The Complete Guide to Twitter Ad Targeting Options

If recent reports of Twitter’s demise are to be believed, there’s no point in marketing on the platform any more.

But take a step back to consider the stats. It still boasts a user base of 330 million monthly active users, with approximately 48% of those people using it on a daily basis and 80% accessing Twitter on mobile*.

What does this mean to you? Despite Twitter’s poor revenue growth, it’s still a great place to reach potential customers. In today’s multi-channel, mobile-centric world it would be unwise to pass it over as a marketing platform without a closer look. So let’s dive in.

Twitter advertising offers a wealth of targeting options and campaign types to enable you to engage with users throughout your customer journey. From demographic and behavioral to interest and keyword targeting, simply knowing the options at your fingertips may be all you need to spark new campaign ideas.

In this blog we’ll be running through every single Twitter targeting option in more detail.

Demographic Targeting


Twitter allows you to target users based on demographic profiles including Gender, Age, Device, Language, Platform and Location.

Gender: Target based on whether people are male or female.

Age: Target based on people’s age, from 13 years old up. Twitter provides set age brackets you can choose from for your targeting.

Device: Target based on the mobile or tablet device a person is using. This can be as specific as targeting someone using Samsung Galaxy S6 or iPhone 8.

Language: Target based on the language that someone uses in their profile and tweets.

Platform: Target based on the type of platform that a person uses, such as iOS device, Android device, Blackberry device, desktop or laptop, or other mobile device.

Location: Target based on a person’s location. This includes targeting by country, state, region, metro area or postal code.

Behavioral Targeting


Target people based on their online and offline behavior. Top level categories are: Dining, Finance, Household, Insurance, Lifestyles, Philanthropy, Proximity, Retail, Seasonal, Sports and Subscription services.

These include subcategory options such as purchase behavior, net worth, home value, homeowners or renters, credit cardholders, frequent flyers and much more. This data is provided by external data providers so will vary from region to region. It’s worth having a good search through these targeting options as there are lots there.

Event Targeting


Target people based on whether they engaged with specific events on Twitter. These can include sports, entertainment, music, movie releases, holidays or conference events as well as recurring trends, such as Twitter chats built around specific hashtags.

Interest Targeting


Target people based on whether their interests align with your business. These interests are determined by the topics they connect with on Twitter and how they engage with the platform.

The top-level interest categories are: Automotive, Beauty, Books and Literature, Business, Careers, Education, Events, Family and Parenting, Food and Drink, Gaming, Health, Hobbies and Interests, Home and Garden, Law, Government and Politics, Life Stages, Movies and Television, Music and Radio, Personal Finance, Pets, Science, Society, Sports, Style and Fashion, Technology and Computing, and Travel.

Within each category there are several more specific subcategories. For example, Sports includes the subcategories Climbing, Rugby, Skateboarding, Skiing, Soccer, and Volleyball among others.

Keyword Targeting


Target people based on the words or phrases they have recently searched for or tweeted on Twitter. You can target people based on the exact words they have used or use broad match which accounts for slang, misspellings, synonyms and more.

Follower Targeting


Target followers of your own Twitter account or any Twitter accounts you own. You can also target “Lookalikes” of any account on Twitter by entering Twitter handles to target. This means Twitter will analyze the interests of people following your selected account and create an audience similar to this.

Tailored Audiences


Target your own data on Twitter by using tailored audiences. If you’re familiar with Facebook’s Custom Audiences, then this will be straightforward. There are three types of tailored audiences you can use.

Web: Target people who visited your website, specific website pages or took actions on your website. This is done by installing Twitter’s website tag on your website and using the data collected to populate your tailored audience.

Lists: Upload email lists directly to Twitter to target current customers or lists you have on your CRM.

Mobile Apps: Target people who have taken a specific action on your mobile app. This is done by setting up conversion tracking on your mobile app.

In order to use tailored audiences you’ll need to create at least one via the Tools drop down menu before creating your campaign. Once you have created your tailored audiences you’ll be able to pick and choose during the campaign creation process.


Twitter enables you to reach a large, engaged audience easily. Similarly to Facebook it provides a lot of targeting options. This gives you an abundance of ways to target and segment your data to find the right audience for your business.

Combining demographic, interest, behavioral and tailored audience targeting will empower you to reach customers from the beginning to end of your customer journey. By using the right audience targeting with the relevant ad campaign types you will be able to drive real action that will benefit your business; from raising awareness, to generating engagement and driving conversions.

* Twitter internal data

Icons in this blog are taken from Flaticon