Twitter advertising: Best practice interview with Total Media

By Chris Lee

In April 2012, Random House became the first UK publisher to produce a paid advertising campaign on Twitter to promote the new book Fifty Shades of Grey. E L James’ book has now become a best seller. The social paid advertising worked by targeting advertising at relevant users, with a live link back to the Twitter page and embedded “follow” button. On the book launch day additional “promoted tweets” also featured on Twitter via the official feed @FiftyShadesUK, migrating further traffic to the Twitter page and driving awareness of the new book.

According to Total Media, Random House’s digital agency, engagement rates have been up as high as 50 per cent.

New Media Knowledge caught up with Total Media’s Paulo Ribeiro to understand a little more about Twitter advertising and best practice for those considering running ads on the network.

How does the Twitter ad model work?

Twitter’s Promoted Tweets work by displaying a labelled tweet as “Promoted” when an advertiser is paying for their placement on Twitter. Promoted Tweets work just like regular tweets and can be retweeted, replied to and favourited by users. All Promoted Tweets are first displayed as regular tweets to the timelines of people following an account. The advertisers can then promote those tweets to spark additional conversation.

In the case of Random House we chose the search results and user profiles to target after analysing fan data already associated to Random House’s Fifty Shades of Grey Twitter profile. Using this data we were able to build a picture of the various interests and search terms used by the Fifty Shades fans. This enabled us to create an effective and efficient Twitter campaign.

In addition to this we were able to similarly target a wider audience based on the behaviour and demographics of key user groups that had not successfully been reached organically. This method allowed us to drive engagement with Fifty Shades content as well as attracting a significant number of new followers, which represents new users that can be easily reached organically in the future.

I’ve heard there’s a minimum spend of £10,000 per campaign, is this true?

Twitter recently reduced the entry cost and as such only a £5,000 commitment is required. We envisage that a wider range of advertisers will now take advantage of this advertising platform over the coming year.

What tools did you use to monitor the response, and what were your objectives and key performance indicators for the campaign?

Total Media uses Twitter Analytics to accurately track and measure traffic migration, click-throughs and engagement (new followers, retweets, etc.). As Twitter’s ad platform is directly aimed at improving engagement and increasing followers within Twitter, there is less of a requirement to use third party tracking tools.

The main objectives for the campaign were to drive an increase in awareness of the book and gather more followers. As Twitter’s Promoted Products are a relatively new advertising platform, Random House did not set any numeric targets.

Total Media believe it is important to take an open approach like this when entering uncharted territory as it allows for greater insight across the entire campaign. The final results were much higher than previously anticipated. As both Total Media and the client were pleased with the eventual results, we can say with certainty the Twitter Ads will feature much more regularly in Total Media’s recommendations.

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