Advertising on social media has been a dominant force for several years now. In fact, search advertising has even taken a hit in recent years due to the amount of time people spend browsing social networking sites. It’s not like Google’s trembling in their Adwords boots right now, but it’s probably been on their radar.
That said, social advertising has had the disadvantage of being relatively uncertain for a time, due to the platforms and tools that facilitate it not having as much time to evolve like the ones that support more traditional online advertising. Twitter, long the number two social media network in the English-speaking world, is looking to rectify this by rolling out a feature they call “ads editor” – yes, all lower case – which allows advertisers to bulk edit the parameters and copy of their twitter ads using excel spreadsheet uploads. The use of such techniques is far from new, but it could certainly be a blessing for those who manage hundreds or thousands of different twitter advertisements for their clients’ campaigns (or their own, for that matter).
Things like end dates, budgets, and targeting criteria can be changed en masse by simply downloading a spreadsheet of your campaign, making the appropriate edits, and re-uploading it, explains twitter’s project manager Deepak Rao. Once uploaded, a single click will apply the changes you’ve specified to all affected campaigns; it’s that easy.
The tool will be especially useful to large-volume advertisers, who have the budget to bankroll massive trial and error campaigns based around hashtags and keywords much in the same way Adwords giants work: They begin with ads based around thousand of keywords, sometimes with multiple variants of copy each, and slowly trim the fat, taking away those that perform poorly and focusing instead on split-testing frontrunners. In theory, twitter’s new ads editor will allow advertisers to conduct these types of changes with relative ease compared to the manual editing required before.
Of course, your own intuitive (or learned) marketing savvy will be your best tool here, but no one ever complained about a little time-saving help from technology, right? The tool itself is not available to the public yet, but twitter plans to begin rolling it out to select advertising partners over the next few days. These individuals and firms will get the first chance to test the new product, before twitter expects to have the platform fully rolled out for everyone within two to three weeks. If you’re keep to see if you’re one of the chosen few for this tiered testing, keep your eyes peeled for a notification from ads.twitter.com
Of course, early skeptics of the tool have already emerged, arguing that the use of such a primitive tool as Excel might mean limiting the capabilities of users on ads editor. For example, finding a simple way to factor potential reach and suggested bid into spreadsheets will be difficult, as a spreadsheet will exist as a static, offline document once you edit it on your computer. If the tool worked in a browser-based office variant, however, it might be able to make suggestions in real time in accordance with your edits.
Of course, only time will tell how well the tool actually catches on, but here’s to hoping for the best.