Twitter Ad Hacks
Follow this Execution Plan to reach new prospects, generate leads and make sales using the Twitter advertising platform
1 – Start Here
Message from the Author
I started from scratch, so if that’s you… don’t worry. I began at Digital Marketer as an intern with hardly any knowledge of online marketing. Over the past year and a half I’ve gained invaluable experience that I can’t wait to share with all of you inside this execution plan.
I craft, test, and implement numerous social media campaigns daily so that we can share with you what works and what doesn’t. This saves you time and money and allows me to consume a plethorea of knowledge in which I can share.
In this Execution Plan, we’ll explain how we use Twitter advertising to generate leads and sales for our business.
We will walk through the process up setting up a highly successful twitter campaigns that will allow you to generate leads and sales to grow your business and make money. .
It will be up to you to “execute” on this Execution Plan.
But if you do the hard work, the sky is the limit.
Social Marketing Manager
Twitter’s advertising platform allows you to reach new audiences, gain followers, and boost engagement with your target audience. I’m very excited to show you the ins and outs of how to promote a conversion-optimized message that will help you gain new subscribers, leads, and customers.
I’ve been featured on Power 150 blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal, Business 2 Community, Windmill Networking, SEOgadget and KISSmetrics.
My expertise is in business blogging and social media marketing.
Here’s why I am so excited about Twitter Advertising…
It’s been almost a year since Twitter opened their self-serve advertising platform to all US users without an invite, and in that year, they have made some significant changes.
If you tried Twitter Advertising in the beginning, you may have been disappointed by their lack of targeting options, leading to a high ad spend in a short amount of time to an unspecified audience.
Fortunately, Twitter has added more specific target options, allowing you to get your Promoted Accounts and Tweets shown to a Twitter audience most likely to convert.
Let’s get started creating your first Twitter Advertising campaign!
~ Kristi Hines
This is the most critical step in this Execution Plan.
Understanding the greater strategy or context in which Twitter advertising fits is the difference between being frustrated and distracted by Twitter and using it to successfully make money.
The greater strategy is called Customer Value Optimization or CVO.
Your first step is to understand how Twitter ads fit into the CVO strategy.
I urge you to begin by reading the article entitled, Customer Value Optimization: How to Build an Unstoppable Business Read it multiple times. Commit it to memory.
Print the CVO Process graphic that is available as a resource in the article. Pin the CVO Process document to the wall next to your workstation.
Every time you lose your way with Twitter ads (or any other marketing tactic) look at the CVO Flowchart document. It will remind you of the greater strategy and put you back on track.
Please, if you do nothing else with this Execution Plan, read this article now.
In the next step, we will learn how advertising with Twitter fits into the greater CVO strategy.
Understand How Twitter Advertising Fits into CVO
In the previous step, I urged you to visit this article to understand and commit to memory the greater CVO process. You’ve printed the CVO Process document and pinned it to the wall next to your workstation. If you haven’t done all of those things, take the time to do it now. Now, let’s understand how Twitter ads fit into CVO. In the CVO process, Twitter advertising is a traffic source that accomplishes a major goal,
- Sell to more people – Twitter ads will generate new leads by sending traffic to your Lead Magnets.
Twitter ads don’t make money. They are a marketing channel. They are a tactic. Here’s an image of the CVO Process highlighting exactly where you are in relation to the rest of the strategy,
Once you have a general understanding of the CVO strategy, proceed to the next section, Set Up Twitter Account.
2 – Set Up Twitter Account
Understanding Twitter Advertising
Twitter Advertising comes with three options:
- Promoted Accounts
- Promoted Tweets
- Promoted Trends
Entrepreneurs and small businesses can use Promoted Accounts to gain more followers on Twitter and Promoted Tweets to give more exposure to individual tweets. Advertisers with large budgets (reportedly $200k per day) can take advantage of Promoted Trends to keep a hashtag at the top of Trending Topics for a set period of time.
