How To Use Twitter Ads: The Definitive Guide For Digital Marketers



Twitter Ads allows brands and individuals the right to promote tweets and campaigns. On Twitter Ads, you can choose between eight different types of objectives for campaigns. From app download campaigns, to lead generation campaigns, Twitter Ads allows all campaign types.

A conversation I had with a Social Media Marketing Manager of a brand some weeks ago about Twitter Ads-

Me- I think a Campaign like this will be great to run on Twitter. Amazing hashtag and all. It can go viral.

Brand- No, I think we should double our Instagram budget. Let us not look at Twitter, please.

Me- Twitter is reinventing Twitter ads. In addition, it is much cheaper than Instagram or Facebook.

Brand- No. Twitter is all about politics and news. It is all about politicians and announcements all the time.

Me- No but look at Burger King, Zomato and others. Hello, you there?

The phone goes dead…

I seriously do not know what has contributed to many brands having this wrong interpretation about Twitter. I have seen the most hilarious campaigns and exchanges happen between brands on Twitter. Not Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat.

In 2019, Twitter is seeing a bit of a reinvention. When you look at what is happening to all the social media platforms in the world, this comes as no surprise.

The year 2018 was probably the worst year for social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. They were rocked by scandals and allegations, which were mostly true. Twitter went into damage control mode, disabling millions of fake Twitter accounts and followers.

In addition, Twitter has also been trying to add cool new features to the platform. The attempt is to make the platform as attractive as possible for users to interact and engage. This includes the rebranding of Twitter ads as well. It is high time that social media marketing thinks of Twitter as a platform for promotion.

(Most brands just opt for Twitter trending. Yes, it is a great marketing strategy. However, in terms of real ROIs, it does not offer much).

Twitter Ads in 2019: Changes and More

According to Twitter’s internal data, Twitter Ads saw an increase of over 69% in engagement rates in 2019. What is even more surprising is the fact that the cost per ad engagement dropped by 28%.

These are significant figures. At a time when most platforms are offering higher percentages every year cost per engagement, Twitter is a platform that is going in the opposite direction.

However, when most brands and social media marketing agencies think of social ads, then focus on-

Even though Twitter has more than 300 million active users, advertisers have not found it a conducive medium. Not until now that is.

Twitter wants to bank heavily on Twitter Ads and make it a credible source of revenue for the brand. In many ways, it wants to follow Instagram and Facebook, who are leading the world of social monetization.

However, Twitter is at a stage where it wants to build credibility for brands. This is the perfect opportunity for brands to start using Twitter Ads.


As Twitter wants more people to spend, its algorithms will ensure better dividends from campaigns. These better dividends are likely to be-

  • Better engagement rates
  • Lower cost of customer acquisition

There is also a chance of Twitter helping brands surpass their targets within their budgets. This will help brands spend more heavily on Twitter. This has also been compounded by the poor performance of ads on Facebook and Instagram.

Types and Categories of Twitter Ads you can choose from:

If you are a beginner when it comes to Twitter Ads, this section will help you understand the basic classification of Twitter Ads.

You can choose from a selection of three different types of Twitter Ads-

1. Promoted Tweets:

Promoted tweets and very similar to boost posts on Facebook. In this instance, you can promote your tweet for it to be visible to a wider audience, outside your follower base. Twitter will show your tweet to people with similar tastes, preferences, and interests.

Promoted Tweets


Promoted tweets perform exactly the same function and serve the same purpose as regular tweets. Twitterverse can like it, re-tweet it or comment on it. It is just like a normal tweet, except it has the word Promoted mentioned, at the bottom.

2. Promoted Accounts:

If you want an analogy of promoted accounts from Facebook, think of this as a form of ‘Follower Campaign’. If you are running a promoted accounts campaign, Twitter will show your account to people having similar tastes and preferences.


Promoted Accounts


This will help grow your follower base, and provide a one-time spike to your engagement rates. Some of the brands typically run-

  • One Promoted Accounts Campaign once a month (3-4 days)
  • One post per week promoted tweet campaign.

3. Twitter Trending Campaigns:

If you have ever kept an ear to the ground, you will see some of the big brands using Twitter trending to announce the news. This can be anything- from launches to changes in guard. This is one of the most popular campaigns on Twitter.

Twitter Trending Campaigns


As you can see, Twitter mentions about Twitter trending campaigns that are promoted on its platform. This is followed by organic tweets that are trending in a natural fashion. The biggest advantage of Twitter trends is its duplicitous nature. Meaning, what starts off as promoted and sponsored, usually takes on a natural and organic personality if it becomes successful.

The Benefits of Twitter Ads for Social Media Marketing:

Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter Ads offer a nearly seamless experience.

Most of the times, you will not even figure out which is an ad.

By integrating themselves perfectly into the newsfeed, Twitter Ads look and feel natural.

