Twitter is a tricky medium for advertising but its user base is valuable.
On average, Twitter’s UK user base is better educated and higher earning than the population as a whole. That makes it a bit of a prize for some products, including some which are highly regulated like financial services.
Twitter users are also an opinionated bunch who often angrily coalesce around an issue and their regular flare ups become fodder for news outlets. So there’s a notable risk when advertising to them.
A look at financial services
So how to advertise Twitter users? Let’s take a look at some ads by financial services firms to see the approaches different firms are taking.
Hargreaves Lansdown, which provides investment services to retail investors, has been running ads that link to information about the funds that are most popular with its ISA clients. They have a clear disclaimer that there is a, “risk of loss.”
Meanwhile, UBS bank’s digital wealth management offering, called SmartWealth, is running ads with a clear call to action telling investors to, “place your money into UBS SmartWealth.” They too run a disclaimer that informs us, “Capital @ risk.” The disclaimer is certainly less blunt Hargreaves Lansdown’s but is just a clear. Interestingly, UBS SmartWealth only uses Twitter to run ads. It has not tweeted in an effort to build an audience or a conversation.
Standard Life Invest, use no disclaimer in this Twitter ad. The account, which in its description says it’s only for investment professionals, instead takes an approach whereby you click through to a screen which requires you to confirm you are an investment professional before proceeding to take you through to the advertised content. This approach certainly frees up characters in tweets and also allows for longer and more complete disclaimers. A drawback to this approach is that the bounce rate is likely to be quite high.
BNY Mellon take the approach of using Twitter as a brand building tool. A simple ad, linking to a nicely designed (if a little too self-reverential) quiz that seeks to place BNY Mellon as an innovator.
What should we take from this array of approaches? Well, firstly, on Twitter there’s no standard way to deploy the disclaimers highly regulated industries need to use. That’s probably a good thing from a creative perspective. Certainly, in the examples cited, when sharing information that might be seen as financial advice, the disclaimers are delivered before you get to the content.
Another point to note is that targeting is poor. One of the ads is for investment professionals (and I’m a long way from being one) and two others promote wealth and investment management brands which provide services that, to put it politely, I’m probably not the target customer. That’s not to say those managing the accounts have chosen the wrong audience targeting. We all know that Twitter’s targeting can be a little off sometimes.
Finally, we should note that Twitter, in its thus far fruitless drive to turn a decent profit, is constantly developing new ad products. Financial services and other highly regulated industries tend to be cautious spenders but also big spenders. It’s likely Twitter will keep launching new ad products and tweaking its services to capture this lucrative market.