Using audience insights, advertisers can more easily visualise information about the people who are interacting with their brands on Twitter.

The audience data available through audience insights includes demographics, interests and lifestyle. Advertisers are also able to access information about purchasing and television viewing behaviour.

According to Twitter, audience insights can help advertisers identify new segments and better target content. As an example, Twitter points to a cosmetics brand:

…if you’re running a campaign to increase awareness about a new cosmetics line, you can use this tool to learn about your potential customers on Twitter — the beauty products they’ve recently purchased, what fashion trends they’re interested in and even TV viewing behaviour. Based on this information, you can identify the best segments to target within Twitter Ads, along with which creative — such as a Vine or video clip — your audience will find most compelling.

Audience insights also gives advertisers the ability to compare their followers to Twitter’s general user base.

For example, audience insights can quantify percentage differences between the interests of a brand’s followers and American Twitter users.

All of the information available through audience insights is anonymized aggregate data and some of it comes from third-party sources like Datalogix.

Targeting, analytics crucial to social advertisers

There is more innovation than ever in social advertising, and the companies operating the most popular platforms are increasingly rolling out new offerings designed to help advertisers reach their audiences effectively.

While advertisers have shown a willingness to experiment, they are also getting more sophisticated and discerning. In some cases, this is producing skepticism. Despite its amazing growth and mouth-watering user base, Snapchat still has a long way to go to convince advertisers of its worth.

Tools like Twitter’s audience insights won’t necessarily produce the ROI advertisers are requiring before they dedicate real budget to a nifty new social ad product, but they can help advertisers measure it and provide the intelligence necessary to improve it.

For that reason, offering these tools will be all but required for companies competing for social ad spend going forward.