In this guide, we are going to focus on Promoted Tweets and Lead Generation Cards to convert Twitter users into mailing list subscribers, leads, and customers for your business.
Watch this Office Hours presentation on Twitter advertising testing and background:
If you’re new, don’t worry – the rest of this Execution Plan will cover the topics discussed here.
Craft a Converting Tweet to Promote
In order to get the most results from your Promoted Tweets, you will need to promote a tweet that is crafted with conversions in mind.
First, you will need to identify your goals, which can include,
- Growing your mailing list (Through the Lead Magnet)
- Capturing a business lead (Through the Lead Magnet)
- Making a sale (Usually through the Tripwire Offer but also the Core Offer)
To accomplish your goal, you will want those who see and click on your tweets to be taken to a squeeze or landing page that encourages them to sign up for your mailing list, submit a lead form, or purchase a product.
Your tweet, therefore, will need to include the following:
- A target audience.
- A benefit / value.
- A call to action.
- A link to a squeeze or landing page
While it sounds like a lot for 140 characters, it definitely can be done. Let’s look at a few examples. First, let’s start with ON24, a webcasting and virtual communications platform.
Their tweet identifies anyone who hosts webinars as the target audience, with download as a call to action. Their link takes people to the following landing page.
This landing page is (almost) perfect for gathering leads for their platform. Social sharing buttons shouldn’t clutter the Download Now button, but otherwise, it should lead to lead generation conversions.
Next, let’s look at PRWeb, the top online news distribution service.
Their tweet identifies businesses that want media coverage as the target audience, with sign up as a call to action. Their link takes people to the following sales page.
This landing page is perfect for getting new customers as it has one call to action, followed immediately by credibility symbols. If the user isn’t ready to sign up at this point, they can scroll further down the sales page to learn more about PRWeb’s services. Each section of benefits includes a call to action to get started.
Now, let’s look at this example from EXAIR, a manufacturer of compressed air products.
Their tweet identifies people who have problems with static electricity as the target audience, with buy as a call to action. Their link takes people to the following sales page.
Their landing page is a bit cluttered, and you have scroll all the way down past almost 40 product listings to find out more details about the free product with purchase. So it is not an ideal sales page for conversions.
Below is an example from one of our Twitter campaigns. We were giving away free consulting books by Frank Kern as a lead magnet.
Our tweet identifies people who are knowledgable in a certain area but aren’t sure how to become a consultant. The link takes you to a sales letter written by Frank.
At the end of the sales letter there is a simple green button that reads “Send Me The Book”.
The lesson you should learn from these examples is to fully conversion-optimize your Promoted Tweet, from the 140-character text to the landing page it leads visitors to. This will help you achieve your goal, producing more return on your advertising investment.
We’ll cover exactly how to compose the perfect tweet for conversion in the stepChoose (or Create) a Tweet to Promote.
Set Up Your Twitter Advertising Account
Once you have identified your Promoted Tweets goal, crafted your message, and ensured that your squeeze or landing page delivers what your 140-character message offers, you will need to get started with Twitter Advertising.
Entrepreneurs and small businesses in Canada, Ireland, the UK, and the U.S. who are creating advertisements in English can simply sign into Twitter Ads using their main @username (Twitter handle) and password. Business outside these regions can inquire about using Twitter Advertising by completing this form.
If you are signing in to Twitter Ads for the first time, you will need to configure your location and time zone settings. You will not be able to change these later, so be sure to set them up correctly.
Next, you will be able to choose a Promoted Accounts or Promoted Tweets campaign.
Now before you jump into one of these options, you’ll want to configure the rest of your Twitter Ads account. Use the dropdown menu at the top right under Account to set up credit card payment.
When you click the Add Payment Method button, you’ll be prompted to enter your credit card details and agree to Twitter Advertising terms of service.
The reason this is important to do first is you will now get access to several additional Twitter Advertising options, displayed in the top menu bar. You’ll also be asked about your Twitter Advertising goals.
