How to Get The Most Out of Paid Twitter Ads

by Michelle McGinnis on Monday, October 22, 2012 in Social Media

I have to admit I wasn’t immediately convinced that paid ads would work for B2B. But success I've seen through Twitter changed my mind.

A brief conversation with a colleague recently made me realize many other B2B marketers may feel the same way. If you're considering testing the waters, there a few tips for getting the most bang for your buck. Here are four such tips for your Twitter ads project.

1. Take Advantage of Every Update
Twitter has done an excellent job in modifying the paid ad capabilities on continuous basis. Clearly, it's trying to find the right model that works for marketers. Over the past couple of months, Twitter has made updates in its ad offerings that suggest it "gets" marketing. Most notably, they introduced targeting promoted tweets by interests and scheduling. You can craft promoted tweets to people with a specific interest (say, "tech events"), and Twitter will serve it up to people who follow tech events or follow people who talk a lot about those events. And in the past you couldn't schedule a tweet to go out at a specific time or select who in your following should see it, now you can. Twitter has  proactively reached out to introduce these updates and solicit advice. It's all about testing, testing, and re-testing!

2. Don’t Focus on Followers
Why pay to share something with your followers when you can do that on your own, for free? Previously when you paid for a tweet, the content showed up in your timeline to all your followers. Twitter changed this. You can simply uncheck the box that says ‘send to my followers’. Since doing this, I have noticed that we are successfully seeing more conversions from new names, keeping the cost per acquisition down. You can focus budgets solely on lead generation, not awareness.

3. Regularly Update Your Tweets
This is a mistake I made the first time around. When I launched a campaign, I would have one tweet ready to go and that was it. Take advantage of the opportunity to test different copy. Start with two to three different tweets on day one and see how each perform. Within the analytics tool in Twitter you can see which tweet provided the most clicks and had the highest conversion. Use this data to refresh and create new tweet copy, but keep the highest performing one live for the duration. No sense in fixing what isn’t broken.

4. Track Conversions Outside of Twitter
Twitter only tells you how many people saw the tweet, how many clicked and how many retweeted it. This engagement rating is valuable, but not perfect for lead generation. So I setup custom query strings in the URL that make it easy to see which of my conversion arrived through a paid Twitter campaign, and which campaign it was - important if you're running more than one. The URL is automatically shrunk by Twitter, so no worries about the character count. Figure out a way to track the conversion and see of the clicks, who actually turned into a lead for your company.

B2B marketers who follow these tips can get an early jump on their paid Twitter ads and avoid some rookie mistakes. If you're using Twitter ads, what kind of tips and successes have you seen?

And if you want more advice on social ads, download our Grande Guide to Social Advertising. It's free!

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