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Promotions on Twitter catching on in India; still lag other markets

By Surabhi Agarwal
January 02, 2015 11:01 IST
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Twitter currently has five advertising products in India, which include promoted tweets, accounts, trends, video and mobile applications.

TwitterSectors such as technology, telecom, automobiles, consumer product groups and e-commerce are aggressively using the brand-building platform in India.

Industrialist Gautam Singhania has close to 8,80,000 followers on Twitter, yet he has opted for a service that ‘promotes’ his tweets by displaying them to a wider audience beyond his own followers.

The tweet can include an inspirational picture or a video of his comments on any raging topic of the day.

Singhania, who is the chairman and managing director of Raymond Ltd, is one of the most prominent users of the service offered by the micro-blogging site and underlines the rising popularity of promotions on Twitter in the country.

Twitter currently has five advertising products in India, which include promoted tweets, accounts, trends, video and mobile applications.

For the company, which booked revenues of $361 million during the September quarter, $320 million arose from advertising. Promotions are the largest revenue earner for Twitter in India and globally.

According to Twitter, sectors such as technology, telecom, automobiles, consumer product groups and e-commerce are aggressively using this brand-building platform in India. Companies like Samsung, Mercedes, Audi, Pepsi, Cadbury's, Amazon and Naukri are prominent users of this service.

Parminder Singh, managing director (SEA, India, MENA), Twitter, said for a marketer this was a ‘powerful way to reach out to the audience since it ensures a high degree of engagement.’

He added that Twitter used sophisticated technology to make the service very targeted as it tried to display tweets or campaigns to people who were most likely to be interested in viewing them.

The analysis is based on several aspects such as the other followers on the user’s list and can include pointers like ‘the kind of mobile phone they are using.’

Twitter charges users on the cost of engagement, which means that marketers or promoters don’t have to pay based on the likely number of views. Instead, each time a user replies, retweets or ‘favorites’ the tweet, the promoter or the marketer has to pay.

The cost ‘per engagement’ is decided by auction and can range between Rs 20 and Rs 30. Singh said engagement rates were anywhere between 2 and 5 per cent and it was a ‘high’ engagement rate.

“I can vouch for it,” he added.

Singh said the service was especially useful for new advertisers, account or application developers because it could provide them visibility faster.

The Indian Premier League and the general elections were ‘big moments’ for advertisers to reach out to their target audience, added Singh.

In the case of individuals who promote their tweets, it means extending their message beyond the core group of followers, including reaching out to people similar to their existing followers.

At the end of September, Twitter had 284 million active users. The company’s revenue outside the US totaled $121 million and accounted for 34 per cent of its total revenue. India is one of the largest markets for the company outside the US.

However, India has a long way to go in terms of matching advertising revenue from other major markets of Twitter.

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Surabhi Agarwal in New Delhi
Source: source
 

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