Is it better to advertise on Twitter or Foursquare? Can 20 million users be more valuable than 500 million? Twitter and Foursquare offer very different environments yet they are two of the newest and most vibrant advertising programs in the marketplace.
With the launch of the new Foursquare ad program a rivalry has started between the kings of location promotion, and the giants of micro-blogging. As the online ad market expands at rapid pace Foursquare have put a stake in the ground and entered the fray with paid-for ads they term ‘promoted updates’.
This latest announcement comes as creeping resentment mounts around the so-called increasing commercialisation of social media, but growing commercialisation surely equals increasing opportunities for those seeking digital media jobs and social media jobs.
A Step in The Right Direction?
Promoted updates or promoted tweets, whatever your poison, it seems that social media advertising has taken a leap forwards. Or backwards depending on your point of view, as this is the second commerce-related development at Foursquare Towers in the space of a week.
Currently boasting more than 20million users and around one million merchants, the launch of Foursquare’s promoted updates comes on the back of ‘local updates’, which enable retailers to send details of promotions and offers to potential customers by location.
Just as Foursquare is offering advertisers the option to drill down in the guts of its user demographics and advertise ‘organically’ depending on preference, location, gender and age; so Twitter has also announced its own ‘targeted tweets’, which allow marketers to target specific groups.
Promoted tweets do already offer this feature of course, but using that service means the marketer would have to send a tweet to all of their followers. Targeted tweets allow audience breakdown into subsets such as location, device and application.
Who’s Already On Board?
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the whole commercialisation debate for those seeking jobs in the media is seeing which companies are keen to get involved with these latest developments. Those joining forces with Foursquare and their promoted updates include Mario Batali Restaurants, Old Navy, Best Buy, Hertz, Hilton Hotels and J.C. Penney, while Twitter counts British Airways, Coca Cola, The Washington Post co. and Wendy’s among its targeted tweets fans.
If it’s a battle of the brands, then the little blue bird wins hands down with its raft of global mega-corporations. Just having Coca Cola on board would be enough to swing it for most, plus Twitter have already rolled out the targeted tweet service out globally, while Foursquare seem content with a share of the US market for now – albeit a big tasty share.
The stats make for some pretty interesting reading too – of its 140million active users, 79% follow brands in order to get exclusive content, and during the Super Bowl 20% of commercials included a hashtag, plus the company’s workforce has grown to fifty times its original size in just four years. Foursquare on the other hand has 100 employees, 20million users and has, in three years, generated 2billion check-ins so it still has a way to go to catch up to the bird.
Such developments must mean great things for anyone eyeing up a career in the sector. As advertising becomes more sophisticated, so knowledgeable marketers must take their place at the forefront of this increasingly competitive market to help advertisers get the best return for their money.