Twitter Ads: My Experiment and the Results

How Much Does a New Follower Cost on Twitter?

That’s what I wanted to find out. I’d never ran a Twitter ad before. You can run ads for more than just new followers, you can also do it to drive more engagement (retweets, favorites, and clicks). I wanted to experiment with gaining new followers.

I’d had experience running Facebook ads before for new Likes and Google Adwords for page clicks. I was familiar with setting a budget, identifying a target audience, and crafting the ad text. This was no different. The first step is choosing @usernames.

Twitter Ad Targeting

This was an ad for @skinnycoco so I targeted two of it’s competitors as well as “users like our followers”. The latter means similar interests and demographics. You can add multiple usernames and even exclude usernames you don’t want to target.

Like Facebook ads, doing the above step gives you an estimate of reach. In my case it was 7K. The next two steps allow you to choose interests by browsing categories and to choose locations. I chose not to choose a category and chose United States.

Twitter Ad

The most important aspect of creating the ad is the text of the ad itself. You can either choose from an existing tweet or create a new tweet. Anything you could post under a normal tweet can be posted here (ie. text, picture, or link) in addition to “cards”.

Twitter Cards allow you to attach rich media experiences to tweets about your content. If you’ve ever seen a longer post with text, image, and a call to action underneath, that’s a Twitter Card. These cards can be used at your promoted tweet in your ad.

How Much Does a New Follower Cost on Twitter?

Twitter Ads

I budgeted $20 to see how much each new follower would cost, on average. For $20 I got 3,977 impressions (views), 66 clicks through to the Twitter profile, and 26 new followers. That translates to $0.77 per like and an engagement rate of 0.65%.

What Could Improve Those Numbers?

The first thing I would change would be to try different tweets and run them at the same time to test engagement. I didn’t realize that you could, like with Facebook and Google ads, run multiple ads on a single campaign. If I do it again, that’s what I’ll do.


Paid Advertising with Google AdWords

Google AdWords

One of the things that can really help get your website traffic fast is paid advertising.

We recently helped an Indianapolis dentist get started with paid advertising from Google AdWords. We came up with a marketing plan together and created a budget. We were able to use input from the client and data from Google Analytics to know what people had been searching for and finding them in the past. Basically, we wanted to amplify and expedite what the site was already doing well through content marketing and SEO.

We setup a campaign for the metropolitan area of Indianapolis, funded it with an initial payment, and setup 6 different ads so we could test to see which one was more effective. We plan on revisiting this over the next couple of days to see which ones were more popular and possibly add new ones. The ads usually take a little under a day to start showing up. This is because of an initial approval process by Google and for time for the payment to process.

Bid Per Call

One recently new feature (added in 2011) is a bid-per-call feature that allows you to bid for phone calls, in addition to bidding for clicks, when you show Google search ads on computers and tablets. According to Google, both your max bid per click (max CPC bid) and max cost-per-call bid (max CPP bid) can influence your ad’s position on the results page. You can increase your ad position and drive more phone calls to your business by setting a bid that is equal to or greater than the $1 minimum call fee.

Bid-per-call requires you to use a Google forwarding number when you activate call extensions. It provides detailed call reporting, so you can have a better sense of the value of calls and clicks your campaigns are generating.

With bid-per-call, the maximum cost-per-call (CPP) and your call Quality Score will be factored into your Ad Rank. This means that you’ll automatically be rewarded with higher ad position and lower cost per call when your phone number is useful to users. And you’ll have increased control over the position of your ads and your call volume by adjusting your bid. As always, you’ll never pay more than you’re willing to for either a phone call or a click.

Introduction to Groupons


Groupons is a company and a website with a unique business model that is mutually beneficial to vendors, customers, and Groupons itself. Vendors like retail outlets contact Groupons about goods or services they would like to package and promote. Groupon reps work with the vendor to create an ad that runs in a daily email newsletter. Each coupon has a quota and if enough people purchase a package, all packages sell at once. Groupons takes a small percentage of the sale and mails the vendor a check the next day. Customers get the coupon immediately for use.

Because Groupons only makes money when you, the vendor, makes money you can be sure that the ad reps will help paint your company and products in a good light. There is very little risk and a lot of potential exposure. Even if not enough coupons are sold, your brand will still go out to thousands of potential new clients who may use your business in the future.

If you want to learn more about how Groupon works, check out their guide site. At Erich Stauffer, we can also assist with helping your company apply to Groupon or setup an email marketing campaign of your own. We prefer Constant Contact, but we are also familiar with Delivra. We recommend email marketing be a core part of your overall marketing strategy and advertising budget.