I think the bigger question is – will it save Twitter?
The world of freelancers, solopreneurs and small businesses often feels like a hamster on a Ferris wheel, endlessly spinning plates. Getting the word out amongst the clamor of social media is tough. Tweets or posts frequently hit the proverbial graveyard or almost never get read. It’s frightening to see one’s efforts completely get ignored.
The creation and promotion of that perfect message that would resonate with your target audience – in any format – written, image, audio or video, seems impossible, technically complex, or at the very least very expensive.
Most solopreneurs and small businesses do not have the time to understand how to create that perfect Facebook Page Ad or that faultless Twitter campaign. Even if you throw cash at the problem, the learning curve is steep and confusing enough that it ends up overwhelming most people.
If you lack the skills, time and effort required to manage your own social media promotional programs, or the luxury of a good sized monthly marketing budget to hire a digital agency, you are probably steering clear of Facebook and Twitter advertising. However, recent self service initiatives from social giants wanting to tap into that small business purse of yours, could change this all.
Twitter for example is currently testing a monthly automatic Tweet promotion service for a flat fee of $99 a month. The service is aimed at small businesses, solopreneurs and power users that are too busy to spend time running and monitoring ad campaigns.
Twitter confirmed that as part of the paid monthly program, any retweets, replies and quoted tweets would not be promoted. Customizing which of the original tweets should be promoted will also not be an option. The program is catered more towards those users that are happy for Twitter to take the reins and amplify their tweets automatically.
In a nutshell, Twitter will do all the heavy lifting for you. While you carry on tweeting as normal, Twitter will decide which messages to promote automatically. However, it is currently unclear how many promoted tweets you will get as part of your monthly subscription.
Twitter’s advertising revenue has notoriously dropped 8% on an annual basis. This latest move indicates a willingness, or perhaps even desperation to appeal to a larger pool of potential advertisers.
This new $99 monthly subscription product should not be confused with Twitter’s current premium advertising service accessible via https://ads.twitter.com.
Twitter’s premium service allows a user or business to create Twitter ad campaigns that can reach more people and drive conversation via more engagement, grow followers, generate website clicks or conversions by sending people over to the advertiser’s website to purchase, sign up, etc., get people to install or engage with the advertiser’s mobile app, as well as collect emails from people who express interest in the advertiser’s business.
This premium service is already in existence and has powerful features that allow users and businesses to set a budget and then get charged only for the actions that align with the advertiser’s campaign objective, or pay to target ads by usernames, keywords, interests, locations, devices, gender, language, and TV conversation.
The new $99/month promotional service for the rest of us can be considered a budgeted way of letting us receive a bit more online attention. Think of it as an economy class ticket or the new TESLA Model 3 compared to its flagship and much pricier Model S.
I do think there is a market for people or small businesses that just want somebody else to handle all the hassle and do not want to pay too much for it.
Users that have promoted twitter content in the past have already been invited to the beta program. Others can apply and grab 30 free days of “automated promotion” according to this FAQ page.
By participating in this beta program, you’ll run a Promoted Account campaign for the entire month. You’ll also run a Promoted Tweet campaign that will include up to the first ten (10) Tweets you send each day. – Twitter
This Twitter announcement arrived just over a week after a new start-up revealed plans to automate small business ads on Facebook and Instagram. Needls is now offering a round the clock RoboAgency that claims to target the perfect audience for a tweet, user or business, using data science.
Needls’ CEO and Co-Founder, Justin Hartzman, told Small Business Trends that a mere 4 Million of the more than 65 Million businesses on Facebook, are leveraging the Facebook Ads platform. Why? The reason is a lack of tech know-how, budget and time.
Social media advertising is now critical for small businesses or solopreneurs looking to grow their business and online presence. However, a fear of technology and a lack of digital marketing knowhow has been preventing many from dipping their toes into the virtual waters.
A new entry price-point of just under $100 a month might make it affordable for these businesses and individuals to now approach advertising on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
However, its not just the low price that’s the key attraction here. A big draw of this new automatic package is the potential removal of the pain of handling the ad placement, monitoring and tracking, something that typically not only costs a lot, but also detracts people from focusing on their core businesses.
If you want your tweets to appear in the timelines of strangers or Facebook posts to appear on the schedules of potential customers, then this new $99 service from Twitter might just be something you may want to try.
As for Twitter, the jury is still out on its future and it waits to be seen if this latest maneuver will help reduce the bleeding. For now, Twitter at least appears to be tackling the problem of becoming more advertiser friendly.
Would you pay $99 a month to have Twitter, Facebook and Instagram auto-promote on your behalf or do you think this is a gimmick?