There are now over 800 million accounts on Twitter. While only just under a third of those are estimated to be monthly active users it is still one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world with around a million new users signing up every week. As it continues to expand people, and especially brands, are keen to jump on board and use Twitter to benefit their agendas, whether it is for a bit of fun, to increase sales or to build brand awareness.
Recent stats published by Twitter show that 23% of online adults use Twitter actively with 37% of those being aged between 18-29 (the demographic that spends the most money on the internet). It only makes sense that brands would look to use Twitter to increase the online value of their brand.
However, since the introduction of Twitter Ads, much has been discussed about whether it is in fact worth the money to pay for promoted tweets, accounts and trending topics, especially as Facebook seems to dominate the market and dominate it with relative ease. Here we look at some of the current features Twitter Ads offer and whether it is worth investing your marketing budget in this form of advertising.
When you promote an account it will feature in the “Who To Follow” section on the left of your screen as well as in search results.
Suggested accounts to follow are based on the accounts users already follow. You can target who you want this ad to appear to using other account handles and keywords.
Promoted tweets work in a similar way as promoted accounts. By targeting specific keywords and other account handles you can target Twitter users that follow accounts that may be similar to yours and users that may have an interest in the content of your tweet. This has proven particularly useful when promoting offers and competitions.
A promoted trend appears on the left with all the other trending topics a user will see, at the top and with a tag letting the user know that it is a promoted trend. These trends are tailored to the Twitter users depending on who they follow and their current location.
So are Twitter Ads worth the investment?
On the face of it, it makes sense to advertise on Twitter. With the new Facebook algorithms having a huge impact on pages organic reach, many brands have far larger following on Twitter. You may as well make the most of your most popular platform right?
However, in reality this is simply not the case. When Twitter Ads were first rolled out and you wanted all the features you had to have a monthly budget of £10,000. As Twitter Ads progressed and became more broadly available this requirement was lifted, however in practice if you want to create a meaningful Twitter Ad campaign this essentilly still stands.
Facebook v Twitter
The main difference between Twitter Ads and other social media advertising platforms like Facebook for example is the high Cost Per Click (CPC). If we look at the option of pricing your campaign by paying a maximum amount per day the average CPC for Twitter Ads in the UK is around £0.25. Compare that to Facebook and you can get a meaningful cut through on your campaign by paying around £0.05 CPC.
Cost Per Engagement (CPE) on the other hand is relatively similar. The average CPE for Twitter is £0.09 in comparison with Facebook’s £0.04. However it is when looking at Cost Per Impression (CPM) where Twitter really falls flat. According to research by Adweek Facebook’s average CPM is a mere £0.39 compared to Twitter’s massive £2.29.
There are a number of reasons that Facebook’s advertising costs are far more economical than Twitter’s. Facebook allows you to tailor your ads based on devices. You can also filter out the ad that is performing the worst whereas on Twitter you have to create separate campaigns for ads targeting keywords and ads targeting users handles. Facebook also allows you to create a whole host of different ad types, from Sponsored Stories, to Video Ads, to Newsfeed ads and Page Likes. Each have differing metrics and rates of engagement and clicks allowing you to better target your advert.
As the stats mentioned above show, if you have a small marketing budget, Twitter will probably not be the best way to spend chunks of that money. However, if you have a good few thousand pounds to burn and are looking at predominantly clicks back to either an offer or competition then Twitter Ads can help to keep you more visible than organic tweets.