If you compare Twitter Ads purely from a price point of view, you will see that it is cheaper than Facebook or Instagram.

Like Facebook, Twitter allows you to set the budget and then tailor make the campaign according to your needs. This results in fewer wastages and establishes complete control over budgets. In other words, you do not overspend your budgets.

In terms of creativity, Twitter Ads are highly productive.

You can choose from different types of creatives and displays. Yes, you will be running the three types of campaigns, but you can do so in many ways.

Twitter also helps you convert an organic post into a sponsored post. For example, if you see that a particular post is doing well, you can promote it to reach a wider audience.

This will help you control your expenses and see what works and what does not. This eliminates more errors and failures.

Unlike other platforms, where brands hard sell ads, Twitter is a rather different kind of a medium.

Here the purpose is engaging audiences and then asking them to follow a CTA.

Lastly, videos hold an edge as Twitter Ads, over static imagery. Twitter videos as ads tend to do well as compared to other platforms of social media.

In addition to the videos, you can also use GIF formats as Twitter Ads. No other platforms give you the advantage of choosing from such a wide cross-section of content types.

How to set up Twitter Ads for your Profile:

If you had abandoned Twitter as an ad platform and are logging back in after a while, you might notice some big changes. Twitter has introduced them to give the ad platform more efficiency and productivity.

1. Set your Campaign Objectives and Budgets:

Once you click on the tab of Twitter Ads on your profile, you will be taken to a section where Twitter will ask you about what is your campaign intended to do.

Campaign Objectives


You can choose from a range of options as you can see on the image. Pay careful attention to the fact that you need to focus your campaign efforts on one thing at a time. This is essential not only for you but also for the user. If you run many campaigns together, the user might get confused about the levels of engagement you are asking of them.

This is also, where you will set your campaign budgets.

campaign budgets


2. Splitting Campaigns and Creating Ad Groups:

For first time users, this might get a bit confusing. Twitter should come up with a more user-friendly approach to this step. However, let me guide and clear this confusion.

The idea is to have different budgets that will be accorded to different campaigns on Twitter Ads. It forms a cluster of ad groups that you can monitor in real time. You can monitor the metrics as well as the budget spends.

budget spends

You can set your bid amount for the campaign. However, I would suggest brands and marketers make this automatic and let Twitter optimize it for you.

3. Select your Target Audience:

In this step, Twitter is going to ask you about audiences that you would want your ad to reach. This step is critical in getting the maximum amount of ROIs from the campaign. This is also something, which you personally have to do.

Twitter cannot help you in this regard. Twitter allows you to select your TG from features like-

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Language
  • Technology
  • Behaviors
  • Interests
  • Your own followers

Target Audience

In 2019, Twitter, in order to compete with Facebook, has stepped up and improved their targeting in a big way. Things might get meticulous but always remember, better the targeting, better your campaign ROIs.

4. Upload or Add the Creatives:

After we are done with the bureaucratic bit, it is now time to have some fun with the creatives. There is no set rule on what works, and what does not. However, videos are something that pulls a tremendous amount of organic reach.

What holds true of Twitter Ads, is also true on running paid advertising on all platforms. The copy and imagery need to be rich and inviting.


Upload or Add the Creatives

5. Launch the Campaign:

The final step involves giving Twitter Ads permission to launch the campaign for you. Of course, Twitter Ads helps you review your campaign order before going ahead. Here you can check that the campaign details are in order and that no mistakes or oversight has been done.

6. Twitter Video Ads:

If you want your ad campaign to perform the best, I suggest you start with a Twitter video campaign. While some brands are skeptical and conservative, others want to push boundaries and go the video format route.

According to Twitter’s internal data, 82% of users on Twitter view video content. More positive is the fact that 90% of them do it on the go from their cell phones. This means that videos have a higher penetration when it comes to mobiles.

This is always a positive trend for any social media brand. As more and more people switch from desktops to mobile phones, Twitter Ads doing well on mobiles is a huge leap.

The Final Word

Twitter is not the same as it was a couple of years back. It has slowly evolved into a behemoth of the biggest proportion. This is a welcome change for the platform, which some critics say, was getting too serious for its own good.

The fight against fake followers and fake engagement hit Twitter hard, with several governments asking CEO, Jack Dorsey to appear in person. The CEO has pledged to make Twitter an authentic and credible platform contributing to the betterment of the world.

From the perspective of brands, Twitter offers lesser competition as compared to Instagram or Facebook. This means that the chances of getting better ROIs on the same amounts can be remarkably different.

If brands had been waiting to join the Twitterverse, now is the best time!

If you need any other information on Twitter Ads in particular or social media marketing in general, drop me a mail at [email protected]

Until then, signing out tweeple…

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Tags social media marketing Twitter Ads
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James Jackson has always been passionate about knowing everything about what is going around the world. This passion has been the driving force that has led him to be one of the most creative authors for Smart Business Daily & Emblem Wealth.

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