In the last few weeks I have ramped up my efforts to promote my blog posts on Twitter.
As I have stated before I think it makes sense for us to promote using other platforms that are already well established.
I thought it would be useful to share some of the insights I have gleaned so far.
I will endeavour to keep it brief.
As per the conventions of constructive criticism I will start with the good points:
The ads are easy to set up. The interface is generally straight forward for someone who is not familiar with this sort of thing (although see my thoughts on the analytics in the following section).
You can choose between different conversion options such as website clicks, followers, awareness (you pay just by impressions) and engagements (tweet likes etc.) - I use website clicks since I want people to see my blog.
There are multiple targeting methods - the obvious ones like geographic targeting, but also keywords, platforms, devices etc.
You can also easily exclude users using each targeting parameter.
Follower targeting is available. One of the most useful targeting methods is to enter a twitter account and target their followers - it is an extra tool for focussing down on a particular subject matter.
Conversion rate is generally between 0.5-1.0% for me so far. From talking with other people who use online ads it seems this is actually pretty good. Occasionally it is a lot higher and I think that is due to a combination of correct targeting and a subject which captures the interest of the audience.
Unfortunately there are some problems that I have noticed.
Conversion rates for clicks do not always seem to agree with Steemit views. I have sometimes seen as much as a fourfold difference. Minor differences make sense but such huge discrepancies don't. I haven't found any reason for why this happens with some ads.
The time taken for ad approval is a lot longer than for Facebook (in most cases). Sometimes it can take so long that your post (if it is a topical issue) may no longer be as relevant. I have one ad that took longer than a week. There seems to be no obvious pattern to it.
The amount you pay can vary a lot. Click rates and how much you pay use an auction system. You can either let Twitter decide automatically or set a maximum bid. Either way the amount you pay per click in the end is hugely variable and can vary by 10 or even a hundred times. It isn't always obvious what would be more or less expensive.
Lack of support when there are problems. If your ad gets disapproved or there is a problem it is not always easy to figure out what the problem is. It is also not particularly easy to get support.
The analysis and breakdown of how effective your ad targeting has been is well presented. I certainly think it could be displayed in a more easy to understand and clearer way. Facebook actually seems to do this better.
Easy to overspend! It is in some ways too easy to extend your budget with a single click - so be careful you don't get too excited that an ad is doing well and become click happy! You might not be so happy when you get your credit card bill.
A Few Suggestions If You Want To Experiment
I am still quite new to this and by no means an expert, however you might find a few of the following tips useful:
Firstly I would suggest to set yourself some basic parameters for experimentation, including limits on how much you will spend.
It can be very easy and tempting to keep adding to your spend without getting great results.
I would also suggest using Google and Twitter search to optimise the key-words and targeting you use - it can make a big difference and there are both free and paid tools online that can help with this.
It might also be helpful to run a few campaigns for the same post - i.e. with different keywords etc.
For example if you have a budget of £50 then you could do 3 trial runs with different keywords for £10 each, then use the results to do a more focussed ad for the remaining £20.
As I said earlier it is easy to overspend because it is so easy to extend your campaign with a single click.
It is also easy to lose track of how much you have already spent if you make multiple ads because of the confusing way in which the overall ad dashboard is diplayed - it may help to make written notes so you don't lose track.
Be careful not to overspend because of this!
These are my preliminary insights and I am still learning how to make use of Twitter ads.
If you have any of your own insights or thoughts please add them in the comments.
I would also be interested in how you think Twitter Ads compare with Google/Facebook Ads.
Personally I think they all have their various advantages but neither is superior overall - although it is quite some time since I have used Google Ads so I my knowledge may be out of date.
Thank you for reading