If you’re new to social media, you’ve probably been wondering how you can make money using Twitter, but if you consider yourself an experienced user of social media sites such as Linkedin and Facebook, you may have been wondering how Twitter is (going to be) making money! The service itself is free, and we can’t see any ads when we log in to our Twitter accounts, so how is this company going to monetize the service?
They have made some deals already, with search companies such as Google and Yahoo!, but nothing significant enough to pay for all the development and infrastructure that’s been poured into Twitter.
Well, the cat seems to be out of the bag: we’ll soon start seeing promoted tweets. According to this Twitter blog post, advertisers are going to be able to purchase keywords for Twitter searches, and the service would insert these sponsored tweets at the top of search results pages. There’s an important difference in how Promoted Tweets differ from “traditional” search engine ads: the tweets will be already part of each advertiser’s regular Twitter stream, in other words, Promoted Tweets will not be “ads” that only appear in search results.
We’ll all watch closely how Twitter users react to this new “feature,” but hopefully Promoted Tweets will prove to be a welcome addition, rather than an nuisance.
In case you’re interested in jump starting your own Twitter activities, consider my self-study program “Contacts 2 Clients: Using Twitter to Boost Your Business.”