How Twitter’s postcode targeting can help parties fight the general election

By Gordon Macmillan
Tuesday, 27 January 2015

With 100 days to go until the UK general election and a close battle ahead there are many ways political parties can take advantage of Twitter. In the coming weeks we plan to focus on some of those opportunities, beginning today as we announce new features for geo-targeted advertising.

Advertisers can now use Twitter’s geo-targeting product to focus on individual postcodes and target at a much more local level for the first time.

The key benefit of geo-targeting is that it enables advertisers, or in this case political parties, the ability to reach users in specific regions, metropolitan areas and now postcodes. It brings real precision to online advertising and the ability to connect with and win people over at a local level.

For political parties fighting on a national and constituency level, such exact targeting is another useful tool in the campaigning arsenal. In the UK, political parties or brands can already target by nine different regions. This includes the ability to focus Twitter Ads on distinct geographic regions areas, such as the East Midlands, the North West and South East England. Additionally, Twitter’s targeting product allows for organisations to target a variety of metro areas like Birmingham, Liverpool-Manchester, London or Glasgow.

Now, political parties and others can target thousands of individual postcodes.

In battleground constituencies where the race to win a seat is likely to be close, targeting by postcode could prove to be a highly useful tool as part of any party’s digital capability.

This is potentially even more important in 2015 when the role of the smartphone will come to the fore as a way of connecting with voters. Mobile is in Twitter’s DNA: of Twitter’s 15M UK users, 80% access the platform via their mobile device.

Three ways political parties can use postcode targeting combined with other strategies

  1. The issues: In some constituencies, single issues such as health, education or employment can dominate an election battle. Postcode targeting gives voters the chance to push these issues and ask questions and for candidates to respond. And for UK political parties looking to connect with voters, it can put local issues top of mind on Twitter by targeting those living closest to local political hotspots.
  2. The candidates: In battle ground constituencies or those where an incumbent MP is standing down (as 81 are doing in 2015), postcode targeting can be used to raise the profile of candidates. It is a chance to show who they are and what it is they stand for.
  3. The message: Political parties have to think at a national level and often act on a local one. Postcode targeting is one way that political parties can do this. They can push messages crafted for local communities setting out the issues. For instance, if elected, a candidate could spell out what policies they will pursue and support once in Parliament. Geo-targeting is one way that political parties can use Twitter in the 2015 UK general election among many others.

    To learn more about Twitter’s geo-targeting capabilities, visit this Help Centre article.