If you have not read Part 1 of this two part blog post to get an overview of how Twitter ads work, or if you have never tried the platform out for yourself, please see Part 1 – How Twitter Ads Work. In Part 2 we will be discussing more of the details about the benefits and drawbacks, particularly comparing Twitter’s ad options to other digital and social ad networks.
Twitter as a whole is obviously a very unique social platform for businesses to use to interact with customers, gain new followers/customers, and inform an audience. For that reason, any advertising options that they offer are unique as well as beneficial. So overall the new platform is good news to small and medium sized organizations as they can now finally partake in promoting tweets and promoting accounts like the big brands.
Twitter advertising shares many of its specific benefits with other modern digital networks like Google, Facebook, Bing, LinkedIn, and so on. These benefits include only paying per click, being able to set a daily budget (as low or high as needed), targeting ads only to certain geographic areas, to name a few. However, as mentioned these options are not unique and offer no real new “wow” factor for digital advertisers. One benefit that is slightly more unique is the fact that by default, Promoted Account ads are on a pay-per-follower basis. Meaning you only pay when someone new actually chooses to follow you on Twitter. This is one step further than pay-per-click, as usually a click is only one step in the process of converting a user to take meaningful action.
Although Twitter Advertising for Small Business has a few modern digital ad options equal to its brothers and sisters, it actually falls short to them in many other ways. Note from Part 1, explanations such as “Promoted tweets show to your followers and to ‘those with interests similar to your followers,’” and “users that are most likely to be interested in your account.” These words from Twitter are the only explanation you have as to where your ads are shown. Besides geography, you don’t have any control over the targeting of your ads. Of course Twitter is not blindly shooting your ads out to any and every random user, but even so you have no choice in the matter. Also, after the fact you have no meaningful metrics to see where your ads were successful. If you use Paid Search through Google or Bing/Yahoo you know it revolves around hyper targeting keywords as well as other targeting options, on Facebook and LinkedIn you can target users by what they are interested in, gender, job, and so on. With Twitter none of those valuable options are available to the vast majority of advertisers.
Another major shortfall I see is the inability to segment different campaigns or adgroups in Twitter Ads for Small Business. For example, you are not able to promote one tweet to your followers, and a different tweet to those that are not following you yet – there is no option to segment different ads to followers and non-followers. Same as different campaigns to target separate geographic areas or separating your geographic targeting for promoted tweets vs promoted account ads – it’s all rolled into one. There are many more scenarios where this could be limiting.
Overall, Twitter’s attempt offers minimal ad options compared to that of Facebook, Google and other digital networks. But remember Twitter does offer increasingly more targeting options in their exclusive full ad platform including keyword targeting and more, but as mentioned they only make this available to a select few big brands and big budgets. Twitter Ads for Small Business is obviously their way of creating a simple and easy to use ad platform. Although this works great for some, it leaves many digital advertisers and small to medium sized tech-savvy brands/organizations wanting more, particularly when they are used to advertising with full options on Google, the GDN, Adcenter, Facebook and many others.
Photo credit: The Idea Desk