Twitter’s New Targeted Tweets Deliver 3x Increase In Engagement For The Washington Post

Washington Post Social Reader sees increased engagement rate from Twitter's Targeted TweetsLast week, Twitter announced that it would no longer require advertisers to send a Promoted Tweet out to all of its own followers first.  In what Marketing Land dubbed a “pure ad product,” these new Targeted Tweets can be shown to specific audience segments, targeted by geography or by device, and different messages can be sent at different times.  Twitter had been testing the new Targeted Tweets product with a group of advertisers, including @British_Airways@CocaCola,The Washington Post (@wpsocialreader), and @Wendys, before rolling the product out to all advertisers globally.

SocialCode, the social advertising agency that is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company, has since released data claiming that The Washington Post was seeing triple the engagement rate from these new targeted ads.  SocialCode looked at a series of Tweets that were linked to articles on the Washington Post Social Reader and targeted based on the user’s device.

Tweets sent without the device-specific targeting averaged a 1.1% engagement rate.  For those targeted by device, the engagement rates for each one, which ranged from 3.6 percent with Android users to 5.5 percent with iOS users.  Here’s a chart published by Marketing Land showing the actual Tweets and their respective rates of engagement:


The Washington Post Social Reader Twitter 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%.

In the right context, targeted Promoted Tweets can clearly perform better than those sent without the targeting.  And Twitter continues to move closer to being an effective advertising-supported media platform, encouraging brands to use it for one-way messaging as opposed to dialogue and conversation.

Will you be trying targeted Tweets out for your brand or clients?   And do you think the focus on introducing more ad products will interfere with Twitter’s ability to power high-quality conversations?