No other social media platform out there compares to Twitter when talking about traditional broadcast media integration. But their ads API, until now, has lacked the ability to really take advantage of this, at least in scale. But the numbers just don’t lie, which is why a first glimpse into their new Ad APIhas many excited at the possibities. 85% of tablet/smartphone owners use their devices while watching TV at least once a month, and 40% of them do it daily. 44% of 18-24 year olds, and close to half of the 25-34 year old demographic actually visit social networking sites during both programming and commercials, according to Nielsen’s Q2 2012 cross-platform report.
Last week TBG Digital, one of five companies chosen to build out interfaces for Twitter’s ad’s API, gave Business Insider a first look at it’s capabilities, design and functioning. The resulting dashboard allows users to buy advertising from Twitter in ways it couldn’t before. Until now, the only way to buy ads was directly from Twitter’s self-service interface or direct sales team if you had a large enough budget. And the only way you could effectively run ads aligned with a ‘second-screen’ experience was by running frequent campaigns targeting different things simultaneously, which was to say the least, cumbersome.
TBG Digital’s One Media Manager has some features that can help brands augment their TV advertising, and makes the ad buying process much more streamlined than it was before. Using the Calendar Live feature, brands can select shows they want to run promoted tweets during, the time zone desired and ad unit ahead of time.
This is something you couldn’t do before, and as noted by AdWeek, “…a brand like Nestle would be able to pick out cooking shows or Pep Boys could select NASCAR races.” This, along with the ability to update live trending hashtags to target during shows solidifies Twitters social TV advertising domination, and the possibilities ahead.
Running promoted tweets tied to live events is something of particular interest, as engagement rates are 18% higher for live events versus just running standard promoted tweets. So companies who used the Super Bowl power outage, for instance, to engage users, could be doing that a lot more frequently, and a lot quicker. Speaking to AdWeek’s Tim Peterson, TBG Digital CEO Simon Mansell said, “During the Super Bowl, the first blackout ad took four minutes to go live. If they had our system then, they’d see that #blackout was trending and automatically add it to the trend targeting.”
This move should help Twitter monetize more of it’s 400 million tweets/day inventory. And according to a post last month from Twitter Product Manager, April Underwood, “This is just the start of our efforts that will give advertisers more choice – and for our partners who are ad tool providers, the Ads API represents a new way for their expertise to meet the needs of their clients.”
It will be interesting to see what some of the other initial partners come up with, as some are agencies, but Hootsuite and Salesforce are two that aren’t, and should provide some additional unique functions using the new Ads API that people should keep an eye out for.