5 low-cost ways Twitter ads can amplify your cause

Since Twitter’s ad platform launched in the UK, your charity has had an opportunity at its fingertips – select a tweet, identify target audiences, and pay only when someone interacts with said tweet (by clicking a link, favouriting or replying to it).

Based on a Twitter conversation I had recently, some charities are pretty apprehensive about doing this. Some think it looks like a waste of money, others simply don’t have that money to spend.

So here are five ways your charity could use promoted tweets to amplify its cause:

1. Promote a free guide

No matter what your charity does, you should write up a free guide that covers the basics of your cause for people to use. Promote a tweet that includes the link to the guide.

Here’s one from Compassion in World Farming. They’re offering you a free Compassionate Food guide, and make their tweet unmissable with a great picture of a cow. Look at his big friendly face! How could you not download this guide?

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 11.48.10

2. Get more event sign ups

If you’re like most charities, you probably have a big fundraising event coming up, whether it’s a half marathon, sponsored silence or sitting in a bath of baked beans for a day.

Sports relief tweet

Give people a reason to join and tweet it along with a link to the sign up page. Analytics will then tell you which drove more sign ups – Twitter, Facebook or email. You could even do it as an internal competition. Why not?

3. Attract followers who actually care 

Twitter ads lets you target followers like those who follow particular accounts, including your own. So say your charity is health based; add @NHS as below. You’ll automatically get new suggestions based on that one.

The new followers this attracts are more likely stick around for the long run than your usual new followers, because you know for sure that they’re already interested in your cause.

NHS Twitter ads

4. Support a big PR launch

Is your policy team launching a big report? Has your charity got a big announcement to make about its future coming up?

If you promote your announcement tweet to a wider audience (especially if its particularly relevant to people living in a certain area), the impressions the tweet gets with expand your message to thousands, free of charge.

5. Tell your comms team who their audience are

When setting up your promoted tweet, create several different versions of the same campaign and promote each to groups of people with different interests.

Twitter ads screenshot

When you see which version of your campaign gets more clicks, retweets and favourites, you can walk over to your comms team and confidently declare what their target demographics respond to best.

Low cost market research at its best.

How to get started with Twitter ads

Just head to the Twitter ads website, and follow the instructions to sign in. You can allocate as little or as much budget as you like using a standard credit card – I suggest starting a test campaign with just £30 or so, and monitoring results before doing anything on a larger scale.

Good luck – tell us how you get on in the comments below.


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4 Responses to “5 low-cost ways Twitter ads can amplify your cause”

  1. Damien 02/17/2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Great tips Matt.

    I have a further money saving tip: Don’t accept their recommended CPE. Set the maximum you are prepared to pay lower than the lower end of the recommended range. With decent targeting you will almost always get better value for your campaign.

    • CharityChap 02/17/2014 at 8:33 pm #

      Good tip yourself Damien, thanks 🙂

  2. David Pearce 02/25/2014 at 12:48 pm #

    Good stuff Matt (I also agree with Damien)

    Interesting you sight Compassion in World Farming, as I know they’re really great at following up via email to any sign ups they get – so there is value, I think, in seeing twitter ads as a way to feed new prospects into your email nurturing programme.

    On the issue of some charities being apprehensive I think this is because of the pay per click model for promoted tweets (clicks to expand and image will cost you for example) so you can blow your budget rather quickly.

    I think the promoted account via the mobile timeline is worth testing to grow your follower base, then covert them to doing something else organically. From experience I’d say you can grow you follower base at about 40p a follower. If you have planned follow ups and ways to translate followers into something more active, I’m pretty certain it is worth testing.

    Also, it’s a good idea to set up an account just to access the free analytics.

    • CharityChap 02/25/2014 at 4:36 pm #

      Yep, I agree with all of that David.

      It would also be worth experimenting with Twitter Cards, whereby someone could pass on their email to you without even leaving Twitter and get the free download (or whatever) sent to them that way.

      Getting such prospects into an engaging and informative email programme would definitely be a good way forward after that.

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