Twitter is one of the world’s most popular social media sites.
Many advertisers have tried to crack the platform to reach new customers, particularly young adults, and build awareness for their brands.
To attract the attention of 20-somethings, new research out of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications says customized, fun and interesting Twitter ads are the way to go. These findings were published in the June 2015 issue of the Young Consumer.
To uncover how college students think about advertising on Twitter, advertising professor Huan Chen interviewed students and had them write short essays about their thoughts and experiences with advertisements on the platform.
Most participants in the study felt Twitter ads weren’t customized to them and frequently were not relevant to their interests. For example, one participant said the ads on Twitter reminded her of pop-up ads, while another noted that she didn’t understand how the ad was relevant to her.
Chen suggests that the lack of ad customizations is a result of Twitter users not having to share a lot personal information to set up their accounts. So, advertisers must rely on who people follow and retweet to discover users’ interests.
Furthermore, while, participants acknowledge that they notice ads promoted on Twitter, they do not believe the ads have a great influence on their behavior, and they “generally display a neutral attitude toward this kind of information.”
For users, Twitter ads are more likely to remind them about brands. For example, one participant said that she didn’t pay much attention to the ads, but that they worked to keep the brand “in the back of [her] mind.” A second participant explained that he’d be more likely to continue watching a television show if he saw an ad for it on Twitter.
Importantly, Chen found that most young users log on to Twitter for entertainment. So, advertisements that are funny and interesting are the key to reaching young consumers.
This post originally appeared on University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Research and Insights blog.