Twitter’s ad API and what it means for marketers.

Kristin Morris 03/05/13 - 2:53 pm

By now you’ve heard about Twitter launching its API and have probably started looking into what that means for your brand.

We were pretty excited to hear about it from an agency perspective, so we did some digging and wanted to share some of the highlights that we found.

How does Twitter currently promote Tweets/ accounts?

As a quick review, let’s take a look at how Twitter currently analyzes which Tweets to promote. Once you send a Tweet organically to your followers, Twitter looks at how people are engaging with your recent Tweets to decide if they should be promoted or not. If the Tweet is receiving lots of engagement (i.e. Retweets, @ replies, favorites, etc.) then Twitter believes your tweet is interesting and relevant to users. By using special algorithms to select content, they will then promote it to a broader audience by simply making it appear in the feeds of your desired audience. Up to five Tweets may be promoted at one time from any given Twitter handle.

Promoted Tweet Example:

 Example of Promoted Tweet

The same goes for Promoted Accounts – Twitter uses a similar algorithm to suggest accounts to follower based on a user’s list of people/ brands that they follow. Brands (or the agencies managing their accounts) will not need to worry about monitoring the Tweets and optimizing as is done with Facebook Engagement Ads.

Promoted Account Example:

Promoted Account Example

What does the new Twitter API mean?

Currently anyone can advertise on Twitter by logging onto and setting up a credit card and a minimum budget. So, what does the new Twitter API mean for advertising? While any brand can take advantage of promoted tweets and promoted accounts, in order to use the new Twitter API, a brand needs to go through one of the five current partners – Adobe, HootSuite, Salesforce, SHIFT and TBG Digital. Agencies do not currently have direct access. GIGAOM reports that through these partners, brands will have the ability to target specific audiences and locations. Also, “brands will have the ability to manage their Tweets across multiple platforms and on a larger scale.”

How will this affect your brand?

According to Mashable, this will mostly make a big difference for big brands that are running huge campaigns because instead of having to manually send out different tweets based on the target demo, they can now automate the changes through one of the current partners.

For example, a brand/ agency can run a campaign that will serve different ads to a 25-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman without having to load multiple Tweets through Twitter.

In summary, the benefits of the new Twitter Ad Management features through the Twitter API are:

  • The ability for brands/ agencies to quickly set advertising budgets and schedules.
  • More options for targeting ads including: geo-targeting (location), interest groups, targeted device types (mobile) and other demographic info.
  • The ease of managing Tweets across multiple platforms and on a larger scale.

Do you think the Twitter API will lead to an influx of Ads on Twitter? 

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