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Twitter’s ‘Playbook for Agencies’: Top Tips and Soundbites

To tie the ribbon on Q2, Twitter has released a Playbook for Agencies. The guide collapses six months of research into seven chapters, each addressing a different pain point that your agency may face when representing clients on Twitter.

You can download the full guide here or catch the summary below. Read on to skim Twitter’s advice for improving the performance of your paid campaigns, organic tweets, and client communications.

Yes, you need to pay to play.

“Promoting a powerful Tweet can give it the initial momentum it needs to attract a lot of organic attention.”

You may see brands with big organic success…but make no mistake that they’re spending money on ads, says Twitter.

To achieve ambitious goals, the company strongly recommends a blend of paid and organic content. Ads will guarantee steady growth and more eyes on your content as you’re tweeting to engage existing followers.

Twitter is the land of real-time and creative content.

“Nothing moves faster than Twitter. And people come to Twitter to see what’s new and discuss their interests. Therefore, timely campaigns that comment on current trends or events — anything happening now — are a better fit for Twitter than anywhere else.”

Twitter is king of real-time content. It offers a unique space for your clients to break news, engage with their customers, ask questions, and address concerns.

For agencies in particular, Twitter has the audience and platform for testing bold ideas. Its community thrives on personality-rich content, giving you the freedom to prioritize humor or entertainment in your tweets.

Setting clients up for success means setting the right foundation.


example of pinned tweet by mailchimp

When building a profile from scratch, remember to go down the usual checklist:

  • Fill out the bio to its fullest and link to the business’s most important landing page
  • Use high-quality, on-brand images for the cover and profile photos
  • Pin a tweet that represents the main focus of the month
  • Make sure to set the appropriate credit limit for your ads
  • Establish a good system for managing multiple logins (contact to ask about mutliple user logins for one account)
  • Assign the right permissions to team members (note: a Twitter Ad account is different from a Twitter account)
  • Review and adhere to ads policy guidelines

Keep your Twitter game strong with these tips.

“Everything centers around the Tweet and when advertisers can’t nail the format or tone they’re losing valuable engagement and ROI.”

When tweeting on the reg, use videos (with subtitles for those scrolling without headphones) and images. Also, while tweets can now contain 280 characters, be concise. Find the true hook of your campaign and experiment with a wittier, more human-sounding voice.

Another big takeaway: use hashtags wisely. Only employ hashtags that make sense. Remember that they become clickable links that could potentially distract from your main link.

Retweets are all the rage.

“You need to absorb good content to create good content…investing in your timeline gives you a healthy feed of content to Retweet.”

When Twitter suggests taking an entire Friday afternoon to follow, unfollow, and find other accounts (which they do), you have to raise an eyebrow (or two) and take it with a grain of salt.

But the company makes some compelling arguments for the Retweet, including:

  • Retweets help brands safely make a point without being the ones to officially say it
  • Retweets bring multiple POVs and voices to a timeline
  • Retweets save time, compared to creating 100% original tweets
  • Retweets help brands engage with their audience

Know the nuances of different ad campaigns.


chart showing the different objectives of twitter ad types

Choosing the right ad type for your campaign is half the battle. Twitter warns that clients often become fixated on specific metrics and look at the wrong metric when measuring success, e.g., they might start to question why they’re not getting more followers when they’re running an awareness campaign intended to increase Tweet impressions.

There’s an ad type for every separate goal. If you’re looking to achieve multiple goals (like gaining more followers, website clicks, AND video views), then it’s suggested that you run multiple campaigns so that you don’t de-prioritize any one goal.

Make sure to discuss the expected result of every campaign with your client. Explain that if they want to gain more followers but are running a video view campaign (as an example), the answer may not be to create another “better” video, but to invest more in a followers campaign.

Vary tweet copy, images, and voice in your ads.

“Each objective that is important to your campaigns should be supported by a strong campaign with varied Tweet copy and images. Logically, finding the right balance of your brand voice and audience voice that attracts desired results take time.”

Get to know your audience’s interests to understand whether tweeting about a sitcom or sharing articles from specific publications could grab their attention.

Write copy that emphasizes urgency (“today only!”), avoids unnecessary hashtags, and has a distinct call-to-action. Try using a percentage instead of a dollar amount when promoting sales. Tweet questions to encourage engagement and test different targeting options.

Bottom line is, you need to test, test, test to truly understand what resonates with your audience.

Manage expectations.

“Nearly everyone in the world knows what Twitter is. But that doesn’t mean they understand it, how to use it, or (especially) what could be expected from advertising with it.”

Twitter concedes that brands may have their gripes or disappointments using Twitter for advertising in the past.

But there are many misconceptions and unhealthy practices that your agency can steer clients away from. As an example, comparing Twitter to other social channels is like comparing apples to oranges. Twitter is uniquely interest-based, and “doesn’t carry the social obligations that can create confusions on other platform. People don’t ‘like’ a Tweet because it is from their aunt of they used to work with the sender…When a person follows [or engages with] you on Twitter–you have their attention and interest, not just their association.”

While the platform is also real time, advertising on it is not. Many advertisers expect quick results and aren’t thrilled by the amount of testing actually needed to succeed.

Overall, your agency should be diligent in benchmarking data and setting budgets and strategies that are tailored to a client’s wants.

Here’s how to pitch Twitter.

twitters tips for pitching twitter

Rest assured that Twitter is still growing and offering more competitive rates for its ads. Whether you’re pitching a campaign or Twitter in general to a client, the company provides some quick stats for you to grab.

Download the full guide or tweet us your best tips @Zoomph!

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