How to successfully use Promoted Tweets on Twitter


An interesting article on AdAge Digital prompted me to pen this. Twitter’s new advertising format, Promoted Tweets, is largely unproven and has delivered mixed results. Some advertisers have even received ‘flame tweets’ in response to their efforts to exploit the community-based conversations that take place 24/7 on Twitter, but a few have been successful in generating a good response.

Twitter only charges advertisers if users reply to, bookmark, or retweet a Promoted Tweet. If no-one engages with your ad, you don’t pay a penny, but you’ll quickly lose the option to run your ad when Twitter hands your placement to another advertiser in the hope they’ll generate more user engagement. So, this ad format is fairly pointless for pure awareness-generation activity, you have to generate engagement or your ads won’t run.

One final point before we get into the findings of the AdAge Digital article, your ad has to be a tweet which means the same 140 character limitations apply. But, like all things Twitter, the key is to write something that you know people will find interesting and will engage with; the only difference is you get to buy access to an audience that searches for the keywords and keyphrases you are targeting. Your ad will appear at the top of their search results, clearly labelled as a Promoted Tweet.

So, which Promoted Tweets have performed the best? AdAge’s data show that it doesn’t matter which sector you represent, be it cars, toiletries, or pizzas, you just have to have something interesting to say. And, if it’s topical, newsworthy, celebrity-endorsed or contest-based, you could be on to a winner.

Here’s the top promoted tweet of all time which was released to coincide with the live unveiling of the new VW Beetle, as previously teased during the Super Bowl:


With engagement rates as high as 52% (yes, really! well done VW), Promoted Tweets can play a useful role in selected marketing campaigns. But pick your moments carefully; this is far from a guaranteed route to user engagement.