Twitter recently announced its new ad model of Promoted Tweets as a better way to tie in revenue to what the site does. Namely, businesses will have their tweets highlighted in search results, with the hope that support for Twitter stream and third-party applications will come somewhere down the line.  The service isn’t quite self serve yet, but it’s still being touted by certain big brands. And the end of the day, though, small businesses may stand to benefit the most.

Thousands of companies large and small are already on Twitter, writes Adam Ostrow. Promoted Tweets introduces a way for these businesses to gain extra exposure for their messages. For example, if you own a coffee shop, when a user searches for ‘coffee’ on Twitter, you ll conceivably be able to have a tweet from your business sit atop the results.

These Promoted Tweets are not like ad banners, and will indeed work based upon how the Twitter audience reacts to them. Using a system called resonance, ads will work based on how users engage with them, making engaging marketing messages key.

Mobile phones will be crucial for Tweeting on the go, and this sort of promotion will be key to businesses large and small alike. Currently, big global brands like Best Buy, Starbucks and JetBlue are testing Promoted Tweets. However, for the platform to be useful to small businesses especially those that are primarily brick-and-mortar you ll need the ability to target Promoted Tweets based on location. While Twitter hasn t yet announced this capability, there s reason to believe it will eventually be part of the platform, noted Ostrow. Twitter has already made its ‘trending topics’ feature location-based, so you can see what people in your city are talking about. The microblogging service now also lets users attach their location to every tweet, and its advanced search features let users filter to find tweets near them. As its location features continue to evolve and gain adoption, expect them to become a part of the Promoted Tweets platform.

We re still at the dawn of Twitter s monetization plans. Until Promoted Tweets are available to more advertisers and become a part of the Twitter stream, the impact of the platform will be fairly limited in the small business realm. Nonetheless, there s plenty of reason to believe that Twitter s ad model could evolve into a staple of the small business online marketing mix, creating an unprecedented opportunity to communicate with current and potential nearby customers in real-time, concludes Ostrow.

Source: Mashable