We recently joined the Twitter advertising beta program with a client of ours to get a sense of performance as well as overall functionality, reporting and analytics capabilities.
My overall impression is positive, but I definitely think that there is much room for improvement. Twitter advertising offers three options: Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends. Currently, we are working exclusively with the Promoted Accounts portion of the program.
Initial set up for the campaign is straight forward and fairly intuitive. Anyone with Adwords experience, or experience using any automated bid-priced system, shouldn’t have a hard time getting set up on Twitter. It’s important to pay attention to the set up, as your ability to report back and make optimizations will depend on the way you organize your campaign – Twitter won’t tell you which keywords are converting best, so you’ll have to set up separate campaigns for your various keyword groups if you want to know which ones are converting at the highest rate.
One set back is that you are unable to set a budget per campaign as it relates to your overall budget. In other words, every campaign you set up will have your maximum budget assigned to it, so monitoring keyword bid price and daily spend caps is a must if you are concerned about keeping an evenly distributed budget over a period of time. Also you cannot break out spend over time in reporting other than your overall campaign-to-date spend per campaign you create. You can’t even see what your daily cost-per-event is. This makes it difficult to analyze the data by a week-over-week period, or compare how your optimizations to bid prices or daily spend caps are working. Hopefully a more robust spend report is in the works.
Not all the reporting is lacking, however. Under the Promoted Accounts analytics feature, you are able to choose preset time periods that will show you how your campaigns are doing as far as impressions, profile views and follows. This is accompanied by a graph, which gives a good visual representation of performance and clearly shows any dips or spikes in traffic that can easily be correlated to optimizations, if you are keeping track. Again, the one thing lacking would be tying in the cost-per-action to give a complete picture of what is going on.
So is Twitter Ads beta working? I would definitely say yes. We saw a huge spike in new followers within the first few days of the campaign. Now, a month and a half into the campaign, the client has had a 100.6% increase in followers!
If you take a look at the graph above, you’ll see that our client had 3700 followers right before the April 1st launch of their Twitter Advertising campaign. Note the steep spike in followers directly after launch. They currently have 7424 followers – a month and a half after launch.
One important feature of the beta program is that all accounts that advertise on Twitter automatically become “verified” accounts - a feature that up until this point has been very difficult to get except for celebrities who have lots of people using their names for phony accounts. Verified accounts are denoted by the blue check mark that appears next to the Twitter name.
As with any new platform, there are going to be bugs, limited functionality, and features that will soon be obsolete. But that is all part of a beta program and the steps necessary to building a great ad platform. I think Twitter is well on its way, and I’m excited to be able to have our clients be a part of something I feel will only continue to get better and add more value to advertising in the social space.
Photo by Rosaura Ochoa