Recentley I bumped into this website called Twiends while googling if Twitter was worth the effort or not for plugging blogs.
Twiends allows you to build a bigger Twitter following by connecting you with other users that can then follow you. For free users you get randomly displayed on the home page for others to connect with. The more you participate the more you are shown on the home page and the more twitter followers you can possibly obtain. Also you’re allowed to select 5 interests that twiends will use to match you with potential Twitter connections so you’re getting followers that might actually care about your tweets.
There’s also a separate paid way of doing things on Twiends where you can pay a certain amount to buy featured views on the home page which rapidly increases how fast you gain followers. After signing up for twiends I noticed they had a trial version for the paid version for $5 for 1500 views and you could possibly get your money back after you cancelled(trial refund details were a bit unclear). So it was late at night and I said what the heck I’ll try it out if it’s only $5 and possibly free if they actually give the money back after I cancel and it would also give me a subject for my next blog post for you all.
So after enabling the paid featured views off I went gathering followers at a quick pace. Initially I had set the featured view display rate option to ‘the most effective’ option where featured views are only displayed on the home page.
There were also other options to display featured views on the users page and other pages. Twiends said these options were less effective as you got less followers per view but were a faster way for spending your views. Of course a couple hours after I started I got a little impatient and selected one of the less efficient options.
A day later my bucket of featured views had been depleted leaving me to check out the numbers on how much it helped.
I started with a Twitter account that had 15 followers and 0 twitter referrals to this blog and at the end I had a grand total of.. 192 followers and 7 referrals from Twitter to my blog.
$5 / 7 referrals = $0.71 per click
$5 / 192 – 13 followers = $0.028 per Twitter follower
Compare the cost per click of Twiends to AdWords where the CPC for the technology industry is around $1.80. I’m guessing the conversion rate of Twiends would likely be higher and closer to AdWord’s conversion rate than the abysmal rate for GDN and my analytics data partially backs this up.
Twitter referrals had about 3 pages per session, 1.42 sessions per user and a 40% bounce rate. Compared to my average of 1.7 pages per session, 1.24 sessions per user and a lousy 72% bounce rate. I’m assuming if I actually had a product to sell the higher page views and better bounce rate would translate to more conversions.
Now I was still ignoring a few things,
1. I had elected to spend my featured views faster and less efficiently if I had used the more efficient options would have had more followers a few more referrals.
2. You are likely to gain a few referrals down the line from the followers you gained from Twiends.
3. I have bits about being transgender on my Twitter account and in some blog posts that would likely scare many transphobic people away so if you are a more typical person you’d likely get more followers and a few more referrals.
4. The normal cost for 1500 featured views is $10
So let’s say you choose to spend your featured views more wisely than I did, are a typical person and were looking at the total referrals from Twiends a month down the line. With a guestimate that all those adds up to 8 more referrals for a total of 15 referrals for $10.
$10 / 15 referrals = $0.67 per click
and even without the added referrals it’s still beating AdWords CPC by 40 cents
$10 / 7 referrals = $1.42 per click
Twiends is likely a cost effective alternative way to advertise yourself or your brand. If you’re a medium or large business I’d imagine Twiends would be less effective than normal advertising as the new twiends you meet would be less likely to click on your website link and less likely to connect with you on Twiends.
Also I’m unsure if there’s diminishing returns for your Twiends usage. The more followers you gain the less likely people might be to check out your site or brand and you’d also start having a smaller and smaller pool of good potential connections.
In my case for this personal blog I really don’t have a need or the money for advertisement yet and this was just a fun little experiment for me. When I publish an actual product, likely an app, I might revisit it though.
Couple notes on using Twiends
– Make sure to change your country filter to only the places that speak your language as they are more likely to actually go to the website you’re trying to plug
– Be a good citizen and check out all the blog and small business sites of your new twiends and like and retweet their tweets!
– Remember to still tweet so your twiends see more than just your profile link
Thank you for reading!
[and no I wasn’t paid by Twiends]