Hyper-Targeting Twitter Ads For B2B Marketing

Twitter ads are notoriously difficult to use effectively, mostly becasue their built-in targeting options are relatively pathetic. Much has been said about how they're not worth the cost compared to more-popular alternatives by Facebook, Google, & Microsoft (LinkedIn).

What if there was a better way to benefit from the relatively lower CPCs offered by Twitter ads while targeting only the prospects you're after? I've done it!

In this post I'm going to show you how I used some obscure ad targeting options in combination with the Twitter API to get ads in front of a very specific & valuable audience for an extremely reasonable price - and you can too.

First: How Twitter Audience Lists Work

Twitter "Audiences" are just a list of users that you can run ads to (as well as use for lookalike targeting). There's a few ways that audiences get created, including via the twitter tracking pixel, the Twitter Ads SDK, or by uploading a list of user ids or handles.

For the purposes of this article, we're focused on the last option - uploading a list of users. It's hard to overstate how powerful this option is - getting to define exactly who will recieve your ads is a huge advantage when you're trying to reach such a narrow subset of Twitter users.

The flip side, of course, is that finding the users you want to reach can be difficult and expensive. Custom audiences must reach a minimum size before they can be used, and the effort involved in picking out prospects by hand is typically not worth it. That's where the Twitter API comes in.

The Twitter API

Twitter recently opened up their API to essentially everyone with the v2 launch - it's easier than ever to get started pulling lists of users en masse. I won't dive too deep here, but as an example, I ran a request to pull all of Jason Lemkin's 119k followers & saved them to a JSON file, which I can then filter using all of the data available. (example below)

    "verified": false,
    "id": "1010270577918136320",
    "location": "New York, USA",
    "profile_image_url": "https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1587530605381632000/WPoSGCwD_normal.jpg",
    "protected": false,
    "username": "danielkalish9",
    "name": "Daniel Kalish",
    "created_at": "2018-06-22T21:17:30.000Z",
    "description": "CEO & co-founder at Nilus | Seamless financial accuracy & operations for tech platforms | ex-PayPal",
    "url": "https://t.co/53WwC2JqSc"

Imagine you were trying to sell executive coaching to SaaS founders - you could pull all of Jason's followers, filter for users with CEO in their bio, and then upload that list to Twitter to create a custom audience. I've used this exact strategy to great success.

Key Considerations

There's a few things that you need to keep in mind if you want to try this. The biggest question is "Can I automate a filter for the people I want to reach"?

I've found the most success building audiences around the jobs people put in their twitter bio. C-Suite roles & professional service providers are particularly easy marks here.

Between the data points of whose following you pulled and what the target market's job title is, you can define a solid picture of the custom audiences you create.

How Can You Use This Information?

This process took me a lot of trial and error to nail down. If you'd like to explore how hyper-targeted Twitter ads can be used to lower your company's cost to acquire customers and grow your top line, I'd love to help you reach your goals. The best way to reach me is by email at fritz@fritzthedev.com or by DM'ing me on twitter @FritzTheDev.