The best things in life are free: Except social media? Part 2

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Last week in Part 1 we discussed why you should consider supplementing organic social media marketing with paid social media advertising. This week we take this one step further to look at examples of how to use it and monitor its success.

We would always recommend a multi-channel approach for any paid advertising activity to ensure appropriate reach and depth for the campaign, but for the purposes of this illustration we will be focusing on Twitter. 

Set Up


First you need to decide on what the tangible ROI you want to achieve. Do you want people to sign up for your newsletter, get more traffic to your website, increase your followers, or download a resource? This will help you to determine the Tweet copy, visuals and calls to action.  


Next you need to build a picture of who it is you want to target. Within Twitter you can target the audience based on elements such as gender, location, likes and dislikes. You can also target your direct competitor’s followers and upload your own subscriber lists. 


Now you need to decide which Twitter campaign option is best for your end goal. There are three main campaign types: 

Follower - Using the Promoted Accounts tool this campaign is to increase followers. A tweet specifically telling people why they should follow your brand with a call-to-action ‘Follow’ button appears in your target audience time lines, in the ‘Who to Follow’ section and in key word searches. 

Engagement - Used to increase engagement with your Tweets, you can use the Promoted or Sponsored Tweets to display specific content to relevant users, whether they are currently followers or targeted non-followers.

Lead – Targeting new customers and obtaining their contact details, using newsletter and mailing list sign ups. 

twitteradvert.jpg (1)

Example of a Promoted Tweet Image: Direct Online Marketing

What do I pay for and how do I do it?

Twitter operates an auction-style payment process, so you can either enter a daily maximum bid which resets at midnight or a total budget for the whole campaign. The money is then spent on actions, depending on which advertising tool you are using. For example, if you are using Promoted Accounts then you are charged on a Cost-per-Follow (CPF) basis.

You can change your budget or bids while a campaign is running in order to have your account promoted in response to national events or your content promoted at more prominent times of the day, however this will usually involve increasing your budget. 


The beauty of any social media campaign is that you can react when things aren’t working. It’s a good idea to create some A/B testing (multiple ads in rotation) and offset two different campaigns against each other to see which garners the most followers or engagement. Due to the bidding system this should be relatively simple and cheap to conduct. This will allow you to see what does and doesn’t work, helping you to develop how you target relevant users over time.

If your posts are gaining impressions (views) but no clicks on the action buttons then you may want to adjust your copy or look at the audience you targeted. Similarly if your impressions are low but the call to action is working then you could broaden your audience. 

Monitoring also allows you to see the ROI of your paid advertising campaign, giving you evidence and statistics for how the initial spend is gaining results. This is crucial for businesses to justify their marketing expenditure as well as providing proof that a social media marketing campaign is worth spending time and money on. 


There are loads of analytics tools out there which you can use to monitor your social media activity. Here at Perceptive Flow we use Followerwonk for peaks in organic follower gains and Twitter Analytics ‘Promoted’ tab for more detailed information on paid tweet performance. 


Image: Followerwonk

Twitter also provides various tools to help you see how your tweets are performing, when you are gaining or losing followers and user engagement. 

Twitter Campaign Dashboard

If you are running a number of different campaigns you can view all of them in one place on the Twitter Campaign Dashboard, but it also allows you to see how many engagements, conversions and impressions your adverts have had and the estimated spend so far, so you can keep on track. 

You can also use it to test the same campaign against different audiences as you can clearly compare the results across the campaigns and make changes accordingly. 


Analytics on the Campaign Dashboard – Twitter for Business

Tweet Activity Dashboard

This displays in real-time so you can see up-to-date information regarding your activity. It allows you to see how many impressions your tweets received, which tweets were the most relevant and what kind of engagements your posts receive the most. Any Twitter user can use this tool, but it is really useful for comparing your organic output with your paid advertising and is a really good companion to the Twitter Campaign Dashboard.


As you can see there are a number of different ways that brands can dip their toe into social media advertising. To increase the chance of success remember to:

  • Have a clear goal and CTA in mind
  • Set realistic budgets and timescales
  • Don’t be afraid to test things out, if they don’t work you can switch them off
  • Check your analytics regularly  

Here at Perceptive Flow we offer a full suite of social media advertising options to suit your business and channel strategy. From setup, monitoring and reporting we can work with your wider business goals to gain more followers and advocates of your content, which in turn helps with relevant customer acquisition. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

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