Twitter Advertising: A Guide to Promoted Tweets, Accounts and Trends

Advertising on social media is not a new concept. Most of the main players now offer the opportunity to expand your reach and build a bigger audience for your company with the help of adverts or sponsorships.

There are several different options for advertising on Twitter, these include promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends. Your company’s budget and the goal you want to achieve are considerations that will factor into which promotion is best for you.

Gain visibility with promoted tweets

Promoted tweets are the most popular form of Twitter ad. This is the cheapest form of Twitter ad, but you can always set a budget to limit the amount you are spending. These ads are perfect if your aim is to distribute a particular message through a single tweet and target it to specific users. There are three options when targeting promoted tweets, keywordstelevision and interests.

Keyword targeted ads will display your promoted tweet at the top of search result feed when users search for particular keywords or hashtags relating to your industry. This type of advert is particularly effective during events that are specific to your business, such as a product launch, as well as during cultural, seasonal or industry events that create spikes of conversation on Twitter. This is also the only form of targeting that appears in search results.

Television targeting directs your promoted tweet to users who engage with certain television programmes. In the past few years, the way we watch television has fundamentally changed. Take the Super Bowl for example, which generated 28.4 million tweets. People tweet so much about television that Twitter is becoming an integral part of how it is measured. These ads are designed to make it even easier to extend and enhance television ad campaigns, enabling marketers to engage directly with people on Twitter who have been exposed to their ads on television.

Interest-based targeting connects you to a large group of users by prompting you to choose from 25 interest categories ranging from education to sports. This ensures that you’re serving up your campaign to users whose interests broadly align with your business. This type of targeting also allows you to reach people similar to the followers of any Twitter username you enter, meaning you could target ads toward your competitor’s followers.

Grow followers with promoted accounts

Promoted accounts are designed to boost your follower growth as Twitter strategically places messages to its users suggesting that they follow you. The idea is to reach people who are most likely to be interested in your business and therefore, more likely to follow your account, so similarly to the interest-based promoted tweets, you can choose to target specific categories. Once you’ve gained your new followers, there’s no formula that keeps them from seeing your Tweets in their timelines in the future, so you’ll always have opportunities to engage with them over time.

When you launch your Followers campaign, your Promoted Account will appear to the users you’ve targeted in the following places:

  • Home timeline
  • ‘Who to follow’ widget on the right side of the Home and Notifications tabs
  • ‘Who to follow’ widget on the right side of the People search results page
  • ‘Who to follow’ widget on the right side of the Profile page

Gain brand advocacy with promoted trends

Promoted Trends began as an extension of the promoted tweets platform but is now a full-fledged product in its own right. With promoted trends, users can see time, context, and event-sensitive trends, clearly marked as promoted, alongside other trending subjects. Promoted Trends are a perfect way to kick start a conversation, launch new products, run major campaigns or target key dates to drive mass awareness. For this reason, your company will need a fairly big budget to run this kind of Twitter advert.

Users can interact with the trend in the same way as non-promoted trends. By clicking on the topic, engaging with other users using the hashtag, and getting involved with the conversation themselves.

Some statistics about promoted trends:

  • In the 14 days following promoted trend exposure, Twitter users produced 22% more conversations about an advertiser compared to the two weeks before exposure.
  • Consumers 151% more likely to tweet about considering a product after promoted trend exposure. Conversations about intent and purchase also jumped 19% and 33%, respectively.
  • With a 73% lift in brand mentions, promoted trends had their greatest impact the day they ran. But even three weeks after a trend, advertisers continues to reap benefits: a 20% lift in brand mentions, 22% lift in positive mentions and 10% lift in Retweets.

In a nutshell, promoted trends increase brand advocacy, boost purchase consideration and have a long-term impact on earned media.

Overall, Twitter’s range of advertising options is fairly versatile and designed to help smaller businesses as well as big ones. Considering your budget is the first step, and then decide whether your goal is to gain visibility, followers or brand advocacy.

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