Recently I gained some free ad credit from both Twitter and Facebook. Twitter partnered with Buffer and gave away $50 credit to a few members. My hosting service gave away $50 free in Facebook ad credit.
I just recently kicked off an experimental website for my city called BombsOverRaleigh.com. The site is a GPS based social network for the area and I wanted to get some users on board.
So I first tried out twitter advertising. Twitter allows you to advertise based off of region, devices, demographic, and who a user follows. I figured I’d go for any and all users on mobile phones or tablets who live in Raleigh, NC. When I entered that criteria, the website said my reach was 0 users. Odd. So I decided to set my region back to the United States and go after users who followed a couple of local Raleigh blogs. I got my reach up to about 50K users. I promoted a tweet that I wrote personally about the site instead of making a new twitter account for my website.
The results were amazing and quick. Within 30 minutes I got a couple of retweets and 263 people that clicked on my tweet to view my website. I had a 1.7% engagement rate. (Which I find impressive because I’ve personally never interacted with a promoted tweet.) But I ended up blowing my load quick, I spend the entire $50 within that time frame.
I then moved on to Facebook. I wanted to do something similar to Twitter, have a link up quick and see how large of an engagement rate I could achieve. First off, it took me a good 15 minutes to figure out how to enter my promotional credit. Once I got that entered the crap just continued.
I couldn’t find a simple way to promote a personal status update. I couldn’t figure out how to insert the demographic I wanted. I was completely uncertain if my free ad credit went toward promoted status messages. So I had to go a different route.
My app only really works well on mobile so I want it to specifically go after mobile users. The only way to make certain that your ad will be “Mobile Only” is to make it a Sponsored Story. Sponsored Stories only can be used for Facebook Pages or Facebook Apps. So I had to go and make a Facebook Page. So I made a page and just posted one story on it, a link to BombsOverRaleigh.com.
Little did I know, Sponsored Stories could only be shown to people who are friends of people who like your Facebook Page. So in addition, I had to make an ad for people to “like” my Bombs Over Raleigh page. These “please like my page” adds can only be shown on the desktop right pane. So I have to use a desktop only ad to get people to get a bigger reach for people to click on my mobile only ad.
After all that pain was over, I submitted the ad. Now I figured it was time to see that engagement rate ticker go. No such luck. You have to wait for Facebook to approve your ad. Most people say this takes 10 minutes. But it took me 28 hours.
Now after 38 hours, I’ve gotten 0 likes to my page.
Twitter Ads are absolutely remarkable. I was amazed at the intuitive user interface. And within minutes I was getting results. With Facebook I was often confused by what I was really doing and the results of my ads have been terrible. I’m now strongly considering using Twitters ads for more serious projects.