Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams, launched in July of that year. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as “the SMS of the Internet”. As of 2018, Twitter had more than 321 million monthly active users.
Twitter is an American microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, through Short Message Service (SMS) or its mobile-device application software (“app”). Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world. Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but was doubled to 280 for non-Asian languages in November 2017.
(1) Join Twitter
Thinking about joining the Twitterverse, but a bit intimidated? Don’t be. This unique social media platform has a lot of perks – and it’s easier to set up and start tweeting than you might think.
Fun stuff aside, Twitter can be a great promotional tool for your business. It provides a terrific venue to connect with your target audience, and bring them tailored content that can convert them into customers.
(a) Set Up Your Profile
- Choose your profile name (aka handle). This is how you’ll be seen on Twitter, so make it count! We suggest keeping it short so it’s memorable like @cupcakecrazy or @JimDoe. Feel free to use capital letters for visual emphasis, but know that people can use all lower case letters and they’ll still be able to find you (and that’s a good thing.)
- Upload Images. Twitter gives you two spaces to make an impact – your cover and profile photo. There’s nothing worse than seeing an account that still has an egg for a profile pic. To avoid this “hasn’t hatched” look, upload a photo of yourself or use your logo for your profile photo. As for your cover photo, it’s a great big space to show what it is you or your business are all about.
- Select a Color Palette. This isn’t critical to your Twitter profile’s set up, but it can be a great way to personalize your own account and bring in your brand’s colors. Just click on ‘Edit Profile’ and then click on the ‘Theme Color’ button on the left side. From there, you can choose different colors or add your own swatch that matches your brand’s exactly.
- Complete Your Bio. This is the area on your profile that lets you tell other people a bit about yourself. And when we say a bit, we mean it – you only get 160 characters to do so. Make every one count by only including the most important and interesting details in this spot. Once you’re done with that, feel free to fill out your birthday (or your business’ b-day) as well as your location.
- Add Your Website. Twitter gives you a great place to showcase your website – so don’t miss this one!
(b) Follow Some People
This is important for two reasons. One, you can learn a lot from following other accounts that are similar to yours (we’re not just talking celebs here). Two, in order to get followed, you have to follow. Savvy? It’s a great way to announce you’re on Twitter, and will likely get followed back by some of the accounts you showed interest in. Don’t be shy – say hello!
(c) Understand the Twitter Lingo
This particular social network has some key elements you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. Let’s get down to it:
- @ Symbol/ Mentions If you want to get someone’s attention on Twitter, @ is where it’s at! Not just for email addresses, @ always precedes a user’s name (i.e. @dailymuse) and is the universal Twitter symbol for public (read: everyone can see it) conversation. Eager to respond to an interesting question? Plug in @, followed by a user name and your comment, and the recipient will be notified immediately via their @Mentions tab. One of the great advantages of Twitter is that it is an open forum where you have the ability to reach out to anyone publicly, even if they’re not following you back. Dying to give @MicheleBachmann a piece of your mind, or perhaps profess your love to @RyanGosling? The @ symbol makes it all possible.
- Direct Message (DM) If you prefer to contact someone privately, a direct message (DM for short) is your answer. You can craft a DM on Twitter via the “Messages” tab, or by simply inserting the letters DM into your Tweet, sans @ symbol. For example:
“DM dailymuse Want to meet over coffee sometime to discuss great content for women?”
Unfortunately, unlike public tweets, you can only DM someone if they’re already following you.
- Retweet (RT) Much like a share on FB, retweets are like gold for your content. You can retweet content you see on Twitter by simply clicking the button below the text. Once you start tweeting, you’ll soon be hoping that people retweet your own content.
Like what someone has to say on Twitter, or find an inspirational quote you’d like to pass along? Use the retweet (RT) feature, which allows you to share comments, links, and quotes with your followers. You can publish a retweet either by clicking the “retweet” button, or by cut-and-pasting the post you’d like to share into a new tweet and prefacing it with the letters RT. For example:
RT @FemaleEquality The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. William James
- # Hashtags Those things that start with the pound symbol? Hashtags are a great way to tap into conversations happening on Twitter. Certainly one of the more perplexing aspects of Twitter, hashtags (# for short) represent popular topics or keywords that users are currently tweeting about. Hashtags range from the serious (#OWS forOccupy Wall Street) to the absurd (#WhyIsntThisaBandName) and are searchable, making them an ideal way for you to jump into a conversation you care about. Just add your hashtags of choice to the end of your Tweet (or don’t—they’re totally optional).
