Many of you may be wondering how you can increase your Twitter followers in a way that is both effective and honest. While there are certainly many ways to increase your following through giveaways, link use, and other cross promotion tools, Twitter itself actually offers one of the easiest ways to get new followers outside your current circles.
I recently signed up for Twitter Ads, the platform used directly by Twitter for users to purchase sponsored advertisements. Currently, there are two ways to advertise: sponsored tweets or sponsored profiles. (Twitter refers to these as "promoted".) Since my interest was in getting more followers, I opted for the promoted profile (or "account") option.
My budget is small, and I didn't want to spend more then a couple of dollars a day, for the first 30 days. Twitter allows you to set a daily budget, that it will not exceed. In addition, it lets you set the range you want to pay for each new follower that you gain from clicking on your promoted profile. Twitter set the recommended amount (up to $2.50, in my case), which you can then scale to as low or as high as you wish. I chose $.25 as the maximum for each new follower, understanding that this meant I might not get as many followers as if I had allowed for $2.50 as my maximum.
I then entered my credit card information, so that Twitter could charge my card when I received new followers. Since I had a maximum of two dollars a day set for my threshold, I knew that I would be charged no more than $60 for the first month. (Twitter campaigns go for as long as you wish. As soon as you no longer want them to promote your profile, you can simply pause the campaign to keep from incurring future charges.)
After one day using ads, I had just two new followers at a rate of $.44 total. Twitter had told me that I could expect 11 to 22 new followers a day, with the $2.50 per user maximum. Since my chosen maximum was a very low $.25 per user, I only saw 10 to 20% of these followers. Increasing my threshold will probably give you more followers, but looking more carefully at the stats, I began to reconsider raising my rates.
Twitter told me that only 2.6% of the 77 impressions I had received on the first day chose to follow me. Knowing this, I can guess that it would take considerable amount of impressions to give me the 11 to 22 Twitter followers it suggested I could get with a higher rate. So what do I get for that $2.50 per user?
My profile or account would likely be shown more often, in more places, to more people. But would I really want to spend $2.50 for each new user that I gained? In almost all instances, the answer would be no. I can't imagine ever wanting to spend that much, and so for now, I'll keep my bid low (less than $.25 per user) and my campaign length long. I'm not in a rush, and so I don't need to overpay for new followers.
(Mashable published a great article on Twitter ads, and cited a few business people who spent much less than $2.50 per user and saw a dramatic increase in their Twitter following.)
If you're already spending $50 a month or more on advertising, why not switch gears and give Twitter ads a try? It maybe just the boost you need to gain social media traction in the new year - but there is no need to overpay, if you're not in a hurry.