Lee Odden

Social Media Advertising on Twitter

twitter advertisingAdvertising is Dead. SEO is Dead.

The list of provocative linkbait goes on and on but savvy practitioners realize that few things just die out. They change. Like advertising.

Traditional ad dollars are most certainly moving to digital and as companies look for more ways to take advantage of technology to better connect with customers, social media is becoming the new internet.

Advertising as part of the social experience vs. being interruptive combined with the ability to measure brings many opportunities for businesses to grow their reach, brand influence and ability to engage.

Our post about social media advertising yesterday was well placed with Twitter’s move to make buying ads there easier. Below is a roundup of tips and resources for learning more about advertising on Twitter.

Twitter Advertising

Twitter: Probably one of the shiniest of social media objects the past year, Twitter has 175 million registered users with 95M tweets are written per day. According to a post by Danny Sullivan, Twitter Does 19 Billion Searches Per Month, Beating Yahoo & Bing.

Promoted Tweets


Testing “Promoted Tweets” has given way to a mix of 3 advertising options on Twitter as of yesterday: Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts. Each advertising option on Twitter offers a Dashboard plus there’s a Timeline of Activity view. Budgets you can pick from on the inquiry form range from under $10k to over $100k per month so this is not a small business offering per se.

Twitter Advertising Dashboard

Image: Twitter.com

To learn more about how involvement on Twitter might work for your company, check out the case studies from Best Buy, jetBlue and others.

Since Twitter just launched a form for Advertising inquiries yesterday, there are no ad specific best practices, but you can get more info here: Information for Advertisers.

In the meantime, here are general Twitter best practices:

  1. Share. Share photos and behind the scenes info about your business. Even better, give a glimpse of developing projects and events. Users come to Twitter to get and share the latest, so give it to them!
  2. Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand, and products.
  3. Ask. Ask questions of your followers to glean valuable insights and show that you are listening.
  4. Respond. Respond to compliments and feedback in real time
  5. Reward. Tweet updates about special offers, discounts and time-sensitive deals.
  6. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your business.
  7. Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers.
  8. Establish the right voice. Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine, and of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you Tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community?

It’s early days for details on Twitter Advertising resources, so check out this popular post on 5 Steps to Build a Twitter Marketing Strategy and this piece on Mashable by Dallas Lawrence: How Companies Should Approach the New Twitter Advertising Model.

To show Twitter you’re interested in starting with their advertising offering, visit the form.

Due to Twitter’s rollout of the Advertising options last night, I made this a dedicated post to Twitter Advertising.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Promoted Trends and Accounts are very expensive. Promoted Tweets are not; they are definitely a small business-friendly advertising option. Or rather, they will be.

    Right now, the only downside to Promoted Tweets is that only a select few companies can use them. Where’s the fun in that?

    Related reading:
    Advertising on Twitter doesn’t cost $100,000

    • The budget per month segmentation on the Twitter advertising inquiry form is: <$10k/mo, $10k-$25k/mo, etc and then goes up to 100k/mo. $10k per month on Twitter would be considered expensive by many or even most companies. If you have examples of actual CPM on promoted Tweets, especially if they are closer to Google AdWords price levels, please share.

      • Actually, on Promoted Tweets, they’ve stopped using a CPM pricing option. Now your only option is CPE — cost per engagement, like a retweet or a gained follower or a reply or a click on a link in your promoted tweet.

        A recent several-weeks-long test resulted in CPE of less than 25 cents, and when I did the math on cost per impression, it was less than 1 cent. But again, that’s before this option has been opened up to the world, which will increase bidding competition and raise the costs.

  2. Yes social media is becoming a internet.. Social media advertising on twitter means surely it will get improve business and also reach very quickly..
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  3. Twitter is becoming a great place. But why don’t they advertise themselves?

  4. Advertising on websites like Twitter is not a bad idea, since it is the site that is getting thousands of visitors every day. So, probably, if luck plays by your side, there are chances for you to get some business. But as I have read on some blog, the age of majority of visitors for Twitter are between 12-18, which means, chances for getting business is cut shortened…Paxos Villas

  5. Interesting post, do you think every business (online or offline) can benefit from advertising via twitter?

    • I think any kind of advertising needs to be evaluated according to the advertiser’s needs, customers they’re trying to reach, platform, cost, etc. If Twitter ads satisfy those requirements for a marketer, then by all means. If not, there are many other opportunities.

  6. I’v tested FaceBook ads and got nothing, I’ll try anything once twice if it hurts!

    • You might try consulting someone who has been successful with Facebook ads to help you vs. figuring it out on your own. Why expect yourself to be successful with something on the first or even second try?

  7. Darn, if SEO is dead, that’s a bummer for both of us.

    For you cause it seems that SEO consulting is a big part of your business. For me cause I’ve invested more hours than seems plausible learning about it.

    That’s the problem with investing in technology — as soon as you’re riding the pony, it bucks you have… or, a better metaphor: jumps in a bog and sinks.

    So now I have to learn about twitter. Great… like I’ve attracted just 10 twitter “followers” to my blog. Now that’s a groundswell!

    • The opening “…is dead” comments are examples of common commentary being posted lately. SEO is dead isn’t the topic of the blog post at all. Marketers can attract new customers through many channels, not just Twitter and not just SEO. We won’t be using Twitter ads ourselves, for example. This post is for those that want to learn a little more about ad options on Twitter.

  8. Avatar Amer Alsaleh says

    I think “Advertising is Dead. SEO is Dead.” is a bit harsh, the market penetration of twitter is still weak compared to facebook and forums!!
    I still prefer Facebook Ads and Google’s ad-sence.

  9. We continue to preach to our clients who are mostly small businesses that they don’t need to pay for Facebook or Twitter advertising EVER if they just pay in the form of their time committed to participation. But so many continue the toe in the water approach and treat it like a megaphone. A combination that ends up being ineffective and useless and a total waste of time. Then they come back to us and say It doesn’t work! Duh, of course it doesn’t work, you’re holding the bat upside down.

  10. Avatar Harry Orenstein says

    One of the things that absolutely amazes me is that I have not yet been able to find a “click-bank” so I can privately arrange with contracted clients a micro-payment system for encouraging third-party “click-throughs”

  11. I have used Facebook in the past but haven’t done much with Twitter…. I think I will have to look into getting an account. Thanks for the post! Great info! Just hard keeping up with all of these INNOVATIVE techniques!

  12. social advance advertising twitter marketing

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  14. I’ve been advertising on Twitter for a while with no luck. After reading this article I may give it another try. Thanks.