Twitter Improves Targeting for Promoted Tweets

Becky Doles

As the second largest social network with over 500 million users (and still growing), Twitter has become a necessary platform for marketers to reach customers. In 2010, Twitter Ads introduced Promoted Tweets, enabling brands to utilize the search function with keywords to reach targeted users. Last week, Twitter announced that it has enabled several new features for marketers using Promoted Tweets to help really hone in on specific Twitter users.

In the blog post announcing the changes, Twitter explained that:

“Marketers can now select from three different matching options when entering keywords: exact match, phrase match, and basic keyword match. We’ve now launched negative keyword targeting if you want to restrict your Promoted Tweets from showing up when users search for certain keywords. For instance, if you sell bacon, you can now keep your campaigns more than six degrees apart from Kevin Bacon by using “Kevin” as a negative keyword.”

Twitter Ads Rolls Out New Features for Promoted Tweets

For those already using Promoted Tweets, finding these new features will be easy, as they are simply additional keyword options.

To help advertisers with large campaigns, Twitter also added a new bulk import tool for keywords, which is accessible by clicking on the “import multiple keywords” button in the search targeting tool. Additionally, Twitter rolled out a feature that automatically matches new campaigns to “relevant and related trending topics,” such as trending hashtags. In particular, this new feature should help amplify campaigns that coincidentally contain keywords matching an organically hot topic on Twitter without the need for advertisers to pay extra attention to trends, which can quickly fluctuate.

These new tools from Twitter will undoubtedly be beneficial for advertisers using Twitter to reach new customers – and possibly for customer retention as well. And with these new ways to target Twitter users and leverage trends without having to do much extra work (or really, any work at all) – and with more Twitter users than ever before – it’s clear that if you aren’t yet advertising on Twitter, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy.

If you haven’t started using Twitter Ads yet, are these new targeting options enough to convince you to give it a try?

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she handled content strategy and marketing communications at several tech startups in the Bay Area. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned home to Charleston, SC, where you can find her strolling through Hampton Park with her pup and enjoying the simple things between adventures with friends and family.

6 responses to “Twitter Improves Targeting for Promoted Tweets”

  1. As a twitter user, they have a long way to go to improve their targeting. I’m getting some pretty irrelevant adds, including promoted tweets from Twitter themselves saying I should try out promoted tweets. Sorry T, I’m not an advertiser. I do; however, understand the need for brands to be visible in this space and am glad T is working on improving their targeting.

  2. As long as Twitter is trying to target words in a conversation their targeting will be horrible. They are fighting expanding their service, but they will have to eventually. Twitter is not set up to be able to display relevant ads to user. I don’t care how much keyword targeting you do. You are trying to sell something to someone by pulling out words of their sentences. But T has ZERO demographic information about a person. T is a general site so they cannot even begin to programmatically guess what I am interested in based on my tweets. They don’t know my age, sex, race. I completely understand their need to make money. But they will have to start gathering more info about their users to advertise to them.

  3. And this sentence is laughable ” it’s clear that if you aren’t yet advertising on Twitter, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy.”. Why would I do that? In real world I don’t walk around to people walking down the street, listen to 10 seconds of their conversation, and try to sell them something. That is what Twitter-based ads are.

    • While I agree that keyword targeting is not a perfect solution, it is certainly a step in the right direction. Think of it as the early days of Adwords. Twitter is finally giving some slightly more precise keyword targeting that mirrors keyword matching on adwords. I wouldn’t say that Adwords is a perfect strategy either, but it turns a massive profit and doesn’t seem to be too incredibly disruptive to the user experience (considering virtually everyone in the world still uses Google search).

      I also agree that the purpose of Google and the purpose of Twitter vary a bit, but Twitter is also used for search and discovery. When a user moves into that pattern of use, I’d say this ad format is awesome.

      • The difference is in the purpose of the platform. Google ads make perfect sense because people are searching for something, and the ads are there to help them with a decision. I see Google Adwords as the equivalent of me walking into store to shop, and someone walks up and says “I know what you are looking for here is a suggestion”. I see Twitter ads as someone walks up to you in a Starbucks while you are chatting with a friend and trying to sell you sweater because they overheard you say a sentence with the word “Sweater” in it. Under that veil I’d say that if ads were displayed when using then it would be appropriate. So yes display ads when people are searching. But the ads are there when people are just having a conversation. I can’t fight it 🙂 I just hope it gets better. And I believe the platform is going to have to evolve for the advertising to be more relevant.

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