Twitter has always been in the business of chatter, but the media company has found a new way to incorporate consumer conversations into its ad offering.
Last week Twitter announced a new ad unit called “conversational” ads that serve as prompts for consumers to join in on a conversation a brand is shepherding. The ads use the same buttons from the poll feature Twitter rolled out last fall. When clicked, the buttons pre-populate a tweet for the user, giving them a ready-made response they can send out to their followers.
The ads are still being beta tested with a handful of brands, including Samsung Canada and Sport Chek. According to Twitter Canada’s head of brand strategy Jamie Michaels, there’s no set date for a wide release.
How Samsung Canada used conversational to promote the Gear S2
Late last month, Samsung Canada used conversational ads to promote its new smartwatch, the Gear S2. In one of two implementations, the brand asked its followers to choose between walking or riding transit. By clicking #TimeToWalk or #TimeToRide, consumers could declare their preference in a tweet.
Samsung Canada CMO Mark Childs told Marketing the two conversational ads it ran drove over 53,000 media engagements and 484 uses for the button-hashtags over a four-day period, which is five times the brand’s average organic engagement rate.
Childs said the ad unit helped Samsung show how the Gear S2 could fit into any active lifestyle and successfully drove chatter about the product. “We were impressed with the potential to easily engage with our Canadian consumers,” he said.
The Twitter brand enthusiast gallery
Conversational ads are one of several ways Twitter is currently incorporating user-generated content into its ads.
According to reports, the company also showed off a yet-to-be-released feature called a “brand enthusiast gallery” that will allow marketers to look through user tweets they might want to promote.
Brands can then ask the user for permission to use the tweet as an ad and put media dollars behind it; a process that has been done on an ad hoc basis in the past by brands including Dove Canada.