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Twitter’s Most Powerful Advertising Feature (That You’re Not Using)

Twitter's Most Powerful Advertising Feature (That You're Not Using)

In April, Twitter announced the release of the MoPub native ads solution, complete with ad serving, targeting, and a programmatic exchange. This marked a watershed moment for the platform and has since helped advertisers achieve massive scale outside of Twitter’s walls. However, scale means next to nothing unless you can target the right audience.

Toward the end of 2013, Twitter took a major step toward providing advertisers with the targeting capabilities they need to be successful on the platform with the launch of Tailored Audiences, which identifies and targets groups of existing and potential customers on Twitter. Although many focus on Tailored Audience’s retargeting capabilities and CRM Tailored Audiences, its third and perhaps most powerful component is User ID generated audience targeting.

This powerful capability, although in its nascent stage, allows brands to harness Twitter’s huge audience with the fine-tuned precision necessary to find their target audience. The same concept applies to the building of User ID Tailored Audiences. Advertisers can use publicly available data such as user bio, follower count, or past tweets to identify specific users on Twitter and target them with ads.

For example, a TV network looking to promote a new drama series can find active and influential Twitter users who engage with The Walking Dead-related hashtags and send them Promoted Tweets with info about the new show. Retailers can locate competitors’ followers and send Promoted Tweets to advertise a sale or giveaway.

Early data surrounding these User ID Tailored Audience campaigns show profitable promise. While promoting a film, a major movie studio that targeted a User ID Tailored Audience based on the film’s stars and genre saw an average engagement rate of over 20%. Compared to the average engagement rate of 1-3% that Twitter normally sees for its ads, these results show that the most impactful audiences might actually reside in Twitter’s real time data streams.

The use cases for this type of targeting are countless, and with the introduction of Twitter Cards and conversion tracking tools, brands can finally begin to close the loop on their Twitter advertising campaigns. Here are just a few ways brands can reach their business objectives with User ID Tailored Audiences:

1. Drive Engagement & Increase Brand Awareness

Capture users who are talking about a brand through hashtag and Twitter handle analysis by targeting them with Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts aimed at driving engagement with brand advocates.

2. Brand Conquesting

Gain insights about your competitors’ most influential followers and target them with Promoted Tweets for a new offer or product.

3. Live Event Campaigns

Find users who have engaged with specific topics or Twitter handles related to your brand over the past month and target them with Promoted Tweets during live TV broadcasts such as awards shows or sporting events.

The recent acquisition of Gnip, one of Twitter’s two resellers of firehose data, has brought the importance of Twitter’s data to the forefront. It is unclear at this point exactly how Twitter will integrate Gnip into “the flock.” However, marketers should be optimistic, as the potential benefits are quite compelling.

As long as the entire Twitter ecosystem continues to grow, brands will be able to find exactly who they are looking for and target them at the time they are most likely to engage – ultimately helping marketers maximize their Twitter advertising revenue.

Twitter's Most Powerful Advertising Feature (That You're Not Using)Greg Lieber is Vice President of Business Development at SHIFT, the leading marketing software company for social advertisers. SHIFT’s Open Marketing Cloud provides solutions for planning, optimizing and analyzing social advertising campaigns for global brands, including 10 of the top 20 largest advertisers in the world. SHIFT’s proprietary marketing cloud technology enables brands to automate their social advertising campaigns to meet their business objectives across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Follow Greg on twitter: @greglieber.

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