How to use Twitter Audience Insights for Marketing

Twitter just rolled out its Audience Insights tool to all Twitter Analytics and Ads users. How can it benefit your marketing and communications program?

What It Tells You

Inside Twitter’s Audience Insights, you’ll find some very familiar data points, assuming you’ve worked with other demographics tools. Currently, you can broadly look at all Twitter users or your own Twitter account’s followers and your organic audience. What’s the difference? When someone retweets you, their followers – who may not be your followers – are counted in your organic audience.


What data points are included?

You get a broad overview of your audience, including how your account is growing.

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You get demographics, which include gender, household income, net worth, and geography.

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You get lifestyle information such as interests and TV genres (thanks to Twitter’s TV integration).

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You get consumer behaviors such as credit card brands owned, consumer buying styles, and CPG purchase categories.

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You also get mobile data such as wireless carrier and device types.

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What Do You Do With This Info?

If your brand or company falls into any of the categories above, such as B2C consumer purchases, then the information is an obvious home run. If, for example, you’re a credit card issuer and your followers don’t use your card, then you might have a marketing mismatch (or an opportunity).

What if you’re not a consumer goods maker or a TV producer? Is there anything in Twitter Audience Insights for you?

The answer is unquestionably, yes. Basics such as region and interests are broadly applicable to any industry. Household income and net worth are proxies for understanding the broad demographics of your audience. If your audience’s household income is over $200,000, chances are it’s not comprised of mostly college students. Device categories are useful data points for understanding how mobile your audience is or isn’t, and what platforms you may want to develop on.

The greatest hidden power of Twitter Audience Insights, however, is comparison. For example, choose your followers and your organic audience. How do they differ? Are there outliers in certain categories?

For example, below you can see that on my personal Twitter account, my followers are predominantly based in the United States. However, my organic reach is significantly more international. If I were a company, this might be an indicator for future potential expansion.

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If we look at interests, I see that marketing and leadership are of much greater interest to my direct followers than to my overall organic reach. If I were attempting to broaden my reach, I might look to share more content on topics that were of interest to both followers and organic audience, rather than topics that were interesting to my followers alone.

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Finally, the most savvy, data-driven marketers and communicators will compare their Twitter Audience Insights with their Facebook Audience Insights.


How are your two audiences similar? How are they different? With enhanced data from Twitter, you can now better understand if you’ve got the same audience or two very different audiences, and use that information to guide your content strategy.

Twitter Audience Insights are a potent addition to your analytics toolkit for understanding who your audience is. Use them to your advantage, and discover things you never knew about your followers!

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology

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Posted on May 28, 2015 in Analytics, Data, Marketing, Marketing Technology, Metrics, Social Media, Twitter

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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