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“Why would I advertise on Twitter? Isn’t it just a bunch of people yelling at each other? Aren’t they losing money? I heard they haven’t gained users in years. I have enough on my hands with Facebook and Google. I don’t have time for a small potatoes like Twitter.”
If any of the above sounds like you, we are going to convince you otherwise in this Twitter Guide, and show you how to be successful advertising on this platform.
With around 330 million users, this micro-blogging platform has skyrocketed back into the forefront of the social media app scene, partly because the President of the United States uses it a lot. When one of the most powerful men in the world Tweets a lot, people will pay attention.
Long story short, there’s a lot of people talking and interacting on Twitter these days, which means there’s ample opportunity to get in front of qualified users – if you know what you’re doing.
Like most social media platforms, ads are not in your face, are scrollable, and are fit naturally into a normal timeline feed. The big thing to understand about Twitter is it is conversational, so whereas its giant counterparts – Instagram and Facebook – are very image-focused, Twitter is about the words.
Don’t get it twisted, though. Twitter has videos, GIFs, and visuals galore, but they aren’t as pronounced as on other social media platforms. On Twitter, you want to try to start a conversation, which can be a great segue into introducing your brand.
What conversations do you want to start around your brand? This is one of the most important questions you should ask yourself before you get started on Twitter.
Aside from brainstorming brand awareness topics, you can get started by creating an account at ads.twitter.com.
You’ll need to choose a campaign objective first, which is par for the course for most PPC efforts. Next, choose a budget, and you’re off!
Increasing followers is a brand awareness objective. This is a great way to build up credibility with your audience before you actually start running ads. You can also promote your own account.
Via Sprout Social
You can use new ad copy or a previous Tweet to to be promoted.
We’ll talk about engagements and leads in a bit. App installs are pretty straightforward.
You can also drive website clicks or conversions. Before you start a campaign to drive conversions to your website, you’ll want to install a Twitter Conversion Tag for all the different types of conversions you are trying to acquire/track.
Just like the Facebook Pixel, the LinkedIn Conversion Tag, and the Pinterest Conversion Tag, the Twitter Conversion Tag allows you to track conversions from your Twitter campaigns to help you optimize for enhanced performance.
Start by naming your tag and categorizing it by the type of conversion you’re trying to track.
Via Social Examiner
Next, you’ll want to choose the post engagement window and the post view attribution window, which means you want to decide how long after an engagement you’ll allow a Twitter interaction to get credit for a conversion.
This number is pretty arbitrary, but you’ll want to think about the life cycle of your customer and decide on the best number that applies to your business model.
Via Social Examiner
Once you have set up conversion tracking, you will have more visibility into what campaigns and other targeting and ad attributes perform the best through Twitter Analytics, which integrates conversion tracking data into the platform. This is the exact type of data you will need to continuously improve upon your ads and targeting to get the most out of your Twitter advertising dollars.
Let’s get into the details of a Twitter Ad. What are ‘Promoted Tweets’? They are as they sound. You can promote or advertise any Tweets from your Twitter feed. You can also create new Tweets specifically for advertising.
These Tweets can appear at the top of search results for a specific topic or hashtag of your choosing.
Promoted Tweets can also be shown atop a promoted trends page for a specific hashtag, which we’ll talk about later.
Finally, promoted Tweets can appear on a brand profile page or user’s timeline.
Promoted Tweets look just like real Tweets, except for the ‘Promoted’ annotation that signals that they are an ad.
Via Ad Espresso
Promoted Tweets are the bread and butter of Twitter Ads and can be quite versatile. They can drive clicks, drive followers, or produce leads.
Here is a look at how you will choose your creative and how you can choose where your Tweets are promoted when you’re creating a campaign.
Via Sprout Social
You can target many ways on Twitter, and you’ll want to get your targeting audience precise to increase engagement and quality score. But that shouldn’t be hard since there are a plethora of targeting options.
You can target by location, language, gender, device (you can even target specific devices, carriers, and nationalities).
You can also target by audiences, behavior, followers (i.e. your competition’s accounts, and you can even see how you perform for that account), interests, keywords (phrase, exact, broad), TV targeting, and app categories.
I really like targeting the followers of my competitors. I already know they’re interested in my particular sector because they’ve willingly followed one of my competitors. Now I just have to put a better message than what my competitors are putting out to steal their business!
Followers of specific accounts are a great Twitter-specific method of targeting that can build high engagement because they have already voluntarily qualified themselves by who they’ve followed.
Most social media platforms have an option to upload a customer list. If you have already compiled a list of your target users offline, you can upload them directly to Twitter.
Via Neil Patel
Typically, it is a list of emails, whether from existing customers or from an email subscription list. Either way, if you have a list of highly qualified individuals that are already familiar with your brand or are already loyal customers, you can target them while they are in Twitter.
Twitter takes your customer list and connects the information with their Twitter information and targets them with your ads. This can produce high engagement rates, which will help with your quality score. It also helps if you want to promote customer loyalty and retention type campaigns for those that have already purchased from you before.
Percentages usually beat out straight up numbers when you’re advertising discounts.
