I’ve been thinking Twitter is so… yesterday. But I’m very wrong. Twitter is just as strong as it has been, showing no signs of a slowdown or any mass member migration to newer social media sites like LoveIt and Pinterest. And Twitter ads are apparently worth taking a closer look at.
In a Mashable article, “Getting Started with Twitter Ads for Small Business,” (Leyl Master Black, September 22, 2012), tells us that,
“Research from digital intelligence firm Compete shows Twitter followers are more than 60% more likely to visit your website and more than 50% more likely to make a purchase and recommend your company.”
I’d say that’s interesting, especially when I don’t agree that social media should be used for marketing purposes. Buying an ad that sits in an “ad” space or that is designated as “promoted” are far different from bombing your Twitter followers with marketing messages all day long.
And so Twitter rolled out two options, which are available by invitation only — Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts. One sells your product and one builds your follower list.
I got one of these invitations, and looked, but my idea was that the return in form of results wouldn’t be worth the expense. Apparently I was wrong. However, Twitter says that the promoted tweets should be used to gain more buzz about an upcoming promotion, product launch, or event. To me, that says it should be about something “special,” not just “join my downline.” Ugh.
I’d think of promoted tweets like a press release. You should be offering a discount on prices, telling people about some new product or a re-launching of a product — something newsworthy that will make people think they’re getting something interesting or a great deal by clicking your link.
Twitter ads are CPC, meaning you pay for results, not impressions. If people see your ad and don’t click, retweet your ad, or favorite it, you don’t pay. But you’d probably want to check your copy if you’re not paying much, eh?
Promoted accounts will help you build a follower base, but the cool thing about this is that they will be relevant to your niche. So, if you’re a local restaurant, for example, Twitter will help you to gain followers in your geographical region.
You’re able to set a daily budget with Twitter ads, just as you do with any other cost-per-click or -action vendor. Just remember that your daily rate translates into 30 times what you bid, unless you watch your ads very closely and stop them as soon as you’ve exhausted your advertising budget.
The Mashable article mentions a photographer who got 1,300 new followers in 2 months. He set a $7 a day budget, and so paid 30 cents for each of them. Not too bad, I guess. They are targeted. I still think I’d rather pay for email subscribers, though. I’ll have to try Twitter ads and see which works best. But think about it. Email subs are like a captured audience.
Twitter followers may or may not be around when you’re tweeting your cool new thing, and if they have a large following, they may never see your ads at all because their stream goes so quickly by. I have around 13,000 followers, and I can go in and look for a tweet that interested me 5 minutes before and it will be gone like the wind. It’s definitely something to consider.
Plus, if you have more time than money, you can still do find followers for free at Twitter. When you click on “Followers” in the left-hand navigation panel, you can select “Similar to You,” but you have to choose these people to follow by hand and hope that they follow you back. The days of auto-follow are over.
Social Oomph has a similar service, but it’s around $36 a month. Yet it will allow you to follow people back when they follow you, and you can vet followers from there. If you really want to concentrate on Twitter as your primary social marketing tool (which I’d still advise against), it’s probably worth it. The vetting option for new followers; however, is free.
For some reason, people who write in foreign languages follow me. I might be interested in following them back, IF I could read their tweets. So, followers like that would need to be weeded out. Shame, but I don’t want my stream to be in German, Japanese, Chinese, or Spanish. To me, it’s an empty stream. My bad, not yours, of course. Would that I could speak so many languages, but I’m stuck with one and an eighth. (I know some Spanish, after 5 years of study. But I’ve forgotten more than I remember.)
Anyway, if you’re looking for some good ways to promote tweets and get followers, Twitter ads might be for you. Unfortunately at tweets.twitter.com, where you sign up, Twitter says:
“* At this time, we’re only accepting requests from United States based advertisers that adhere to our advertising policies and have 20 or more followers.”
Twenty followers is easy. So, get started!