Twitter needs to make some money this year. As eMarketer predicts, Twitter will make $150 million in advertising revenue this year – and the company is doing everything they can to get there. While most of us have seen Promoted Tweets from big name companies like Coca-Cola, Dell and Ford, Twitter is shifting gears a bit and starting to focus on small- and medium-sized businesses for its advertising products.
Twitter’s upcoming self-serve advertising dashboard (the beta version of which has been leaked) is aimed towards small and medium businesses looking to expand their marketing efforts.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, those beta testers already trying out the dashboard are seeing some pretty significant successes. David Szetela, owner of an online-ad agency Clix Marketing, reportedly saw hundreds of pre-orders of his client Guy Kawasaki’s new book “Enchantment” through ads on Twitter. The ads reportedly cost more than $4,000, but he spent less money on Twitter than on Facebook or Google overall, and saw more pre-orders.
It makes sense that Twitter would start with big businesses like Coca-Cola as founding beta testers of its advertising program. These companies have the capital to risk on an unproven marketing plan. But it’s time now to woo the small- and medium-sized businesses, which make up a significant portion of online advertising sales outside of Twitter. If the company can get these businesses on board, they’ll likely meet or exceed the $150 million in advertising revenue that eMarketer predicts.
Twitter is being valued at over $4 billion now with the recent interest from JPMorgan looking to own 10% of the company for a $450 million investment from its social media fund. The company will have to seriously step up its advertising offerings to small- and medium-sized businesses if it wants to maintain this valuation throughout 2011 and exceed it in the coming years.