How to Use Twitter Ads to Grow Your Business

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“Can Twitter Ads really help me grow my business?”

If you caught Twitter's announcement at the end of April that they're opening up advertising to all users now, not just select business accounts, you might find yourself wondering the same thing.

I have to tell you how EXCITED I am to see Twitter making this leap! But you might not know that in the beginning when I started using Twitter, it was not my favorite!  Once I really dug in and taught myself to use it, well that changed.  Honestly, these days, this is the platform that I have come to love the most, when it comes to connecting with my current clients and prospects.  Twitter is the platform where most of my initial leads come in.  I am beyond THRILLED that Twitter has made the power of targeted advertising available to business of all sizes, especially to small mom and pop businesses and other startups!

Notice how I said “targeted,” though. You can't just put any old thing up there and expect that it will work, and then start bashing it if it doesn't!  (Okay, you can do that, but it really doesn't reflect on Twitter now, does it?)

This article is going to give you a quick recap on how companies build their brand on Twitter, show you how they target their Twitter ads to get the maximum return on investment and give you some ideas that you can implement today to do the exact same thing.

How Twitter Works and Why Brands Use it


Twitter is a fast-moving, instant messaging kind of service where you can post updates (up to 140 characters) called Tweets. You can follow other people on Twitter, which makes their Tweets show up in your Twitter feed, and when they follow you back, they see your Tweets.

Twitter is an always-on kind of communication between people, and, for businesses, between brands and people.

This is exactly why brands use it (and should use it) too!

Brands can use Twitter to gain insight about their customers, get more influence as people share their Tweets and spread their ideas, and get more traffic to their websites.

When done right, it's an amazing tool for spreading the message of a brand and tell a brand's story to its customers (part of being authentic as a brand).

For example, the CEO of Zappos.comTony Hsieh, says about his employees' use of Twitter that he “[suggested] it to the rest of the company, initially just to help build our company culture—employees are more likely to meet up outside the office and get a perspective on each other outside the office. Now a lot of customers know [we] are on it as well, and it's a good way for them to get insight into our personality and culture.

Can you see how using Twitter to share your company's culture and story could be an amazing tool in building your own brand, no matter how big or small?

Now here's where advertising on Twitter comes into play. By using Twitter ads strategically, you can get more of the right people seeing your business-building Tweets. And surprisingly, it doesn't cost as much as you think!

How Twitter Ads Can Build Your Business

Twitter has two options for promotions, Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts. Each of these can increase your brand's engagement and reach (number of followers) in a different way.

Promoted Tweets

According to Twitter, “A promoted Tweets are regular Tweets with the added bonus that they can reach more people who are interested in your business…”  Promoted Tweets are labeled, and they appear at the top of relevant search results pages.  But for most people – they're just like ordinary Tweets. They can be replied to, forwarded, and favorited, just like any other Tweet.

Promoted Tweets also show up at the top of the Home Feed of users if you've targeted your advertising to them.  It shows up no more than twice per user, so you won't appear spammy or rude to your audience by showing up again and again as a Promoted Tweet.

What's the best kind of content for a Promoted Tweet?

Choose AMAZING content!  This might be a free offer that gives significant value to your customers or something so useful and compelling that people want to share it with their audience. Find tips on Twitter specific promotional ideas here.

Promoted Tweets can create massive brand engagement very quickly, not to mention increase your number of followers at the same time.

Promoted Accounts

Promoted Accounts on Twitter helps to expose your account to a wider range of people who might find it useful.  Promoting your Twitter account is a fantastic way to build your follower base quickly.

Where are Promoted Accounts displayed?

  • They show up on the “Who to Follow” widget on your Twitter home page, and in the Connect tab.
  • Promoted Accounts are on the “Who To Follow” page (you can reach that by clicking “View All” on the “Who to Follow” widget)
  • You can see Promoted Accounts as part of People Search results
  • They're on profile pages in the “Similar to You” widget

Targeting Your Twitter Ads for Success

The key to getting great return from your Twitter ad is in the targeting. Knowing who to display your ad to is the difference between people engaging with it and ignoring it. It's a concept I cover in depth with my coaching clients because it's just that important to get it right.

You can target accounts by:

  1. Broad groups of interests
  2. People who are like the followers of a given @username or influencers within your industry

So this means that you can either think about your ideal customer in terms of what they like or in terms of who they are likely to be following.   People who are following someone related to your niche are likely to be interested in what you offer and are more likely to follow you or click on your Tweet.

As you add more characteristics or followers, the list of people your ad will appear to will grow. And while you might want to make it as large as possible, let me caution you – a smaller number of highly targeted prospects is of more value to you than hundreds of thousands of mediocre ones!

Additionally you can also target by:

  1. Geography
  2. Gender

What Does Twitter Advertising Cost?

This is the amazing part – you can set your own budget, and Twitter will never exceed it, but can actually come in under budget.  You only pay for what works. You pay when:

  • Targeted users engage with (click on, retweet, @reply to, or favorite) your Promoted Tweet.
  • Targeted users follow your Promoted Account.

I would strongly recommend reviewing your ad's performance over time – adjusting your budget can affect how many times your ad appears, changing your return on investment.

Speaking of Reviewing Your Ads…

Twitter's advertising area also lets you review how your ads are performing so you can either change them, pause them, and simply track how they're doing.


That is a TON of information on Twitter ads, but this is such an AH-MAZING tool to grow your influence for such a reasonable price that I think every business owner needs to know how useful this can be!

But wait…there is more!

$50 Free Twitter Ads1

$50 Free Twitter Ads2


Haha! I have always wanted to say that!

I am pleased to share that I have been asked to partner with Twitter to bring you an opportunity that can get you moving with Twitter ads quickly! I am excited that I can offer you a $50 in FREE Twitter Ads!

It doesn’t get much better than that, right? A great way to try Twitter ads without spending a dime of your own money!

Click here your $50 in FREE Twitter Ads credit.

Have you tried Twitter ads?  Leave me a comment below! I want to help you succeed with this powerful new tool!


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Jamie P
Jamie P
11 years ago

Thanks for the info. We’re just wading into the social media market. Lot’s to learn!

Reply to  Jamie P
10 years ago

Honored that you spent some time with us on your journey 🙂

Kim Garst
Kim Garst
11 years ago

WE had a great time there! As for the Twitter Ads checklist I haven’t done one yet, this is the only post I have done on them so far.

Kim Garst
Kim Garst
11 years ago

It will be interesting to see when and if they release it to everyone else.

Kim Garst
Kim Garst
11 years ago

You are very welcome Jose! I can’t wait to hear your success with Twitter Ads!

Kim Garst
Kim Garst
11 years ago

It will be interesting to see if they release it outside of the US… I like you assume it is due to the fact that it is relatively new. Thanks for stopping by Debbie!

Kim Garst
10 years ago

Awesome and I love hearing this!

David Max
David Max
10 years ago

Good to know that social media plays a big role.Really looking forward to boost some sales.

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