- Shortening Links Got something you want to share with your followers, but bound by Twitter’s 140-character limit? Say hello to URL shorteners, which reduce the length of links to just a few short letters and numbers so you can squeeze them in your Tweet. A few popular link shortening services are bit.ly, TinyURL, and is.gd.
Recently, Twitter added its own URL shortening feature that automatically shrinks any link you enter into a Tweet to just 19 characters, freeing up plenty of valuable space.
- Following Fundamentals Highly valued in the Twitter community, a “follow” means that someone is subscribing to your Tweets. Twitterers often decide to follow a user when they enjoy what he or she has to say, frequently hoping that you might return the favor and follow them back.
Though many obsess over the number of followers they have, critics argue that it is quality, not quantity that truly matters. Quality followers are the ones who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer, and who will engage with you, reply to your tweets, and retweet your content. Steer clear of aggressive followers and spammers who mass-follow hundreds of accounts at once in order to garner attention.
- Twitter Lists Seeking a better way to keep track of all of those folks you’re following? Twitter Lists, which organize others into groups based on credentials you specify, are here to help. When you create a list (i.e. “Great Career Experts”) and click on it, only updates from the people on that list will appear in your timeline stream. It’s not necessary to follow another user to add them to a list, and lists can be either private or public (so other users can follow it, too.) Lists are a great means of keeping tabs on Twitterers who really matter to you and sharing those people with others who might also appreciate what they have to say.
- Twitter Chats If you’re eager to discuss a certain topic online with like-minded strangers, Twitter Chats are the perfect solution. Searchable via a given #hashtag and held at a specified time, there’s a Twitter Chat for everyone (i.e. #careerchat, #GenYChat, and #bakechat; see a complete list here). They’re a great way to network with others, and most importantly, they’re lots of fun!
(2) Decide What Content to Tweet About
What will you be saying on Twitter? Will you be using it to promote your products and services, or will you be using it to provide commentary on things that involve your brand? All of the above? This may evolve over time, but deciding what you will be saying on this social channel is one of the important first steps. It’ll take some trial and error until you figure out what works best, but coming up with some preliminary content ideas will be very helpful.
Once you’ve started tweeting, be sure to utilize the Pinned tweet option. Basically, it lets you decided which tweet you want people to see most. So, when they visit your profile they’ll see it first and get a good idea what you’re about.
(3) Join Trending Hashtags
One of the best things about Twitter is that you don’t have to spend money to join the conversation and potentially go viral. Every day, every hour, people are joining in on trending topics – and you can, too. It can be very effective way to introduce your brand on Twitter to people you might not have come into contact with. Depending on your business, you may want to play with your location settings. If your brand has products that ship nationwide, you can choose the United States. If you only service the Savannah area, you may want to localize to this specific geo.
To do so, just click the ‘change’ text that sits next to your trending hashtag banner on the right side of your profile.
(4) Maintain Your Channel
Maintenance maintenance maintenance. Coming up with a tweeting schedule will get you off to the right start. The second part though, is seeing it through. If people visit your profile and see that the last time you tweeted was 4 months ago, they’ll likely decide to move on or unfollow you. In order to avoid this, you don’t necessarily need to tweet 20x a day – the frequency can be as little as once a week, just make sure you stick to it. For best results? We suggest tweeting at the very least once every couple of days and varying your content. Don’t be afraid to throw in some funny tweets – you’ll see the love in the retweets.
(5) TweetDeck: How to Use TweetDeck for Twitter Management
TweetDeck is best described as a Social Media Dashboard for the Management of Twitter Accounts. It started off as a separate company led by Ian Dodsworth, but was acquired by Twitter in 2011. Like the other clients mentioned above, it uses the Twitter API to deliver news feeds and allows users to respond to tweets and follow others.
Are you looking for a way to manage multiple Twitter accounts for free? Do you want to manage your social media in your browser with notifications and live streaming? If so, TweetDeck is a tool to consider. TweetDeck is a customizable tool that allows you to manage and organize an unlimited number of Twitter accounts and keep track of Twitter lists, Twitter searches, hashtags and more.
(a) What is TweetDeck?
Now, let’s start by looking at what TweetDeck is and how it evolved over time. TweetDeck is a highly specialized service that offers Twitter users a comprehensive and completely free way to manage multiple Twitter accounts. It is a popular tool that used to be available as a desktop client, as well as in a web browser.
