Twitter Audience Targeting Tactics & Intent-Based Advertising Strategy

Twitter ads optimizations are completely different from other ads platform optimization. The nuances of Twitter ads optimization are more dependent on those parameters which might not fit on other platforms such as Google ads or Facebook ads. By following these optimization tips, you should be able to reach your target audience and save on the advertising cost. We will follow the optimization tips for three campaign types:

  • Top of funnel campaigns (ToFu)
  • Middle of funnel campaigns (MoFu)
  • Bottom of funnel campaigns (BoFu)

ToFu: Leverage old Tweets in Tweeter Ads

The audience on Tweeter behaves more in accordance with social engagement. If your tweet already has some previous engagement, the chances will be higher that these tweets will get further engagements. The same behavior can apply to other social media platforms as well. This way some advertisers manage to get hundreds of reactions on a post. Here is an example.

Promoted Tweets

Gather engagement

So, before you decide to run an ad, promote the organic tweets. When you promote a Tweet, by default, Twitter optimizes your post for reach and engagement. That way, your boosted post receives a lot of social engagement.

Use an old tweet in the ad

Now, when you start creating the ad, you can select an existing tweet while creating an ad. Select the promoted tweet in the previous step. And, you are done.

ToFu: Events Targeting For Maximum Exposure

Events targeting allows advertisers to focus their campaigns around trendy popular topics and tap into the growing conversation as those events unfold.

  • Log in to your Twitter Ads account
  • Under Analytics, click on Events. It will list out a list of events that you can target on Twitter

Events Under Twitter Analytics

Clicking on any of the events will give you a breakdown of the event summary such as

  • Total reach
  • Engaged audience profiling such as their age, gender (find out the most engaged audience)
  • Engaged geography profiling
  • Engaged platform profiling
  • Along with top tweets (get the context of marketing messaging)
  • Try to be creative with your ideas and tweets

How to use event breakdown

  • Tweak your marketing message around the most engaging audience based on gender and age
  • If you are going to further retarget these audiences, remember the performing breakdowns such as age, gender, device, platforms, etc. for remarketing
  • Plan your tweets as per the event schedule

Also, here is an awesome graph that I found on talking about event targeting schedule on Twitter

Event Targeting Schedule on Twitter


Events Targeting Ideas

  • Targeting film festival to promote acting courses
  • Targeting financial conferences for cryptocurrency investment
  • Targeting events such as Back to School for Ecommerce offers etc

Overall Audience Persona

  • Highly engaged audience
  • Highly engaged on the platform
  • Maximum exposure in minimum time
  • Good for Awareness
  • Tweets need to be creative and contextual

BoFu: Behavior-Based Targeting

Sometimes what we need is just an influx of high-intent audience to our website for conversion. Behavioral Targeting on Twitter ads platform gives such an option. For example, if you are thinking of running a charity campaign on Giving Tuesday for a hospital, browse behaviors based audience on Twitter for better targeting. Behavior targeting should be used when people can recognize your brand on Twitter or they have been exposed to your brand. It will help them make a decision faster.

Similarly, if you want someone to invest in your new cryptocurrency, use finance and investment based audience under behavior. Behaviors are supplied by Twitter partners and are based on actual online and offline behaviors and characteristics for US or UK audiences only. People will be eligible for targeting or exclusion if they fit with any of the behaviors you select.

Behaviour based audience on Twitter

Overall Audience Persona

  • Highly engaged on and off the platform
  • Very high intent
  • Proven data by Twitter Partners
  • Good for Conversion based campaigns

MoFu: Interest-Based Targeting

Interest-based targeting is similar to Behavior-based targeting. The only difference is that behavior-based targeting is for a high intent audience and Interest-based targeting is for Top or middle of the funnel audience such as brand awareness or consideration based campaigns.

Interest based targeting on twitter

Overall Audience Persona

  • Generic Audience with neither high nor low intention
  • Can be remarketed for conversion
  • Good for Consideration based campaigns

ToFu: Conversation Topics Targeting For Engagement

Target people who Tweet about or engage with specific conversation topics. I will put conversation-based topics mostly for the top of the funnel audience.

  • News Story
  • Movie
  • TV Show
  • Brand
  • LifeStyle
  • Product
  • Video Game
  • Musician
  • Sports team
  • Sports League
  • Personality
  • Athlete

Conversation Topics Targeting on Twitter

Overall Audience Persona

  • Generic Audience with Low intent
  • More likely to engage, retweet or like your tweet rather visit your website.
  • Most active on the platform but do not like to leave the platform.
  • Good for Awareness campaigns

BoFu: Follower lookalike Targeting

Target people with interests similar to an account’s followers. I would say this feature is closer to Facebook lookalike audience and Google similar audience.

Follower lookalike audience

Once you select the accounts of which followers you want to target, you can also turn on the recommendations by the platform. Twitter will also give you recommendations based on the accounts that you have selected. It looks like as shown below:

Follower look-alikes recommendations

Overall Audience Persona

  • Audience with high intent
  • More likely to engage, retweet or like your tweet and also visit your website.
  • Good for conversion-based campaigns

BoFu: Retargeting Campaign

Just like other social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, Twitter also gives you the option to retarget people who saw or engaged with your tweets or videos and from general tweets or from some specific campaigns. While on Facebook, you can create a custom audience based on these retargeting type, Twitter does not allow so.

However, I am guessing that down the line, Twitter will introduce such platform feature as well where you can create an audience currently called “Flexible audience” from the campaign and specific tweets. Right, a flexible audience can only be created from a tailored audience. If you understand the Facebook terminology then the tailored audience is like a custom audience and the flexible audience is like a lookalike audience.

Retargeting options on Twitter

Overall Audience Persona

  • Audience with the highest intent
  • More likely to engage, retweet or like your tweet and also visit your website.
  • Very Good for conversion-based campaigns

BoFu: Remarketing Audience Campaign

As mentioned in the previous section regarding the audience types. You can include a tailored and flexible audience in the same AdSet for remarketing. You can create a tailored audience while creating conversion events. Here is a guide on installing Twitter tag using GTM. It also covers how to create a tailored audience. Further, under the Audience manager, you can create a Flexible (lookalike) audience using tailored audience

Overall Audience Persona

  • Audience with the highest intent
  • More likely to engage, retweet or like your tweet and also visit your website.
  • Very Good for conversion-based campaigns

Ad Group Targeting Guidelines

Now that we have covered the audiences in details and when to use what audience, it’s time for some tips and tricks on AdGroup targeting

  • Do not mix customer intent targeting into one campaign. For example, your remarketing campaign can have remarketing as well as retargeting audience but not interest-based or event-based audience
  • Try to create an ad group based on the audience intent and audience type
  • Do not push multiple audiences in the same ad group

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