Famed for its SMS approach to social networking, Twitter gives users just 140 characters to share status updates, known as tweets. 320 million active users across the world help drive traffic to sites with embedded tweets to the tune of 1 billion visits every month.
For many people, Twitter is the go-to resource for breaking news, and that includes product launches. The iPad Pro launch event in September 2015 resulted in 1,648,746 tweets during the keynote presentation for instance.
This real-time stream of data also provides marketers with valuable insights into their respective markets, helping you better target future Twitter marketing campaigns.
Twitter marketing basics
As one of the world’s best-known, best-used social networks, it is vital that Twitter has a place in your social media marketing portfolio. Before you even begin tweeting, there’s nothing stopping your business from setting up a corporate account, and customizing it to match your branding.
You can also begin the process of identifying your audience on Twitter, and develop a suitable tone of voice for your marketing messages. Using social listening and sentiment analysis tools, you can gain insight into the pain-points of your target audience, and identify how your brand can be offer solutions to these issues.
You should also optimize your Twitter profile in advance, like building keywords into your bio, to increase visibility in organic searches. You will also have to start sharing content before you can begin advertising on Twitter, otherwise your application to join the advertisers program may be rejected.
Advertising on Twitter
Over time your Twitter following will grow and your brand will gain traction with your fans. But Twitter’s vast audience and solid engagement rates make it an ideal network for targeting prospective customers – and the Twitter Advertising program is the best place to start.
Once you’ve been accepted to the program, you gain access to the ‘campaign picker’, a tool for tailoring ads to achieve specific goals.
You can choose from the following campaign formats:
#1 – Follower growth
This campaign is designed to help your business gain new followers. Most importantly, the campaign is designed to help you connect with Twitter users who have a genuine interest in your products, services, or industry.
Your account is billed for each new follower gained as a result of the campaign.
#2 – Website clicks
If website traffic is your goal, this campaign will serve your URL to users who most likely to benefit from your offering.
Like a traditional SEO PPC campaign, your account is billed for each user who clicks the link in your promoted tweet.
#3 – Tweet engagements
To generate buzz around a specific brand message, such as a product launch, the tweet engagement campaign will promote content in the timelines of relevant users. You can use these promoted tweets to gain new followers, encourage users to interact with your brand, or drive website traffic. Similar to the ‘cost per impression’ billing model, your account is billed for each user that the ad is shown to.
#4 – App installs
If your performance metrics rely on app downloads, Twitter offers an optimized campaign to drive downloads and installs direct from the relevant app store. Again, promoted tweets are shown to users based on their interests, giving you the chance to encourage them to try your software.
Your account is billed for each click through the supplied link.
#5 – Lead generation
Twitter ads can drive fresh leads into your marketing funnel and help grow your mailing list. The lead generation campaign format allows you to capture email addresses directly from a promoted tweet. The process is quick, simple, and seamless for you and the user – far simpler (and less prone to error) than pushing them through to a form on your website.
Pro tip: Promoted tweets are not the only advertising option. The move towards an increasingly visual web has seen the launch of promoted videos that are shown to relevant users. To further increase their impact, promoted videos autoplay as the user scrolls down their timeline, giving your ad the chance to garner high engagement.
What does advertising on Twitter cost?
Twitter advertising works on an auction-basis, where marketers bid for keywords and audiences based on the segments they have created. This makes predicting the exact cost of an ad quite difficult, but you can set budget limits in advance to prevent unexpected overspend.
There are also two ways to bid. Automatic bidding enables Twitter to auto-optimize ads based on your budget expectation and campaign objective to deliver maximum value. This system is designed to keep your costs as low as possible, whilst delivering the outcomes you need.
The alternative is maximum bidding, which allows you to set a limit for each lead or engagement. The platform then bids automatically against each marketer, ensuring that the winner only ever pays 1p/1c more than the second-highest bidder.
Whichever method you choose, you remain in control of your budget at all times.