A Keyword Strategy for Advertising on Twitter
In April 2013, Twitter began allowing marketers to use keywords to target users based on tweets they had recently posted or engaged with.
This was a significant step forward for advertising on the social media platform. It finally allowed companies to give consumers marketing messages at precisely the time those would-be customers were ready to buy — something that had eluded all marketing technologies since the first American newspaper carried an ad in the early 1700s.
Combined with geo-targeting — i.e., the ability to reach Twitter users based on their location — this seemingly makes Twitter a no-brainer to use for geographic-centered marketing that daily newspapers once had a lock on.
Even better, Twitter had a relatively small 60,000 advertisers as of November 2014, a fraction of Macquarie Research's estimated numbers for Facebook (2 million) and Google (4 million). Still, all of Twitter's pluses leave a question for advertisers: How to pick the right keywords to find would-be local customers?
The first step is remembering how people use Twitter. They're having conversations with other people rather than speaking to machines, as they do when they use search engines.
So on March 17 of a given year, for instance, a hypothetical purveyor of green beer might do better targeting tweets with the keywords "happy St. Patrick's Day," rather than "St. Patrick's Day." That would also reduce the chance of inadvertently responding with a coupon for green suds to a person who had tweeted, "I hate St. Patrick's Day."
That said, using negative keywords — i.e., words that the marketer wants to avoid in tweets — is still the best policy to avoid issues in that arena. For instance, in conjunction with a recent Super Bowl ad tagline that triggered a Twitter backlash, "Sorry, it's a boy," makers of baby food might want to dodge posts containing the word "sorry."