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Are Twitter's leaked costs for brands justifiable?

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

December 13, 2011 | 2 min read

Twitter's decision to charge brands for followers they gain and clicks they receive is "an obvious step for the company" according to a digital marketing agency.

Last week a leaked email from the microblogging company revealed how much it charges brands to use its advertising platform.

Costs range from $2.50 and $4 per follower and $0.75 to $2.50 for each click, favourite, retweet or reply.

Geoff Parker, client services director at Click Consult, said: “Twitter is an incredibly successful social media firm that is now looking to progress its business even further and, if brands are happy to pay these fees, then this is an obvious step for the company.

“It wasn’t so long ago that Google was in a similar situation. In fact, before it had a paid search platform the company made no money at all for the first few years of trading. Twitter is now at a similar stage where it has built a significant following and they are now making money out of it.

“The question now for advertisers is whether the cost is justifiable to deliver a return and, as customers are looking to interact more with brands through more informal means like social media, I believe it could be.

“It will be interesting to see however, how the firm deals with the ethics of the situation. What will be key here is consumer response to this information and whether they believe this practise is ethical on a platform that has put social interaction at the heart of its existence. It’s vital that Twitter move on from this and ensure that the business element of the service is integrated organically.”

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