Several years ago, TweetDeck app users could manage their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and FourSquare account with the tool but, when Twitter acquired the software, this was pared back to Twitter alone.
At the time, this angered many users – nobody wants to lose functionality in their favorite tool! But, it did mean that TweetDeck could focus on making its Twitter integration as good as it could possibly be. Now, let’s take a look at how to use TweetDeck to manage your Twitter accounts.
(b) Exploring the TweetDeck User Interface
The TweetDeck interface is divided into columns of different aspects of the Twitter profile. The columns can be customized based on what one would like to see in the newsfeed. The typical TweetDeck interface has a four-column setup that displays Home, which contains the streaming news feed made possible by the Streaming API, the Notifications feed, the Activity feed and the Direct Messages or the Messages feed.
Each of these columns are dynamic and continuously updated in real time giving a sense of a dashboard. The icons to the extreme left of the interface contains options for composing a new tweet, searching for users and topics and an icon for each of the columns selected for display showing the number of unread or new items. One can add additional columns from here. It also contains options for managing user accounts and settings for keyboard shortcuts and search terms.
(c) Customization Options of the Side Panel
The side panel allows composing a new tweet and searching Twitter for people, topics, etc. The panel shown in this example (the screenshot above) is configured by default to show the following options −
- Message feeds
The positioning of these feeds can be interchanged simply by dragging and dropping them in the desired order. By clicking on the Collapse Button simply collapses the panel into simple icons giving more screen space for other panes.
The Accounts Button allows adding multiple accounts or joining a team which we will be reviewing in the subsequent chapters.
The Settings Panel allows configuring a lot of settings some of which reflect across both Twitter and TweetDeck.
Finally, clicking the profile picture, brings up a pop-up showing the Twitter Profile of the current logged in account.
The Add Column button brings up a pop-up showing the various other columns that can be added. One can simply add columns by clicking on a column type from the available list. Clicking on a column type will further open options to be included. For example, I have chosen to add the Mentions column to my timeline.
Clicking on the Mentions column will open options for adding the mentions that I have been a part of. I can also choose to include Mentions of other Twitter accounts like that of a celebrity for example.
Finally, press Add Column at the bottom right to add the column to your main landing page. The options displayed are contextual and vary based on the type of the column chosen. A user can have as many columns as needed if it doesn’t feel that the interface is getting cluttered.
(d) The Settings Menu
The Settings menu presents the following options –
- Link Shortening
Let us now discuss each of these in detail.
- General Settings
In the General Section, you can choose to stop the real time streaming of tweets which is useful if there is a whole barrage of tweets and you need time to keep up with each of them. The Notifications can be turned on or off and it also includes a filter for displaying sensitive media. There are options to choose a Dark or a Light theme. A dark theme is particularly useful when using the app on AMOLED displays. It saves battery power and prevents screen burn-in and is also easy on the eyes.
The width of the columns can be set as narrow, medium or wide. It is worth noting that there is no free size resizing option i.e. you cannot drag the columns to occupy a desired width on the main interface and you are left with one of these three choices.
Finally, there is the option to change the font size from smallest to largest – again, no custom sizes possible.
- Link Shortening
The Link Shortening section enables using Twitter’s t.co URL shortening or the Bit.ly URL shortening service. URL shortening is often required to condense long URLs and accommodate them along with the actual tweet as tweets are limited to just 140 characters.
Outside the app, you can of course, use other third-party URL shortening services as well.
- Mute Settings
The Mute section offers options to mute certain words or phrases which you don’t want to see on your timeline. For example, if too many political news are dominating your feed, you can mute specific news sources or words, so that they don’t show up and distract your view.
Of course, this is completely reversible. It is interesting to note that these preferences also apply simultaneously to your main Twitter profile.
Press Done to return to the main newsfeed.
(e) TweetDeck Panel Customization Options
Apart from the global settings, each panel added to the main interface has individual options for customization as well. Let us have a look at an example of the Home panel and explore the options it presents.
Clicking on the Filter icon on the top right of the panel opens a flyout detailing various options related to that panel. Here we see for the Home panel that the options are categorized into –
Let us now discuss each of these in detail.
Content − Opening the content drop down allows you to customize your feed to show all tweets or just tweets with GIFs, images, videos, vines, links, etc. You can also enter specific keywords to include or exclude and choose whether to show retweets or not.
