Twitter Ads: 10 Powerful Strategies To Supercharge Growth

Twitter Ads: 10 Powerful Strategies To Supercharge Growth

The right Twitter ads can give your business a major boost.

It just takes picking the right ad for the right occasion. Easy, right?

Maybe not.

The Twitter Ads platform has a ton of options and approaches that make it unique. And yet many advertisers simply stick to the standard promoted Tweets, ignoring the full arsenal of ad strategies their disposal.

That’s what this guide is for. We’ve gathered up 10 powerful, unique Twitter strategies for business to help supercharge your growth.

And the best part?

We made it super simple to create the best Twitter ads.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Unique Twitter ads strategies.
  • The average ROI we’ve seen when using that strategy.
  • An image-rich step-by-step guide.

Go ahead and try these Twitter ads yourself. We’d love to hear how it goes — tweet at us (@LadderDigital) and tell us about your best experiences with Twitter ads.

☝️Need help setting up your first Twitter ads campaign? Read this first


Twitter Lead Ad (No Card)

ROI +15%

Try creating a “lead ad” without using Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards, just using a photo or a link instead. It feels less like an ad, so users may be less prone to skimming past it.

Twitter lead cards are fancy and feature-rich, but they still look like ads.

twitter ads - lead capture card

Instead, promote a Tweet with an image and copy that you’ve found performed well in the past to see if it brings more clicks and leads.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Set your goal.

What do you want your Twitter ad to do? Generally, for a lead ad, you’ll want website clicks or conversions.

Set your goal in Twitter Ad Manager so you’re only paying when that specific conversion metric is hit.

twitter ads - create campaign

Step 2: Pick your audience.

Decide if you want to go broad or narrow with your targeting. You can use analytics on what kinds of leads your Tweet got if you’re reusing an old one, or you can use one of the many Twitter targeting options available.

For audience targeting tactics, check out the Ladder Playbook.

twitter ads - select audience

Step 3: Set your budget.

Once you’re ready, set a budget and duration for the ad.

We usually suggest a small budget and a week-long timeframe to test the ad’s efficacy.

twitter ads - set budget

Rather than spending your whole ad budget on a single ad, you can make tweaks and run tests to see what works best.

Step 4: Create your Tweet.

You can use a Tweet that’s worked well in the past – one that got a lot of likes, retweets, and engagement – or you can create a new one from scratch. You can either use a link and a photo, or allow Twitter’s Card Validator to pull a rich card straight from your link.

twitter ads - lead ad

Step 5: Run your ad. When you finish putting together your awesome copy and imagery, run the ad.


Twitter Event Targeting

ROI +11%

Twitter ads can use event targeting, enabling them to maximize their exposure around trending discussions.

twitter ads - event targeting

This approach lets you target people who are engaging with event-related Tweets or creating their own event-related content. In essence, you’ll reach both those creating and those looking at Tweets about an event.

The most powerful part of it is that you can reach people in real-time as they’re Tweeting or reading Tweets about a live event.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Set up your campaign.

Start by setting a start and end date for your ad.

Step 2: Set your event targeting.

Under Audience Targeting, you can either decide on broad or narrow event targeting.

For broad targeting, select Add Interests and then click “Browse categories”

twitter ads - event targeting broad

In “Browse interests”, select Events and tick off the event types you want to target.

twitter ads - event interests

For a more narrow approach, click on “Add event targeting” and either type in or browse for the specific events you want to target.

twitter ads - event targeting narrow

twitter ads - event targeting browse

Step 3: Set your budget and creatives.

First set how much you want to spend per day and total.

Then decide what you want your Twitter ads to say. Generally, it’s a good idea to reference the specific event.

Try adding a special discount for people who see the Tweet at the event. Or have an engagement prompt – people who follow you and Tweet at you using the event hashtag get their first month free.

This highly relevant audience will already be activated and engaged with an event relevant to your product, so they’ll be highly likely to want to try your product.

Step 4: Run your ad.


Business Behavior Audience

ROI +7%

Twitter allows you to target audiences based on their business behaviors.

twitter ads - business behavior audience

Options include company size, business type, company age, occupation category, sales revenue, industry, and seniority.

This is one of the most effective Twitter strategies for businesses to reach B2B customers.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Create your campaign and decide your goal.

Do you want website clicks? App installs? Are you creating a video ad? Decide and start with the right kind of approach.

Step 2: Select your audience.

In the “Select your Audience” section, go to “Add behaviors” and click on “Browse categories”.

