How to Advertise on Twitter

As we discussed last week, Twitter has a large user population, making it an excellent place to post your ads. If the demographics haven’t convinced you about Twitter, then let me tell you, in a survey of 1,000 people, 57% of them found small-medium sized businesses on Twitter through the “Who to Follow” section, or through promoted tweets.  

At first glance Twitter’s ad options, I admit, can seem a little overwhelming. But that’s good for you, Small Business Owner! This means that there are a ton of options for you to pick from, and therefore you can market in a way that is best suited for your needs. And while it looks a little intimidating, it’s actually a pretty easy service.

When looking to advertise on Twitter there are three things to consider: what is your main objective, who is your target audience, and how much is the ad worth to you?

Looking at Main Objectives

To advertise on Twitter, you have to know what your main objective is with a particular ad campaign. For example: Are you just trying to gain more followers, or do you want to get people to visit your website? You can also run multiple ad campaigns, depending on your needs.

There are 7 campaign options, but today we will be focusing on the main four options.

ad objectives


The simple explanation for this ad campaign is that you are looking to grow your Twitter following.

This is like a regular text-based tweet, but the purpose is to be clear and concise. You need to tell people what you want them to do (follow you!) and then tell them what the return benefit is. Maybe you have deals just for followers, or maybe it’s just to get the latest news on your brand. Either way, you want to make it worth their while!

These ads will show up on a person’s timeline, as well as in the “Who to Follow” section.

promoted twitter accounts

Tweet Engagements

Generating engagements on Twitter means that more people are interacting with your tweets. They can do this through replying, retweeting, and linking your tweets.

If you are launching a new product, running a contest or promotion, or are utilizing a specific hashtag, you will want to run this ad campaign. This type of ad will help get your followers more involved with your brand/business.

Create a tweet explaining what it is you’re advertising, and then pair it with a beautiful image. This should either be something related to your brand in general, or specific to what you’re promoting.

This ad will show up in the user’s timeline and in their search results. (This will be the placement for the rest of the ad campaigns.)


Website Clicks and Conversions

Twitter is often seen as a conversational platform. You can talk about your business, and interact with your customers, but it isn’t your actual store. With this campaign option you can direct their eyes to your website– the online house of your business! Whether it’s an online store (like an Etsy shop), or more concrete info (like a menu to your restaurant), getting people there should lead to more sales!

Much like the previous campaign, this is a mix of a regular text-based tweet, and a picture. The picture is what Twitter calls a “Card”. The image should provide an example of what users can find on your site. There will also be a Call to Action on the Card that will take them to your site.

This ad will show up in the user’s timeline and in their search results.

Generate Leads

There’s only so much that you can say in in 140 characters on Twitter, sometimes it’s nice to have an email address from your followers. That way you can send out newsletters, or advanced promotions, just to name a few.

Depending on the posting guidelines you put on the ad, getting emails from this campaign will provide you with a very specialized list that should hopefully guarantee some turnaround on sales!

This Card will have a Call to Action, as well as a strong image to attract people.  


Who Is Your Target Audience?

Now that you’ve looked at what type of objectives you are looking to accomplish with Twitter ads, it’s important to look who exactly you want to target with these ads.

When I first looked at the “Audience Features” section, I was surprised by how detailed you can get!

audience overview

Hopefully if you’re creating these ads, you have a pretty firm grasp on who your target audience is, and what kind of keywords you associate with your business. But if you’re looking to broaden (or even hone in on) your audience, Twitter allows you to browse different categories. You’ll find some examples below.

browse interests

You’ll find that as you add or remove certain specifications you can see whether it will increase or decrease your potential audience size. It will also give you an audience summary.

audience summary

How Much is This Ad Really Worth?

That might seem like a pretty deep question, but it’s an important one to think about when setting up a budget for your ad campaigns.

To pay for these ads, you must set a daily budget. After that you have the option to choose your bidding process. The recommended options are either automatically, or based on the highest bid. Automatic pricing allows Twitter to work with your daily budget and maximize the amount of engagements based off of that budget. The highest bid opens you up to more views. If you have the highest bid, you end up paying a penny more than the second highest bidder. Meaning, if you big $5, but the second highest bid is $2, you will only have to pay $2.01 to get the view/follow/etc.

Just like the target audience, you can adjust the variables and see what will maximize your views/engagements/follows.


So What Does This All Mean?

For you, it means that there are endless possibilities in ad campaigns that you can produce for your business at a cost that’s flexible with your own budget. And if you already have experience with Tweeting, it isn’t even that hard to do! Plus if you get stuck on something, Twitter has a comprehensive guide to help you out.


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