promoted tweets

Is now the time?

Today’s post is by Ada Pally, Account Manager and proud filler of our one-person Canadian employee quota.

It’s been two years since Twitter rolled out Promoted Tweets, and in the wake of Facebook’s s rocky IPO, Twitter has been quietly working away on improving its advertising platform before it inevitably does the same. Regularly changing and a little abstract, Twitter’s platform is not for everybody – but when it works, it really works.

Want to know if Twitter’s Promoted Products are right for you? Take a look at these conditions. If you meet most of them, you’re ready to enter the Twittersphere.

 1. You have an active Twitter account, with at least 5,000 followers and steady growth.

It may seem obvious, but to put the effort into advertising on Twitter, you have to know if it’s a platform your audience (and potential audience) responds to.

Pay attention to the kind of messages you are pushing to your followers and to the reaction they get. Is your audience engaged? Take a look at your on-site analytics; what does your referral traffic from look like?  If you’re seeing a lot of retweets and strong referral traffic, move on to #2.

2. You’re comfortable spending marketing dollars to build your brand and are not constrained by aggressive Cost-per-Acquisition goals.

Promoting with Twitter is a top-of-the-funnel marketing activity. If you want to invest in brand-centric activities, put some budget toward one of Twitter’s products: Promoted Accounts.

With Promoted Accounts, you build your follower base in a variety of ways: targeting followers like yours, targeting followers of specific interests, or targeting followers of specific Twitter handles (effective competitive targeting!). For now, Cost-per-Follower is quite affordable, ranging from $.50-2.00 per follow depending on how aggressive you want to be and how competitive your space is. If you know what your CLTV is, and you’re confident that you can turn a Twitter follower into a customer, that translates to very good ROI.

For some advertisers, growing their follower base might be as far as they want to go with Twitter promotions, but if your goal is to grow on-site conversions, check out #3.

tweets promoted

Kenshoo's all over it.

3. Your conversion goals are well defined, and you are flexible and creative in the ways you introduce people to your products or services.

Every company has a voice on Twitter, and that voice needs to maintain its integrity (i.e. match the organic Twitter experience) and shape its message to its intended audience.

Promoting events, contests, learning opportunities like webinars and downloads, and, of course, price promotions, are very effective ways to make promoted tweets work for you. Consider your audience and your conversion goal with each tweet. Are you targeting existing followers or a new audience? Make sure your message is timely, relevant, and direct.

If you are confident you can tackle that, there are some more conditions you should meet before diving in.

4. The pages you’re sending traffic to are optimized for mobile.

Twitter is a highly mobile platform- you can expect a very low conversion rate if your landing pages don’t function on mobile devices.

5. You have a tracking tool in place that allows you to track conversions from a click.

Twitter analytics and reporting have a long way to go and no ability to track conversions. They also have a somewhat abstract way of reporting clicks, so having the link identified and reported on elsewhere (Google’s URL builder is a good free base that Google Analytics subscribers will get along with) is key to understanding your real CTR and CVR.

6. You can live with the uncertainties of a new platform. 

Twitter has come an extremely long way in its ability to segment and target audiences, but this is still in a state of flux. If you aren’t comfortable investing in a platform that’s relatively unstable and somewhat unproven, wait a while. The original ability to target via keywords has recently been replaced by handle and interest targeting. This is a big change that has unsettled some advertisers.

7. You know what you want to achieve with this platform and are comfortable saying no to Twitter.

As Twitter’s effort to grow the platform intensifies, so does its push to increase budgets and spend, spend, spend. Keep your goals in perspective and stand your ground. There is a $15K minimum commitment (with an easy out clause), and you have to apply to get on the platform. Be ready to commit, but draw your boundaries clearly.


If you haven’t been scared off by any of these conditions, now’s the time to take the plunge. Since Twitter is a new platform, competition and CPCs on it are relatively low – no time like the present to take it for a spin.

Good luck!

Ada Pally, Account Manager

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