Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Deep Sherchan – Co-Founder and CMO at Simplify360, social business intelligence product where he discusses on Twitter building an analytical platform for publishers and advertisers and why it could give stiff competition to Facebook.
For years, marketers have had contradicting views on the visibility of tweets on Twitter. What is the impression of the tweets? It was a metric, which you never spoke of during the clients meeting or during social media seminars. When asked about it to experts, you received diplomatic answers like “focus on engagement”.
But all those arguments are finally going to come to an end, as Twitter has finally revealed the Tweet Impressions on its analytics tool, which they have been updating for some time. This is also going to end the black-marketing on Twitter, which includes fakes, RTs, mentions and the followers.
At the recent Cannes Lions event, when the CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo emphasized on Twitter being the hub for real-time contextual content, he really meant it. It’s clear that Twitter is focusing on bringing more value to its users through content aggregation with the giant publishers and media houses. So the fact that Twitter is building an analytical platform to serve its publishers and advertisers is no surprise.
Twitter’s analytics platform
The analytics platform, on the other hand, is really simple with few metrics like impressions and engagement. There is no high level metrics based on some magical algorithms; its plain simple impression and clicks. More like something you see when you run your PPC ads. It also has a dedicated section for Promoted Tweets, and its very clear that Twitter is ramping up to bring this platform to every publisher out there.
One thing which I could clearly observe was that the impressions on Twitter, was by far more than that on Facebook. For the same post, I could see a difference of more than 100%. Even on general tweets, Twitter seems to have more impressions than Facebook for comparably fewer followers.
Facebook going to be tested now?
As more and more marketers validate on this observation, it is quite certain that it will impact the budget allocation, which so many advertisers are currently throwing on Facebook Ads. Not to mention that Facebook has been screwing up its algorithms and experimenting with the news feed. Further, the conversion of sponsored post has not been that encouraging. Other important insight was that the image posts on Twitter was receiving more impressions than on the normal Tweets. Also the impact of hashtags in tweets can be observed on the impression numbers.
Facebook has been making some changes to compete with Twitter in terms of real-time content, which they have not succeeded so far. The idea of hashtags on Facebook has not really kicked off. Brands trying to use hashtags to engage with audience on Facebook have been running through problems of actually discovering the updates, resulting in inaccurate reports. There is hardly any difference between the list of trending topics on Facebook and the top news of some entertainment news.
I might be getting a bit harsh on Facebook, but the reality is pretty tough for marketers trying to measure the value of their activities. For the last few months, the news around Facebook has not been very optimistic. On the other hand, Twitter has been entering into mainstream media more successfully through its partnerships and TV integration programs.
The recent two big events – Indian Election 2014 and World Cup 2014 both benefited Twitter’s ability to engage audiences from across the globe. Their smart integration for world cup was certainly a hit. The recent news of tie up between Twitter and Amazon, which enables customers to buy product via a tweet, just adds to the level of partnership, which Twitter is pushing.
So to bring all this to a closure, a lot of questions around Twitter’s marketing prowess will be tested, once more advertisers have access to this analytics report. Facebook has been under the radar for a really long time and many researchers have tested and generated reports on it. For Twitter, its been always based on hunches, but with this release a lot more is going to be unearthed.
Image credit: fscinteractive.com