Developing A Twitter Ad Campaign | 5 Practical Steps

Running a Twitter Ad Campaign every once in a while has the ability to drive your targeted audience to your website, put money in your bank account, and move you closer to achieving your online and Social Media Business objective. 

Consider these statistics. They originate from a recent Twitter/DB5 research study:

  • 54% of users say that promotions they learn about on Twitter motivate them to purchase,
  • 39% of users say Twitter is their new holiday shopping list,
  • 52% say they have learnt about a product on Twitter that they have later purchased,
  • 54% of users say they check their Twitter feed while shopping in a retail store.

The study itself is an eye opener, and builds a strong case for developing and running Twitter campaigns, especially if done just before any holiday, such as Christmas, Black Friday, Halloween, etc.

Twitter Ad Campaign shoppers

As a backdrop to this article, I developed and executed a Twitter test campaign just prior to a Christmas Holiday season. The article explains the how-to of creating a Twitter Ad Campaign, using the least amount of effort. I’ve distilled the process down to 5 easy-to-understand steps.

Step #1: Your Twitter Campaign Objective

When preparing an advertising campaign, one of the first questions you should be asking yourself: “What’s my campaign objective?”

Do not proceed without establishing your campaign objective. Knowing your objective is the overall metric to measure the success of your campaign.

Use your products, services, and your audiences feedback as a mechanism to set your objective. Do you want to sell a specific service to your audience? Do you want to increase website traffic? Perhaps your objective is to grow your contact list? The objective should be meaningful to your audience and your business.

The objective for my campaign: “To help my audience by freeing up their time by Selectively Automating Their Twitter Feed.”

Your campaign objective should be tightly integrated with your audience wants, your business objective, and the ability to present an appealing offer to your audience.

As my litmus test:

  • Surveys indicate that my audience wants a Social Media automation product,
  • The product offering can be structured to be extremely appealing to my audience,
  • The offering would helps contribute towards my yearly business objective.

Step #2: Your Story

Twitter campaigns that have a story associated with them tend to be better received. The more meaningful your story, the better it will be received.

To illustrate, my campaign was centered around “Gift Giving”. I felt that the time of year was perfect, where my audience would be contemplating and helping others in need. So I decided to wrap my story around how people can benefit when thinking of others.

You can take a similar approach, but obviously making sure that your story is relevant and meaningful for your audience.

The first Tweet in the campaign reflected the notion of “Gift Giving”. The links in the Tweet, if clicked, would take the audience to a site called It is a non profit organization, who uniquely helps “Giving Gifts”. Their website is intuitive, friendly, and helpful.

Twitter ad campaign - gift

Take note, my first Tweet did not promote my company or any products. The first Tweet in your campaign should always be non self-promoting.

For brand recognition, the same  image (the gift with a red ribbon) and the #ghgift hashtag were used. You may want to consider something similar, which you can incorporate into your story.

Aim for a story that  embraces your audience. Make your story memorable and meaningful. When developing your story, think about your location, events, time frame, and the subject matter that relates to your audience. Make your story relevant to your audience. Be authentic.

This is your moment to tell your story through Twitter.

Go ahead and create your story board. Imagine how your story unfolds, but instead of creating a story that moves forward, work it backwards. Start with the end in mind, work backwards until you get to the opening frame. My final frame was my “Selective Automation Gift”. My first frame, as shown above, is “The Gift Of Giving”.

You can use the Story Board That site  to assist in story board creation and development.

Step #3: Create Your Campaign Content

You’ve already seen the first tweet of my campaign. The 2nd Tweet (next image below) was also unobtrusive, non self promoting, fun, and thought provoking.

Twitter ad campaign - gift and give

My Tweet topic was consistent throughout the campaign, which was centered around my central topic of “Give a Gift”. Your Tweet topic should also be consistent, but focused around your story.

You should also notice the #ghgift hashtag and the gift image consistency throughout the campaign, and you may want to adopt something similar for your entire campaign.

Select a relevant and meaningful hashtags and images, which support your story, and are displayed consistently across your Tweets. This will help your audience easily recognize your campaign Tweets amongst the sea of other Tweets. You can use Hashtagify.Me and Hashtag.Org to help with this process.

Step #4: Consider Content Distribution Frequency

Now that you know your campaign objective and story, you should give thought as to the frequency of content distribution.

Do you want to post the same Tweet, for your audience to see, multiple times each day? Or do you want to Tweet variations of the same content?

