What do you do when Twitter gives you $150 free advertising credit for your personal account?
That’s the question I posed to my Twitter followers, following a mix up by Twitter’s ad team.
The best suggestion came from Paul Stollery – tweet an image of an Ocelot. So that’s exactly what I did.
Twitter gave me $150 of free advertising credit. So to brighten up your day here’s a baby ocelot: pic.twitter.com/h2LX2sY4PM
— Tom Rouse (@trouse11) August 13, 2014
The results, as you’d expect from such a small budget were nothing to shout home about. Lots and lots of clicks (presumably on the image), a few favourites and retweets and a couple of new followers.
What generated far more engagement was my tweet embedding the promoted tweet. This generated a new wave of retweets, reaching a far wider audience than the paid promotion had achieved.
I suspect this was due to the novelty factor, rather than a deep rooted love for ocelots, but who knows.
This hints at one of the issues you need to tackle with Twitter advertising. Do you share the promoted tweet with your existing fan base? It will cost you money for them to share or engage with it and they already know about you.
But, as my experiment showed they already have an interest in you and what you do, meaning they’re more likely to kickstart the sharing process.
It’s an intriguing issue and one which I suspect will vary by campaign and budget. The larger your spend, the less likely you are to need a helping hand from your existing follower base.
The experiment also reminded me of a pet hate about Twitter Advertising. As an ad buyer, I don’t want money going on a user clicking to read my bio or enlarge my image – I want the spend to go on something meaningful.
In fairness to Twitter this is an issue they’re taking steps to resolve with the new objective based spend. But, until this is rolled out globally it’s worth being stingy with your use of hashtags. It’s also essential to keep your call to action focused on driving users towards your end goal.
I’ve been running similar micro ads tests on a range of platforms, with mixed results. I’m hoping to share the findings from this sometime in the next week.