Custom Audiences for Facebook and Twitter December 5, 2013

Written by: Tom Edwards
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I was recently briefed by the Twitter team about today’s formally announced tailored audience product release. The need to create custom audience segments based off of existing datasets is becoming increasingly important for organizations to further differentiate and target relevant messaging.

Twitters offering on the surface is very similar to how Facebook approaches custom audience targeting but with a few subtle nuances. Facebook’s approach allows organizations to use existing e-mail addresses, phone numbers or Facebook User IDs to create a match with users on Facebook to create custom segments.

This is represented simply by Identify, Find & Reach visual below.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 12.42.33

The way that Facebook’s matching works is your organization would map the selected customer base into groups of people you want to target with specific messages and then upload the list via the Facebook power editor. That data is then hashed via a one way hash. This information is not “kept” by Facebook and a rep recently stated an example. You cannot run sausage back through a grinder to make a pig. This hashed data is then mapped against existing Facebook UID’s and a custom list is created with a match rate of over 80%.

Here is an example of how it works.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 12.44.19

One of the questions I receive a lot on this topic is if the brand has to do this or can it be administered by a third party? The answer is both. Those comfortable with the process can create custom audiences or pass to a 3rd party to facilitate the mapping.

This type of targeting is ideal to pair with paid to deliver a highly impactful message. An example would be taking an offline loyalty database, taking the top 5% of purchasers and create a custom mapped list based on past purchases to deliver a high impact message.

Twitter’s announcement today regarding what they call “Tailored Audiences” is a similar concept. Twitter already has a number of ways to target individuals on their platform.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 13.15.11

What is interesting about their approach to targeting is that they can target off of both CRM and Web. From a CRM standpoint the process is similar to Facebooks’ where offline data such as e-mail is matched against Twitter users to reach them with Twitter Promoted Products.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 12.50.49

Where it gets very interesting is Twitter’s ability to tailor web audiences as well. This is done by a data partner sending anonymized cookie ID lists composed of chosen audiences that is then mapped against Twitter lists.

Screenshot 2013-12-05 12.51.08

With further dependency on paid due to lower organic reach, the ability to target and activate existing assets socially is going to be of paramount importance to the success of going beyond engagement to create intent with targeted consumers. The ability to further align offline & online behavior to those who have shown interest through purchase or other means is a key point of consideration moving forward.

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360