How To Set Up A Twitter Ads Campaign


Aishwarya Krishnamurthy

July 7, 2015 4 min read

Updated on May 2, 2017

Learning something new can be difficult, no matter what it is you’re learning. From swimming to Finnish, having an instructor explain the basics to you can really ease you through any initial bumps and bruises of the learning curve. In this era of digital marketing, this learning curve is particularly steep. Traditional marketing rules apply very loosely, and by the time you get comfortable with a couple of concepts, there’s 10 more that you need to familiarize yourself with.

The cruelest joke is that by the time you learn the new 10 things, the first 10 things have been updated – It’s back to square one.

Having an instructor or guide can potentially minimize your growing pains, so we’ve created this simple step-by-step guide to setting up a campaign on Twitter Ads. It shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to read, and this is leaves you plenty of time to learn something new or to spend on your new campaign itself!

Before we get started on Twitter Ads, we recommend reading through the Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing to get a better handle of the kinds of objectives, resources and points of measurement that are important to your campaign. With a clear understanding of pre-execution campaign details like budget, social media performance indicators, business objectives and resources required, you will find setting up a campaign on Twitter Ads much easier.

Step 1 – Create

Sign in to Twitter Ads – ads.twitter.com using your official Twitter account details. Based on the objective of your campaign – choose the appropriate campaign type. We’ve previously discussed the Objective Based Twitter Ads, and how to choose the right one for your campaign on our blog.

There are 6 objectives you can create your campaign around on Twitter:


Apart from understanding the advantages of each campaign, that blog also breaks down the creative and media files that are required or recommended for each type of objective based ad. For instance – You will need images to create a Twitter card (which is an additional piece of social media real estate to draw in the attention of your audience) for the Website Clicks/Conversions, you can choose to use images for your App Install cards, and you just need compelling text for your Follower campaign.

If you’re familiar with Google AdWords – a campaign is at the same level as an Ad Group, with individual ads grouped together under a name to better organize your paid efforts.

ProTip – ask a developer to put a conversion tracking code in the landing page to ensure that your conversions are attributed correctly.

Step 2 – Target

Once you’ve decided on the creative aspect of your campaign, you’ll need to decide the audience for your campaign. Again, depending on the goals of your campaign, this can be as big or as small as you need it to be. For brand news, a product launch or a global event – the bigger the better. You can target entire countries and depending on what it is, your products or services can be bought and enjoyed as easily in Tokyo as it is in New York City.

But if you’re advertising for a New York based Soul Kitchen – you don’t need people in Seoul clicking on your ad. Micro-targeting allows you to target ONLY the people who would find your content and campaign most relevant. And it’s not just geographically, you can micro target on an entire range of criteria – language, gender, device, interests, even TV shows, keywords or behaviors. Based on our own experience, we also created a guide to micro-targeting on Twitter Ads,

ProTip – Feel ready to level up? Get started on hyper targeting or retargeting with Tailored Audiences, or the recently released Twitter ‘personas’.

Step 3 – Budget

The final step is to set up the budget for your campaign. This process is split into the budget and the bid. Depending on the budget of your entire marketing campaign, a certain percentage should be cordoned off for social media. According to research, this percentage is steadily rising with more CMOs allocating money to their digital campaigns.

On Twitter Ads, you can throttle your campaign budget on a daily limit. There is also the option of a total limit, which means that the ads will stop showing when the budget runs out – whether that takes 6 hours or 6 months. Lead-gen offers or website traffic are not necessarily time bound, so running your campaign indefinitely with a lower daily budget and higher total budget can be your campaign’s best bet. On the other hand time bound events like a sale or seasonal offer should be throttled by time and not budget.

The bid works in the same vein as a traditional auction. Brands with deeper pockets can afford the Automatic bid, which Twitter will calibrate based on the next highest bid, then make your bid competitive and charge accordingly. For a smaller brand, understand that at any point in time you are going up against some very serious digital marketers so by choosing an automatic bid,you can drive your spend up exponentially as Twitter attempts to match the bid of bigger, better financed brands. For a smaller company, or a smaller budget – a manual bid is a safe way to control your spend. Twitter will suggest a bid, we recommend rounding it up to the higher value, and then based on your actual spend (which Twitter Ads analytics will report), you can decide whether your bid should be higher.

Step 4 – Report

Now that your campaign is set up and live, the work of reporting and measuring starts. And in the modern social media workflow, this isn’t the finishing stage of a race. Based on data from your existing campaign, you can now gain insights about what kind of creative worked best, which device was costing you the most to advertise on,and whether you need to be spending more, or simply rethinking the entire campaign’s strategy on social.

When a campaign is done – it’s not the end, it’s the start of a hundred better ones.

If you’d like to gain backstage passes to the Twitter Ads strategy of competitors, or get access to unparalleled campaign and content intelligence to better inform your own strategy – get on a free trial of Unmetric right now!

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