New products, deals, or offers have a lower CPA. Use language to spin your offer as new – even if it isn’t – to create buzz, excitement, and clicks!
Ad fatigue happens, and with the hyper-focus of targeting, you will inevitably target the same users who haven’t converted.
Unlike Google campaigns, where keywords can indicate where in the buyer cycle a user is, audiences may be eligible and relevant, but just aren’t ready to convert. However, this does not mean that you can show them the same ad over and over again until they can’t stand your brand and ad anymore.
Plus, with the way Twitter is set up, starting a new conversation or promoting one of your many successful Tweets does not take a whole lot of effort. As we have seen with the Analytics section, you have complete visibility on the performance of a vast array of attributes in your campaign – including the ads themselves.
Once you get some good data on how a certain Tweet or campaign performs, you should move on from the low performing attributes, boost the high performing advertising attributes and constantly continue to iterate. Here are some simple ways to defeat ad fatigue.
Via Ad Espresso
This is where many beginner advertisers mess up. They think they can just turn on a campaign, find a successful ad, and forget about it. But, one of the main pain points PPC management solves is to avoid stagnation.
Ads get old and start to decline in performance. The sophistication of ad platforms (like Twitter) with data on presenting the best content – using metrics like ‘quality score’ – will inevitably penalize accounts that don’t continually present fresh content.
Using the previously discussed conversion tag, you can remarket to specific users who have reached certain touchpoints in your customer sales funnel. For example, if your Twitter ads pointed a user to a demo video, and you know that users have a 90% chance of signing up for a free trial after watching the demo, then you can use the conversion list of those who have watched the demo video, and target them with a campaign pointing them to your free trial.
As you can imagine, there are countless ways to employ this tactic across your sales funnel – if you understand the interaction of your users with all of your various marketing touchpoints and the natural progression of your user down your sales funnel.
One important step that you will need to remember is to exclude past converters. We’re all familiar with ad fatigue, which is seeing the same ad over and over because you’re part of a targeted audience. Even worse, you could be a target of overlapping audiences, thus seeing an ad an obscene amount of times because you’re a part of many different campaigns run by the same company.
Via Neil Patel
Now imagine if you’ve already converted, already given your money to a company, and you still keep seeing ads over and over again. How irritated would you get? It blows my mind how often this happens to me online, and I can’t be the only one.
The solution is simple: Exclude converters from your remarketing efforts.
Sometimes, excluding converters from your remarketing lists can be cumbersome, because you’re dealing with a micro-conversion that still puts them squarely in your sales funnel, although not for the specific ads they keep seeing.
You can outsource your remarketing to advanced Twitter partner firms that specialize in remarketing, like AdRoll, or you’ll have to manually exclude different conversion lists from different remarketing campaigns. It can get confusing and be a hassle, but the pain of tediously excluding different conversion lists from an array of different remarketing campaigns that are targeting different sectors of your marketing funnel is worth it to not lose an annoyed customer.
A negative customer experience, even one that you’ve converted, can snowball into bad reviews, decreased loyalty, and just a bad reputation.
To measure the engagement you’re getting on Twitter, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Twitter Analytics. You’ll find it in the same section where you initiate Twitter Ads.
Via Ad Espresso
On the homepage, you’ll see a number of metrics that will give you the overall health of your Twitter account, including: the number of Tweets you’ve published, impressions, profile visits, mentions, and followers.
In the Tweets tab, you’ll get more visibility on the metrics for each Tweet posted.
Via Ad Espresso
The Audiences tab is super useful for gaining insights into the type of users that are engaging with your Twitter account. There are metrics on interests, demographics, and a whole slew of other valuable information that you can use to help target the right audience with the right content.
Use the Twitter Campaign Dashboard to see your Twitter Ads performance broken down by campaign objective, Tweets, and targeting criteria.
Just like with Google, Twitter has a Quality Score that rates engagement. The higher your score, the less ads cost, as seen in this image from an experiment done by Larry Kim.
Whatever you can do to increase engagement will increase your Quality Score, and ultimately bring down your advertising costs on Twitter.
While the quality of your visuals does not have to be anything as spectacular as the visuals you see on Instagram (a visual-based social media platform), it is still good to capture your audience quickly with some entertaining GIFs or videos. You’ll want to create a specific video ads campaign if you go this route.
Via Ad Espresso
Twitter does not support GIF formats, so you’ll want to use a GIF-MP4 converter. The max play time is two minutes and twenty seconds, and Twitter recommends a size of less than 1 GB for the file.
There’s also a specific tab in the Twitter Analytics Campaign Dashboard just for video metrics.
Via Ad Espresso
Sprout Social has some examples of successful video and GIF Twitter ads if you want to check out what works. The best ads tell great stories.
Other technical aspects to focus on are white space. When the image and links and messaging are all jumbled together, it can be hard for the user to see where to click – so they won’t. Make sure there is a good amount of space throughout the ad to make it pleasing to the eye.
Like with most social media platforms, Twitter is a place that users are engaging with content that satisfies them and is within their personal realm of interests. Since they are using their very precious free time to peruse content, they can be annoyed with content that disturbs this process.
Thus, you want to try to engage users with content that pleases and delights them. Don’t go for the hard sell too fast or they will get turned off.
Just like the Google search bar can give you clues as to what users are searching for, so can the Twitter search bar be used to research prominent topics, influencers, and hashtags. All it takes is a few minutes of searching relevant terms to come up with ideas on targeting and content pertinent and specific to Twitter.
Just like navigation and outbound links can be distracting to a user on a landing page, so can hashtags be distracting. Don’t get me wrong, they can be great for organic reach, when you want a certain Tweet to gain visibility to a certain audience, but when you are trying to convert someone, it’s best not to distract.
You’re also already promoting a Tweet by advertising to a specific audience, so you don’t need to add another layer of audience within an ad like you would a normal Tweet that you want seen organically by a specific subset of people.
Hashtags can also get annoying when it is obvious that the advertiser is trying too hard to get noticed #by #hashtagging #every #single #word. Don’t be that annoying person. You’ll be reverse advertising at that point.
Who doesn’t want to win a contest? With the broad demographic and interest targeting available these days, it’s easy to create a giveaway and advertise on all of the social media platforms to relevant users.
Decide on your objectives. If you want to increase an email list, then a sweepstakes might be best. A contest might be better if you want user interaction and engagement.
Choose a prize that’s relevant and genuinely gets people excited to win.
Create a landing page on your website with the contest information and a banner to let people know they’ve arrived at the contest page. Make the landing page super easy to navigate and to enter. There’s nothing worse than a campaign for free stuff that didn’t get a conversion.
Follow up even after the contest is going to keep the momentum you’ve built up. Share who the winner of your contest was and all of the details to make the contest real. For all those that didn’t win, you want to advertise how legitimate the contest was.
The Twitter platform, even though it has changed its rules to allow longer Tweets, is built on the premise of conciseness.
There is ample data that concise Tweets perform the best. Work on cutting the fat from your messaging to perform the best on Twitter. Plus it’s easier when you have less words to work with; just get straight to the point.
Relatedly, great quotes are a hit on Twitter. People love trying to sum up complex ideas in the formerly allotted 140 characters. These are usually the Tweets that get the most engagement.
When you can drop some truth bombs in an easily digestible format, you’ll win on Twitter. Use other people’s quotes or come up with a catchy phrase on your own, and you will win Twitter over.
This particular method helps build mass awareness for events, product launches, etc.
You’ll need to have a big minimum spend to do this, usually in the six figure budget realm. For example, Republicans spent in excess of $120K to promote a trend during the election period.
Use a paid service, like FollowerWonk, to find and target influencers. You can also do it manually by searching the followers of the top influencers in your industry.
Word-of-mouth/referral marketing can be a powerful tool if you can find the right influencers.
Don’t want to do it yourself? Twitter has this new option called ‘Promote Mode’, which is similar to Google’s trending towards ‘smart campaigns’. By using Twitter’s algorithms, you can let Twitter take over with your advertising.
Twitter says that accounts with around 2,000 followers work best. All you need to do is Tweet as usual. Twitter will hand select up to 10 Tweets per day that meet their requirements and promote them in a way that they see as maximizing your engagements.
You’ll have to do a little work. You can target by interests or locations, and you’ll have a choice of either five locations or five interests from which to choose from. After that, you just enter in your payment information and you’re off!
As you can see from the comments at the end of this article, it appears that Twitter might still be figuring out their algorithm.
There are many ways to engage users from your website through Twitter to add value to your Twitter ad campaigns. Basic additions include widgets for Tweeting content from your website to be shared easily. While this is not an ad-specific tool, it helps drive organic awareness of your content through Twitter.
If you are active on Twitter in general, you will want to make it easier for visitors to your website to find and follow you on Twitter. There are a host of ways to boost your Twitter activity through your website, and also engage with other firms that can enhance your advertising efforts using special tools to connect your activities with the Twitter platform. One of the main ways your own developers can tap into the capabilities of Twitter directly is through the Twitter Ads API.
Twitter has opened up access to developers to their Ads API platform to help marketers and marketing agencies run campaigns more efficiently through their own marketing platforms. Previously, marketers had to create campaigns one at a time, but now they can create many at a time, making things much easier.
The API also increases targeting capabilities, which adds interest level targeting and also allows marketers to layer their own data on top of Twitter Ad campaigns. Combining Twitter data and a marketer’s own proprietary data will allow more in-depth audience profile creations.
In addition, Twitter data that normally has to be researched manually, like trending topics, can appear in the workflow of campaign creation directly – so that marketers can see the most appropriate trending topics as they are creating their ad campaigns.
Finally, connecting with the Twitter Ads API doesn’t just make targeting easier with increased amounts of shared data, but the shared data can also help correlate the effectiveness of lift of a campaign when compared to – and in relation to – other campaigns using a publisher’s Google Analytics data, for example.
Overall, the increased connectivity of data using the Twitter Ads API is a boon for Twitter advertisers.
As you can see, Twitter’s unique conversational platform and robust population of influencers can be a huge benefit to your advertising campaign if you can harness the specific creative needed for a targeted audience. If you’re trying to create some buzz around your product, don’t overlook this versatile advertising platform.