What we found is that Twitter is viewed much like Facebook was
in the summer of 2012: While many advertisers use it as a marketing
channel, only a minority actually place ads there.
Among the respondents, 70% currently use Twitter as a marketing
channel and 80% say they plan to use Twitter in the next 12 months.
But only 46% say they've ever bought an ad on Twitter, whether a
promoted tweet, trend, account or an "Amplify" TV deal.
So while they might have a social media staff or even a
real-time newsroom, they're spending their Twitter budget on
personnel, not on advertising.
Twitter vs. Facebook
That's in line with Facebook's story a few years ago. When we
polled readers in February 2012, 86% reported using Facebook as a
marketing tactic, while only 54% reported advertising there.
At the time, brands considered Facebook to be more of a content
or earned-media play, and spending was about building fans and
likes. Over the years, Facebook introduced new ad products, a data
exchange, retargeting, and adjusted its algorithms. The News Feed
became a competitive place and advertisers found they had to pay to
reach an audience there.
Now, Facebook is an established part of most big-marketer media
plans and is steadily taking share from legacy digital players. In
September 2013, 73.5% of Ad Age subscribers polled said they spend
some part of their Facebook budget on advertising.
There are reasons for Twitter to be encouraged. For one, marketers
are still experimenting and there's plenty of room to grow: Of
those advertising on Twitter, 51.8% say they're spending just 1%-2%
of their online-marketing budget there. In the coming year, 59.2%
said they expect their Twitter advertising budget to "modestly
increase" or "significantly increase."
The overwhelming majority – 72.6% -- say their ROI from
Twitter desktop and mobile ads are virtually the same, a great sign
for Twitter's mobile business. Ad Age readers ranked it the third
most-effective ad platform behind Google and Facebook, and ahead of
LinkedIn, Yahoo and AOL in that order.
It all suggests that if Twitter can continue to build and retain
its user base, the ad market will follow. Big ifs, but in a sense
Google and Facebook have
paved that road.
The full results of the survey are available to DataCenter