Twitter marketing trials attract Disney and Coca-Cola

Twitter is cranking up its ad revenue and business sales generation efforts with the launch of @earlybird, a limited-time deals feed which provides time-sensitive offers from advertisers.

Already it has signed up Disney, which is using @earlybird for a two-for-one promotion for its latest film, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The tweet takes users to a separate page to buy the tickets with a discount code.

This is part of some intensive trials by Twitter, which prove how serious it is about developing some proper advertising revenue streams. The company is offering Promoted Tweets, which appear in search results, and Promoted Trends, which are on its home page, while the @earlybird feature is regarded as a sales or business tool rather than an advertising service.

Sensibly the Twitter approach is to try to blend in with its customers through finding activities happening on the service and amplifying them. So @earlybird will exist as a regular tweet from Disney’s account and retweet the message.

Similarly, advertisers can only run a Promoted Trend for something that is already getting traffic on the service. The aim is for consumers not just to take up a deal but to spread it further through retweets.

Although still in its infancy the potential is clear. According to Coca-Cola, its Promoted Tweets campaign linked to the World Cup gained 86 million impressions in a day and a six per cent interaction rate.

Further evidence that Google and Facebook have a serious battle on their hands for social media marketing dominance.

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About David O'Reilly

David is a former deputy editor of Campaign and writer for a number of leading titles including Management Today and the Sunday Times. He is a partner in The Editorial Partnership.