The Promoted Trends feature on Twitter has been upsized to the tune of $200,000 a day in the US. What started as an $80,000 fee in 2010, when Twitter first introduced the feature, has now more than doubled in cost.
This unique function is part of Twitter’s advertising services suite that allows a given company to buy a custom hashtag, which appears at the top of the list of currently Trending Topics. When users click on this hashtag, they see a tweet from the company at the top of the list of results. Below the top tweet, Twitter brings up user tweets about the trend in an organic manner, without any tweaking or adjustment from the buyer’s side; so the advantages of widespread publicity need to be weighed against the potential risk of bad press.
The top spot can only be held by one company at a time for the span of a day. Assuming that Twitter can fill the top trend slot every day—which, at the moment, it really can’t—the social network stands to gain over $70 million a year from its promoted trends alone. However, the hike in price should come as encouragement to current and potential investors while Twitter gets ready for its eventual IPO.
Romney, Obama, Disney and Coca-Cola are among the big-name clients who have bought promoted trends on Twitter over the years. They may be onto something: the feature is a proven marketing tool, garnering much higher engagement rates than banner ads. And from the very start, promoted trends have been a popular option for brands looking to leverage their social media presence through the microblogging site.
This advertising product is the nearest thing to conventional display ads that Twitter has, and if your business purchases one, chances are very good that everyone on Twitter will see, and perhaps act on, the trend/tweet being promoted. Overall, Twitter’s paid advertising messages toe the line between Google-esque search ads and conventional banner ads, and by most accounts they are very effective at getting people’s attention.
According to Twitter, its advertising partners promote customized company hashtags so that users can instantly see context-, event- and time-sensitive trends. A Promoted Trend is clearly marked as “Promoted” while holding its place as the top Trending Topic. Trends are visible on Twitter.com, Tweetdeck and Twitter for mobile phones. Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts are other related services Twitter has on offer.
Adweek reports that Twitter is getting ready to launch its ad API within this quarter. The new advertising platform would permit companies to run ads on the social network in a sophisticated and multifaceted fashion reminiscent of the ever-user-friendly Facebook Ads Manager framework. In other words, the price hike for Promoted Trends is just a teaser for bigger and better things to come.