Users Menu − The Users menu allows you to display tweets by specific users or filter only verified ones (such as those of celebrities or popular brands).
Alerts Menu − The Alerts menu allows you to specify sounds and desktop notifications for every update that occurs (Note – Your browser may ask for permission to enable notifications).
Preview Options − The Previews options allows for adjusting the size of the previews of photos or videos displayed. These drop downs are mostly common for all the panes.
Clear Button − The clear button clears the current visible data in the pane.
Remove Button − Clicking on Remove will remove the pane completely. Of course, the pane can be re-added via the Add Column button as described earlier.
Some panes such as Notifications, Messages, etc. contain additional options apart from these. The bottom row of the interface has two arrows. These arrows help in shifting the position of the pane left or right.
Simply exploring the interface can unearth a lot of options and allows the user to customize TweetDeck exactly as per his/her needs. The options presented are much more than what Twitter natively offers on either its official website or app and we can see why TweetDeck and other clients are quite popular among Twitter aficionados.
(f) How to Use TweetDeck
TweetDeck users can tweet, reply, retweet, favorite, send Direct Messages and manage and monitor multiple accounts and streams, all in one single interface. Accounts can also be followed, muted or blocked, and users can view Twitter profiles, all within TweetDeck. This is an effective way of managing your accounts, once you have found the right people to follow on Twitter.
Bellow each tweet, there are icons that make it easy to retweet, reply or favorite it. When you click on the three dots on the right, further options appear.
From this drop-down menu, you can send Direct Messages, add or remove people from lists, mute or block a user, report a tweet, get a link to the tweet or get the embed code to share the tweet on your blog. When sending tweets, you can add up to 4 images, and tweets can be scheduled to send at a later date, even if you’re not online at the time.
(g) Manage Multiple Accounts
One of the biggest benefits of TweetDeck is that you can manage multiple Twitter accounts. To add a Twitter account to TweetDeck, click the ‘Accounts’ icon at the bottom of the left-hand column in TweetDeck
Click ‘Link another account you own’ and follow the instructions to authorize the account with Twitter. From this interface, you can look at details of all your connected accounts, including follower numbers and recent tweets. When you start to write a tweet, all the accounts you have connected will be displayed. You can select an account you want to tweet from. You can also follow other Twitter users from several accounts at once. To do this, view their profile by clicking on their username within TweetDeck.
Click on the three dots icon and then select ‘follow from accounts’. From here, you can select which of your Twitter accounts should follow that profile.
(h) Real-time Timeline Streaming
One feature that a lot of our commenters enjoy is the live-streaming of updates in the TweetDeck columns.
You don’t need to click ‘refresh’ or scroll to see the latest updates, you can just watch as posts are shared in real time. The tweets in the GIF above are trending topics, so they are moving very quickly. If you want to slow it down, scroll down and you can control the speed yourself. If you don’t like the live streaming feature at all, you can also disable it by clicking ‘Settings’ in the bottom left-hand corner, and de-selecting ‘Stream tweets in real-time’.
(i) Manage Multiple Timelines, Searches, Lists, Mentions and More in Columns
One of the most powerful features in TweetDeck is the ability to add as many columns as you want. You can customize these columns to make sure they are relevant and useful. To add a new column in TweetDeck, click the + Add Column at the bottom of the left-hand menu. You will see this screen, which allows you to choose the type of column you want to add.
These are the types of columns you can add:
- Home: This shows the Twitter stream for a particular account
- Search: Input any search term or hashtag, and this column will show all matching results. This is a great way to monitor Twitter for keywords
- Notifications: A notifications column shows all mentions, replies, retweets, favorites and new followers for a Twitter account
- Followers: This column lists the followers of a Twitter account
- Mentions: Similar to notifications, but only shows the mentions and replies for an account
- Messages: This column displays a Twitter account’s Direct Messages
- Mentions (all accounts): This column shows the mentions and replies to every Twitter account you have connected to TweetDeck
- Messages (all accounts): This column shows Direct Messages to all the Twitter accounts you have connected to TweetDeck
- Activity: This shows more activity than appears on your timeline, such as the tweets that people you follow have favorited
- User: This shows all the tweets from a particular person or account
- Favorites: This shows the tweets you have favorited, or starred
- Trending: This shows hashtags, words, and phrases that are trending at any given time
- Lists: This column shows all the tweets from people in specific Twitter lists
- Collections: This shows tweets that have been added to a collection, which used to be called Custom Timeline
- Scheduled: See all the tweets you have scheduled for future dates
When you add a column, you can then customize it. By clicking the symbol in the top right-hand corner of the column, you can add extra instructions. If you click ‘Tweet content’, you see the following options:
You can choose to show:
- All tweets
- Tweets with images
- Tweets with videos
- Tweets with GIFs
- Tweets with any media
- Tweets with links.
