If you’re a Small Business, and if you’re a little late to the Social Media game, Twitter now makes it really easy to make up for lost time using a “Promoted Account” advertising campaign.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with @DavidBoles and Twitter Ads, and while the effects are not as straightforward and as quantifiable as Facebook advertising, there’s still some sweet in the Tweet.

The first thing you need to decide when starting a Small Business Promoted Account campaign on Twitter is what end result you want.  Do you want Retweets or Favorites or targeted click-throughs, or like me, are you merely in search of new Followers?

Twitter will help you drill down to help focus your campaign.  You can select to target certain followers from other users, you can sort by region and interest range.

The real key to creating interaction is in writing specific Tweets that Twitter will promote as part of your advertising budget.  I tend to use a mix of popular, pre-existing Tweets I’ve already published, and fresh Tweets that are only shown in my Promoted Account campaign.

Here’s a reality check: Many Twitter users despise these intrusions in their timelines and search returns and they won’t hesitate to let you know how much they hate you.  They don’t seem to care that Twitter needs advertising revenue to pay for their free accounts. They only want what they want in their timelines.

Some of those angry users will send you nasty replies and not follow you, while others, also seeking revenge, will click to follow you to cost you money, and then unfollow you later.  Luckily, Twitter is fully aware of these ungrateful neanderthals and you don’t get charged for their false-follow clicks.

One method I’ve used to combat timeline intrusion fatigue for future followers, is to address the idea directly in my promoted Tweets.  If I’m in search of new, connected, followers, then it makes sense that I’d pay to meet new people I would never be able to find just on my own.

Twitter becomes my concierge for new connections, and I don’t mind paying for that sort of sophisticated, data-mined, matchmaking.

Here are some of the latest promoted Tweets I’ve written that address me poking in a stranger’s timeline while trying to explain why I’m there.  So far, this direct marketing bluntness is paying off much better than generic Tweets asking people to follow me, and yes, you need to ask people to follow you or they won’t know why you’ve jumped their timeline.

The first image in this article demonstrates the big, positive, jump in interaction when I started directly addressing the matter of my Ads in a stranger’s timeline.

One thing I’ve noticed is that pre-existing Promoted Tweets don’t really result in new Followers.  You can get favorited and re-Tweeted, though, if that’s important to you.

The most disappointing part of writing promoted Tweets specifically asking for a follow is when those Tweets get favorited or re-Tweeted instead.

Freshness matters.  I update and write my promoted Tweets on a regular basis. There’s nothing stranger than seeing a Promoted Account in my timeline from someone using a Tweet from last Summer!

After you’ve been advertising awhile, you’ll get a Direct Message from @TwitterAdTips that will suggest things you can do to improve your conversion rate.

Here’s the latest bit of help that arrived last night from Twitter — but the suggestion is so generic and universal as to be totally useless — of course, there’s no amount you cannot spend that will not alway lead to more followers.  There’s no “just right” circle, only an evermore budget increase for spending.

I was expecting more specific top-down metrics from TwitterAdTips on how to tweak my Tweets for hotter data returns:  Do this; don’t do that; this word works better than that one; and so on…

Twitter Promoted Accounts are a great tool in your advertising arsenal.

If you aren’t advertising with Twitter, then you’re losing mindshare and shared moments.

Be relevant.  Matter.  Be patient. Learn as you go.

You’ll soon find others in the ether who share your Art and Aesthetic values!


    1. Thanks for the feedback, Anne! Great to have you with us again! Twitter is here to stay as long as they can continue to sell Ads and services. I predict a “Paid” Twitter account will be coming soon for those who want to remove Ads from their timelines and maybe even pay an extra fee to be “Verified.”

  1. I’m also curious about getting followers. For what reason? What is the point. I don’t Twitter but maybe I should start. Not many people my age use that place.

    1. Followers help seed your network. Today, they’re quieter than they were a few years ago. When Twitter started, there was more interaction with “strangers.” Now the service feels more compartmentalized and narrow. You stay in your own circles.

    1. Yes, it’s taken me a long while to figure out how best to user Twitter for my evil ends. SMILE! It’s all about creating a voice and then providing sustaining content. There’s no rush. Be patient. People may read and not comment or favorite or retweet and that’s all fine.

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