My campaign started with the same Tweet (content and links) posted multiple times each day, and ended with variations (different content, same link) of the same Tweet.

Consider your audience time zones. If they are global you should plan on sending the same content multiple times during the day so you can cover multiple time zones – e.g. a Tweet starting at 9am Eastern, covering the North American and the European time zones. The next set of Tweets, 8 hours later, at 5pm, which should take care of parts of Asia and Europe. Your final Tweet moves the clock to cover the European morning, and the late Tweeps in North America. You should adjust according to your audiences reading schedule.

Use content that is centered on your story (step #2).

My 3rd Tweet in the series was the first hint that an offer will be arriving. Just like the first two Tweets in the series, this Tweet still used the same image and hashtag.

Discount tweet

Start giving thought how you want to sequence your content.

A content calendar may help you plan your content release timeline. I used Google Calender to help me through this process. An alternative method is Twitter’s Small Business Planner.

If your content supports your campaign objective and your story (which it does), it will reveal itself smoothly by the time you get to the final piece of content.

Use content from varied sources and mix it up. It will keep your audience interested and coming back for more.

Here’s a few content source examples:

  • Your blog,
  •  Your video’s and pictures,
  • Other peoples videos and images. Please make sure you give the correct attribution to the multi media sources you use,
  • Topical quotes – images or text,
  • 3rd party websites.

Step #5: Schedule the Your Campaign Tweets

Steps 1 to 3 are the creative parts of the campaign. Steps #4 and #5 are about moving that creativity into a tool that will Tweet your content automatically.

There are many scheduling tools available. Hootsuite is the most widely accepted, easy to use, and free.

Signup, login into Hootsuite, and schedule your Tweets through its Publisher.

As seen in my 4th series of Tweets (image below), my audience had the opportunity to land (again) on the “Gift Of Giving” website. The content still related to my story and worked towards achieving my campaign objective.

Twitter stream Gary

Twitter Ad schedule

Use the Hootsuite Publisher to schedule your Tweet:

  • Craft your Tweets in Hootsuite,
  • Upload and images to attach onto the Tweet,
  • Schedule ALL your Tweets.

Please take note of the transition between my Tweets. Each Tweet in the series supported each other – the one before it, and the one after it.

The 5th Tweet (image below) in my series reintroduced my offer, but added the offer detail. The intent was to build anticipation and momentum toward the actual offer – i.e. the last Tweet in the series. Build your content with a similar concept in mind.

A Tweet

It’s a good idea to vary the content with images, text, and video. The 6th Tweet of the series was different from the first five. It contained an image quote. The content also supported my objective and story.

Twitter ad campaign - the big gift

By now, you probably have a good idea about the content to use throughout your campaign:

  • Needs from to varied sources in multi media format.
  • Needs to support your objective and story.

Through your Tweets, your audience should be aware that an offer is pending. Your final series of Tweets must contain the content that supports your objective. The call to action needs to be strong and deliberate.

In my case, my final series of Tweets gave the audience an idea that “a discount offer”  to one of my Services. The audience was surprised, when in fact, the landed on the actual offer, instead of the stated 50% discount, I were given 60% discount plus $1,800 worth of helpful products.

Consider creating variations of the last series of Tweets. These Tweets should guide your audience towards your campaign objective. In my case, the offer gave my audiences an opportunity to automate their Twitter account. Your last series of Tweets should also echo a strong call to action that supports your campaign objective too.

Automated Twitter ad campaign

These final Tweets would typically run the balance of your campaign. Monitor the best performing Tweets in this group with your Twitter Analytics Account, and adjust your campaign to include only the best performing Tweets. Consider adding additional Tweets to this final batch of Tweets.

Wrapping Up

Statistics indicate that your audience is using Twitter to influence their purchasing decisions. This number is trending up and also slanted towards mobile devices. Become familiar with the mechanics of constructing and running campaigns on Twitter.

It’s a simple 5 step process:

  • Decide on your campaign objective,
  • Develop a story that supports your objective,
  • Find the content to support your story,
  • Know how often to post your content,
  • Schedule and publish your content.

Make your Twitter campaigns memorable, and have fun with them. If done correctly, they have the ability to drive your targeted audience to your website, put money in your bank account, and move you closer to achieving your online and Social Media Business objective. 

Pro tip: Consider using the Twitter Advertising Engine for Tweet promotion. This will give you a larger target market reach. (topic for another discussion).

Take your digital marketing to the next level and develop a plan and roadmap to reach your business objective.

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