You can also add keywords that should be included or excluded, and you can exclude or include retweets.
Under ‘Tweet Authors’, you can choose whether all users, specified users, verified users or only your own tweets should be included. You can also select to only see tweets that mention you, or that mention other, specific users. You can choose whether you want to receive audio or pop-up notifications when you have new tweets in this column (notifications must be approved within your browser), and you can choose how you want to see previews of images and videos. And, finally, you can edit the Twitter list from this interface.
(j) Schedule Tweets in TweetDeck
One of the most useful features of TweetDeck is the ability to schedule tweets to send at a later time. To do this, click the ‘New Tweet’ button in the top left-hand corner and write the tweet you want to send. You can click ‘Add images or video’ if you want to include an image or a video.
Next, click ‘Schedule Tweet’ and scroll down. You will see a calendar where you can choose the time and date.
Click the blue ‘Tweet on [date]’ button, and your tweet will send at that time, whether you are online or not.
(k) Get Notifications and Alerts
If you want to make sure you don’t miss tweets from your favorite people or posts using a specific hashtag, you can set up a pop-up or audio alert within that column. This has to be enabled within your browser. This is really useful if you want to make sure you don’t miss important tweets.
(l) Mute Words or Users on Twitter
If you are trying to catch up with the latest tweets in your industry but everybody is tweeting about Downton Abbey or the Superbowl, it can be really easy to get distracted. The answer is to ‘mute’ the #Downton hashtag, or the most vocal offenders, in TweetDeck. You can always unmute them after the TV program or sporting event is over. There are two ways to do this:
- Mute users directly from their tweets by clicking the three dots under the tweet and selecting ‘Mute [user] in TweetDeck’.
- For more options, go to the Settings menu and select ‘Mute’. Here, you can mute users (e.g. a particular account), text content (e.g. a hashtag or a particular word) or a source (e.g. a horoscope bot).
Being able to mute users and key terms helps you manage your Twitter stream more efficiently. You don’t need to unfollow somebody who is great most of the time, but really annoying during The Voice, and you can get rid of spammy bots or annoying auto-tweeters by muting them at the source.
(m) Use Teams feature on TweetDeck to Share an Account
With Teams feature on TweetDeck, you can invite your colleagues to use your company account without having to share the password with them. As an account owner, you can grant them access to the account as admins or contributors. Your team members can then log in to TweetDeck with their own Twitter account and they can use the team account by visiting their Accounts tab. Here’s how roles are divided in the TweetDeck’s Teams:
- Owner: Manages password and login verification settings, and can invite other users to access the account as admins or contributors. The owner can tweet, retweet, and DM on behalf of the team account, as well as schedule tweets, create lists and build collections.
- Admin: Can take all the same actions as the Owner, without being able to manage password and login settings.
- Contributor: Rights limited to actions on behalf of the team account (tweet, retweet, DM, like, schedule tweets, etc.).
Setting up a team in TweetDeck is easy. Just log in with the account you are sharing access to, choose accounts in the left bar and then select that account. You then need to type the @username of the user you want to invite and click authorize to invite them to the team account. You can find more details over at TweetDeck help.
(6) How to use Twitter Ads
With hundreds of millions of tweets sent per day, it can be easy for your brand’s Twitter marketing to get lost in the noise.
Twitter ads can help you get your message in front of the users who are most likely to be interested in your products, and your brand. Factor in the new ultra-simple Twitter ad formats, and it’s a great time to consider running your first Twitter ad. In this guide, we show you exactly how (and why) to use Twitter ads, including how to create and launch your first campaign.
Types of Twitter ads
(a) Promoted tweets
Promoted tweets are simply tweets that an advertiser pays to display to people who are not already following them on Twitter. Like regular tweets, they can be retweeted, liked, and so on. They look just like regular tweets, too, except that they have a label that says “Promoted.”
Promoted tweets appear in targeted users’ timelines, on user profiles, at the top of search results, and in the Twitter mobile and desktop apps.
