Today we got an email from Twitter titled, “Gain more followers. Grow your presence on Twitter”—the company’s not so subtle attempt to boost revenue through advertisements.
When Facebook decided it wanted to grow its advertiser base, affiliates were quick to jump onboard and find the sweet spots, and as we know now, they have since tightened up. Twitter needs revenue and is hungry for advertising—now is the time to look to Twitter to run advertising deals.
Twitter has been working with the agency Smarter Chaos for a while now, trying to persuade small businesses to buy advertising. The problem is, monetizing Twitter ads has presented challenges to those who are less familiar with the platform. However, for those who can get it to work for them, advertising on Twitter could be a great source of revenue.
Here are the problems for Twitter:
Freemium is hard to monetize.
Getting users to pay for a service that was previously free is notoriously hard. The idea that users will now have to pay to use Twitter will be a non-starter.
Most small business do not know the value of a tweet or a Twitter follower.
Most small businesses are still trying to work out how to get some, if any, value from Twitter and are a long way from knowing the value of a follower or what a tweet can do for them. If you don’t know what something is worth, how can you put a budget into paying for it?
Small businesses have been here before with Facebook.
Facebook recognized the value of persuading businesses to pay to promote their presence much earlier. In order to grow large and influential Facebook fan pages, Facebook now charges businesses to promote posts to the same users they had to pay to get in the first place. This trend has left many small businesses questioning what they paid for in the first place, and with the realization that they paid for something they don’t own or have control over.
So why does this matter to performance marketers?
If small businesses find it hard to justify buying advertising on Twitter, then there is going to be an opportunity for affiliates to jump in and do that buying. If affiliates are able to consultant and manage the online marketing of small businesses, and utilize their online marketing expertise, Twitter advertising has the potential to be a great money maker.
Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.