Twitter Tempts Ad-Men with Geo-Relevancy and Analytics Dashboard

By Neil Glassman Comment

Though there was no announcement about recently rumored branded pages, Twitter took advantage of it’s time on stage at the Ad Age Digital Conference to announce a new marketing feature and an enhanced performance insight tool. Geo-targeting of Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, as well as a Followers Dashboard, were soft-launched yesterday and are available to advertisers now.

What does this mean for brand marketers and advertisers?

Adam Bain, Twitter’s president of revenue, set a solid foundation for the announcement by describing the company’s growth of both tweet volume and advertising revenue. 80% of Twitter’s ad business is repeat business, Bain reported. Engagement — measured by a click, retweet, favorite or @ mention — in response to promoted trends is between 3% and 5% — a level of performance most other media channels might envy.

He was gracious reporting a study that cited when a consumer follows a brand on Twitter, s/he is more likely to buy or recommend products from that brand than a consumer who likes the brand on Facebook. Bain stated that, together, Twitter and Facebook were a powerful choice for brands.

Reaching audiences based on their interests and location is growing in importance and effectiveness due to the growth of activity on mobile devices and the attention-pull of increasingly sophisticated location-based applications. Offering geo-relevant Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts is a logical evolution for the Twitter advertising platform. The feature is available now in 210 U.S. cities and more than 100 countries, with more coverage rolling out this year.

The Followers Dashboard provides insight into aggregate information on marketers’ followers, with analytics on follower location, interests and gender. Bain quickly drilled down on one of the displayed parameters, showing how the information can be pivoted for deeper analyis. The Follower Dashboard is available for users of all Twitter Promoted Products — tweets, trends and accounts.

A Twitter spokesperson told AllTwitter, Social Times’ sister publication, that, “Geo-targeting for Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts is a key next step in our ad platform’s continued evolution.” About the Followers Dashboard, he commented, “As with all of our advertising efforts, we are watching this test closely and will use feedback from advertisers and Twitter users to fine-tune and iterate on the feature.”

With only limited exposure to the Followers Dashboard during the presentation, it’s easy to conclude its not one of the most complete or powerful social media analysis packages available. It will certainly suffice for brands and agencies to validate their Twitter promotion tactics and the price — free — is right for many, too.

Considering the recent kerfuffles over suspension of some third-party clients, data firehose access and Twitters’ public discourse about its own client applications versus those of third-parties, it’s logical to ask where the Followers Dashboard may lead. Is Twitter going to restrict access to new capabilities; shore up its data feed and API to provide a stronger platform for third-party developers; or some combination of both.

How did the announcement of these new offerings play to the Ad Age Digital crowd? Based on my unscientific review of the #aadigital stream, it was one of the least tweeted/retweeted topics of the day.

Neil Glassman is principal marketing strategist at WhizBangPowWow, with a track record of success across linear, digital and social media. Join his conversation on Twitter or email Neil to talk about marketing or swap recipes.