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An Introduction to Twitter Advertising

Published on Thursday, 20th February 2014
Our friends at Bath based search company Search Star offer their advice in a series of three articles on Twitter's new advertising opportunities. In this first article we take a look at Promoted Ads and Promoted Tweets.

In November 2013, Twitter officially extended its ad offering, allowing small and medium sized businesses access to a self service a platform. Previously if you wanted to advertise on Twitter in the UK you had to develop a ‘working relationship’ with the company, which boiled down to the size of your ad budget – an upfront commitment upwards of £5k per month.

The move to a self-service “pay as you go” model allows the mass of SME advertisers to utilise the platform as they do Google Adwords, Facebook & LinkedIn. Given it is an auction model, the starting prices are low but we should expect them to rise quickly as the new entrants bid up the market. That being said, there will be bargains for the early adopters.

Twitter's Ad Platform at a Glance:

Currently there are two types of ads you can run on Twitter in the UK – Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets.

Promoted Accounts gives your business Twitter account the opportunity to appear at the top of the ‘Who to follow’ suggestions on the Twitter Homepage. Suitable for businesses who are looking to grow their audience on Twitter as you only pay when you acquire a follower to your account.

Promoted Tweets allows your chosen Tweets to appear at the top of feeds you target or search results. More appropriate for businesses trying to drive traffic away from Twitter to a website / landing page. You will only pay when a user engages with your promoted Tweet – clicks on the Tweet, re-tweets, replies, favourites or follows.

So, What’s The Verdict?

The Twitter Advertising site offers a pleasantly familiar model presented in a user friendly manner, but is it all there? During initial testing we found some of the targeting options were definitely a little unfinished and lacking in comparison to the US offering. In particular, the location targeting only allowed you to define the metro areas of: Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. Given the service doesn’t specify a minimum budget we would have expected to see more enhanced location targeting, ensuring small businesses can maximise reach in their operating area regardless of their budget size.

If precise location targeting is important to your business it is worth stressing the service is very much in its infancy! It almost feels like this feature was rushed to launch alongside Twitter’s initial public offering as it seeks to turn potential revenue into actual profit. However, by using keyword targeting on the platform, you are able to target your ads based on what users are engaging with, searching or tweeting. We would recommend including your geographic terms here to help target your audience.

If Twitter is your prospective customer or client’s preferred social platform and your business is not geo-restricted, this pay-on-engagement service could offer great results.

Stay tuned as we will be sharing our experience with running a campaign on Twitter!

Try it for yourself

O2 have partnered with Twitter for this launch and are offering £50 free advertising credit to any Twitter business accounts signing up to their free Social Insights tool. Click here for more details.

If you need a hand or a bit more information about advertising on Twitter, contact the team at Search Star on 01225 58383801225 583838 or email