Launched in 2007, Twitter came with big promises for the world of social media. It wanted to change the world.
Today, the 140-character platform has changed how people have conversations on social media, how they respond to global events, and how they communicate their brand.
According to social media examiner’s 2017 trend report, 82% of marketers are putting in more than 40+hours weekly on Twitter with 56% of them planning to increase their posting frequency on the platform.
Facebook largely drives paid activities while Twitter remains an essential platform for advertising because of its many benefits.
However, with more than 500 Million daily tweets, it becomes increasingly difficult for brands and businesses to tap into the right conversations at the right time.
So how can you advertise on Twitter more efficiently to reach the right audience? How can you meet your goals with Twitter advertising? What elements make an effective Twitter ad? We’ll tell you how!
The Right Objective
This is the first and often most overlooked step when creating an ad. Knowing your key objective is important to get the most out of your social media spend.
For example, if your goal is to drive traffic then choosing engagements as your goal may not be the right move.
Twitter has the following objectives that allow you to reach the right people to enable the desired action:
Website Clicks & Conversions
When to use it: You want to drive traffic to your site, and you want people to take action (i.e. downloading a whitepaper, registering for your event, subscribing to your newsletter, making a purchase).
What you pay for: Number of clicks that lead to website visits.
Key metrics: Cost Per Clicks, Cost Per Conversion, Click Through Rate.
When to use it: You have posted a fantastic tweet you think has the potential to engage a lot of people. You promote it hoping people will engage with your tweet.
What you pay for: Paid engagements on your tweet. Anything that’s organic as a result of your ad is free.
Key metrics: Cost Per Engagement, Engagement Rate.
When to use it: You’ve been tweeting for a long time, and now you’re looking for more followers. The more people you have in your community, the stronger the network for engagement.
What you pay for: Paid followers.
Key metrics: Cost Per Follow, Follow Rate.
When to use it: You have something in your arsenal that’s worthy of everyone’s attention This time awareness is your campaign objective. Perfect for top of the mind recall.
What you pay for: A Thousand Impressions. Note: Reach is the unique number of people your ad has reached, and an impression is the number of times they have seen your ad.
Key Metrics: CPM or Cost Per Thousand Impressions.
When to use it: You made a video and you want everyone to see it.
What you pay for: Promoted video views. (Note: Nearly 90% of all Promoted Videos are viewed on mobile so it’s always good to optimize the video for mobile users.)
Key Metrics: Cost Per View, View Rate.
App Installs or Re-engagements
When to use it: You want to drive installs for your mobile-app or you want to re-engage with your existing users.
What you pay for: Installs of your app. (All other engagements are free)
Key Metrics: Cost Per Install
After choosing the right objective and the duration of the campaign, it is important to detail your campaign with effective targeting.
Targeting is the crux of a successful campaign. With millions of conversations going on, it’s important to define the audience that will help you reach your goal.
Just like every other advertising platform, Twitter gives you the ability to target your audience based on demographics and psychographics.
Here are a few great examples of some of Twitter’s targeting features:
One of the most powerful features of Twitter — keyword targeting — helps you target based on intent.
With the right keyword targeting, your ad reaches out to people who have recently used that phrase in their tweets or have searched about it on Twitter. Here’s one of many great examples by Twitter on how to do it right:
“Suppose your company sells baby clothes. Your phrase-matched “boy infant clothes” keyword from your search campaigns is unlikely to reach many users on Twitter, because people don’t Tweet that way. Why not reach an interested audience by trying a keyword like ‘it’s a boy?’ Eight thousand Tweets per week contain ‘it’s a boy’; almost zero contain ‘boy infant clothes.’”
Username & Interest Targeting
Use interest-based targeting when you want to reach a larger audience base. With over 350 categories to choose from, interest-based targeting can be a good way to test your campaign and how a certain group of users respond to it.
Couple this with username targeting that helps you reach out to followers with interests similar to the account you have targeted. For example, if you target @buffer, a social media management tool, your ad will reach people who are likely interested in digital marketing and social media.
This is a hidden gem within Twitter. With tailored audiences, you can reach out to people with highly relevant and targeted campaigns.
Here are three ways you can use Tailored Audience to make your ad effective.
Bidding is the most important part of any campaign. When you are new to Twitter, it is often unclear what you should be bidding in the first place.
A general rule to follow is to never use automatic bidding unless you want to reach a large pool in a short span of time.
Always make use of manual bidding and set a maximum bid (the most you are willing to pay per engagement) for your campaign. Click here to learn more about Twitter bidding best practices.
Creative and Copy
Your creative and your copy can make or break a campaign. Use clean, mobile-optimized images, and action-oriented copy.
Here are some overall best practices for creative and copy:
- Align the creative with your brand identity
- Write a tweet that speaks directly to your audience
- Always A/B test the creative and copy, measure the results and choose the ones that perform best
- Remember: Twitter is all about trending topics. Choose creative and copy that reflects trending elements to catch more attention. (Note: If you aren’t running an engagement campaign, don’t use hashtags in your tweet copy. Unnecessary hashtags distract the user from taking the desired action.)
When done right, Twitter advertising can serve to be a huge boost for campaigns. Make use of the right objective, focus your targeting, bid manually, and make stellar copy and creative to stand out and win at the Twitter ads game.
Originally published at marketing.sfgate.com.