Mobile Marketer: Twitter champions relevant brand experiences with Promoted Tweets syndication

By Michael Barris

Twitter’s plan to begin syndicating Promoted Tweets will benefit both advertisers and consumers as the social networking site extends reach in a familiar, targeted way, pushing content that is relevant to users in the moment.

Ameet Ranadive, Twitter’s senior director for product, blogged on the site that Twitter has formed partnerships with Flipboard and Yahoo! Japan to syndicate Promoted Tweets to all places where Tweets go. Given that Flipboard is inherently mobile, the move provides more scale for Twitter, which already gets most of its advertising from mobile.

“For years, the mobile marketing world has waited for a distributed ad platform from Facebook or Twitter that would allow publishers to better monetize mobile traffic while extending advertising inventory – similar to what AdSense did for Google a decade ago,” said Kyle Bunch, group director for mobile and social platforms, with R/GA Austin.

“If Twitter can build a viable network of partners, this move to syndicate Promoted Tweets would be a big deal for Twitter's bottom line, publishers seeking to better capitalize on the shift to mobile, and advertisers who could pair Twitter's data-rich targeting with reach that extends beyond Twitter itself. 

“Partners like Flipboard and Yahoo! Japan are certainly a nice start, but Twitter will need a lot more to reach meaningful scale,” he said.

Special trait

Twitter’s special trait is that tweets can flow from Twitter to other media such as TV, Web sites and mobile applications seamlessly. In the third quarter of last year, 185 billion tweet impressions came off Twitter. 

The new service will allow Twitter syndicated ads to be seen by users within Twitter content sections on third-party properties, as well as within third-party content areas.

For example, if Nissan ran a Promoted Tweet campaign on Twitter, it could run a Promoted Tweet campaign on Twitter, with specific creative and targeting, and simultaneously run the campaign off Twitter, with the same targeting and creative in the Flipboard app. 

Since Flipboard integrates organic Tweets into the app, the Promoted Tweet would have the same look and feel as a Flipboard posting.

“The ability to scale tweets outside of Twitter itself, in a targeted fashion, above and beyond standard banner sizes is fantastic,” said Jeff Malmad, head of mobile and life-plus for Mindshare North America.

“It’s big because they’re leveraging their MoPub acquisition. This gives them scale outside of just Twitter proper,” he said. 

“We like new targeted formats that go above and beyond basic display. Ultimately this benefits not just advertisers but consumers as it extends reach in a familiar targeted way – pushing content that’s relevant to them in the moment.”

Other analysts called the news big for Twitter, especially from a mobile marketing perspective.

“As they have attempted to scale their advertising, their biggest downfall has been the amount of inventory they have,” said Jordan Jacobson, senior digital media strategist at iCrossing.

“With roughly one-third the number of users as Facebook and with just a fraction of the time spent on its site, Twitter had to find a way to expand their advertising beyond their site,” he said.

“Flipboard only provides a little bit more scale, but with this syndication announcement their options are pretty limitless.”

The announcement marks the latest stage in Twitter’s evolution from a pure social media site into a serious mcommerce player. 

In December, it unveiled its new Offers feature, which allows marketers to create promotions linked to credit cards and share the advertisements directly with users of the social media mobile application. Several months ago, it rolled out a “Buy” button on select advertisers’ Tweets, enabling consumers to buy directly from the post.

Right direction

Giving the fragmented mobile advertising space, syndicated Promoted Tweets represents a step in the right direction.  

“It’s great being able to get the reach and frequency you are looking for through just one or a handful of partners,” Mr. Jacobson said. “If Twitter can get more volume, then this will really help uniform the mobile ad space.”

Read on Mobile Marketer:

Posted on February 4, 2015 .