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How to Set Up Twitter Advertising to Build Awareness for Your Business

About a week after Twitter Advertising became public, I signed up for access. I then received the following email invitation to expand my presence on Twitter by advertising on Twitter.

invited to advertise on twitter

Today, I want to tell you about the Twitter Advertising options available to businesses and show you the setup process for creating your own Twitter Advertising campaign with Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends.

Signing In to Twitter Advertising

When you click the Start Advertising button in your email, you are taken to a login screen to sign in with your current Twitter handle and password. If you try signing in to Twitter Ads with an account other than the one you were invited with, it will give you a message that you do not have access and must request it on the Twitter for Business site.

The Welcome Page

Once you are signed in with the correct Twitter account, you will be greeted with the Welcome to Twitter Advertising page.

welcome to twitter advertising

There, you will find a little description of the types of Twitter advertising options available to you, plus an introductory video on Twitter for Small Business.

Types of Twitter Advertising Options

Before you click the Get Started button, let’s look at the three types of Twitter Advertising options available.

Promoted Accounts

Promoted Accounts allows you to promote your account as one to follow. An example is when you log in to your Twitter account and go to your main dashboard. To the left of your Twitter stream, beneath your Twitter statistics, is a box showing suggested users to follow based on your interests. If an advertiser has related keywords in its profile and is targeting an audience in your location, you will see it as a promoted account in this section.

twitter advertising promoted accounts

You also may see Promoted Accounts when viewing other Twitter profiles if the targeting demographics match, such as this one I found while visiting the Twitter profile for Search Engine Journal. In this case, the Promoted Accounts are shown in the user’s Similar to… box.

twitter demographics

While this is great when you’re trying to advertise, this also means that Promoted Accounts could be showing up on your Twitter profile when others view it.

Another place Promoted Accounts appear is in search results for particular keywords if you click on People.

twitter advertising promoted accounts search results

It’s interesting that Capital One pops up right in the middle of official Twitter accounts for Facebook based on their ad’s targeted audience.

Overall, Promoted Accounts simply gives your business’s Twitter profile more exposure and helps you build followers who should be interested in your business. They are great for helping more people discover your brand and can help you build up your account before a big event or capitalize on a time when your business is most relevant (like TurboTax in March). You can read more about Promoted Accounts in the Twitter Help Center and Twitter Promoted Products.

Promoted Tweets

Promoted Tweets allows you to highlight a particular status update to get more exposure for it. You will have Promoted Tweets throughout Twitter included on your profile itself in expanded view…

twitter advertising promoted tweets

At the top of search results for particular keywords…

twitter advertising promoted tweets search results

Overall, Promoted Tweets simply gives your business’s status updates more exposure on your profile and throughout Twitter. Promoted Tweets are great for:

  • Sharing content
  • Building awareness
  • Building a brand voice
  • Offering deals.

You can read more about Promoted Tweets in the Twitter Help Center and Twitter Promoted Products.

Promoted Trends

Promoted Trends are topics and hashtags that are moved to the top of the Trending Topics list. You can see them when you visit your Twitter homepage and look under the Trends section.

twitter advertising trending topics

Just like regular trending topics, people can incorporate them into their tweets and view a page following anyone who has posted an update using the particular keyword or hashtag. At the top of the tweets, you will likely see a promoted tweet from the account that created the trend.

twitter advertising promoted trends search results

Overall, Promoted Trends simply gives your business the ability to start a trending topic on Twitter. Promoted Trends are great for:

  • Building mass awareness for product launches
  • Building mass awareness for events
  • Brand building by association

You can read more about Promoted Trends in the Twitter Help Center and Twitter Promoted Products.

Setting Up Your Twitter Advertising Campaign

Now that you know what each specific Twitter Advertising option is for, you can continue setting up yours by clicking the Get Started button and filling out the following information.

Tell us where your customers are located.

Do you want to target an audience in a specific city, state, region, or country? Choose the option that best fits your business and enter the names of specific locations, if applicable.

twitter advertising setup location based targeting

As you are typing, suggested locations will pop up beneath the text field.

Gain new followers by promoting your account.