The areas of Twitter Advertising you will have access to after you enter your payment are as follows:
- Campaigns > Tweets and Accounts – This is your overview of current Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets campaigns that are active. You can use the Create New Campaign button to create a Promoted Accounts or Promoted Tweets campaign at any time.
- Creatives > Tweets – This shows you the tweets you have or are actively promoting in a Promoted Tweets campaign. You can use the Compose Tweet button to create a new tweet to be used in a Promoted Tweets campaign.
- Creatives > Cards – This shows you the Lead Generation Cards you have or are actively promoting in a Promoted Tweets campaign. You can use the Create Lead Generation Card to create a new lead generation card.
- Analytics – This section shows you various analytics about your Twitter account as a whole, including your tweet activity, follower demographics, Twitter Card usage, and traffic to your website from Twitter. With exception to traffic to your website, you can also see most of this information in Twitter Analytics.
- Conversion Tracking – This is where you set up conversion tracking within Twitter Advertising.
Set Up Conversion Tracking in Twitter
If you would like to track conversions on your website with Twitter, you will need to set up conversion tracking.
First, you will give your conversion tracking a name. It can be something such as Conversion Course Sale, Mailing List Signup, or September 2013 Webinar Registration. Then, you will choose the conversion type from Site Visit, Purchase, Download, Sign up, or Custom for types that do not fit the other specified goals.
You can also use the advanced attribution settings to let Twitter know how long they should attribute the conversion to a Twitter Advertising campaign. When you create Create tag, you will get an embed code to place on the webpage that indicates a visitor has completed the specified conversion.
Pages that confirm a conversion has been completed include shopping cart order confirmation pages, thank you for subscribing pages, and thank you for submitting a form pages. Note that your conversion tracking tag will be marked as unverified until someone lands on the page to make a conversion. If you are going to create multiple Twitter Advertising campaigns with different conversions, you can create additional conversion tracking tags by clicking the Create New Conversion Tag button
3 – Create Promoted Tweets
Create a Promoted Tweet Advertisement
Once you have crafted a conversion focused tweet, set up your Twitter Advertising account, and set up of conversion tracking for your website, you are ready to create your Promoted Tweets campaign. To do this, go to Campaigns > Tweets and Accounts, and click the Create New Campaign button.
Next, you will select New Promoted Tweets campaign.
To get started, you will name your Promoted Tweets campaign and choose the campaign’s duration.
Target Your Promoted Tweet to the Right Audience
Next, you will choose the targeting options. Twitter Advertising allows you to target your ad audiences in the following ways.
- Keywords – Target your Promoted Tweets towards Twitter users who search or tweet a particular keyword or set of keywords.
- Television – Target your Promoted Tweets towards Twitter users who engage with a particular TV show or group of TV shows in the U.S. or UK.
- Interests and Followers – Target your Promoted Tweets towards Twitter users similar to your followers or any other Twitter user’s followers (including your competition). Also, target ads using Twitter Advertising’s predefined categories list with 300+ topics from Automotive to Travel.
- Tailored Audiences – Target your Promoted Tweets towards your existing customers and prospects by allowing Twitter to create custom audience lists from ad partners and platforms such as AdRoll, QuantCast, ValueClick, ExactTarget, MailChimp, Axiom, SocialCode, and others listed here.
In addition to targeting based on the above options, you can also target based on location, device used by a Twitter user, and gender. You can also specify whether Promoted Tweets should appear in a user’s timeline or in search results (or both).
Which targeting options do we think peform best? It depends. We always test “keyword” and “interets and followers” out of the gate. Usually, we set up a campaign for both and find that both ROI. The campaign that targets a specific keyword will reach less people versus targeting specific interests or followers. For example, look below. We were promoting a course about e-commerce.
The keyword campaign reached less people because it was only targeting people who had mentioned “e-commerce”, “e-com”, or “ecommerce”. Although it is reaching less people, it is converting much higher because it’s only targeting people who have actually tweeted a keyword related to our product.