(b) Promoted Accounts
Promoted Accounts (also known as Followers campaigns) allow you to promote your Twitter account to targeted Twitter users who don’t yet follow you but might find your content interesting.
Promoted Accounts are displayed in potential followers’ timelines, as well as in the Who to Follow suggestions and search results. They include a Follow button and are clearly identified as Promoted.
(c) Promoted Trends
Trending topics on Twitter are the most talked about subjects on the social network, appearing on users’ timelines, on the Explore tab, and on the Twitter app. Promoted Trends allow you to promote a hashtag at the top of that list.
When Twitter users click on your Promoted Trend, they see an organic list of search results for the topic, with a Promoted tweet from you at the top of the list. As people pick up on your hashtag and start using it themselves, you can gain additional organic exposure that increases the reach of your campaign.
Currently, Promoted Trends are not available for advertisers using Twitter’s self-serve options. You can find out whether you’re eligible to work with a Twitter Sales representative to purchase Promoted Trends by sending a direct message to @TwitterAdsHelp.
(d) Automated ads: Twitter Promote Mode
Building your own customized Twitter campaigns based on specific business goals in one option. However, there is another option. If you’re new to social media advertising, you’re not sure how much you can afford to spend, or you have a very small team with limited time, you might want to consider Twitter Promote Mode.
Twitter Promote Mode costs a flat rate of $99 USD (or 9900 JPY or 79 GBP) per month, plus tax. Once you turn it on, your first 10 tweets each day are automatically promoted to your selected audience (as long as they make it past the Twitter quality filter). Retweets, quote tweets, and replies will never be promoted. You’ll also get an ongoing Promoted Account campaign.
Twitter estimates that accounts using Twitter Promote Mode will reach an average of 30,000 additional people and gain 30 extra followers per month.
(7) How to advertise on Twitter: A Step-by-Step Guide
(a) Set up your Twitter ads account
If you’ve never used Twitter ads before, you’ll need to set up an account. Just log into your Twitter account, then head to ads.Twitter.com. Enter your country and time zone, then click Let’s go.
That’s it! You now have a Twitter ads account. Let’s move on to creating your first ad campaign.
(b) Choose your objective
Twitter ad campaigns are based on specific business objectives, so the first thing you need to do is decide what you want to achieve with your Twitter ads. Think carefully, because the campaign objective you choose determines which engagement types and actions you’ll pay for.
So, before you go any further, make sure you have solid social media goals in place and even more specific objectives for this specific Twitter ad campaign.
You can choose from (Awareness, Consideration & Conversion) the following:
- Reach: You want the maximum number of people to see your Promoted tweet. You’re billed per 1,000 impressions.
- Promoted video views: You want people to watch your videos or GIFs. You’re billed for each video view.
- In-stream video views (pre-roll): You want to run a short video ad at the start of videos from Twitter’s premium content partners. You’re billed for each video view.
- App installs: You want people to install your app. You’re billed for each app install.
- Website clicks or conversions: You want people to go to your website and take action. You’re billed per click.
- Tweet engagements: You want to maximize engagement with your Promoted tweets. You’re billed per engagement for all engagement types—retweets, replies, and so on— but only on the initial engagement with each user. Followers: You want to build your Twitter audience. You’re billed for each new follower, but not for other engagements, like retweets and likes.
- App re-engagements: You want people who already have your app to open and use it. You’re billed for each app click.
A choice of Twitter campaign objectives is the first thing you’ll see when you open Twitter Ads Manager.
Click on the objective you’d like to achieve with your campaign.
This will take you to the Create your campaign screen, where you can name your campaign, choose how to pay for it (debit or credit card), set your campaign budget, and choose whether to start the campaign right away or schedule it for later.
The budget you set on this screen is the total amount you’re willing to pay—for the whole campaign, per day, or both. You’ll determine your specific bid amounts in a later step.
Once you’ve made your selections, click Next.
(c) Set up your ad group and bidding
Now you’re on the Create your ad group page. What’s an ad group? It’s a sub-category of your campaign. For your first Twitter ads campaign, you’ll probably want to stick to one ad group. But as you get more comfortable with Twitter ads, you can split up your campaign to target different audiences, use different creative, or test different budgets and timing.
