Advertising with Twitter has been available with 3rd parties for for some time, but until recently there wasn’t enough volume. Now that Twitter has gone mainstream, I thought advertising was worth another look. While it may not be viable for every market (yet), the outcome of my tests got my attention, as I found it to be more effective and more economical than I anticipated.
A few weeks ago the question was posed to readers, How do you feel about Twitter Advertising on Your Profile? The post discussed various advertising models that were being researched at the time. Today, I share with you 3 different advertising services and you should consider if you want to use Twitter for business and expand your marketing reach (advertiser) or perhaps add a revenue stream (publisher) using this (currently) hot social media outlet.
Important Note: In all cases I found these services changing their approaches rapidly, in an effort to remain competitive and be fair to Advertisers and Publishers – some daily. Sections of this review have been rewritten several times as a result. I encourage you to test the services for yourself and come back and let us know how it is going by posting a comment.
Formerly known as TwtAd, RevTwt.com gives Advertisers the ability to write and place ads in their network for Publishers to choose from. As a publisher, you can read and review any of the tweets and decide which ones you think makes sense for your following, as well as see how much you will get paid per click. When followers click your link, the amount agreed per click is credited to your account.
Advantage Advertisers: Initially I found the traffic gained from advertising here, while mixed in quality, was very affordable, and they responded reasonably well, and the return on investment (sales) was lopsided in favor of the advertiser. More recently this service has gained popularity and is more competitive, but still turns an impressive ROI in my tests.
What I Like About RevTwt.com
I spoke to the program manager on the phone extensively. They are super concerned with click fraud (as well they should be). In their vigilance their actions heavily favored advertisers, and as he put it, they probably went a little overboard, but they were bringing it back into balance. He informed me that they have a team of 10 programmers working on the product, stabilizing it, and adding features. It has grown tremendously. Learn More about the RevTwt.com here.
What I Don’t Like About RevTwt
No service is perfect, especially in such an emerging market. If you want to be a publisher and an advertiser, you have to create separate accounts (with unique emails), and login accordingly. The interface a little clunky, and their reporting was, well, weak.
Proactive Alerting: At the time of writing there is no proactive altering when you are running out of funds in your account. When funds are exhausted, those who click through are taken to a RevTwt.com landing page indicating funds exhausted, not ideal.
More on RevTwt.com
I compared my clicks to theirs, and there was a great difference early on. Their counts don’t include publishers who are testing out your landing pages before deciding to send the tweet, nor does it count fraudulent clicks. I found on average my click count was 50-75% higher than theirs. They are found at RevTwt.com
Next Up: BeTweeted.com
I was contacted by BeTweeted.com via YouTube (believe it or not) and asked to look at their service. After giving it a good look, and investing advertising dollars multiple times, it was pretty clear to me that this was a much more expensive service for Advertisers than any other service I tested. That said, if you are a Publisher, well…
Advantage Publishers: Because BeTweeted has no option to exclude who the tweet is coming from (requires the @twitterid in the tweet), you cannot tweet anonymously. Building off the idea that social networks attribute credibility to real people, attribution shouldn’t be a problem. They also give the option for Advertisers to include RT as a part of the tweet.
What I Like About BeTweeted.com
Responsive: Whenever I had a question they (Nick) responded within a couple hours, often within a few minutes. While I was a bit perplexed as to the restrictive nature of their service, I was glad to know that they seem clear on how they intend to have users use the service. I’m just not sure if the restrictive nature of their service will bode well for their long-term viability.
What I Don’t Like About BeTweeted.com
No Anonymity: Since your tweet includes the advertisers Twitter handle, there is no way to test an offer, or an ad anonymously. This may not be a big deal for some, but given the newness of this emerging market I found testing BeTweeted.com to be too restrictive.
Branded URL: Their links include their domain. What’s more, when your funds are exhausted, any subsequent clicks from twitter users puts them on BeTweeted’s domain and branded page, asking the user to confirm they want to see the expired ad, to avoid this, you must login an check funds regularly.
Viability: As I mentioned earlier, with the current model, in my opinion their restrictive nature will hurt them in the long run. I found the site to be eerily quiet when trolling for ads to publish; I hope that will change for them. Learn More about the BeTweeted Service here
NOTE: I haven’t tested this service much beyond setting up an account for publishing and advertising, but it caught my attention and felt worth including. I may post an update at some point if warranted. Feel free to comment with your own experience with TwittAd.
As their site states: Twittad is a Social Media Affinity Network that connects Advertisers and Twitter users. By using Twittad, Twitter users can monetize their profiles & Advertisers can reach ALL of Twitter; the Website, 3rd Party Applications and Mobile Devices!
What I Like About Twittad.com
They do a decent job describing their service, and make use of slideshows and videos so users can get started quickly. The site itself is laid out ok, and relatively easy to navigate. See it here.
What I Don’t Like About Twittad.com
While they do a decent job explaining what they do, it takes a while to figure out their business model exactly- found it a bit complicated. Featuring Google Ads on the home page, was a bit odd to say the least (hope they change that).
More on TwittAd.com
Like the other services, advertisers can elect to tweet ads on users profiles, but they can also upload their advertisement in the form of a Twitter background. Twittad.com uses the Twitter API to update a user’s profile background shortly after an ad is accepted. It runs a period of time usually 7-90 days at a fixed price. Advertisers can request a given (targeted) profile, and publishers can post their profile from a pool which advertisers can choose from. Read more about TwittAd.com here.
Why Only Three Services Mentioned Here?
I looked at 6-8 services, but only felt that these three were viable to actually spend money on and test. If a service gave a script error when I setup the account, then they probably weren’t worth evaluating. One service looked to offer targeting based on user profile data, while a good concept, there are too many variables, making these methods unreliable. The market will certainly change and settle on the real players (Twitter itself?) in the coming months.
Importance of Testing When Advertising
As stated in the beginning, these services are changing constantly, and a real leader is yet to emerge, though, at this point I would give the edge to RevTwt.com. I refrained from giving hard number results because results varied greatly from market to market, if you want to know your results, you must test them as well.
For the services I spent money with, it had a greater ROI than traditional PPC search marketing providers. However, the tools they provide in their current state are minimal, and will require more manual intervention in order to track their success.
Twitter Ads is something everyone currently involved in PPC campaign management should be looking at. Twitter is going to be with us (in one form or another) for some time, and corresponding ad networks as well. Whether you are an advertiser looking for more traffic, or a publisher looking for another revenue stream, visit RevTwt.com, BeTweeted.com, and Tweetad.com setup an account (all free to setup), and get familiar with this emerging market.
Thoughts Feedback? Have your own experience with these or other services? Chime in using the comment boxes below.