The highly-anticipated Grand Theft Auto 5 releases to the masses today and is projected to be one of the biggest video game sellers of the year.
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“In addition to the daily optimization of our search campaigns, the team at Nina Hale, Inc continues to bring fresh, new ideas to Room & Board to help drive online traffic and sales.” — , Director of Communications, Room & Board
After getting ready in record time (lie), barely taking time to eat breakfast (lie) or have coffee (are you kidding me?), I rushed to the site to read the article, based on a Buddy Media report, in its entirety. No one wants to wake up one morning and learn they’ve been doing everything wrong. That is no way to start a day.
I’ll highlight some of the report’s main findings, and try my best to make sense of them.
The report says brands…
Are tweeting too much on the wrong days.
Great. Now even more people are confused about “when to tweet” and “which day is best to send a tweet.” The answer? It depends on your audience and your experience. But the middle of the night is probably not a good time to tweet, and the end of a Friday afternoon might not be ideal unless you’re promoting a local happy hour special or weekend event. Also, many people are afraid to tweet something more than once, but it’s OK to send second-chance tweets if you have audiences in various time zones and you feel the content is important enough.
Aren’t tweeting enough on the weekends.
Don’t realize that tweets published during “busy hours” (i.e. on weekdays) perform best.
Not using hashtags enough.
This is a joke, right? Is it me, or does it seem like #every #brand #uses #hashtags #constantly? In fact, I would argue that many are using too many hashtags, or aren’t using them effectively. For example, the use of multiple hashtags in a tweet will likely distract people. They’ll click a hashtag and get lost in a sea of tweets barely (maybe) related to what you’re actually talking about. If you’re sharing a link and also include even one hashtag, you risk followers not clicking the link you want them to, and again, getting lost in hashtag land.
Here are a couple of good example of hashtag use:
And a not so good:
Then the phrase “tweet spot” was used and I went back to bed.
Twitter advertising has been a hot topic this year, with countless big brands signing up to reach the 300+ million users to promote their airlines, luxury cars, sodas and numerous other consumer products. A beta program in which advertisers were vetted and approved, the minimum cost for Twitter ads was $5,000. A month. With a three-month obligation.
That’s pretty steep for many small and even mid-sized businesses, especially to test something out for the first time. Advertising on Twitter was deemed a tactic small businesses with similarly-sized advertising budgets could only dream of.
Teaming up with American Express, Twitter recently announced a small business advertising solution, which will roll out in March to the first 10,000 applicants (small business owners who are also AmEx card holders). The self-serve program will allow advertisers to buy and place their own ads, ala Google Adwords.
The small business ads will be similar to the Twitter advertising program that was already available bigger brands and budgets, but actually obtainable, as there won’t be the $5,000 a month, three-month minimum. Small business can finally test Twitter ads with their own budgets, for their own needs. And AmEx will even throw in $100 advertising credit to those lucky enough to be among the first 10,000 to try it out.
There will be two advertising options available: Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets. Here’s how they work:
Great for building a following you can continually engage with, this option would show your business’s Twitter profile as a recommendation to users for “who to follow.” But who sees that recommendations? That’s up to you. That’s right: you can determine who sees the suggestion based on their location, interests or topics they’re discussing on Twitter.
Imagine if you own a business that provides a product or service that someone just tweeted that they wanted / needed. Your profile could be shown as someone they should follow. You might even get to some users before they go to do a Google search for auto repair, new lighting, or real estate agent, etc…
The cost per follower really depends on the competition, but since it’s so low, even big businesses aren’t paying much more than a couple of dollars, so it’s likely much less for small businesses. This option may be best for most small businesses who are still working on building their brand awareness and following.
Spread your message with Promoted Tweets
Let’s say you’ve been fairly active on social media, and are feeling pretty good about your follower base on Twitter. First, good for you! We are aware of the hard work and dedication that goes into building and nurturing a Twitter presence. Now, maybe you don’t want to necessarily pay for followers; that’s fine. There’s still an advertising option for you by way of Promoted Tweets.
Promoted Tweets allow you to share a message (that, if we’ve taught you anything, includes a link back to your website or some sort of call to action you’re hoping for viewers to take) visible in your followers’ streams, as well as the streams of users Twitter finds similar to your followers. So yes, if the message is relevant to them, you could end up with new followers as well.
The main difference with this option is that instead of paying for each new follower you earn from an ad, you pay for engagement. A click to a link, hashtag, or the details pane all count as engagement, as well as a retweet, reply, or favorite.
Sure, it may sound like a lot of options to spend money, but remember, you set your own bids and manage your budgets and again, competition is low, low, low. Big businesses who’ve been utilizing Promoted Tweets have had a minimum cost per engagement of $0.10, but it’s widely suggested to set the CPE bid at least $0.50. Again, that’s big businesses, so small businesses starting out can likely expect to pay much less.
If you’re not able to be among the first 10k for the AmEx trial, be prepared for Twitter to roll out its small business advertising in the coming months.
A Pro Bono client of ours, Ploughshares, is a non-profit grant-making organization dedicated to the safety and elimination of nuclear weapons. Google has generously awarded Ploughshares a Google Grant, which grants a level of free clicks on Google AdWords for qualified keywords and ad copy, and we have assisted in applying for the grant and watching over it.
After the Tsunami in Japan, Ploughshares President Joe Cirincione was in great demand by the media for his expertise about the issues and risks associated with radiation from the Diiachi nuclear plant at Fukushima. Both Joe and the Ploughshares organization are well known as knowledge experts on nuclear issues. They both have active Twitter feeds where they share their knowledge – as well as that of their grantees.
After the damage to the nuclear plant in Fukushima, we created some additional campaigns in their Google Grant built off keyword searches pertinent to Ploughshare’s expertise and the crisis. One of the campaigns was geared towards growing more followers on Twitter for Joe. This was highly relevant because of his rapid updates about the crisis. The exciting thing about this campaign was that it created a new avenue to grow followers for a Twitter feed. Identifying specific keywords from people looking for analysis and updates about the nuclear situation in Japan, we had results of over a 5% click-through rate, still within the boundaries of the Google Grant. 5% clickthrough rate, in most situations is a very strong result. Over the past month we’ve sent 1,251 people to Joe’s Twitter feed from Google AdWords. And while Joe has been very prominent in the media during this time so he’s likely growing his followers from many channels. We don’t know the full source of followers, but Joe has grown his Twitter audience by over 1,000 followers – nearly 30% growth – in the last month.
What excites us about this is that we’ve been able to assist in identifying a channel to get more Twitter followers. We’ve done this for Facebook – using Google AdWords to grow the fan base, in the same manner.