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Alesia Hsiao

Your Guide to Doing Paid Twitter Promotion Correctly

Alesia Hsiao
Your Guide to Doing Paid Twitter Promotion Correctly

Paid Twitter campaigns are a new addition to Twitter’s promotion options. While it hasn’t caught on like the company hoped, it has managed to generate a few proponents.

There are three major promotion options in the pay-per-click (PPC) style. These are promoted Tweets, promoted accounts, and promoted trends. Whenever a piece of promoted content appears, it’s labelled as such to distinguish between organic and promotional content.

What makes it so potent is it’s cheaper than things like AdWords, so it’s a far more cost-effective way for small businesses and brands to get real results.

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on the most common style of paid promotion known as promoted Tweets.

The Strategy

On other social media networks, you may believe thinking about the long-term is best. In the case of Twitter, it’s best to look at the medium-term, while adding short-term objectives to check your progress. Since this is still a growing service, competing for impressions is often easier, which is why the CPCs tend to be lower than other platforms.

We recommend building up a decent base of followers first. An empty account doesn’t look good to potential new followers. It’s good to have an immediate organic base.

Targeting on Twitter

There are many types of targeting, but most people seem to have had the most success with ‘people like the followers of.’ Select this and you can begin shaping your target groups based on three primary categories. These categories are:

  • Selections based on the keywords found in bios.
  • Selection of similar organizations to you
  • Selections based on the data presented by Twitter’s own analytics tools.

Simply use the Twitter analytics tool to analyze your own base of followers and you’ll find a list of the most unique interests at the top. If you’ve targeted the right people in the past, you won’t have any surprises here and you should have a well-defined group making up the bulk of your follower base.

Another option is to target the list of similar organizations. All you have to do is select some of the more prominent ones and go from there. Again, as long as they’re similar to you this will work. Finally, target based on the keywords found in people’s bios. This can work really well if you’re in the right business, particularly the creative industries.

Twitter Followers

Nail the Right Images

We live in a world where people don’t have time to read essays on your subject. They also have to contend with thousands of other brands screaming their name. To stand out, you should advertise your Tweets using image-based content.

Generally, a quick look at the top trends will bring up the following on a regular basis:

  • Inspirational quotes
  • Celebrity quotes
  • Personal stories housed in an image
  • Real news accompanied by an image

In short, images work. Make sure you really take the time to pick up a good one that captures the eye for your campaign.

Twitter Buy Now

Testing Well

The problem with promoted Tweets is you pay for absolutely every click to your profile, whether people actually engage with you or not. In a place like Twitter, this can absolutely destroy your budget with little gain on your side.

We recommend setting low budgets for your initial campaigns. You tend to find out quickly whether a campaign is delivering results or not. Be willing to cut and run if things are going south, regardless of how much of your budget remains.

Tinkering for Success

Tinkering is optimization under a different name. The barriers to success differ for every person. Someone may be willing to pay that little bit more to get exposure in a competitive market. Even successful promoted Tweets need regular pruning in order to ensure they remain potent.

Remember, Tweets get older and they start to become stale over time. You’ll have to keep adjusting based on current performance, which is why we originally called this a short to medium-term venture.

For example, if you’re in the industry of Tweeting about recent news, you’ll need to swap out Tweets as new stories pop up and go through this process all over again. You define what success is to you. Be bold. Be ambitious with your targets.

We recommend spending at least twenty minutes a day on regular optimization, at the minimum. Take note that the vast majority of impressions happen in the evening, so prepare for a surge. If you end up paying a high price for impressions, you need to be present when the surge comes to avoid your budget being eaten up.

Meeting Expectations

Promoted Tweets must follow the same rules as organic content. Meet your audience’s expectations. This is why we said to build up an organic base early on. It will offer an insight into your target groups and train you to make better marketing choices later on.

Do you have experience using paid Twitter campaigns? Let us know all about what you learned in the comments.

Alesia Hsiao is a social media writer who blogs at FindVietnam.com when she is not writing for SEMrush. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn. Alesia’s last article on SEMrush was “How to Make Boring Content Sexy with Content Marketing."

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