Twitter Advertising Review: Not Ready For Primetime

I have had the luxury of having quite a bit of experience watching an ad platform evolve from the ground up having been at Microsoft Advertising in the launch days of adCenter. It’s not an easy task to build a platform to accomodate that much data and users. Many of these plastforms, even the Microsofts and Googles of the world experience growing pains in figuring out how to deliver value and a strong user experience. It takes time. And Twitter needs A LOT more time.

On the work front, we’ve managed our fair share of ad campaigns on a variety of search and social networks all with their advantages and disadvantages. We’ve recently started to experiment with Twitter Advertising having finally been invited to the platform to see if it could be a viable offering for some of our clients. We launched a promoted account campaign to see if we could bolster our following.

Wanna see the reporting we have access to?

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That’s the “detailed view”. Apparently 12.3K impressions aren’t enough to qualify for a chart either. I didn’t realize dynamic chart rendering was at a premium these days.

Our targeting options consist solely of location. I understand technically the program is in Beta, but this is more like Alpha. Or whatever comes before that. Twitter’s explanations of who your ads and promoted tweets show up to are very vague as well.

There also doesn’t seem to be any ad segmentation options either. Overall, the ad platform is extremely generic and narrow in its focus. Without any real control over what is happening, you’re basically just throwing money at Twitter in hopes that you produce some affordable results. In our case, we ended up paying $80 for what appears to be 48 new followers. Not the worst results in the world from a pure follower/like acquisition cost, but then again, we’re not entirely sure which folks we picked up from the campaign.

Word on the street is that the bigger brands have access to a much more robust ad platform and I certainly hope they open this up to us smaller folks. In the meantime, I don’t see any value in continuing use of the platform until they do.

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