Twitter Ads and How to Use Them

They’re the new hot thing!

When it comes to social advertising, Facebook and YouTube still hold the number one and number two spots, according to an informational graphic published by AdWeek. However, out of the over $5 billion spent on social media advertising spots in 2014, Twitter ranked third with about 23 percent of the total social advertising spend.

Twitter differs from Facebook in that 81 percent of Twitter’s total ad revenue comes from mobile devices, compared to about 59 percent on Facebook. Also a Wall Street Journal article reported that many companies  have been enjoying better results with their Twitter ads recently. While Twitter might still be #3, these better click rates may encourage more companies to dial up their Twitter advertising budgets in the future.

Twitter Advertising Basics

Twitter is a very contextual advertising platform. This may help explain the good performance of these ads that many companies experience. At this time, Twitter advertising works by promoting features of this platform that already exist:

  • Tweets: Advertisers can pay to reach a wider audience with their normal Tweets. Unlike typical Tweets, these may be shown to people who don’t follow the account or have their Twitter handle mentioned in the post. In all other respects, these behave exactly like regular Tweets.
  • Accounts: Twitter users often get lists of accounts that are suggested for them to follow. Of course, there is limited space to suggest accounts, so only a ew get listed. When accounts get promoted, they may display more prominently and show up for a wider audience.
  • Trends: Certain time-sensitive topics may get displayed as trending. Typically, these get mentioned in posts with a hash tag in front of a keyword or key phrase. Advertisers also have the ability to promote trends to give them more exposure. Otherwise, promoted trends behave like any other keywords listed in the trending topics section.
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Core Principles of Twitter Ads

Relevant, Valuable, Personalized. 

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How to Get Started With Twitter Advertising

All an advertiser needs to get started is a basic, eligible account. When logged in, the menu item for Twitter Ads is located under the gear icon on the right side of the window. From there, the system will guide new users to help them set up an advertising account, enter a billing method, and of course, begin creating advertising campaigns. For more help and updated tips, @TwitterSmallBiz and @TwitterAds are two good accounts to follow.

The platform accepts major credit cards and debit cards with a major credit card logos. The company can accept payments from over 200 countries at this time.

One thing that is interesting about Twitter is that the company does enforce some eligibility rules for accounts that can use the advertising platform. Actually, these rules may help explain why marketers have been enjoying success with the program. For example, accounts need to have some regular activity history in order to be eligible. Even though Twitter is simple to use, it can be confusing for new users. By asking account holders to use the system as a free user for awhile, the company helps ensure that marketers understand the platform well enough to have a better chance to succeed when they pay for promotion.

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Twitter Advertising Prices

Like ads on most other large social networks, pricing is done through competitive bidding. Marketers can create different types of campaigns and are charged on the action that they select. For example, this platform offers campaigns that charge for clicks, followers, app installs, video views, or engagement. When marketers bid on one of these actions, other engagements are free.

For example, a click campaign only charges for actual clicks to a website URL. Any other kind of engagement, like Retweets, Favorites, or views, will not generate a charge.

Twitter is a Growing Marketplace

According to the Wall Street Journal article cited above, retail companies increased their advertising spend on Twitter by 257 percent just between the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2014. Even though Twitter still isn’t the largest social media advertising network, it’s still growing and could be very profitable for marketers who can use it correctly.



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