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Everything you need to know about #Twitter Advertising

twitter advertising

After Twitter finally went public at the beginning on November, the next step for them was to find new ways of getting revenue. So for the first time ever, Twitter recently announced that it will allow small and medium sized enterprises from the UK, Ireland and Canada to buy ad space on the popular micro-blogging website.

As Ravi Narasimhan, product manager at Twitter, says, “all you need is a Twitter account and a credit card” – and basically, “if you can tweet, you can advertise on Twitter” (The Guardian). Ravi also adds, “you’re in control of your ads, the audience you want to reach, and of course your budget. Best of all, you will only be charged when people follow your Promoted Account or retweet, reply, favorite or click on your Promoted Tweets” and he also confirms that you will never be “charged for your organic Twitter activity.”

This new service will definitely make a huge difference for SMEs, that will now be able to use this simple tool to get better results on Twitter, and a lot faster than they would organically. Twitter advertising definitely has the potential to prove itself just as useful and successful as Facebook Advertising.

It’s extremely easy to start advertising on Twitter, and there are several different types of advertising choices that you can choose from:

Promoted Accounts

One of the things that many businesses struggle with on Twitter is being able to build a strong community of followers. This usually takes a long time, and it can be quite difficult to get to the people that will really help you grow your business – brand advocates, influencers, and potential customers that are interested in your products or services.

It’s very important to have a following of people who are genuinely interested in your business, as they are the people that will actually interact and engage with you, retweet you, recommend you to their own followers, and thus helping you grow your business. Normally, it takes a long time to build such a strong following, and it can take as much as entire months of hard, daily work. However, by promoting your account, you can easily jumpstart your follower numbers – and the best part is that you will be able to reach followers that are likely to be interested in your brand.

By targeting properly, people that are similar to your followers will be able to see your brands’ Twitter handle showing up in their search results, and in the “Who To Follow” box:


If you’ve decided to use the Promoted Account features, you can set your own budget and only be charged when someone follows your Promoted Account – which makes for a great deal, as you pay exactly for what you get, without going over your budget.

Promoted Tweets

This is a very similar advertising option to Facebook’s Promoted Posts. It’s very easy for tweets to get lost in a matter of seconds, so if you want to make sure one of your tweets is seen by as many people as possible, this is a great tool to achieve that. For example, you might be promoting a new event, a new product or service, or a new resource that you’ve made available on your website. By promoting your tweet, you will ensure that you maximize the amount of people that will be able to see it. Your Promoted Tweet will appear at the top of users’ timelines, and in their search results.


What makes Promoted Tweets different from Facebook’s Promoted Posts is that not only your current followers will be able to see them, but also potential followers, when they make searches. This way you reach a much larger audience, and you will be able to increase your reach and thus potentially increase your followers and your engagement levels.

There are different ways that you can target your Promoted Tweets:

–       By keywords

–       By interests

–       By gender

–       By geography

–       By device

–       By similarity to existing followers

The targeting options are very broad and will allow you to easily target exactly the people you want. Promoted Trends

Last but not least comes the Promoted Trends feature. A Twitter trend is a particular topic that is very popular at a given moment among users. If a topic is trending, users will be easily able to see it on the left hand side of their timeline:


Generally, people who want to explore Twitter will go to the trends list to start their wandering. If you want to amplify your voice on Twitter, by promoting a trend you ensure that it will reach a lot of people, as it will appear at the top of the trends list for a whole day. A Promoted Trend will probably help you reach the most people – so make sure you use a great hashtag.

You can use this feature for various reasons, but it probably works best when there’s a major development in the works – it could be an event, a product or service launch or an announcement that your audience will be interested in.

You can target your trend geographically, by country or even globally.

Tracking and Analytics

If you decide to use Twitter advertising for your business, you will also be granted access to comprehensive analytics that will help you track the success of your campaigns. They will also help you understand your customers better so that you will know how to create a better campaign. You will also be able to see how your Promoted Tweets and Promoted Account are performing in real time.


It’s a very useful feature that provides comprehensive and insightful data.


As I’ve mentioned earlier, the pricing for Twitter Advertising is quite fair – you pay exactly for the engagement you receive:

–       New follows

–       Retweets, replies and favorites

–       Clicks on Promoted Tweets

The pricing process is very straightforward:

–       Start by setting a daily budget for each of your campaigns

–       Place a bid – meaning that you can decide the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a follow or click.

–       Make changes – after a few days, you can make changes to your budgets and bids based on your performance.


Overall, Twitter offers businesses of all shapes and sizes a great way to boost their engagement through their advertising features. Have you tried using Twitter Ads yet? Let us know what you’ve results you’ve had in your comments!

Dan Purvis
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Dan Purvis

Head of Integrated Marketing Communications at Fintrax Group Holdings
Dan Purvis is Head of Integrated Marketing Communications at Fintrax Group Holdings, and is also a Media Champion for the Alzheimer's Society, helping spread awareness and understanding of this cruel disease.

Previously, he was Director at Comms Axis, a full service marketing agency specialising in content, social media & website services for businesses of all sizes.

Dan Purvis writes for a number of leading business, social media and marketing sites, including Smart Insights, MarketingProfs, Marketo, MarTech Advisor, Marketing Tech News, MarTech Today, MarTech Exec, and more.

Dan was also ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing & Social Media influencers.
Dan Purvis
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  1. Hi Lilach,
    Thanks for this comprehensive post. I do plan on trying out Twitter ads, but I have to say I was put off by the price. Last time I looked it was around £1 per follower for promoted accounts and I can’t remember what it cost to promote a tweet but again it seemed expensive. Having said that it should be well within the marketing budgets of medium and large enterprises- just not so sure about small businesses. What do you think? Will you be trying it yourself? I’m just seeing good returns from the likes of Triberr and other services which are either free or very good value.

    The only other thing I would add is Twitter Lead Generation Cards. Although technically not advertising, they are part of the Twitter ads account. I’ve been really impressed. Not only are they free but you can link them with your MailChimp or AWeber mailing list. I’ve been using it in my replies to people and they are able to instantly subscribe to my newsletter directly on their Twitter app or the Twitter website.


  2. Hi Lilach,

    Fab breakdown,

    Twitter seems to be going about advertising the right way; competitive pricing options and they are making it easy to spread the word. A credit card and account works nicely for me.

    Thanks for sharing!



  3. Jan Willis Says:

    Great post Lilach!

    I agree with Ian that the cost of Twitter ads may be too high to make them cost effective for a lot of small businesses. Having said that, the ability to deliver your tweets to targeted users within a defined geographical location has enormous potential and I will certainly be testing them out to see how well they convert. I suspect that as with all forms of promotion they will work better for some audiences and types of content/offers than others so it will be interesting to see the results.

    Thanks also to Ian for the tip about Twitter Lead Generation cards.


  4. Pragati Says:

    Hello Lilach..thanks for such an informative post..I would like to know more about the ‘Join’ button that was part of the lead generation cards. I thought that was part of the advertisement, or was only available to people who bought ads? Any idea how that fits in..

    I am not sure of the value a new follow will give, at least in the short term..Clicks on the link in the tweet might be preferred by many people..


  5. John Shaw Says:

    Every blog post should having good content and that content should briefly describing the title of that blog thanks for sharing.


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