Social networks are essential for building an online community around your freelance business and connecting with your prospective clients. But if you don’t use the network’s advertising tools as a complement to your organic marketing campaign, you aren’t using them to their full potential.
One of the best things about advertising on Twitter is that even a small spend – as little as $5 – will provide insights and a level of engagement that you wouldn’t get on any other channel.
The Twitter advertising tool is extremely powerful and versatile. It is the quickest way to get your marketing message in front of thousands of potential clients, which is particularly useful if you’re looking to expand your Twitter community and generate new leads.
However, just like every other online advertising platform, you need to understand how to get the best out of it or else you’ll end up overpaying for clicks and potentially spend more than you bring in.
Types of Twitter Advertising
Twitter offers three different options for advertising. These are Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends. Promoted tweets and promoted accounts are self-service advertising, while promoted trends are managed by Twitter’s advertising department.
Generally, when you send out a regular tweet, the chances of your message being seen by targeted users is limited by:
- The number of followers you have.
- Followers who are paying attention to your tweets.
- Followers who are on Twitter when you sent out the tweet.
Promoted tweets provide the perfect opportunity to break through some of these barriers. They look just like regular tweets in a timeline, and can be engaged with in the same way as regular tweets. However, they are clearly labeled as promoted.
Unlike other platforms where you might actually build a specific ad, you’re simply using a tweet. Users only see one promoted tweet in their timeline at any given moment, so you’re not competing for real estate. All tweets must pass Twitter’s quality inspection before they’re promoted.
Two different factors will determine where your ads appear: the objective you choose and the placements you select. You have the option of selecting or deselecting any of the placements each objective provides.
The list of potential placements includes:
- In search results
- On your profile and tweet detail pages
- In users’ feeds
- The Twitter Audience Platform
With promoted tweets, you only pay for when someone engages with the tweet. This includes all clicks on your Tweet, including Retweets, replies, comments, favorites, poll votes, and hashtag clicks. You pay the same for any type of engagement, but they won’t all be worth the same to your campaign.
Here are the different targeting options:
- Demographics: You can target people by age or gender.
- Keywords: you can target people based on what they are tweeting about. For example, you can choose to target people who mention “need to lose weight” in their tweets. This allow you to reach your target audience at the right moment and in the right context because your tweet is shown to them based on the keywords they have used in their tweets or their location.
- Language: You can target people by the language that they speak.
- Geographic location: By default, you may select country. For certain countries, you can get more granular with your targeting. For example, in the UK you can target people at the postcode level. This is great if you have in-store offers because you can choose to show your ads within a certain radius of your stores.
- Devices: if you have a mobile friendly or mobile site, then you have the option of allowing the ad to run on mobile friendly sites. There is also a feature that allows you to select which mobile carriers to target.
You can choose to promote specific tweets that have done well organically. This way, your promoted tweet will already have valuable social proof from the time it’s published as a paid tweet.
Here are goals you can achieve with promoted tweets:
- Drive targeted traffic to your website
- Expand your Twitter community
- Generate leads for your business
- Increase newsletter subscriptions
- Promote coupons and special deals
- Generate leads using lead generation cards
- Promote sales and special offers
- Promote an event
- Promote a competition
- Promote your event or a new product
- Get your content in front of key influencers
You’ll want to focus on only one goal and desired action for each individual campaign to avoid confusing users.
One of the most powerful features of Twitter ads is that you only pay for the “first generation” of impressions. This means if somebody retweets a promoted tweet and that person’s followers engages with your tweet, you are not charged. That is effectively free advertising for you.
The Twitter system works on an auction based bidding system. This means that the amount you actually pay for a click on your tweet will depend on the competition for the same keyword. You only need to pay enough to beat your nearest competitor. This means that if you’ve bid $2 for a click but your nearest competitor bids 40 cents, then you only have to pay 41 cents.
When launching a promoted tweets campaign, you have the option of using a website card. This is highly recommended, especially if you are running a clicks and conversion campaign. A website card provides visual impact, and the image you use should be strong and powerful, branded, and informative. If you have a really compelling offer, add your offer in the ad image – This way, your value proposition is highly visible and more people will be attracted to your offer.
Twitter can help you boost your follower growth quickly through a program called promoted accounts. These types of ads are designed to grow your followers by placing your brand front and center in your target audience’s “Who to Follow” sections. They allow you to promote your Twitter account to targeted Twitter users who don’t yet follow you but might find your content interesting.
According to Twitter,
85% of users consider promoted accounts to be both relevant and helpful.
Two different factors will determine where your ads appear: what objective you select, and then which placements you choose. You can choose to select or deselect any of the placements each objective provides.
Your tweets will show up in the following places:
- As part of the Who to Follow widget on the left side of home page
- In targeted users’ timelines, search results and suggestions.
- On profile pages as part of the “Similar to You” widget
- In the mobile home timeline on Twitter for iOS and Twitter for Android
Twitter’s algorithms will try to show your account to people based on the demographic of your followers, the guidelines you’ve chosen and the demographics of their public lists
. You only pay for results, so you only pay when a targeted user follows you. For example, if you’re a digital marketer looking to connect with dentists, Twitter may promote your account to people who have many dentists on their lists.
Trending topics are topics that people are talking about at a particular point in time, and it offers the opportunity to add your voice to a hugely popular topic in real time. In addition to connecting in real time, is your ability to connect with context. On Twitter people talk about things that they find meaningful. For example, if you’re a dietician, you’ll be interested in people that are talking about nutrition. This gives you powerful context to connect your message to what’s most meaningful to your customers. Promoted trends is a managed service, reserved for brands with large advertising budgets. The ads appear at the top of your target audience’s trending topics.
Trending Topics highlights the top trending conversations in the world. It might be a sporting event like the NBA finals, Super Bowl, or a breaking news story. Clicking on a promoted trend shows all of the tweets relating to that trending topic, with the advertiser’s tweets at the top.