3 Creative Ways to Use and Target Lookalikes Using Twitter Ads

Brenda Ton
October 23, 2014

Twitter recently rolled out an update to their ad platform to allow advertisers to layer on lookalike targeting to custom tailored audiences. Twitter's tailored audience feature enables you to connect with users based on email addresses, mobile advertising IDs, mobile phone numbers, or lists of Twitter IDs (user IDs or usernames). When you add in the ability to target lookalikes, you are essentially targeting users who are similar to the list you've provided, which can be very valuable because it's likely that these new prospects are relevant to your business.

The audience lists are all managed and created within "Tools > Audience Manager", located at the top navigation. When the list is ready for use in campaign creation, be sure to checkmark "Expand reach by targeting similar users" as shown in the screenshot below to enable lookalike targeting.

Now that we have the basics covered, here are three creative ways to target lookalikes that are less traditional than simply using your website's cookied visitors:

  1. 1. Target Lookalikes of Your High-Performing Twitter Handles: For the campaigns you've created in the past that involve targeting Twitter handles, extract a list of the best performing users in terms of conversions (as of October this is available) or by engagement. You can do this by clicking on your specific campaign and navigating to the left side "@ Handles" and "Export" the report. This will allow you to test and target audiences that are similar to those who have brought you conversions or engagement success in the past.
  2. 2. Target Lookalikes of Your Competitor's Twitter Followers: Your competitors have followers that you may not, so why not target them, as well as users who may look like them? The chances are that these users are relevant because they are following a competitor that offers a similar product or service to yours and they may be interested in what you're promoting. To begin, you must first figure out a way to extract the list of followers for the Twitter handle you're interested in. If you have a lot of time on your hands, you could navigate to the "Followers" tab of that account, using my personal account as an example https://twitter.com/nerb/followers, and copy and paste each @ handle into a CSV file. Be warned that it's going to take a lot of effort to do it this way and you may not quickly reach the proper audience size manually. I suggest using a Twitter list extractor service, such as Moz's Followerwonk, where you can extract a report of handles with the click of a button.
  3. 3. Target Lookalikes of Your Internal Customer or Prospect Database: Your internal database is the most valuable source you have and because you already have access to customers or prospects at your fingertips, not only can you use this list to upsell but you can also create lookalikes based on the email addresses you have on file.

When creating these lookalike campaigns, you may want to exclude the custom tailored audience list you are using to create that lookalike. You can exclude audiences in the section shown below. It is always best to separate different types of campaigns. For instance, you can create two campaigns and track the performance individually, one to target just the custom tailored audience list and one to target the lookalikes segment.

We’d love to hear your feedback! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below to continue the conversation. Happy Tweeting!

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