4 Steps to Advertising on Twitter Effectively

Interested in advertising on Twitter but intimidated by all of the options available to you and unsure where to start? Fear not – setting up advertising on Twitter is fast, simple, and can be completed in 4 easy steps:

Step 1: Select Your Campaign Objective

Go to Twitter Ads to get started. The below screenshot will be what you see first:


You have a few different options for campaigns on Twitter – it all depends on what your end goal is. As you can see below, all you have to do is choose one of the campaign objectives and you’ll be directed to the next screen.


The “Set up your campaign” screen is where you’ll enter the name of your new campaign. For the purpose of this article, we’ll go with “Website Clicks”:


You can either choose to have your ad begin running immediately and continuously or you can set a start & end date. This all depends on your budget and what you are comfortable spending.

Step 2: Select Your Target Audience

On the next screen, begin by selecting the age, gender, and location of the people you want to advertise to. You can even narrow it down further by targeting what languages they speak, what device they are most likely be scrolling through Twitter on, what events they’re attending, and even the TV shows or networks they’re watching. You can also create ‘Tailored Audiences’ where you can target a demographic using their email addresses or even their Twitter IDs.


As magical as it is having all of these customizable fields at your fingertips, try not to target too many people at once. If you target too broad of an audience with one campaign, you won’t have any idea what worked and what didn’t because it was all jumbled together. The best way to advertise effectively is to just choose one very specific group of people for each campaign and analyze the results afterwards so you know which audience is most likely to respond to your ads the next time around.

Step 3: Set Your Budget

The next step is selecting a budget that you’re comfortable with but that will also yield the desired results. You’ll need to set a daily maximum spend for your campaign (which resets at midnight) and we recommend also setting a maximum budget for the entire life of the campaign. This just means that Twitter will stop running the ads the second your campaign reaches this number.


You’ll notice the “Advanced Options” drop-down menu underneath the “Set a total budget” field. There are 3 choices available to you in this menu: Automatic bid, target cost & maximum bid. This is referring to the fact that each time one of your ads is eligible to be shown on Twitter, it goes up against the other eligible ads (aka your competitors) and an auction takes place. If your bid isn’t high enough to beat the other advertisers, your ads will not appear as often as your competitors’.

Advertising with the automatic bid option means Twitter will optimize each of your ads for the lowest amount possible while staying within your budget. There isn’t a lot of control with this option and there’s a good chance you could get out-bid each time.

With the target cost option, you give Twitter a target cost (ex: $3 per link click) and they will typically stay within 20% of this target while trying to win you the auction. What’s great about this option is that it’s flexible enough that you have a greater chance of winning auctions against other bidders. Plus, Twitter will even tell you what other advertisers are bidding at so you’re not just taking a shot in the dark.

The maximum bid option is similar to the target cost option, but it has less flexibility. For this option, you set a maximum bid (ex.: $2 per link click) and Twitter will never exceed that number in the bidding process and you usually end up paying less. Twitter will also tell you what other advertisers are bidding for this option as well.

Ultimately, it depends on what your budget is and what you’re comfortable spending, but we recommend either the maximum bid or the target cost option. You may be inclined to go with the cheapest option, but if it is less likely to achieve your advertising goals right from the start is it really worth it?

Step 4: Choose Your Creative

You’re almost done – you’re at the finish line! Now you get to choose what image your audience will see and what message you want to put out there. This will depend on what your goal is, but for now let’s stick with our “Website Clicks” objective. You can choose to promote a previous Tweet or create a new one – we recommend always creating new content to keep potential customers interested.

As you can see from the example below, you can either use a “Website Card” (that just means an image with your message and a call to action) or you can just send a message with a call to action.


We recommend always using an image in your ad – it’s the same cost as just a normal Tweet and has twice the impact. Below is an example of how your ad will appear to your customers:


These ads will appear mostly at the top of user timelines, but also at the top of relevant search results and user profiles (only select user profiles that fit the targeting parameters).

That’s it! You’ve done it. You’ve officially set up your first advertising campaign on Twitter. Be sure to utilize Twitter’s handy Analytics tool to keep an eye on the results so you are continually creating effective advertising campaigns.