Basics of Twitter Advertising

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With social media becoming an integral part of Digital Marketing, it is important for a brand to build a social presence on all platforms. Twitter has the second largest social media user base and it provides advertising solutions to brands who seek to create a direct contact point with the potential customers who can be a part of future marketing and re-marketing strategies.

Twitter has developed various advertising solutions to help brands reach out to such a huge target audience and build specific brand connect. This article covers the basics of the Twitter ads and easy step-by-step approach to set-up ad campaigns for various ad units.

To achieve this objective,Twitter offers three types of Ad Solutions, one is a fixed-buy (bought for fixed amount of impressions directly from Twitter) and the other two are self-serve ads i.e. executable at the advertisers end.

• Promoted Trend (Fixed Buy)
• Promoted Account (Selft-serve Ads)
• Promoted Tweet (Selft-serve Ads)

Promoted Trends

• What is Promoted Trend?

This is a one-day reservation made for promoting a particular trend (also known as Hashtag) which has been used by a brand to design the social media campaign. It is a fixed media buy with country-wide trending capability where pre-decided number of impressions is served to the brands by Twitter throughout the day.Promoted Trends should ideally be used to increase awareness by reaching out to maximum people which in-turn has long lasting social impact. Here is what Twitter has to say about Promoted Trends.

• Why should you opt for it?

Promoted Trend is the best advertising option if the brand objective is one of the given below:

  • Launch of a brand new product
  • Country-wide brand awareness, offer or contest promotion
  • Increasing engagement rate of the daily content

• How to set up Promoted Trend campaign?

  • Promoted Trend is a fixed buy from Twitter and thus in my opinion one cannot optimize this ad unit as opposed to the self-serve ad units
  • To set-up these ads ‘Trend Date’ needs to be booked based on its availability at Twitter’s end
  • Trend needs to be linked with Tweets which have the same hash tag in their content
  • Tweets linked with the Trend appear once the person clicks on the Promoted Trend (as shown in below given image)
  • Promoted Trend is activated for 24hrs and associated Tweets can be changed during the campaign to provide variety in content to the targeted users

Promoted Account

• What is Promoted Account?

Promoted Account is a self-serve ad unit dedicated towards garnering followers. This helps brands in building an audience base on Twitter through refined targeting options. These followers can be potential customers of the future marketing campaigns.

• Why should you opt for it?

Higher ratio of Followers to Following is what every brand desires in order to create a stronger influence on Twitter. Brands experience lower traction organically and to facilitate faster growth of brand handle, Promoted Account can be used. It can be used by any brand to acquire followers in order to create a large base of brand loyalists.

Promoted Account mobile placement is in the mobile newsfeed with a compulsion of including a Tweet in the ad unit.

Promoted Tweet

• What is Promoted Tweet?

Promoted Tweet is a self-serve ad unit which is used for content promotion on Twitter. Content can vary from a simple Text Tweet to Video Tweet.

• Why should you opt for it?

It helps the brand to reach their followers with exciting offers, launch of products at smaller scale in comparison to Promoted Trend, conducting contests and general content promotions.

Promoted Tweet placement for Mobile and Desktop is in their respective timelines.

• How to set up Promoted Tweet and Promoted Account Campaigns?

Self-serve ad units have many common features; hence I have explained their set-up together.In order to setup these ad campaigns, one can do this by using the Twitter Advertising Dashboard. Below given are the steps for setting up the self-serve ads depending on the Ad Type.

Create campaign as per the Ad Type


(Promoted Account)(Promoted Tweets)

Select the Targeting Method

Keyword Targeting (Exclusive to Promoted Tweet):

Advertisers can target specific keywords which are being used across Twitter thus enabling them to reach users based on the keywords in their recent Tweets and the Tweets with which users recently engaged. After listing few keywords, ‘Expand Your Reach’ option allows Twitter to suggest similar keywords. Also, each keyword has daily global volume of Tweets associated with it, as shown below:

Interests and Followers:

Twitter provides ‘Interests and Followers’ targeting which includes pre-defined 350 interest categories and facility to target followers of various Twitter Username/Handles. These parameters help in targeting users similar to the competitor’s followers and people falling in the interest categories, within one campaign itself. ‘Expand Your Reach’ option in the ‘Follower’ targeting allows Twitter to suggest similar handles to the ones already selected by the advertiser.

(Expand your Reach by adding relevant Twitter Handles)

(Choose from over 350 interest categories)

Television (Exclusive to Promoted Tweet):

This targeting method is the best way to target a particular section of audience who have seen the TVCs during a particular show and are talking about the same on Twitter. This is can be a good strategy for advertisers to give an additional touch point and integrate the TV conversations with Twitter. This type of targeting has been rolled-out only in United States and United Kingdom and it uses the TG indicator similar to the Keyword Targeting (as shown below).

Tailored Audiences and Audience List:

Tailored audience targeting helps the brands who want to add their existing customers as their followers or they want to take advantage of Twitter remarketing via audience lists.This is unavailable in India via the self-serve dashboard and can be availed only via third party tools such as AdRoll. Audience lists can be made using the below given data types:

  • Cookie IDs – Target users based on their visits to the web properties
  • Email addresses –Target customers who have provided their contact information
  • Twitter IDs – Target specific custom groups of Twitter IDs

Select Geographic, Demographic Targeting and Audience Lists (if available)

• Enter the locations which you want to target along with the gender and language preferences
• Specific device targeting such as desktops, tablets and phones along with specific platform targeting is possible
• Segregation on State and City level targeting is not availablein India
• For Interests and Followers, Audience list can be imported to exclude a particular audience
• For Tailored Audience, website visitor audience or audience lists using the emails/Twitter IDs can be madeto target specific group on Twitter

Below are the various depictions of the target audiences depending on the Targeting Methods:

Set Budget and Bidding Limits

Final Step of Campaign Launch

Once all the settings are in place for the respective campaigns; these can be saved as draft or launched directly as illustrated below:

This covers the basics of the various Ad Solutions offered by Twitter and also the methodology required in setting up Ad Campaigns by using the Twitter Ads Dashboard. Through these campaigns one can optimize the overall presence of any brand on Twitter, build a brand connect with the followers(potential future customers/ brand loyalists) and reach a marketable audience through various marketing strategies which are build using multiple targeting methods.

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