Washington Post Triples Engagement Rate With Twitter’s New Targeted Ads

wapo-social-readerOne advertiser is already reaping the benefits from being able to publish Promoted Tweets to specific Twitter users without first having to publish the tweet to all of its followers.

The Washington Post is one of the advertisers that’s been testing Twitter’s new targeting options that were just formally announced last week. And, according to numbers shared with us by SocialCode, which counts the Post as a client, the newspaper’s results have been promising.

SocialCode examined a sampling of tweets that were linked to articles on the Washington Post Social Reader. Some Promoted Tweets were targeted specifically to iOS users, others to Blackberry users and others just to Android users. With Twitter’s new targeting options, WaPo didn’t need to first publish tweets that would be seen by all of its followers; it created tweets that would be targeted to specific device users (regardless if they follow or not).

Engagement rate on those Promoted Tweets ranged from 3.6 percent with Android users to 5.5 percent with iOS users.


Overall, SocialCode says that engagement generally tripled via the new targeting option — going from about 1.1 percent on tweets sent to all devices (far right column below) to above three percent for iOS- and Android-targeted tweets, and above 3.5 percent for Blackberry-targeted tweets.


The Washington Post Social Reader account also grew its follower base on Twitter during the ad testing. Average daily new followers jumped from 17 to 47, an increase of 276 percent.

Although the new Promoted Tweets don’t first have to publish to all of a company’s followers, the tweets still behave like normal tweets when they are published. Users can reply, retweet or mark them as a “favorite,” and Twitter still uses resonance signals to determine how well a Promoted Tweet is performing — the ones that perform best are likely to show more often, while those that don’t perform well will be displayed less often or eventually be stopped altogether.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Features & Analysis | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing: Advertising | Top News | Twitter | Twitter: Advertising


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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