Twitter Advertising – Is It Worth The High Costs?

David Hellowell

Twitter Advertising – Is It Worth The High Costs?

Twitter now has over 500 million users and is still one of the fastest growing platforms in the world. As it continues to expand people are keen to get involved and jump on board with the popular communication platform.

Pew Internet recently conducted a study on Twitter usage and discovered that 15% of online adults use Twitter and 8% of them do so every day with 26% falling into the age bracket of 18-29 – who wouldn’t want to target this audience?

There are 3 main Twitter advertising options that enable you to target current and potential customers in an attempt to increase your business awareness:

  • Promoted Accounts
  • Promoted Tweets
  • Promoted Trends

Promoted Account

A promoted account will feature in the “Who To Follow” section on the left hand side of your screen as well as in search results.


Users are given these suggestions based on who they already follow on Twitter. When you promote your account, users who follow similar accounts will be given the suggestion to also follow your account. The similarity between accounts is determined using a variety of elements including interests of a user and the demographic they fall into. This product helps you to scale a good follower base of new users and potential business.

Promoted Tweets

Promoted tweets have been very financially successful for Twitter. They work in a similar way to having a promoted account. Twitter will promote your best tweets to a specific audience identified to be appropriate to follow your business. Anyone who appears to be interested in your industry could see your tweet.


Promoted Trend

You can use promoted trends to capture the attention of a user on Twitter. Use a trending topic to drive interest and engagement around your brand or product you want to promote. The promoted trends will feature above all the natural trends in the side bar on the left of the timeline. These trends will be tailored to display to Twitter users depending on who they currently follow and their location.

What Are The Benefits?

  • Twitter advertising is great for brand awareness – it enables companies to expose themselves to a whole new audience and potentially new customer base.
  • It works well with time related events. For example if you have a product specifically for Christmas a Twitter promotion would work well around that time.
  • You can easily form new relationships with potential consumers in a direct manner where they can effortlessly engage with you.
  • Users can engage with the adverts in a unique fashion. It’s not just about the click through, interaction with the ads through replies and retweets are also possible.

What Are The Negatives?

  • Twitter adverts do not appear in third part clients such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck
  • Low user engagement for a promoted tweet has a negative impact on the quality score, thus leading to the advertiser needing to raise their bid
  • The campaign monitoring and reports is very weak. There is no detailed data like you would get with Google Adwords.


  • Daily budgets are used for Twitter advertising but this is nothing new for the social media world.
  • The daily budget will determine how the campaign is run and once the budget is reached the advert will be stopped until the following day
  • On a cost per follower basis the recommended bid is between $0.50 and $2.50
  • On a cost per click basis for promoted tweets Twitter recommend a bit of between $0.5 and $1.50
  • It seems to be the case and has notably been for a while that brands wishing to advertise on Twitter need to commit to 3 months at a minimum spend of $15,000

So the big question is: “Is Twitter Advertising really worth it?”


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