3 Keys to Driving Mobile App Installs Efficiently and at Scale On Twitter

The challenge with Twitter is applying enough targeting to hit the right people while maintaining scale considering the platform’s smaller user base.

Twitter, the younger sibling of Facebook, shares a few traits with the company that invented the mobile app install ad. Most prominent is that both platforms are social platforms with a large global user base, but many of the similarities – specifically user acquisition strategy – stop there. Advertisers who copy and paste their Facebook strategies to Twitter will find this out the hard way.

Before we jump into the key tactics that make mobile app install campaigns a success on Twitter, here are some of the broader trends we see across the Twitter mobile app ecosystem:

  • Success is skewed toward fashion, music, and apps with identifiable niche audiences, such as a golf-related app or a celebrity-themed game.
  • Gaming apps that target hard-core and mid-core gamers don’t see the same traction on Twitter as they do on Facebook.
  • Due to the news-like fashion in which Twitter content is distributed and consumed, ad creative needs to be refreshed frequently and performs best if tied to a current event.
  • Campaigns are easiest to scale in the US, followed by the United Kingdom, France, and parts of East Asia.

These trends should guide your expectations, but in the end, the strength of your campaign strategy will determine the success of your mobile app promotion campaign on Twitter. Now, let’s jump into the keys to app install bliss on Twitter.

Get Volume & Quality With Expanded Audiences and Followers Targeting

The challenge with Twitter is applying enough targeting to hit the right people while maintaining scale considering the platform’s smaller user base. These are the targeting tools we see provide the best mix of volume and efficiency.

Expanded audiences from your followers. This feature lets you create an audience that is highly similar to followers of your Twitter handle, very much like creating a lookalike audience based on your Fans of your Facebook Page. We’ve seen campaigns using this product drive mobile app installs at a 40 percent lower CPI than the average targeting segment, while representing 15 percent of total spend. The only weakness of expanded audiences is that scale is limited by your follower base. The more followers you have, the larger and more accurate your expanded audiences will be.

Followers of a Twitter handle. This product is similar to ‘Likes and Interests’ targeting on Facebook, and can provide both scale and efficiency (when done correctly). To do this well, you need to know which handles attract people who are also likely to be interested in your brand. Twitter offers recommendations based on perceived follower overlap.

One other targeting type worth testing is Expanded Tailored Audiences (Facebook calls these lookalike audiences) from lead information collected in your CRM or mobile app events. Creating expanded audiences from people that have taken downstream action in the app should set you up with a small, but high performing group. We’ve seen mixed results, but believe long term this will be a valuable tool for app promotion.

Optimize Each and Every Audience Segment

Twitter is unique in that you can drill down into the performance of each handle, hashtag, or other value that you used to target a campaign. This way, you can see the exact interests of your audiences and rule-out others that may not resonate as well as expected..

Here is a snapshot of what you will see in Twitter’s campaign segmentation reporting.


There are a million ways to use this information, but these are the two big-impact actions you should take:

  • Optimize toward individual handles. This ability to single out performance by each Twitter handle, and scale or pause accordingly, is unique to Twitter’s segmentation reporting and lets you eke out incremental campaign performance.
  • Leverage keyword insights for other channels. This is a keyword goldmine! Use this to better target ad campaigns on Facebook, Google, or any other channels that let you target campaigns by interest.

Refresh & Optimize Creative Constantly

Recommended articles