Twitter Promote: a review of an innovative social advertising product
Twitter Promote launched into beta recently. Whilst we don’t usually review social ad products, this caught our eye. It will also rarely get used by people who are experienced at Twitter ad buying, so we decided to trial it for your delectation and edification.
What is it?
Twitter Promote is, in Twitter’s own words, their first subscription ads product. It is aimed at both SMBs and individuals who want simplicity and continuous results.
Why is it significant?
It’s rare one sees innovation in social advertising products (formats are different). Targeting SMBS and individuals, and offering it as a subscription really is new
Simplicity – you can set up in 5 clicks by my estimate
Individuals not just SMBs – no-one’s offered a consumer-grade social ad product before (although you’ve long been able to buy ads as an individual. To some extent, Snapchat introduced this with filters, but that’s a special occasion product, as opposed to a core ad offering
What we did?
We trialled it on both an individual and a business account. The results across the month follow. This cost £79 per account for the month.
As you can see, results are broadly consistent, and outperform Twitter’s expectation management of 30,000 impressions and 30 followers. One of the accounts trialled sits neatly within their 2000 follower size range recommendation, the other above it.
How does this compare to if we buy ads through the more traditional targeting options offered in the ad dashboard? Well, content, time and audience targeting notwithstanding, the follower growth is fine but not exceptional, whilst the impressions are lower, but not awfully so. Essentially it’s tolerable value.
Simplicity – this really wouldn’t take you long
Palatable on a straight CPM basis (impressions)
CPE (engagements) would be very poor (note you’d rarely be able to optimise for both these outcomes)
Less granular targeting not esp suitable for lots of businesses / people
If you’re not familiar with online ad trolls you’ll be exposed – boosting tweets will always mean the bottom feeders of the internet share their views with you, and that will come as a shock to some (I encountered some lovely young men from Scotland with a forceful but limited command of the English language, for example)
Followers were not good quality – based on our trial this would increase vanity metrics around follower count, not provide meaningful audience growth. That’s generally true of follower targeted advertising, however.
No ReTweets or Quote Tweets can be promoted. Whilst not disastrous, for many they’re a key part of their content.
Overall: It’s good to see some innovation with products for individuals and subscription pricing., it’s a great way to get started if you’re not confident or don’t have the time. However, we’d raise question marks over whether it would provide good business outcomes for SMBs due to lack of targeting, and does it offer more than vanity options to individuals? You can definitely generate effectiveness through Twitter ads, but it might require more granularity and time investment using the existing ad products.