Twitter Identifies Interests To Target Ads

Twitter-ATwitter introduced interest-based ad targeting for Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts campaigns on Thursday, capitalizing on similarities between like-minded groups of followers and their friends.

The company has been testing interest-based targeting with several advertisers, like Bonobos, an e-tailer of men's apparel. Supported by more than 350 categories, such as education, home and garden, investing, and soccer, the tool allows brands to widen or narrow the reach of targeted ads.

Bonobos held a 24-hour sale exclusively on Twitter, and got word out by promoting Tweets to followers, along with Twitter users similar to the brand's followers. This targeting resulted in an average engagement rate for Promoted Tweets campaigns between 1% and 3%.

Aside from Bonobos, Twitter spokesperson Will Stickney said several companies tested the tool, such as Walgreens, and Electronic Arts.

Targeting interests allows brands to connect with followers more likely to engage with tweets. Twitter looks at several signals, including geographic location and keywords in tweets to understand interests. Twitter considers interests to determine the type of content to serve up in "Discover" or recommends in the "Who to Follow" feature.

Frank Lee, head of sales at DataPop, a paid search management platform, said search works well because it infers intent. "Twitter is the closest media that can infer intent similar to search, even more so than Facebook or display advertisers," he said.

Advertisers can create custom segments by specifying certain @usernames relevant to the product, the event or the initiative. Custom audience segments enable advertisers to reach Twitter users with similar interests to that @username's followers.

The ad-targeting tool does not allow the brand to target the followers of that @username.

Kevin Weil, director of product management at Twitter, explains that the tool will help brands reach beyond a company's followers with similar interests to target the most relevant audience for specific campaigns.

Twitter also lowered the minimum bid to one cent for all of auctions, Weil explains. Auction-based Promoted Products relies on the winning engagement bid and rates. Weil believes the combination of interest targeting and the lower bid supported by better content will drive higher return on investments for campaigns.

2 comments about "Twitter Identifies Interests To Target Ads".
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  1. Herb Lair from CUO,Inc., August 31, 2012 at 2:25 p.m.

    Behavioral Based Social Media System for the Cable TV Market

    Cable has long history of failing to develop 1-1 target marketing,touted as the Holy Grail of advertising .

    Excerpt from above link on January, 2011 –
    “Advertisers will spend $56 billion putting ads on TV this year,...The cable industry thought it would be a big opportunity too, but its efforts have fallen short. Canoe Ventures, a two-year-old project of the six biggest operators, has launched just one notable product…”

    Excerpt from above link on February, 2011 Business Insider
    Identifies advertising market being missed by Cable TV operators

    The obvious alternative, with the least cost to implement is an independent Cloud CRM solution designed to cross index cable subscriber households with their corresponding social network interests. The current regulatory and privacy issues experienced by cable TV operators gathering unauthorized data from set-top boxes could be minimized, by validating subscriber and even eliminated by essentially having an opt-in plan (provided conveniently by the social media). Access along with profile and interests of households would be controlled by the subscriber’s social media platform of choice. Facebook has high consumer acceptance and could be used for household profiles, product interests, social interests, and viewing entertainment interests. There would be incentives to the subscribers to opt-in including notification and reminder of viewing favorites, Groupon type ads, and specific ads matching interests with infomercial type group discounts and urgency to buy.

    The current design of target marketing advertising ventures is fundamentally flawed. They focus on demographics, and fail to identify the individual behavioral current and future household interests.

    I would propose using a data cross indexing similar to a data warehouse project I was involved with at iN Demand. .

    Project would involve developing a bidirectional Cloud interface program using a CRM application between the social media and MSO subscriber records and communicating behavioral marketing - business advertising, discounts, specific videos/groups, family albums – providing subscriber awareness of TV programming -- movies, products, etc. similar to Amazon and Groupon. This would make subscriber stickier and substantially reduce turnover.

    To paraphrase a comment I made in the CED 1999 publication about the Internet, cable TV operators need to become the new best friends with the 600 million members of social media.

  2. Kevin Lee from Didit / eMarketing Association / Giving Forward, August 31, 2012 at 3:14 p.m.

    Self-serve ad system needs to mirror the functionality of the re-sold sponsored tweets in order for this to really take off.

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