I’m a huge fan of Twitter and use Twitter every single day (my handle is @ianlopuch). Twitter is a great way to stay connected with my readers, Find Inspiration, and also learn new stuff. In addition to all of that, Twitter is an open platform that can be crawled by search engines. From an SEO standpoint, it’s a channel that cannot and should not be ignored.
As such, I created a Twitter Advertising Challenge for myself back in January. There were several main goals of the challenge: follow no more than 200 people, redesign my Twitter background, and advertise to gain more followers. Back in February, I called my Twitter Challenge a Success since I had accomplished goals 1 and 2 (and also did a Facebook redesign too). At that time, I had no luck getting a Twitter Advertising account so I couldn’t do much towards goal 3. However, in May I got lucky and received my very own Twitter Advertising account (with $100 free credit) thanks to the Twitter/American Express partnership for small businesses.
Since one of my main 2012 Goals is saving money, I did not want to spend too much on Twitter. Last year, I spent a lot of money Getting Thousands of Facebook Fans for my portfolio of websites/Facebook Fan Pages so this year I’m trying to save and drive as much margin as possible. That said, the American Express coupon coupled with $60 of my own money did yield some interesting insights about Twitter and allowed me to cross this goal off of my list! Here are my findings (also please see screenshot below with stats from my Twitter Ads account):
- Promoted Accounts offer a cheap way to drive incremental followers. I spent $110 on Promoted Accounts and got 115 incremental followers (only $0.96/follower). I actually started out bidding really high (I think ~$2.00/follower per Twitter’s suggested bid) but then bid down over time. I could have bid down even more and gotten followers even cheaper. The point here: You will be able to drive followers for $1.00 or probably even less as you lower your bids over time. As compared with my Facebook experience, this avenue seems cheaper than driving a Facebook Fan (although I feel the value of a FB Fan is higher). I have driven Fans as low as the $0.30 range on Facebook, but when I first started out, I remember the unit cost being higher than Twitter.
- I especially like the Promoted Account option for newer accounts trying to build up a loyal following and credibility.
- Your budget will go really quickly. I set daily budgets with my Twitter Ads test. The budget did not get deployed evenly over the course of the day. Rather, I blasted through my budget right away. Now, the UI I’m dealing with here is the American Express small business one, so I’m sure larger enterprise advertisers may have more options. However, in any event, the point here is to be careful. If you don’t want to spend your budget between midnight and 1:00 am, it will be important to either manually day part, leverage an online marketing platform to do this for you, or seek an enterprise account (not sure if they offer this but assuming they offer more control than my basic account).
- Promoted Tweets offer the ability to do SO much more than simply drive clicks. More clicks/traffic is always great, but what I especially enjoyed about my Promoted Tweets test is the fact that I instantly started getting ore followers, retweets, favorites, and overall brand activity than ever before. These days, especially with the Panda and Penguin updates, Google is looking at one’s brand. With Promoted Tweets, you have the perfect tool to build your brand within online marketing. Personally, if I am to spend more money on Twitter, I will probably focus on Promoted Tweets due to the brand ramifications.
- Overall, my basic account did not offer a huge amount of control. With Promoted Tweets, for example, I got to select 5 Tweets to promote and set a budget. Other than that, Twitter would just run with it. As a power user, I’m used to having a ton of control. More dials means more ability to optimize. My basic account experience offered little ability to optimize. That said, it was my true pleasure to get my feet wet with Twitter Ads and I’m excited in the future to build my expertise and get my hands on an enterprise account.
I’m a huge fan of Twitter and recommend that you too give Twitter Ads a try!
Image in this post © Twitter / PPCIan.com Acccount