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How to Run Your First Twitter Ad

Published: July 18, 2014

Author: Molly Shotwell

So you want to run some Twitter ads, eh? We’ll leave the whys and goals to other blog posts, but this will walk you through the mechanics of starting your campaign. The first time you go to ads.twitter.com, you’ll be asked to set your country and time zone. Next, you’ll be presented with a menu prompting you to select your campaign objective. For our first ad (to keep it simple), we’ll do a Followers campaign. image001 Twitter is pretty good about keeping you relatively informed (even if you’re new to the process of advertising). When you select “Followers campaign,” Twitter shows you a chart of what your promoted account tweets will look like so you get an immediate sense of what you’re in for, even if you haven’t seen an ad on Twitter before: image003 First, you’ll be asked to name your campaign and choose a time frame: image005 Then you’ll want to choose targeting: image007 This is arguably the most important part of the exercise. You’ll want to target people who would actually be interested in your content (in this case, your Tweets), otherwise you’re just going to be wasting money. image009 Targeting by interests or followers can be a good way to get started if you’re a fledgling business without an email list. (For a digital marketing company like ours, we’d want to start off targeting users like TechCrunch and Mashable.) Twitter will serve your ad to accounts that follow and post similar content to the usernames you specify. You can also include broad interest categories, limit by geographical location and gender, or exclude people on certain lists. You’ll have to set at least one location. image011 If you have an email mailing list, your targeting can be even better! If you’re signed up for an ads partnership, you can select “Tailored audience,” and you can upload an email list to target users who have registered on Twitter with that same email. You can also target based on your current Twitter followers. The choice is yours! Now choose copy. This can be an existing Tweet that will be broadcast to a wider range of users than it originally reached, or a brand new Tweet.  Make it dynamic and engaging to your audience. image013 Set a budget! If you haven’t run a campaign before, it’s good to set a small budget cap and perhaps a daily limit so you don’t blow it all at once. $20/$5 is a good place to start for a followers campaign. image015 Then all you have to do is launch the campaign! Twitter will ask for a credit card (what, you thought these were free?), but after that you should be all set to gain more followers. image017 Have a question? Let me know in the comments!

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