Promoted Tweets – do they work?

twitter logoOn November 1st 2010, Twitter launched a beta advertising platform, ‘Promoted Tweets’. Demand was high with leading brands forming a waiting list. Mongoose Metrics were one of the twenty testers chosen. I was interested to read if they had seen a true benefit to their business from doing this. What could be learnt from their experience?

They conclude that promoted tweets and the associated analytics will be a powerful tools for businesses. Key findings appear to be:

  1. Advertising is similar to Google Adwords, offering the ability to get your message in front of targeted audiences through buying key terms, including hashtags.
  2. Bidding wars can be generated to ‘own’ hashtags so you need to get in quick and understand its value to your business to participate.
  3. People who don’t appreciate this form of promotion will be vocal but should be a minority. Beware writing off the influence of the minority however – it all depends on who they are.
  4. It can have a significant affect on ‘Klout’ score. Mongoose Metrics saw theirs jump. This could be beneficial when positioning a business as influential.
  5. Followers can increase through improved awareness.  This is desirable to ensure additional reach beyond the life of the campaign.
  6. It is possible to track conversions and action which is essential in understanding whether the activity is realising its potential and modifying  it accordingly.
  7. They saw an increase in conversions, which is a great sign of success.
  8. The increased brand awareness has resulted in improved website traffic.
  9. The dynamic nature of promoted tweets saw them quickly being viewed on hootsuite and tweetdeck.
  10. They found Twitters analytics to present actionable data which is vital for further development of this activity.

Brian Solis observes “Twitter’s advertising products are designed to reach the right people, in real-time, at the point of attention and intention (P.A.I.)…when you’re presented with a promoted campaign that’s inline with your intention, you’re more likely to take action”. Initially this sounds great but Twtrcon and OneForty research also discussed on Brian’s site shows that businesses are still waiting to see reliable data on performance and ROI before commiting  and there is concern that consumers will view the promoted tweets negatively as gatecrashing the party.

This presentation gives more detail for those interested in more detail:

View more presentations from TWTRCON.

Twitter has added a form to its website that enables companies to express their interest in purchasing Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends.  It seems likely that this will result in public rollout early in 2011.

I believe benefits will be seen from promoted tweets but, as with any marketing activity, it is down to correct message to correct target that will determine scale of success. Whenever a business enters a social environment it must be at the right time and place and their sales technique must be engineered for the setting. Promoted tweets main success seems to be in brand awareness (especially now Google is displaying Promoted Tweets in its real-time search) and conversions, if these are your goals its definitely worth considering.

Mongoose Metrics full report on their findings can be read here:

Have you noticed promoted tweets? Did you feel they were inevitable/ had a negative affect on your twitter experience/ highlighted something you might not have found. Please leave a comment and let me know.

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