Content Marketing Blog

How to use Twitter to learn more about your target audience

Twitter, the popular micro-blogging service, can be an excellent tool for learning more about your target audience.

Understanding who your potential customers are, what they like, what they want to know more about and what kind of language they use are all crucial if you want to create content that really resonates.

With more and more brands creating, publishing and promoting their own content these days the battle to be heard above the noise is only going to get more challenging.

Avoiding common mistakes when it comes to targeting your content and using some of the tools available for learning about your audience can give you the edge on your competition.

Insights from Twitter Ads

Like all social media brands, once Twitter had amassed a sufficient number of users in turned to advertising to start generating some revenue. And while user growth has started to slow, Twitter’s financial fortunes have never looked better. The company brought in USD $502 million in the three months to June 30th, up 61 per cent on the same period last year.

Using Twitter Ads, compared to similar offerings from Facebook and LinkedIn, is relatively cheap, with a much lower cost per click in most cases. Advertisers can create and run campaigns for different objectives, such as tweet engagements or website clicks. But even if you don’t have budget to sponsor your Twitter content, Twitter Ads can still be a useful tool for your content marketing efforts.

Audience Insights provides information on who is following your account, from their interests and buying styles to their choice of mobile provider and credit card company. This data can be extremely helpful when deciding what types of content and particularly what writing style is the best fit for your audience.

Twitter Ads Audience Insights

You can get similar insights on audiences you’ve targeted with your Twitter Ads, which means you can adjust your content for the people you’d like to start following your account, engaging with your tweets and visiting your website.

Audience Insights was only unveiled in May this year. Making the announcement on its official blog, Twitter said the service would use aggregated data from its users, with partner companies Datalogix and Acxiom doing the heavy lifting.

One major drawback right now for marketers in Australia and New Zealand is that the Twitter-wide data, which would provide a useful comparison for your own audiences, is limited to the US.

What people tweet and what they spend

As well as Twitter’s own tools, marketers can also learn useful lessons from the wealth of content publicly shared on Twitter. Twitter’s users post 500 million tweets every day, according to its website.

Unlike Facebook and many other social media sites, Twitter is not a “walled garden”. Search engines can crawl most of its content and researchers can use public tweets to learn about all aspects of human behaviour.

A recent study, for example, found a link between the language people use on Twitter and their income bracket.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania looked at 5,000 Twitter accounts and 10 million tweets, using an algorithm to understand what particular words could tell them about a user’s professional background, as well as their gender and age.

“Lower-income users or those of a lower socioeconomic status use Twitter more as a communication means among themselves,” said lead researcher Daniel Preotiuc-Pietro. “High-income people use it more to disseminate news, and they use it more professionally than personally.”

This follows a similar study comparing the swearing habits of American Twitter users as the country ramps up for a presidential election.

Researchers found that tweeters who followed the Democrat party were much more likely to use colourful language, “sh*t” and “f*ck” among the most popular words. Republican party followers tended to tweet about god.