In that popup, select “Business”

twitter ads - business behavior

Here, decide the type of business behavior you want to target.

Narrow down further as necessary to reach the exact audience you want.

Step 3: Set the budget, creatives, and run your campaign.

Since you’re targeting businesses, consider using creative that offers a free trial of a premium product or talks about your product’s benefits.

If you’re highly specific about seniority in your targeting, make sure you’re talking to your audience on their level.

Once you set your budget and creative, run the ad and start tracking performance.

Step 4: Tweak targeting.

As you’re seeing leads come in, make sure you’re reaching the right businesses. You don’t want your Twitter ads hitting the wrong decision makers or the wrong size business – that’s a waste of your ad budget.

Make your changes on the go to keep your ad spend highly targeted.


Twitter Hashtag Listbuilding & Targeting

ROI +12%

Hashtags can be great qualifiers for targeting.

twitter ads - hashtag listbuilding

Marketers use hashtags to collect their Twitter audience under one roof and keep track of their social engagement.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Create a Twitter list.

twitter ads - twitter list

Step 2: Activate an IFTTT recipe.

The recipe should specify the exact hashtag(s) you want to track and the name of the list you just created. This recipe will build a list of Twitter accounts from that hashtag.

twitter ads - ifttt recipe

Step 3: Start paid advertising.

Once your list is built, you can export it and then import it to Twitter as a tailored audience

Step 4: Create an ad campaign.

Create a campaign targeting the new custom audience. Remember to stay aware of the hashtag(s) you chose to pull your list.

There’s a unifying theme around your audience. It may be a professional conference, a world event, or some other happening. Whatever it is, cater your creative around it where applicable.


Respond with Twitter Lead Card

ROI +14%

When someone retweets your content, you can respond using Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards to immediately prompt them to sign up.

These users are already primed for your content and show interest in your writing, so they’re highly likely to want more of what you’re giving.

By providing a personalized thank you and a frictionless one-click sign-up, you can drive more leads/email sign-ups for your blog.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Tweet!

This tactic relies on your audience being engaged with you on Twitter.

How do you do that? By Tweeting, of course!

twitter ads - ladder twitter

Share your content, start conversations, respond to influencers. Be active on Twitter.

Step 2: Decide what your response will be.

When people respond, you’ll want to have a Lead Card ready to go. What do you want it to be?

Do you want them to check out your page? Give you their email addresses? Download an app? Decide that now, and put together your Lead Card creative so you can respond quickly.

Head to the Twitter Ad Manager, click on “Creatives” and select “Cards”.

There, create your Lead Generation Card for later use.

twitter ads - twitter ads manager

Step 3: Respond with a Lead Card.

As you Tweet, people will respond. When they respond, write back with a note of thanks, but make your reply a Lead Card.

twitter ads - respond with lead card

To do this you have to be in Twitter Ad Manager. Head to Ad Manager, and at the top click on “Creatives” and then “Tweets”.

Hit “New Tweet” at the top and create your Tweet using your Lead Generation card, targeted at the user you want to reach out to.

twitter ads - lead generation tweet

This is a great way to reach Twitter users after they’ve engaged with and showed interest in your content. They’ll be highly likely to want to take the action you’ve provided.


Blockspring Twitter Custom Audience

ROI +9%

If you’re looking for specific Twitter ads targeting based on keywords users include in their bios, you can use Blockspring to easily automate the process.

Blockspring will instantly search for the data you want to find and funnel it into a spreadsheet.

You’ll then be able to directly target a highly relevant set of Twitter users with high-quality ads.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Set up a Google spreadsheet.

Head into Google Drive and set up a spreadsheet where Blockspring can funnel user account info as it’s searching through Twitter profiles.

Step 2: Set search parameters.

Open up the Blockspring Search Console and find the Twitter Search for Users search query. Then enter the keywords you want Blockspring to look for in the users’ bios.

twitter ads - blockspring

Step 3: Hit run.

Watch the magic happen as Blockspring quickly populates a spreadsheet with users.

twitter ads - blockspring twitter custom audience

Step 4: Upload the list to Twitter.

Add the list to Twitter Ad Manager as a custom audience – note that if your list is small you may need to expand your keyword search to find more users. To do this, head to “Tools” and click “Audience manager”. There, select “Create new audience” and click “Upload your own list”.

twitter ads - twitter audience manager

twitter ads - twitter new audience

Step 5: Create and run your ad.

