How to start
Running Twitter ads in the run-up to an election is one of the most basic campaign tactics but one that many campaigns still get horribly wrong. Here we are going to go over the how-to of getting your first Twitter campaign up and running.
First though, let’s take a look at why you might do this. The main reason for running an ad campaign is to get your message out there to your voters. For this, Twitter is still the best way of reaching people because it has the greatest reach among voters and it can be targeted very specifically by geography and voter demographics.
The other reason we would always recommend Twitter as a starting point for social media ads is that it is really easy to use and, once you are set up you can push out ads very quickly in response to changing campaign issues.
What will you need
Firstly, you will need a Twitter account and, ideally, a website for your campaign.
You will need a budget and a credit card. It is best to set yourself a monthly budget and do not go over this.
You will need some image resources, whether that is your campaign photo, a profile picture or some other images that you use
Targeting voters for election races is best done through geography first. You can manage an ad so it only sends in the areas that you want it delivered, which can be your entire electoral district or part thereof.
You can filter the people it is sent to by demographics such as age, gender and so on.
You can filter your audience by Interests, so you can send to people with a declared interest in, for example, conservative politics, or environmental issues and so on.
Best of all, you can filter by keyword or hashtag. This is the super -power of Twitter for audience segmentation. Anyone who interacts with a certain hashtag can be targeted for laser detail.
Taken all together, this type of targeting can get your message to the people who might vote for you and avoid those that won’t.
Building our ad, step-by-step
You will first be asked to clarify the goal of your campaign. We would suggest either Awareness or Website clicks. Awareness will see you charged based on the number of times the ad is delivered and Website clicks based on the number of times your ad is clicked by a user.
Next you will be asked to name your campaign and set a start and end date. We would always recommend setting an end date and name your campaign quite specifically so that you can clearly see the difference between campaigns as they grow.
Selecting your audience is the next step and can be done in a very targeted way by geography and demographics. In addition to this, you can then target by the user's Interests (based on their interactions on Twitter) and, best of all, by keywords. Keyword targeting and hashtag targeting allow you to narrow your focus to people interested in specific issues and things that might be very topical. This is the great power of Twitter.
Next you can set your daily and lifetime budget. You should have a lifetime budget, in the same way, that you have an end date set for your campaign. This gives you better control.
Finally, you will need to build your creatives, in other words, build your ad. This should involve a really good quality image (Twitter will prompt you as to the size dimensions that are optimum, but you can assume that a medium sized, landscape image will work). In terms of the written copy, you should try to insert your message clearly and try to use a related
hashtag or @handle for relevance.
If you are doing a website clicks campaign, you will also have the option to run a Twitter card with your promoted tweet. This allows you to expand on your message and put in an alternate image. There is a useful article here on how to optimize your Twitter cards.
Once you have finished your Creative section you can simply hit Launch in the top right-hand corner and you should be hitting voters’ Twitter feeds once approved.
Don’t forget to track your ads in the Ads Manager section.
Also, don’t forget to respond to the notifications you receive when people interact with your ad, either in a good way or in a bad way. Be polite and engage the user for maximum impact.
Best of luck and happy tweeting!
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