With the launch of Promote Mode, has Twitter built the ad product small businesses need?
Twitter has launched a new ad product, called Promote Mode, that’s targeted squarely at small businesses and individuals seeking an easy way to build an audience on the network.
For a monthly fee of $99 Promote Mode will automatically promote your tweets and your account. No need to set up ads, just tweet as normal and the algorithm will take care of the rest. Twitter says that those who tweet regularly and subscribe to Promote Mode should gain an additional 30 followers a month and reach an additional 30,000 users on top of their natural reach.
Promote Mode also allows some simple targeting by allowing subscribers to choose up to five interests or cities or locations within a country. At the moment, the product is only available in the US and the UK. Roll out is expected soon in Japan too.
Early sightings of Promote Mode in the wild have shown the limitations of this approach. If, like in the example below, you’re not producing lots of tweets that would suit an advert format, some fairly mundane things will be promoted.
Despite the potential for odd tweets being promoted, this is a genuinely useful product. It takes out the (perceived) hassle of putting together Twitter ads and fixes a price in advance, thereby addressing two issues all small business owners will recognise: time and cost certainty.
For Twitter, it’s also unlikely to cannibalise its core ad business. Those who want tighter targeting or to run bigger campaigns will unlikely show interest in this product.
The launch of Promote Mode delivers one additional thing: a public benchmark of price and performance. We all advise clients that reach and follower numbers have severe limitations as performance metrics, but plenty of people are obsessed with them. If Twitter thinks it can deliver you 30 followers and reach 30,000 users for $99, those running paid campaigns need to outperform that price.