Below, you can see the handles we chose to target with our “interests and followers” campaign. It reached two times the amount of people than the keyword campaign did because we were targeting all of the followers of these particular handles.
After looking at the numbers, both campaigns are returning significantly more money than we are spending, we are just using two different types of campaigns to reach our target market.
Which one would we use in the future? BOTH!
Run as many campaigns as possible as long as they are all returning more money than you are investing.
In terms of the location field, we ALWAYS specify locations and never target “all available locations”.
If you check all available locations your budget will be spent in a very short amount of time, mostly in countries that don’t speak english. We target top 4-5 countries that actually buy our products.
Choose (or Create) the Tweet to Promote
Once you have defined your targeting options, you will choose the tweet you want to promote. You have the option to manually select from your recent tweets, have Twitter automatically choose from your latest five tweets, or to create a new tweet to promote by clicking the Promote a New Tweet link or composing it in the box below.
One of the perks to creating a new tweet within the Promoted Tweets ad setup is that you can create a tweet that is only shown to the target audience for your ad campaign. It will not be posted to your Twitter account for the public.
The most important aspect of writing your tweets is knowing how to compose the tweets that CONVERT. This means composing a tweet that sends the most possible traffic to your landing page to generate leads, sales, etc.
Here are 2 important elements of composing the perfect tweet:
1.) Thinking about creating a tweet with a photo?
If you’re wanting more clicks to your link DON’T DO IT!
Adding a photo to your tweet creates an extra link:
Versus a tweet with one link:
Although the tweet with the photo may be more “eye catching” it actually adds an unneccesary link for people to click.
It takes away from the call to action and the link out to the landing page you are promoting.
Don’t be misled by the engagement rate percentages (displayed below). These are not Click Thru Rates. The percentages reflect the number of people who clicked on the tweet… anywhere on the tweet- whether it’s the photo link, the profile photo, or the outbound link.
A click anywhere on the tweet counts as an “engagement”. So, when you see numbers like the ones below don’t get excited that you’re sending a ton of traffic to your site because you included an engaging photo in your tweet.
When you look at the actual link clicks of both tweets, you will be very surprised…
The tweet without the photo received THREE TIMES more clicks to landing page than the tweet with the photo.
Long story short, don’t use photos for tweets that are meant to send traffic elsewhere. The photo adds an extra link and a distraction for the end user.
2.) Use link shorteners for more clicks.
We decided to run a split test to see if a shortened link (using a free service such asbit.ly) would convert higher than a naked link (ex. www.digitalmarketer.com/how-to-write-a-promotional-email).
The hypothesis was that the naked link would convert higher, that seeing our domain name would build trust and more clicks.
Boy were we wrong.
The tweet with the link shortener, when promoted to the same audience with the same budget, outperformed the naked URL by 709%.
Multiple case studies show that the shorter the tweet, the better the conversion. The shorter the link, the better the conversion? YES.
All in all, to create the best converting tweet, remember to keep it short and sweet.
The tweet should:
-Use simple, direct copy (if it’s a blog post, use that headline)
-OR, ask a question.. but keep it similar to the ‘headline’
-Short and Sweet
For example, this is one of our BEST converting tweets:
Want the highest converting tweet possible? Keep it simple!
Set the Budget for Your Promoted Tweet
Finally, you will set up your ad campaign budget. You can specific a total budget for your ad, plus a daily budget. You can also use the Pacing Options to specific whether your Promoted Tweets should be shown immediately or throughout the day only.
Twitter will automatically suggest a bid amount for your ad campaign. You can modify this and not be charged more than the amount you specify for any user engagements with your Promoted Tweets, including retweets, replies, favorites, follows, or clicks. For competitive keywords, if you choose a lower bid amount, advertisers who bid higher will have their ad shown to targeted users before yours. Also, there is one thing to note. “Clicks” does not mean clicks on your link through to your website. Clicks are defined as follows: clicks on the URL, hashtag, Tweet copy, avatar and username, or the expand button. This means that you could see hundreds of “clicks” for your Promoted Tweets campaign, but only get a fraction of the traffic to your website.
