Advertising through social can be tricky to figure out since none of the platforms offer a direct quote. It’s all about budgets, bidding and the goals you want to accomplish through each campaign. To calculate how much your social media ads will cost, you need to understand the gist of how it all comes together and how you can stretch your budget for the best results.

Calculating the cost of Twitter ads is no different. Your bids determine how much you’re willing to pay to have your ad placed and your budget tells Twitter how much you’re looking to spend in total. Your choices will determine how far your ad dollars will go.

Related: The list of Twitter Card image sizes and specs.


How to calculate Twitter ads costs

Two main factors affect the costs of your Twitter ads: the type of campaign you choose and your bidding strategy. While the first affects the way you will be charged, the second will influence the way your budget will be spent. Both can impact the overall campaign's cost. Let's dig deeper into each of them.


Choosing a Twitter campaign

Twitter gives you the option to choose from six types of campaigns. Each one is focused on a specific goal and you only pay for the ad when the user performs the action your ad is optimized for.

website-card

  • Website visits campaigns. You are charged every time someone clicks on your ad to go to your website. All other actions or engagements (likes, retweets and replies) are free of charge.

  • Followers campaign. You pay for every follower your account gains through a campaign. All other engagements or actions are free of charge.

Promoted-tweet

  • Tweet engagement campaigns. You are charged for every type of engagement on a promoted tweet. Only impressions are free of charge.

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  • App installs or re-engagement campaigns. You are charged for clicks to install or open your app. All other actions or engagements are not charged.

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  • Video views campaigns. You are charged every time someone views your tweet. You can choose between two options:

      • 2s/50, which means a view is counted when 50% of the video can be seen on the user's screen and the ad is watched for at least 2 seconds;
      • 3s/100, meaning a view is counted when 100% of the video is viewable on the user's screen and the video is played for at least 3 seconds.
  • Pre-roll campaigns. You are charged every time your video is viewed, following the same system applied to video view campaigns. The pre-roll objective does not utilize Promoted Tweets or Cards so there are no additional actions or engagements besides the video views. The video creative is instead associated with your ad group and the CTA information is associated with a pre-roll call to action entity.

RELATED ARTICLE Navigating Twitter Ad Cards. Check out all you need to know about how each different Twitter Card works. READ MORE


Choosing a bidding option

Twitter places ads through an auction system and whoever has the highest bid wins.

This doesn’t mean you’ll pay the price attached to your maximum bid every time. You only pay 1 cent higher than your competitor’s highest bid when someone interacts with your ad and performs the action your ad is optimized for.

Let's suppose you've created a campaign to drive visitors to your website. You will only be charged when someone clicks on your ad to go to your website.

There are three bidding options:

  • Maximum bidding allows you to choose how much a lead, click or engagement is worth. As mentioned above, you won’t pay the full amount every time. Just one penny higher than your competitor’s maximum bid if yours is higher.

  • Automatic bidding is when Twitter auto-optimizes bids according to your campaign objective and budget. Twitter aims to place the advertiser into the auction with the lowest bid possible. It does this while still obtaining the campaign’s overall objectives.

  • Target bidding is only available for “website visits” and “followers” campaigns. Adding a target cost-per-link-click enables Twitter to optimize your bid to achieve an average daily cost to meet or beat your target. Advertisers pay the actual average cost for all link clicks in a day.

A suggested bid will appear next to the maximum bid once you enter your campaign start/end dates and a total or daily budget. Twitter recommends a range of bidding options depending on the type of objective you choose.

  • Website visits campaign: $1.68 - $10.00
  • Followers campaigns: $2.50 - $3.50
  • Tweet engagements campaigns: $1.50 - $2.50
  • App installs or re-engagement campaigns: $1.95 - $3.25
  • Awareness campaigns: $6.00 - $8.00

Creating a budget for Twitter ads

Once you decide on a bidding option, you can choose to set a total budget for the campaign or a daily maximum.

  • Total budget allows advertisers to choose how much they want to spend over the lifetime of the campaign. Your budget is then evenly distributed each day from your designated start and end dates.

  • Daily budget will give Twitter the power to stop showing your ads for that day once the budget has been spent. A standard delivery means the budget will be spent evenly throughout the day, while accelerated delivery means the budget will be spent as quickly as possible. The daily budget is then reset every day at midnight according to your time zone.


Tweet, Tweet

Ultimately, it’s up to you how much your Twitter ads cost. Deciding your own budget and maximum bids will allow you to spend the exact amount you want. The key is to determine how bids need to be priced in order to obtain the desired results. It is time to get into action!

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Taylor Schaller

Taylor Schaller

Taylor is the Social Media and Content Marketing Intern at Strike Social. A graduate from The University of Alabama, she is now an MBA candidate at Loyola University Chicago.