Twitter and the art of promoted accounts

Twitter and the art of promoted accounts

Twitter has become a commercial beast for some time now. But until last week, I’d not really considered it as a potential business tool, instead using the network for chat. For fun.

So time to tune in to a webinar with Brian Lavery who manages relationships on Twitter. To give him his full title, he is SMB (small-medium businesses) partnerships manager for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). In short, he is a friendly salesman face.

You can catch up on the webinar here.

It was basic warm-up staff: “Engage in conversation but listen carefully….’ ‘Use your Twitter username on biz cards, merchandise etc.,’

But it was quickly into better stuff. After all, it was only a 30-minute webinar. Sites with a Twitter share button get 7x more traffic back to site when compared to sites without the button, said Lavery. That’s a good takeaway.

And tweets with image links have 200% higher engagement rate than tweets without. While Factoid Three was: Tweets that contain links receive 86% higher RT rates than those without.

Nuggets delivered, Lavery was into the meat: selling us Twitter promoted accounts, the model whereby you pay only if people click on your follow button.

They’re the ones on the left with the little yellow box. They also show up on the timeline on mobile phones and in search. As opposed to promoted tweets, which show at the top of your feed.

Here, it was revealing in how much you can use data. With promoted tweets, you don’t shout at the universe: you shout at people who are interested. So, for example, if you were a sports shop, you can target followers of Nike or Puma. Or target interests, based on the content of users’ tweets, the people they follow and/or the tweets they engage with.

Interesting. As was Lavery’s advice not to include a hashtag or links on your promoted account – “You want them to click follow button, not go to other content.”

blog_Steve_28April_SecondHe gave more examples of best practise: 1. Include the word follow. 2. Provide a clear reason. 3. Run offers and contests. 4. Tailor the message. 5. Use specific events on which to bandwagon – “Twitter is doing a lot on the World Cup right now, or there’s the iPhone6 launch later this year.”

Very interesting. But (killer question), how much?

It is, he said, how much you’re willing to bid. Start in line with the suggested bid after registering for an account ( You register a credit card then pay as little or as much as you want.

If it is a ‘highly desirable audience’ all following a big event, it will be more expensive. But you will get organic and paid-for analytics, and Twitter says that 90% of followers you buy will stay with you for six months or more.

We all need to understand paid-for results, as with Facebook. And it worth 30 minutes to find out more. I’m off to try it – will let you know…

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Steve Keenan has been a travel journalist for 25 years. He started at a Reed paper, news editing at Travel News in London - now Travel Weekly - having spent a decade reporting general news in the UK and abroad. He also taught English in Peru, delivered cars in the USA, ran the Sydney desk at AAP and took the train home from Hong Kong. He left Travel News in 1990 to freelance for several publications, including The Times of London, which he later joined as deputy travel editor. In December 2004, he became the first national digital travel editor in the UK, running the combined travel website of The Times and Sunday Times. The introduction of a paywall at the papers in 2010 persuaded him that the connected world might continue outside of Wapping and he left to co-found Travel Perspective. The company runs the social media seminars at World Travel Market London, and works with Reed Expos and others in helping the travel and tourism industry best communicate stories in all forms of publishing.

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