Ads best practices

Actionable tips for successful campaigns on Twitter

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Best practices for your next Twitter Ads campaign

Twitter is where people go to discover what’s happening and engage with the current conversation, making it a rich platform for brands to promote their products and connect with our active audience. Twitter’s wide range of advertising products help businesses achieve their marketing goals, whether that’s raising awareness or driving website traffic, or somewhere in-between. 

But finding the keys to campaign success can be difficult, especially when you’re doing it on your own with limited resources. We talked to Twitter Account Managers and ad experts to understand what the ultimate best practices are across all campaign objectives. Here are our top actionable tips to help you achieve success in your next Twitter Ads campaign.

Keep your Tweet copy short and sweet

We know you have a lot to say and up to 280 characters to express it (plus more with Tweet threads), but the best performing Tweets are only 50-100 characters1. Make sure your Tweet is  simple, gets straight to the point, and focuses on one clear message.

If you have more to say, do so visually or drive people to click-through to your landing page for more information.

In @Ruggable’s website clicks campaign, they cap their Tweet copy at 66 characters and drive people to their best seller collection to explore more.

Include a strong call-to-action

Don’t assume people will know what you want them to do when they see your ad. Be clear and straightforward with your desired action and explicitly say “follow us”, “click to read more”, or “reply with your favorite [insert here]”. This practice is especially important for follower and engagement campaigns, but is a best practice for all campaign objectives. 

If you’re not sure what your desired action is, focus on that before starting your campaign. Consider what you want your target audience to feel, think, and do when they see your ad — and go from there.

In @Tiger_Balm_US’ followers campaign, they explicitly say “follow us” and give their audience three good reasons why. 

Convey a sense of urgency

Twitter moves in real-time and your Tweets should too. Give people a reason to take immediate action and visit your site, download your app, or follow you. Do you have a limited time offer or sale you’re promoting? Are you offering a discount to the first 20 people who reply to your Tweet or sign up for your newsletter? Should people follow you to stay up to date with the latest, breaking industry news? 

Think about what unique value you’re bringing to the table and narrow in on that.

In @perfectbar’s reach campaign, they add urgency to their new seasonal product release with language like “don’t miss out” and “for a limited time”.

Avoid unnecessary exit points

Whenever possible, keep your ad free of #hashtags and @mentions. We know that it’s tempting, but they’re distracting, clickable opportunities that drive people off your ad and away from your content. Provide only one exit point, whether that’s clicking through to your website or your app, to keep your message laser-focused.

Start with auto bid

Your bid is one of the main factors that determines how frequently your ad is shown to your audience, and starting with auto-bid will help ensure your bid is competitive in the auction and will be served. Make sure to monitor your bids and once you get initial learnings, increase your bid for well-performing campaigns or that are close to but not quite meeting your goals. Learn more about Twitter Ads bidding and auctions.

Incorporate strong visuals

Creatives are one of the most important elements to any ad’s success. 97% of people focus on visuals on Twitter2, so it’s important that yours is eye-catching and features your product or key message. And whether you’re using an image, GIF, or video, make sure that there’s a clear connection between your imagery and your Tweet copy. 

In @PurpleCarrotXO’s website clicks campaign, they feature a mouth-watering close-up shot of one of their meal kits to entice readers to click-through to their website.

Play with video

Among all creative formats, video is one of the strongest and fastest-growing medium on Twitter. Wherever possible, aim to include at least one video in your campaign — even if you’re not running a video views or pre-roll campaign.

Here’s our top video tips:

  • Cap your video at 15-seconds or less to maximize branding impact and higher completion rates. For pre-roll campaigns, remember that viewers have the option to skip your video after 6 seconds.

  • Show movement in the first few seconds to grab attention quickly.

  • Include captions or text-overlay so that you can still get your message across to mobile or sound-off viewers.

  • Include clear branding within the first three seconds of the ad, if not for the full length. Video ads with clear logo placement drive 30% higher unaided brand recall3.

In @P3Protein’s reach campaign, they pack a bunch of action and intrigue in this quick 10-second video that doesn’t need sound to convey the message.

Run multiple Tweets and vary your creative

Having one super strong video ad is great, but it’s not the best course of action for successful campaigns. As they say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The best approach is having multiple Tweets in a single campaign and varying the creative. This means you can run a Video Ad, a Video Ad with a Website Button, a Tweet with an image (can even be a high-quality still from the video), and a plain-text Tweet. Using 3-5 different ad formats has been shown to drive brand lift, campaign awareness, and purchase intent4

Use this opportunity to also test your tone and overall aesthetic across your ads. Take a risk and get a little playful or witty in one of your Tweets to see how your audience responds.

Explore different targeting options to find your audience

Twitter is home to hundreds of niche audiences and fan groups. Especially if you’re just starting out on the platform, we know it can be difficult to find your loyal customer base. For early campaigns, try keeping your targeting broad. After a couple weeks of initial learnings, you can see which audience groups your content is resonating most with and continue building off that. Use Tweet Engager targeting to remarket to groups who’ve engaged with your past content.

If your campaign ties into a larger conversation (i.e. connecting with an upcoming holiday or current trend), try using Twitter’s unique conversation targeting to reach people who are active in those conversations. Learn more about Twitter’s targeting options.

Monitor and optimize your campaigns

Your work shouldn’t stop once your campaign is up and running. Periodically check on your campaign performance while it’s still in-flight and make adjustments to keep it on the path to success. Replace under-performing Tweets and targeting with fresh alternatives. 

After making edits, wait two to three days to allow the learnings to process and see results. If it still continues to underperform after that, pause or delete the campaigns and try again.

Learn more about campaign optimization.

Source information:

1Who Gives A Tweet? Evaluating Microblog Content Value”, André, Bernstein, and Luther, 2012

2“Why Twitter” Competitive Research, Kantar Millward Brown, 2017

3GroupM + Twitter, MetrixLab, Video Best Practices, June 2017, USA, statistically significant at a 95% confidence level

4Nielsen Brand Effect (US/UK/JP/CA), Q3 2015 - Q3 2018 Connect campaigns. Comparison is v. 1 ad format alone

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