Twitter advertising

Twitter Advertising 101

Twitter, the micro-blogging web service with some 200 million active monthly users, recently announced it was in the process of becoming a publicly traded company. That is to say, Twitter will join either the NASDAQ or the New York Stock Exchange and anyone with a trading account will be able to invest.

While this is great news for Twitter’s early investors, it’s not entirely clear how the news will affect the service’s already established advertising platform.

A new emphasis on revenue generation will certainly follow Twitter’s initial public offering, and while the company is not profitable, a hefty chunk, some 80 percent of its revenue comes from advertising, according to its SEC filing.

Promoted Accounts vs. Promoted Tweets

There are currently two ways to advertise your business or brand using Twitter. The first is “Promoted Tweets” which display your ad alongside messages from a user’s follows list. The second, “Promoted Accounts,” will display your Twitter page on a user’s Discover and Who to Follow pages, which is where Twitter users can go to find new, interesting people or brands to follow. Both options have benefits and drawbacks depending on what you hope to accomplish with your campaign.

Once you login to Twitter’s advertising dashboard, you’ll see both options displayed highlighting where your ad will appear on both the mobile and desktop versions of the service.

Let’s start with “Promoted Tweets” first.

Promoted Tweets display in a user’s timeline alongside messages from a user’s follow list. This option is meant to drive traffic to your website or landing page, find new users or engage with existing followers.

Once you click on the “New Promoted Tweets campaign” button, you’ll be taken to a new screen where you can create your campaign:

Using Twitter ads to promote tweets

Options here include naming your campaign, setting the schedule and choosing how you want to target your campaign (either by a matched Twitter search or tweet to a keyword or by specific interests and targeting followers of specific accounts).

Once you begin entering your information, more options populate here, including manually selecting existing tweets or allowing Twitter to automatically select your most engaging posts, ad targeting by device or platform and ad targeting by gender.

After you’ve entered your information, you’ll be asked to set your budget. Regardless of how you craft your campaign, the way you finance Twitter ads is the same. Twitter bills advertisers on “engagement,” meaning a user must follow, retweet, reply, favorite, or click on your tweet before you’re charged. This is true regardless of which advertising option you select.

Set your budget and click “save campaign.”

You’re ready to go. Simple, right?

Next, let’s take a look at “Promoted Accounts”:

Promoted Accounts highlight your account on a user’s “Who to Follow” or “Discover” pages within the Twitter user dashboard. This option is specifically designed to grow your Twitter follower base.

You’ll immediately notice that additional options are displayed here, like targeting the followers of a specific person or brand, targeting users who are similar to your existing followers and targeting users based on a specific interest.

How to promote your account with Twitter

Also included here are location targeting, budget control and scheduling, which are identical to the options listed on “Promoted Tweets.”

Once you enter your information, click the “save campaign” button. Again, very easy.

While these options aren’t quite as extensive as you’d find with Google’s AdWords or Facebook’s advertising platform, there are more than enough choices to ensure your ads target the best possible conversion leads.

Have you or your business used Twitter’s advertising platform? If so, please tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

June 30, 2014

About Ryan Watkins

Ryan truly enjoys creating meaningful, engaging content and is responsible for our clients’ email marketing, social media management and content development initiatives. He is also Google AdWords certified. Born in Athens, Ryan moved to Atlanta in 2005 and, when he’s away from the office, is also a proud father, amateur photographer and lover of outdoor adventuring in the North Georgia mountains.