Using Ad Groups for Segmentation on Twitter Ads

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Advertising, Social | 8 Comments
Using Ad Groups for Segmentation on Twitter Ads

If you’re familiar with Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, you’re probably used to breaking out your campaigns into ad groups or ad sets. After all, segmentation is key for optimization. Taking the extra step to build out your ad groups with siloed targeting or placements is the gold standard for the purest data. However with Twitter, the native interface does not include ad groups. As a Twitter Official Partner, AdStage has access to exclusive features only available to API partners – this means you can build your Twitter campaigns with ad groups in AdStage.


For data-driven PPC advertisers, best practice dictates that segmenting your campaigns into ad groups will allow you to make more intelligent optimization decisions. If you’re already advertising on Twitter Ads and want access to cleaner data with ad group segmentation, here are a few suggestions for your ad group structure.

Segment by Device

Twitter groups its device targeting by operating system. When segmenting your ad groups by device, you have the option to test performance on the following users:

  • Desktop
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • Other mobile users

For mobile app campaigns, you can break out your iOS and Android campaigns. This will provide more accurate reporting for your conversions by operating system. For other types of campaigns, we recommend segmenting desktop and mobile traffic so you can set your bids and budgets appropriately for the audience’s mindset. We’ve seen that video ads generally have higher view-through rates on mobile devices, whereas direct response campaigns tend to receive more cost-effective conversions with desktop users.

Segment by Keyword Match Types

Twitter offers two keyword match types to target:

  • Broad match
  • Phrase match

Additionally, you can add negative keyword targeting. For this particular use-case, if you’re going to use negative keyword targeting, make sure to use the same list of negative keywords and match types for both ad groups for a true A/B test between broad and phrase match. Because Twitter does not report on the actual term that triggered your ad, this will provide unbiased data between the two match types. Depending on your campaign goals, pay close attention to traffic and conversions and adjust your bids and budgets accordingly. We’ve seen that broad match keywords tend to drive more impressions and traffic but may not be as relevant as the traffic brought in with phrase match targeting.

Segment by Interests, Handles, or TV shows

Twitter offers a variety of targeting. When you layer these targeting types in the same campaign, Twitter uses a combination of AND and OR logic. For instance, targeting multiple interests, handles, or TV shows, will trigger ads to appear using OR logic. Here’s an example below:

AND targeting on twitter

We recommend using ad groups if you are targeting more than one of the following types of targeting in a single campaign:

  • Interests
  • Handles
  • TV shows

With OR logic, adding more interests, handles, or TV shows in your campaign targeting means your data could get a bit muddy. Keep your data clean by using the same AND targeting across all your ad groups while segmenting the OR targeting into separate ad groups. Using the same example as above, here’s how we suggest you build a campaign with ad groups in Twitter:


twitter ad groups OR targeting

Benefits of Ad Groups on Twitter Ads

In addition to cleaner data with segmentation, housing your targeting into one campaign with multiple ad groups allows you to keep a larger master budget for the entire campaign. The latency period to get enough data on your campaigns will be shorter, so you can make strategic optimization decisions faster with ad groups.


Ready to be a better marketer? Segment your Twitter campaigns into ad groups today by using AdStage. Your 14 day free trial is waiting.

Jana Fung

Jana is a Product Marketer at AdStage. She studied at San Francisco State University and the University of Bradford. After receiving her B.S. in marketing at the age of 19, she spent several years at various startups in the ad tech industry. With over 8 years of experience, Jana recently joins us from Twitter where she led sales marketing to support the growth of publisher inventory and ad spend on the mobile ad exchange product.


  • Jon Horn

    I’m curious about your statement above of “When you layer these targeting types in the same campaign, Twitter uses AND logic.” My understanding is that combining Interests and Handles expands the audience to anyone who matches either targeting criteria (OR logic). I believe it would, in fact, expand your audience even further. I wish they were combined using AND logic, but we’ve tested this on many campaigns and I believe Twitter uses OR logic. Please tell me if I’m wrong.

    • Jana Fung

      Hey Jon! Great question. Twitter actually uses a combination of AND and OR logic depending on the targeting type. Apologies for the confusion! I definitely wish they always used AND logic as well 🙂

      More information on Twitter targeting logic can be found at the bottom of this page:

  • Pingback: Marketing Day: DoubleClick Updates, Yandex Takes Fight Against Google & A Video Ads Study()

  • Pingback: MarTech Today: Active View For Apps, MarTech As Fantasy Football & Anti-Bot Video Ads()

  • Mack Lowrie

    Hey Jana, I am looking for a write up that will help me understand how Twitter segments THEIR own market, in terms of who they advertise and sell ad space to. Do any articles come to mind?

    • Jana Fung

      Hey Mack! I haven’t seen any articles about that, but I used to work at Twitter and they have specific vertical segments that they sell ad space to (i.e. Ecommerce, Edu, Tech, CPG, Mobile Apps, SMB, etc). Typically the products are broken out into direct response products, like Tailored Audiences or Lead Gen Cards, and brand products, like video ads and Promoted Accounts. Hope that helps!

      • Mack Lowrie

        Jana, thanks so much for you response. Very helpful!

  • Pingback: What You Need to Know About Twitter Ad Groups()