Lessons Learned from SponsoredTweets

After running a several campaigns on SponsoredTweets and spending a few thousand dollars, it’s time to reflect back upon my results and what I’ve experienced using both Twitter and SponsoredTweets. Being able to compare my CPM results with my CPC results is quite interesting, and will make setting up future campaigns a lot more rewarding. Even with the future of companies like SponsoredTweets and Ad.ly in jeopardy, advertising through Twitter will always be an option which these same principles can be applied.

CPM Advertising Costs Too Much
When SponsoredTweets first came out, the only option for advertising was to buy on a CPM model. Since Twitter advertising was such a new concept, there really was no average for what advertising to other Twitter users should cost. After going live with a campaign, many advertisers would find clicks end up costing over $1 each. SponsoredTweets later introduced “ClickWatch“, which would retweet your offer up to three times if your cost per click was over $1. With the introduction of CPC advertising, this is no longer an issue.

CPC Advertising Drives Better Results
About a week before the Twitter announcement to no longer allow third party advertising through their API, I setup a new campaign on SponsoredTweets using their CPC model. I deposit $300 into my ad campaign and was paying out .10 per click (.06 to tweeters, as SponsoredTweets takes 40%) to drive traffic to my Six Figure Affiliate Blogging free ebook. The results have been interesting… I personally wouldn’t want to send a “sponsored tweet” worth only .06 per click to my followers, but over 1,050 SponsoredTweets users already have. The volume was quite low at the .10 rate, but then I increased my rate to .12 and the volume picked up. Another disturbing key point is the number of fraudulent and robot clicks, nearly 4,000 clicks. If you were buying on CPM these clicks really wouldn’t matter, but it just shows how much crap traffic is floating around on Twitter. I would definitely stick with CPC advertising.

Twitter Users and Writing Ad Copy
This isn’t surprising, but it ad copy swing either way. If you come out with an affiliate product and want other internet marketers to send out a tweet about it, I’m sure they will write something great. However this hasn’t always been the case with my campaigns. During my CPC campaign for Six Figure Affiliate Blogging, I let anyone pick up the offer and tweet out whatever they want.

Let’s view a few examples of tweets that were sent out through my latest CPC ad campaign. The majority of tweets were effective and written something like “Tell your followers to about Zac Johnson’s new “Six Figure Affiliate Blogging” ebook. It’s 100% free to download.“, but more than a handful have slipped by where they just say something like “sponsor https://spn.tw/teRwx“… which provides no value and is sure not to get many clicks. Lastly, some tweets were even offensive, such as the ““Six Figure Affiliate Blogging” ebook. its free. you can learn 2 blog for $$$ so that you can buy a gun and suicide #ad https://spn.tw/espL” tweet. If a large and well known company was to allow auto approval of their tweet campaigns, this could come back to haunt them.

Clicks, Tweets and Conversion Rates
Despite what the click amounts are, and how the tweets are written, it all comes down to conversions. SponsoredTweets tracking says there were roughly 2,000 legitimate clicks. When I head over to my Google Analytics stats, it shows roughly 700. Not disputing numbers, but just going off what the reports tell me. The overall conversion rate for my Six Figure Affiliate Blogging SponsoredTweets campaign is at 9.3%, this is quite low compared to the average 50% most JV partners and affiliates are seeing. As of now, this campaign costs a few dollars per lead when advertising through Twitter and paying .12 per click.

These are a few of the main take aways I have experienced through advertising on SponsoredTweets. As Twitter policies change and SponsoredTweets has to become more of a manual / approval process, we may see improvements in higher quality tweets sent out, and CPC/CPM bidding.

Do you have a similar or different advertising experience with Twitter or SponsoredTweets?

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  1. Good details, never done sponsored tweets before, need to give it a try…

  2. I don't have any experience with SponsoredTweets yet, but if a free guide is only converting at ~9%, what else could you actually get profitable there?

    Seems like it's pretty trashy traffic unless you lock it down significantly, in which case you would have very little volume.

  3. Dating and gaming offers might work well because you can pay a low CPC for Tweeters to post… but still, it's all a toss up. If you limit to targeting specific audiences and countries I'm sure you could find a few profitable campaigns.

  4. Nice post. I haven't done any advertising on SponsoredTweets and from your description I'm not sure it's worth doing yet. I enjoyed this post and hope you continue to do detailed specific posts like this in the future. Many "make money online" bloggers give out lots of general information that's hard to apply – this post was very specific and useful, so thanks.

  5. Hey Zac,

    Thanks for putting your money on the line and letting us know the effectiveness of SponsoredTweets.

    I do find it interesting to see how people will send out tweets for .06 – it's like running low quality adsense on your blog.

    Shame it didn't pan out as well, seems that Twitter can be real hit and miss depending on the type of message you're sending.

    Please keep us updated.

  6. I definitely like cost per click as well because it means that people actually visit your page and ad

  7. I haven't paid for advertising on Sponsored Tweets but I have been paid to write Sponsored Tweet ads on my Twitter page. Unfortunately, Sponsored Tweets claims that my click through rate is too low despite having 50,000 followers. For me, Twitter seems like a complete waste of time. I wonder what products work best on Twitter. Any suggestions, Zac?

  8. @Deborah: It really depends on your audiences, the offers/tweets you are pushing and who your followers are. With 50,000 followers, you should have some decent traffic and earnings.

  9. Thank you Zac for sharing your insights with us.

    I use SponsoredTweets and think it is a great way to earn additional personal or business income through social media. I also think it is a great and cheap advertising channel as a media buyer.

    However, Twitter advertising is still in its early stages. There are lessons to be learned on what are effective ads on Twitter.

  10. I have seen the CPC offers on SponsoredTweets and have done a few here and there but the real money is in the paid posts for the Twitter. The same that you found from the other side of the transaction.

  11. Never really got fully into twitter, although by the sounds of it, it seems like Twitter is only appropriate right now for those who really really know what they are doing, and shouldn't really be tried by a newbie. What I wonder is… how does twitter compare to when Google first started doing their Adwords program, yahoo… msn… etc That would be a really good thing to look at, and compare how twitter stacks up in the early going.

  12. Hey Zac,

    Thanks for sharing this. I use several traffic generation tactics on a daily basis and I might add this strategy and see the results it may give me.



  13. I agree SponsoredTweets can bring in considerable good results… but I think Tweeter Business model is not yet mature to be fully exploited….

  14. I was very skeptical about the sponsoredtweets program when I first heard about it. I just couldn't see that traffic converting well when twitter users are likely getting more used to just ignoring ad tweets. I guess at this point it is only select niches where this would really be worthwhile.

  15. I find sponsoring tweets to only work on specific niches. They convert a little better than pay per view but are still an advanced way of making money online.

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