Well, it’s a great idea for brands. Twitter recently decided to change its terms of service to allow advertising. It’s still unclear what model of advertising they will choose, but what is clear is that Twitter users are much more engaged consumers. According to our very own Zak Kirchner:
“the fastest growing social network of 2009, Twitter is giving customers a voice like they’ve never had on the Internet before. It’s time we started listening too, as Twitter users are twice as likely to review or rate products online, visit company profiles and click on advertisements or sponsors as those who only belong to traditional social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace.” – Interpret LLC Social Media OverView™ Report August 2009
Facebook and MySpace have been making serious efforts to develop a successful advertising model – it is debatable whether they have struck the right approach. What Zak’s analysis of our New Media Measure™ data shows is that given the real-time nature of thoughts being expressed, Twitter provides a unique opportunity for brands and advertisers to engage consumers in ways currently untapped by the leading social networks.
Social networks are very much about “me” and how I want to present myself to the world through my pictures, associations, likes/dislikes, etc. Twitter is also about “me” in that I’m able to express my thoughts and ideas, but there is a subtle difference that makes Twitter a better potential medium for ad exposure – Twitter is really about “what”. What am I doing, what am I seeing, what am I feeling, what am I thinking. For advertisers, this is extremely valuable insight into the consumer psyche. How Twitter helps brands tap that flow of information without alienating consumers is a big challenge, but one that could be very lucrative indeed.