12.08.201510 min read

Twitter Advertising 101: Growing Your Small Business Through Promoted Tweets

by Jared Kimball

Have you ever considered advertising on Twitter? If you have, read on! If you haven’t – read on! I’ll tell you why you should.

I won’t break down exactly how to use Twitter’s Ad Platform, because it would take a full book to explain everything. Instead this post will show you the types of Twitter ads that are most effective to use from my experience.

Twitter is different than Facebook or Google Advertising in many ways - some good and some bad.

Why use Twitter ads in the first place?

1.    It’s a newer ad platform that attracts a wide variety of people. 

2.    It’s not quite as saturated as Google and Facebook - yet!

3.    People can give you the email address linked to their Twitter account without leaving Twitter

Let me explain that third point a little more.

You can create an ad in Twitter that they call Leads On Twitter that allows you to make an offer, and if someone responds to your offer Twitter gives you their Twitter email address.

Here’s why this is so powerful: People normally set up a “primary” email address and a “junk” email address. You don’t want their junk address.

In most cases when someone creates their Twitter account they’ll use their primary email address. So, when they respond to your ad on Twitter you have a very good chance of getting their primary email address. 

The advantages of using Twitter advertising

Twitter is a mobile advertising medium. 80 percent of their users are on mobile devices. If you develop mobile apps then this is a great place to advertise them.

Twitter has designed their ad platform to help app developers promote their apps.

Through their App Install Campaigns you can promote your app and the mobile user can click the install button and they are instantly taken to the app store on their mobile device so they can download the app right there. No extra steps required.

Another advantage to using Twitter ads is that they will help you.

You can actually submit a support ticket and get help from Twitter experts who will help you optimize your campaign’s targeting and performance. 

If you launch a campaign and see that it’s not performing as well as you’d like, you can ask Twitter for some suggestions and they’d be happy to help within the next business day usually. 

This isn’t possible on Facebook or Google unless you’re spending a lot of money.

Another advantage to using Twitter ads is their old school promoted posts. A promoted post is kind of like an advertorial, which is an ad that doesn’t look like a traditional ad and looks more like an editorial article in a magazine for example. Why is that powerful? Because, as the Houston Chroniclepoints out, “Reader’s Digest found that ad copy written to look like a magazine article drew 81 percent more orders than the same copy made to look like a traditional ad.” 

Twitter’s promoted post are similar to an advertorial. Let me show you an example.

The image below is a normal tweet.

Infusionsoft how to use twitter advertising for your business

This image is a promoted tweet. Notice the subtle difference? (Hint - it has the word “Promoted” in it.

Infusionsoft how to use twitter advertising for your business

You’ll also notice the amount of retweets and favorites.

The normal post had:


●    6 favorites

The promoted tweet had:


●    4,000 favorites

I recommend you experiment with promoted tweets, and for the rest of this post that’s what we’ll dive into.

How to use promoted tweets effectively

Setting up an ad campaign takes some planning, but don’t let that stop you from launching.

The first place to get started is to take a look at your content incentives or what you will give people in exchange for their contact information (i.e. email address, name or etc.).

Evaluate your incentives and put yourself in the mindset of your ideal customer.

Understand your potential audience

Answer these questions/exercises and then you’ll have a better idea of what content incentive to focus on advertising.

Do your best to imagine what it would be like if you were in their shoes and write down everything. No idea should be eliminated. 

Why do you think they use Twitter? 

Are they looking for friends, resources, suggestions, or are they trying to get questions answered about specific problems your business solves?

What kind of content do they engage with on Twitter that you could tie to your offer?

Are they retweeting or favoriting news articles about the industry (aka gossip), training tips, videos, infographics, inspiring quotes or other kinds of content? 

Review your five to 10 most popular Twitter posts and list them in order of most popular to least popular

Here’s how to do that.

1.    In Twitter go to your profile

2.    Scan your tweets - take note of your most popular tweets

a.    Which ones have a lot of Favorites

b.    Which ones have a lot of Retweets

3.    Copy the tweets and paste them to a document like Word, Pages or Excel

4.    After you have five to ten pasted sort them based on the following:

a.    Two points for every Retweet

b.    One point for every Favorite

c.    Sort your tweets based on total points - the post with the most points is your first most popular tweet and continue to sort them based on that number

5.    Match your content incentives with your top tweets from step 4

How to write your promoted Twitter post

Now that you have a list of your most popular tweets how can you use that same type of tweet and tie in your “incentive”?

Here is an example from my Twitter timeline and how I can tie in an incentive.

Infusionsoft how to use twitter advertising for your business

I rewrote this tweet like this (note: don’t use big brands in your ads):

Infusionsoft how to use twitter advertising for your business

Now that you have a few promoted tweets written down, start tweeting them. 

You can use a tool like Buffer or just manually tweet them out and monitor their results.

If any of the tweets get engagements then promote those with Twitter Ads.

The great thing about tweeting them first is that it allows you to get an idea of which ones might be popular without spending any money.

Get creative with your promoted tweets. Focus on creating advertorial style tweets that are fun, engaging and people are proud to share.

The best content incentives to promote

From my experience, here are the most engaging types of content to promote through Twitter Ads:

1.    Webinars

2.    Case studies or ultimate guides

3.    Ebooks

4.    Blog posts

Start tweeting and promoting your stuff and build your email list. As you test more ads you’ll get a better idea of what works best for the market you serve.

Obviously, I can’t fit everything there is to know about Twitter advertising into one blog post (plus, Ellis wants me to keep it around 1,000 words). [Ellis’s note: It came to 1,200+ words. Fail, Kimball.]

But I’d love to help answer your questions about Twitter ads, so post your questions in the comments and I’d be happy to help.

Infusionsoft how to use twitter advertising for your businessJared Kimball openly shares his strategies and techniques for list building on his site MarketerLife.com. If you’re interested in how to increase your email open rates – go here. He's also a marketing automation strategist at Infusionsoft.

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