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Guide to Twitter Advertising: Promoted Accounts 101

Promoted Accounts is the third and, thus far, final Promoted Product that Twitter has rolled out to begin its advertising experiment. It joins Promoted Trends and Promoted Tweets as part of Twitter’s advertising suite, designed to showcase advertiser’s tweets, trends and accounts to a wide Twitter audience.

This is AllTwitter’s third installment in our Guide to Twitter Adverting. We have the Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends Guides available online, which compliment each other and the information within this guide.

What are Promoted Products?

Twitter launched its first Promoted Product – Promoted Tweets – back in April 2010. Since then, a select group of advertising partners has been experimenting with Promoted Products to test out Twitter’s monetization capability.

Promoted Products are organically occurring tweets, trends and accounts in the Twitter-verse that are sponsored by a specific advertiser. Once sponsored, they appear at the top of users’ search results, within their Twitter home feed, at the top of the Trends list and at the top of the Who to Follow list.

What Are Promoted Accounts?

Twitter launched Promoted Accounts on October 4, 2010, the last of the three Promoted Products to launch. Appearing within the Who to Follow list, Promoted Accounts ” helps introduce an even wider variety of accounts people may enjoy”.

Promoted Accounts are suggested based on the publicly available list of who a user already follows. Twitter uses an algorithm to determine the likelihood that a user will find a certain Promoted Account interesting, and displays it at the top of the Who to Follow list if it fits with the user’s interests.

For example, if a user follows several journalists and news organizations, Twitter might display the Promoted Account “NYTimes” to that user.

Just like the other Promoted Products, Promoted Accounts are organically occurring in the Twitter-verse. That is, they are not created simply to be promoted. They belong to an advertiser who is already active on Twitter, and who wants to gain exposure by showing their account to users who might be interested in following it.

Cost and Effectiveness

While there is some pricing information available for Promoted Trends and Tweets, there is none that we could locate about Promoted Accounts. As all of these programs are still being tested out by a relatively small set of partner advertisers, we can expect to see some pricing information made public when Promoted Products expands to the general public.

To give you an idea of what Promoted Accounts might cost: Promoted Trends are rumored to cost approximately $80,000 for a 24 hours time period and Promoted Tweets may cost up to $100,000.

The idea of presenting an account that someone might be likely to follow is sound; however, we’re not sure just how effective it is in practice.

What’s Holding it Back?

As Promoted Accounts are the newest Promoted Product, they are the least transparent. Fewer companies have decided to take the plunge and try them out, so there is a lot of unknown data out there that would be helpful in determining how they could be made more effective.

As with the other two Promoted Products, Twitter is in dire need of an analytics product to measure the effectiveness of these ads. While advertisers do have access to a dashboard that comes with some analytics, Twitter is currently in the process of expanding these analytics to be more robust.

Going forward, keep your eyes and ears open for case studies involving Promoted Accounts to determine just how successful they can be.

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