Ever since the lead up to the Facebook IPO, the question of what value social media actually brings to advertisers has become increasingly important. Having a billion users means nothing if they don't actually buy things. To wit: Facebook's stock only started to rebound once it proved it could run effective mobile ads.
Twitter knows this as well. Hence its efforts to prove that its ads are, in fact, driving offline sales.
Twitter users who engaged with a Promoted Tweets caused a 12% sales lift, as opposed to an indentical control group, according to a study conducted by Datalogix, which partnered with Twitter to run studies with 35 brands to measure the impact of organic and paid Tweets on purchases of beverages, food, wellness and household products and alcohol.
More significantly, just by seeing the Promoted Tweet, and not doing anything else with it such as retweeting it or responding to it, drove sales up 2%.
Even free, "organic" tweets also drove sales higher by 8%. And those that saw at least five organic tweets were three times as likely to buy from that brand.
"The implication of this finding is that brands who actively build their follower base and regularly tweet to their followers can see an increase in offline sales," Ameet Ranadive, Product Manager of Revenue at Twitter, wrote.
So, you might be saying, if brands can get an 8% boost without paying for it, then that's actually bad for Twitter, right? Because, honestly, why pay Twitter if you can get the benefits for free? Actually, no. the third key piece of information gleamed from the study is the most important, and shows why brands should pay to Promote their tweets.
It showed that those Twitter users who see Promoted Tweets are likely to buy more. A lot more. Almost a third more than those who only saw organic tweets. So, evidently, it pays to pay Twitter to promote your brand.
And there you have it. With this study, Twitter is hoping that it has proved, once and for all, that it is absolutely an effective platform for advertisers. And, if so, to avoid the problems and questions that plagued that other social network for so many months over whether or not it was a viable money maker.
This has been a pretty good week for Twitter in that regard, as this is not the first time that Twitter has proven its usefulness to those who advertise on it.
A study released by Nielsen, in which researchers studied a total of 221 episodes, analyzing minute-to-minute trends in the live TV ratings and tweets, showed that tweets caused ratings spikes for 29% of those episodes.
These results were good news for Twitter's tv ad targeting software, which it premiered in beta mode in May, and recently expanded to to all U.S. advertisers that run national television spots.
The technology allows advertisers to engage directly with people on Twitter who have been exposed to their ads on live television.
(Image source: http://mashable.com)