How To Run An Effective Promoted Tweets Campaign

Twitter Promoted Tweet campaigns are an excellent way of reaching new or existing audiences.

I’ve been very fortunate to have run several programmes over the past few years for a variety of clients who have wondered about the potential of Twitter ads; they have always been pleasantly surprised by the end results.

I’ve tried to set out my thoughts on the main components to consider when running a Promoted Tweets campaign and how to make sure programme as effective as possible.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Before you start your campaign, you need to decide on what you want the final outcome of the actvity to be, this will determine all of the other factors that you’ll need to consider when planning and executing your programme.

Here’s three ideas:

  • Drive traffic to a website
  • Generate content shares
  • Increase brand/product awareness

The main question that a client asks is “how much should I spend?”. The response to that should be “how much do you want to spend?”.

I’d always suggest £5k as a starting point, especially if you want the assistance of one of the Twitter Account Managers who are extremely helpful, knowledgeable and good fun to work with!

Promoted Tweets work on a bidding system – your tweet is competing with hundreds of others to be served and one of the contributing factors is how much you want to spend for each of those potential clicks.

Generally you’ll be asked to bid somewhere in the £1 – £2 region, but that varies according to demand on an hour by hour basis.


As with all online activations, content is the most important key to success. If your content isn’t funny, interesting, inspiring or informative, it’s going to fail.

Make sure your Promoted Tweet has a call to action – it has to be direct, not inferred – otherwise you’re missing a big opportunity to encourage people to interact with the tweet.

Keep your copy below 120 characters: it makes it more retweetable and gives you space for an image.

And on that, make sure your tweet has a visual to accompany it. It encourages engagement because it makes the tweet stand out in the newsfeed; even more so, it needs to do something more than the copy of the tweet. That means including something funny, informative, interesting, entertaining… you get the idea.

Call To Action
This ties in to those objectives you set out at the start.

Do you want people to click through to see content on another site? Tell them “Visit us!”.

Do you want them to share your content? Tell them “Retweet us!”.

Do you want them to know more about your brand? Tell them “Follow us!”

Content Frequency
I’ve always been told that the life of a Promoted Tweet, or when it’s at its most effective, is 2-3 days. People tend to only click on Promoted Tweets once, so when they re-appear in a user’s Twitter feed they are largely ignored.

You’ll tend to see the most activity on a tweet in the first 24 hours of it being live.

This means that you should look to create a number of tweets that have different copy or visuals to run over the course of your activation. If you are running a week long programme, make sure you have three tweets in your armoury as a minimum.

You have three main metrics to help you assess whether your campaign is working:

Impressions – the number of times your Promoted Tweet has been served
Engagement Rate – the number of clicks, follows, retweets your Promoted tweet has had as a proportion of impressions
CPE – Cost per Engagement, or the price you’ve paid per click

You want your Impressions to be high (if nobody sees your Promoted Tweet, what’s the point), your Engagement Rate to be high and your CPE to be low.

The number of Impressions you get depends on the size of your potential audience and the size of your budget, so there’s no real benchmark for success here.

You want to aim for your Engagement Rate to be between 1-3% and to keep your CPE below £1.00.

Serving Content
Twitter’s ad platform has a plethora of options for targeting people; based on their interests, key words they’re searching for, people who are like a particular handle, their location, the TV shows they watch or even your own data.

It means you can be precise and target the exact people you want to engage with.

You can choose whether you’d like your Promoted Tweets to appear in ordinary newsfeeds or when people are searching for something in particular. I’ve found that both work equally as well, depending on what your campaign is and how well you’re optimising your campaign.

The advantage we have as Community Managers is that we live and breathe the communities we serve. It means we know them inside out.

It gives us a spectacular advantage over ad agencies who set campaigns off and let them run until the budget exhausts.

Twitter ads allow you to constantly fine tune your programme based on the keywords people are looking for, the main topics of the day and the amount of money you want to bid for each content serve.

Know your community are always online between 6-8pm? Up your bid to reach them and then lower it overnight.

In Summary
I find Promoted Tweets to be one of the most cost-effective ways to engage with an audience online.

It’s agile because you can tweak your content as you go, you can optimise according to your community and you can keep re-defining your programme as you progress.

I’ve had great success over the years with Twitter in reaching audiences and expanding client communities with useful and engaging content.

Have you run Promoted Tweet campaigns, what tips do you have?


One thought on “How To Run An Effective Promoted Tweets Campaign

  1. Pingback: Monetizing through Twitter Tailored Audience Marketing

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