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Grow Your Business Social Media

Advertising on Twitter: 5 Tips for Better Keyword Targeting

Advertising on Twitter: 5 Tips for Better Keyword Targeting
Credit: Kenishirotie/Shutterstock

It's never a bad time to rethink your social marketing strategy, especially when you get advice directly from your go-to social networks.

Last year, Twitter rolled out keyword targeting in timelines, a key feature for the company's advertising platform. This week, Twitter shared some helpful tips for making the most of this tool in your campaigns. If you're not already taking advantage of keyword targeting in timelines, then it's time to add this feature to your advertising tool kit.

Ready to take your Twitter campaigns to the next level? Try incorporating these five tips straight from the company's advertising blog.

1. Change the way you search.  The way keywords work on Twitter is very different from the way they work on a search engine. When people enter a query into a search engine, they know they're talking to a machine, but when they post on Twitter, they know they're talking to real people, Twitter wrote. That difference is exactly why it's important to rethink the types of keywords you use in your campaigns.

For example, "Suppose your company sells baby clothes," Twitter wrote. "Your phrase-matched 'boy infant clothes' keyword from your search campaigns is unlikely to reach many users on Twitter, because people don't Tweet that way."

Instead, Twitter suggested searching a keyword like "it's a boy." While almost no tweets contain the phrase "boy infant clothes," nearly 8,000 tweets per week contain the phrase "it's a boy" according to Twitter. That kind of difference can make or break your campaigns. [Twitter Advertising: 5 Best Practices to Follow ]

2. Time it right. Twitter wrote that every tweet sends a signal about what a person is thinking, feeling and experiencing in the moment. That means that when users are talking about keywords that are relevant to your brand, it's time to strike. Especially if those keywords are about a trending topic.

"Plan your campaigns around the moments in people's lives that might lead them to realize they have a need for your products, or to make an emotional connection with your brand," Twitter wrote.

When those moments do occur, Twitter suggested thinking about which keywords people might tweet and what kinds of tweets they'd be likely to engage with.

3. Take advantage of analytics.Twitter gives you the ability to see just how well certain keywords are performing through its keyword-level analytics tools, which can help you determine which keywords work best for your campaigns.

"Try creating a campaign with a set of tightly themed keywords and starting a weekly optimization rhythm," Twitter wrote. "After the first week, once you have enough data, view the engagement rate of each keyword."

From there, you can remove keywords with low engagement rates, and try adding in new ones.

4. Find balance. Don't get too narrow in your keyword choices. When it comes to your Twitter campaigns, broader keywords are often better. It's important to find balance between precision and overall reach.

"It’s tempting to use phrase match with every keyword to maximize precision, but consider that phrase match may sometimes be too narrow to ensure sufficient reach," Twitter wrote. "For each keyword you use, there could be variants or similar words that reveal the same openness to your message."

For example, the keyword "snowboarder" would only reach users who tweeted that exact term, but the keyword "snowboard" would reach users that tweeted that term as well as other variants of the word like "snowboarder" or "snowboarding."

5. Reach users who have recently engaged with your tweets.People who have recently favorited, retweeted or clicked on your tweets are more likely to continue to interact with your brand and even make a purchase. You can use keyword targeting in the timeline to reconnect with these users.

For example, "Suppose the fictional coffee company @BaristaBar wants to send a message to users who show an affinity for Hawaii and Kona coffee," Twitter wrote. The account already runs a campaign of promoted tweets that contain the unique hashtag "#AlwaysKonaQuality."

"Once this first campaign has begun, @BaristaBar then creates a second campaign, and targets only the keyword #AlwaysKonaQuality. With this second campaign, the account reaches only those people who engaged with their first campaign," Twitter explained.

For more information about keyword targeting in timelines, head to Twitter's Help Center.

Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.