IAB Engage: Brands 'must be authentic' for Twitter success, says CEO

Dick Costolo: chief executive, Twitter
Dick Costolo: chief executive, Twitter

Twitter is planning to "significantly expand" the interest based targeting on its ad products, according to its chief executive Dick Costolo, who says that brands "must be authentic" to be successful on the platform.

Costolo was speaking at the Internet Advertising Bureau's annual Engage conference, where he was interviewed by Nicola Mendelsohn, the IPA president and Karmarama executive chairman. He told marketers in the audience that being "authentic" is his best advice for success on the platform.

He said: "Brands are starting to realise this. It can be a quirky voice - that's OK but what consumers hate is an inconstant tone."

He gave the example of a US electronics company whose customer service team had successfully managed its Twitter account and developed a sizeable following.

He explained the company's marketing team then started to use the account to send out its messages, using a different tone to the customers services team, but, "Consumers detected it, didn't like it and it shed followers."

He pointed to O2 as a UK brand which is doing a "fantastic job" on Twitter.

Costolo discussed Twitter's recent rollout of interest-based targeting for advertisers. Without giving details, Costolo said that it would be further leverage the "interest graph" of its users to ramp up targeting on its ad platform.

He also discussed how Twitter has started testing alternative terms for "favourite" for tweets, such as "like". "Favourite feels a little bit too heavyweight," he said. "You will look at a tweet and like it, but they will say 'it's not my favourite tweet, so we are testing some lighter weight terms."

"Engagement begets engagement. The lighter weight and more frictionless you make it to engage to more that will drive additional engagement."

When Mendelsohn questioned him about how Twitter competes with traditional media, Costolo said this was not the case. "I think we bolster and enhance traditional media," he said, pointing out that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey often describes tweets as a caption that often points to some deeper analysis, or a video.

Discussing Twitter's partnership with NBC for the Olympics, Costolo said that it would be looking to do other media partnership in the future, but it is also developing tools to help third parties curate events themselves.

He disputed that the growth of the business could harm the user experience, explaining, "I don't think the growth and success of Twitter is at loggerheads with being a service people love.
We have to defend and respect users' voices and we feel we have the right processing in place for this, which are not contrary to goals of businesses."

Other speakers at the event include Ajaz Ahmed, founder and chairman of AKQA, Fru Hazlitt, managing director of commercial, online and interactive at ITV and Peter Duffy, marketing director at EasyJet.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Virgin, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug
Thetrainline.com backs 'rubbish' mobile app with TV ad
Powerade launches global World Cup campaign
Subway considers taking fast food to fast lane with F1 sponsorship
Burberry's flagship Shanghai store facade responds to weather changes
Ikea splurges 'grey' Belgium with colour
Grim outlook for Tesco boss Philip Clarke ahead of expected profits fall
Thomson to create first crowd-sourced wedding decided by Facebook fans
Currency wars meets origami in Alpari FX trading ad campaign
Amazon rumoured to launch 3D smartphone in September
Facebook to allow European users to store and transfer money on site, claims report
Unilever pilots multi-brand advertising with YouTube beauty channel
Lego, Coca-Cola, Net-a-Porter, Bitcoin and AOL: the digitally creative brands