Time to advertise to your new, highly catered list! Cater your copy and creative to the specific people you’re targeting with the ad so that it’s just as relevant as the list you created.

Run the ad and see how your new audience performs. Tweak copy and creative until you get the right combination of audience and ad.


Twitter App Install Ad

ROI +5%

The App Card is a powerful ad format that allows mobile users to preview an image, view app ratings, and install or open an app directly from their timelines.

If you have an app you would like your audience to download, why not let them do it straight from your ad? It removes a good deal of friction between them seeing your ad and converting.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Optimize your App Store listing.

An app install ad won’t do much if your App Store listing is a mess. Use high-quality product screenshots, optimize your app description with the same keywords you use on your Twitter ads and landing pages, and make sure you have a decent app store rating. No rating yet? Ask your users, friends, and family to help!

Treat your App Store listing as a landing page and take the same optimization approach.

Step 2: Create your Twitter App Card.

Head into Twitter Ad Manager and head to “Creatives” → “Cards”

twitter ads - twitter creatives

There, you’ll find multiple options for Twitter App Cards. Do you want your card to be basic, have a large image, or feature a video? Decide what kind of creative you’ll be using.

twitter ads - twitter app card

Once you’re ready and your card is done, it’s time to create and run your ad.

twitter ads - app install card

Step 3: Run an ad.

Finish creating your ad, setting your audience, and determining your budget. Once you’re ready, run your ad. Track how many app installs it results in. Is it bringing high-quality users? Change your audience targeting as you gather more data on who’s installing and who isn’t.
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Bonus: Set up Conversion Tracking.* Twitter offers conversion tracking for app installs natively. Set it up for in-depth analytics to keep an eye on how your ad is performing.

twitter ads - conversion tracking


Twitter App Re-Engagement Ad

ROI +12%

Have users that have downloaded your app but dropped off the face of the earth? Chances are they liked what they saw but just forgot about your app.

Re-engaging them with promoted app card Twitter ads that direct them straight back to your app is a great way to boost retention.

twitter ads - twitter app reengagement ad

Let users open your mobile app straight from a Tweet and watch as they flock right back to it.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Create your App Card.

This card will be based on your App Store presence. It can either direct people to download your app, or if they already have it, it will direct them straight into your app with one tap. In this case, we’ll be targeting people who have your app installed.

Step 2: Build an audience.

Create an audience of users that haven’t used your app in over 30 days (or any other time period). These are the people you’ll be targeting with your app re-engagement ad.

Step 3: Run your ad.

Be sure to select the App Card as the creative for the add and set the campaign’s purpose as “App installs or re-engagements”.

twitter ads - app installs

Set your target as “People with your app installed”.

twitter ads - app install reach

Step 4: Engage with returned users.

Go a step beyond the ad by engaging further with users that return to your app. Give them early/exclusive content. Offer a discount or coupon code. Ask for feedback. These steps go a long way towards creating a healthy, retained user base.

Bonus: Set up Conversion Tracking.


Pinned Tweet

ROI +12%

This isn’t an ad by conventional definitions, yet it can certainly act like one.

A laptop sticker technically isn’t an ad. Yet it increases brand awareness.

twitter ads - laptop logo sticker

A pinned Tweet acts in the same way – driving brand awareness with gorgeous imagery – but goes a step further by giving people a link to follow straight back to your site.

The pinned Tweet can be anything from a link to your landing page to a gated content page and more.

You can decide to pin a high-performing Tweet from the past or create a brand new one for a specific purpose.

In this process, decide what you want your Tweet to accomplish. Is it driving clicks to your landing page? Talk about your product. Is it downloads of a whitepaper? Talk about value what people can derive from it. Add imagery directly relevant to the copy.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Pin your Tweet.

It’s super simple – just click on the menu button on your Tweet (it looks like three dots) and click “Pin to your profile page”.

twitter ads - pinned tweet

Step 3: Track your pinned Tweet’s performance. Use Twitter’s analytics tool to track how your pinned Tweet is performing. Also, track how many people actually make it to your site and convert.

Step 4: Promote your pinned Tweet. Want to go a step further? Turn your pinned Tweet into an ad. If it’s performing particularly well and converting users who visit your Twitter profile, it may turn out to be a great way to advertise your business.


That’s just a selection of the powerful ads strategies we use to grow our clients’ businesses. Want our full list of growth strategies, including more approaches to Twitter ads?

READ NEXT: Twitter Growth Hacks: Actionable Tactics To Boost Engagement →

*This post was originally published September 2017, updated November 2018