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updated 3/4/2013 11:15:57 AM ET 2013-03-04T16:15:57

In his book Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business, online marketing expert Ted Prodromou offers an easy-to-understand guide to using Twitter that will help small-business owners generate leads and connect with customers. In this edited excerpt, the author describes three paid services you can use on Twitter to promote your business or your brand.

Three tools make up the Twitter "Promote Products" suite. They are Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends. These products are fairly new and very expensive to get started -- an entry-level campaign will cost at least $15,000 for a three-month campaign -- so they're primarily being used by large businesses now. Eventually Twitter will offer more affordable advertising options so small businesses can take advantage of Twitter's popularity and volume of web traffic.

1. Promoted Accounts.
The purpose of Promoted Accounts is to help you add more influencers and advocates to your brand. You can use Promoted Accounts to build brand loyalty, increase exposure for your campaigns, and grow your earned media. Earned media, owned media, and paid media are terms used to help you measure the success of your social media campaigns. "Earned media" refers specifically to publicity gained through editorial influence, whereas social media refers to publicity gained through grassroots action on the internet. "Owned media" is a media channel that you own, like your website or blog. "Paid media" is when a brand pays money to leverage a media channel like online advertising.

Related: The ABCs of Twitter, Part I

When you run a Promoted Accounts campaign on Twitter, your Twitter account will appear as a Promoted entry at the top of the Who to Follow box on targeted people's Twitter page. Promoted Accounts campaigns are targeted by interests. Twitter algorithmically determines the interests of the people you follow. The advertisers refine the algorithmic targeting with interest-based keywords, resulting in an average retention rate of 90 percent, which is incredible. You can also choose to do geo-targeting by country and/or by metro areas in the United States. You are charged on a cost–per-follow (CPF) basis. This means you only pay when someone becomes a follower from clicking on your ad. The average price per follower is between two and three U.S. dollars, depending on the competiveness of the market you are targeting.

2. Promoted Tweets.
Promoted Tweets is another Twitter advertising option where you create Tweets that are displayed to your target market. The benefits of Promoted Tweets include amplified conversations, driving engagement, and leveraging real-time intent.

An "amplified conversation" is just what it sounds like. By promoting a Twitter conversation with a Promoted Tweet, you're expanding the range of the conversation exponentially.

"Driving engagement" is similar to amplifying the conversation. You're engaging significantly more people by using Promoted Tweets to spread your message. If you simply Tweet a message about your brand, your followers will see your Tweet and it will appear on the Twitter timeline where a few others may see it. When you promote your Tweet, you'll engage a lot more people because your message will appear in Twitter streams that contain keywords similar to those in your Tweet. It's like renting a billboard at a very busy intersection where everyone who passes through will see your message.

Related: 4 Quick Tips for Using Social Media for Customer Service 

"Leveraging real-time intent" through Promoted Tweets lets you get your message out to others at specific times. For example, if your company is a major sponsor at a tradeshow, you can leverage that sponsorship by using Promoted Tweets during the event. Your Promoted Tweets will appear in real time and will be promoting your message to everyone who is following the tradeshow's hashtag.

Your Promoted Tweets will drive targeted traffic to promotions on your website or your blog. Promoted Tweets are displayed in Timelines and in Search results and are designated as Promoted by your Twitter username. You can target specific countries and metropolitan areas for regional and local messages, or run your campaign worldwide.

Promoted Tweets are charged on a cost-per-engagement (CPE) pricing model where you're only charged when a user engages by taking action on your Tweet. If they click on your link, Favorite your Tweet, ReTweet, or Reply to your Tweet, you'll be charged anywhere from 50 cents to $1.50 per engagement. The engagement rate is approximately 1 to 3 percent, which is very similar to other online advertising campaigns.

3. Promoted Trends.
Promoted Trends is another form of Twitter advertising. Twitter Trends is one of the most popular sections of Twitter so your ad will receive a lot of attention. You can use Promoted Trends to:

• Make a company announcement.
• Seed a conversation.
• Kick off an online or offline event.

Here are some facts about the Promoted Trends campaigns:

Fixed Placement

• Exclusive unit in the Trends module on the user's home timeline page
• 25,000,000 average daily U.S. impressions
• Average engagement rate is .3 percent on the Trend, 5 to 7 percent on the related Promoted Tweet

Increased Demand

• One advertiser per 24-hour day
• Fixed price for U.S. Promoted Trend is $120,000 reserved on a first-come, first-served basis for a given date

Promoted Trends campaigns aren't cheap, but they're very effective for medium to large businesses. You receive exclusive placement for 24 hours and over 25 million impressions in the United States, which is tremendous exposure for your brand.

Related: 5 Lessons for Brands From the Burger King Twitter Hack 
 

Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.

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