Twitter on TwitterTwitter’s advertising platform has matured efficiently, to the point where it now allows broad matching and targeting based on synonyms.

Let’s look at the different options available for marketing on the social network, which took a major step forward with the introduction of keyword targeting in April 2013.

The idea for keyword targeting is to match ads to interests. If a user tweets a mention of a particular product, a promoted tweet (aka, an advert) could appear later to that user, promoting that product.

Advertisers using the Ads UI or the Ads API from Twitter are given simple options to select a list of keywords they want to match.

Twitter ads UI

How does Twitter keyword targeting work?

There are three types of ads on Twitter – Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends. Ads appear based on a user’s actions, which could include tweeting, following accounts, searching or interacting with other users. Essentially, what you interact with on Twitter and who you interact with dictates the ads you see.

Twitter already allows filtering for sentiment. Based on language within Tweets, Twitter can work out pretty well whether a tweet is negative or positive.

A superb enhancement to keyword targeting has been the introduction of broad matching. Users do not always spell things the same way or use the same exact match phrases.

Broad match keyword targeting on Twitter

Broad match targeting means Twitter advertisers can now benefit from a collection of alternative spellings.

In its own example, the company talked about coffee.

Broad matching keywords on Twitter

This is a great improvement because it widens the potential reach considerably while still being relevant.

Twitter explained it like this:

Twitter users have conversations about topics in a number of different ways, and the same intent can be expressed by using synonyms, different spellings, or Twitter-specific lingo. Broad match makes it easier for advertisers to reach users having these conversations by automatically expanding their targeted keywords to include related terms.

For example, a coffee shop that wants to reach coffee enthusiasts can run a campaign targeting the broad match keywords “love coffee.” This would allow them to connect with users who are tweeting or engaging with Tweets containing the keywords “luv coffee” or “love latte”.

Do promoted tweets work for advertisers?

Twitter and Nielsen partnered on a survey that showed “Promoted Tweets drive stronger message association, brand favourability and purchase intent”.

Sometimes Promoted Tweets can work against a brand. One British Airways customer used the service to embarrass British Airways after the airline lost his luggage and provided him with poor customer service.