Twitter has struck a huge advertising partnership that businesses large and small should pay attention to. Under the deal, Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), a subsidiary of French advertising conglomerate Publicis, and Twitter will pool their resources on a number of analytics projects over the course of multiple years. Starcom represents major brands including Microsoft, Samsung, Walmart and Coca-Cola.
Estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the deal is Twitter's largest ad partnership yet. But what does it mean for for brands beyond SMG's star-studded portfolio?
Here are five details business owners should watch out for:
1. The deal is all about data.
Twitter's interest in SMG isn't just brand-deep. The considerable reach of SMG's clients will serve as a test for what Twitter says it really wants to know -- namely how consumers are engaging with content on its platform.
Twitter intends to mine a massive haul of analytics out of its new partnership. The trends that emerge from that wide swath of data -- particularly the anatomy of a successful, engaging Twitter ad -- will in turn be made widely available via public reports on best practices and engagement insights -- relevant tips for any brand navigating Twitter's fickle social waters.
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2. Fine-tuning the 'when.'
Your company may know who to communicate with and what to say, but on the ever-ephemeral social network, that might not cut it. Twitter wants to leverage the data from this big deal to help all brands crack that other more delicate W -- the when. The realtime social network has a vested interest in helping its advertisers serve up the most engaging content possible. That starts with being in the right place at the right time, Twitter says.
3. Twitter isn't playing favorites.
The SMG deal is nonexclusive, so the rapport between the two companies won't keep Twitter from striking up other partnerships. While the two may work on projects such as custom mobile surveys, Twitter's promoted products suite will remain the same across its ad client base.
4. TV and Twitter: a perfect pair?
If it wasn't already apparent, Twitter and television are an advertising match made in heaven. Twitter's unprecedented collaboration with Nielsen and its recent acquisition of entertainment analytics group Bluefin Labs all point to the TV-Twitter combo as a lucrative frontier for advertisers. Twitter can now reap the benefits of its SMG data harvest using the analytics tools it's cooked up with Nielsen and Bluefin to elevate brands at large.
5. Small businesses won't be left out.
Twitter maintains that its core users are small businesses -- and it won't be ignoring them when it comes to advertising on the social network. The company expects the recent launch of keyword targeting -- which gives advertisers the ability to reach users based on keywords in their tweets and tweets they've recently interacted with -- to prove useful for small businesses in particular. Since they can utilize the same tools as the big fish in SMG's lineup, large-scale insight around keyword targeting should have a potent trickle-down effect for the little guy, too.