Twitter Opens Ad platform With American Express for 1o,ooo Small Businesses

Now the small business won’t be left behind on one of the most effective social marketing platform “Twitter” . Last Friday, Twitter announced that they’re rolling out a new advertising solution that will help make it easier for businesses to set up an account on their own and amplify their messages on the social network. This is a great move that will benefit emerging and new businesses who often times get swamped out of the market by the bigger and more noticeable brands. To help promote this release, American Express was brought on board as a partner designed to give all of their Cardmembers and merchants in the United States early access to this new advertising platform. So only Amex cardholders or merchants who accept Amex can sign-up.

To encourage small businesses to participate, American Express is giving to the first 10,000 Cardmembers and merchant $100 worth of free advertising on twitter and in March, the credit card giant will notify its customers how to begin.While the number of places available on the platform is limited for now, Twitter told AllThingsD that it will let in more buyers throughout the year in further groups of 10,000.

While it won’t launch until late March, the partnership with American Express is probably a good move, especially when trying to reach small businesses.It shows that Twitter is serious about making money from advertising but is retaining a cautious approach, presumably so it can modify and develop the platform as it lets in more user

It seems like Twitter’s move to have a self-serve ad platform is something akin to Google AdSense or AdWords since the advertiser will be bidding on keywords. Right now, customers are able to place their bids on promoted tweets and promoted accounts — something meant to help cut through the noise and increase exposure for whatever the advertiser wants to tweet about.

According to AdAge

Twitter had already begun rolling out the self-serve ad platform in mid-November with about 20 or less advertisers, but it has since expanded to about 100 advertisers. In addition to this expansion, advertisers will pay for the bids via electronic payment, not through invoicing by the sales team–an interesting decision that makes it akin to Googl AdWords since Google processes via electronic payment while Yahoo advertising used to do it through sales teams.

As is the case for any of Twitter’s 3,000 advertisers, small businesses can set bids for promoted accounts on a cost-per-follower basis and for promoted tweets on a cost-per-engagement basis/ In the latter case they pay only when users actively engage with the tweet (by retweeting, for instance.) While national brands might be bidding on keywords or hashtags associated with major events like the Oscars, which makes bidding competitive and expensive, small businesses would be more likely to bid on highly specific terms and to localize their bids, according to Mr. Costolo. (Twitter currently allows for city-level targeting at its most specific.)

Twitter is set to make a hefty profit off of this endeavor–according to an eMarketer report, ad revenues are projected to grow 210% in 2011…and as you can see from the chart , Twitter’s advertising worldwide is going to increase year after year all the way to nearly $400 million by 2013. There’s definitely a lot of demand for people to want to get their message across on the service.

According to eMarketer’s principle analyst Debra Aho Williamson:since their debut in April 2010, Twitter’s Promoted Products have proven successful in the US. Marketers have seen solid engagement rates with Twitter advertising—in some cases better than those on Facebook—despite Twitter’s relatively smaller audience.

American Express

The credit card company has been a strong supporter of the small business community.

  • They were the first ones to start the Small business Saturday campaign during the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • They have recently launched a social media show that is designed to help small businesses “harness the power of social media”. They’ve even partnered with foursquare by offering specials to specific check-ins–most likely small businesses.

“American Express ”  has been Recognized for being the credit card of choice by small businesses, it’s not a tremendous leap to believe that it would partner with Twitter on this initiative. Definitely a win for both parties.It will be interesting to see how Twitter’s advertising platform will still play out.

It would be interesting to see  the combination of two big giant and it’s outcome, growth of twitter and it’s sales figure, Usage of new plateform and it’s impact on others.



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