KLRU Beefs Up its Twitter Campaign with Audience Intelligence

The public broadcasting station boosts its engagement rate with data analytics and user segmentation.
Customer Experience

Consumers today have a low tolerance for irrelevant messages in our hyper-connected, on-the-go world. Brands must deliver relevant content to the right audience or risk being ignored or blocked. Identifying audiences who are likely to respond to your messaging is difficult though without data insights.

Last year KLRU, an Austin, TX-based public broadcasting station, wanted to find people on Twitter who would be willing to help it fund a new web series, BBQ with Franklin. The web series features Aaron Franklin, owner of a popular restaurant in Austin, taking viewers on a tour of barbeque joints and the culture of BBQ.

"We already knew many people were interested in barbeque but the challenge was finding them online," says Sara Robertson, production and technology vice president at KLRU. "And we also wanted to find people who weren't already followers but were still likely to support the show."

KLRU selected People Pattern, a local social media analytics firm, to help it identify potential donors on Twitter. People Pattern uses text analytics and other algorithms to analyze social information, such as keywords in people's profiles and Twitter streams, to create personas or segments of potential donors.

The firm created segments of users who have shown an interest in barbeque, grilling, cooking, craft beer, and other related terms that suggested they would support a show like BBQ with Franklin. KLRU combined those groups with Twitter's Tailored Audiences tool to tell targeted users about the web series and encourage them to send donations to support the series.

Over the course of several weeks, KLRU's targeted Promoted Tweets received about 160,000 impressions with a 4.6 percent engagement rate compared to 1 percent for untargeted tweets promoting the BBQ show.

The Promoted Tweets also drove the most traffic to the station's Indiegogo donation site. KLRU's goal was to raise $20,000 and within a few weeks it bypassed its goal with a total of $20,222.

The fundraising campaign did not include targeted ads on Facebook, which would have incurred more costs in addition to the Twitter campaigns. And while paid ads are an important part of a company's marketing strategy, KLRU will continue to rely on organic marketing tactics using earned and owned media to power the majority of its campaigns, according to Robertson.

At the same time, the targeted Twitter campaign showed KLRU that data analytics are critical for finding the right audiences and delivering relevant content. "Our fundraising campaign wouldn't have been nearly as effective without insights about details like people's interests, Robertson says. "This helped us make sure that we were reaching out to the right audiences."