If you are interested in using Promoted Accounts to get more exposure for your business’s Twitter profile and build followers, you can enter a daily budget for a Promoted Account campaign and a suggested bid amount.

twitter advertising setup promoted accounts budget options

In my case, new followers could cost anywhere from $0.01 to $1.25 each. Using the maximum bid amount ensures that your profile will show up in areas where your target audience is likely to find you. You can choose to start promoting your account or skip to the next option. You also can go back to previous options if you want to change your information.

Amplify your message by promoting your tweets.

Next, you can choose a Promoted Tweets campaign. Be sure to tweet the update you want to advertise before coming to set up your ad, as this is where you will select the tweet(s) you want to promote.

twitter advertising setup promoted tweets budget selection

You can either manually choose your tweet(s) or have Twitter pick tweet(s) based on engagement. You also will set a budget based on how much you want to spend daily and the maximum bid that you want to pay per click. In my case, clicks on my tweets could cost anywhere from $0.01 to $0.75 each. You can choose to start promoting your tweets or skip to the next option. You also can go back to previous options if you want to change your information.

Add a payment method.

Last, but not least, you will need to enter a payment option for your Twitter Advertising campaign.

twitter advertising setup payment methods

Now you can click the Complete Setup to Start Advertising button to get your advertising campaign going, or you can save your information to complete later. You also can go back to previous options if you want to change your information.

Some Questions about Twitter Advertising

I’m sure that after seeing the above Twitter Advertising setup options, you may have a few questions like the following.

Where was the option for setting up a Promoted Trends campaign?

I’m guessing that, in my case, there wasn’t one because of an answer I gave about my estimated monthly advertising budget in the Start Advertising request form. (Media Bistro reports that Promoted Trends cost Republicans $120,000 to promote #AreYouBetterOff during the Democratic National Convention.) If your estimated monthly budget isn’t large, you might not get the option to promote a trend.

What about enhanced profile pages?

Twitter is offering a small selection of brands (most likely advertisers) the opportunity to create enhanced profiles with a customized header image, a featured tweet at the top of their profile with Promoted Tweets, and other features. You can see some examples of enhanced profiles if you visit brands like @Dell, @AmericanExpress, and @Subway.

Where was the option for targeting Promoted Accounts or Promoted Tweets by keyword?

The only targeting option thus far for Twitter Advertising is location. Twitter uses keywords in your business’s Twitter profile and status update to determine who to target your Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends campaigns toward. Hence, make sure your profile and tweets are keyword optimized so that they reach the right audience on Twitter.

How do I know if my Twitter Advertising campaign was successful?

Twitter offers two layers of analytics to advertisers showing both paid and unpaid activity on their Twitter accounts. This will include the number of impressions for Promoted Accounts, Tweets, and Trends, insights into your followers, and even measurements of traffic and conversions that Twitter drives to your website.

Make sure you’re using analytics to connect your ads to real people. It’s the only way to know if your marketing is truly working.

In Conclusion…

If you are interested in getting more followers for your Twitter account, increasing exposure for your business, and promoting your tweets to a relevant audience, then give Twitter Advertising a try by signing up for access and keeping an eye out for your invitation! Then use this guide to help figure out the right advertising options for your business among Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends.

Have you tried Twitter advertising yet, or will you? What results have you seen so far?

About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing for personal, professional, and business bloggers.

  1. Wow! You can always trust Kristi for such posts. Very informative and on point about Twitter advertising. I’m already considering to use it and see how it goes.

  2. Great post and thanks for the peek inside! The last time I talked to them — a few months ago — they said the minimum advertising budget would be $5,000.00. Still true? Or is it more like Facebook now … you could set a daily limit of $25.00 and have it end after 3 days if you wanted.

