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Keyword targeting

Keyword targeting allows you to reach Twitter users based on keywords in their search queries, recent Tweets, and Tweets they recently engaged with. Because you can reach people for whom your message will be most relevant and top of mind, this targeting option puts you in a better position to drive engagements and as well as conversions.


How it works

Keywords are available to target within your campaign setup, we recommend you add a mix of relevant keywords to your campaign, at least 25. 

To add keyword targeting to your campaign: 

  1. Go to the Targeting section of your campaign setup
  2. Under Audience features section, click "All" and select "Keywords"
  3. From there, you can type in your keywords and choose to either "Add" or "Exclude" them
  • Add: If a user has either tweeted or interacted with a tweet containing the keyword, they are eligible to be targeted by this campaign if they meet your Geo, Language, Device, and Gender targeting.
  • Exclude: If a user has either tweeted or interacted with a tweet containing the excluded keyword, they are not eligible to be targeted by this campaign even if they meet your Geo, Language, Device, and Gender targeting.

We use signals such as link clicks, expands, likes, replies, etc to consider a user having interacted with a tweet containing the keyword, as well as searches containing the keyword. 


Get the #details

When you type in a keyword during setup you'll be shown a volume estimate. These estimates represent daily global volume for each keyword. 

Protip: Targeting highly specific keywords can drive higher engagement rates, but it also limits your campaign’s potential audience. In order to drive higher volume with your campaign while maintaining a strong engagement rate, target a mixture of broad and specific keywords.

You can also bulk add or exclude keywords to your campaign.

To do this, select "Keywords" or "Excluded keywords" in the text box dropdown and type in your keyword list. You can then click "Add criteria" and you will see them turn green or red in your setup, signalling that you've added them successfully. In our bulk add feature you will not see volume estimates for each keyword. 

Other things to know:

  • We offer keyword targeting in all languages available on Twitter.
  • Emojis and punctuation marks are not supported.
  • Maximum keywords per campaign is 1000 (we recommend targeting at least 25-50 keywords if this is the only targeting type you're using).
  • You don't need to include the #hashtag version of a keyword. #hashtags are automatically included when targeting a keyword, for example adding the keyword "coffee" will include "coffee" and #coffee in targeting.
  • Keywords correspond to tweets with that word appearing in any order, including other words in between. This includes related terms, stem variations, synonyms, misspellings and slang. For example: the keyword "black coffee" will correspond to Tweets such as “I love my coffee black” and "Is there any other way to take your coffee than black?”

Serving your campaign

Your campaigns using keywords can serve in three locations: user's timelines, profiles and Tweet detail pages, and search results. 

By default your campaign will run in user's timelines, this is their home timeline. You also have the option to customize the remaining two locations, profiles and Tweet detail pages and search results.

To do this, in your campaign setup, navigate to the "Creatives" section. On the right, you can select and unselect the locations. 

You cannot unselect User's timelines as this is not an optional location. 


Viewing your results

In your campaign metrics reporting you can view your data breakdown by keyword. To do this, click into a campaign. Then, click the "Audience" tab and select "Keywords".

Often when viewing this data, you’ll see that the campaign level summary of all impressions, engagements, or spend is much lower than the sum of all the keywords listed below as line items. This is because there is a certain degree of overlap between keywords, which can occur when a single query or Tweet includes multiple targeted keywords. 

For example, if you've targeted the keywords "sun" and "sunnyday", and a user has tweeted "Can't wait for the sun! #Sunnyday", the ad impression served to that user would appear once next to "sun" and once next to "#sunnyday" in your Ads Manager campaign analytics for keywords.

This is expected behavior, and you're only charged once even though it is reported twice (once in each row). You are only ever charged if the user makes the billable action of your campaign. 

Keyword targeting FAQ's

  • Are there any keywords that are prohibited?
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    Yes. Per Twitter’s global policy, advertisers will be prohibited from targeting keywords that:

    • Appear on a keyword blacklist that Twitter updates on a continuous basis. The keywords typically relate to sensitive events.
    • Involve targeting of sensitive categories.

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  • How do I upload keywords on Ads Editor?
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    You can bulk add keywords in the campaign setup. Under the "Targeting" < "Audience Features" section, click "Import multiple keywords and follower look-alikes" and choose "Keywords" or "Exclude keywords" in the dropdown. From there you can type in keywords en masse, and click "Add Criteria". 

    You can also bulk add keywords via Ads Editor.  To do this, download the Ads Editor file of the campaign and scroll to columns AW-BB. Add keywords you'd like to add or exclude, each seperated by a ";" and no space. For example, you would add the keywords in this format: coffe;latte;flat white;drinking;sunny day

    After adding your keywords, reupload your Ads Editor file to set the changes live in your campaign. More on Ads Editor


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