Twitter’s Advertiser Outreach More ‘Mr. Coffee’ Than Firehose

While Twitter has affectionately been called a “firehose” because of the site’s continuous flow of tweets, opportunities for the advertising community have only come in drips. That reality was highlighted by the San Francisco-based social media company’s unveiling today of a new lead-gen form for interested advertisers, part of its upgraded “Business Center” section.

First reported by Mashable, the form involves two columns of five fields asking for marketers’ contact information and whether they are interested in Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and/or Promoted Trends. They can identify themselves as potential spenders of less than $10,000 or as much as $100,000.

To be clear, this is not a self-service platform – ad inventory cannot be purchased through the form. But Twitter plans on following up with sales calls to prospects in the coming months, said spokesperson Matt Graves. However, interested advertisers today may be wondering if their time spent on the lead-gen form may be in vain, as hitting the submit button has been producing an error message: “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!”

Twitter, no doubt, will get the technical issue fixed, and advertisers will eventually get a pitch they definitely will consider. After all, the micro-blogging site has more than 100 million users who reveal interest-level information that can be used for ad targeting.

At the same time, the lead-gen form’s error message seems emblematic of the level of patience curious advertisers have had to sustain when it comes to four-year-old Twitter. Never in a big hurry, the company appears content to fill its money pot one drip at a time.

Indeed, watching the so-called firehose of the digital world languidly reveal its monetization plans can produce the kind of finger-tapping once reserved in offices for the Mr. Coffee machine.

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