What happened when I tried Twitter’s new ‘Promote Mode’

Recently I received a couple of emails inviting me to join the Twitter Promote Mode beta. The offer is this: For £79 a month, automatically promote your Tweets to your best audience and grow your followers. For once I’m going to give something automated on Twitter a go… 

Anything to with social media tech which includes the word ‘automatic’ makes me suspicious. To be fair, if this was offered by a third party I would almost definitely have ignored it. However, I’m so intrigued by this coming directly from Twitter that I’m going to pay my £79 and…. well, what’s the worst that could happen… 😲

I have so many questions about how this works, so I’ll try and learn some more about it over the next few weeks and keep updating this blog post.  It’s apparently designed for accounts with less than 2,000 followers and with the caveat: performance may vary based on factors including your account type, your targeting selection, the type and frequency of your Tweets.

There are some useful snippets in this econsultancy article and various points of view on Twitter itself of course.

Here’s the detail of what you get:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 18.05.22

What am I going to test?

My Twitter handle, @simonlp, is the account I use as part personal brand, part slp consulting account handle and part for person tweets.

I don’t tweet bucket loads of content, but I’ll make sure I’m putting out at least one fresh piece of content every day that something social media related.

Time to get going – what I’ve learnt so far

I’ll keep updating this section with observations and learnings…

Setting up

  • You select your timezone, whether you want to target by locations or interests (and then a max of five options within interests). It says it will only target people in the UK. So far, so broad.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 18.37.30

  • Now I have to add my business details and payment info and that’s it!
  •  I get told to tweet frequently and sent to a page of tips about tweeting… but no confirmation email or anything else.
  • Eventually I find my way back to the setting page; I like the feature here to pause Promote mode whenever you want:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 19.50.47

How it works

  • A little update I got directly from Twitter: “To get the most out of this service, you will need to be Tweeting constantly every day. With our filtering system, we only promote high-quality Tweets. For more insight into what makes high-quality Tweets, please see our article “Quality Policy for Advertising”. Now I don’t know what constantly means, but I’m guessing at least a few tweets a day? To me that seems like quite an undertaking for a product clearly aimed at small businesses.

Observations

  • It won’t promote retweets, quote retweets or replies… that’s probably not a bad thing.
  • It seems to like polls. I got 250+ votes on a poll… many times more than usual.
  • The Twitter Ads help team were very efficient at coming back to my query.
  • I’ve been given my own named contact at Twitter for any questions about using the service, which is nice!
  • Follower growth didn’t happen at first, but is slowly picking up. It suggests you’ll gain an extra 30 followers (so we’re not pulling up trees here), which has already been achieved.

Final roundup

So, by hook or by crook the ‘product’ delivered roughly the amount of followers and additional impressions that it said it would.

And in today’s pay-to-play social networking world, I think it’s a good think for small businesses to think about ways to invest (at least a little) ad budget in promoting their content. But I just don’t think this is how I’d recommend they do it.

Sure, it’s super simple… but I was mostly frustrated at the lack of flexibility when it comes to controlling how the tweets are promoted.

  1. There might be tweets you publish that you just don’t want to promote (I was told that you could turn your promote mode “off” for a while, but that doesn’t feel very scientific).
  2. There’s very little control (and no visibility) over who your tweets are promoted to. I got a great… “why are you promoting this tweet to me, i just don’t care” reply to one tweet. 😀
  3. There are no other options… what if I fancy boosting my tweets a bit more… why can’t I select a £299 option?

I totally get that Promote Mode is supposed to be super simple (and it really is)… but I just think it needs a little more functionality to really add value.

Would you consider using it?

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