best practices for Twitter adsTwitter ads just keep getting better. When they first launched the offering was pretty skimpy, but it’s really grown into a useful ad platform. There are a few tricks to it though, and this post should give you enough to get started with confidence.

 Service Options for Twitter Ads
You have two service options for Twitter ads. Self Service (best for small to mid-sized businesses), and Full Service. Honestly the differences seem to be minimal except that with full service you get a dedicated ad specialist from Twitter to help you fine-tune your campaign. If you have experience running ads on other platforms you’ll probably do fine, though there are some weirdnesses that are specific to Twitter.

Promoted Profile Ads
Trying to build your Twitter following with real followers? Promoting your profile to people interested in the same things you are is a good way to be found. Your account will be promoted in search results for related keywords in the “Who to follow” section of Twitter and a “Promoted” designation shows next to your user name.

Promoted profiles are only shown to people who don’t follow you yet. You can choose to have your ad displayed to people who are interested in the same things you are, whose profiles are similar to the followers of accounts you list as well as by gender and broad location.

Promoted Tweets
Promoted tweets help you deliver your message directly to the people who are most likely to want to see it. You can select specific tweets to show to your fans and anyone who fits your target criteria, show all of your tweets, or show tweets to only people who have not followed you yet.

Just like with promoted accounts you can target by keyword, people whose interests are similar to a list of specific users you select, regional location and gender.

What does it cost to run Twitter ads?
As much or as little as you want to spend. Really. You only pay for clicks, and whatever type of ad you set up, you control the payment methods and how much you want to pay. Set a daily budget and how much you want to spend per action and you’re good to go. We’ve had very good results with bids just over $2 per click and even as low as $.75. It all depends on how much demand there is for the ad space with the criteria you’ve set.

 Twitter Ad Campaign

Tips for effective Twitter ads
Twitter really is an unusual platform to run ads. Some say the “shelf life” of a Tweet can be anywhere from a few minutes to  hours. Naturally promoted Tweets have a limited shelf life as well. As you can see from the graph above, Tweets spike rapidly and then drop off. Some of this is due to a quick spend of your ad dollar, making the most of the money you’ve dedicated to it, but experiments we’ve run with stretching out the budget still result in a similar result. So you’ve got to be creative. You’ll need to have multiple tweets ready to run if you want to keep the ads producing clicks for a while.

Show the ads at optimal times
Take a close look at your analytics. When is the best time for you to tweet the message you want to send? When are the users you want to reach active on Twitter? Time your ads appropriately.

Target carefully
If you have a small window of time to get your ad seen don’t waste your energy on broad targets or target so narrowly you can’t find enough people to care about it. Do some research about the market before you start running ads.

Create multiple ads
Depending on your funding you can create multiple ads and run them all at the same time, or run them in sequence so you can see which arethe most effective.

Include a call to action
What do you want people to do when they see your ad? If it isn’t obvious then they’re not going to do it.Give people an easy task or a link with a clear value for their click.

Share ads with non-followers
Showing ads to your followers may not always ve your best option, and if you are running multiple ads you don’t want to flood your Twitter stream with the ads. Twitter thought of that and allows you to show the ad to everyone or only people who are not following you yet.

Manage multiple accounts
One nice option is to allow an administrator to have access to your ads account without giving them full access to your Twitter account, passwords and financial information. These admins will not be able to create tweets, so you’ll need to do that, but it does give you the option to hire a PPC manager to help you run the account and have some security in your account. Admins can easily switch between  accounts, which makes life a lot easier for those of us who manage. You add funds to your account and then the admin can take it from there.

Give yourself room to experiment
This isn’t all so easy it’s going to be perfect right away.  Cut yourself some slack to experiment with customizing ads to suit your market. It’s well worth the exercise.

Don’t want to deal with it? We can help you manage your Twitter ad campaign. Just tell us what you need. We’re here to help!