Twitter’s new targeting product may bring a modern twist to political campaigning

Twitter has announced that with the lead up to the general election it will allow political parties to target specific postcodes for local campaigning.

For the first time Twitter will provide advertisers the ability to use its geo-targeting product, which allows ads to be targeted to individual postcodes and local constituencies.

The product has been launched with a view to giving political parties the opportunity to campaign more effectively in the lead up to the general election, according to a Twitter blog post.

Aiofe Demond, government and politics sales manager for Twitter UK and Ireland told Marketing Week: “Social media teams in the political space have been asking for the ability to reach people in more targeted ways for some time, so we are pleased to bring this targeting to market ahead of the 2015 UK general election.”

With mobile use growing quickly in the UK, this may be a modern take on door-to-door campaigning. Out of Twitter’s 15 million users in the UK, 80% access the platform through mobile device according to Twitter’s figures.

Emily Hunt, expert in political research, told Marketing Week recently that the party organising its segmentation and use of data in the best way would be ahead at the next general election.

Political campaigning through Twitter has not always been as effective as hoped. When David Cameron revealed the Conservative, “Let’s stay on the road to a stronger economy” campaign poster on the platform, it received criticism from thousands of users and a debate about whether the poster’s image was in fact from a German road.

It will be interesting to see how Twitter’s move plays in the wider context of election campaigns, as Marketing Week recently found that parties are increasingly working on the ground with more campaign money spent on hand-delivered leaflets than campaign advertising.

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