Twitter now has 100 million active users generating some 200 million tweets and 1.6 billion search queries every day. Despite the promise of reaching such a massive, highly-engaged audience, many advertisers have struggled to find the best way to connect with Twitter users.
Brands have had success using Twitter to distribute coupons and special offers – gaining followers on the lookout for deals – but have stumbled when it comes to building brand reach and engagement on the network.
Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement among their existing followers – and they are an effective way to use Twitter for brand marketing.
All Promoted Tweets are first displayed as regular Tweets to the people following an account, but advertisers can then promote these Tweets to spark additional conversation – paying for them to show up at the top of relevant search results pages, in users' timelines the Promoted Tweet is relevant to that user, in Promoted Trend search results, and other places. Though these tweets are clearly labeled as “promoted”, in every other respect, these Tweets are just like all the other 200 million tweets generated every day on Twitter; they can be retweeted, replied to, forwarded, and more.
Getting Promoted Tweets right takes a bit of finesse. Twitter users are a savvy bunch, and they will ignore Promoted Tweets if they are too salesy, pushy, or out of sync with their interests. Here are six proven tips to use Promoted Tweets to boost your brand's visibility among Twitters millions of users.
1. Promote Great Content
Make sure the content you’re promoting is engaging and interesting; think informational or inspirational, not salesy. Remember, a Promoted Tweet is only the beginning of a long engagement conversation. You'll need to continue tweeting great, shareable content via both regular and Promoted Tweets, so your followers continue to get frequent updates on your messages and promotions.
One great thing about Twitter is you can use your 140 characters to promote longer-form content via links. Why not offer your followers – and the wider Twitter community via Promoted Tweets – access to free white papers, blog posts, webinars, exclusive video content, games, contests, deals, and more.
2. Keep Watch
Check in on your Promoted Tweets regularly. As your Promoted Tweet campaigns are running, make sure to analyze the impact in real-time using Twitter's campaign tools.
Marketers shouldn't just set the Promoted Tweet and forget about it; instead, shift the main messages of your Promoted Tweets on the fly, as you see in real-time what's working and what's not to generate clicks and traffic. Run A/B tests to see exactly how you should tweak copy or update landing pages.
3. One is Good, Six is Better
Twitter recommends using up to six tweets in a rotation for your Promoted Tweet campaigns – all aimed at one specific landing page. Having six different tweets to play with means you can tweak messaging and give additional info about your campaign or offering when you can’t it all into just 140 characters.
Having multiple tweets also enables you to craft an ongoing story over the course of the campaign – adding new messages every few hours or each day. Don’t forget to test the copy of these tweets.
4. Own the Hashtag
Promoted Tweets are a great way to introduce a new hashtag you intend to use either for an event, new product, or new brand campaign. Introduce and use the new hashtag in all your Promoted Tweets. Remember, creative and interesting content is what gets shared – but an added bonus is your new hashtag will get shared along with this pass-along.
5. Study Up
Before you blast out a Promoted Tweet campaign, make sure you understand the basics of Twitter. Use it for awhile before paying for Promoted Tweets, learn Twitter etiquette, and see what type of content resonates with your followers.
After you have the lay of the land on Twitter, you can then experiment with Promoted Tweets at the right times and with the right messages. For example, if you launch Promoted Tweets during a time where traffic levels and conversation are at extremely high volumes – such as right after a huge news story – your Promoted Tweets will get lost in the shuffle.
Research upcoming events that could impact traffic to Twitter in your area of influence. You can ride the wave of certain conversations, but you can also create a bigger impact when overall activity is muted.
6. Think Twice Before Jumping on a Topic
While jumping onto memes and hot topics can be an easy way to get attention for your Tweets, think twice before jumping on these bandwagons. A conversation storm can easily take a turn for the worst – and your brand would then be in the middle of the fallout.
There’s a fine line between being clever and being a headline (not the good kind). Make sure you’re on the right side of that line by carefully considering all the potential consequences of jumping onto a trending topic.
Twitter is a unique universe where instant conversation fuels millions of large and small chatterstorms among millions of users every day. By carefully using Promoted Tweets, marketers can be a part of the Twitter conversation and spark deeper engagement with their brands. But before you rush out and buy tons of Promoted Tweets, make sure you know Twitter 101 and have mastered the simple tips above.