Here’s a graphic from Twitter to explain how campaigns and ad groups fit together:
On this page, you choose how much you’re willing to pay for each interaction (engagement, video view, etc.). If you choose automatic bidding, Twitter will automatically set your bid to get the best results at the lowest price based on your budget. This is a good way for new Twitter advertisers to get started and learn how Twitter bidding works.
If you want to control the bid amounts yourself, the interface will also show you suggested bids based on what others are paying.
(d) Target your audience
Twitter offers a number of targeting options to help you choose the right audience for your ad and maximize your budget.
You’ll start with demographic targeting, defining your audience by gender, age, location, language, and technology.
The geographic targeting lets you get as specific as a particular metro area or even postal code, or as broad as a whole country. The technology component allows you to target by device, carrier, or OS version.
The section called Audience features allows you to target based on specific user characteristics like events, interests, and behaviors, and even the specific keywords and TV shows users tweet about. To help guide you, the interface provides an estimated audience size that changes as you add more Twitter ads targeting options to your campaign
You can also choose to upload your own list of people (such as your email list), or choose to target people who are similar to your follower base.
When you’re happy with your choices, click Next.
(e) Choose your creative and ad placement
Twitter will show you a list of your existing tweets that you can choose to promote. If you prefer, you can choose to create a new tweet specifically for your ad.
On the right side of the screen, you can choose your ad placement.
Once you’ve made your selections, click Next.
(f) Launch your campaign
Finally, review all the options you’ve selected, and click Launch campaign to launch your ad.
An alternative method: Quick Promote. If you already know which tweet you want to promote and you don’t want to get into detailed targeting options, you can try Twitter Quick Promote. This easy alternative lets you set up a Twitter ad with just two clicks.
(8) Twitter advertising tips to get the most out of your budget
(a) Introduce yourself
You can’t assume people who see your Twitter ads will already know what your business is about. Use an image or some of the copy in your tweet to highlight your unique selling proposition so that people who see the tweet know why they should bother to click, follow, or otherwise engage.
Since people scroll through Twitter quickly, you’ll need get to the point fast. Don’t assume it’s a good idea to use all 280 characters—short and to-the-point ad copy can definitely be your friend on the Twitter feed.
(b) Include a clear call to action
The key to any good ad is a great call to action, and Twitter ads are no different. Make sure users know exactly what you want them to do.
Try something short and sweet, like “follow us,” “read more,” “register now,” or “download our free report.”
(c) Running a sale?Highlight the percentage discount
Twitter’s own research shows that people are more likely to click on an ad that mentions a percentage discount rather than one that mentions a specific dollar savings.
(d) Include cards
Cards are powerful tools that add extra functionality like website previews, app installs, and even conversations to your promoted tweets, making the tweets more engaging and interactive for users.
But, as with everything else in marketing, the best practice is to test cards, not to use them indiscriminately. On that note…
(e) Test everything
Twitter ads are a great way to learn what resonates with your audience—from ad format to length of copy and tone of voice.
For example, you can use Twitter ads to test city-specific versus industry-related hashtags.
(f) Choose a custom fit over one-size-fits all
Campaigns with different goals need different creative. Even campaigns with the same goals should differ based on the specific offer or idea you’re promoting at the time.
Likewise, if you target different groups of users, you should adjust your creative based on some competitive research (or lurking) to determine what is most likely to appeal to each group. That includes tweaking your ads based on geography, since what converts in Seattle may not in New Orleans.
Above all, use Twitter’s targeting options to ensure that your ad will only be seen by people who will find it relevant. For example, the plant-based food company
(g) Use high-quality images and videos
Blurry or pixelated photos won’t do. Neither will grainy videos. Your words are important, sure, but visuals are what will grab the user’s attention and allow your tweet to stand out.
Make sure you comply with the Twitter ad image sizes for the best results. These free stock photo websites can help you source high-quality images to use in your ads.
If you sell a product, try using photos showing people using and benefitting from your product, or showing your product in a useful context, rather than an image of the product all by its lonesome.
If you’re using video ads, make sure they’re sharp and compelling—use your video to tell a story that creates interest in your brand.
(h) Pay attention to big events
Major sporting or television events like the Superbowl, a series finale, or the World Cup draw people to Twitter. Half of Twitter users planned to use Twitter while watching the 2018 World Cup.
(i) Learn from your organic tweets
Of course, many of the best practices that apply to organic tweets also apply to Twitter ads—so make sure you incorporate what’s already working for you on Twitter into your Twitter ads.