Written by Sam Yadegar on Dec 7 , 2021

Create Twitter ads that fit seamlessly into your target audience’s timelines to garner attention, improve traffic, and more. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why you should consider Twitter Ads
  • The various types of Twitter advertising options
  • Twitter Ads examples
  • How to optimize your ads

Twitter began as (and, arguably, still is) a social media app to connect virtually with others, share thoughts, and have conversations. 

These days, it’s become a platform where users get breaking news, make jokes, post memes, and fire off random thoughts as well. 

Twitter is also one of the top platforms for social media marketing ads.

If you’re running Facebook and Instagram ads, you may feel like you’re set when it comes to paid social. But if you haven’t even thought about adding Twitter ads into the mix, you may be missing out. 

In fact, Twitter user numbers — and engagement rates — are growing. Whether you’re already aboard the Twitter Ads campaign train or just want to know more, let’s dive into the info you need to succeed on Twitter in 2022.

What are Twitter Ads?

Twitter Ads are paid tweets featuring text or multimedia. They show up on the Twitter platform as Promoted Ads, Follower Ads, and Trend Takeover via desktop or on the mobile app. 

You can usually interact with these tweets the same way you would an organic tweet (such as responding, retweeting, or liking), but they’ll be marked as “promoted.”  

Why Twitter Ads deserve your attention

People spend 26% more time looking at ads on Twitter than they do on any other social media platform. 

Not only that, but reports show the platform has approximately 206 million daily users across the globe. When these users are scrolling, some of the tweets in their timelines may be sponsored ads or promoted content. 

Your target audience may very well be active on the Twitter platform. According to Statista, men between 25 and 34 years of age are the largest Twitter age demographic (19%). 

The second-largest is 18- to 24-year-old women. However, Twitter users are hardly all young. More than 17% of them are ages 50 and up.

hawksem: twitter ads blog

When your Twitter Ads campaign parameters are standard, the platform evens out your spend rate throughout the day. (Image via Unsplash)

A few key benefits of Twitter Ads are that they’re:

  • Precise: The most effective ones are short and to the point
  • Unobtrusive: They blend into the news feed organically without jarring the reader
  • Cost-efficient: They allow you to build your campaign in a budget-friendly way
  • Tailored: It’s possible to tailor these ads precisely to target different audiences
  • Versatile: You can create an efficient retargeting campaign in just a few clicks

One of the best parts about Twitter Ads is that there’s no minimum campaign spend. Thus, they can be suited to virtually any budget.

Types of Twitter Ads

Twitter determines which audience your content is most suitable for. After that, the ads compete in an auction based on your budget. 

The more money you’re willing to pay and the more relevant your ads are, the more likely they are to appear where you want. 

Twitter Ads are a straightforward paid social media marketing tactic. However, the platform gives you multiple ad options for promoting your account and content.

Promoted Ads

These ads appear in the user’s timeline and look like any other tweet except for the “promoted” tag on the bottom. They come in several formats:

  • Text – Plain textual tweet
  • Single image – An image and a block of text
  • Video – Includes a video and a block of text
  • Carousel – A combination of 2 to 6 images or videos in a single ad 
  • Moment A combination of tweets with a title, description, and a cover photo

It’s also key to pay special attention to the specs of each format to ensure the highest quality of your ads. For example, you can add around 100 tweets to a Moment (curated stories), but the platform recommends fewer than 10.

Follower Ads

These ads show up in different locations on the platform, including the timeline, “Who to follow” section, and search results. They display your account to people who may find it relevant and interesting.

Twitter Amplify

This option allows you to pair your ads with premium video content from vetted publishers. In March 2021, advertisers gained access to some new Amplify options:

  • Curated categories – You can pair ads with the video content from 15-plus preset groups of publishers. These categories and publishers may change over time.
  • New design – Amplify ads have a specific look with a brand name and logo in the upper-left corner of the ad. You can also choose one out of several preset CTAs to appear next to the brand name.
  • More information – When creating Amplify ads, you can browse the list of publishers in the category to make better advertising choices.

You can also take advantage of the Amplify Sponsorships program which allows pairing with a single publisher for the duration of your campaign. According to Twitter, this option is currently unavailable to self-serve advertisers.

Twitter Takeover

This advanced approach to Twitter advertising allows you to create an immersive experience for the user. Your options for this ad type are:

  • Timeline takeover – Your ad is the first ad a user sees when they open Twitter.
  • Trend takeover – This puts your ads near whatever is currently trending under the Explore tab and on top of the Trends list for 24 hours.

The cost of Twitter Ads varies dramatically based on the industry, format, audience, and goals. The least expensive ads are generally the standard promoted ads. However, advanced options like Takeover are often more effective.

The latest Twitter Ads tips

Constructing a versatile Twitter Ads campaign can take time and practice. These are the latest tips to help your ads succeed in 2022.

