A Q&A With Zecco's CEO on its Promoted Tweets Strategy
Online brokerage firm Zecco announced last month that it's seen early success from its involvement in the ongoing beta test of Twitter's Promoted Tweets program. For two months earlier this year, Zecco sampled 50 Promoted Tweets and measured their effectiveness.
In comparison to regular tweets, Zecco averaged a 50 percent increase in engagement with Promoted Tweets, with 200 percent to 300 percent increases not uncommon. (Here, engagement means clicks, retweets and replies.) During this time, the majority of Zecco's Promoted Tweets focused on financial market commentary and new product offerings.
eM+C spoke with Zecco's CEO, Mike Ranieri, to get more perspective on this program as well as some best practices around it. Here are some highlights from that conversation:
eM+C: Can you explain what Promoted Tweets are, when you started offering them and how you were able to take part in the beta test?
Mike Ranieri: Promoted Tweets are a new form of advertising Twitter is experimenting with. Zecco was invited into the beta program in April as the only financial services company. Promoted Tweets are ordinary tweets that businesses and organizations choose to highlight to a wider group of users.
Zecco is one of earliest and most active users of Twitter in the financial services space. We tweet information that's of interest to Zecco customers and investors in general, such as new stories and insights from our ZeccoPulse blog. The Promoted Tweets program lets us select individual tweets and advertise them to the broader Twitter community, in addition to Twitter users who follow Zecco specifically.
In August, for example, we had an interesting story in ZeccoPulse discussing whether the Volatility Index (VIX) predicted the May 6 “Flash Crash,” where the Dow fell almost 1,000 points during the day. Knowing this kind of information would be of interest to investors. We promoted that tweet so that people who searched on certain keywords such as "$VIX" would see the Zecco tweet listed at the top of their search results page.
eM+C: How were the goals of the Promoted Tweets program different from the goals of your other online advertising programs, such as search engine optimization, search engine marketing, display ads, email marketing?
MR: For Zecco, Promoted Tweets is more of an awareness-building marketing channel than a customer acquisition one. It’s an interesting new way for us to expose a broader population of investors to the unique value and investing insight they can get at Zecco. Currently, Zecco uses an integrated marketing strategy consisting of a mix of acquisition marketing, social media, and branding and other communication activities, with the bulk of the focus on customer acquisition via SEM.
eM+C: Can you offer our readers any best practices around using Promoted Tweets?
MR: We've found that tweets that are timely, relevant, of broad interest, and that are educational or add value in a unique way result in the best user engagement.
Related story: Secrets to Promoted Tweets Success