Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Twitter's Keyword Targeting

Twitter advertising has added a unique feature - it allows advertisers target the recipients of their advertisements by using a technology that analyzes that person’s communications.

Necessity is the mother of invention - this particular way of advertising was necessitated by the fact that unlike Facebook or Linkedin, Twitter users don't build an extensive profile. In fact, Twitter limits user profiles to 160 characters including spaces, and a link. 

In the past, Twitter allowed advertisers to target users based on their interest which were determined by analyzing the accounts that the user followed. But this method didn't utilize an important social commerce data resource - people's tweets. The tweets indicate a person’s actual interests in a very specific manner - not what they think they are interested in (i.e. follow) but what they really are talking about. The other good thing about this is that this keyword analysis can be done in real time. 

With the new social commerce tool, Twitter allows marketers to set keywords that would trigger their ad when the said keywords appear in a user’s tweets.

For instance, if the company is promoting an American Idol finalists’ concert in New York, they could make it so that their ads will appear on a user’s timeline when the user sends out a tweet containing the keywords “American Idol” or “New York.”

Companies can also make it so that their ads are triggered by Twitter searches and would appear in a user’s search results instead of the user’s timeline.

“Tweets are signals of what's top of mind for people in real time, including their intentions, needs and wants,” Twitter explained in the newsletter it sends to its subscribers. “You can reach users at the right time and in the right context based on keywords in their Tweets and the Tweets they've recently engaged with,” the newsletter says.

While this Twitter Ads tool is advertised by fans of twitter as truly revolutionary, it is not very different than an echo of Google’s contextual ad technology, which shows ads to their Gmail users based on the terms in their email messages. Same contextual advertising is also used by Google adsense advertising units while people reading articles on a blog or Google news receive ads based on the keywords included in the text of the news or blog. 

Authored by Yash Talreja, Edited by Blessie Adlaon

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