Twitter Ads

5 Keyword Targeting Strategies for Twitter Ads

Twitter Ads offers keyword targeting for your Promoted Tweets in user timelines. This allows advertisers to target users based on the keywords they’ve used in their recent tweets or the content they’ve engaged with. In this blog post, I’ll walk you through 5 strategies for using keyword targeting with Twitter Ads.

Twitter Ads Keyword Targeting

1. Think Google Display Network

Similar to the Google Display Network’s contextual keyword targeting, advertisers can Promote Tweets based on keywords in the content that users have engaged with, or are currently viewing. Therefore, keyword targeting offers a very precise way to reach users with relevant content.

A simple hack to getting your keyword targeting up and running is to take a list of high performing keywords from your Google Display Network (GDN) campaign and apply them to a Twitter campaign to test. Use the “import multiple keywords’ button, in order to easily copy and paste an entire ad group keyword list from AdWords.

Google Display Keyword Targeting

2. Broaden Reach for Maximum Exposure

With Twitter Ads, you get the option to use broad, phrase, and negative keyword targeting. Phrase matched keywords are the most precise, but often result in limited reach. In order to maximize the number of users who see your campaigns, start with broad match keywords. This will help you reach a greater audience, and see trends in your performance data.

Twitter Ads_Broad Keyword Targeting

3. Keep it Real-Time

Because Twitter is a real-time network, you can use keyword targeting for real time marketing opportunities. For example, a fictional camping goods company called Tent World could create Promoted Tweets targeting related “Burning Man” keywords to advertise their products to 60,000 attendees headed to the desert. This will appear as fresh content for the user and they are more likely to engage with it.



4. Set It, but Do Not Forget It

Twitter Ads reports on the performance of your targeted keywords. Keyword level analytic tools can help determine which keywords work the best for your campaigns. Having a threshold of what the ideal engagement rate, click-through rate, or conversion rate is for a particular campaign can help you determine which keywords to keep and which to exclude.

Twitter Ads_Keyword Performance

In this example, my desired Promoted Tweet engagement rate is > 1%. The highlighted keyword that did not perform at my desited engagement rate, and should be removed. Battle-tested, optimized keyword targeting groups should be saved for any future Promoted Tweet campaigns so you don’t waste impressions on poorly performing keywords.

5. Catch Flies with Honey

This strategy is more advanced and requires two campaigns to utilize keyword targeting.

  • In the first campaign, you can leverage a unique hashtag to capture interest with your Promoted Tweet.
  • In the second campaign, use keyword targeting and target only the unique hashtag. This will reach users that engaged with the first campaign.

This is a fantastic retargeting strategy for recently engaged users. An audience that has already been attentive to your brand with recent favorites or tweets from a current campaign is more likely to continue the interaction and even make a purchase.

In this example below, a travel company that offers guided tours could use the unique hashtag #MovethroughMichigan in their Promoted Tweet.


In a second campaign, they can keyword target #MovethroughMichigan and use copy in their Promoted Tweet that includes a current promotion or more information about their services, such as “Guided tours for your Michigan trip.”

Have you tried keyword targeting on Twitter Ads? What keyword targeting strategies have worked out for you? Let us know in the comments below!

AdStage Team