How to target your competitors' followers

  • Twitter custom audiences

    Advertising on social media is a popular and cost-effective medium for small and medium-sized businesses. It helps breakdown the barriers that once stood between larger and smaller businesses when it came to traditional advertising channels.

    Twitter is one such medium that has helped bridge the gap - allowing businesses to target users by age, gender, location and interests to name a few. But, there is also another targeting method.

    Twitter custom audiences allows you to upload a list of specific users Twitter handles, thus allowing you to target directly to these handpicked users.

    Now, you could literally trawl through Twitter selecting particular Twitter accounts and adding them to your list, but let's face it, you would like a quicker and more cost effective method - right?

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    Target your competitors' followers

    Is there a competitor or a business delivering a similar proposition in your market? Or, a business offering a service that you think you can complement. For example, a firm that offers property development loans and you offer loans to commercial property.

    Custom audiences will allow you to build a database of another Twitter accounts followers. Which you can subsequently use to target with your promoted Twitter campaign(s).

    How do I build this list?

    Again, you could go through their followers one by one, adding each @handle to a spreadsheet. Alternatively, you could use a nifty little tool called ‘followerwonk'. Followerwonk will extract a user's database of followers - all you have to do is add their @handle.


    Here, ‘Followerwonk' will analyse your chosen accounts followers (I've hidden their identities for obvious reasons):


    Here you can download a csv file, although this will require a subscription. The free alternative is to copy and paste the followers into a spreadsheet.

    It is worth pointing out that if you're targeting followers of an account that is similar to yours, you may well find that some of the followers are already following you. It is at this point that it might be worth scanning through the list and removing any users that already follow you to avoid wasting your advertising budget.

    Once you have created your spreadsheet you can upload it onto Twitter:


    Now you're free to use this list to target your campaigns!

    There are numerous benefits to using this method of targeting, be it to kick start your business's social media presence or to counteract a competitor promotion. You can also dissect the list(s) to target even further. As Twitter continues to innovate, useful tools like ‘followerwonk' will continue to exploit these innovations and offer small businesses even more ‘level-playing field' advertising opportunities.

    If you need help with social media, including specific promoted campaigns, why not get in touch.

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