Twitter Introduces Carrier-Specific and New Device Mobile Targeting

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

new_mobile_device_targeting_-_no_calloutAs the year draws to a close, Twitter has announced two new features that will help mobile marketers in the coming year. Though most mobile campaigns are designed to be usable by any average mobile subscribers, there are some times when a marketer wants to target specific types of mobile users. Twitter marketers could already target users by what type of device they’re using, the operating system and wifi connectivity. The newest features lets marketers target mobile users based on their carrier and on if they’re using a new device.

These newest features are most useful to mobile carriers, who can use Twitter to send tweets to mobile users without having the tweets go to their competitors’ devices. Twitter gives the example of using the new targeting options to send tweets encouraging mobile users to sign up for their carrier’s loyalty program.

Canada’s largest carrier Rogers Buzz used carrier targeting to connect directly with their customers on Twitter during the initial tests of the feature. The company’s Chief Brand Officer Dale Hooper told Twitter, “With carrier targeting, we’ve been able to speak to our customers in a more meaningful way when travel and purchase decisions are top of mind for them, while also ensuring the media spend is efficient. This campaign marks one of the biggest investments we’ve made in Twitter to date, and the results so far are great; exceeding the telecom threshold by 10% in English Canada, and 30% in French Canada.”

Businesses that want to push app installs can also benefit from the new features. Being able to target consumers who are using a new device means that app developers can reach them first with request to install useful apps. For utilities like anti-virus or memory booster apps, it’s important to reach consumers before they settle with a competitors product. App promoters can also take advantage of the carrier-specific targeting. Some apps work differently depending on which mobile network is being used and targeting by carrier ensures the right app ad is shown to the right subscriber.

There are even ways that regular small business owners and marketers can use these new targeting features. Depending on the products they sell, a small business may want to try and target new device users. A store that sell smartphone accessories can send coupons to new device user. Similar, say market research has shown that a business should target people with family plans (for some reason). According to Juniper Research, AT&T has over 14 million US households on shared mobile plans, so the hypothetical company would have a reason to use AT&T targeting for their Twitter campaigns.

One of the companies to test the feature was the maker of the mobile payments app Softcard.  The company drove installs of the different versions of their app designed for several carriers.  The company reports that carrier targeting helped them overcome major hurdles:

“Softcard has a unique challenge in that we have three separate versions of our app, which are all mobile carrier-specific,” stated Jeffrey Mack, Softcard’s head of social media, in a statement on Twitter’s blog. “Our biggest challenge in the past was effectively running digital acquisition campaigns where we could push a new user to the correct version of the app. With carrier targeting on Twitter we’ve been able to overcome that challenge in a big way.”

This is welcome news after the recent revelation that Instagram has eclipsed Twitter in monthly active users. Mobile carrier targeting and device targeting are now available in 35 countries, and will be rolling out to Twitter’s Ads API partners shortly. These are both good features that will make Twitter more useful to marketers in the future. Marketers should make an effort to think of ways they can use these features to make targeting appeals that will resonate with their potential customers.

For more news about Twitter updates, read this article on the new Twitter Offers feature that marketers can take advantage of.


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