Twitter Targeting Tactics – say that 10 times in a row! While the title of this post may have you tongue-tied, below I plan to clearly define the importance of including Twitter Ads in your 2016 digital marketing strategy and targeting tactics.

According to Forrester US Digital Marketing forecast from 2014 to 2019, Social Media investments will grow faster than any other interactive channel through 2019. While Facebook continues to lead the pack as the largest social media PPC platform, Twitter is not to be overlooked. In the graph below by Digital Strategy consulting, we can see that when comparing conversion rates of social paid vs. organic, promoted tweets converted at a 3X higher rate than organic beating out Facebook and Pinterest.


Now that you can see that Twitter should be on your PPC radar for 2016, below are 5 Twitter targeting tactics to get you started.

1. Tailored Audiences / Remarketing

Tailored Audiences are Twitter’s version of remarketing. With Twitter’s Tailored Audiences you have the ability to target users that have previously visited your site by placing a piece of code directly on your site.

Twitter’s Tailored Audiences also allows you to target a specific list – similar to Google’s Customer Match and Facebook Custom Audiences. Here you are able to upload a list of email addresses or Twitter IDs.

As with many other channels that offer remarketing, these targeting tactics typically see higher conversion rates as the user is already familiar with your brand and, therefore, more likely to convert.

Twitter_Tailored Audiences

2. Follower Targeting – @username

Follower targeting tactics can be a great way for direct response and branding efforts aimed to target users higher in the funnel. Twitter allows you to target specific usernames, for example, @ppchero AND target users “like” your followers. Targeting users “like” your followers can be a more broad range of audience so keep that in mind when setting up your campaign.

Another strategy using Follower Targeting is Competitor conquesting. Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows you to target specific @usernames. This then allows you to reach users with interests similar to the competitor @usernames selected.


3. TV And Network Targeting

Is your target audience likely to watch a specific TV show, network or event on TV? If that is the case, Twitter TV targeting could be a good fit for your social targeting strategy. TV targeting allows networks and brands to promote Tweets to people engaged with specific TV shows, before, during and after a telecast.

Once you’ve added the shows you would like to target, Twitter gives you two options for delivering promoted tweets:

  • Continuous targeting – deliver Promoted Tweets to users engaged with specific TV programs at any point your campaign is live. This is the default selection in the product interface.
  • New airing windows only – deliver Promoted Tweets to users engaged with specific TV programs around new show airings only. This is best used in coordination with serial TV programming, where brands consistently run TV ads.

TV network targeting: Reach people engaged with programs that air on selected networks while your campaign is active. Twitter users will be available for targeting beginning at the start of each telecast, and will be targetable for roughly one day.

Twitter_TV Targeting

4. Behavior Targeting

Behavior propensities targeting is another solid option for social branding and direct response strategies. Here, Twitter allows you to target new users based on specific categories and then behavior propensities around specific categories. For instance, in the example below, we are able to target households with people who enjoy playing golf. Acxiom provides the data for these audiences.


5. Similar Users

Twitter Similar User targeting is another option to expand your digital reach on Twitter. Similar user or lookalike campaigns tend to target users higher in the funnel allowing for great branding and direct response opportunities. One strategy would be to create a tailored audience of users that have converted or visited a specific page on your site. From there you can then create a list similar to those users. To avoid overlapping and limit targeting, be sure to exclude the original tailored audience you created the list from. This will help refine your audience.

Twitter_similar audiences

Creative Messaging

Now that you have a few Twitter tactics on your radar for 2016, next you need to determine the right creative message for each tactic. The real key to creative for Twitter comes down to engagement. According to Twitter:

  • Photos average a 35% boost in Retweets
  • Videos get a 28% boost
  • Quotes get a 19% boost in Retweets
  • Including a number receives a 17% bump in Retweets
  • Hashtags receive a 16% boost

The Twitter audiences are smaller and prefer a softer sell messaging that encourages engagement with the users. To provide this type of engagement, Twitter offers several creative options including:

  • Twitter Website Cards
  • Multimedia Twitter Ads – Video Ads.
  • Twitter Buy Now button feature


Each targeting strategy should have creative messaging that best fits your target audiences. Be sure to do your research and see what performs well organically and use that as a starting point for testing creative for each of your Twitter Targeting tactics.

Closing Thoughts

As with all digital marketing channels, testing, testing and more testing is the name of the game. While these targeting tactics may work well for some accounts, they may not be the best fit for all. Be sure to create a strategic plan before getting started, set-up check points to evaluate performance, optimize and test again. It’s also important with social channels to evaluate how these types of campaigns support the funnel. Using an analytics tool that provides insight to attribution will help provide you a clearer picture of how your Twitter campaign are performing as a whole.