It is widely accepted that, ‘the main objective of running a business is earning a profit’. Social networking website, Twitter, somewhat belatedly, seems to have acknowledged that business fact and has explored the monetisation route.
1. In April 2010, Twitter announced plans to offer paid advertising for companies that would be able to purchase “promoted tweets” to appear in selective search results on the website, similar to Google Adwords’ advertising model. In October 2010, the website launched ‘Promoted Accounts’ as part of “Suggestions for You”, which suggested accounts that people didn’t follow.
2. Agencies saw the scope that the platform provided and started their own monetisation strategies. On the growth of this platform, Kanika Mathur, president, Digitas India, said, “With blogging and micro-blogging picking up as method of expression, we have seen a lot of activity around people being approached by brands to review or talk about their products. These digital influencers help brands in amplifying the brand communication by reaching the right set of target audience. From the brand’s perspective, Twitter has emerged as a highly useful tool for addressing customer feedback and queries. Brands are able to measure and track the number of issues resolved, thereby decreasing the effective cost of service. A lot of Indian brands are effectively leveraging this platform to generate leads. Some brands are designing content in the right package in front of the right people.
Leif Abraham, co-founder, of ‘Pay with a Tweet’, explains their monetisation model, “Pay with a Tweet is simple. People can sell their goods for the price of a Tweet. Meaning, for someone to get your product, the person has to tweet about it in exchange - making the Tweet the currency. I think it’s nearly impossible to identify influencers in social media currently because they vary based on the fields of expertise. A celebrity might be an influencer with a mass audience, but a mom tweeting that great deal to her 20 friends is a valuable influencer too. Especially if you reach 2000 of those moms for example. That is why ‘Pay with a Tweet’ doesn’t differentiate between users with more or less followers..” Mathur explained the concept of influencers. She said, “People are actively looking out for credible information on the internet for high involvement categories like travel, cars, electronic items and personal categories such as fashion or food. People who regularly blog or write about such categories on social media have established a credible and a growing base of followers. These influencers are always looking for fresh content to retain the interest of their followers and get into a mutually beneficial relationship with brands. For example there is a vibrant Indian community of m-bloggers who regularly tweet about their travel and food experiences which are often sponsored by brands.”
3. On the opportunities, Twitter provides marketers, Hareesh Tibrewala, joint CEO, Social Wavelength, said, “Twitter offers the ultimate opportunity for a user to seriously build his or her sphere of influence, which transcends one’s real world circle of influence. People completely unknown to you, could be getting influenced by your communication. Twitter demolishes the role of a publisher who traditionally sits between the content creator and the content consumer. On Twitter – ‘you’ are the creator and ‘you’ are the publisher. If you have something worthwhile to say, Twitter is the way to reach out to the world. There is of course a proper method in how to go about building your follower-base and your circle of influence. Having done so, you can become a via-media between someone who wants to communicate something to your circle of influence.”
4. Influencers can make a positive or negative impact for a brand. While brands look for the positives, negativity can also set in. Mathur suggests, brands should look at the criticism they receive and improve on their marketing. She said, “In the digital space, one cannot turn a blind eye to what is being said about the brand. In case there is a negative backlash, it’s prudent for a brand to acknowledge the feedback and to address the concerns in a transparent way.”
What it means for...
- Wider reach.
- Taps advertisements in the form of testimonial advertising.
- Get immediate results, as people who like it, suggest it to fellow friends and folloers.
Users on Twitter
- Benefit by sending out a simple tweet.