Twitter has unveiled a new ad offering dubbed Promote Mode that aims to help SME marketers advertise on Twitter.

Here’s what SME marketers need to know about Promote Mode, which is currently in public beta.

It automates the “amplification” of tweets

Promote Mode is a new way for SME marketers to create Promoted Tweets campaigns. When Promote Mode is enabled, the first ten tweets they post every day may be amplified by a Promoted Tweets campaign.

For tweets to be eligible, they must get through Twitter’s quality filter, which looks at the tweet content as well as the destination URL of any links it contains in an effort to ensure that it complies with Twitter’s ad policies. Twitter further explained:

Not every Tweet that is added to your Promoted Tweet campaign will serve an impression, and the extent each Tweet is promoted may vary based on that Tweet’s performance. Retweets, Quote Tweets, or replies will not be promoted. Promote Mode will also run a Promoted Account campaign which will attract new followers.

In other words, Twitter is almost totally in control when Promote Mode is used and marketers will have to trust the algorithms that are determining which tweets are promoted.

It’s offered on a subscription basis

Promote Mode is somewhat unusual in that it’s being offered on a subscription basis — $99 per month. 

Why is Twitter offering an ad solution on a subscription basis? The likely reason is that the company has seen its fortunes wane as the combination of Facebook and Instagram, as well as upstarts like Snapchat, have won over advertisers.

By offering a subscription ad product, Twitter gains the ability to develop a source of recurring revenue and SME marketers gain access to an ad offering that has a predictable cost. Of course, for Promote Mode to be successful, Twitter will have to ensure that marketers feel they’re getting value from Promote Mode subscriptions. 

It’s currently designed for accounts with up to 2,000 followers

Currently, Promote Mode is squarely an offering that targets SMEs. Twitter says the accounts that will benefit most from Promote Mode have up to 2,000 followers.

Twitter says that “in the future, higher price and promotion tiers will be available for people with larger followings.”

Targeting options are fairly limited

Promote Mode subscribers are given the ability to target five interest or metro locations or regions within a country. While targeting can be both a blessing and a curse – there’s an argument to be made that many marketers are overtargeting to their own detriment – this means that Promote Mode is not necessarily a good fit for marketers looking to target at a very granular level.

Marketers can use Promote Mode alongside Twitter Ads

The good news for marketers that like Promote Mode’s value proposition but don’t see it as a replacement for their existing Twitter ad campaigns is that marketers can use Promote Mode while still creating individual campaigns using Twitter Ads.

There are no guarantees

Twitter says that “on average accounts will reach 30,000 additional people and add 30 followers each month” when using Promote Mode. But it also notes that “performance may vary based on factors including your account type, your targeting selection, the type and frequency of your Tweets.”

In other words, there are no guarantees and Promote Mode is yet another black box that marketers have to have faith in should they decide to use it.

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