Promoted Tweets, in case you haven't heard, is Twitter's answer to "how do we make money on this thing," a common tech start-up question. For the marketer, Promoted Tweets is, to some extent, "how do we do this thing?" You see, Promoted Tweets is perhaps the first online advertising platform that really requires a brand to have a very thorough understanding of how to be social.
Unlike Facebook or banner ads, Promoted Tweets are not ads. They are tweets that you develop in your own timeline that Twitter then pushes out to moms who are prospective followers based on keywords you select. So, while it is readily apparent that tweets in the program are "promoted" by a brand, as they are clearly marked, and targeted by specific keywords that Twitter moms easily catch onto, the rules of effective social media still apply: no hard sell.
Promoted tweets are about engagement. Rather than selling impressions, Twitter is selling engagement-retweets, clicks and replies. Your ability to engage directly impacts the number of retweets and mentions and so the ultimate number of impressions you generate. Your destiny is in the hands of your best social media copywriter ... the one that writes the best tweets.
Since often that copywriter is the social media specialist who handles your day-to-day interactions on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media platforms in which your brand participates, his or her ability to speak to your core audience already determines your success as a brand in social media. But Promoted Tweets draws on his or her ability to connect with potential customers. A wildly popular tweet with your core audience of brand advocates may not resonate quite so well with moms you are introducing to your brand.
So developing effective tweets takes some trial and error. Social media moms are savvy and may appreciate the introduction to new brands in a whimsical, humorous, informative or just engaging way. On the other hand, they may also feel that promoted tweets are intrusive ... which is, of course, our major fear as marketers.
But this isn't the 1990s. Social media users know that in order for their beloved platform to continue to exist, they need to find some way to make money and most seem to accept this. But here, more than for any other social media venture with which I have been involved, gathering feedback is crucial. While I am of course carefully monitoring my level of engagement( for which Twitter handily provides analytics), I'm also trolling the blogs, searching Twitter streams and collecting data that allow us to see just what moms think about Promoted Tweets in general and ours and other brands' tweets specifically.
As tempting as it is to think we know all there is to know about marketing to moms via social media, it's an ever-changing world. This beta test of Promoted Tweets is just one more reminder that sometimes we just think we do.