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On Wednesday, we hosted another 4C Social Ads Master Class series webinar, this time with a focus on Twitter. Our previous webinars with Pinterest and LinkedIn were well attended as was this week’s event.

Joining me were account manager Mike Baumwell from Twitter, agency marketer Tala Aqel from Optimedia, and 4C’s Product Manager on Twitter, Karl Stand. The conversation was lively and we covered a lot of ground in just an hour.

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We started the session with each speaker sharing how their point of view on Twitter’s unique offering fits within the marketing portfolio.

Key Insight #1: Twitter is Live

The strong consensus from the speakers was that Twitter’s unique offering to advertisers is that it provides a doorway into the live conversations that happen online in a way that few other publishers – social or otherwise – can match.

Twitter’s short-form content sharing works well to keep up with the speed of live and has become a first-reaction platform for consumers, and thus, prime real estate for advertisers looking to be part of real-time engagement with literally hundreds of millions of people around the world.

 Key Insight #2: Twitter + TV = Multi-Screen Magic

Because of Twitter’s unique position as a real-time reaction platform, it also has a very strong connection with marketing’s biggest channel, television. Via Twitter, consumers watching the same show engage with each other in shared media experiences that have the power to exponentially drive social engagement for advertisers.

We’ve seen this phenomena firsthand at 4C. I shared the chart below in a blog post in February that clearly shows how advertiser spend on Twitter ramps up during the biggest TV moments of the year. Advertisers know Twitter works well during big TV moments and plan their budgets accordingly to surge during these times. 

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Key Insight #3: Twitter Has Unique Targeting

As the webinar turned to recent advertising innovations from Twitter, not only has Twitter invested in building out creative ad formats, but also provides some really cool new targeting functionality including shareable tailored audiences that will help brands expand the retargeting power of Twitter.

One of the more noteworthy targeting enhancements was the recent release of emoji targeting. Emojis have become part of the lexicon on social media and more than 100 billion – yes, with a “b” – Tweets have contained emojis.

Based on Twitter research that was shared by Mike, the top two reasons that people use emojis on Twitter are:

  • To express their feelings
  • To tell something that words can’t easily express.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and when combining with text, emojis help Twitter users really get their point across even when limited to 140 characters. For example, a Tweet that says “Really liked the new TV show” could mean something totally different when you add a positive smiling face or a sarcastic frowny face.

We also shared emojitracker, a real-time tracker of Twitter emoji usage so you can see which are the most used emojis. As of today, the face with tears of joy emoji is by far the most used emoji on Twitter.

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Key Insight #4 – Twitter Offers Solutions Across the Funnel

As a mature social platform, Twitter has released enough features over the years to enable marketers to strategically reach their audience across the entire classic marketing funnel. As part of an interactive session during the webinar, I tasked the speakers to point to which part of the funnel some of Twitter’s most common ad format and targeting types could be used to drive consumers to action

This wasn’t easy because many of these tactics could easily be used to drive Awareness, Interest, and Desire. For example, a Promoted Account or Tweet could easily be used to influence and impact consumers at any point of the funnel. However, ultimately the speakers debated and decided that this ad format was best at the top of the funnel as a mass awareness tactic.

Feel free to skip to minute 30 of the on-demand recording of the webinar to see how the speakers and I ended up at the funnel below. 

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Key Insight #5 – Twitter is Focusing on Expanding Its Content Footprint

As we got to the end of the main content potion of the webinar, we turned our attention to what’s coming from Twitter advertising. One trend that seems to point to what Twitter could be headed is that it has been expanding its content footprint over the years via acquisitions (Vine, Periscope), launches (Moments), and deals (NFL Thursday Night Football).

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Twitter is focusing on becoming a publisher and content destination as a part of its market strategy. These live shared experiences seem to fit very well with Twitter’s real-time nature and could represent a bigger push to really own live conversations online.

7 Twitter Advanced Tips and Tricks

As we’ve done with all of our webinars, we ended the event with a lightning round of tips and tricks:

Tip # 1 – Utilize Twitter resources. Twitter’s Flight School is a formalized online program to teach social advertisers the ins and outs of using Twitter. You can also find a lot of great best practices on the ads.twitter blog and the Twitter ad team consistently puts out great research and white papers.

Tip # 2 – Tweet with less than 100 characters. Mike shared this tried and true tip for brand Tweets. It seems that Tweets with less than 100 characters tend to get links clicked and shared more often.

Tip # 3 – Lead with media, not text. Tweets that feature media such as images and videos also often perform better than ones without because they are able to stick out from the crowd. Tala called this “thumb-stopping media” which I think could become a new social buzzword.

Tip # 4 – Speak like a human. I loved this tip. The ad copy on social channels requires a more authentic tone than most other forms of advertising. If you try to address live audiences with “ad speak” you will just not come off as genuine in a social setting.

Tip # 5 – Leverage the full funnel of Twitter. As we demonstrated with the funnel exercise in Key Takeaway #4, Twitter offers a wide range of advertising solutions that can be used to move consumers through the funnel.

Tip # 6 – Use Twitter analytics. Karl offered the tip that marketers should really utilize the analytics on Twitter ads to better understand how to move the performance needle. You can also use Twitter insights to help drive the optimization of other advertising channels. For example, understanding how various phrases perform via keyword targeting or which hashtags included in Promoted Tweets get the most clicks can help you to understand what is on consumers’ minds right now.

Tip # 7 – Impact Twitter performance with a holistic social plan. Finally, the last tip of the day was one of mine. I’ve been hearing from various clients that one of the best ways to optimize your advertising from a single social publisher could be to optimize all of the channels together. This makes sense because the average consumer uses 5.54 social platforms but generally experiences your marketing as a single brand conversation, not as separate channels. Thus, a strong social advertising strategy might require a more holistic approach than previously thought.

Thanks to everyone who attended. Please share the presentation and webinar link with your colleagues if you found it to be valuable.

See you at our next 4C webinar!