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5 Tips for Planning Twitter Ads From Top Brand Marketers

If you read our latest Twitter study, you’re now armed with lots of stats on how top brand marketers are using Twitter to drive brand awareness and engagement (and if you didn’t read it, you definitely should). It also offers tips for how marketers can apply the findings to their own organic Twitter campaigns. But what about Twitter Ads?

Here are five tips for building your Twitter Promoted Products campaigns based on what top brand marketers around the world are doing themselves.

1. Build a significant audience to increase brand engagement

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The key word here is “significant.” Our study found that brands with 750-999k followers average 289 engagements per Tweet, which is a pretty good jump from the average 94 engagements per Tweet for brands with 500-749k followers. But don’t go adding thousands of dollars to your Promoted Account budget just yet.

Have some method to your madness, because a combination of both volume and quality of followers will positively impact your brand engagement. Prior to Twitter’s release of Tailored Audience Targeting, you could really only target followers based on behavior; not profile, similar @handles or broad categories they’re interested in. Profile targeting included extremely general criteria like location (as granular as metro area) and gender. Now with Tailored Audience Targeting, you can actually target a specific list of followers by their Twitter IDs (but it requires using one of three Twitter Ads partners).

Even if you’re only working with location and @handle targeting, be calculating in your choices. First instinct is to target every location and @handles with the most followers to reach the highest volume of followers at the fastest rate, but you run the risk of attracting users who either:

1. Are totally irrelevant to your brand.

2. Don’t speak your language.

3. Aren’t in a location where your product / services are available.

There are also a few countries notorious for their overpopulation of spam handles – Indonesia and Malaysia among them. Attracting these followers will boost your volume, but will likely do little for your engagement.

2. Include photos in Promoted Tweets

Not surprisingly, our study also found that links average 210 engagements per Tweets for top brands – by far the most engaging link types in Tweets (Tumblr is next with an average of 125 engagements per Tweet). When Twitter rolled out auto-expanding photos in timelines, it gave advertisers the ability to essentially run display ads in their Promoted Tweet campaigns.

Even with our own campaigns, we’ve noticed around 10-20% higher conversion rates on landing pages when users click through on a Promoted Tweet containing an image.

3. Include links in Promoted Tweets

According to our study, Tweets containing at least one link drive 98% of a brand’s average engagement, and Tweets containing two or more links drive 150% of a brand’s total engagement. Including links in your Promoted Tweets gives users an obvious call-to-action or next step to take with your Tweets – and are engagements that are much less passive than a favorite or a retweet. If your goal with Twitter Ads is to drive traffic to your site and conversions on your landing pages, then you’ll obviously want to include links, especially with clear calls-to-action like “Read the full blog post” or “Click to download the guide.”

4. Captivate the right audience with Promoted Tweets

The diversity of top industries on Twitter that we included in our study shows that any brand with something to say can find the right audience to say it to. When planning Twitter Ads campaigns, it’s extremely important to target the right audience for both Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts (as mentioned in tip #1).

In addition to Twitter ID tailored audiences, one of our favorite targeting features for Promoted Tweets is keyword targeting. Keyword targeting enables you to target people based on what they’re actually talking about on Twitter – including relevant hashtags and @handles. In some ways it’s even better than targeting similar @handles because now you’re targeting people who are actually engaging with those @handles – not just following them.

Promoted Tweets can be extremely successful in driving engagement with your brand – but not if you’re Tweeting in a language your audience doesn’t speak (and I’m not just talking about English vs. something else). Again, focus on a combination of quality and volume for best results.

5. Don’t (always) ignore responses to your Promoted Tweets

Something you may have noticed if you’ve been running Promoted Tweet campaigns for a while is the volume of negative / spammy responses you receive (and a warning to new advertisers: you will receive them). But don’t get discouraged. Remember that the reach of your Promoted Tweets is likely hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of users, and not everyone will be receptive to your ads in their feeds (and not everyone has quite figured out that they can opt out of Twitter Ads). You will, undoubtedly, end up serving your ads to people who are completely irrelevant and uninterested in your brand (but hopefully this number is comparatively low, once you’ve nailed down your audience targeting). Don’t feed the trolls. If people respond to your Promoted Tweets with nasty comments – and they will – ignore them, or report them as spam if they’re particularly offensive.

But also keep an eye out for sincere @replies that you’ll want to acknowledge and respond to, just like with organic Tweets. You might discover new evangelists who are just learning about your brand and are legitimately interested in your content.

Don’t forget to check out our latest Twitter study if you haven’t already! Click the button to download now.

Download the Twitter Study


Danie Zaika

Danie is the Senior Marketing Manager, Paid Media, at Simply Measured, where she runs social and display ads, PPC, and other online marketing programs that generate leads for the Sales team. Interests include yoga, reality TV, and parallel parking.

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