Social Ad Firm Optimal Ties Together Twitter, Pinterest

Company helps buyers identify keywords and hashtags for targeting across platforms

As marketers shift more of their media budgets to social networks, they’re pressured to identify the right keyword targets in order to improve their chances of winning bids for users’ eyeballs. That means more social ad firms will be (and are) adopting product strategies from search marketers versed in sophisticated buying techniques like keyword mapping.

Typically that social keyword mapping has revolved around Facebook, where the bulk of social ad buying takes place. But Optimal, a social ad firm that is part of Facebook's Preferred Marketing Developer program, is adding Twitter and Pinterest keywords to its Optimal Expander tool, which lets paying subscribers sift through Twitter hashtags or Pinterest keywords to see which ones might be effective to user for ad targeting.

“In advance of Twitter launching [Ad] API partnership, which will happen at some point soon, [marketers] can use these tools to inform their media buying on Facebook and Twitter,” said Optimal CEO Rob Leathern.

That’s more applicable to Twitter for now, especially once it rolls out an Ad API, than Pinterest, which doesn't currently run ads. But it can also inform Facebook, or non-social ad targeting and even social publishing. For example a brand manager at Tory Burch could see items that Pinterest users are sharing, such as an iPhone case or pattern, that are related to Tory Burch—and then post those related brand products. Subscribers can also filter results according to specific age groups, gender or country.

Optimal’s technology crunches through the content posted on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and then sifts for connections, like whether a large number of people post about one term also post about another term that may not immediately appear related. “The content is a side effect of an audience being interested in similar things,” Leathern said, adding that Optimal’s been working on this technology for over two years and has compiled “a large dictionary of terms and data on how things relate to each other.”

As subscribers dig through Expander, they can share the results with other users for a limited or unlimited time. The idea is that a brand’s social ad buyer could communicate the results to its community manager for a connected paid and organic social content strategy.

Previously Expander was limited to Facebook keywords, surfacing specific keywords and umbrella interest topics as results. That option is still available and beefed up with the added sharing tools. Subscribers were already able to download Facebook results into a .csv file or export them straight to Facebook for direct buys.

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