Recently Twitter launched the ability for all businesses in the UK to advertise on its platform. As a digital marketing agency, we quickly wanted to test the benefits this new advertising channel could bring to our retail clients. Having run Twitter ads for several months now, we have gathered some learning’s and recommendations about our experience which we have outlined below.
1. Tailor tweets to your objectives
To start with, we wanted to test running tweets that gave the user reasons to engage with the brand including hashtags, usernames, images and external links within the promoted tweets. From this we quickly saw a very high engagement rate of over 15% – great! However, this meant users were clicking through on the hashtags and usernames included in the tweets rather than the brand’s content.
We then started tailoring our tweets to drive traffic to our client’s website instead, in one instance promoting a social competition. Our tweets included links to drive traffic to the site, the competition hashtag and some images that we tested. As a result we have seen a drop in engagement rate but an increase in competition entries, traffic to the website and sales!
2. Keep your tweets fresh
Keeping the content of the promotions fresh and testing different variations is vital to maintaining a strong performance. As Twitter rotate the ads in line with the top performers, it is important to run 5 – 7 tweets per campaign. From our experience, we see tweets tend to go stale after 2/3 days of being live with engagement rates starting to drop. With this in mind, we highly recommend changing the content regularly and planning ahead.
3. Maximise free engagement (whilst it lasts!)
Promoted accounts are used to increase the number of followers using a ‘cost per new follower’ pricing model. When creating this ad type, be sure to include links and hashtags, etc within the tweet to increase brand engagement. As an advertiser, you are only charged per new follower with this ad type, resulting in free engagement with your brand activity.
4. Audience Targeting
As this is a relatively new advertising channel, we have tested several different settings available, including:
- By keywords
- By interests
- By username
Using our experience and knowledge of running paid ads through Google, Bing, Facebook and LinkedIn, we looked to create a granular campaign structure by both by an audience and targeting method. At first we created separate campaigns for each of the above targeting settings – testing different audience targeting through them. We found that username targeting performed best for our clients and interest targeting perform worst.
We recommend using the followers’ data in Analytics, provided in the Twitter Ads interface, when creating targeting settings. You can create campaigns using this information and we highly recommend searching the keyword/username before including in a campaign to understand their relevance.
5. Our results so far:
- 34% increase in new followers
- 1.40% conversion rate from traffic to the site (sales and sign ups)
- 5,160 free tweet engagements through promoted accounts
- Engagement rate of 8.78%
In summary, we feel the most important aspects of successfully advertising through Twitter are to keep your content fresh, optimise campaigns and to test activity. Keep your content fresh by changing your tweets regularly throughout the week and continually optimise bids and audience settings, by changing bids in response to performance. Finally, always test different targeting settings and tweets to better understand what works for your brand.