Twitter Advertising in a Nutshell: A Painless Primer for 2021

Have you considered Twitter advertising as a means to connect with and engage your ideal clients?

If not, you should.

With more than 330 million active users, investing your time and money to advertise on Twitter can be a wise move.

You might be wondering, though, are Twitter Ads worth it?

Twitter has become a very attractive platform for marketers, influencers, and even solopreneurs like bloggers and freelance writers.

Why?

Because, if your target audience is on this platform, a well-conceived ad campaign can reach legions of potential customers.

Sound good?

Then let’s get started!

Twitter Is More Than 140 Characters

There are several different options for Twitter ad types, each allowing you a different method to get in front of Twitter users.

Unlike other social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, Twitter has its own methods to publish content.

Where we were once limited to 140 characters (it’s now 280), new features like video, GIFs, and other options allow Twitter users several ways to publish.

But, before you log into Twitter, set up a Twitter account, and start publishing, tweeting, and sending retweets, consider the following question:

Who are your ideal clients or customers, and do they (or might they) engage on Twitter? 

Setting Up Your Twitter Account

Before you start advertising on Twitter, you’ll want to cover some basics to ensure you get the most value from your social advertising investment.

If your account is set up already, this will be a good refresher to ensure you’ve covered all the bases for the best possible outcomes of your Twitter ad spend.

1. Set Up Your Twitter Profile

To begin with, you’ll want to be sure to have a complete profile that highlights who you are and how you help your clients or customers.

Your Twitter bio is a great place to demonstrate a bit about your personality and the benefits you provide those who work with you.

Don’t forget to include a link to your website and a location (if you operate a brick-and-mortar store).

2. Identify Your Brand And Twitter Persona

This might sound like a step to skip, but it’s not.

When you consider that you have limited characters to engage and connect with clients or customers, it’s crucial you have a persona.

Your Twitter persona helps your target audience recognize who you are, helping you build rapport and brand awareness.

Be authentic and genuine, and speak in a way that will get the attention of and connect with your prospective clients or customers.

3. Use Visuals & Images

It should come as no surprise that using images and GIFs in your tweets is a good way to engage with your audience.

Use a mix of stock photos (like those offered at istock.com) and genuine photos. Examples include images of:

  1. You
  2. Your company
  3. Team members
  4. Your products
  5. Customers
  6. Locations.

Remember, a picture speaks a thousand words.

4. Select Your Posting Times

twitter advertising world clocks

twitter advertising world clocks

According to SocialPilot, the best time to tweet depends on your audience.

If you aren’t sure what these times might be, the most popular times to post on Twitter are typically 8 – 10 a.m. and 6 – 9 p.m.

Again, posting earlier and later may make sense, depending on your audience.

5. Organic Posting Versus Scheduled Posts

In order to ensure your tweets and ads happen like clockwork, you have some options to consider.

You can always input tweets manually; however, you can also use a third-party scheduling app, like Buffer.

There is speculation that using a third-party app for scheduling tweets lowers engagement, however, evidence suggests if it does, it’s only marginal.

Twitter also offers a scheduling tool that can be used for both Twitter Ads and organic posts.

6. Preparing To Write Your Twitter Posts

Since you have limited characters to engage your audience on Twitter, you’ll want to choose your words carefully.

Use emotional and inspiring words and phrases that get the reader to take action. If you aren’t sure how you may want to learn a bit about copywriting.

If you hone your Twitter marketing skills, you can also turn your expertise into an entirely new service or offering, something that many freelance writers do.

How to Advertise on Twitter

As an advertising platform, Twitter has a lot to offer.

Twitter has its own algorithm which can directly influence engagement levels and click-through rates, similar to other social media advertising platforms.

Additionally, there are various Twitter ad types to choose from, as well as different ad formats you’ll want to consider.

There are different Twitter ad specs within each ad you’ll also need to set up (more on that in a moment).

To begin with, there are two primary ways you can use Twitter for advertising.

Option 1: Launch On Twitter

Twitter can be used to launch a new product, service, app, promotion, or even a marketing or brand message.

According to Twitter, a successful launch consists of four key steps:

1. Listen

Observe what your prospects are engaging with on Twitter.

  1. Spend time reviewing tweets and other advertising on the platform.
  2. Learn what your ideal customers or clients want or need.
  3. Observe how they are engaging with your competitors.

2. Tease

Armed with the intelligence from your market research, what solutions or Twitter content can you provide that addresses their most burning questions?

Can you create content that teases or hints at how you can help? Place these teasers near the beginning of your Twitter launch campaign.

3. Reveal

When you reveal your solution, make a big splash!

Make sure posts have powerful copy and images that support your solution, how it will help your target audience, and the benefits it provides.

4. Buzz

Once the initial reveal is complete, keep the conversation going.

Continue sharing the benefits of your solution, reinforcing how it can help and the value it will bring.

Option 2: Create Connection

As a social media platform, Twitter is also a great place to connect with others and plug into what’s happening.

Twitter calls this “creating cultural relevance.”

