Advertising on Twitter?

Advertising on Twitter?: reflectionTwitter has shown some promise as a venue for promotions, and advertising, in the name of “sponsored tweets,” has begun to rear its head.

How realistic is advertising on Twitter? I offered a back-of-the-envelope response to that question in a LinkedIn Group, so here are some of the main points:

How Feasible Is Advertising on Twitter?

  • Advertising on Twitter is risky in general because most social networks’ members are adverse to advertising unless it is done in a fundamentally different (non-invasive) way than legacy advertising.
  • The key to all advertising is relevance; if my Twitter stream starts spitting irrelevant offers at me, I’m booting those people, and fast.
  • Most advertising concepts and┬áprocesses were born in the mass market era, and they still haven’t adapted to the long tail era. TV is a mass market medium, and Twitter is not. Twitter is a long tail market, and mass approaches will fail.
  • Another problem is that the revenue per ad is so small that the (sponsored tweet) “advertisers” will try to do volume to make money, which is inversely proportional to relevance.
  • I’m sure there will be exceptions, but in general, when a firm starts trying to monetize word of mouth, the latter breaks.
  • WOM is so powerful precisely because people are doing it because they believe in it or in helping someone. The minute they’re paid, it breaks.
  • That said, companies increasingly find success with coupons and selling on Twitter; but the key is people control it, they opt in and out.

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