Twitter has taken huge steps forward of late in terms of its strengthening its advertising offering.
In March, it starting letting advertisers target Promoted Tweets to desktop computers and laptops, or specifically to the 55% of its active users who log in via a mobile device.
Then last month it extended its roll out of its self-serve ad platform to a further 10,000 new advertisers in partnership with Amex.
While success in this area makes this look like a steady path to monetisation, we talk to former Googler and new UK sales director Bruce Daisley about his plans.
A belated congratulations for joining Twitter. Why the move? What attracted you to it?
Like a lot of people, Twitter as a brand has always meant a lot to me, I have loved using it for years personally and professionally.
I think there are a few products like Twitter that have some real magic to them, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team helping to turn that magic into a successful, enduring business.
What are you responsible for and what’s on your horizon for commercialisation in Europe?
I’m personally focused on growing our advertising business here in the UK.
We opened our London office about a year ago and launched Promoted Products in September.
We’ve been hiring like crazy to make sure we can support the amount of demand we’re seeing from advertisers and agencies.
How do you work with your US/global counterparts? Are there lessons to be learned that can be modified and mirrored from a commercial perspective?
The US team is about 18 months ahead of us in terms of selling to customers and they have some great campaign successes that we can draw from.
But it’s also fair to say that the UK is one of the most advanced markets for Twitter in terms general usage.
Brands here understand that and are, for the most part, really interested in working with us and coming up with creative ways to reach their customers through Twitter.
The UK is an amazing market for digital – when I worked at YouTube, the UK was one of our most commercially developed markets – and there’s a great opportunity for a similar situation with Twitter.
We’re all very excited about Amex’s partnerships with Twitter re: Deals, is that on the cards for the UK any time soon?
The Amex deal is the first moment when a lot of people just got how the rules are starting to change.
For those who haven’t seen it, American Express created a programme where users take a moment to securely sync their Amex cards with their Twitter accounts and from that moment on, when they tweet about certain deals from big brands like H&M, Staples, Best Buy, Zappos the deals are automatically credited to their Amex cards.
This immediately links people telling their friends about deals with them benefitting from these deals. Finally word of mouth has a pay off.
We’ve been blown away with the reaction – from Twitter users, partner brands and Amex’s competitors!
We’re definitely looking to bring something similar to the UK at some point in the future.
Where are the most interesting areas of growth in terms of what’s going on in the social, mobile and location?
Mobile usage of Twitter is growing really strongly – not only are more than half of our users accessing Twitter on their mobiles but brands are telling us that we’re driving incredible amounts of mobile access to their websites.
We’ve just allowed advertiser to start targeting ads by mobile platform, which means campaigns can target Promoted Tweets exclusively to iPhones, Android or Blackberry phones on a cost-per-engagement basis.
We knew this would be a popular targeting option but we’ve been overwhelmed with the demand for this level of targeting.
What’s the plan for Posterous?
The Posterous team built an innovative product that makes sharing across the web and mobile devices simple—a goal we share at Twitter, so it was a great fit and we’re really happy to have them as part of the team.
Any best practice tips for marketers looking at using Twitter within their campaigns?
Twitter is a great place to experiment and learn.
My main piece of advice would just be to get started and try it out. You can learn a lot through experimentation and it’s really easy to give it a go.
We also have a great site – business.twitter.com – that includes some of the very basic first steps – things like, sign up, offer interesting content, engage with others, and be authentic.
Any guidelines for what works versus what doesn’t?
I think the key is substance. I follow a number of brands on different social platforms. It’s not uncommon to see updates saying things like ‘Isn’t it a beautiful day?’
Our research suggests that this doesn’t really connect with consumers or stand out from the noise. It’s all a bit Joey from Friends; ‘Hi, how you doing?’
Consumers want something back from brands – whether that’s content, offers, exclusives or just news. The more seriously that brands recruit to run their social voice the better – this isn’t a job for “The intern who owns an iPad”.
What are your favourite creative uses of Twitter?
A couple of weeks ago O2 ran an incredible campaign that was like a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ experience.
A series of tweets told a story and encouraged users to click on different hashtags to take the next step.
Each journey ended up with a voucher showing that O2 users get the best deals on whatever they choose to do.
Advertisers like O2 and Amex are showing that a well developed strategic approach to Twitter can deliver ground-breaking campaigns.
What’s your top-tipped music artist for 2012?
Ha. I can probably only answer this in a personal capacity.
The album I’m most excited about is the debut Frank Ocean album (after his fabulous mixtape last year). Of what’s already come out I love the album Ghostory by School of Seven Bells.
At heart I love pop music though – the Chiddy Bang album is great fun and if the new single, Boyfriend, is anything to go by Bieber is about to release an album that will turn him into the next Justin Timberlake. Amazing.