Twitter Promoted Explore tab

An example of a Trend Takeover promoted ad in the #Explore tab (via Twitter)

1. Explore Trend Takeover and Trend Takeover+

In early 2020, Twitter introduced the Promoted Trend Spotlight global feature. It’s now called Trend Takeover, with the Takeover+ option including “immersive video creative.”

The feature allows you to place your ad at the very top of the “Explore” tab (for the first two visits per person per day), improving its visibility substantially. The option supports static messages as well as 6-second GIFs and videos.

2. Take advantage of accelerated delivery

When your Twitter Ads campaign parameters are standard, the platform evens out your spend rate throughout the day. So, if your daily campaign budget is $100, it’ll be distributed more or less evenly within 24 hours (approximately $4 per hour).

To speed up your campaign and achieve faster results, you can turn the standard delivery option off. When you do that, Twitter will start serving impressions and generating engagement as fast as possible until the daily budget is up. 

This is a perfect option for time-sensitive advertising campaigns that need to achieve high engagement during a certain timeframe.

3. Rethink your Twitter cards

Twitter cards appeared back when the character limit was 140 and companies were desperately wishing for more ad space. Since tweets with images often see an increase in leads, these cards are still trending.

When you post a link, Twitter automatically pulls the featured image from the page you’ve linked to and includes that image in your visual tweet, also known as your Twitter card. If there’s no established image, the card may be blank.

salesforce twitter card

An example of an in-feed promoted tweet with a Twitter card (via Twitter)

If you want to make a bigger impression with the cards:

  • Use summary cards with larger images to take advantage of higher-quality pictures (Twitter supports 560×750 pixels)
  • Leverage twitter:site and twitter:creator to pack two user names in one card for a more efficient promotional effort.
  • Use up all 200 characters to give value to the card. (The Title tag is a separate piece of text, so don’t double up on verbiage.)

Pro tip: Don’t forget to take advantage of the multi-image card option if it’ll improve your ad. This lets you post up to four images in one tweet, which expand when the user clicks on them.

4. Experiment with videos

Video content continues to gain momentum on Twitter and beyond. Create a video views campaign to take full advantage of this media and make your ads more appealing. 

These campaigns allow you to display your video in-feed and improve your engagement.

Here are the details for creating Twitter video views campaign:

  • Maximum video size: 1GB (ideally under 30MB)
  • Tweet copy: 280 characters (each link costs you 23 characters, so when you include one link, you’ll have 257 characters left)
  • Video length: the maximum is 2 minutes and 20 seconds (but the sweet spot seems to be around 15 seconds). If the video length is under 60 seconds, the video will loop.
  • CC: closed captions or text overlays are mandatory

Ready to run a successful Twitter Ads campaign? We can help.

5. Capitalize on retargeting

Retargeting features (also called remarketing) can help Twitter Ads stand out from other paid social media advertising options. You can use this feature on Twitter by setting the campaign to retarget those who:

  • Are past website visitors
  • Have engaged with your tweets
  • Are newsletter subscribers
  • Have abandoned their e-commerce shopping carts

Pro tip: The social media platform recently launched a premium feature subscription called Twitter Blue. This gives users access to exclusive Twitter features. So far, this includes the ability to edit tweets up to 60 seconds after posting, filter important conversations with Top Articles, customize your icons and theme, and score early access to new features.

6. Be strategic with hashtags

Adding hashtags to your Twitter ad copy can have a significant impact on your campaign.

When using hashtags, aim to follow best practices, such as:

  • Creating and using branded hashtags, such as #yourcompanyname or a unique phrase related to your business or industry
  • Looking under the “explore” tab to find out which hashtags are trending
  • Checking to see which hashtags the competition is using
  • Not overdoing it — Twitter itself reports that “one to two relevant hashtags per [tweet] is the sweet spot”

The right hashtag could drive the potential customer to click your ad just as well as pairing with a publisher would without costing you a penny. Keep in mind that a hashtag is part of the character count.

“Who to Follow” section

An example of a promoted account under the “Who to Follow” section (via Twitter)

7. Experiment, test, rotate

Paid social ads, like all digital marketing campaigns, need regular testing and optimization to perform at their best. You can run a variety of Twitter ads, then analyze how well they work for your target audience and the platform after a significant period of time.

Experiment with elements like colors, multimedia, and text to see what provides top results. Designing several ads doesn’t just give you an opportunity to improve your campaign, but it also helps hold your audience’s attention. 

Running the same ads over and over again can annoy potential and existing customers. That’s why it’s a good idea to rotate your most successful pieces.

The takeaway

Twitter Ads can be a successful paid social avenue for a variety of brands and industries. These ad types give you an avenue for reaching your target audience in a seamless, creative way. 

Plus, with ever-changing social media trends, this is also an opportunity for you to have fun and create eye-catching, witty ads that garner double-takes. 

By keeping tabs on the latest developments, trends, and offerings, you can continue to improve your Twitter campaigns — and increase ROI as a result.

This article has been updated and was originally published in June 2020.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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