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Propelling Your Message With Promoted Tweets

Twitter offers various non-invasive advertising options ideal for nonprofits with limited advertising budgets, such as Promoted Tweets.

What separates Promoted Tweets from normal Tweets is that it’s a paid-for service to target specific audiences. By using Promoted Tweets, you can ensure that your tweets are displayed at the top of your followers’ feeds and engage with other users that interact similarly. While normal tweets populate existing followers’ newsfeeds only momentarily, Promoted Tweets remain at the top of the newsfeeds of other accounts that are not already following you, while allowing you to target your promoted ones by location, gender, interest(s), device type(s), and/or keyword(s).

Promoted Tweets are based on a pay-per-click model, which works like Google AdWords. This means that for each tweet you pay to target a particular audience, you will only be charged for each time a person engages with the tweet. Engagement is calculated according to the number of tweets using a particular hashtag, the number of clicks on a link, and the number of retweets. The pay-per-click model is a great opportunity for your nonprofit, allowing you to spend as much or as little of your advertising budget allows at a particular time.

Benefits and Challenges of Promoted Tweets

Users who engage in Promoted Tweets are responsible for a 22% in message association, and audience members engaged in Promoted Tweets reported a 30% increase in brand favorability, according to Think Communications. Another benefit is that you can interact with users who retweeted, mentioned of used your hashtag without getting charged. Generally speaking, Twitter is less expensive than the majority of cost-per-click advertising options.

On the flip side, Promoted Tweets will disappear if users do not react to the posts. These tweets could possibly annoy users and ultimately result in people unfollowing the brand. Third-party applications can hinder getting an accurate and effective measurement, and some argue that other cost-per-click advertising services have better tracking and reporting options when compared to Promoted Tweets.

Promotion in Motion: Create a Promoted Tweets Campaign

In addition to fostering greater audience engagement, Promoted Tweets can be used for publicizing events and building your brand. When creating a Promoted Tweets campaign for your nonprofit, the first step is to define your objective and outline a strategy. Think about the specific goal your organization wants to reach, i.e., promoting an upcoming

event or increasing your follower base. What is your call to action? In order to test effectiveness, it is important that your strategy be clearly defined and measureable. When designing your strategy, include both short-term and medium-term objectives.

Second, define your campaign’s target audience. Review your current Twitter activity to identify areas of improvement. Using Twitter Analytics as well as data from your existing audience members are great ways to do this. Another free tool for Twitter users is Follower Wonk. Select your primary method of targeting (i.e., keywords, tailored audiences, interests and followers) and your secondary method (i.e., language, device, gender, location, or email addresses). Knowhow Nonprofit suggests when following the keyword method, use Follower Wonk to search for your term in people’s bios, export all accounts with that keyword as a file, and paste the top 100 accounts into Twitter by clicking the “Import Multiple Users” button.

Third, create the content for your messages. Promoted Tweets allows you to promote an already-existing tweet or create a new one using Twitter Cards. To perfect your tweet copy, identify the type of content your audience responds to the best by reviewing what shared articles and info are posted the most on your social media outlets. The more interactive your content is, the more audience engagement you’ll have.

Finally, test your campaign. You can construct your own tests or use a variety of tools  on the Twitter platform. Conduct an A/B test, varying only one item between two tweets (i.e., a photo, link, hashtag, etc.), and compare the performance of A versus B. Remember, you pay for all clicks with Promoted Tweets, including profiles and image clicks. In order to get more bang for your buck, make sure you have an incredibly-focused tweet that includes only one action for people to engage with.

How Will an Increase in Twitter Characters Affect Promoted Tweets?

In a recent news release from Re/code, sources say that Twitter is considering a new 10,000 character limit to launch by April 2016. While it’s too early to give concrete advice on the effects of this length shift, the Promoted Tweets model could potentially become more expensive due to increased clicks, ultimately making it a less viable advertising option for nonprofits with strict budgets. But there is also the possibility that the 10,000 character change will have little effect if organizations opt to use shorter Twitter copy as part of their content strategy. Tweets with less than 100 characters receive a 17% greater engagement rate, according to Salesforce.  As the Twitter platform continues to morph, we here at Forum One will continue to guide you in future posts.

For more tips on how your nonprofit can use Promoted Tweets, feel free to post a comment or contact us with any questions. As Twitter moves to increase its character limit this year, we will follow up with more tips and advice.