Five Ways to Use Audience Targeting to Improve Your Twitter Ads

The potential of Twitter advertisements often gets overlooked due to a number of factors.

Marketers do their best to achieve the traffic on Twitter organically. Twitter’s ads are expensive for many advertisers. And the number of platforms is growing, it often ends up being a choice between Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter for marketers. Yet Twitter advertisements have a number of benefits that you can’t get anywhere else.

For example, they do not differ much, in terms of presentation, from the organic results customers see, as opposed to ads on Google or FB. More importantly, however, you could upload your own list of people on Twitter, so that the audience of your choice sees your advertisements.

In this post, I will outline how this and other features of Twitter advertisements can help you get more exposure, traffic, and leads.

1. Advertise to customers with proven interest in your product

The success of a PPC (pay-per-click) plan depends on the targeting. No matter how good your product & your ads are, you can’t show them to the wrong audience & expect positive results. Twitter has 318 million users – wouldn’t it be great if you can find the ones that are interested in your product & show your ads specifically to them?

Well, you can, though it requires some thinking outside of the box & a social media monitoring tool.

Step 1

After you have started your Twitter Ad Campaign, click +Add Tailored Audience to upload your list.

Step 2

You need to find people that will be interested in your products – you could do this by finding keywords people use which imply that interest.

How do you work out what thoese keywords are? Start by brainstorming as a lot of keywords you think your target audience would use when searching for your products or services.

If you want to do this more precisely, you could use a professional tool like Rank Tracker.

Step 3

Once you have chosen keywords that best indicate that the users are interested in your product, you need to find all people who have mentioned these keywords – you can do this by using a social media monitoring tool such as AwarioMention or Brand24.

Step 4

After you have started going through the Twitter campaign set-up process & selected the audience profile, click ‘+Add Followers’

Step 5

To further refine your audiences, you can use a social media monitoring tool to seek the authors with the biggest number of followers that have tweeted about your keywords and the authors that have tweeted the most about your keywords – indicating that they are truly interested in them.

Step 6

Import these people into Twitter ads & your perfectly selected audience can be presented with your content.

For a more detailed tip on how to make this work, read this case study – it shows how one business got 991% more traffic from Twitter ads & made their Google Analytics social traffic report look like this:

2. Complete uncompleted sales

If you have an online store, it is possible to track each user that goes through the purchase process but does not complete the sale. Having moved so far along the buying path, you know that those people are interested in your product, it makes sense to retarget them, so that they see your ads on Twitter & remember/re-evaluate their decision.

Step 1

Make a new campaign and click on ‘+Add tailored audiences’.

Step 2

Make a list that only includes the emails of users that went through the shopping process on your website but didn’t complete the sale.

Step 3

Upload the list of emails into Twitter. Right away your potential shoppers can see your Twitter Ads & will hopefully turn into the happy buyers.

3. Improve newsletter open rates

Even during the social media boom, email marketing is still alive & well. Yet, newsletter open-rates are small, at least not high as one would like them to be.

Using Twitter Ads, you can retarget the subscribers who are not opening your emails, which can develop your performance.

Step 1

Using a mailing platform (for example AweberGetResponseMailChimp), identify which subscribers are not opening your newsletters. Choose the ones that have not opened your emails for a while, create a list of their emails.

Step 2

As in the previous case, make a new campaign & click on ‘+Add tailored audiences’.

4. Offer a download or a deal

Your promoted tweets could include a clear call to action – mostly, these are “Follow” / “Retweet”, and they are generally among the best performing prompts.

If you want to go a bit further, offer a download or a deal. These tend to be the most effective calls to action for promoted tweets.

A download does not necessarily have to be a free version of your product / a discount. It can be a free app, a white paper, a song, an e-book, a game. Some even suggest a Word document of phrases that could make your users feel happy.

5. Test. Then test again

No matter how big / small your budget, testing is absolutely essential.

Pick 3-4 tweets for every campaign, with variations in what you think may affect your engagement & conversion. These can be wording differences, images, alternate offers. Dedicate some of your advertising budget to testing & use this money to see which option works best.

But before that, you need to decide which metric is most necessary for you (e.g., retweet, click, follow) and decide which selection should stay and get promoted further based on that metric. If you are getting a lot of engagement on your promoted Tweets, but what you really want is conversion, check the form, the clarity of the call to action, and rethink the content of your Tweet.

It is better to start testing with the tweets that did well organically or at least include both – the previously organic ones & the ones made specifically for promotion. The more you test, the better results you will see in the end.


Effective Twitter marketing could be very rewarding. The ideas to success are:

  1. Be very aware of the kind of audiences you want to target and learn a lot about this audience & their interests/behaviors
  2. Establish clear goals for every Twitter Ads campaign
  3. Find out which ad formats, content and promotions work best – done mainly through testing
  4. Measure your results – it is always important to know if your tactics (even the best ones) are working & why
  5. Implement some creative ways for improving Twitter Advertisements – like the ones described above – rather than just spending more money

The available options for Twitter ads are updated often, so keep an eye & don’t miss any new opportunities to experiment.

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