Promoted Tweets–do they work?

Example Promoted Tweet by Coca Cola

I’ve previously shared some stats on the top performing Promoted Tweets and, no surprise, the one thing they all have in common is that they all say something remarkable or newsworthy. With clickthrough rates as high as 52%, advertisers could be forgiven for thinking Promoted Tweets are the Holy Grail they’ve been longing for. But the harsh reality is that most Promoted Tweet campaigns don’t even come close to the results achieved by Volkswagen or Old Spice.

New data from eMarketer suggests that average engagement levels are in the range of 3-5%, or as high as 7-10% when Promoted Tweets are combined with Promoted Trends. In digital marketing terms, anything above 1% engagement is usually cause for celebration, but keep in mind too that the Twitter audience for any promoted tweet is still relatively small, so gaining mass reach is still not viable through this channel. And with a cost per new follower of up to $10 on a Promoted Account, this method of recruitment could prove expensive.

Twitter snapshot stats from

The encouraging news is that 80% of advertisers appear to renew their Promoted Tweets activity, so something must be working for them. Twitter now claims to have around 600 advertisers using Promoted Tweets, four-fold the number at the end of 2010, giving them a strong foundation on which to test new advertising formats.