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Do you want more clicks or more followers? Twitter launches objective-based ads



richard-dawson-family-feud-646x330We asked 100 people, top 3 answers on the board to this question. Name the best website for digital advertising.

Ding! Google!

Ding! Facebook

Ding!. . . . Twitter?

Twitter is working hard to become your number three choice. They’re offering more tools, more analytics and they’re making advertising more accessible to the small business owner. Move over Oreo, Frankie’s French Fried Coconut Cookie Company is coming after you!

To help Frankie (and all of you) reach his goals, Twitter is rolling out an objective-based campaign option. Choose and action and pay only when someone completes that action. It couldn’t be simpler.

When you start a new campaign, you get a list of target objectives:

Twitter Campaing Picker

You can choose to increase your followers, drive traffic to your website, encourage folks to interact with your Tweets, install an app or collect their email address for follow-up. There’s a choice here for every business.

Here’s where I cringe a little. Twitter suggest “Followers” as a good choice for new users but my feeling is this – if you run a small ecommerce store, what you need are customers. Yes, it’s fun to see the follower number climb but what you really need are buyers not windowshoppers.

That’s not to say that there isn’t any benefit in having 1,000 or 10,000 followers. If those followers share your message with their followers, that’s how you expand your business. And just because a follower isn’t a customer today, doesn’t mean they won’t be a customer some day. . . maybe. I suppose I have followed online stores that intrigue me long before I’ve bought something from them. Follower than customer is probably more of an exception than the rule.

Back to business.

Once you choose your campaign objective, Twitter gives you a fill-in-the-blank template:

Twitter Ad Creative ToolThe hardest thing about creating an ad is saying everything you want to say in Tweet form! You can target the ad based on keywords or interests, then it’s time to fill in the money blanks: what’s your total budget, daily limits and bid per action.

Once you’ve released your new, objective-based campaign into the wild you’ll be able to monitor its progress using Twitter’s nifty new analytics dashboard. (Even if you don’t buy ads, you can use this tool and you should. It’s terrific.) The tool will track and report on whatever metric you chose for your campaign so you can clearly see your ROI.

Right now, Twitter is testing this new tool with a few invited guests and managed partners. We can assume that if all goes well they’ll eventually open it up to everyone.