The Impact of Promoted Tweets on Social Media Monitoring

Today, Twitter announced Promoted Tweets, which will use users’ searches to determine targeted, sponsored Tweets to display at the top of their search results page. While on the surface the new advertising platform seems nearly identical to Google’s AdWords, Twitter is emphasizing the organic nature of Promoted Tweets as well as the high level of “resonance” they must have. We think these differences create a few interesting implications for social media monitoring.
Unlike more established platforms like Facebook’s self-service ads or Google’s AdWords, Promoted Tweets must maintain a high level of resonance to remain on display. Unless users continue to view, retweet, and reply to the Promoted Tweets, they will disappear from view. Therefore, it is crucial for brands to choose the right Tweets to promote. Using a social media monitoring tool with deep insight into consumer sentiment can help brands make this decision.
An analysis we performed about a Dos Equis ad campaign illustrates one way in which our opinion analysis platform could be helpful to companies using Promoted Tweets:
What's the buzz about Dos Equis?
After noticing that an overwhelming percentage of the conversation about Dos Equis on Twitter expresses love for their new ad, Dos Equis could try to increase the influence of the ad by promoting tweets linking to more video clips of The Most Interesting Man In The World.
Brands can also monitor how their use of Promoted Tweets influences the online conversation by tracking how opinion trends over time:
Promoted Tweets Analysis
These examples only scratch the surface of the possibilities for using social media analytics with Promoted Tweets. Indeed, Twitter has already announced plans to expand their program, saying that it will ultimately make its way into users’ main Tweet streams. Not surprisingly, reactions have been mixed. Many Twitter users just don’t want to have ads in their primary feeds. Twitter user @troublegoats says “I didn’t realize twitter would be moving the promoted tweets into personal streams. That gets a big ‘F-‘ from this guy.”
To keep from driving users away as it further integrates Promoted Tweets, Twitter must make the ads more relevant and better targeted than Google, Facebook, and similar companies have been able to. The New York Times reported in March on the poor targeting of Facebook ads, citing a number of users who felt that Facebook’s Ads were often nonsensical, presumptuous, or even insulting.  Salon thinks that if the Promoted Tweets are innocuous and unobtrusive, users will merely “shrug.”
While Twitter’s algorithm for determining resonance is proprietary, we agree with John Battelle that resonance is crucial – Twitter needs to keep the content as pertinent and compelling as possible. After all, ads like the example below are certainly preferable to repeated messages about winning a free iPad:
Example of Tweet Ad for Starbucks
Image courtesy of AdAge
Finally, we thought we’d use our technology to see what Twitter users are saying about Promoted Tweets. Here’s what today’s Twitter conversation tells us:
What's the buzz about promoted Tweets?
Right now, the largest percentage of the conversation is made of people who are afraid of getting spammed. A full 31%, though, are hesitant, reserving judgment until they know more about how Promoted Tweets work. We’re excited to see how the conversation evolves as Twitter expands and modifies this platform.

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