Track Your Promoted Tweet on Twitter
Once you save and launch your campaign, it will go live instantly. You will be taken to a screen where you can monitor your ad campaign’s progress.
This screen will show you everything about your Promoted Tweets including the types of engagements you receive, the devices Twitter users are on, where Twitter users are from, the gender of each Twitter user, and the keywords they used. This is where conversion tracking comes in handy. While all of the analytics for your Promoted Tweets are interesting, the only thing you need to be focused on is conversions. Is your ad spending actually driving Twitter users who convert into new subscribers, new leads, or new sales? If the answer is yes, then you will want to increase your ad budget and keep promoting. If not, you will want to optimize your Promoted Tweets.
Optimize Your Promoted Tweet
Based on the results of your Promoted Tweets campaign (i.e., the number of conversions), you will want to optimize your Promoted Tweets campaign. But first, you need to diagnose the problem.
- If you are getting a lot of impressions, but not a lot of engagements, then you need to modify your Promoted Tweets text.
- If you are getting a lot of engagements and clicks to your website, but not a lot of conversions, then you need to modify your landing page.
If the problem is with the tweet you promoted itself, you can click on the Edit Campaign button at the top of your campaigns dashboard, scroll down to the Tweets section of your ad campaign setup, and compose a new tweet to promote. Since these are limited delivery tweets (only shown to Twitter users targeted in your ad campaign), you don’t need to worry about having multiple variations of the same tweet on your main timeline.
Once you’ve modified your Promoted Tweets, be sure to click the Save Campaign button at the bottom of the ad setup screen and then click it one more time to confirm if it reappears at the top of your screen.
Again, you will be taken back to the main campaign dashboard to view your current ad analytics. Be sure to monitor your new Promoted Tweets to see if they start to drive conversions or need modifications.
4 – Create Lead Generation Cards
Understanding Lead Generation Cards
Lead Generation Cards are part of the Twitter Advertising system. They allow people to express interest in what your business has to offer by allowing them to easily submit contact information (username, name, and email address) from their Twitter account.
While Lead Generation Cards are found under Twitter Ads, you don’t necessarily have to spend money with Twitter Advertising to use them (although a Promoted Tweets campaign would give it more exposure). The following is an example of a Lead Generation Card shared as a regular tweet.
When you click to the View Details link or the cards.twitter.com link, you will be shown additional details about the offer. With one click, you can submit your information to the user.
A Lead Generation Card makes it easier to achieve conversions for mailing list signups and lead form submissions as you don’t have to risk losing the Twitter user between your tweet and your landing page. You can get them immediately from Twitter itself with one click.
Instead of worrying about conversion rates from Twitter to your squeeze page, and then the percentage of people who will actually opt in on the squeeze page, you’re eliminating this ENTIRE PROCESS!
People are giving you their email with one click, within their Twitter newsfeed.
Also, they’re giving you their best email… the one they use to log into Twitter.
Set Up a Lead Generation Card
To create a new Lead Generation Card, click on Creatives > Cards in your Twitter Ads menu. You will be taken to the Lead Generation Cards dashboard where you can click the blue Create Lead Generation Card button to get started.
The setup screen for Lead Generation Cards walks you through the process while showing you exactly how your card will look to other Twitter users.
You will start by entering a short description for your card, i.e. the benefit or reason a Twitter user would submit their information to you. This could be to download your lead magnet, get a discount code, sign up for a free trial, or get more information about your business.
Next, you will upload a card image. This image needs to be a minimum of 600x150px (4:1 aspect ratio). It should be something eye-catching that represents your business and/or lead magnet.
Your call to action will be the text that appears in the blue button that the Twitter user would click to submit their information to you. This should be similar to what you would use on your squeeze or landing page.
Once you have the basic details about your Lead Generation Card setup, you can configure some optional settings. First is the destination URL. This is a URL on your website such as your “Thank you for subscribing” page. Alternatively, you can simply enter an up to 100-character message to be displayed in the Lead Generation Card after they submit it.
