The Anatomy Of An Effective Twitter Ad

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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.

Tweet Engagements

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.

Video Views

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.

Relevant 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:

Keyword Targeting

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.

Tailored Audience

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.

Manual Bidding

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.

7 Books Every Marketer Should Read In 2017

Social Media

Often the incomprehensible pace at which the world is moving — sometimes beyond what we can predict or imagine — keeps changing the business rule book and how we interact with consumers every day.

What You Need to Know About Facebook’s Continued Battle Against Clickbait


And how will the latest change in algorithm impact Facebook pages.

Facebook has made multiple changes to its algorithm over the years. And after last year’s much-debated topic of whether “fake news” shaped the U.S. election verdict or not, the effort to filter fake news stories out of the news feed has been a major concern for Facebook.

7 Ways to Rise Above Facebook’s Declining Organic Reach


Facebook’s news feed algorithm is an ever-changing entity. Visit the site that tracks these changes, and you will see an enormous number of tweaks happening every month.

In early 2012, Facebook made significant changes to the news feed algorithm. One such change led to a plummeting organic reach for Facebook pages.

When businesses started noticing this decline in organic reach, Facebook addressed it with the following statement:

“Based on a recent quality check, we made an adjustment to the news feed algorithm to respond to the negative feedback signals of spam and people hiding posts. Current signals show the adjustment has been successful. The median reach of Facebook pages has remained the same while spam complaints and stories hidden by users have fallen significantly.”

As years passed, businesses and brands kept on noticing a decreasing trend line for their organic reach. In 2014, Social@Ogilvy published a report on the state of organic reach and how it is approaching zero. Their analysis found organic reach for pages — with more than 500k fans — had dropped to as low as 2%. For pages with less than 500k fans, organic reach dropped to 6%.

Last year, Marketing Land reported Facebook’s organic reach was down by 52% for publishers.

Source: Social Flow

Kurt Gessler, Deputy Editor of Digital News at the Chicago Tribune noted this decline in a story published on Medium:

“In December of 2016, we had only 8 posts with 10,000 reach or less. In January of 2017, that had grown to 80. In February, 159. And in March, a ridiculous 242 posts were seen by fewer than 10,000 people. And while late 2016 saw record lows in that lowest quartile, that 242 is far above any prior month in our dataset. And we were seeing a steady decrease in that 25,001 to 50,000 quartile. That had gone from 248 in January 2016 to 141 in March 2017.”

Source: @Kurt Gessler

Following this came another big update. In January this year, Facebook made changes to the news feed algorithm to show the most relevant stories to its users. As a result, here’s what the current Facebook organic reach looks like by Industry:

Source: Agora Pulse

According to Facebook, the recent news feed change aims to rank updates better than before by introducing two new factors:

Incorporating new signals to better identify and rank authentic content

A new way to predict and rank in real-time when posts might be more relevant to you

To identify which stories make it into your news feed, Facebook has outlined thousands of signals. The most important ones to consider are:

  • Interest: Are your fans interested in your update?
  • Post: How are people responding to your post?
  • Creator: How have you been performing? Do fans love your updates? Do they engage with it?
  • Type: What type of post is it? A video, link, photo, or text?
  • Recency: How recent (and relevant) is your update?

At its core, Facebook’s aim is to offer relevant, tailored content in the news feed.

“For example, if your favorite soccer team just won a game, we might show you posts about the game higher up in News Feed because people are talking about it more broadly on Facebook.” — Source: Facebook Newsroom

But even if you create authentic, relevant content, why is organic reach declining? And what does it mean for your Facebook page?

The Reason Behind A Declining Organic Reach

Currently, there are more than 65 million Facebook pages posting an average of two posts per day. When a user logs in to Facebook, their news feed can potentially have more than 1,500 stories at a time. Users with more connections can have as many as 15,000 stories in their news feed at a time. Clearly, there’s more content being published at any particular time than people can absorb.

The rise in smartphone usage has only contributed to the content explosion. Currently, more than 1.74 Billion people are active on Facebook every month. Moreover, the number of pages an average user likes on Facebook has increased significantly over the years.

As a result, there’s a surge in the supply of content, but less real estate available to share content.

Hence, to gain exposure in news feeds organically, brands and businesses compete on more than 100,000 signals identified by Facebook.

What Does This Mean For Your Facebook Page?

