitter Voted?

The Oscar nominations are in, and Twitter is all a-buzz over the contenders. There’s The Social Network pitted against The King’s Speech; the Coen brothers versus Darren Aronofsky; and James Franco competing against Jesse Eisenberg. All this buzz got us wondering: if Twitter users voted today, which movie would win Best Picture at the Oscars?
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