Written for the Occupancy Marketing blog

At the end of last year Twitter rolled out their self-serve ads service in the UK. The setup is super easy and follows the format of setting up ads on Facebook or LinkedIn – anyone familiar with these platforms or with AdWords will find the process very easy to handle. You can choose between three ad formats:

  • Promoted tweets – where you pay to amplify a tweet’s exposure by showing an existing tweet to users who don’t follow you
  • Promoted accounts – your Twitter account will be displayed in the left sidebar (for desktop users) or in-stream (for mobile users) and you pay each time someone new follows you
  • Promoted trends – not yet available for smaller businesses – where you pay to promote a popular topics/trend happening right now on Twitter

British Airways Targeted Tweet


As with Facebook or LinkedIn ads can be set to start showing immediately or be scheduled to run at some point in the future. There are several options for how you set up user targeting:

  • You can target using keywords (just like AdWords) e.g. anyone who has a particular keyword in their timeline will see your tweet
  • You can target users who are similar to a specific account or are similar to your existing followers
  • You can target specific interests e.g Travel > Hotels
  • You can target location (country, states/regions, city, or post codes)
  • You can target specific devices, desktop users, etc
  • You can target by gender

Budgets are set using a maximum cost per “engagement” metric, the maximum daily budget and the total overall budget. For our campaigns so far the cost has been around £1.20 per “engagement”. An engagement is when a user retweets, replies, favourites, follows, or clicks anywhere on your Promoted Tweet. You only pay for the first engagement a user makes with your Promoted Tweet and you will never be charged more than your maximum bid (you usually pay a fair amount less).

With all of these options Twitter offer an Analytics package that gives insight into who is clicking on your ads and allows you to better tailor your ads to boost your results.

Twitter ads are a great way for hotels to reach more followers that are likely to be interested in your brand. The interface is easy to use and the nature of choosing a tweet to promote or just promoting your account takes quite a lot of stress out of the ad creation process for first timers but also opens up to some very complex targeting for some very specific targeting. Promoted Accounts have the additional benefit of only costing money when someone new follows you – the increased pace of the roll-out of Twitter Ads has probably stemmed from so many dodgy companies offering “100 Twitter Followers for $100” type scams and Promoted Accounts really cuts out all need for practices like that.


  • Use images or, even better, a video- Twitter’s change to having images and videos displaying by default makes the inclusion of something visual a must
  • Use hashtags – they help users start conversations
  • Keep your promoted tweets fresh – swap out which tweet you’re promoting each day of your ad campaign
  • Add a Twitter Card for lead generation
  • Don’t forget your call to action – anything from “enter our competition” to “check out our new wedding photography” just don’t forget to ask for something

Ads are available in the Middle East and North Africa via Connect Ads in Egypt, with self-serve ads expected to launch later in 2014.