Twitter Paid Advertising for Small Businesses: How to Get the Most Out of the Promoted Tweets Platform

April 3, 2015

Twitter’s pay-per-click advertising platform, now in beta, has opened up to offer access to some small businesses in addition to the larger advertisers who have been able to advertise via Twitter ads for some time. Getting access to the promoted tweets platform and understanding the different types of advertising available to you via Twitter could be a point of confusion for small businesses, so let’s outline the different means of advertising on Twitter.

(See Also: How to See Your Old Tweets)

Available Forms of Twitter Advertising

There are a few different ways you can advertise on Twitter:

  • Promote Tweets to Twitter Search – You can pin a promoted Tweet to a specific search (you could choose some of your core keywords or advertise on a competitor’s brand name).
  • Promote Tweets to Your Followers – You can also promote specific tweets to people who already follow you – this might be a good place to promote a specific offer you want followers to take, to promote your presence at events, or to promote content you want to get more exposure for.
  • Promote Tweets to Users Similar to Yours – This is a good way to get additional exposure beyond your follower base, as the platform will find users similar to your followers and show them your promoted Tweets, which might promote certain offers and/or content.
  • Promote Tweets to Trends – Similar to search, you can promote a Tweet in response to a specific trend, such as showing an ad for NBA jerseys in response to an #NBAfinals trend.
  • Brand Pages – You can create an “Enhanced Profile Page” which is a branded page similar to a Facebook fan page.
  • Sponsored Accounts – You can also pay to have your Twitter account sponsored to users who the platform determines would be interested in your account.

If you’re a larger advertiser and can commit to at least $15,000 over three months, you can have access to all of these features, or if you’re a smaller business and want to test the platform via self-serve ads you can leverage the promoted accounts and promoted tweets (to users similar to yours).

You can learn more about the small business platform and get $100 in free ads here:


And you can sign up for a new Twitter ad account here:


For a small business, self-serve account you can designate how much you want to pay per follower, for the promoted accounts product, and you can designate a daily budget as well as a cost to pay per new follower:

Twitter Promoted Account

As you can see a bid is recommended and they project how many new followers you can expect per day.

Promoted tweets is very similar, but in addition to controlling budget and cost per follower, you can also accept or reject actual tweets to promote to Twitter users who are similar to your followers:

Promoted Tweets

You can promote specific content you want to gain exposure for (such as link baits, Webinars, white papers, discounts or coupons, etc.) and while you can’t hand-designate specific tweets you can “reject” tweets to help cultivate the five tweets that actually show up as promoted.

Pushing hard offers via Twitter ads can be very ineffective, but investing in growing your follower base and exposing your tweets to more Twitter users can be a great way to help generate more exposure for your content and can actually drive leads and sales to specific types of offers. You have much less targeted control with many of Twitter’s promoted products as you’re basically promoting an existing account or tweet that you’re using for another purpose, rather than hand-crafting an account to drive specific traffic to a specific page via a specific ad as you would with AdWords. But if you’re cognizant of the prices you’re paying (in some cases as low as .50 per engagement) and the traffic and interaction with your site that’s being generated as a result, Twitter ads can be a valuable part of a balanced set of lead generation channels that also includes PPC, content marketing and so on.

(Read More: The Best Tweets Ever: The Most Important, Record-Breaking Tweets of All Time)

Tom Demers

Tom Demers

Tom Demers is Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Measured SEM and Cornerstone Content.

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