How does Twitter do advertising?

 Like most social media platforms, Twitter runs its ads on an auction system. You set the bid you’re willing to pay for a certain action, as well as a daily budget for your campaign.

Here are the billable actions for each type of Twitter campaign:

GoalYou pay per
ReachThousand impressions (CPM)
Video viewsView
Pre-roll viewsView
App installsImpression or click
Website trafficClick
App re-engagementsClick

If someone performs a different action from your objective, you don’t have to pay. So, if you’re running a followers campaign and someone likes your paid Tweet but doesn’t follow, there’s no cost to you.

In general, the higher your bid, the more likely your ad will be served to your target audience. But this is not the only factor. When considering which ads to serve, Twitter also considers how engaging your ad is. A high-demand audience will also be more expensive to reach.

That means you can reduce the cost of your Twitter ads by focusing on quality creative and appropriate ad targeting.

In terms of dollars and cents, most Twitter ad objectives cost between $0.50 and $3.00 per action, according to AdEspresso.

How to set up a Twitter ad campaign

Step 1. Choose your advertising objective

Log into your Twitter account and head to Twitter Ads Manager at to get started. You’ll begin by deciding what you want to achieve with your Twitter ads.

As noted above, the campaign objective you choose determines which engagement types and actions you’ll pay for.

For this example, we will be walking through a campaign to increase followers and build an audience for your account.

Step 2. Set up your ad group and bidding

For your first Twitter ads campaign, you’ll probably want to stick to one ad group. But as you get more comfortable with Twitter ads, split up your campaign into categories to target different audiences, use different creative, or test different budgets and timing.

Name your ad group and select a start and end time, or allow your ad group to run indefinitely.

Step 3. Target your audience and choose your placements

The targeting options help you choose the right audience for your ad and maximize your budget.

You’ll start with demographic targeting. Define your audience by gender, age, location, language and technology.

With location targeting, you can get as specific as a particular metro area or even postal code. Or you can be broad and target a whole country. The technology component allows you to target by device, carrier or operating system.

The Targeting features section allows you to target your ad to users based on events, interests, and behaviors, and even the specific topics and TV shows users Tweet about.

To help guide you, the interface provides an estimated audience size summary that changes as you add more targeting options to your campaign.

Step 4. Create your ads

Now that you’ve set up the framework for your campaign, it’s time to create some ads.

You can use an existing Tweet as an ad, or create a new ad by filling in the fields on the Ad details screen.

Step 5. Launch your campaign

Finally, review all the options you’ve selected. Click Launch campaign to launch your ad.

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