According to Debra Aho Williamson, an EMarketer analyst, the San-Francisco-based Twitter, will probably reach $250 million in 2012 for its ad sales. Twitter has attracted advertisers such as Nissan Motor Co., Starbucks Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.
Twitter has been competing with rival, Facebook and companies such as Google Inc. in terms of advertising. It has over 175 million users worldwide. Twitter will need to boost its user base while demonstrating that ads posted on its pages are effective, according to Williamson. She noted, that a December Pew Research Center report said only 8% of U.S. Web surfers use Twitter.
Williamson commented, “the company is definitely attracting brand advertisers.” She also added, “the difference is going to be whether Twitter can prove itself to advertisers as delivering results. I think this will be the year that we know a lot more.”
Twitter’s value last month reached $3.7 billion after venture capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers funded it with $200 million. In September 2009, it was valued at $1 billion.
On the other hand, Facebook had ad sales in 2007 amounting to $150 million. EMarketer estimates Facebook’s ad revenue for 2010 is at $1.86 billion.
The leading social networking site has added features than those available on Twitter. It has more than 500 million users.
According to Williamson, “to boost sales, Twitter is unlikely to unveil a do-it yourself ad service that won’t require contact with salespeople and is similar to offerings on Google and Facebook. She also added, the service will make it easier for smaller and mid-sized businesses to market their wares on Twitter.”
Williamson also noted, “global expansion will give Twitter an added revenue boost in the coming years.” Twitter’s overall revenue may include sales from agreements to distribute Twitter information on other sites, including search engines.
The company has “promotional trends” feature that lets its advertisers pay for placement atop a list of the trending topics. This was popularized by Twitter. The company also allows advertisers to promote among user searches, alongside suggestions of accounts that users may want to follow.
According to Joshua Clifton, Nissan’s Manager of Social Media Communications, “Nissan used the “promoted trends” tool to market its Leaf vehicle in connection with the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month.” He also added, “the campaign, which ran 24 hours, had more engagement from users than expected.”
Lastly, Clifton said, “we wanted to make ourselves top of mind and be in that part of the conversation. Our reach was pretty strong.”