Under the new platform, an advertiser can securely share email addresses from its CRM database with Twitter, which it then matches to user data it has on record. It means marketers can not only reach tweeters who are already loyal customers but also use information about offline audiences – say those registering for a loyalty scheme in-store – to target new segments of the Twitter sphere.
Any talk of adverts often makes social media users recoil in disgust. It is understandable, given that a worrying proportion of supposed, “targeted” ads populating feeds leave many scratching their heads in frustration over the errant mortgage come-ons or weight-loss schemes. No doubt both users and marketers will continue to have complaints about the new Twitter ads, since that is the nature of targeted advertising but it could lead to better CRM messaging on the platform.
Meanwhile, the social network is allowing advertisers to seek out influencers in a given topic or category using usernames and handles. It lets marketers target tweeters with a large following in the hope they will spread the brand message.
If this Minority Report style, hyper-targeted prospect is a little too creepy for you, then it can be switched off in Twitter’s privacy settings. It will also have a minimum audience size for all tailored audiences to avoid overly specific targeting.
It is Twitter’s latest attempt borrow from the advertising playbook of Facebook as it desperately looks to boost ad revenues now it has gone public. After hearing lots of complaints about the ads it is placing in people’s news feeds, Facebook started letting brands reach only their customers with ads for the first time last year through its Custom Audience feature. For those who do not know, the ad tool lets users import their own mailing list to push ads to those specific individuals so that they are more relevant.
The jury is still out on whether Facebook has nailed its targeted ads and Twitter now has opportunity to forge an advertising model that is both lucrative o brands and unobtrusive for the user.