    • When I filled out the survey, I selected an overall advertising budget of $0 – $999 per month. And it didn’t seem to have an issue with setting a limit of $10 a day on the Promoted Accounts campaign – it estimated that it would be a total of $300 a month to gain about 43 – 65 new followers a day. You have to have a higher budget if you want Promoted Trends, but you can do lower for Promoted Accounts and Tweets. :)

  3. Owen McGab Enaohwo Sep 12, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Honestly Twitter advertising will become relevant only when they start offering Promoted Tweets by keyword or very precise targeting like that offered by Facebook to the general public. They offer the Promoted Tweets by keyword only to the big brands who are looking to spend at least 10K or more a month. Until then I think what they currently have in place is a waste of money for small scale advertisers! (<<<— @Kristi, please feel free to prove me wrong)

    • Hi Owen. I really can’t prove you wrong and was surprised that Twitter didn’t allow any keyword targeting options. The official word from Twitter is…

      “Our platform uses a variety of signals to determine which Promoted Tweets are relevant to users, including what a user chooses to follow, how they interact with a Tweet, what they retweet, and more.”

      That said, their ads seem to target pretty well on their own based on keywords in the profile of the account or in the tweet. When you do a search for webinar, you get a Promoted Tweet from GotoWebinar. For credit cards, you get one from American Express. For fashion, you get one about NY Fashion Week.

      Of course, there are the odd balls like a tweet from Charmin when you search Facebook, but when I clicked on it, the link led to a Facebook contest so I guess that’s how it got in there.

      So I’m just going by trust that Twitter is trying to contextually match their ads and make the setup simpler for businesses without businesses having to do a ton of keyword research and what not.

      • Owen McGab Enaohwo Sep 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm

        I just typed in the keyword “Virtual Assistant” and the promoted tweet I saw was not even relevant.

        Twitter actually has the ability to promote specific tweets to twitter users based on keywords that they search for or keywords in their tweet. The only issue according to the ad rep I spoke to at Twitter is that they will only consider folks who are willing to spend $10K per month and above (<<<— big brands). Hopefully they wise up and open it up to everyone like Facebook eventually. (<<<— Facebook just launched the FBX platform which one can now use to show Retargeting ads on Facebook, cool)

    • Hmm, that’s interesting. I just did that search for virtual assistant and got a promoted tweet from Barricuda Networks about VMware which is kind of amusing. VMware is a program that allows you to create virtual machines (like a Windows computer within a Windows computer). So I wonder if that’s the connection virtual assistant and virtual machine software. Definitely not relevant and a great example of how their internal keyword targeting can go wrong.

      Ironically, the YouTube link for the video is broken too.

  4. Thank you! Will think about it.

  5. Jeez! What a brilliant post! Thank you! Have you considered creating an infographic using this information? I know a lot of people will find it useful – just as they’ll find this post :)

    • I’ll have to leave the infographic up to KISSmetrics – my design skills are not that great. But thanks for the suggestion Richard! :)

    • This post really is amazing. And I have to add to your suggestion because I really think that making an infographics using these data would be really awesome.

  6. Great post, thanks for the insightful tips on Twitter Advertising. I am now more informed on which ad type is ideal to use.

  7. Hey Kristi !
    Very nice deep explanation. I can easily understand each and every step.

  8. I filled out the form to advertise several months ago and still no email from Twitter granting me access. Are there any thresholds to approval that you know of?

  9. Hi, thanks for the very informative post. I was just wondering if creating a twitter ad campaign helps you get a verified account? If not, what is the procedure for getting one? I’m trying to figure this out for a celebrity client. Thanks.

  10. Thanks for the great post. Did you ever actually run the ad campaign you setup in this post? What were the results?

  11. I have used some free training I found about Twitter Ads. A guy called Adrian Fleming has done a video and after watching it Twitter Ads are working really, really well for me too, the video is at

  12. Faustino Chirdon Dec 30, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Although the convenience of email cannot be denied, the act of receiving and reading a snailmail letter is by far the better experience. So kudos to you!I understand that the letters are not personalized, but are they physically signed by the sender? That would be such a awesome touch and one for which I’d gladly pay more. Perhaps the sender could sign a small percentage, so that a randomly chosen few just about every week would have a little extra thrill. That possibility would absolutely make my heart race a bit faster as I tore open the envelope!

  13. Hi,

    Is there a way to manage multiple client accounts with Twitter Advertising? I’m searching for a tool like the MCC in AdWords and Facebook.


  14. I was just looking into the possibility of advertising on Twitter and found your post. I think just giving it a try maybe my best bet and see how it goes. All i can do when it comes to advertising! Thanks or showing the different options – it made the learning process that much easier.

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