Twitter Ads: Reap The Benefits of Proper Twitter Advertising

Twitter provides you with many tools in order to properly execute and assess a Twitter Ads campaign. Their goal is to make certain that you put your advertisements in front of the right people so that you can see the true benefit of their social media platform. Let’s look at one of the most important tools they have available.

How to start with Twitter Ads

Before you do absolutely anything be sure to do your research on your audience. Figure out who you want to appeal to, and the keywords which are going to help you appeal to them.

Once you have done this head over to Here are the steps to follow once you get there and sign in with the account you want to create an ad with:twitter analysis tools twitter advanced search

  • Select a business goal for your new Twitter Ad campaign.
  • Click on Create Campaign.
  • Give your campaign a name which distinguishes it from other campaigns you may run in the future.
  • Enter a date for your campaign to start.
  • Set a budget.

These are the basic things you need to begin your Twitter Ad campaign. Because of all the data which Twitter collects you are able to break this down considerably. Let’s look at that.

Twitter Ads: Target by keyword

This is perhaps the most well-known way to target audiences on Twitter, and online in general. The most obvious way to do this is to target those who are tweeting keywords related to your account, or your products. A computer store or manufacturer would be wise to target those who say something like “I need a new computer,” or something along those lines:

Once you specify your keywords you can target based on:

  • Broad matches: This will include tweets with synonyms and common misspellings.
  • Phrase matches: Targeting those who have tweets containing your exact keywords in the order you entered them.
  • Negative matches: Excludes tweets which include the keywords you enter here.
  • Negative phrase matches: Excludes tweets which have the exact keywords in the exact order you entered them.

If you need help with this, be sure to understand the Twitter Analytics dashboard to see which keywords are already working. You want to find the keywords which are earning the highest engagement levels from your followers. You can also look at the Google Analytics on your website for more keyword ideas.

Twitter Ads: Target by country

Whether you are looking to target local customers, or expand into a new market, geo-targeting is going to help you. You can either select one specific country, or multiple locations. Simply fill out the search bar and push enter for suggestions.

Or you can click on Import multiple locations and enter specific countries, regions, or states. Once you have entered the area which you want to target click on Verify Locations. Twitter also keeps a list of the micro-targeting that you can do by city or region, the map shows areas in orange where you can do precise region targeting:

twitter ads target by country

Be sure that you are going to create the right content for these specific markets. There’s no point in targeting New York if you’re going to include content which applies to Los Angeles. They’re both in the USA, but there’s better content targeting that you can do to reach the actual audience you want.

Twitter Ads: Target by gender

This is a very simple selection, and can help you depending on what your specific content has a goal of doing. It’s easy to determine whether you have a larger male or female audience. When you start doing advanced Twitter advertising you may be creating content which targets the wives and girlfriends of men:

The example above illustrates this. Keep in mind that Twitter does not asks users for their gender, they instead use different signals for gender-based advertising.

Twitter Ads: Target by language

When you’re expanding into a new country it is vital that you speak the language. You may want to set up an additional account for this in the local language. Many major brands do this:

There is also the possibility to only target speakers of a certain language within the country. Examples include:

  • You could be a company from France that wants to target the many French speakers in Canada.
  • Alternatively, you could be an English country that wants to target English speakers in South Africa.

There is no point in advertising to everyone in all of Canada with your French content, but there is definitely an opportunity to target those who do. This goes the same for wanting to target English speakers in South Africa, while avoiding those who only speak Afrikaan, Xhosa, or Zulu (or any of the other 8 official languages).

There are many different languages which you can target through Twitter Ads:

  • Afrikaans
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Swedish

And many others to be sure that you reach the specific audience that you want by their language.

Twitter Ads: Target by device or OS

Twitter realizes that the device someone uses is an important part of marketing. This is especially true for app developers and software creators. They allow you to target based on:

  • The specific device being used
  • Operating system
  • Wi-Fi connection

For example, you don’t want to target desktop users for your new mobile app marketing campaign. It is also unlikely that your Windows based antivirus software is going to appeal to an iPhone user. You can go even deeper and target those who are using operating systems which your apps no longer support and get them to upgrade:

To get access to this ad targeting click on Select Devices and Platforms, and then check the boxes which correspond to your needs. Don’t forget to take a look at your performance and see if certain devices are impacting your results positively or negatively.

