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5 Ways To Make Twitter Ads For Small Business Work For You

Jan 6, 2015 5:56:13 PM


If you can Tweet, you can advertise on Twitter

- Twitter Product Manager, Ravi Narasimhan.
Is it really that simple? With the majority of countries now able to access the Twitter Advertising platform and 284 million active users globally, Twitter gives businesses big and small a unique opportunity to connect with a large audience, with minimum effort.

Small businesses and Twitter go hand-in-hand. In a survey of over 1,000 users, Twitter found that 51% used the website daily. On average, these users followed around 21 small to medium-sized businesses, and 30% regularly saw Tweets from the businesses they followed when browsing their streams. That’s a lot of brand exposure. Better yet, 73% felt more positive about a brand when they followed and read their Tweets. Though this can be done organically, using Twitter Ads for small business can accelerate the growth of your brand on Twitter.
[Tweet "73% of Twitter users felt more positively about a brand they follow and see Tweets from."]
In addition to this, the survey found that 57% of users discovered a new small to medium-sized business using Twitter...

  • 40% because the account was recommended in their ‘Who To Follow’ panel (which is where Promoted Accounts appear).
  • 32% because of a Promoted Tweet.

After following a new small to medium-sized business on Twitter, those users were 50% more likely to shop on the brand’s website.

Twitter Ads has two options available to users, objective-based; meaning that you’ll only pay for the actions that will help you reach your objectives. For example, if you use a Promoted Tweet to drive traffic to a landing page, your objective is website clicks or conversions and you’ll only pay when people click your link. This option means theoretically, you won’t pay a penny if you don’t hit your desired objectives. The other option is custom which means you pay for any engagement, but you’re able to combine any of the different promotions available to build your campaign from scratch. No need for a flashy billboard budget, just a computer and a Twitter account.

Before we get started on the best ways to use Twitter Ads for small business, let’s get back to basics for a moment and talk about the three types of Twitter Ads.

Promoted Tweet

A Promoted Tweet is similar to an ordinary Tweet, except paying for it to be promoted means you’ll reach a wider audience of interested users. Promoted Tweets can be retweeted, replied to, and favorited - just like a regular Tweet. They’re best for helping you drive particular actions, such as driving traffic to a website, offering limited time promotions or deals, driving leads, and best of all driving awareness of your brand.

Promoted Account

A Promoted Account is where you pay for your account to appear in Twitter users’ ‘Who To Follow’ panel, helping advertise your business account to people of interest that don’t currently follow you. This type of Twitter Ad is primarily used to boost follower growth and spreading brand awareness to potential customers. These new followers will then be exposed to your Tweets, which could drive traffic and encourage sales. Two out of three users noticed Promoted Accounts shown to them, and among those, two out of three followed.

Promoted Trend

Promoted Trends means you pay to have your chosen trend appear at the top of the Trending Topics list on Twitter, which will appear both on the Twitter desktop site and occasionally in Twitter users’ timelines. Your Promoted Trend can be made up of a hashtag (i.e. #SundaySpecial) or keywords. Promoted Trends are useful for promoting campaigns you want people to engage with, by clicking your Promoted Trend, people can view other Tweets using the hashtag or keyword and get involved with the conversation. Keep in mind it can be an expensive promotion option as Twitter only allow one Promoted Trend per location, per day, so essentially your business receives 100% share of voice.
Now we’ve covered the basics, here are our 5 tips to make sure your small business is getting the most from Twitter Ads.
1. Make Your Targeting Precise.

When using Twitter Ads, you want to ensure that you’re attracting highly qualified leads, and by that we mean the Twitter users who are most likely to become customers. It may seem obvious that a Twitter user who has clicked your ad is interested in what you’re offering, but the right targeting will ensure that your money is well spent on qualified leads and your conversion rate is boosted.

Therefore, you should have a good idea of the type of Twitter user you want to attract. Take a look at your own community using a tool such as SocialBro and access information like bio Tag Clouds, which provide insight into the common keywords in your community’s Twitter biographies and develop an idea of what makes your current Twitter community tick. You could also try Googling particular keywords and looking at ‘Searches related to...’ to get an idea of alternative keywords, to make sure you’re covering the most relevant users.
2. Set A Clear Budget.

