Twitter Mobile Ads: A Dangerous Investment? | Rank Media

As advertisers become more creative online, certain channels provide better opportunities to reach targeted audiences. Over the past couple of years, not only has Twitter provided improved promoted products for marketing professionals, but the platform has also enhanced its presence on mobile devices via a very successful smartphone and tablet app design. However, the question remains: will Twitter’s mobile targeting provide positive results for advertisers?

The Experiment


A recent experiment from Jennifer Wong of Search Engine Watch investigated the efficacy of Twitter’s mobile targeting vs. regular desktop targeting. She set up a promoted tweet campaign for both desktop users and mobile users, using the same content. The results were quite astonishing: although the mobile add had a more cost-effective engagement rate, the conversion rate and cost per lead was far more efficient via desktop targeting.

Interpreting the Results

Of course, this is just one scenario: however, the results are quite alarming considering recent trends indicate that mobile marketing is quickly becoming a necessity for brands to survive online in the future. In this case, the ad copy in the tweet asked users to download the “SEO Project Management Template for Digital Marketing Agencies”. As a result, mobile conversion rates suffered because this promoted tweet is most likely tailored to a desktop user audience. Mobile technology, while ubiquitous and permits access to files online at any point in time, is not the best place to advertise downloads. Requests for follows/retweets, easy-to-click links, and “trend-igniting” posts are more effective for mobile users because they require limited actions from Twitter followers.

Should Your Brand Invest in Twitter’s Mobile Targeting?

Chances are, your users follow hundreds, if not, thousands of people on Twitter and see a deluge of tweets everyday. However, for local business, particularly restaurants and retail outlets, promoting specials to mobile users in a targeted geographic area can be an effective method to drive in foot traffic. The failed experiment above should not scare you away from at least exploring Twitter’s mobile targeting; in fact, it should act as a lesson of what not to do when creating mobile marketing campaigns.

Image and experiment source: