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How Twitter advertising works in practice

Social media should be front and centre in any company’s marketing strategy.

Twitter, in particular, offers huge potential to strengthen your brand, engage with your audience and build a following that drives you to higher levels of success.

If you’re not currently getting results from this social media platform, it’s worth asking what you could be doing differently to leverage its potential and reinvigorate your social media marketing.

Why use Twitter for marketing?

As one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, Twitter provides a vast array of opportunities for your business to drive returns on your social media marketing investment.

A large and highly engaged audience

Twitter attracts approximately 436 million active users every month. While that may be some way short of the massive figures registered by the likes of Facebook and YouTube, it’s still a vast audience that offers great potential for your business.

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Furthermore, Twitter has some unique advantages over other social networks, one of which is the level of real-time engagement it has with its users. The average Twitter user relies on the platform for up-to-the-minute news and information on the subjects they’re interested in.

Research has shown that twitter.com registered 2.4 billion visitor sessions in 2021, 620 million of which were unique. This shows that a large proportion of Twitter users are repeat visitors.

Trends and hashtags

A strong Twitter marketing strategy is an absolute must if you want to be part of fast-moving conversations and trends in your industry.

Real-time engagement is a defining feature of the platform, and you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to contribute to discussions and talking points that are relevant to your company and its customers.

Showing that you have your finger on the pulse of your sector and the things that matter to your target audience helps to build trust, authority and brand recognition.

You should also be looking to maximise the potential of Twitter by using hashtags. This is the best way to get involved in conversations that are already taking place on the platform, or to start your own trend by coming up with a hashtag that relates to your current social media marketing activities.

More traffic to your website

Every business wants to see a consistently increasing flow of traffic to its website. Considering the sheer number of people who use Twitter every day, it’s a source of visitors that you can’t afford to ignore.

There are many ways you can use the platform to direct potential leads and customers to your site. Here are some good practices you should stick to:

  • Include your website URL as part of your bio information on your Twitter profile
  • Add a link to key pages on your site in every relevant tweet you post
  • Retweet other content that includes links to your website and online content
  • Embed a Twitter timeline on your site

No element of your marketing strategy should exist in isolation, so make sure you’re taking steps to connect your social media, website assets, email, mobile communications and other key channels together to make a coherent whole.

How to advertise on Twitter

There’s a lot you can do on Twitter to take your social media marketing to the next level. Twitter advertising is a good option to consider if you want to:

  • Achieve quick and noticeable results in your efforts to engage with customers
  • Generate awareness for a product launch
  • Accelerate lead generation
  • Encourage sign-ups to free trials or product demonstrations
  • Promote webinars or events

So, what steps do you need to follow to get your Twitter advertising up and running?

Create your Twitter ad account

Once you’ve logged in to the account you want to tweet from, you can set up your Twitter ad account by going directly to ads.twitter.com or accessing the ‘More’ menu on your Twitter homepage and selecting Twitter Ads.

You’ll need to choose your country and time zone and add a payment method before you can run a Twitter advertising campaign. When your account is set up, you can use it to create Twitter ads, build campaigns and measure performance.

Develop your ads

The next step in your Twitter advertising strategy is to choose the tweets you want to promote as ads. The two tweet types to choose from are:

  • Organic – You can choose tweets you’ve already posted from your Twitter account to promote
  • Promoted tweet – You can create entirely new tweets specifically for your campaign, which won’t appear on your Twitter profile and will only be displayed to the audiences targeted in specific campaigns

Key stages in the process of creating a promoted tweet are:

  • Composing your tweet copy, including any emojis and hashtags you want to include
  • Adding images or video
  • Deciding whether you want to include a Twitter card. This is a clickable component within a promoted tweet that can prove particularly useful for driving traffic to your website or encouraging app downloads

Finalise and launch your Twitter ads campaign

As soon as you’re happy with the promoted tweets you’ll be using in your Twitter advertising, you can move on to the next steps required before your campaign can be launched.

Among them is selecting an objective, which is important to ensure your activities are optimised to encourage the user actions you’re most interested in. Common Twitter ad campaign objectives include:

  • Maximising ad reach
  • Attracting video views
  • Encouraging app installs
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Getting people to engage with your tweet
  • Increasing account followers

Another important stage is confirming the details of your Twitter advertising campaign, such as its name, total budget, start and end dates, and funding source. You also have the option of creating ad groups, which can be useful for sending specific messages to a certain target audience, or adjusting your budget and dates for particular groups.

Finally, review all your Twitter ad details to ensure you’re happy with them, before setting the campaign live.

Measure your Twitter ad performance

Collecting data and measuring performance is a vital aspect of social media marketing, so make sure you’re using Twitter analytics to keep track of how your advertising campaigns are going.

You can track results in real time from your Twitter Ads Manager dashboard, where you can see results at a campaign level and select particular campaigns to see data by ad group, ad or audience.

This can help you draw conclusions about things like:

  • Your number of results
  • Cost-per-result
  • Which Twitter ad groups are performing better than others
  • Tweets that are proving most resonant with your target audience
  • Audience segments that are engaging the most with your ads

The benefits of Twitter advertising

Twitter marketing is a broad arena that gives you lots of opportunities to experiment with different strategies to connect with your target audience.

As far as the specific benefits of Twitter advertising are concerned, key results and goals you can aim for include:

  • More app downloads: Research suggests people scrolling through their Twitter timeline are 38 per cent more likely to download an app directly from an ad.
  • A more playful tone of voice: Twitter lies at the less formal end of the social media marketing spectrum, so gives brands the opportunity to experiment with more lighthearted content and a jovial tone of voice, which can be effective in gaining engagement.
  • Successful product, event or brand launches: For a launch campaign to deliver the best returns, Twitter recommends running it for three to six weeks, using three to five ad formats and utilising ‘Takeover’ ad products such as Timeline Takeover and Trend Takeover.
  • Stronger connections with your industry and audience: Research has shown a Twitter advertising campaign designed to connect with what’s happening in your industry and build cultural relevance will lead to higher levels of brand awareness, recall and preference.
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How much do Twitter ads cost?

Twitter advertising is one of the more affordable social media marketing strategies available to businesses. Average cost-per-click on the platform is reportedly only $0.38 (£0.31), compared to $3.56 for Instagram advertising, for example. 

The average cost per 1,000 impressions on Twitter is approximately $6.46, significantly less than you’re likely to pay for Facebook ads ($7.19) and Instagram ads ($7.91).

You always have complete control over how much you spend on your Twitter advertising, and the amount you’re charged depends on the results you want to achieve.

Objectives and billable actions

Different combinations of campaign objectives and ad group goals have different billable actions, and you’re only charged when that action occurs.

If you’re creating promoted tweets and promoted accounts with the aim of attracting more Twitter followers, for example, you’ll only be charged when someone follows your account. Your campaigns may achieve other positive results – likes and engagement with video ads, for example – but you won’t be charged for them if they’re not your main objective.

You can keep your social media advertising costs under control on Twitter by setting daily budgets and total campaign budgets, or opting for ad group budgets when you want to target a tailored audience.

Auctions and bids

You’ll bid against other advertisers to get your promoted tweets, video ads and other high-value content in front of your target audience on Twitter. This means the price you pay isn’t fixed, which is why it’s important to get your bidding strategy right.

How much you end up paying for your campaigns will be dictated by factors such as:

  • How engaging your ads are
  • The size of your tailored audience
  • Levels of competition to reach that audience
  • How much you bid

A social media advertising agency can help

The amount you bid and pay for digital ads to achieve goals such as increasing your follower count on Twitter is one of many potentially challenging aspects of social media advertising.

If you’re not sure about decisions like what bidding option to use – automatic, maximum or target bidding – or the best ways to expand your potential customer base on Twitter and other platforms, working with a social media advertising agency could help.

The right partner will be able to support you with everything from successfully hosting a Twitter chat to benefiting from the platform’s promoted trend feature, and much more besides.

Whether you’re engaged in B2C or B2B marketing, the services and expertise of an experienced agency will increase your ability to connect with your audience and get better results from your Twitter marketing strategy.