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by Edward Davidson 6th November 2013

9 Twitter Advertising Fails and How to Avoid Them

Twitter is a great tool that enables businesses to engage with their user-base and reach new potential customers. With promoted accounts, you can send targeted tweets to people likely to be interested in your business and gain new followers or send them to your website.

But it can only take one small misstep for a business to become the star of a marketing fail blog. Check out this run down of 9 common Twitter advertising mistakes and how to avoid them:

1) Hashtag Hell

Organic and promoted tweets are very different beasts. Knowing which elements to use and when is crucial for your campaign. Hashtags may be a great way to join the conversation for organic tweets but in a promoted campaign any engagement with your ads is going to be costing you. If your goal is direct response conversion, then additional elements like hashtags and @-handles can even be a distraction to customers and distract them from the link you want them to click on. Remove hashtags & @-handles unless it's critical to the campaign.

2) Account Bounces

A high proportion of people will come and check out who you are and what you’re about on Twitter before making a buying or sign-up decision. Your profile is the first place they will look, but if they see a few dodgy tweets that you’ve bashed out in the last couple of hours about your Halloween party, they might not be that impressed. You need to make sure you’ve always got the best of your content in the prime real estate at the top of your profile. A pinned tweet is a great way to look your best and drive this traffic to your site for the next step in your conversion funnel.

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3) Wrong time of the day

Shouting into the wind makes it harder for your message to be heard. Promoting tweets at times of the day when your target users aren’t active will also be pretty fruitless. Knowing when your users are active will help you target both organic and promoted tweets at the right time. Are people most active in the evening or are they early birds? Use a tool like Followerwonk from Moz to get a better picture of when your users are tweeting or engaging with their followers and build a picture of what they’re interested in.

4) Sloppy Campaigns

Setting up new campaigns is always time consuming but like any other channel, Twitter advertising success relies on an in-depth understanding of which elements of a campaign is delivering results and why. Adding too many targeting options in one campaign is only going to muddy the water. To see how each targeting group is performing you should break them into separate campaigns as much as possible in the time you have.

5) Tweet repetition

Twitter only shows one tweet per day per company and won't show a promoted Tweet twice. Not adding enough tweet variations to a campaign is going to severely limit your reach. Make sure you have enough tweets within a campaign to get maximum exposure. Tweet variations will also enable Twitter to test all the options to find the best performing Tweet and help you optimise.

6) Tagging Blindness

To report effectively you need to make sure you’re tagging every part of your campaign. Often the most engaging tweets don’t necessarily have the best conversion rates on your site. Insufficient tracking of your campaigns could lead you to make generalised assumptions of campaign performance. Make sure you tag each tweet with unique tracking urls so that you can see which tweets and targeting groups convert.

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7) Reporting Boo Boos

Thinking you’ve developed a killer campaign based on your assumed robust stats, only to find you’re carelessly blowing the company budget? With any new platform you’re new to you’ve got to be super confident of each metric. A classic mistake is assuming the arrow sign within the reports is showing you just the clicks on URLs within your ads. This actually shows all interactions with the tweet and this can mean a big difference to the performance of the campaign. Find the actual link clicks in the Timeline activity report.

8) Hasty assumptions

Keyword campaigns take a bit of time to warm up as the system reviews mentions of the keyword over a 7-day period from the time you launch the campaign. Pausing keyword targeting campaigns too early based on hunches may mean that you miss out on future opportunities.

9) Ignoring Mobile

75% of Twitter users access the platform through a mobile device. A heavy proportion of people who come to your site from the Twitter platform are going to be expecting a mobile optimised experience. Having to pinching and zoom to find what they are looking for, or a long sign up process will lead to high abandon rates, wasting all that effort of getting them there! Use the options to target for devices, and think about your site’s capabilities or consider a simplified landing page that considers the usability of a mobile device.

Have you seen any Twitter ad fail examples? Let us know.

Tags: Twitter
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