Twitter is slowly getting into the groove with social advertising, challenging existing social advertisers like Facebook and LinkedIn. While LinkedIn has clearly positioned itself as an ad model to target the elite and B2B decision makers, Facebook seems to be a favorite with FMCG and retail brands. The position that Twitter aims to take is still not clear but I must say running my first ever Twitter advertising campaign for one of our clients, I am impressed by their advertising dashboard!
Let’s take a look at what Twitter advertising has to offer to clients:
Under the self-advertising program, Twitter gives you an option to promote either your handle or your Tweets or both. Let’s take a look at the features when you chose to promote your Tweets:
- Ad Copy (read: Tweets)
Twitter allows you to manually select the Tweets you want to promote. However, you can also tell Twitter to promote up to five of your most engaging, recent Tweets. This ensures that you are promoting your best content.
As a best practice, always promote a Tweet with a single call to action.
This is where, in my opinion, Twitter gives great completion to both Facebook and LinkedIn.
- a) Location, Gender and Device Targeting
Location targeting is only on a country level, you can target cities in the US alone. This is where LinkedIn and Facebook have an edge as they allow city level targeting across the globe. LinkedIn doesn’t allow device based targeting. + 1 to Twitter on that which is easily the best mobile client across the internet at present. With a large number of people accessing Twitter on a mobile device, combined with its fantastic mobile UI, I think Twitter will soon be the preferred publisher for mobile ads.
- b) Interest and Keyword based Targeting
While Facebook critics will say that interest based targeting is a fad (their reasoning: people like anything and everything on Facebook), Twitter goes one step ahead by introducing keyword based targeting. Only time will tell how effective this is for advertisers, but +1 again to Twitter, over Facebook this time around.
- The model used
While both Facebook and LinkedIn offer CPC and CPM models to advertisers, Twitter offers the Cost per Engagement model. This means that the advertiser is invoiced for any action that a user might take with a promoted Tweet. Just like on Facebook and LinkedIn, you can set a lifetime and a daily budget. The minimum cost that an advertiser will incur is $0.01 per engagement. However, since this works on a bidding model, expect to spend anywhere between $1 – $2 per engagement.
- Where are Promoted Tweets seen?
The following answers this:
Now that we have seen the features of Twitter advertising, let’s take a look at results from an actual campaign:
Aim: To promote a new book release
Objective: Getting people to the landing page to download sample chapter from the book in exchange of their contact information
Impressions Split Across Devices:
Impressions Split Across Genders:
This amount of insight is not provided by Facebook. LinkedIn does provide you the industry/designation split up of clicks. However, neither Facebook nor LinkedIn gives you device split up of clicks/impressions. I must say the ad reporting is pretty comprehensive for a self-advertising program.
However, as experts will tell you, the ultimate judge of effectiveness of any ad activity is “conversions”. Our team did a similar campaign on LinkedIn using the same landing page with the same campaign objective. The cost per lead from LinkedIn was $12 as compared to $48 from Twitter.
This puzzled us a bit. We were left with the question – for what particular set of clients will Twitter advertising actually work?
Here’s some data from the campaign which might help answer the above question which comes to every marketer’s mind.
On LinkedIn, for the same campaign, we targeted the sales job function and put a seniority cap. On Twitter, the closest targeting option was “reading”. Here’s what we got:
Split of ad Impressions on Twitter based on interest
This clearly told us one thing: people don’t talk business on Twitter – not as much as they talk about what’s happening around them. The closest we got was this:
This is what we figured out – people love to read on Twitter (just like anywhere else on the net) but they like to read about pop/movies/television/sports/fashion much more than they would like to read about business/finance/sales.
This data will definitely help us select the right kind of content to promote via Twitter advertising.