Connect Lead Generation Cards to Your Marketing Platform
While this is considered an optional part of the Lead Generation Card setup, it’s actually a very important step. You can enter data settings for your Lead Generation Card. This is what will connect the data that Twitter users submit to your CRM or mailing list service provider.
Twitter has listed the following companies as ones that provide specific instructions on how to connect your Lead Generation Card data to your accounts on their platforms.
If you do a Google search for your CRM, marketing automation, or mailing list service provider + Twitter Lead Generation Card, you’ll likely find directions on how to configure your data settings properly. For example, this blog post explains how to connect Aweber to Lead Generation Cards. GetResponse also offers instructions on how to connect to Lead Generation Cards in this blog post. Alternatively, you can also download the leads you gain from your card to a CSV file and import them into your service manually. Note that if you choose this option with a lead magnet, you will need to direct Twitter users to a download page where they can get their free ebook, whitepaper, report, etc. immediately using the Destination URL settings mentioned previously.
Promote Your Lead Generation Card
Once you’ve finished creating your Lead Generation Card, you will be taken to a screen that allows you to compose a tweet with a link to your card, edit your card, clone your card, or view it in action.
Be sure to start by testing your Lead Generation Card by viewing it and submitting your own information.
Once you’ve tested it to make sure it is working properly, you will want to promote it in one or both of the following ways.
- Tweet it to your following using the Compose Tweet with this card option or by copying the link to your card and adding it to a tweet.
- Use Promoted Tweets advertising to help your Lead Generation Card reach a larger audience.
Here are two examples of our highest converting lead gen cards:
This lead gen card takes visitors to a video that demonstrates a cool Facebook tactic.
During the video, a buy button pops that directs them to purchase a course about Facebook.
Talk about targeted leads…
With this lead generation card, we sent people to a free training with Ryan Deiss & Perry Belcher. During the video, a button pops that offers a free webinar to learn more.
On the webinar, we sell them a course on how to build funnels.
We are generating $2.00-$2.50 leads for a course that is $947.00.
Export Leads from Lead Generation Card
If you used data settings provided by your CRM, marketing automation, or mailing list service provider, then your leads from Twitter should be automatically exported to your platform. If you were not able to configure data settings and need to manually download your leads to a CSV file, you can do this by going to your Lead Generation Cards under Creatives > Cards. Hover over the card and then click on the download icon.
This will give you a file that you should be able to import into your CRM, marketing automation, or mailing list service provider.
Alternatives to the Official Twitter Advertising Platform
If you find your advertising spend with Twitter’s official platform is not generating results, there are some alternative networks that allow you to pay for additional exposure on Twitter. Here are the most popular third party networks.
- Sponsored Tweets – Sign up as an advertiser to get celebrities (Internet, entertainment, sports, etc.) to tweet your content at a premium price.
- BuySellAds – Create an account and browse users who are willing to tweet your content for a premium price per tweet.
- Just Retweet and Easy Retweet – Buy credit packages, submit your tweet, and offer each person who tweets it a number of credits. Alternatively, you can tweet other people’s content to earn credits, then submit your tweets using those credits.
There are also other ways to buy tweets, but these networks provide you with access to real people with real followers who will actually drive traffic and engagement to your content. Other networks will just get you an increase in tweets, but nothing more.
5 – Conclusion
By now, you should know how to effectively generate new mailing list subscribers, leads, and sales using Twitter Promoted Tweets advertising and Lead Generation Cards. If you follow the steps in this guide, you’ll be on your way to running a successful Twitter Advertising campaign.
Last Word – Understand the Big Picture
Bonus Presentation: Make Organic Twitter Profitable
We’ve looked at a number of ways to succeed with Twitter advertising, and we always recommend advertising as a method for getting traffic and focusing your efforts. But you definitely can make organic Twitter profitable.
Check out this Office Hours presentation on Making Organic Twitter Profitable: