FIRST LOOK: Cool Stuff Inside Twitter's New Advertising Interface

Twitter blue bird

Photo: Creative Tools

Twitter recently allowed just five companies to build new interfaces for Twitter’s Ads API, the interface that allows advertisers to plug in promoted tweet ad campaigns automatically to Twitter.The move was potentially the beginning of a huge transformation for Twitter, a platform seen as an interesting but small-scale social media add-on for many marketers.

Now, with automated, en masse buying made easier, Twitter is poised to move to the core of any large advertiser’s budget — in part because of its close association with TV.

TV watchers like to tweet, and activity on Twitter closely reflects stuff that’s happening on TV.

TBG Digital gave us a first look at the dashboard it has built for Twitter’s Ads API. The company — already one of Facebook’s largest ad buyers — believes advertisers will want to buy campaigns on Twitter to augment their TV advertising. (After all, what’s the point of buying a Super Bowl ad if no one tweets about it?)

The TBG Twitter tool also allows advertisers to time their campaigns so they can hijack, or ride on the coattails of, anything else that’s happening on TV, too — much as Oreo did when then lights went out at the Super Bowl in February.

Here’s how it works.

Big seal of approval: Twitter's Adam Bain endorses TBG's efforts.

Voila! The new dashboard: This looks complicated but it isn't. All your ongoing Twitter campaigns are listed down the far left hand column. Their various performance metrics are listed under the other columns, just like an Excel spreadsheet. You can sort the campaigns by any metric to see which are most, and which are least, effective. Metrics include pricing, engagement, retweets, clicks, replies and visits, among others. Amazingly, seeing everything together in one place wasn't possible on the old API.

TBG's other product is called Calendarlive. It allows advertisers to buy Twitter campaigns targeted against TV shows.

TBG believes Twitter and TV go together, hand in glove, as viewers tweet their reactions to shows.

This chart shows how many tweets you get from an ad on TV; an ad on TV that uses a hashtag; and an ad on TV that uses a hashtag plus a simultaneous Twitter ad campaign. Twitter magnifies the effect of TV, in other words.

Running a Twitter campaign during a live event — such as a TV show — gets better results than non-live, ongoing targeting.

(TBG also has a SXSW Twitter app that lets you see which talks are being tweeted about.)

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