Toyota Gets Personal Using Twitter’s Tailored Audiences

In a move meant to make consumers feel special and engaged this season, Toyota used Twitter’s Tailored Audience and Lead Generation Card tools to create personalized offers for the brand’s December sales event.

Twitter Lead Generation Cards securely provide user information, such as full names and email addresses, to brands after Twitter users click on Promoted Tweets. To personalize its December Toyotathon campaign, the brand first used Tailored Audiences to find consumers potentially interested in purchasing new cars. Then Toyota further targeted customers by using Twitter analytics to determine which car models might interest specific users. Finally, when Twitter users click the Toyotathon Promoted Tweet, Twitter’s Lead Generation Card shares the users’ real name instead of his or her Twitter handle.

The result is a personalized message to Twitter users featuring the names they used to sign up for their accounts, so Nick is invited to “Nickathon” or Julie is invited to “Julieathon.” Invitations also feature a personalized offer for cash back or low-percentage APR on a car that targets user interest based on tweets and profiles. The brand also uses location-based targeting, using basic Twitter profile information to help link customers to Toyota dealers in their areas.

Toyota is just the latest brand to move into more personalized marketing. Last summer, Coca-Cola saw its sales increase 2 percent after changing its labels to include the phrase “Share a Coke with,” then adding a common name such as “Anna” or “Kevin.”

While personalization is crucial to marketers, especially on social media, which is already tailored to users’ specific interests, attempting to personalize automated messages is often tricky. For example, earlier this year, the New England Patriots sought to personalize individual thank you messages to their Twitter followers and ended up tweeting a racial slur. The team admitted that it didn’t have any filtration system in place for potentially offensive Twitter handles.

To guard against potential embarrassment, Toyota has put a strict filtration system in place, based on a list of off-color and offensive words. Though a source close to Toyota says research has shown that most Twitter users provide their real names when signing up for accounts even if they use aliases in handles, when Toyota’s system spots a potentially problematic word, customers are invited to “Youathon” instead.

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