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How to make the most out of Twitter advertising



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When you advertise on Twitter, the platform provides users with robust targeting capabilities to enable businesses to better reach their target audiences. Using these capabilities, it is possible to segment your audience so as to optimise your chances of running an effective campaign which meets your business goalsm and maximises your return on investment from that campaign.

Creating a campaign

The first step is to create a campaign, is to sign into Twitter and then go to the Advertise on Twitter home page. Decide on a specific goal for the campaign, and select ‘Create Campaign’. Then assign  a name for your campaign and decide upon a suitable budget.

Now is the time to familiarise yourself with your target audience, and their needs and requirements. Think about how best to engage and to build a healthy relationship with them.

This is when Twitter’s targeting capabilities can help you both define and refine your marketing campaign, tailoring it to the right audience.

The following ways of categorising your audience are available, although often a combination of methods may be appropriate .e.g. to create a campaign targeting English speakers using mobile devices based on certain keywords in the United States.

Behaviour Targeting

Behaviour targeting enables you to reach audiences on Twitter based on their shopping behaviour, lifestyle, and other key attributes. With behaviour targeting, you can reach audiences based on how they behave online and offline, based on information provided by Twitter partners. Behaviour targeting is currently available to advertisers running campaigns in the U.S. and the U.K.

Device targeting

To control the types of devices that people are viewing your ads on, you can use device targeting.  Users can be reached based on their operating system version, specific device, Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile carrier or new devices (targeting users who have accessed Twitter from a newly purchased phone or tablet, because they are most likely to be interested in new apps or services.).

You can segment campaigns by devices and split your campaigns between different operating systems, since Android and iOS users can behave differently. Using device targeting is also useful to ensure your website or landing page is optimised for mobile viewing.

To turn on this type of segmentation reporting, select device in the Twitter Ads campaign dashboard, to view the OS versions and the specific devices of users engaging with your campaigns. This information can help you optimise future campaigns.

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Follower Targeting

Follower targeting helps you connect with the people who are likely to be interested in your business. This works by displaying your Twitter Ads campaigns to people who are similar to the followers of the usernames you select. Follower targeting is located under additional targeting, under “Add followers”.

For Follower Targeting to be successful users can consider focus on the following categories:

  • Competitors: Target the usernames of businesses who offer similar products and services.
  • Complementary brands: Include the usernames of businesses who are not direct competitors, but who target a similar audience.
  • Industry media: Try targeting the usernames of news sites, blogs, TV shows, magazines, etc. that focus on your industry or target demographic.
  • Influencers: Focus on the usernames of individuals who are influential in your industry.
  • Similar audiences: You can also target users who are similar to the people who already follow you.

Gender Targeting

You can select if you would like to serve to Any Gender, Male or Female in your campaign. Twitter uses the gender provided by some users in their profiles, and extends that data to other users based on factors of account likeness to determine the gender of users that have not manually entered their preferred gender.

To enable this when setting-up a campaign:

  • Navigate to “Demographics” in the “Targeting” section
  • Choose the gender option you’d like to target
  • The selected option will appear blue


Whilst Twitter is a global product there are times you may want to focus on users in specific locations to achieve your business objectives. Whether customers are located in your neighbourhood,  across the country or around the world, Twitter’s geo-targeting enables you to reach the audience that best fits the scope of your business and its aspirations.

If you wish to target an audience by location, you will see the option to geo-target your campaigns within the targeting section of your Twitter Ads interface when creating a new campaign or editing an existing one. Specify the country, state, area or zip code/post code you would like to target in the search bar, and then hit the enter/return/tab to autofill the highlighted option from the drop-down menu. In order for your geo-targeting to save correctly, it must appear below the drop-down menu.

To import multiple locations, press the Import Multiple Locations button. A blank screen will populate and you can enter states, regions or countries on separate lines. When finished, press the Verify Locations button. If a location is incorrect, the system will not save it and it will not appear below the drop-down menu.

World Map Vector. Detailed illustration of worldmap

Interest Targeting

Twitter interest targeting enables you deliver targeted communications to users based on the topics they connect and engage with on Twitter. Interest targeting ensures that you are serving up your campaign to users whose interests broadly align with your business.

Interest targeting connects you to a large group of users by prompting you to choose from 25 interest categories that expand into 350 sub-topics, ranging from “Education” to “Sports”. For example, if you are a web design company promoting an offer, you could choose to target “Technology” under the Business category, and “Web Design” under Technology.

Interest targeting works best if you restrict yourself to no more than to interest categories per campaign, otherwise you run the risk of diluting your marketing message.

Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting allows you to connect with users based on words and phrases they have recently Tweeted or searched for on Twitter.

There are two types of keyword targeting on Twitter:

Search: The phrases that people search for on Twitter are indicators of what is top of the mind for them in that moment. Keyword targeting enables you to target your Tweets so that they show up when people are searching for topics related to your business. This type of targeting is particularly effective during cultural, seasonal, or industry events that relate to your business.

Timeline: Tweets send important signals about what users are experiencing in the moment – their thoughts, feelings, wants and needs. With keyword targeting in timeline, you can act on these signals by targeting your Tweets to users based on something they have Tweeted.

As with any search marketing, keyword targeting works by entering the keywords you want to target and then choosing whether you want to use phrase match or unordered keyword match.

Language targeting

Campaign settings default to targeting all languages, but you can limit targeting to users who understand specific languages if preferred, and reach out to customers through their mother tongue. Language targeting and geo-targeting combined can be used to target specific, defined groups.

For example, if you are targeting users in Spain, France and Germany, but are running an English-language campaign, you may want to only target users in those countries who understand English. Equally, if you wanted to only-reach Spanish-speaking Americans, you could create a campaign that was geo-targeted to the United States and refine by users who understand Spanish.

Twitter uses a number of different signals to determine a user’s language, including the language selected in a user’s profile settings and the languages that correspond to a user’s activity on Twitter. A user can be targetable by multiple languages if Twitter infers that a user is multilingual.

Currently, Twitter’ s self-service option only caters to users who advertise in Afrikaans, Bahasa, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish or Danish.

Tailored Audience Targeting

Tailored Audiences are an effective way to create highly relevant remarketing campaigns. For example, with Tailored Audiences, a mobile app can remarket to users who have not engaged with their app recently. There are three ways to use Tailored Audiences:

Lists: Twitter lists can be used to target specific users, whether you want to reach your existing customers by uploading a list of their email addresses or use Twitter usernames (@handles) to target relevant influencers.

Web: Target the people that have recently visited your website. You can collect this data using Twitter’s website tag, or you can use  Twitter’s Official Partner Program.

Mobile Apps: Reach groups of people who have taken a specific action in your app, such as install or sign up.


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