how to promote a tweet on twitter

We are always testing new ways to drive traffic to our sites.

When promoted Tweets first came out we were all over them. Then one day we stopped… I’m not sure why but it could have been the Minnesota winters.

Last week we jumped back in and today I’ll share the outcome of using Twitter’s Promoted Tweet advertising.

The tweet promotion we go over here is more focused than what we’ve done in the past. When looking at conversions, traffic, and leads we realized Twitter does pretty well for us. That’s probably because it’s also the network we tend to spend the most amount of time on.

Here’s a video explaining the whole process:


Overview of Our Promotion

As with any marketing strategy we’ve defined our measures of success.

Here’s the top metrics we are tracking:

  • Total visits – Total visits to the link we are sharing
  • Total time on page – we are also measuring how long someone spends on the page
  • Return visits – because the page we are promoting has a high bookmark rate we wanted to see if this traffic matches our baseline revisit rate
  • Purchase of our Product – finally and most important we have multiple call to actions to our product Curation Traffic. This is the most important metric for this promotion.

Here’s our baseline tweet we started promoting:

twitter tweet promotion

You can see we are promoting a Tweet that has 2 links. The first link goes to our Ultimate Content Curation Tools & Platforms post and the second link goes to the image we attached to the Tweet.

You might wonder… if your conversion point is your product why are you promoting a tweet that is not directly related to your product?

We have a philosophy towards testing and marketing– let reality prove you wrong. When we decided to jump back into Twitter tweet promotions our first thought was let’s promote our product directly. Then we looked at some data and saw that the “3rd party” approach converted well.

To be clear, on that post we clearly state it’s a shameless plug, we created the product and we are outright promoting it.

I call this a 3rd party approach because if you think about the experience the visitor goes through to convert to our product they originated via what might feel like a 3rd party promotion (even though we are the same entity).

Our Results

We are somewhat pleased with the results so far. So much so we might be contributing (ever so slightly) to Twitters valuation by promoting more tweets.

  • We had 936 impressions.
  • 86 clicks to our content (.47 per tweet)
  • 4 Retweets  ($10 per follow)
  • 4 direct follows ($10 per follow)
  • Direct sales attributed to traffic: 3.

So far we’ve attributed 3 direct sales to this effort. That more than covers our cost although we have to give it time to see if it’s worth scaling. I say that because there is typically a lead time with the awareness of our product and the purchase time. Usually that’s 3-14 days.

We had no expectations of the cost, traffic, or conversions when we started. So we are using this first campaign as a baseline to improve further campaigns.

For instance, we are running a test right now (which I set up in the video above). So far we are at a higher cost and lower engagement rate. We’ll do a follow up post showing the results of t hat as well.

Opportunities to Test or Improvement

There is opportunity for improvement. Part of the reason is the promoted tweets dashboard has changed since we last used it so we wanted to dive in by using it first before we made adjustments.

Here’s some things we are thinking about testing (if you try promoted tweets consider some of these as well):

Promote this tweet with business account

Our initial test was with my personal account but we are going to try the same type of promotion with one of our business accounts. We started with the personal account because I thought it might be more effective in grabbing attention and the overall flow of our entire funnel.

Create a tweet to enhance brand as well as engagement

You’ll notice in the screenshot above we have over 1K impressions. This is where we should have a tweet with our product and pulls in the benefit. That way even if someone doesn’t click on the link we can still garner some awareness. I don’t think this should be the sole reason to promote this type of offer but it can be a good side benefit if executed correctly.

Don’t include a picture with tweet

In our original Tweet we included a picture thinking this might improve engagement. We are currently running a test without a picture to see if the engagement remains the same. While it does make the post stand out what it also does on other platforms (Hootsuite and some mobile readers) is you see 2 links. I see zero value in having someone engage with our image (at least the one we included). Although, that might be another opportunity. We could create a special benefit image that includes a call to action. That’s probably the smarter move all around.

Add call to action text

Our current promoted tweets simply just includes the headline to the post and a link. We are going to do a test with adding small call to action text such as, PLS RT or Click now. I’ll have to check the Twitter terms of service first.

Add hashtags

We were going to add this to a new test we are running but that wouldn’t be a true test. So our next round we are going to try adding one or two hashtags to our tweet.

Expand keywords

We are only targeting one keyword… we’ll start to expand our keywords to complimentary keywords to see if we can find more effective matches and audiences.

Final Thoughts and Update

If you engage in Twitter and find it to be an effective traffic source you should consider testing promoted tweets for your own content.

We’ll also continue to share the results of our follow up testing. At first I thought we would update this post but I think we’ll actually just create a running series of posts on Twitter promoted tweets.