How to make Twitter objective-based advertising work

Twitter recently announced that it was making objective-based advertising available to everyone. These new campaigns ensure that you pay only for the specific result you’re aiming for:


On the surface, this seems like an excellent deal for advertisers. You pay only for what you want to buy. The question is, are these things you want to buy?

The answer depends on understanding what your objective is. If you haven’t already mapped out your social media funnel then it’s unlikely you’ve got a solid handle on what to buy:


Before you spend a dollar on any kind of social media advertising, understand what you’re buying.

You’ll need to invest serious time digging around your analytics to find what’s working least well so you understand what to buy. For example, inside Twitter’s analytics, people following you and the reach of your tweets would be metrics that fall in audience. Favorites and replies would be engagement, as would media engagements. URL clicks might be actions. What’s most broken for you?

Which of these areas is your greatest problem in?

If you try to skip the entire top of the funnel by buying leads, you might find yourself disappointed with the outcome. Likewise, if you don’t engage or drive people towards the bottom of the social funnel in any way, you might spend a lot on growing your following but not produce a business outcome.

Buy first what’s broken most!

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How to build your Twitter SEO strategy

Tweets are showing up in Google again. This is kind of a big deal. Why?

In the past, social search was about helping a searcher find the right person. As my friend Mitch Joel says, it’s not who you know, but who knows you. Social search helped to connect you with the “who”.

Traditional search was about helping a searcher find the right information. Traditional search identified the content that was most relevant to the inquiry; it helped connect you with the “what”.

By blending regular and social search, people can now find the who and the what simultaneously. By conflating social content and search, who and what become much more aligned, much more synonymous. You will be found as a person for what you share in the largest search engine in the world.

What should you change in your content marketing strategy in this new Twitter/Google landscape?

If you’re at all concerned about showing up in Google, obviously Twitter is now part of your overall content distribution strategy. You should be using Twitter if you’re not already. If you need a general plan for how to set up a Twitter strategy, watch this 10 minute webinar I did for SHIFT Communications.

Let’s take a look at what a Twitter SEO strategy might look like.

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What You Should Share

What you share is important! Think about the language you use in your Tweets – is it language that helps with search? If you haven’t pulled a list of your top search keywords and phrases recently, do so. If you’re not sure where to get that, start with Webmaster Tools.

What do you want to be found for? What do you want to be associated with on Twitter that would lead to someone clicking a Google search result and finding you? Tweet with those words, phrases, and ideas in relation to your own content.

Who You Should Share

If you’re sharing other colleagues’ content, what language are you using in your Tweets that will help searchers find their content? Your Tweets might show up in search more than theirs, so give them a share if you can.

If you’re sharing competitors’ content, keep an eye on your Twitter analytics! You might think about wording tweets from competitors slightly differently to avoid competing with your own content.

Who Should Share You

If you’re a company whose employees share pre-approved content on Twitter, think carefully about the one-Tweet-fits-all strategy. Consider adding multiple variations of Tweets for employees to share that cover more broad search terms and phrases.

If you’re doing any kind of influencer outreach or collective sharing (like inside a velvet rope community), consider the language you want people to use. Instead of writing up a pre-selected Tweet, give influencers a wide range of choices that leverage your search terms.

What You Should Measure

If you’ve not already set up Google Analytics to differentiate between earned social media traffic and owned social media traffic, get that set up immediately. You can find it in Admin > Property > Social Settings or in this blog post.

From there, carefully monitor your Twitter traffic in Google Analytics. Look for significant changes in traffic from Twitter. If you find an anomaly, an unusual spike, use Twitter Analytics to determine if the clicks are coming from your Tweets or someone else’s.


We don’t know how long this partnership between Google and Twitter will last, but while it does, take advantage of it. Think about your Twitter SEO strategy: what you should share, who you should share, who should share you, and how you’ll measure it. In doing so, you’ll have a better idea of what you should be Tweeting for maximum search value.

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Old social media strategy is new again

With Facebook’s recent algorithm update that favors news from friends over organic updates from brand pages, the unpaid reach of brands has been hit yet again. We are in a place where social networking has returned to being a useful tool for keeping in touch with friends and family. As marketers, the easy button days are over.

Social strategy now looks like one of two basic models. First, there’s the broadcast model: pay money to spread your updates. This is an advertising and broadcast model, and it looks very familiar to anyone whose media background is television or radio. You pay your money, you get your distribution. It’s easy, it’s clean, and it’s well understood. It also works no matter what quality of content you have, at least in terms of getting eyeballs. For brands with average or good but not great content and financial means, this is going to be the default choice.

Second, the friends and family model. If you are a brand that has a strong base of fanatically loyal customers, those individuals can still share things at scale that will be seen by their friends and by their friends in a ripple effect. This is no different than any other word-of-mouth strategy that you’ve used in off-line word-of-mouth or influencer strategy. The goal in the friends and family model is the activation of as many friends as possible on behalf of your brand. Particularly for small businesses with loyal followings, this will be the default choice.


The model that is truly dead, and has been for quite some time, is the build it and they will come. Those days are over.

Whether we like it or not, this is the state of social media today. We can broadcast and pay for reach, which is good if we don’t have insanely great product, service, or loyalty. Or we can cultivate and nurture our most rabid fans. Either strategy will work; it’s just a question of which is the better fit for your brand and the resources you have. 

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