Best Practices For Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads

Image by Justin Marty via flickr

By Kristina Cisnero | 11 months ago | Strategy | No Comments

With the media landscape constantly changing, and with Facebook and Twitter being daily destinations for millions of consumers, it’s no surprise that they’re also a great place for businesses to advertise.

At HootSuite, we have embraced the need to take advantage of the unique advertising opportunities that Facebook ads and Twitter ads hold. With the help of our in-house social media advertising experts, I’ve put together some of their best practices for advertising on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter Ads

How They Work

There are three different kinds of Twitter Ads: Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, and Promoted Tweets. The one we are going to focus on today are Promoted Tweets, which are messages that will appear directly in the timelines of the Twitter users you targeted and at a specific time you have bid on.

Biggest Advantage

Twitter ads allow you to specify who sees your Tweets. This ensures you have a higher chance of reaching your objectives.

Twitter Advertising Best Practices

1) Test your content organically first

Twitter rewards advertisers who create compelling content by lowering their cost per engagement (CPE) based on the click through rate of the Tweet. This means, the more people click on your tweet, the cheaper it is! What better way to see if your content is click-worthy than to test it out on your audience first. If your tweet is receiving a lot of retweets, favourites, or replies, that may be a sign that you should put money towards it to increase engagement and awareness.

2) Understand Tweet differences, based on objectives

The way you structure your Tweets will be based on what you are trying to achieve with Twitter Ads.

If you’re looking for a direct response or conversions, don’t use hashtags. When advertising on Twitter, you get charged when people click on any part of your Tweet. By keeping your tweets clean with just one link to a landing page, you’ll be more cost effective and be better set to achieve your target customer acquisition cost.

However, if your objective is to increase brand awareness (and you have the budget), using hashtags is a great way to engage more users and start a conversation around your brand.

3) Refresh your Tweets

Twitter ads need to be refreshed every 2-3 days. This is because Twitter will actually shut down your ads after a set period of time to try and prevent content from going stale. To combat this, all you need to do is recreate an exact copy of your ad and pause the old one regularly.

4) Don’t “Automatically promote”

While it may seem like a great way to save time, automatically promoting your Tweets is not nearly as effective as measuring which tweets resonate with your audience and then promoting those. This is also a really easy way to burn money, because you may promote ads with really low engagement rates— which as previously mentioned, drives up your cost per engagement.

Facebook Ads

How They Work

Businesses can pay Facebook to show custom ads to a specific audience, with costs varying based on the number of clicks and the reach of the ad.

Biggest Advantage

Facebook allows you to really hone in on your audience and target your Facebook ads to specific people that you consider quality leads.

Facebook Advertising Best Practices

1) Determine your objectives before you start
Is it for awareness or is it for acquisition? If it’s for awareness, then likes, shares, and comments are key metrics for you. Keep in mind that all of these actions on Facebook cost money, so make sure you know how much each one is worth to your business before launching a campaign. From an acquisition perspective, it’s more important to get the ad clicked and the user converting on a landing page.

2) Get granular with your audience targeting

With Facebook, you have the ability to upload an email list of your customers, which Facebook will then use to create a look-a-like audience (this is called a “Custom Audience” by Facebook). This means Facebook will try and find people who they deem to look like the customers from your email list. This allows you to get really granular in your audience targeting and create messaging that speaks specifically to that user segment.

For example, if you are a clothing store, you could upload a list of customers that have previously purchased dresses on your site. Then to have targeted ad copy, you can create ads specifically for someone to purchase a dress and run it with the new look-a-like audience Facebook has created for you.

3) Rotate your ads regularly

One of the biggest issues advertisers deal with on Facebook is ad fatigue. This means, when people start to see your ad too many times, they get bored of it and stop clicking. Think of your own behavior on Facebook; how often do you look at the same photo album or article? Probably no more than once.

Unfortunately, when your click through rate starts to drop Facebook penalizes you, driving up your cost per click (CPC), and making likes, comments, and clickthroughs more expensive. This affects both acquisition and engagement campaigns.

A best practice that we use at HootSuite in order to combat this, is to rotate our ads every 3 to 5 days to keep our content fresh and engaging.

4) Use Unpublished Page Posts

These posts don’t show up on your Facebook timeline, which means you can create lots of ads, without harassing the people that have already liked your page. You can also write ads that are far more sales oriented, because you are able to segment out your existing audience.

Social media advertising is a complex process that requires effective planning, testing, and measuring. With the above best practices, you can embark into the world of Facebook advertising and Twitter advertising knowing how you can make the most of your money. If done correctly, Facebook ads and Twitter ads can be incredibly powerful for you and your business.

Have you used Facebook ads or Twitter ads? Share your best practices in the comments below.

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Written by

Priyanka Kamble
Priyanka Kamble

Great article, Kristina! Very straight to the point and offered clear steps to effectively using social media advertising. 


Great article, Kristina! Very straight to the point and offered clear steps to effectively using social media advertising.