Twitter Ad Keyword Targeting Presents Big Branding Opportunity

Twitter Keyword Targeting

Timing and targeting can make all the difference in the success of an ad. Lucky for us online advertisers, Twitter just released keyword level targeted ads, a tool that pinpoints both timing and targeting in the social space. According to the official announcement, the new feature “enables advertisers to reach users based on the keywords in their recent tweets and the tweets with which users recently engaged.”

Twitter Keyword Ads

As a basic example of Twitter ad keyword targeting, say I send out a whiny tweet about cold coffee. Mr. Coffee conveniently has ads targeted to the keyword “cold coffee,” so I see a promoted tweet about their handy coffee warmer right then and there in my Twitter stream.

Advertisers will also be able to layer keyword targeting on top of Twitter’s standard targeting options including location, device and gender. For example, Chicago taco joint Big Star could target users who mention “tacos” in a tweet and also happen to be both in Bucktown and tweeting from a mobile device.

Twitter’s announcement cites several keyword targeting case studies, including one from wearable camera brand GoPro, which “saw engagement rates as high as 11 percent on tweets promoted using the new feature.” It’s important to note that while engagement does not by any means equate to sales, there is something to be said for this approach.

To take it back to the Big Star taco example, say my taco tweet was not focused on purchase intent (“Hungry for tacos in Bucktown!”), but instead was a satisfied post-feast message (“Just finished feasting at Antique Taco. Yum.”). I’m not looking to buy another round of tacos right then and there — but hey, I still love tacos and I still live Bucktown, and now Big Star is either top of mind or newly added to my taco radar. Really, it’s an exercise in branding.

What do you think? Will users be turned off when brands start serving adds based on their tweet content?