TwitterSmallBusinessOpprotunitiesOver the past few months Twitter has been busy strengthening their advertising platform. Small businesses should take note because these new additions can mean new opportunities.

The updates began rolling out in March when Twitter announced that self-service advertisers would have a wider set of options to target particular types of users on the social network. Now, they can target by geography, interest, gender; get promoted on mobile, desktop and tablets and track progress with more in-depth analytics.

They also granted advertisers in the U.S. access to Twitter’s advanced interface which includes deeper campaign controls and more detailed reporting. Advertisers can choose from over 350 interest categories – from Automotive, Business, Events, Gaming, Life Stages and Travel. Ads can also be targeted by device (i.e., desktop and/or mobile).

Then, in April, Twitter announced the ability for advertisers to use keyword targeting in timelines. This feature allows businesses to reach users based on the keywords in their recent tweets and the tweets they recently engaged with.

Similar to how cookies on your computer help determine ads you might see when browsing on the Internet based on what you’ve clicked on, Twitter is essentially doing the same thing. They will take users interest, or keywords, and leverage them to let advertisers reach those users.

So how can small businesses take advantage of the new Twitter features? Here are a few ideas:

  • If you haven’t already, set up a self-service ad campaign on Twitter to target keywords most likely to be used by your customers. Not only should you include your business name or products, but other keywords that would lead them to use your business.
  • The newly re-launched Twitter for Business resources page can provide education, tools, and success stories to give you ideas on how to focus your Twitter efforts to reach new customers.
  • You can choose to promote both your Twitter business account and tweets. First choose a location to target, and then enter in the interests of the people you want to reach. Twitter’s new features find those users who would most likely be interested in you and promotes your business to them.
  • If your business is getting ready to launch a new product or service, start promoting it several weeks ahead on Twitter. Set up a calendar of the tweets you want to send out, a budget of how much you want to spend to promote those tweets and be prepared to pay close attention to the engagement you get so you can change what’s not working and focus on what is.
  • Remember to use Twitter’s improved analytics tools for small businesses. Get impressions, number of clicks and click rates by device, location, gender and interest as they happen and adjust your promotion campaign accordingly.

Twitter’s efforts to increase advertising options are a smart move for businesses. But a smarter move is for small business owners to take advantage of the new features and try some fresh advertising options. Have you used Twitter self-service advertising in the past and seen success? Tell us how you used it to drive more customers; we’d love to hear from you.