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Is Twitter promotion worth it in Australia and New Zealand?

Is Twitter promotion worth it in Australia and New Zealand?

Even if you’re new to the wonderful world of content marketing and digital strategy, you’ll doubtless know just how important social media can be when creating an effective online presence that creates leads and drives sales. The question, however, is which social media platforms best suit your specific business?

We all know about Facebook and LinkedIn, but what about Twitter? It’s an incredibly popular platform globally, with roughly 335 million global monthly active users, according to Statista.

Even so, many businesses struggle with Twitter, and specifically, with whether or not they should pay for dedicated ads on the platform – known as ‘promoted Tweets’.

While there’s a lot of content out there extolling the virtues of promoted tweets, the approach isn’t necessarily effective for Australian and New Zealand businesses. To understand why, it’s vital to first explore what exactly Twitter ads are, and how they reach consumers.

While there’s a lot of content out there extolling the virtues of promoted tweets, the approach isn’t necessarily effective for Australian and New Zealand businesses.

How do I run Twitter ads?

Let’s start with a simple definition. Twitter ads, or promoted Tweets, are essentially Tweets that a business pays to have shown to users who don’t follow their account. The idea is that these users will see a message when scrolling through their feed and end up either following the account in question, or visiting a business’ website and entering the sales funnel. Think of it as a form of product placement, only instead of appearing in a TV show or movie, a business is embedded into a social media feed, amplifying the reach of its content.

However, it’s important to target the right type of people with your promoted Tweets. There’s no point in an electronic wholesaler paying for their content to appear on the timeline of people with no interest in their product, which is why Twitter ads can be targeted in a variety of ways. These range from the gender and location of users all the way through to what type of device they’re on or who they follow on Twitter. This functionality makes it possible to address very specific slices of Twitter’s massive user base with your ads, ensuring maximum engagement.

While promoted Tweets are the most common form of Twitter ad, they’re not the only way to reach people on the platform. Two of the other options are:

  • Promoted Accounts: Which puts a particular business’ Twitter account in targeted user’s ‘who to follow’ list in an attempt to boost followers.
  • Promoted Trends: Which puts a specific keyword or hashtag in the ‘trending topics’ tab, typically in order to promote a specific campaign.

Who should use Twitter ads, and why?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Twitter ads and how to run them, it’s important to consider the potential benefits that these promotions can provide – even if businesses in Australia and New Zealand may not be able to reap the rewards.

The secret to Twitter advertising success is the platform’s high level of engagement within specific industries. One example of this is, unsurprisingly, the world of technology, where there are always debates raging about the latest innovations and what they mean for the future of the industry. With a captive, highly engaged audience, international tech companies have been quick to utilise the platform to push their product, whether that’s a video game, laptop or piece of artificial intelligence software.

Another great example of how Twitter ads can be incredibly effective is in politics, an approach perfected by Barack Obama during the 2012 US election cycle when he released a promoted Tweet just after delivering a speech at the Democratic National Convention. During his speech, a record-breaking 52,000 tweets per minute were published. By placing various Twitter ads, including a promoted trend (#Forward2012), in the middle of the conversation while engagement was at its highest, the Obama campaign was able to capitalise on the huge levels of interest and reach an enormous number of people.

The lesson from these examples is that for promoted Tweets to offer a return on investment – critical, given that Twitter ads cost far more than promotion on other platforms – it’s vital to have a large, engaged audience.

For promoted Tweets to offer a return on investment, it’s vital to have a large, engaged audience.

Is Twitter promotion worth it in Australia and New Zealand?

The lack of large, specific Twitter user-bases in Australia and New Zealand is the key reason why campaigns on the platform often fall flat, and to illustrate the difference it’s worth looking at some statistics on social media usage.

According to socialmedianews.com.au and Vivid Social, Australia’s top social media platform is Facebook, with 15 million active Australian users per month. By comparison, Twitter sits in seventh place, with less than a third of that number.

As a result, businesses operating in Australia (and New Zealand), simply don’t have access to the same sort of large user groups that US or international businesses do. This makes promoted Tweets a risky investment if you don’t already know that there’s a high level of engagement amongst your target audience. Instead, a platform like Facebook is going to be a safer bet when it comes to paid promotion, as you’ll be able to guarantee your message reaches more – and more engaged – people.

At the same time, Twitter certainly isn’t a write-off as a social media platform, and can still form a key part of your online marketing presence. A great example of this is using Tweets to engage, support and retain existing customers, by answering questions or offering advice.

As with all things content marketing, success comes down to understanding your target audience and how best to meet their needs. Twitter can be an effective tool, but only when used appropriately as part of an overarching content strategy.

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Ben Lange
Ben Lange About the author

A Castleford veteran now based out of England, Ben writes across a broad variety of industries, including construction, education, recruitment, banking and film and music. He’s a regular contributor to the Castleford blog and writes for clients such as Hilti Australia, TRC Group and Beyond Bank.

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