Your Business Should Be Testing Twitter’s 6 Retargeting Ad Features



When it comes to social ads, Facebook is the leader of the pack. But, increasingly so, Twitter has been upping their game with an quickly improving social advertising feature set.

What I wanted to share with you today is the extent to which custom audiences are available on Twitter and other targeting options.

That’s right, my conversion-obsessed friends. You can currently get FIVE types of retargeting on twitter without having to get on your knees to get on some private beta list (like we do) or go through one of the ad partners.

Go log into your Twitter ads account and follow along.

This is my personal account here, not any of the special brand accounts we manage.

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That’s FIVE types of custom audiences.

  1. Emails
  2. Twitter usernames
  3. Twitter user IDs
  4. Mobile ad IDs
  5. Phone numbers

There is also website remarketing, like on Facebook, which came out on Twitter in June 2014. Grab your pixels here.

So technically, you have 6 types of remarketing.

The main targeting type you’ll use here is email addresses, the first option listed.

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How to think about twitter’s remarketing performance

Compared to Facebook custom audience tools, Twitter’s match rate (the number of emails, phone numbers, etc you can match to a Twitter profile) will be lower. And that the traffic you get will be much smaller.

Twitter has a much smaller user base (250 million versus 1.5 billion– though it differs by vertical/geo) and users aren’t checking Twitter 14 times a day, like on Facebook mobile (except for a tiny audience of power users of course).

With Facebook, we get a 70% email match rate on consumer companies and perhaps 15% for B2B.

Expect 10-20% of this on Twitter, so if your list isn’t at least 10,000 emails, it might not be worth your time yet.

This is the equivalent of focusing your search engine efforts on Google before moving to another search engine, like Bing or Yahoo, for ads or SEO.

Test with Facebook first.

When you’re doing social ad retargeting, your performance has nothing to do with Twitter’s ability to let you filter down on followers, hashtags, and keywords. These are people you already have in your email list and have been to your website.

So the approximately $10 CPM you’ll pay on the traffic in the United States, similar to the CPM on Facebook in the newsfeed, means that you’ll kick butt on Twitter if your email list and web traffic are clean.

Get web remarketing set up

For your website remarketing, go to the “tools” section, click on “conversion tracking,” and either create new or edit existing website tags.

At the bottom of each tag you configure, you get the option to use that pixel for remarketing.

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Sneaky, isn’t it?

While Facebook allows us to pass through attributes and specify booleans in their website pixels like here, Twitter doesn’t have this feature yet. This gets a little advanced, but is just another sign that Twitter is still trying to catch up to Facebook’s rich targeting feature set.

In plain English: you have to create one tag per website audience.

I’m not here to bash Twitter or say that Facebook is better.

Just expect that Twitter is rapidly rolling out awesome tools, just like Facebook is copying ad management features from Google AdWords.

Social ad remarketing has different names across platforms

Facebook calls these custom audiences.

Twitter calls these tailored audiences.

LinkedIn is rolling these out soon.

Same thing with paying to promote native social posts

Facebook calls sponsored post or promoted posts.

Twitter calls them promoted tweets.

LinkedIn calls them sponsored updates.

Objective-based social ads with retargeting, an industry standard

Whether you call it a post, a Tweet, a pin, a status, or whatever — you can do remarketing against it.

And then tie them to a business objective — website clicks, conversions, social engagement, app installs, or other goals.

Here is the objective-based buying flow for a Twitter ad campaign.

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A nice copy of Facebook’s!

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Someday we’ll be able to buy all retargeting on one place (note to AdRoll and Perfect Audience folks reading this– this means having marketing automation logic eventually drive all retargeting).

But for now, you should take a close look at testing Twitter’s awesome remarketing feature set. More social marketers need to be aware of this and testing it as an option.


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