An advantage to using Twitter Ads for small business is that you are in control of your budget. When setting up a Twitter Ad campaign, think carefully about what a new follower or a visit to your landing page is worth to you: £1, £3? The Twitter Ads platform uses a bidding system, which means whenever an opportunity to display your Promoted Tweet/Trend/Account appears, you and other companies that outlined similar target groups ‘bid’ to have that display place. You’ll be asked to enter the highest amount you’d be willing to ‘bid’ for that place when creating your Twitter Ad campaign - the highest bidder will only ever pay 1p more than the second highest, to make sure you get value for money. To find out more about the Twitter Ads bidding process, check out our free Ultimate Guide To Twitter Ads, which will walk you through the process.
3. Share Quality Content To Attract New Twitter Followers.

One thing that makes Twitter Ads unique to Facebook or other social networking platforms is the potential for reach and exposure. But potential reach can only get you so far, it’s important that your content is top quality, engaging (both during your campaign and in your regular day-to-day Tweeting for your newly acquired followers) and has clear call to actions to ensure that Twitter users are enticed to follow you. With 43% of Twitter users revealing that they would purchase regularly from a SME they follow, it’s important yor content appeals to your target audience.

The key thing to bear in mind when using Twitter Ads for small business? Don’t promise the world and offer a peanut. If you’re driving traffic to a landing page, that landing page content needs to be top quality. Otherwise you’ll be paying for people to click your link, look at your page, and click away again without ever getting to know your small business. Promotional Tweets offering a discount or incentive for people to follow and engage with your business works well. Check out how NYC-based online clothes retailer Bonobos used Promoted Tweets in their campaign, they offered a one-day ‘Twixclusive’ sale that they teased in advance to their followers and then offered to a wider audience through Twitter Ads.
If the Tweet was retweeted more than 49 times, Twitter users would unlock a 24-hour only sale. The Tweet was retweeted more than 80 times in just eight minutes, making the deal available almost immediately. Using Twitter Ads netted Bonobos almost 100 first-time customers and was thirteen times more cost effective than their other marketing efforts.
4. Get To Know Twitter Cards & Discover Which Works Best.

The Twitter Ads platform may feel a little overwhelming at first, so as you get used to the platform it’s worth trying out their objective-based campaigns. However, if you plan to use Twitter Ads for your small business quite frequently, you should consider getting comfortable with Twitter cards. Currently, there are eight types of Twitter card available, all designed to suit different purposes and can be used when building Custom campaigns in the portal. An understanding of what each card does allows you to test the effectiveness of different cards for different campaigns and will give your Twitter Ads a significant boost. See examples of the different types of Twitter cards here and how you can use them here.
5. Measure Your Success.

Most importantly when using Twitter for your small business, you need to measure the performance of your campaigns to tune into where things could be improved - both in your campaigns and in your overall social media strategy.

Let’s say you used a Promoted Account to gain more relevant followers. You gained 200 new followers, excellent! Objective achieved? Not yet. You’ve attracted new followers through Twitter Ads which shows immediate success, now use a tool such as SocialBro to see how many of those followers you manage to retain, if there is particular content that turns them away. A Follower Retention report can tell you how many of those new followers stayed, or unfollowed, after a number of weeks. If you gained 200 followers and then lost them all after four weeks, perhaps you weren’t Tweeting the kind of content they were interested in.

Pinpoint where you lost followers by cross-referencing this information with other data: what kind of content were you Tweeting? Did you run a competition or post a link to something they weren’t interested in? Figure out why you lost followers to help keep them in future.
If Twitter Ads sounds like something your small business would like to get better acquainted with, why not download a complementary copy of our Ultimate Guide To Twitter Ads? We also have some great examples of six SMEs winning on social media, and a detailed guide to the different types of Twitter cards, if you’re seeking inspiration for your small business on Twitter.

Got any more tips on how to use Twitter Ads for your small business? Let us know in the comments!

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