So, Twitter is bringing its new ad platform to the UK, with Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends – sounds like the commercial strategy of a certain leading search engine.

I’ve just got back from the TBG Breakfast Club Seminar where Twitter’s director of sales Amanda Levy unveiled the ad platform to Europe. It will be rolled out over the remainder of 2010 in tandem with a redesigned Twitter site that will have two new features: Embedded media, allowing video to be incorporated into tweets for the first time from YouTube, Ustream and 14 other partners; and Contextual tweets that will enable linking to related tweets.

Levy said the ad platform would allow brands to realise the commercial opportunities inherent in Twitter’s USPs of ‘relevance’, ’resonance’ and ‘real time’. Promoted Tweets will appear at the top of a search on and will include a yellow banner identifying the sponsor. In Q4 this will be extended onto Google, Bing and Yahoo. They will initially be priced by CPM and CPE but will eventually move to an auction model.

Promoted Trends will appear as the 11th trend in Twitter’s Top 10 Trends Topics. The cost for a 24-hour block is $80,000. Levy said this could be used to alert people to product launches. Disney is trialling it to promote movie releases. Currently, both commercial options can only be bought at a global level, but Twitter is looking at geo-targeting and will introduce domestic v international targeting in 2011.

Twitter is also introducing Dashboards, a conversation analytics tool that will allow brands to track and evaluate tweets – “how you perform tweet by tweet.”

Facebook head of strategy and planning Trevor Johnson and UK commercial director Stephen Haines also updated the audience on FB Connect, which allows brands to build pages on the platform, and Social Plug-Ins, such as the Like button that enables brands to be recommended to friends, and the online shopping opportunities. They claimed that FB users spend more money on FB than off FB, with an average check-out purchase of $42.

They also revealed that a KFC chicken wings coupon redemption campaign that targeted 1.5m FB fans, resulted in 180,000 coupons being printed off and 40,000 being redeemed with an average spend per coupon of $38. A Royal Opera House campaign signed up 20,000 opera lovers who clicked on the Like button for concert promotions.

They also claimed that FB was now becoming the primary environment for brands’ customer service with customers seeing FB as the most effective place to register complaints among like-minded people and brands monitoring discussion and responding.

Quick Social Media Facts:

  • Average FB user has 190 friends and spends 28 minutes a day on FB.
  • Starbucks has 10m fans on its FB page.
  • Twitter has 210m unique visitors each month, a 100% y-o-y increase.
  • Twitter has 160m registered users, a 50% y-o-y increase.
  • 65% of Twitter traffic is international and 78% goes to
  • There are 100m tweets per day.
  • Tweets during the recent MTV Video Music Awards peaked at 250 per second.