Social media channels are just one avenue for small businesses to leverage in marketing themselves to larger audiences. Up until 10 years ago it was impossible for a local business to have the kind of exposure that these channels offer today. This is the second of a series of posts from Shelley Rostlund, Digital Consultant at Harbour 32 – to help shed some light on social advertising.
I have already talked about Facebook Ads, in my first post so have a read of that one in conjunction with this one. I am going to explain Twitter Ads and how you can use them in your marketing mix.
In my Facebook Ads post I touched on the importance of having a strategy. I strongly advise against just throwing money at any social advertising without doing your homework first. Make sure that this investment (however big or small) fits in with who you are trying to reach, the messages you are trying to convey, and what you are wanting to achieve.
This platform is significantly different to Facebook – in that there is much less in terms of data for you to use to target your ads to.
With Twitter you have two avenues for ad campaigns:
- Straight forward Ad Campaigns
This is where you would put together 4 to 5 different tweets and then target these to a specific audience (based on location, device use and some broad interests). You can also decide to actually just promote your Twitter Account as a whole. With this option you have the opportunity to set the budget – although on Twitter’s website they suggest having at least a $30 per day budget. I think that is quite a lot (compared to Facebook) – so perhaps have short sharp campaigns to achieve very specific goals (increase followers for example). Find out more here.
- Twitter Promote Mode
This is a fairly new approach (from Twitter). The premise is that you pay affixed monthly subscription of $99, and this is to automatically promote your Tweets and account. The challenge with this option is that you want to make sure that you are definitely tweeting valuable content that you have thought about – as you won’t have control over which tweets are promoted and which aren’t. Find out more here.
How does it work in principle?
Unlike Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads is a bit more simplistic and, in my opinion, not as data rich (so it can be a bit hit and miss). But then I guess that’s the beauty of Twitter – a lot is left up to the imagination and to the users. When you put your ad campaign together – you will need:
- an objective (see below for mention of a Twitter Guide on this);
- copy and images/video;
- and a good idea of the kind of people you want to reach. (You’ll need to know things like: demographics, general interests, purchase behaviour potentially, location, etc.)
The ads run continuously (depending on which option you have gone for), but you can pause when you want to stop them.
As the Twitter algorithm does have a say on where and how your promoted tweets / campaigns are seen – its worth reading up a bit on how this algorithm works.
What to put in your Ads
My suggestion is to always think “audience first” and keep your messaging “visual first” too. Craft valuable content and you will always win in the end. (Read more in my previous post about the 3 buckets of types of content to have in your bag at all times.)
When you are putting together your strategy for your Twitter Ad campaigns – try and align it with your offline and other marketing/ communications campaigns. Your aim is to attract more of the kinds of people that you want to be following and sharing your content – so keep your content on topic at all times. My advice is to keep signing the song that you want that target audience to hear…and they will hear it and sing along. If you try to sing too many tunes and try to capture everyone – you will attract no sing-along! (Did that metaphor work?)
Where can you learn more about how to do Twitter Ads?
There is precious little out there to be honest, but Twitter itself does have an agency section (which you can quite easily just tap into yourself). In this section on their website – you can see two areas that I think will be of interest:
In this area you will find some guidance, checklists, best practice for video and a playbook (with some examples of campaigns).
Here Twitter provides you with tips for writing and crafting your ad copy/creative; understanding campaign objectives (in a guide); and a handy blog post on the 3 questions you need to answer before starting with Ads.
Look out for the next blog post in the series, which will cover LinkedIn advertising.
Our guest posts are really valuable to our readers – expanding on many of the subjects that they need to get their heads around in the course of running and building their businesses. A big thank to you to Shelley for taking the time to put together this post to give you some insight into some of the priorities that smaller businesses need to focus on in the coming months and years.
Shelley works with us here at Clifford Towers and has helped us to enhance our digital skills and be more consistent in our communications with our clients. Harbour 32 is a digital agency based in Northamptonshire which focuses on web, social media and communications. You can check out their website; join them on Facebook or follow Shelley on Twitter.