Twitter Promoted Tweets

While social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide innumerable ways to organically connect with customers and prospects, many marketers have upped the ante for their brands and successfully utilized a variety of paid advertising options available on these platforms.

With the large array of advertising options available to marketers, however, Twitter has recently simplified its advertising offerings, in an attempt to make them more accessible and effective for brands. We spoke with two marketing agencies that have chosen to focus on one of the ad units in particular — Promoted Tweets — to get some real world insights into how this Twitter advertising feature has been successful for their clients.

They offer a variety of observations, suggestions, and best practices that can help you get the most out of your Twitter Promoted Tweets campaign.

Fang Digital: Find the Right Voice

Find the Right Voice

Jeff Ferguson, CEO of Fang Digital Marketing tells us that before he ever considered offering Twitter advertising to his clients, he used his own agency as an “acid test” to make sure the products actually worked “in the real world.” He says that to find out what worked, and what didn’t, Fang Digital tried a spectrum of variables for its own Promoted Tweets. “We did a bunch of testing with different copy, we experimented with different voices, from corporate to chatty and conversational,” says Ferguson, “and there was definitely a sweet-spot that seemed to work best.”

Ferguson and his team concluded that when Promoted Tweets were too “corporate,” very few people paid attention, and when the tweets were too conversational, it resulted in a bit of confusion from his target audience. “We got some odd tweets in response to our really conversational Promoted Tweets. People began asking things like ‘Is this your agency or your employee talking?’ so it just didn’t seem the right fit either.”

In the end, Fang Digital found a voice for its Promoted Tweets that was “half-way” between corporate promotion and informal conversation, and that voice tended to get the most positive results, according to Ferguson.

When asked if he’d recommend Promoted Tweets as part of a brand’s digital marketing strategy, Ferguson advises that this ad platform “works best for brands that already publish a lot of content on Twitter.” He says the additional content helps to add context and other access points for people to engage with the brand after they engage with any given Promoted Tweet.

Ferguson also recommends a strong call to action in Promoted Tweets. “When you’re paying for a tweet, that’s not the time to talk about generic stuff,” he says. Instead, Ferguson recommends that brands put a link to a landing page, or a strong offer, where you can accurately measure incoming traffic and the resulting conversions from your tweet.

Ferguson likes the direction Twitter appears to be headed by offering more advanced features “like targeting a range of keywords and getting your tweet seen by people who are actually mentioning keywords relevant to the brand you’re promoting.”

As a result of the positive results he’s seen, not only for Fang Digital but for a variety of brands he’s worked with since he first began experimenting with the product, Ferguson says that Promoted Tweets are now a “regular recommendation” for his clients.

Likeable Media: Flock to Unlock

Flock to Unlock
Like Jeff Ferguson, Tim Bosch, Media and Planning Director at Likeable Media has experimented with all of the available Twitter advertising options and found Promoted Tweets to provide a great return on investment (ROI). Bosch and Likeable Media worked with its client Entertainment One to promote a documentary DVD about Justin Bieber called “Always Believing”.

Bosch set up a new account @AlwaysBeliveing to promote the DVD. In addition to organic engagement with Justin Bieber fans, Likeable Media used Promoted Tweets from this account, and specifically used a tactic known as “flock and unlock” to drive traffic to sales page for the DVD. “Flock and unlock challenges your target audience to retweet the Promoted Tweet as many times as possible. Once a certain threshold is met, you unlock gated content or give something away,” explains Bosch. “It’s a very effective tactic, especially for a Promoted Tweet that gets seen by a wider audience than just your immediate followers.”

Bosch says that the Always Believing campaign had a target threshold of 1000 retweets to unlock a random giveaway of 100 free DVDs to those who retweeted. “We got over 5000 retweets, hundreds of thousands of impressions and even thousands of new followers,” says Bosch. He admits that content dealing with such a well-known celebrity as Justin Bieber definitely helped the campaign but that says any just about brand can have success using a flock and unlock style of Promoted Tweets.

Both Jeff and Tim are optimistic about the future of Promoted Tweets (and other advertising products) from Twitter. Bosch in particular is impressed with Twitter’s “measured approach” to introducing advertising to the platform. He says the evolution of a more robust yet efficient self-serve back-end interface for the ad platform, coupled with advanced reporting and conversion analytics, makes Twitter advertising something that all larger brands should have on their radar, going forward.

Have you had success with Twitter Promoted Tweets? Share your experiences in the comments

[Image credits: Wilson-Fam, Denise Chan]