Twitter Makes It Easier To Target Ads Around Big Events

Twitter is announcing a straightforward way for advertisers to join conversations around major events.

Not that the service has lacked ads around, say, the Super Bowl. But Ameet Ranadive, the company’s senior director of revenue products, said that until now, buying those ads has been a “very manual” process, with advertisers piecing together the right keywords, Twitter handles and geographies to target.

On the other hand, with Twitter’s new event targeting, anyone with a Twitter Ads account can browse a calendar of upcoming events, look at data around the size and demographics of the Twitter audience around each event — then, if they like what they see, they can target an ad campaign at that audience.

Ranadive said Twitter looks at “a variety of user engagement signals” to identify that audience — it’s not just people who are tweeting, but also those who are looking for and engaging with content around the event. And event coverage will expand over time. (Twitter says it will include “major global events, as well as tentpole events related to sports, holidays, festivals, TV, music and politics in the U.S., UK, France, Brazil and Japan.”)

twitter event targeting

The company has already been testing this in beta with advertisers, including MEC Global, SocialCode and MindshareUK.

Despite some recent stumbles, Twitter still takes center stage when people want to talk about big events, so it makes sense for the company to highlight those events for advertisers.

But from a user perspective, does it mean we’ll end up with more marketers awkwardly inserting themselves into our timelines? Ranadive argued that it doesn’t, because the ads that get displayed prominently on Twitter are the ways that see the best user engagement: “At the end of the day, the best content always wins.”

“Brands typically investing in these events, they do take the time to prepare and make sure that they’re being as relevant as they can,” he added.