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Twitter Advertising – Some early PPC experiences

While Twitter is beta-testing a new advertising platform, the program is currently not open to everyone interested.  When a B2C client of ours recently wanted to experiment with paid Twitter marketing, any inquiries with Twitter went unanswered (I blame the fact that we are based in Canada )

Since we did not receive entry into the beta-program (despite having the budget) in time for the client’s requirements, we decided to pursue other avenues.  We settled on a venture-backed outfit that allows companies to create and manage advertising campaigns on Twitter.

From our own experiences so far, paid Twitter marketing is quite effective:

  • Depending on the platform, advertisers have a choice of paying per tweet or paying per click. With minimum CPCs of $.05, the program reminds me of the early days of Google AdWords.  Needless to say, higher CPCs make the offer more attractive to the participating tweeters.
  • Tweeters find  out about opportunities and then tweet the advertiser’s message and destination URL, while clearly stating the nature of the tweet (common hashtags such as #ad identify the promoted tweets)
  • Advertisers can either auto-approve tweets or review proposed tweets prior to publication.
  • Tracking and Google Analytics integration are provided

The results:

  • Setting up a Twitter advertising campaign is relatively painless
  • Targeting options are reasonable, but not quite rich enough for my liking (i.e. no keyword-specific targeting, no geo-targeting to ‘just’ Canadian tweeters)
  • For our targeting options, roughly 7000 tweeters were in the system, and several hundred took advantage of our offer.
  • The pre-approval of tweets is definitely recommended.  While I didn’t see much abuse and only a few virtually empty tweets (designed to just get a click without being clear about the offer), this allowed us to ensure that Tweets varied in content and weren’t all just cut&paste jobs.
    • It did, however, result in significant additional work: approval, making edit suggestions or rejecting each individual tweet can quickly get out of hand.
  • The Twitter PPC campaign resulted in meaningful traffic and – more importantly – ‘conversions’ for the client as well.
  • Cost per Conversion was better than other PPC platforms.  This will change!

My recommendation:

If you’re interested in using Twitter for PPC marketing, there’s no time like the present.  At this point in the game, Cost per Clicks are still very low, and the competition among advertisers isn’t overwhelming.  As I said, this reminds me of the early days of Google AdWords – it was  like shooting fish in a barrel.  And today? While Google AdWords remains highly effective, AdWords prices have in many instances gone through the roof. The same will undoubtedly happen with Twitter advertising, whether with the Twitter platform itself, or on one of the 3rd party providers.

Contact us if you’d like help with your Twitter PPC campaign or just to share your experiences.

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