Twitter has offered business in the U.S. free advertising credits of up to $100 to promote its new ad small business ad push in that market, and now it is repeating the effort in the UK, with an even sweeter deal of £1,000 in ad credits ($1,600), redeemable on Twitter’s Promoted Products, as it continues to become more serious about its involvement in advertising.
Businesses who would like to be considered for the offer — or others who would like a business to be considered — need to send a tweet before July 30 with the hashtag #ukbizstories, describing in 140 characters or less how the business uses “Twitter creatively to connect with the community and reach their customers.”
That means that the benefits for Twitter here are twofold: not only will Twitter get some dedicated customers onto its ad network, but it will be amassing stories — on its own, public platform — of how effective Twitter can be for businesses. “By submitting a testimonial, you grant Twitter permission to share your testimonial (including your name, profile picture, and any other text or media associated with your Twitter account) in case studies, presentations and other promotional materials. Twitter may work with those businesses we have selected to find the right Promoted Products to promote their account and Tweets,” it writes on its blog.
That second benefit is much more in keeping with the kind of viral promotion that Twitter has been so effective for up to now. As for the first, we have yet to see whether consumers really like or want a new influx of ads in their streams — which seems to be the inevitable direction that this could go.
While Google has made significant inroads into advertising in Europe, there is now a land grab, it seems, to make a similar impact among social networks.
Twitter’s marketing scheme follows on from a deal launched by Facebook in Europe at the end of May, in which the company is offering up to 50,000 businesses with Facebook fanbases of more than 50 the chance to pick up £20 in Facebook ad credits (and an additional £60 in credits as their fanbases grow). That deal is kicking off first in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Although the ad credit value is higher here than the offer Twitter made with American Express in the U.S. (which is being offered to the first 10,000 applicants), Twitter is being more selective in this case: while it picks up a potentially wide pool of public tweets about Twitter usage in marketing, it will be making a selection from that group to receive the final prize of £1,000 in credits.