As content generation speeds up, organic reach is soon going to be a thing of the past. Does this mean your current page fans will become irrelevant to your business? No.

As noted by Brian Boland, Facebook’s VP of Publisher Solutions, fans of your Facebook page have a lot of value because they can make your ads more effective, efficient and provide credibility for your business. Check out Brian’s article to learn more.

So, what can you do to maintain your organic reach?

1. Use Facebook Live

Live video streaming is alive and kicking. A quick look at the interest in Facebook live over the past two years shows just how much people appreciate video streaming.

Facebook placed a big bet on live streaming. According to WSJ, Facebook signed around 140 contracts with video creators — paying them a total more than $50 Million.

Source: WSJ

In its initial days, the social media giant sent push notifications to large numbers of users whenever a page started a Facebook live post. Since its launch, Facebook live videos have had a greater organic reach compared to other forms of content.

While the the number of push notifications have gone down over time, Facebook is still pushing live videos in the news feed.

To succeed with live video, Facebook suggests the following best practices and tips for an effective Facebook live post:

Tell people ahead of time when you’re going to broadcast

Go live when you have a strong connection

Write a compelling description before going live

Ask your viewers to follow you and receive notifications when you go live

Say hello to commenters by name and respond to their comments

Broadcast for longer periods of time to reach more people

Be creative and go live often

Recommended reading: How To Use Facebook Live: A Complete Guide by Hubspot

2. Put a Greater Focus on Facebook Videos

If there’s one type of content that’s on every marketer’s radar, it is videos. Native Facebook videos have a greater organic reach when compared to other forms of content.

Source: Social Bakers

More than 100 Million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every day, and an upwards of 73% marketers plan on increasing their usage of video. Check out the links below for tips on how to create engaging video content.

Recommended reading:

3. Quality over Quantity

How many posts should you do in a day? It depends on your industry and how your audience engages with your content. Publishers, for example, post anywhere between 10 and 40 posts per day because they’re constantly updating their followers with editorial content. But, your business shouldn’t necessarily do the same.

Your Facebook page’s organic reach will be healthier if your content is contextual and relevant to your audience. If you publish 7 posts a day that don’t receive any engagement, you will hurt your organic reach overtime.

According to Locowise, pages that posted two or more posts a day got less than 1% negative feedback out of all the people who interacted with them. They also found pages that post one to four times a week achieve higher engagement rates.

4. Pay Attention to Trending Topics

Social media monitoring is an essential part of a lead generating social media strategy.

What is your audience talking about? What are they engaging with?

Knowing answers to these questions and preparing content around them will help your audience connect and engage with you better.

Keep a close watch on Facebook’s trending topics. Use services such as Buzzsumo to identify which content piece under your chosen topic is getting more shares.

5. Avoid Clickbait

While this won’t necessarily increase your organic reach, it will help prevent it from declining.

If you create posts that explicitly ask users to like, comment, or share, Facebook will identify the content as spammy.

Here are some key clickbait best practices from Facebook:

Share headlines that inform

Post headlines that set appropriate expectations

When curating content as a Page, share links that have clear, accurate headlines

Overly promotional posts, spammy links, fake news, clickbait tactics, like-bait tactics, etc. get identified as spam and hurt your organic reach in the long run.

6. Collaborate

Collaboration with other businesses is key to succeeding on a platform that’s cluttered with updates. By collaborating with other companies, you get access to their fans as well as an opportunity to engage with them.

For example, Refinery29 often links back and shares articles from Huffington Post because they speak to a similar audience.

Collaboration not only sets you up for a wider reach but provides your audience greater visibility into your brand and helps you establish your business as a thought-leader in your industry.

7. Feature Your Fans And Make Use Of User Generated Content

On social media, being overly promotional is not the best idea. People want to consume content that offers them something in return. If you’re only promoting your products and services, you will fall short of establishing a connection and trust with your audience.

Try creating content your fans can interact with such as giveaways with a dedicated hashtag or quizzes. You can also acknowledge your fans by featuring a testimonial from them or asking them for feedback about your business. The goal is to make your fans feel valued and look forward to your updates.

As the number of daily active users increases, Facebook’s organic reach is set to decline further. However, by using relevant, contextual, and timely content along with emerging content types, you can drive engagement and results for your business.

This story was originally published on Hearst Bay Area