Though paid social has been around for a while, right now we’re experiencing a real boom in its global acceptance across industries. It may be the shiny, new ad products or (and more likely), it’s because we’re finding that paid social ads work, especially Twitter ads.
There’s a whole army of social ad types including: LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, Promoted Facebook Posts, YouTube Video ads and Twitter Promoted Tweets (Instagram ads are in the pipeline as well as Promoted Pins on Pinterest & Promoted blogs on Tumblr). However, as is often the case, with more options comes greater confusion, which can ultimately paralyze a brand from using any paid social at all. Or worse, to use some paid social haphazardly without reaping the full benefits. Which is why we’ve been getting more and more inquiries from our clients about how best to leverage paid social.
Choosing a social ad type should depend on the answers to the following questions: Where’s your target audience? How do you want to engage with them? What are your goals?
Because of its ubiquity and conversational manner, we are actually pretty partial to Twitter’s ads products. And there’s one more important reason we include them in our recommendations: Promoted Tweets are actually proven to convert more prospects than organic tweets – yep, Twitter ads were more than twice as likely as organic tweets to convert users (Convertro 2014).
Why is this? Twitter has a unique combination of targeting, timing, and ad unit options that are both engaging and effective.
In addition to the normal demographic, location and device-based advertising, when we target with Twitter, we’re also able to use strong relational and interest-based targeting. We’re able to target users based on hashtags, interest categories, the Twitter handles they follow, etc. We can even upload our own list of prospects to either include OR (and this is new) exclude. And, if you use Sysomos or SimplyMeasured, you’ll soon be able to target users by the specific keywords in their Twitter bios or based on things they’ve tweeted about in the past 30 days. So as long as you’re smart about what you advertise, to who and when, you can easily create something very relevant using Twitter.
This is especially so, because of the amount of ad units available. Twitter gets it. They know brands need to be able to justify media spends with clear metrics. Depending on your objective, you can usually find a Twitter ad unit that allows you to reach a goal AND to engage–convert & converse! And isn’t this nice – we’re here to help you navigate through them. Here are a few of Twitter’s ad types and best practices:
If a brand is looking to engage with its target audience, increase its followers, and create a conversation, Promoted Tweets are the way to go. These tweets appear in a user’s timeline, in search results or in a user’s Hootsuite dashboard, and can contain images or links. The best way to use them is by including great stats, quotes, promoting new blogs or articles you’ve created, or simply by participating in a Twitter chat.
An offshoot of the Promoted Tweet, Promoted Account ads allow brands to get their Twitter handle in front of a specific target audience AND, in conjunction with a tweet, make a case for why a user should follow them. Users see these ads in the “Who to Follow” area and the tweet appears in their timelines. Promoted Account ads are very successful when done alongside traditional Promoted Tweet campaigns and really do result in high new follower counts. The catch? You have to engage with those new followers ASAP. Give them content they want to consume, or you’re very likely to drop off their radar.
Lead Gen Cards/Website Cards
Oh how we love Twitter Cards! Introduced a little over a year ago, Twitter’s Lead Gen Cards allow advertisers to showcase an offer, a piece of content, a registration, really anything in exchange for that user’s information. And it all happens with the click of a button. Lead Gen Cards appear as a link within a tweet and upon click, expand into a user’s timeline. Once a user clicks to claim your offer or read your white paper, Twitter automatically collects and provides their twitter handle, name and email address. You can even have this information automatically imported into your CRM so that you can follow up with an email. Post-click users are then directed to a custom landing page of your choice.
When to use these? Well if your goal is to generate leads it’s an obvious choice. But it’s also great if you have pieces of content you know your target audience would love to read OR if you have a great discount to promo.
Recently, Twitter also unveiled Website Cards, which are similar to Lead Gen Cards, except the offer is always your website or landing page. Good to use if you have a game or something experiential on your landing page to provide users.
Still in beta, Twitter’s Promoted Video ads will be available as a self serve option for all brands soon. These are done on a cost-per-view model (vs. cost-per-enagement for the other ad units) and streamlines video playback with a one-tap viewing experience. These ads create an even richer sense of engagement with your target audience. An average Promoted Tweet costs anywhere from $1.50-$3.00 (depending on audience size). So if Promoted Videos stick to the standard, brands could also use these as a way to test out various videos before launching with larger online video or even TV strategies.
Last, and most expensive, is the Promoted Trend. This was Twitter’s earliest ad unit, as it places your hashtag in user’s trending topics area. However, from our experience promoting a trend for just one day can cost you $15,000! And you would be remiss if you promoted a trend without using Promoted Tweets and Promoted Account ads in conjunction. So, you’re likely going to exceed $20,000 for just one day of exposure. And you have no control over the other trending topics your hashtag might be showcased alongside.
However, if you’re looking for mass exposure, Promoted Trends are the way to go. These are great when used to enhance other large PR announcements to exponentially increase impressions and awareness of this news.
For more information about Twitter’s ad units or other paid social media efforts, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.