Twitter has unveiled a new analytics tool that will give marketers using the platform an unprecedented amount of information about what kinds of people are interacting with their brand.

Twitter Audience insights


Dubbed Audience Insights, the new tool promises to make creating ads that generate interest, engagement, and, ultimately, conversations, easier than ever. By giving users access to information including key demographics, interests, lifestyle, purchasing behaviour, TV viewing behaviour, and mobile footprint, Audience Insights lets marketers see exactly what kinds of people follow their brand.

The Audience Insights dashboard, displayed above, allows users to target their audiences with ads tailored in real-time toward their specific interests, and deliver it in their audience’s preferred medium. Powerful stuff, indeed!

Twitter illustrated the potential uses of Audience Insights by using a fictional cosmetics company:

“For example, if you’re running a campaign to increase awareness about a new cosmetics line, you can use this tool to learn about your potential customers on Twitter — the beauty products they’ve recently purchased, what fashion trends they’re interested in and even TV viewing behaviour. Based on this information, you can identify the best segments to target within Twitter Ads, along with which creative — such as a Vine or video clip — your audience will find most compelling.”

In addition, users will also be able to see what platform their audience uses the most, so that they can cater ads toward iOS or Android. And the Audience Analytics even allows users to compare their own followers with Twitter’s general user base, meaning that marketers will be able to see just where their audience is different and where there are crossovers – great for campaigns that aim to “reach out” from and expand your existing following.




And don’t worry; all of the information presented in Audience Insights is anonymised aggregate data – some of which comes from third-party sources like Datalogix and Acxiom. This allows advertisers to make the most of audience data without compromising users’ privacy.

Without doubt, this is all fantastic for creating targeted ads, which is the tool’s primary objective, but what else can you use Audience Insights to achieve on Twitter?

Find Out Who to Follow

Audience Insights offers a new way to ensure that your Twitter following corresponds to your target audience – which, after all, is the goal, right?

In order to build and grow a Twitter following, you have to follow others. However, unlike Facebook – where “friending” people you don’t know is frowned upon – on Twitter it’s much more acceptable to follow people simply because you and they have shared interests.

Previously, since Twitter allows you to access your competitors’ follower lists, Twitter account managers often browsed these in search of suitable people to follow.

Building a following in such a strategic way will lead to you having a targeted Twitter following, and is still a good place to start if you’re new to Twitter. But it’s also time-consuming and subject to erroneous follows (people may be following your competitors because they have a personal interest in the company, or because they’re local, or because they are particularly brand-loyal, etc., all of which make them unlikely to follow you back).

But now Audience Insights offers users a different approach. By looking at your current followers’ interests and other relevant data, you can look for people (using Twitter’s search tool) to follow based upon actual analytics. This means you can specifically follow people who are most likely to engage with your brand (based on the type of people who currently engage with your brand), and have real shared interests that make them likely to follow you back.

And remember, your target audience will consist of several different “types” of people. For example, if your organisation sells paint, you may want to follow a certain amount of painters and decorators, a certain amount of interior designers, a certain amount of hardware stores, etc..

Using Audience Insights, you will be able to identify which “types” of people you should be targeting. And if you wish to have more of a certain type, or less of another, you can simply follow the appropriate people until you’ve balanced things up.


Interact Effectively With Your Audience

Audience insights also gives you a way to create fantastic content specifically designed to get engagement (rather than conversions, as with ads).

People follow you because they think you may have something interesting to say. And this means that simply plugging your wares with every post won’t do. You want all of the content you publish on Twitter to be genuinely captivating.

Captivating content leads to your Twitter following interacting with you – retweeting, mentioning, messaging you, etc. – and this means, by making your followers promoters, that more people will see your posts.

Captivating content needs to meet two essential requirements: it has to be high quality and it has to be in line with your audience’s interests.

Audience Insights can help you make your content satisfy both of these criteria.

By looking at the types of content your followers prefer, you can create content that they’re likely to want to watch, view, or read. Of course, making sure that the content you produce is high-quality is largely down to you – but Audience Insights allows you to make sure that you’re not going to spend hours writing, say, a brilliant whitepaper when your audience would prefer a to watch a Vine.

Additionally, since Audience Insights gives you an unprecedented amount of information about your followers, there’s no excuse for just guessing what you think they’re interested in.

Have a look at what type of content they interact with most, look at the topics they’re interested in, see what they’ve been watching on TV, what types of things they buy, and where they spend time on the web, and incorporate all of this into choosing which content – not just your Tweets, but the blogs, videos, articles, and third party content you link to – you wish to share.

When combined with a strong content marketing strategy, Audience Insights can take the content you share from good to absolutely bang-on every single time.

Are you excited about Audience Insights? How will you use the platform? And do you think it will change the way you use Twitter? Let us know with a comment.