Social media is a powerful tool that marketers can use to connect with customers, fans and target audiences. Social media has become so big in America it’s easy to see how useful it is for reaching local audiences. However, it’s sometimes easy to underestimate the power of social media networks, like Twitter, for reaching international audiences. Twitter has expanded its ad network, and now its ads are available pretty much anywhere in the world.
In the time since it became a publicly traded company, Twitter has struggled to show how the revenue potential of the platform. Twitter recently released data that made it easy to see just how much the company’s ad network had grown in just a short period of time.
Twitter announced that it has approximately 100,000 advertisers, up from the 60,000 it reported last November. The company has expanded availability of its self-service ad dashboard to more than 200 countries and territories. This is the lion’s share of the countries on Earth and greatly expands the number of markets that can use these features past the 33 that originally had the updated dashboard.
This expansion essentially means that upgraded ad functionality is available in every market Twitter serves. And while one might think this the growth in advertisers is driven by large companies, Twitter says there is a fair number of small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) who are taking advantage of social media ads.
“Since we launched Twitter Ads for SMBs over two years ago, we’ve heard from our clients about how they’ve used our creative, measurement, and targeting tools to drive website clicks or conversions, leads, and app installs or re-engagements,” said Richard Alfonsin in a blog post announcing the expansion. “And, with objective-based campaigns, reports, and pricing, it’s easier than ever for SMBs to drive results on Twitter while only paying for the actions that align with their marketing objectives.”
This news is more than just Twitter patting itself on the back. In an increasingly global marketplace, giving marketers the ability to target promoted tweets by country to nearly the entire world, in the 15 languages the platform supports, is a tremendous value. It increases the options for non-profit and government organizations trying to get information out to harder-to-access areas. Similarly, businesses that want to market their online products to certain countries can use Twitter to reach their target audience.
There may be even more changes on the way. In a discussion with MarketingLand, Twitter told the writer that “that targeting by state, province and ZIP code will soon be available globally, in the countries large enough to need the feature” was a feature on the way. Much like the Local Awareness Ads on Facebook, this kind of targeting on Twitter is currently is limited to 18 larger markets, including the US, UK, Indonesia, Australia, Italy and Japan.
These improvements to the Twitter ad platform notwithstanding, there are still tremendous challenges that Twitter must face going forward to increase revenues and make stockholders happy. Even now, this announcement comes in the midst of a time for change at Twitter when the company doesn’t even have a permanent CEO. Other platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram continue to grow in fan base and advertising capabilities, so their competition is increasing faster than ever.