Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Best and Worst Things About Twitter Ads

Is your company or client active on Twitter? If so, it's time to take a look at Twitter Ads.
Twitter Ads can be an effective way to broaden your reach on Twitter and generate leads. As with any new technology, though, there are a few bugs.
If you're considering using Twitter Ads (and you should be!), here are the good and bad aspects you need to know about.

Good Targeting

One of the biggest advantages to Twitter Ads is its flexible targeting options. Advertisers can choose a promoted account, which appears above non-promoted accounts in the "Who to follow" list.
Promoted Account Adobe Ads


If you want to get even more specific, try one of these targeting options:
  • Keywords: Target by keywords in tweets or hashtags.
  • Interests and followers: Target specific Twitter users and their followers, as well as their interests.
  • Television: Target people interacting with TV content on Twitter.
On the surface, these options sound similar to those available on Google, Facebook, and other PPC platforms. But the Twitter audience is unique, and with the right targeting, businesses can generate real impact from Twitter Ads targeting.

Good Message Amplification

You're spending a lot of time on your Twitter editorial calendar, composing tweets, and interacting with your audience. While organic growth can and does happen, Twitter Ads can give you a louder megaphone. One of our clients tripled their previously-stagnant Twitter following in a few months using Twitter Ads – and generated leads in the process.

Good Innovations

Twitter has some powerful lead generation tools that the other PPC engines haven't figured out yet: lead generation cards and website cards. Both of these innovations allow users to take action within a tweet, eliminating the need to use valuable tweet characters for a destination URL. If you're not taking advantage of lead generation cards, you really should test them now.

Good Campaign Controls

Ad scheduling is very robust in Twitter ads – you can schedule campaigns down to the minute. Of course, they also have all the expected controls: budget caps, dayparting, etc. While these features may seem like must-have's, some of the other social PPC platforms lack them.
Now, let's talk about the bad parts of Twitter Ads. In their defense, I know that the Twitter Ads team is addressing many of these issues as we speak, so we can look forward to better days ahead. Still, some of these issues are so egregious that it's surprising we even need to talk about them.

Bad Date Ranges

Dealing with date ranges is probably my single biggest complaint about using the Twitter Ads interface.
For starters, the date range isn't sticky across screens. I'll set it to "Last 14 Days" on the home screen, navigate to one of my campaigns, and all of a sudden it's back to "Last 3 months" or whatever it likes to revert to.
While it's not hard to change it back to "Last 14 Days," it is frustrating, and an unnecessary extra step. It's common for PPC interfaces to have a sticky date range across screens – Twitter Ads definitely needs this.
Also, the time zone is set at Pacific Time. There is no way to change it to your local time zone. So if you're on the East coast and need to schedule a tweet for noon, you'll have to remember to set it for 9am.
Twitter is a real time medium. Why make us look at data in only one time zone?

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