The basic ways to use Twitter to create cultural relevance include:

Events

Create ads that connect with your audience.

Inform and engage with them during events. This is where a hashtag strategy can come in handy, to bring awareness and attention to the event.

Special Occasions

When a special occasion occurs, make sure you engage with your audience on Twitter.

Similar to events, use Twitter as a way to share the benefits or value of the occasion.

This is another instance where incorporating a solid hashtag strategy can bring beneficial attention to you and your brand.

Trending Topics

If you’re monitoring trending topics, then why not jump in on the conversation.

Incorporating trending topics into your Twitter advertising campaign is a great way to capitalize on the buzz around a topic while presenting yourself or your brand as a thought leader in the area.

Whether you are launching on Twitter or looking to grow connections, there are several advertising options to choose from.

Twitter Advertising Options

1. Promoted Tweets

If you have a message you want to share broadly, then promoted tweets are your best bet.

According to www.webfx.com, the average cost for a promoted tweet varies from $0.50 to $2.00.

It will cost you around $1.35 each time a Twitter user clicks, replies, or retweets your tweet.

The steps to promote a tweet, according to Twitter, are shared here.

2. Promoted Accounts

If you are looking for more followers, then a promoted account is the best advertising option.

With this form of advertising, Twitter will promote your account to those who currently don’t follow you and may find your account (and content) interesting.

The cost for a promoted account ranges from $2 to $4 for each new follower you acquire.

The steps to promoting your Twitter account are covered here.

3. Promoted Trends

This is an entirely different level of advertising.

The objective of a promoted trend is to take over the top list of Twitter trends for a 24-hour period, allowing people to see what’s happening as the trend progresses in real-time.

The cost for a 24-hour campaign can run upwards of $200,000. (Yes, you read that right!)

If you’d like to explore promoted trends, you can learn more here.

With all of your options now clear, let’s dive into the steps you should take to advertise.

Specific Steps to Get Started Advertising on Twitter

twitter advertising rocket

twitter advertising rocket

The steps to take to advertise on Twitter are as follows:

1. Set Up Your Twitter Ads Account

There are seven steps you’ll want to take to set up your Twitter ads account, as follows:

  1. Log into your Twitter account
  2. Go to ads.twitter.com
  3. Choose your campaign option:
    1. Automatically promote your tweets
    2. Launch a Twitter Ads campaign
  4. Select your country and time zone
  5. Set up your campaign
  6. Enter your billing information
  7. Start your campaign

2. Identify and Select Your Advertising Objective

There are different options you can select for your Twitter advertising objective.

Although the options are relatively clear, don’t be afraid to try more than one Twitter ad campaign type to determine what will best achieve your advertising objectives.

  1. Create a reach, followers, or engagement campaign
  2. Create a campaign to attract website clicks
  3. Create an app install or re-engagement campaign
  4. Create a video views campaign

Select the Ad Group and Amount You’d Like to Bid.

With your advertising objective set, select the ad group that best suits your advertising objective.

You can create more than one ad group, allowing you to determine what the best campaign will be moving forward.

3. Identify Your Target Audience

Next, you’ll want to identify and select your tailored audience for each ad group.

The factors you’ll need to select are:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Language
  • Device
  • Audience Special features

With your target audience setup for each ad group, you’ll then want to select where to place your ads.

4. Select Your Ad Placement

The last key step is to select where you’d like to place your ads.

Considering the competitive analysis you did earlier, you’ll have multiple different placement options to choose from.

Additional Twitter Advertising Tips and Tricks

If you really want to knock your Twitter advertising out of the park, there are some other things you’ll want to consider.

Write Strong Copy

Make sure you keep your offer and message clear.

I personally like using the book called “Words that Sell” by Richard Bayan (affiliate link).

twitter advertising words that sell book

twitter advertising words that sell book

Have A Clear Call To Action

What do you want your prospective clients and customers to do once they view your ad?

What is the next step for them to take?

Don’t leave them guessing.

Use High-Quality Images & Videos

Nothing reeks of an amateur more than blurry images or sketchy videos.

The best Twitter image specifications for advertising are:

  1. 800 x 418 pixels for 1.91:1 aspect ratio
  2. 800 x 800 pixels for 1:1 aspect ratio
  3. File size: Max 3MB per image.
  4. File type: PNG and JPEG are recommended.

Test And Analyze Your Ads

After all, you’re investing hard-earned advertising dollars.

Before you hit the GO button, do some testing to make sure your message gets the attention it deserves.

Don’t be scared to make changes or adjustments to your images and copy in an attempt to improve click-through rates.

Time to Try Out Twitter Advertising

Twitter advertising isn’t for everyone.

But, if this path is right for you, having clear marketing goals is a good first step.

You’ll then want to do some competitive analysis or social listening to determine whether your ideal prospects are engaging on Twitter and with Twitter ads.

Armed with this information, you’ll be able to identify how you should advertise on Twitter.

After this, the setup of your advertising campaign is a snap!

So, what are you waiting for?

Start using Twitter to promote your brand or small business today!