Twitter AdvertisingBusinesses of all sizes are now using Twitter to increase brand exposure and generate leads. For companies looking to take their Twitter activity to the next level, Twitter also offers Twitter Ads.

Advertising on Twitter, much like search engine or display advertising, helps your business reach more prospects within your target audience and broadens your reach beyond your base of followers. You create campaigns with specific targeting criteria such as interests, geography, gender, or device type. You then specify your bids and budget, much like bidding on keywords with Google AdWords.

Twitter uses a Cost per Engagement (CPE) model. So instead of Cost Per Impression (CPM) or Cost Per Click (CPC), you pay based on the number of engagements you generate. An engagement takes a number of forms, including retweets, clicks, follows, replies or favorites. What’s nice about this model is you’ll only be charged when someone actually engages with your brand in one of these forms: you pay for your successes, not necessarily for the existence of the ad itself.

There are three different types of advertising to consider: promoted accounts, promoted tweets, and promoted trends. So what type of Twitter advertising will work best for your business and what are Twitter’s recommended best practices? Read on.

If you are interested in growing your company Twitter following, Twitter recommends a promoted account:

With a promoted account, your company’s twitter handle will appear in the homepage section that says “Who to follow” (see image below). for select users based on their interests and demographics. Certain keywords and even the location of your business can trigger your promoted account to appear in other users suggested followers list. Your promoted business account will also be suggested to users who are browsing accounts with related keywords, location, and common followers.

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 11.08.14 AM

If you are interested in getting a specific message in front of a large audience, promoted tweets are ideal:

With promoted tweets you can gain exposure for a specific message, campaign, or piece of content in the form of a tweet. Promoted tweets are a great way to share your own unique white paper content, blog posts, and infographics. Remember that in a promoted tweet you should always be linking to your own content; don’t send your paid traffic to someone else’s material.

Promoted tweets show up at the top of your own followers’ news feeds and even in the news feeds of people who are not following you, but have similar interests (again, based on keywords, location, and common followers). See an example of an Ifbyphone promoted tweet within a news feed below: When you promote a trend your #hashtag will appear at the top of the Trending Topics list (see below). Promoted trends are ideal for building brand awareness, mass promoting a product or campaign launch, or for promoting an event. On this Trending Topics list you will see #TheHobbit listed at the top as a promoted trend:

When you promote a trend, your #hashtag will appear at the top of the Trending Topics list (see below). Promoted trends are ideal for building brand awareness, mass promoting a product or campaign launch, or for promoting an event. On this Trending Topics list you will see #TheHobbit listed at the top as a promoted trend:

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 9.53.50 AM

Optimizing Twitter Advertising for Mobile

As you continue to develop your Twitter campaigns, it is necessary to incorporate mobile into your strategy. Consider this: more than 60% of Twitter’s traffic is from mobile devices. With the explosive growth of smartphone usage (more than 135 million smartphones in the United States in 2012 alone) and the prediction that mobile traffic will surpass desktop in 2014, mobile can no longer be ignored. For many businesses, mobile is at the core of their marketing and advertising strategy.

People searching for products and services on smartphones often prefer to call a business rather than fill out a web form. To make it easier for leads to call your business after finding your website through your promoted tweet, trend, or account, you can include a clickable phone number (known as a mobile click-to-call link) on your mobile optimized Twitter PPC landing pages.

To monitor and track your Twitter campaign’s lead generation success with mobile smartphone users, you can make the click-to-call phone number a unique call tracking number. With this unique number, each time a user accesses your website via Twitter paid advertising and then calls your business, the lead data will be captured.

When you dedicate unique call tracking numbers to your Twitter PPC campaigns, every lead is accurately attributed back to its source. This kind of unique call tracking helps you to distinguish Twitter paid leads from Google, Bing, and other paid search advertising. With this solution there is no guesswork; you’ll know exactly which online advertising campaigns are generating high quality leads, and which aren’t.

Tracking Twitter Advertising Success in Google Analytics

You can also integrate your call tracking numbers with Google Analytics. The lead source and data from your Twitter advertising will all show up in your very own Google analytics interface. This integration enables marketers to monitor the effectiveness of their paid Twitter campaigns at generating the most valuable type of lead: a phone call.

To learn more about mobile advertising and how to develop a click-to-call strategy download the white paper, “Marketing to Smartphone Users: New Mobile Strategies for Driving Sales Calls”.