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Grow Your Business Social Media

The Anatomy of a Promoted Tweet: Here's What Works

The Anatomy of a Promoted Tweet: Here's What Works
Credit: Gonzalo Aragon/Shutterstock

Twitter's Promoted Tweets is one of the most effective ways to run a Twitter marketing campaign. It's affordable, easy to use and gives you access to a wide range of targeting and ad-management tools that let you reach the right customers at the right time — all while staying in control of your ad dollars.

But with more than 271 million Twitter users worldwide, countless competitors and only 140 characters to convey your message, how exactly does a business make the most out of Promoted Tweets?

To answer that question, Twitter analyzed nearly 200,000 Promoted Tweets to uncover what works and what doesn't for small businesses. From how long your tweets should be to what type of content ultimately drives the most engagement, here are Twitter's guidelines and best practices on how to use Promoted Tweets to grow your business. [Twitter Marketing: 4 Ways to Engage Customers]

Keep it short

Tweets are limited to 140 characters, but you don't have to use them all. Use multiple tweets to get your message across, instead of jam packing everything in a single tweet. Stay under 100 characters per tweet, which Twitter says gets 18 percent more engagement. For an even more effective campaign, Twitter suggests aiming for three to six Promoted Tweets for a 17 percent boost in engagement.

Take advantage of advertiser tools

Drive click-throughs with advertiser tools like Website Cards and Lead Generation Cards. Website Cards let you embed website content and art within a tweet, giving followers context and visually drawing them to your tweet. You can also create call-to-action buttons, and the Card acts as a hyperlink to your website.

While Lead Generation Cards work similarly, they also prepopulate followers' information so they can opt-in to things like coupons and free offers. Because followers' data comes directly from their Twitter accounts, their name, email and other information are more likely to be accurate. This eliminates the hassle they would have in filling out forms themselves. Compared with plain-text call-to-actions with a simple URL, businesses that use Lead Generation Cards can deliver a 42 percent increase in engagement, Twitter found.

Use rich media

Photos and videos can make all the difference. A really big difference — Twitter's study shows that Promoted Tweets with rich media have 313 percent more engagement and 52 percent more retweets than those without.

The impact is even stronger when you use Vine and tweet multiple pictures. Specifically, tweets with Vine clips have 256 percent more engagement than those with just a single picture, and tweets with a series of photos are 173 percent more effective at encouraging engagement than those with just one image. Vines and photo galleries can do everything from showcasing your products and services to humanizing your brand by sharing what goes on behind the scenes, telling your story and sharing your values with followers.

Be responsive

Don't just tweet — interact. Engagement is a two-way street, so if you expect followers to engage with your business, be prepared to engage with them, too. Use Promoted Tweets to hold conversations with users and find out what really matters to them. Twitter recommends replying to tweets at least once a week, asking followers questions and asking for feedback about your business.

For more tips on using Twitter as a small business, check out the Twitter Small Business Blog and follow @TwitterSmallBiz.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Sara Angeles

Sara is a tech writer with a background in business and marketing. After graduating from UC Irvine, she worked as a copywriter and blogger for nonprofit organizations, tech labs and lifestyle companies. She started freelancing in 2009 and joined Business News Daily in 2013. Follow Sara Angeles on Twitter @sara_angeles.