Do Twitter Ads Work?

Megan GrantSocial Media, Social Media Advertising

Do Twitter Ads Work?

If your marketing budget includes paid social media advertising — which it should — you might find yourself on the fence when it comes to Twitter.

You never really understood this platform, and you certainly don’t understand the benefits of spending money on it.

Do Twitter ads work?

Can you actually expect to see an ROI?

Importantly, if they do work, how can you run a successful Twitter ad campaign?

Let’s explore.

Wait — I should be using Twitter?

Yes!

The platform looks unassuming, we know. It may not have all the bells and whistles Facebook does, but Twitter is immensely powerful.

The Benefits of Twitter

One of the biggest benefits of Twitter is that it’s safe to post a lot more than you would on other platforms. In fact, you should.

Post 10 times a day on Instagram or Facebook and you will likely find yourself losing followers at alarmingly fast rates.

Fire off several tweets a day, on the other hand, and your page is likely to grow as a result.

A second reason you should be using Twitter is that the platform makes it incredibly easy to follow stories going viral in the moment.

Thanks to trending topics and hashtags, you can always determine what the masses care about — and appeal to their desires with your own tweets and content, if applicable.

Participating in discussions a lot of people are talking about is a great way to get exposure.

Third, Twitter is an excellent resource for networking.

Whether you’re B2B or B2C, you can connect with the people you want in a quick and casual away through tweets and direct messages.

In fact, some data says that 42% of Twitter users follow brands or companies on the platform.

Twitter is great. Got it. But why should I run Twitter ads?

We know what you’re thinking. Twitter is the redheaded stepchild of social media.

According to Dreamgrow, as of August of 2018, it was the sixth most popular platform, with 336,000,000 monthly active users.

It was well behind Instagram’s 1,000,000,000 monthly active users, and even further behind Facebook’s 2,230,000,000.

So, why would you waste a dime on it?

It’s not as simple these numbers, considering the many variables and moving parts involved with paid advertising.

Peter Boyle once wrote a very compelling blog post for Single Grain, getting into the nitty-gritty of Twitter advertising.

While the results of his research did not find that Twitter was a better advertising platform than others by leaps and bounds, Boyle did learn that the average clickthrough rate (CTR) for Twitter ads is roughly the same as Facebook’s (0.8% versus 0.9%, respectively).

This means that with the right targeting and ad copy, your Twitter ads could potentially perform very well.

Furthermore, the cost per click (CPC), is way lower — $0.8 versus $1.72 per click on Facebook.

On Twitter, you pay for performance, meaning only when someone completes the action (like following your page or installing your app) you’ve specified.

Twitter’s lower CPC is a benefit also echoed by digital marketing expert Kim Garst.

It certainly has this pro over AdWords, where the average CPC, Boyle notes, is a whopping $2.32.

Finally, Twitter ads are great for getting specific — with your targeting, that is. The downside to a massive platform like Facebook is that it’s becoming increasingly saturated by the day.

Even paying for space in people’s newsfeeds is getting more difficult.

It’s actually a positive that Twitter, on the other hand, is smaller in size.

It affords you the opportunity to more precisely target the people you want to serve your ad to.

The platform’s remarketing capabilities aren’t too shabby, either.

So Twitter ads can work for me?

They certainly could, but as with many — if not most — things in digital marketing, it takes trial and error to determine if it’s the right avenue for you.

Plus, there are too many variables to be able to easily say whether or not Twitter is the right platform for you to advertise on. Consider these questions:

  • What industry are you in?
  • What is your goal with advertising?
  • How active are you on Twitter?
  • Which platform do you get the most organic traffic on?

The answers to these questions have the potential to influence how successful your Twitter ads are.

Furthermore, you need to take into account that brands will sometimes be a huge hit on one platform and a total flop on the other.

For instance, there are e-commerce sites making a killing with Instagram Stories and Pinterest, while others are 100% Team Google AdWords.

And if you decide to focus on the one platform that’s crushing it and put the others on the backburner for now, that could be okay.

It’s really about finding what works best for your business.

However, if you (a) have a little money to experiment with and (b) you haven’t tried Twitter ads in the past, it’s undoubtedly worth a shot.

I’m sold. What are some tips for running a successful Twitter ad?

Twitter advertising is a big beast to tackle, but here are a few helpful hints.

Consider Which Ad Type is Best for Your Goals

Not sure how Twitter ads work? No problem.

You can go for:

  • Promoted Tweets.
  • Promoted accounts.
  • Promoted trends.

This will depend on your objective. Do you want brand recognition? Promoting your account might be the best way to go.

Are you running a contest and trying to get more entrants?

Check out promoted tweets.

If you want to piggyback on an existing event, you want promoted trends.

Define Your Audience — And Get Specific

Twitter says this part is optional, because it continuously optimizes your campaign for you, with the goal of giving you the best results.

We’re not saying you can’t trust Twitter, but you’ll likely find it’s in your best interest to take a more proactive role.

 

There’s a saying you’ve maybe heard of: “The riches are in the niches.” It means… exactly what it sounds like it means.

You stand to be more successful when you go specific. Targeting a million people is fine and dandy unless it’s a million people who may or may not give a hoot about your ad.

You position yourself for success much more by targeting 50,000 highly qualified users — meaning people you believe are already very interested in what you have to say.

When you try to target everyone, you’ll end up reaching no one.

Test, Test, Test

This is how Twitter advertising works:

Campaign > Ad Groups > Ads

In one campaign, you can have multiple ad groups.

Within ad groups, you can have multiple ads.

While you might want to start with one ad group and one ad while you get your feet wet, don’t be one of those people who run one ad, isn’t satisfied, and throws in the towel. Advertising on any platform typically takes several attempts.

It won’t often be a home run on the first try.

Be prepared to spend a little money without immediately seeing a return, and know that this doesn’t mean it’s “not working.”

We know it’s a lot to take in, and that’s why we want to help make managing your social media platforms easier.

Contact MavSocial today so we can talk about your business.

About the Author

Megan Grant

Megan has been working in the field of digital marketing for over six years. With a background in writing/editing and social media, she's continued to grow with the digital marketing industry to provide results for clients in a variety of areas.