Twitter Ads During CoVID-19

Users have flocked to Twitter amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a source of the most up-to-date information about the impact of the virus. The total monetizable daily active users (mDAU) is up 23% from Q1 of 2019 to a whopping 164 million users in Q1 of 2020. The platform has also seen a 45% increase in curated events page usage and a 30% increase in direct message usage since March 6.


Despite this influx of users, Twitter is the first major platform to admit a financial hit taken from loss of ad revenue. With the travel, sports, and entertainment industries cutting back ad spending, the platform has lost some major players — but, this has made room for small businesses and other industries to wade in at a lower cost, and with less ad competition. 


As stated by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a press statement, “Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation, and in these trying times, our work has never been more critical. We’re seeing a meaningful increase in people using Twitter, and our teams are demonstrating incredible resilience adapting to this unprecedented environment. We’ll continue to navigate this environment focusing on supporting our employees, customers, and partners, while strengthening our service for everyone around the world and adjusting to a new operating and economic environment.”


What do you need to know to advertise effectively on Twitter during coronavirus?


Twitter’s New Guidelines

Twitter has released additional
guidelines for running ads during coronavirus

What is restricted?

Advertising containing implicit or explicit reference to COVID-19 is allowed in the following use cases, with restrictions*: 

  • adjustments to business practices and/or models in response to COVID-19


  • support for customers and employees related to COVID-19

*The following restrictions apply to these use cases: 

  • distasteful references to COVID-19 (or variations) are prohibited


  • content may not be sensational or likely to incite panic


  • prices of products related to COVID-19 may not be inflated


  • the promotion of certain products related to COVID-19 may be prohibited (currently facemasks and alcohol hand sanitizers are prohibited, but Twitter notes that they may add other items to this list.)


  • the mention of vaccines, treatments and test kits is permitted, only in the form of information, from news publishers which have been exempted under the Political Ads Content policy. 

What is permitted? 

  • Public Service Announcements (PSAs) related to COVID-19 from governments & supranational entities (for example, World Health Organization), as well as trusted partners approved by the Public Policy team


  • News related to COVID-19 from media publishers who have been exempted under the Political Ads Content policy. If you are interested and qualify for this exemption please contact Twitter. 

Twitter has proactively enforced these new guidelines and has stated that they will retroactively enforce any additional restrictions that become necessary moving forward.

With these new guidelines in mind, what else do you need to know for running Twitter ads during COVID-19?


Best Practices Still Apply

Some things never change. There are best practices that boost performance in every season. Here are our top five for Twitter ads during COVID-19.

1. Learn From Your Organic Tweets

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Let your organic engagement inform your paid efforts. Analyze the engagement with your organic Tweets to see what visuals, style, copy, hashtags, etc. resonate with your audience. Your own engagement stats are your most valuable building block for creating successful campaigns from the ground up.

2. Be Consistent With Your Voice

As you hone your brand voice, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you want your brand to make people feel?
  • What are three words that describe your brand?
  • What are your core values?
  • What do you want consumers to do when they interact with your brand?

You’ll build authenticity if your copy ties to your core values and the experience you’re selling along with your products. Remember, Rolex isn’t just selling watches – they’re selling the experience of wealth. 

3. Short & Tweet

Twitter is famous for its 160 character limit, and prolix doesn’t play here. The shorter the sweeter. Your promoted Tweets should be a feature hook with a call to action – nothing more.

4. Steer Clear of ‘Virus’ Language

Read the room. Before coronavirus, there were plenty of words or phrases that played just fine in your tweets. Right now, it’s best to avoid phrases that have double meanings and could be associated with COVID-19. 

For example:
-Killer (like a “killer deal”)
-Contagious (“create contagious content”)
-Health or checkup-related terms (“give your campaign a pulse check”)

5. Test & Optimize

As with any of your PPC efforts, setting and forgetting is your worst enemy. You need to pay attention to your engagement to optimize your ads. Pause campaigns that are underperforming. Remove follower groups, keywords, and Tweets that aren’t performing well and replace them with fresh ones. DON’T walk away from your ads and leave them to the wilds of the web. 

As you craft your twitter ad strategy, check out the Ultimate Twitter Ad Spec Guide: keep the guide consistently updated so you have all the info you need to never miss a click. 

We hope this has been a helpful resource as you make marketing choices during the pandemic. If you have any questions or would like a hand,
get in touch with us. We’re always happy to help.