Think Outside The Box: Twitter’s Unique Take On Targeting The Right Audience

Think Outside The Box: Twitter’s Unique Take On Targeting The Right Audience

When it comes to social media marketing, the platforms we gravitate to tend to be Facebook and Instagram (the Meta suite) as well as Youtube – and it makes sense. 

Despite the surge of new social media platforms, Meta and Youtube still smash the competition  for active users as of January 2022. Naturally, that offers an unparalleled edge: the more audience you have available, the better the chance to reach your ideal customer. 

Yet, in a hyper growth state, entrepreneurs and marketers are constantly looking for worthy platforms to leverage where their ideal customer actually hangs out. One such place is Twitter, and they do things a little differently.

It all comes down to two questions: which platform has more advanced targeting, and which platform is most effective at reaching audiences? Let’s discuss.

For Facebook, the core way to target an audience is by interest and by user behavior.

Identifying The Facebook Algorithm

Facebook determines interests for ad targeting by using a variety of sources both inside the Facebook platform as well as on external websites that have the Facebook pixel installed. 

Targeting criteria includes: profile information, content a user has engaged with, groups, page likes,  visits, and more. Note that none of this criteria is in real-time, which can make it difficult to catch your ideal customer at the time they’re ready to take action.. 
Unfortunately, since January 19, 2022, Facebook has removed many audience interests and targeting categories.

Real-time Targeting With The Twitter Algorithm

Twitter’s algorithm for ad targeting has drawn our attention. This targeting focuses on conversation and keywords. 

Conversation Targeting

Twitter describes conversation targeting as follows: 

“Conversation targeting is powered by a human-tuned, rule-based keyword algorithm. These rules are tuned for precision and scale by carefully examining keywords for phrase or word matching, denylist matching, boolean expressions, author authentication (i.e. Nick Foles plays football, but not all his Tweets are included in the football conversation), time of Tweet validation, language matching, and more.

Twitter considers a user to be engaged in a conversation if they have Tweeted or engaged with a Tweet that mentions a conversation topic, or dwelled on a Tweet about that conversation topic. There is a lookback window of 28 days.” 

Unlike interest-based targeting, conversation topics are more pertinent to the real-time interests of users and evolve more rapidly with time. This offers the opportunity to reach the audience at the peak moment of their purchase intent. Marketers can also adjust ads campaigns based on the conversion targeting to ensure a higher level of personalized ad experience. 

Example of conversation targeting in Twitter dashboard Photo credit : Twitter

Keyword Targeting

According to Twitter, “Keyword targeting allows you to reach people on Twitter based on keywords in their search queries, recent Tweets, and Tweets they recently engaged with. This targeting option puts you in the best position to reach the most relevant people, drive engagements, and increase conversions.” 

Just like paid search engine ads, you get to define the keywords you want to target, the negative keywords you want to avoid and, of course, there are certain keywords no one can use per Twitter’s global policy.  

To further ease the process, when you type in a keyword, you’ll be shown a volume estimate. These estimates represent the daily global volume for each keyword. Therefore you get an estimated audience size that is extremely relevant to your business. 

Twitter dashboard for keyword targeting Photo credit : Twitter

Leveraging Both Keywords and Conversations

Both Twitter advertising algorithms take real-time user behavior into account, which fosters a dynamic targeting approach – quite robust in comparison to Facebook’s changing interest-based targeting.

With proper management, we have seen an influx of engaged users for businesses that would otherwise be saturated with unqualified traffic. 

It’s Time To Look Beyond The Meta-verse 

With interest-based targeting options becoming less and less effective on Facebook and Instagram, marketers must think outside the box and approach their  audience through increasingly diverse channels. 

Ultimately, if Meta hasn’t met your needs for reaching your target audience, we recommend testing out Twitter’s contextual targeting. 

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