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5 Ways to Optimize Your #PromotedTweets

ways to optimize promoted tweetsTwitter’s Promoted Tweets can be a great lead generator and brand awareness builder, but with only 140 characters to work with and a potential audience of 231.7 million users, you have to take a strategic approach to get the most out of your ad spend. Whether your goal is impressions and engagement or landing page conversions (or a combination of both), these tips will help you optimize your Tweets for maximum impact.

1. Avoid using #hashtags and @handles

Sounds counterintuitive, right? It’s not. Twitter charges per engagement, which means that any time someone clicks anywhere on your Tweet or retweets, favorites or replies to it, you get charged. So if your goal is conversions on a landing page, you need to make sure there are as few distractions as possible for your users. You can’t force them to click on your link in the Tweet, but including extra hashtags and @handles in Tweet copy decreases your chances of driving that traffic to your landing page. It can also raise your cost per lead. Unfortunately Twitter doesn’t offer a breakdown by type of engagement on your Tweets, so it’s difficult to determine if these distractions significantly lower your traffic and conversions.

2. Tee up the ask in the Tweet copy

Another optimization trick for conversions is to tee up your ask within the Tweet copy as much as possible. If you’re driving users to a landing page where they need to fill out a form to get your offer, try to make that known from the Tweet. Using phrases like “download” or “sign up” should tip off users that they’re going to need to give some information in exchange for whatever you’re offering. Again, this increases your chances of having everyone who clicks on your link actually converting on your landing page and, ultimately, driving down cost per lead.

3. Test, test, test

Since you’re a savvy marketer, you know that everything is testable, and Promoted Tweets are no different. When it comes to PTs, two testable elements can have a huge impact on campaign results:

  • Targeting

When you create a PT campaign, you have the option to target either Keywords or Interests and Followers. Keyword targeting is awesome because it gives you the ability to target users with your content based on specific things they’re already Tweeting about – so you know your content is going to be relevant. Within the Keyword targeting you can also choose to target users’ timelines (inserting your Tweets directly into their feeds) or Search Results (best for big events when users are searching for specific hashtags). Targeting Interests and Followers can be beneficial if you’re trying to reach a broad spectrum of users with a few degrees of separation from your brand. Test both of these targeting options to see which better enables you to reach your audience. It might be beneficial for you to run identical campaigns simultaneously using both targeting methods.

Targeting Promoted Tweets

  • Copy and calls to action

It’s extremely important to promote several versions of the same Tweet within any given campaign. I always like to start my PTs with questions because I’ve found (via testing) that this format attracts more attention from users. Something similar might work for you or it might not. If your goal is to drive traffic back to your site or to a landing page, test using a URL shortener (like vs. letting Twitter simply truncate your link. Some users are skeptical of clicking on links when they’re not familiar with a brand so seeing the brand name in the URL can sometimes act as an extra form of validation.

Promoted Tweet CTAS

4. Hijack big audiences

Using the Keyword targeting option enables you to hijack audiences of influencers or bigger brands when users are Tweeting about major events, news headlines or other trends. For example, a consumer electronics company might target the phrase “OS X Mavericks” with a Tweet promoting its newest laptop accessory. With more than 94,000 Tweets mentioning Apple’s software update yesterday, that’s a hefty audience of potential customers to put your content in front of within the timeframe that they’re Tweeting about a related topic. Keyword targeting retroactively targets over the last 7 days, so this trick works even after news breaks or events happen.

5. Devices matter

Targeting DevicesAnother Targeting option allows you to target users based on the device they’re using (desktop and mobile). The knee-jerk reaction is to target all devices with the notion that you’ll get your content in front of more people. Pretty obvious, right? Wrong. While it has the potential of gaining more impressions, targeting all devices might drive up your cost per lead if your goal is landing page conversions.

Filling out forms and consuming heavy content on certain mobile devices can be clunky and annoying, so a lot of users could drop off before you’re able to capture their information. Twitter only allows you to differentiate among operating systems (iOS, Android or Blackberry), not specific device types (like phone vs. tablet), so you can either target all types and sizes of devices or stick to only desktop. If your goal is simply impressions and engagement like RTs and favorites, targeting all devices likely won’t negatively affect your results.

These are just a few tips to get you started, but remember that it’s important to figure out what works best for you, your brand and your content. Results will always vary, so when in doubt of whether a specific tactic will be successful, keep tip #3 in mind and test, test, test.

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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