Twitter Advertising API Makes Its Debut

By | Mar 1, 2013

Twitter advertising just got easier with the microblogging network's release of an application programming interface (API) tailored to support advertising initiatives. Release of the advertising API marks a major step forward in Twitter's efforts to make itself attractive to marketers.

For Twitter users, the new move will show them those promoted tweets that are most relevant. For the IT community at midsize firms, the introduction of the API will mean easier integration of Twitter into cross-channel marketing campaigns. In the larger picture, the move shows how social marketing is starting to evolve.

Tweeting in the Marketplace

As Daniel Terdiman reports at CNET, release of the Twitter advertising API is only the latest move that the social platform has made to increase its appeal to marketers.

In its earlier days, Twitter was frequently criticized that its business model did not generate sufficient revenue. This complaint is hardly unique to Twitter--other social media firms have had the same complaint aimed at them.

Arguably, however, this complaint ignored the realities of emerging social media. As much as marketers might wish otherwise, "Come see ads!" is not generally a great consumer draw. Users of any media, including social media, have to find it interesting before it can become an effective marketing vehicle. Social commerce does not come out of nowhere; it builds on more general social interaction.

Twitter has already been making this transition and has become recognized by many firms as an attractive advertising vehicle. The best marker of this, perhaps, is that the Nielsen organization, best known for its television ratings, now incorporates Twitter traffic as a measure of viewer engagement with the shows it tracks.

Thus the time has become ripe for Twitter to reach out to advertisers with an API configured to their needs. Says the company in announcing the API release, "our system rewards marketers for being good, not for being loud. And this approach encourages ads that are engaging, relevant, and useful."

An Events-Driven Medium?

Marketing professionals and IT professionals at midsize firms will have to collaborate to determine the most effective ways to reach customers (and potential) customers via Twitter.

At this point, Twitter has particularly been making its mark as an events-driven medium. From the national election to natural disasters to the Super Bowl, high-profile events have driven massive surges in tweet traffic. On a more modest level, as the Nielsen organization's interest reflects, TV shows are tweet generators. Big data and business analytics tools may help IT and its internal customers at midsize firms to identify other opportunities to deploy advertising most effectively on Twitter.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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