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Twitter Advertising: 4 Ways to Create a Customized List for Tailored Audiences

Twitter has recently revamped its advertising fees to make its paid advertising platform friendlier for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Advertisers can now specify exactly how they want to spend their money instead of paying for any Twitter interaction such as retweet, reply, 'favorite,' or click. For example, an online retailer can choose to pay Twitter only when a user clicks-through to its site and view a winter collection.

By leveraging Twitter’s new SMB-friendly feature and Tailored audiences, you can target a highly qualified audience who performs specific actions and generate a greater return from your ads. Tailored audiences lets you upload a list of Twitter users you want to target so your ads will only appear in front of people who meet your criteria. For example, you can upload a list of Twitter handles for local small restaurants, cafes, and bakeries so that your ads, or Promoted Tweets, will only display to this list.

Tailored audiences is useful because it lets you focus your advertising campaign and only target a specific, qualified audience. This helps you avoid wasting advertising dollars.

To help you develop a comprehensive list of targeted Twitter users, I’ve provided four tactics you should use:

  1. Leverage online directories

    Go on directories such as Yelp or Yellow Pages to gather a list of businesses you want to target. For example, if you’re a Vancouver insurance company and want to sell insurance products to local restaurants, go to Yelp Vancouver and Yellow Pages Vancouver to compile a list of local restaurants such as Café Medina, Le Crocodile Restaurant, or La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop. Once you’ve identified such restaurants, add their Twitter handles in the list of Twitter users you want to target.

  2. Use Followerwonk

    This one of my favorite tools. It lets you discover users who include specific keywords in their Twitter bios. Use this tool to find Twitter users who work in companies you want to target by entering the companies’ Twitter handles in the search box. For example, if you’re a customer relationship management software vendor such as Salesforce or Marketo, and want to target marketing and business development professionals in Vancouver organizations such as HootSuite or Canadian Cancer Society, enter the terms marketing and @cancersociety or @hootsuite in the search box. You can also enter Vancouver, BC in the location section to specify that you only want to find Twitter users in this city.


    Add these users in your Twitter target list.

  3. Leverage Local Search

    Enter location specific keywords and the type of companies you want to target in Google Search. For instance, if you’re a Vancouver plumbing company and want to promote your maintenance services to local fitness gyms, search for Vancouver gyms in Google to find a list of local fitness gyms. 

    Click on Map results for Vancouver Gyms to expand the list of Vancouver fitness gyms.

    Add the Twitter handle of these gyms to the list of Twitter users you want to show ads to.

  4. Find companies on local boards or chambers of commerces’ member directories

    Each board or chamber has a directory of their members under different business categories. For example, Burnaby Board of Trade’s member directory has categories such as Advertising & Media, Arts, Culture & Entertainment, and Automotive & Marine. 

    Leverage these membership directories and their categories to find suitable Twitter users.

    For example, if you’re a Burnaby talent recruitment company specifically targeting marketing agencies, you can go to the Burnaby Board of Trade’s Advertising & Media member section to find a list of marketing agencies.

    You can perform such research on different local chambers of commerce such as Richmond Chamber of Commerce or Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce to expand the list of agencies you can target.

    Once you’ve discovered these businesses, include their Twitter handles in your target list.

    Twitter’s Tailored audiences ad option lets you promote your ads to specific businesses.  This feature helps you generate a better return from your advertising campaign and avoid wasting ad dollars on unqualified audiences. By using the four tactics above, you can create a comprehensive list of businesses or professionals you want to target to drive awareness for your product or service and increase purchase intention.

    If you have any questions about Twitter advertising or social media or digital marketing in general, please contact Ray at!