Twitter might be one of the most character restrictive platforms out there, but it’s also one of the world’s favourite social platforms – and it’s easy to see why! Brevity is the soul of wit and Twitter’s instantaneous nature allows people from all backgrounds and with varying levels of fame interact on a level playing field. That’s a field with 100 million active daily users –  so if you’re not advertising on Twitter yet, you’re missing out on a huge potential audience! Luckily, we’re here to help, making the whole process of setting up and managing Twitter adverts simple. Let’s get to it!

Determining your goal

First things first, you need to know what the goal of your campaign will be. Twitter gives your 4 easy options to choose from and 1 that’s more complex for the seasoned professionals out there, the options are clearly defined in a dropdown menu, so you can choose what best suits your needs!

MSA-blogpost-10-01 How to Advertise on Twitter
  1. Attract new followers
  2. Increase your engagements
  3. Increase engagements on a selected tweet
  4. Increase app installations
  5. Drive new traffic and conversions
  6. Increase video views on your latest videos
  7. Create a custom campaign

Best practices

Before we go any further, let’s cover the best practices for creating Twitter adverts, because all the instructions in the world won’t save an average advert. Below are a list of things that you’ll want to do in some, or all of your campaigns, keep them in mind moving forwards.

Introduce yourself

If this is your first Twitter advert, or maybe even your second or third, the first thing you’ll want to do is introduce yourself and your brand. Tell your story and create credibility with your audience – no one wants to buy from someone they don’t know. Equally, if you’re rebranding or introducing a new storyline then it’s worth re-introducing yourself, customer focus often isn’t about the product itself, it’s about the brand and status that they’re buying from.

Include a clear CTA

Make your desired action simple, if you want people to click on a link which will take them to a landing page, use the word ‘click’, if your link leads straight to a purchase page, then the words ‘buy’ or ‘purchase’ should be included. Simplicity and authenticity is key here, your audience wants to be taken directly to what they were promised, they need for it to be simple because otherwise they’ll go to a competitor who makes their offering clear. Having a clear CTA will enhance your UX (User Experience) and continue the effort you’ve put into branding and building good customer relationships.

Include cards in your wider campaign

Beyond your typical adverts in Twitter, you also have the option of using Twitter Cards. These cards are larger than typical tweet boxes and promise to draw the eye in the hopes of attracting the attention of the speedy scroller who misses the majority of content. The images featured are also larger than the Twitter standard, and instead of a larger version of the image being displayed when clicked on, clicking will take the user straight through to your landing page.

  • Customisation over generalisation

Whilst it can be tempting to try and appeal to everyone, not everyone is going to buy your product or be interested in your brand. So take the time and focus on creating on advertising that appeals to your ideal customer, the kind of lead that is more likely to make a purchase and share it with their own circles. This same kind of thinking will come in later when it comes to defining your audience distribution settings.

  • Quality over quantity

If you’re creating a series of adverts, and want to have 10 separate posts that’s fine, just make sure that you have 10 high quality posts, not 5 great ones and 5 average ones. This goes back to building your brand and making sure that you’re attracting the right kinds of leads, people are buying your brand, not just your product. Ultimately, it’s your decision, but our recommendation will always be that it’s better to send out a smaller amount of exceptional assets as opposed to spamming people with large amounts of low quality material.

  • Learn from your organic data

Your organic data is a great way to learn how many people are interacting with you and your product. It can give you insights into things like their age, sex and location, as well as things like the times of day they’re active and whether you gain more interactions from shorter or longer tweets.

With the best practises covered, it’s time to delve into what advertising options you have on Twitter.

Advertising options

  • Promoted Accounts

A Promoted Accounts ad allows you to get your Twitter account in front of a highly targeted audience, with the aim of attracting relevant followers. Promoted Accounts are displayed in the audience’s timelines as well as the ‘Who to Follow’ tab, and generally feature “follow” in their CTA. This is good for encouraging generalised followings, but doesn’t particularly push your potential audience to find out more about you before hitting follow – so this may not lead to final purchases. However, despite this line of thinking, you should be heartened by the study which shows 85% of Promoted Accounts users believe that this ad format has helped them discover new business on Twitter.

  • Promoted Tweets

Promoted Tweets do what they say on the tin, they focus on promoting a single tweet and boosting its exposure to the widest possible audience. Promoted tweets appear throughout your feed and other users’ feeds, automatically showing it in an expanded view, the tweets also appear at the top of search results for selected keywords which further highlights your visibility. Promoted Tweets are building your brand voice because they allow you to put a snippet of yourself out there, being as funny or serious as you want your tone of voice to be. Aside from building awareness and being a great way of sharing your content, Promoted Tweets are a brilliant way of promoting deals or offers you are currently running, gaining more traction for leads and sign ups which will hopefully lead to later repeat custom for you.

  • Promoted Accounts vs. Promoted Tweets

These are the two major Twitter ad types, and the most accessible (Promoted Trends cost far more), and each has different pros and cons. Promoted Accounts are best used to increase follower numbers, whereas Promoted Tweets are best utilised for putting out big announcements and campaign launches, situations where you want to reach a wider audience than your organic follower list. If you use a Promoted Account ad then your following will go up, but the increase to engagements could be negligible, and Promoted Tweets will see a boost to your engagement, but may not have a dramatic effect on your follower size. Decide which you want to prioritise and go from there.

