Twitter Ads Overview

The following is an overview of Twitter’s Advertising platform. We will cover the various types of ads & promotions available on the platform and dive into their specifications. 

For additional information & a walk-through of the account set-up, check out Twitter’s resources


Ad Types

The primary ad types on Twitter are Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends

Below we will walk through a summary of the different types of ads on Twitter. We also delve into cost considerations for Twitter advertising.


Promoted Tweets

What Is A Promoted Tweet: An Overview

These are tweets advertisers pay to display to people who aren’t following them. Promoted tweets appear in target users’ timelines, on profiles, or at the top of search results & in mobile and desktop apps. An example from Hootsuite is below.

Promoted Tweet Specs:

    • Pricing model: CPE or CPM
    • For promoted text:
      • Tweet copy
        • 280 characters. 
        • Each link used reduces character county by 23 characters, electing 257 characters for Twitter copy.
    • For promoted images:
      • Minimum width: 600 pixels, although larger images (i.e. 1200 pixel images) will be better optimized for when users click to expand images. 
      • Height: Any height is acceptable, although if the height exceeds the width, twitter crops to 1:1.
    • Aspect ratio
      • Desktop: Any aspect between 2:1 and 1:1 is acceptable. 
        • E.x. 1200 X 600 (2:1), 1200 X 800 (3:2) or 1200 X 1200 (1:1). 
        • After 16:9 aspect ratio (for example, 1200 X 1400) twitter crops to a 16:9 aspect ratio.
      • Mobile: 16:9


Promoted Accounts & Followers Campaigns


Promote your account to new users most likely interested in your content. Promoted accounts live in users timelines & on the Who to Follow suggestions and search results. Promoted Accounts placements are the result of a follower campaign 

Promoted Account Specs:

  • Pricing Model: CPF 
    • Cost Per Follower: total campaign spend divided by the number of new followers
  • Tweet Copy
    • 280 characters. 
    • Each link used reduces character county by 23 characters, electing 257 characters for Twitter copy


Promoted Trends


This is a “24hr takeover of the trends list on Twitter…”  

These display in the Trends for you section on the timeline and on the Explore tab. Users who click on a Promoted Trend see search results for the promoted topic, with a Promoted Tweet from the advertiser at the top. See below.


To launch a campaign, you must first select an objective. To learn more, explore some of Twitter’s common objectives, which include (From the Twitter website):


  • Awareness: Maximize your ad’s reach. Pay for: impressions (cost per 1,000 Tweet impressions
  • Tweet engagements: Get more people to engage with your Tweet. Pay for: engagements (cost per engagement)
  • Video views: Get people to watch your video. Pay for: video views (cost per view)
  • In-Stream Video Views: Pair your ad with premium content. Pay for: in-stream video views (cost per In-Stream Video View) 
  • Followers: Build a larger audience for your brand. Pay for: follows (cost per follow)
  • Website clicks and conversions: Drive traffic to your website. Pay for: link clicks and Website Card clicks (cost per click)
  • App installs: Get more people to install your app. Pay for: app installs, app clicks, or App Card clicks (cost per app click or cost per install)
  • App re-engagements: Get people to take action in your app. Pay for: app clicks or App Card clicks (cost per



Audience targeting helps advertisers narrow in on key demographics, follower look-alikes, events, interests & conversation, re-marketing, or custom audiences.

  • There are two main types of audience targeting
    • Additive (“OR” targeting), which layers attributes on to audiences
    • Restrictive (“AND” targeting), which requires your audience to have all of the attributes you specify
  • Targeting categories include
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Location
    • Language
    • Device
    • Audience features: Keywords, movies & shows, conversation topics, events, and related interests.


Twitter ads serve via an auction. Similar to Google Ads, the results of a Twitter ads auction considers the advertiser’s bid and the target ad’s quality, represented by the ad score. Below is an overview of the auction process.

    • The Ad score considers three primary factors. According to twitter, those are as follows.
      • Resonance: Are people engaging with your ad? Do they click, like, and/or Retweet it often?
      • Relevance: Do your Tweet content align with your audience’s interests?
      • Recency: Are your Tweets fresh? Twitter is what’s happening now, so our auctions reward up-to-date content.
    • There are 3 main bid types, these are 
      • Automatic Bid: Similar to automated bids in google, automatic bids optimize your bid to maximize results at the lowest price (within your budget). 
      • Maximum Bid: Similar to Manual CPC, max bid lets you choose exactly how much you’re willing to pay for a billable action (your maximum bid)
      • Target Bid: Another automated option, target bid lets advertisers name the bid they’d like to pay per billable action.


We all know Twitter; it’s fast, fun, and informative. But Twitter is a also a great resource for businesses big-and-small to spread information about their company, their product, or their service. It offers a large reach and granular targeting, so finding a sizable engaged audience is relatively easy. For businesses looking to grow awareness, it’s a must-have in your social media marketing mix.