Retargeting, a form of digital marketing that essentially “follows” a user around the web showing them (ideally) relevant ads for products and services in which they’ve already expressed an interest, first started to emerge about a decade ago. Unless you explicitly opt out, it’s a fairly familiar part of your journey around the internet.
Now, Twitter has joined the bandwagon with its own take on retargeting, which it is calling tailored audiences.
So how does it work?
With tailored audiences you can reach users on Twitter who have shown interest in your brand or your category even away from Twitter. Let’s say a hotel brand wants to advertise a promotion on Twitter and they’d prefer to show their ad to travel enthusiasts who have recently visited their website. To get the special offer to those people who are also on Twitter, the hotel brand may share with us browser-related information (browser cookie ID) through an ads partner. We can then match that information to Twitter accounts in order to show the matched users a Promoted Tweet with the travel deal. The end result is a highly relevant and useful message for the user.
Sounds great, right? Twitter says the initial results from beta advertisers have been impressive, and I’m sure that’s the case. However, and while this is purely anecdotal, it’s my experience that retargeted ads are a major source of irritation for a lot of folks, feeling like they can’t “escape” and are bombarded with the same ads over and over again, all of which can actually have a negative impact on how we perceive brands.
Be interesting to see how this pans out on Twitter. In the meantime, you can opt out of these tailored ads in your Twitter settings.