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Driving Traffic With Promoted Tweets

A week ago I began driving traffic to my new product pages for the first time. At this stage I’m really looking to optimize my funnel and landing pages. So as far as driving traffic is concerned, the goals are simple: drive as much traffic, as quickly as possible for the cheapest price. That way I can quickly learn as much as possible and make changes.

After a week of experiments on The Google Display Network and getting less than ideal results, I shifted my focus to Twitter. I’m certainly using Twitter for community, support, and engagement, but maybe it can be used to blast some traffic my way?

Twitter hasn’t sent me any promo-codes like Google did, but I head over to anyway to see what I can get for $100.

Campaign Type

Twitter offers two types of campaigns, Promote your Tweets or Promote your account. Since I’m trying to drive traffic I selected promoted tweet but promoting your account would be a good options for people looking to build a following.


There are two primary ways to target my promoted tweets of which you can utilize either or both. The first is Add @usernames to target people similar to that user’s followers. It’s important to realize that you are not targeting followers of that user. You are targeting people similar to that user’s followers. Whether that includes that users followers or not I’m not sure.

Twitter estimated audience

Every time you make an adjustment to the targeting options Twitter displays an “Estimated Audience Size”. After building a list of competitors and influencers in my industry I realized certain users made a significant impact to the estimates. A few of the users I entered were making up the lions share of the estimate and I didn’t like that.

After playing around with the targeting options I opted to strictly Add interest categories to target a broader audience. I suspect that under the hood, Twitter is using their interest graph for all of its targeting. If you select @username targeting, you’re just building an interest graph of the people who follow that @username and targeting it. If you have a good definition of your target customer and know their interests, why not go straight for the jugular?

I opted to target users interested in:

  • Beginning investing
  • Stocks
  • investing

After that You can target locations, device types and gender. I’m just targeting desktop users for now.


Twitter estimated reach

Based on my targeting, Twitter gave me an estimated reach of 695k users. Their suggested bid price based on my $100 budget is $1.50-2.20. I opted for a $2 bid which is in line with what I was paying on the Google Display Network. This gave me an estimated reach of 211k users. Strangely, even if I put my bid at $100 the maximum they would allow me to reach is 494k. Apparently 30% of the Twitter audience is unreachable…


I’v barely used this Twitter account and certainly don’t want to spam my stream with a bunch of tweets in order to promote them. Luckily Twitter allows you to create Limited delivery Tweets which basically means they are “ghost tweets” that don’t show anywhere except in promotions.

I made 4 tweets each slightly different. To be honest, I didn’t do any research into “crafting” promoted tweets or what works and what doesn’t. I just winged it. Each tweet had a different link so I could track them in Google Analytics. Some were more “blunt” and others were more “informative”. One of the tweets included a photo. Here’s what they look like:

Promoted Tweets

Because of some technical limitation, Twitter requires a link to the image to be within the tweet. It’s kind of annoying having two links within the tweet but that’s the only option.

Results: Blast 1

Within 30 minutes of starting the campaign the tweets were blasted out. I was SHOCKED at how “realtimey” the interface was after spending a week on Adwords. It’s also very different from Adwords in the sense that when the tweets launch, they launch everywhere at once and when the dust settles you can evaluate your results and make tweaks because it won’t launch again until the following day.

Apparently Twitter optimizes the campaign to display the tweet with highest engagement more often. In my case, this was Tweet 3 (the first tweet in the list above) which had a whopping 2.54% engagement rate and got the lions share of the impressions. That seems incredibly high coming from a week of Adwords advertising where I had a 0.02% CTR. Luckily, I didn’t have any “favorites” or “retweets” so I didn’t have to pay for those. Makes me wonder though, if my promoted tweet gets retweeted, and then a follower of that retweeter clicks the link, do I pay for them? What would happen if my tweet caught fire and went viral!? That could get expensive.

Also as a side note, one of my tweets (tweet 2) got held up in the “Tweet Approval Process” and wasn’t displayed in this campaign. Seems odd because there was nothing different about that tweet. Also, I was surprised to see the tweet containing the image didn’t perform best. It had a 1.99% engagement rate but still… Here are the results of the first promoted tweet:

Date Campaign Imp. Clicks CTR CPC CPM Cost EB Goal DB Goal CPA
10/30/13 Blast 1 2,354 55 2.33% 0.963 22.51 53 10 – 18% 2 – 20% 5.30

Results: Blast 2

For some reason Twitter only spent half of my $100 daily budget and I had no clue when it would run again, so I just let it keep running. Without changing a thing, the same time the next day (Halloween) the traffic began flooding in. Here are the results from day 2 which included all 4 tweets.

Date Campaign Imp. Clicks CTR CPC CPM Cost EB Goal DB Goal CPA
10/30/13 Blast 1 2,354 55 2.33% 0.963 22.51 53 10 – 18% 2 – 20% 5.30
10/31/13 Blast 2 2,172 55 2.53% 0.927 23.48 51 11 – 18% 2 – 9% 4.63
Total 4,526 110 2.4% 0.945 22.98 104 21 – 19% 4 – 19% 4.95
Promoted Tweets Timeline


I’m pumped about Twitter advertising. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been struggling with Adwords for a week or not, but this is exactly what I’ve been looking for – a quick, cheap way to drive a ton of traffic. Also, based on the CPA I’m getting, I now know that if I can convert 5% of the people who download the eBook into paying customers I’ll break even. 6+% is profit.

Unfortunately, it’s clear that I have a leak in my funnel. The landing page is working well but customers who request the eBook aren’t reading it. This could have something to do with the way I deliver it. Either the eBook is sitting in their inbox or they’re never getting the email. I’ll need to make some changes to increase that “Product Goal” (percentage of people who requested the book who reach the product page).

Overall I’m excited to run some more tests on the Twitter Advertising platform and see if I can get my costs per engagement down even further. Also looking forward to testing out their Lead Gen “cards”.