Twitter Paid Tools: Twitter Cards, Promoted Tweets and Adverts

Continuing our series on the pros and cons of paid advertising on social media, we look at Twitter adverts.

Twitter is a very different beast to Facebook and with approximately 330 million users, only a sixth of the number of accounts.

It’s a very open platform, designed for mobile and really easy to use. On Twitter you can connect with people and find topics and trends that interest you.

Want to join the conversation? Jump right in.

You can follow anyone you like without having a mutual connection between you. It’s easy to gain someones attention using the ‘Tweet to’ feature; alternatively give them a ‘shout out’ with a @mention.

And you can promote your tweets, trends and accounts.

But the best thing about paid advertising onTwitter? It’s significantly less complex than Facebook Ads Manager.

Promoted Tweets

This could be a tweet that’s performed well, with lots of retweets, likes and interactions and given you new follows. Pick your winners, not your losers, even if the loser was something you really wanted people to know about.

You can also create a stand-alone tweet, with an image, for the purpose of the promotion. As Twitter is such a viral platform, retweets, comments and likes could could get expensive if you had to pay every time somebody ‘engages’. Fortunately, they only charge you for the first time your twitter adverts earn engagement, so if the followers of someone who has shared you post also retweet, there’s no cost.

Promoted tweets appear in people’s feed, so you have the option of including a link or an eye-catching image for people to click through to an advert. The way to tell whether something is sponsored or paid for is to look for the little yellow box with the arrow.

Promoted Accounts

Promoted accounts can be a way to increase your following or your reach, perhaps in another country. However, you can only promote your account at country level, rather than regionally, which is a downside. This can add to the expense and may reach people you’re not able to serve.

Promoted Trends

Promoted trends involves using hashtag, which are wonderful. Putting a pound sign (#) in front of a truncated phrase of words allows you to create something that can travel around social media and be found at the touch of a button. Hashtags work on all the platforms, so choose the best ones for your business use them everywhere. You can create hashtags around your brand, product or company name, or any phrase you want.

You may decide to create a trend, so if you’re promoting an event that’s coming up, or there’s a national or international event or movement, you can create a hashtag around it. This will get you into the promoted trend box but also in front of people’s eyes.

Twitter Adverts = Twitter Cards

Twitter adverts also support display ads, or cards as they call them, that allow for an image plus a headline. You can promote a variety of ‘calls to action’ and your advertising goals can include:

  • Engagement
  • Website Clicks
  • Website Conversions
  • App Installs
  • AppRe-engagements
  • Followers
  • Leads
  • Video Views
  • Customised ads

Twitter also supports remarketing campaigns and can generate pixels for you to embed on key pages of your website. Using remarketing enables you to re-engage with website visitors, especially e-commerce customers who have ‘abandoned cart’.

In fact anyone who leaves without completing their transaction can be reached with remarketing campaigns.

How much does it cost to advertise on Twitter?

Twitter has a self-service advertising platform, but advertising on Twitter requires deeper pockets than on Facebook. Although it’s changed now, when Twitter first started out there was an assumption that people would have a minimum ad spend of around $3,000 per month. It is currently around £50.00 per day minimum spend.

You simply go in, set things up in draft format, then leave. Twitter will drop you a line to remind you that your ad is not yet finished and invite you to come back. This is a good way of experimenting with it first. You may decide you don’t like the creatives (images or graphics) or the link you wanted to include wasn’t quite ready yet. You are able to pause and return to your advert.

Pros and Cons


  • Cost per engagement is a great feature, especially on a viral platform like Twitter.
  • Twitter has great interactivity and there are many ways that you can use it.
  • Geo-targetting was introduced last year so you can now advertise ‘locally’. Before, you could only advertise at country level.
  • It’s the most open platform so it’s easy to connect with, observe and follow people without necessarily having a mutual ‘digital’ connection.


  • On the downside, targeting isn’t 100% reliable and is not as sophisticated as on Facebook or LinkedIn. They’ve done some work, however, to improve targeting by using email addresses and IP addresses.
  • The news feed is very busy because there’s so much posting going on every second.
  • You may only have a second for someone to see your ad, so it needs to be eye-catching.
  • And it isn’t cheap to advertise on Twitter, so less enticing than Facebook and their ‘boost’ feature.

Now for the fun bit

You now need to decide which platform is best for you and what type of advert to do. Over the To Pay or Not To Pay series, we focus on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, because they’re likely to be the platforms where you’re already most active and they are a good place to start.

In our next blog we look at the pros and cons of Linked In advertising.

If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thought leaders.

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