The Secret to Successful Twitter Ads: It’s not what you Think

If you’re using Twitter ads to drive traffic to your site or encourage people to click on a link to visit your blog, download an app or take some other action, you don’t want to miss these new findings. Twitter has done some research and found that hashtags and mentions can actually mean the difference between high click through rates and ads that don’t get any clicks.

But, surprisingly, it’s not what you think. The study found that ads that don’t include hashtags or mentions are actually more successful than those that do.

The Findings

The research focused on Twitter’s direct response ads. Direct response ads are used to encourage a very specific action, like visiting a website or downloading an app. Twitter found that when these ads don’t include hashtags or mention other accounts, they perform much better.

Twitter found that ads without hashtags or mentions designed to drive traffic to a website attracted 23 percent more clicks than ads that do include them. The social network also discovered that ads advertising app downloads received 11 percent more clicks when they didn’t include hashtags or mentions.

What’s Going On?

Twitter attributes these numbers to the fact that hashtags and mentions can distract users from an ad’s call to action, making them less likely to click on the link. Conversely, when ads don’t include hashtags or mentions, and focus more on the link, they generate more clicks because it is in essence the only interactive part of the ad.

It could also be the case that links blend in and almost become hidden in ads that are full of hashtags and mentions, leading users to simply scroll past them without clicking on links. When riddled with hashtags and mentions some adds can also look very spammy, driving people away so they don’t click on shared links.

How to Use this Secret

Of course, this research shouldn’t be the only thing you use when planning your Twitter advertising campaigns. You should do your own market research and ad testing to find out what works best for your business and market. It may be the case that your ads do perform better with hashtags and mentions, but in light of this research, you should experiment with your ads.

Choose Hashtags and Mentions Strategically

If you do use hashtags and mentions in your tweets or ads, choose them carefully. Do research to find the hashtags and accounts that will interest your market and consider using your own, branded hashtags to support your marketing efforts.

Don’t Distract Followers

Use hashtags and mentions sparingly to avoid distracting Twitter users. Use just a few very relevant hashtags and only mention other accounts when there is a clear benefit to doing so. You can also keep your text short and simple to draw attention to your links and avoid boring your followers before they get a chance to click on links.

Use Clear Calls to Action

Finally, your ads should include very clear calls to action that include a promised value or benefit. Ask people to click on the link you share to see more information on your site, download an app, take advantage of a special price or enter a contest. Don’t simply add links as an afterthought; use them as part of your calls to action.

With this new research in mind, consider revisiting your Twitter advertising approach and testing different kinds of ads to find what works best for your market.