POV: Twitter’s 'Conversation Targeting'

MINDSHARE POINT OF VIEW –  Twitter has launched a new advertising product, TV Conversation Targeting, to sit alongside its existing TV-centric TV Ad Targeting offering. In order to know if either, or both, of these products is a good fit for a brand, it is important to note their differences:

  • TV Ad Targeting – Was launched in May and uses the digital fingerprinting technology acquired in the Bluefin Labs purchase. it algorithmically determines which commercials were shown during which programs, and serves a brand’s Promoted Tweets to users who likely were watching those shows. The primary use is to remarket to consumers who likely saw the brand’s television commercial recently.
    • Availability: U.S. only
    • Best for: Brands with large, national television campaigns, with ads airing across a variety of shows and networks.
  • TV Conversation Targeting – newly launched. Allows marketers to target Promoted Tweets to consumers of a specific television program. Similar to Ad Targeting, Twitter algorithmically determines users who likely watched a show and serves them Promoted Tweets. The main difference between Conversation Targeting and Ad Targeting is a brand determines which programs to target, rather than using Twitter’s digital fingerprinting algorithm.
    • Availability: U.S. and UK
    • Best for: Brands with close ties to a specific show through ads or otherwise. For example, a brand integrated with a show through sponsorship or product placement would need to use Conversation Targeting because the fingerprinting algorithms of Ad Targeting would not recognize those signals.

Implications & Summary

These two products can be used in tandem for brands that want to ensure maximum reach of as many Twitter users as possible who had recently seen that brand’s commercial.

Beyond the nuts and bolts of targeting methodology, Conversation Targeting gives marketers a new way to be creative with their Promoted Tweets. Because the brand is targeting a specific program, its social team can create tweets referencing the plot of the episode or the events of an award show, making for a more relevant and engaging brand message. For example, imagine Oreo’s now-famous “Dunk in the Dark” tweet not only sent out to Oreo’s followers, but also delivered as a Promoted Tweet to people watching the Super Bowl.

Through both these products Twitter is strengthening its ties with television. Twitter’s customers use it for real-time conversations about their favorite shows, and Twitter has embraced this trend by creating products to connect brands with those users. The purchase of Bluefin Labs was the first step in this direction and these TV-to-tweet products are the next, but they surely will not be the last.