I’ve had a Twitter account for many years and I’m probably a little more active with that network than most. But I’ve never once promoted a tweet. I mean, most of what I share is related to my hobby, amateur radio, and that subject matter seems a bit too ephemeral to pay money for a little extra attention. It makes even less sense given that I have nothing to sell which means paid advertising is little more than a boondoggle.

But I do publish a free ham radio related newsletter and I do occasionally tweet about it. There are considerably north of 2,000 subscribers to my letter, however, that number rose quickly when I first started publishing it and has since hit a plateau. Growth in subscribers is now almost evenly offset by those who unsubscribe.

So I wanted to try a little active (paid) promotion that might include an advertisement on QRZ or the ARRL Web site but while considering that, and trying to decide how much money I was willing to chuck at something that would provide zero dollars in return, I thought about a Twitter promotion.

Studying the options, I discovered that my advertising budget (coin jar in the closet) wouldn’t be sufficient for full-blown Twitter advertising, however, promoting a single tweet seemed reasonable.

Mind you, my only experience with Twitter is as a user, not a purveyor of goods so there was no way for me to know if this was a reasonable investment. Since nothing ventured is nothing gained I decided to dip my toe in the paid waters of a promoted tweet.

I selected a tweet that I had posted earlier the same day, set my total campaign budget at $100 and gave Twitter a credit card number. That process is entirely automated and instantly I had confirmation that the ball was rolling but that my tweet had to be approved before the campaign would launch.

Twelve hours later I received a message that it was underway.

It took only another eight hours for the Twitter machine to chew through my entire budget and as quickly as it began, the promotion came to halt.

Tweet Activity

Per Twitter’s analytics report, my promoted tweet received 14,509 total impressions. 13,229 of those were from the paid promotion while the other 1,280 tweets were received from my own account. There were 272 engagements from the promotion, not any higher percentage (1.74%) than what I usually get without paying for it. But since the tweet was seen by a much larger audience, it obviously resulted in many more clicks.

Subscriptions to my weekly letter increased by about 65 that same day though some of those didn’t come directly from Twitter. I probably won’t use this method to promote the letter again, but the investment was insignificant and provided me with a handful of useful metrics about the efficacy of promoted tweets.

If I had a product or a service to sell, I wouldn’t hesitate to use tweet promotion in that effort. A few dollars brings a lot of eyeballs and seems a cost effective method of advertising across a wide range of potential customers.