Twitter Ads: Target by interests

Twitter is a social media platform, and advertising on Twitter works best when you take this into account. As we all know, social interactions start with mutual interests. Nike’s online store account is going to be better off targeting those who are interested in basketball than those who are interested in comic books:

To do this targeting you need to click on Add Interest. You will then be given the option to search for categories, or browse existing categories. At this time, Twitter has over 25 categories to choose from, and over 350 subcategories of interests underneath that. Try not to get too lost in this.

Twitter Ads: Target by influencers

This allows you to target influencers, or competitors, so that you can borrow their audience. If you prefer, you can straight up say that you want to steal their audience. All is fair in a Twitter war…

To do follower targeting you need to click on Add Followers, and then enter the specific @TwitterHandles of those whose followers you want to target. I would recommend that you add these types of usernames:

  • Your competitors
  • Similar brands
  • Media in your industry
  • Related influencers
  • Those who have a similar audience

This targeting is guaranteed to put you in front of new audiences that will be interested in your content.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example for the Toronto Blue Jays:

  • Competitors: This could involve targeting the audiences of the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Baltimore Orioles, and other teams within their division, and baseball in general. They would want to be carefully choose the content they share with these rivals. Getting these fans to see their team play away in Toronto would be one way to target them.
  • Similar brands: They could target the audiences of other Toronto sports teams, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, TFC, and the Toronto Raptors.
  • Media in their industry: They can target the obvious choices such as Sports Illustrated, but they could go after followers of the Toronto Star newspaper as well.
  • Related influencers: They could target the followers of their past and current stars. Joe Carter is always a Jay. They can also target influencers in the sports broadcasting world.
  • Similar audiences: This is where they could go after brands within Toronto, such as restaurants, concert venues, and personalities in the city.

There are many, many different ways that you can target influencers using this section of the Twitter Ads tool. While you’re doing it, why not go after the influencer themselves to see if you can work together.

Twitter Ads: Target by buying habits

This targeting is only available when you are trying to reach those in the USA or the UK. This takes a little bit more demographic research, but you can target based on what your audience purchases. To do this click on the Add Behaviors button and select buying habits such as:

  • Consumer electronics they purchase
  • Where they like to eat
  • Music they purchase
  • Cars they drive

You can target right down to whether or not they have a Kindle ereader. If you are willing to do the research, and do it correctly, this can be a very powerful way to target followers. Especially if you’re looking to steal customers away from your competitors.

Twitter Ads: Target by websites

This is Twitter’s Tailored Audience option which lets you create an audience based on a number of lists you can create. There are a number of different data points that you can upload:

  • List of emails
  • List of Twitter IDs
  • Mobile advertising IDs
  • Website visitors through a code snippet

There are many different ways that you can use this tool. The most useful is targeting those who have visited your website before, and pushing them to make a purchase. This targeting can be so specific that Best Buy could show this tweet to people that have already visited the Xbox page on their website:

Another way that you can use it is to make it so you do not re-engage with a certain audience. Say you know that a certain group of people are on your email list and actively engaging with you. There’s no point in targeting them again with paid Twitter advertising. You may also not want to target them so they don’t become bored of you.

Getting the most from your Twitter Ads

Doing improper Twitter ad targeting can result in you spending money on a wide variety of people who are not ever going to be interested in your content. There is no point in paying money to reach these people, so be sure to do your research on what sort of Twitter ad targeting you need to do. Here are the key categories:

  • Keyword
  • Country
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Device or OS
  • Interests
  • Influencers
  • Buying habits
  • Websites

Each category gives you one more opportunity to further refine who your ads are going to be shown to. The better targeting you do the better your ROI will be, and the better chance you will have a growing your Twitter follower numbers.