  • Promoted Trends

Organic trends are a great way to track what masses of people are talking about, and these appear in the left hand navigation when on desktop. At the top of these you will often see Promoted Trends, which feature a promoted hashtag and the account name of the promoter. As with organically trending topics, users can incorporate the hashtags into their own tweets and view a page which has accumulated all the tweets using the selected hashtag. Promoted Trends are a great way of encouraging mass followings because they are integrated with organically trending materials, which drives users to interact with these hashtags more and as such become part of a larger, sometimes worldwide conversation.

Campaign types – Goals

Screen-Shot-2017-09-22-at-10.01.19 How to Advertise on Twitter

We’ve organised the campaign types in the order that they appear in the dropdown list you’ll encounter on Twitter, however this doesn’t immediately make clear whether which ad option is used in each campaign. For that reason it is worth noting that all of the campaign types, with the exception of ‘Followers’, are Promoted Tweets based, whereas the ‘Followers’ campaign works with Promoted Accounts.

  • Tweet Engagements

In this campaign type, you promote individual tweets with the aim of starting a conversation around your brand, which will later hopefully lead to conversions and purchases. Here, you only pay for the initial engagement with each user and not for any ongoing interactions after that point, you also do not pay for organic interactions with the monetised tweet, so you can be sure that your money is only being spent on interacting with people who are new to your brand or product.

  • Followers

Using the Promoted Accounts ad type, you pay for each follower that you gain through paid methods. Impressions and all other engagements are free, to ensure that your budget is best spent.

  • Awareness

Awareness campaigns are targeted at a broader audience and are the only campaign type charged by impressions per thousand (CPM) rather than engagements – so make sure your ad is strong enough to stimulate some kind of measureable response.

  • Video Views

Doing exactly what it purports to do, a Video Views campaign is focused on increasing the number of views of your selected videos. In this case, you pay for each viewer who does any of the following:

  • Watches for 2 or more seconds of playback
  • Opens the video into fullscreen mode
  • Takes the video off of mute
  • Website Clicks/Conversions

Technically, these are two separate campaign types, but due to their many similarities we’ll be grouping them together. For both campaign types you promote selected tweets to a targeted audience that you want to have visit and take action on your site. You can include a Twitter Website Card in both as well, which will give your user a window into your website before they leave Twitter. In both campaign types you’re charged per click, but in the Conversions campaign you additionally have the ability to track the conversions you receive.

  • App Installs and Re-engagements

The aim of this campaign type varies, and again, aims to do what it says in the title. For this campaign, you promote tweets with the intention of having new users download your app, or re-engaging users who already have your app but who haven’t used it in a while. Depending on your goal you will pay for app downloads or app opens, or both. Similar to the Website Clicks/Conversions campaign type, you have the option of employing a Twitter card, in this case a Twitter App Install Card. This kind of Twitter Card shows a preview image of your app, along with the app’s top ratings, and the option to install or open the app with a single click.

  • Lead Generation

This is another Twitter Card led campaign option, in this case Lead Generation Cards, which allow the user to share their relevant details with you in just 2 clicks and without ever leaving the Twitter platform. The gathered information is stored in your Twitter Ads Account and is fully downloadable in a CSV format.

Now we’ve gone through all of the campaign types and best practises, let’s get to actually setting up your campaign. There’s only 4 steps, so it won’t take you any time at all!

Setting up your campaign

  1. Create new campaign

    Get yourself over to the Twitter Ads Manager and choose from the list of campaign types outlined above, then click ‘Create Campaign’. Next you’ll be taken to an ad campaign screen where you’ll name your campaign, and decide whether you want your campaign to start immediately or at a later date. You can also choose whether or not to add third party tracking (which is currently in beta)

  2. Choose your audience

    At this stage you have a number of options to choose from, so you can make your audience as broad and narrow as you’d like. If you have an existing list of contacts that you want to target, you have the option of uploading the list to Twitter and just targeting them. Or, you can also opt to target people who are similar to your existing follower base. Beyond all this, you can also design your own audience, refining the targets by the below options.

    • Audience Locations – this can be as broad as choosing a country or as specific as entering a post code.
    • Audience Device – not only can you target Apple or Android users here, you can also specify what operating system the device should be running
    • Audience Gender
    • Audience Language

    The list goes on, and to make sure you understand how each change will affect your potential reach, the Twitter interface displays and estimated audience size in the navigation. The interface is responsive depending on which audience targeting options you choose.

  3. Set your budget

    As mentioned above, different ad campaigns types will charge you for different types of engagement, the interface will show which you will be charged by which makes setting your budget easier. You will choose your maximum daily budget and your maximum total budget. The interface will also show you bids based on what similar competitors are spending, and you can compare this against Twitter’s own recommended bids for each campaign type.

  4. Choose your creative

    Now, you have to decide whether to promote an existing tweet or whether to create an entirely new one. Twitter will show you a list of your existing tweets, making life easier if you want to use one of your best performing tweets. You’ll also see a preview of your ad on the right hand side of the page as you create it, so you can see how changes are affecting your visuals.

  5. Launch

    Just click Publish Tweet, and you’re done!

Now you’ve got your adverts up and running, make sure to keep track of what’s performing best so you can learn from it. Then, incorporate your learning into future campaigns! If you want to organically increase your Twitter followers, take a look at our blog, here. Till next time.