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Twitter Adverts: What’s new and what’s for you?

Paying to extend your reach across social media channels is now the rule, not the exception. The gold rush days of your content magically appearing on every fan’s Facebook feed is over, and with Twitter’s recent shift in advertising and engagement, they’re not far behind. (Fan favourite Instagram have also been making similar rumblings).

Here at Circul8 we’ve started to experiment with Twitter ads, given that Facebook ads have resulted in huge returns for our clients. The question we always ask for every client is “will promoting your content on Twitter be worth it?“

Twitter is putting a lot of thought behind their ad potential, but don’t let them do all the thinking for you. Here’s a list of 6 things to consider if you want that little blue bird to chirp for your business, and some important tips for how to deliver that content.

1. Know your budget

Until recently, your options were limited to pay-per-conversion (0.50c to $4.00 per click/fav/RT/new follower) OR to take out the Times Square billboard of Twitter ads and buy a trending hash tag  ($200,000 a day). Talk about extremes!

However, recent changes mean you can get a LOT more specific about your campaign aims, and in doing so better define how pay-for-performance affects your objective based campaign:


 2. Drill down!

Just how specific you can get with a targeted community might seem overwhelming, especially when you’ve been given the job of growing a brand. However, Twitter is rolling out more and more ways to target specific users.

For example, this week they’ve launched the ability to target users with new mobile devices (let’s not wonder how exactly they know this!). Would your app be perfect for someone with a new phone or tablet to catch them as they build things from the ground up?  The specifics of that might be mind-boggling at first, but this at the core of social media advertising: specificity as opposed to the blind ad buying that dominated trad media.

3. Mobile be there for you (when the rain starts to fall)

This is crucial for any ad strategy you roll out on Twitter. 80% of active users engage with Twitter on their mobile device. That means whatever you’re driving them to had better be optimised for mobile devices, otherwise they’ll back away. If you want users to jump off into your microsite, or complete an act of web commerce, make sure it’s with those iPhone/Galaxy commuters in mind.


4. Analytics, analytics, analytics

Like Facebook, the great benefit of advertising on Twitter is the wealth of analytical info you can get during and after your campaign, but it extends to ALL your tweets, not just the ones you pay to promote. That info isn’t available to regular non-paying users.  Just make sure you invest in the time necessary to read and interpret that data, otherwise its just numbers on a csv spread sheet!

(PS there’s a suggestion that advertising on Twitter fast tracks the ultimate social media status symbol – the verified blue tick.)

5. Hashtaggers gonna tag tag tag tag tag

Or will they? If you’re advertising on Twitter, you know the value of a good hashtag to aggregate your content and allow more people to find you (and you to find them). Have you spent enough time thinking through your ideal tag?

It’s vital you understand the sense of community or connection users will form with the hash tag. Just planning on using a blunt #BRANDNAME? Perhaps there is a better way to engage with them. Luke Ryan at Mumbrella has some #great #ideas about putting the #community #first, and letting them #inform your #campaign  (PS – don’t overdo it!)

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6. Play “devil’s advocontent”

We’ve all seen it: the well-meaning idea/catchphrase/open ended question that gets away from the intention of the campaign. Social media may no longer be the wild west it once was, but you can bet it won’t play by the rules you expect it to.

Make sure you can step away from your brand, or campaign, and view it like those timeline comedians might. Everyone is looking for the next “whoops” moment from a business, big or small, and the Internet is an unforgiving mistress. Don’t be today’s #socialmediafail


(Earlier this year, LG France made a joke about the iPhone #bendgate scandal…tweeting from an iPhone)

Written by Nic Dorward