Is Twitter Worth Your Time? Here’s What the 2018 Data Says about Twitter for Marketing

Twitter has about 330 million users, and it is no joke that brands find it a great marketing platform. But Twitter was dying, at least in 2017. With only 330 million active users vouching for it as their preferred social network site, it ranks 10th, after the likes of Tumblr and WeChat.

Twitter has always had problems with its reach. That can be attributed to the fact that Twitter users use the platform primarily to seek news.

Until now, Twitter wasn’t popular for sharing photos and videos. That affected its user base.

It All Starts with a Slow Acceptance Rate

A big chunk of youth population could not maintain interest in Twitter and either closed their accounts or never signed up. In the United States alone, only 40% of teenagers and young adults admitted to using Twitter as their preferred social platform.

Figures were significantly higher for Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. Despite a fairly good user base, Twitter seemed to have failed in engaging its users.

Other popular social network platforms like Facebook have been able to garner millions of views per person. They have succeeded in hooking their users for several minutes per day.

Twitter, however, has only 19% of U.S. adults using it to connect with people and brands. That is a pretty small audience for a lot of marketers.

But, then, it depends on what your market is.

The problem remains: Twitter does not make it to the top 10 list of the world’s most popular websites. Alexa ranks it #12 on the list.

Facebook wins the top social media platform spot yet again and stands #3 in the list of users around the world prefer to visit.

One factor for Facebook’s success in getting the attention of marketers is its ability to get status updates the attention they deserve.

Most community managers depend on the lifespan of a post to get their words across to their audience. With its low tweet lifespan, Twitter has been a complicated platform in this regard.

This does not mean your tweets are useless after a while. You can extend their life by boosting engagement.

Retweets are particularly helpful in increasing your tweets’ life. More the number of people who retweet your post, the longer it is going to hang around on the platform.

Using hashtags allows you to gain visibility when users search for relevant content.

Or simply develop content on the most trending topics to capture attention. Those are some great ways of increasing your tweets’ lifetime value.

This also doesn’t mean that your tweets die after a while if you don’t promote it. They are literally there on the platform forever (until you delete them, but they still tend to leave footprints perpetually). It is just that they stop showing on their own to users through Twitter’s smart algorithm.

The Upside

Twitter has definitely seen improvements in their revenue figures. WordStream goes further to prove that their click-through rate ranges between 1-3%, while that of Facebook stands at only 0.119%.

Click-through rate is one of the most important metrics for calculating an online advertising campaign’s success. Twitter, clearly, is a winner here.

While a low click-through rate doesn’t necessarily indicate an issue with the platform, it does highlight scope for improvement.

Having said that, the average CPM for Twitter is as high as $3.50. For a lot of marketers, that is the peak. You could go with Google Adwords with that kind of budget and still reach out to a much wider audience.

Just because you could end up spending a little more advertising budget on Twitter than on other social media platforms, doesn’t mean you should ignore the long-term benefits you could accrue from it.

I will consider RPV as a factor here to ascertain Twitter’s worth for marketers. It has grown by a whopping 300% YoY as compared to only Facebook’s 39% YoY.

This shows how valuable every customer you get from advertising on Twitter can be.

Spend a little initially to get more in return – that’s one rule most clever marketers abide by.

In its last quarterly report, the company also claimed to have improved engagement.

Here, we know Facebook has a huge user base which is why it is still the more preferred option for marketers. But Twitter still promises a lot, both to brands and users.

It is working hard to notch up its game.

The fact is, it has proved itself over the last few months too. The company is consistently making changes and updating its platform to increase its usability.

According to Twitter, Promoted Trends offers 22% lift in brand conversion.

With that kind of impact, you are more likely to build a loyal army of brand advocates actively promoting your brand and boosting your brand mentions.

By optimizing your tweet for Promoted Trends, you are not only aiming for greater traffic but also ensuring that you get your content across to the most active users searching on the most happening topics.

Promoted Trends can be expensive but a great tool for marketers. But not everyone can be so liberal with budgets.

To make promoting content affordable to all brands, Twitter has Promoted Tweets. These are very much the normal tweets you make. But you can use them to reach out to a bigger and more targeted audience.

Think of it as an ad. Plan a tweet around your goal to target an audience.

Develop content accordingly. Set a budget and your tweet will appear to users in their timeline.

One great thing that happened for Twitter is their in-stream ads, which unlike Facebook, are not displayed along the borders of the screen. This opens possibilities for engagement.

You stand higher chances of gaining attention as the user scrolls up and down the screen, getting you more clicks.

Twitter Videos Ads has Proved to be a Good Advertising Tool

Twitter’s Videos Ads are a great way to boost your impressions and reach out to more users. The company’s claims that a video boosts impressions by 122%.

This gives you more than enough reasons to develop a creative video ad and set it up to see results for yourself. It is worth giving a try.

For instance, Coca-Cola ran an in-stream videos ad during Christmas in December 2017 to enhance its brand image. The results were more than satisfying.

The video ad received 3 million views with the view rate of 393000. Of course, the ad was well made and it conveyed exactly what it wanted to, but the effectiveness of the platform cannot be ignored.

Twitter’s targeting was pretty effective here. The ads reached the right audience. They generated the buzz they needed to. That’s the perfect recipe for an advertising campaign’s success.

The effectiveness of Twitter videos was backed again by Adidas’s video ad campaign. The shoe manufacturing giant used Twitter to relaunch its Predator boots.

The results were excellent. The Cost Per View was $0.012 and the campaign was a massive hit.

Now, imagine the ads reaching wrong people. The campaign would have been an utter disaster.

Twitter has come a long way since its inception. The search algorithm has improved. Audience Targeting works perfectly.

According to Twitter, 5x more people find new videos on the social media platform than on other sources. It also states that it is the first choice for people to view videos.

This gives you all the more reason to try Twitter for your brand.

Simply put, if you know your audience, you should have no problems reaching out to the right people and selling your idea.

Yes, you need to know your thing. The platform delivers later.

The good part: you can always learn to boost Twitter engagement if you are not familiar with the techniques already. Or simply watch my video to increase Twitter traffic and get things going if you lack the following to get you traction.

Twitter Needed a Thrust

You might be apprehensive of marketing on Twitter. I have heard people saying Twitter is eventually going to fade away.

When asked for a reason for their statement, it was simply the recent slump of 8% in the company’s revenue in the year 2017. But they chose to ignore the fact that it was the first time the company had seen a fall in revenue figures since it went public in 2013.

According to a report, Twitter’s decision to part ways with TellApart was the reason for its fall in ad sales. The company has bounced back since.

As a matter of fact, a company’s revenue grows with its user base. Twitter is predicted to grow in the years to come. You can fall back on data to see for yourself that its user base has only grown every year.

Okay, the growth has been marginal but also consistent.

Qualified users looking for relevant information make the platform a marketer’s paradise. This is where Twitter’s strength comes from.

And, just so you know, Twitter announced it’s first profitable quarter in Q4.

The Usefulness of Data Licensing Business

Twitter has been tweaking its revenue strategy for a while. That hurt it in the initial stages but is back on track now.

Even when it saw grumpy Q1, Q2, and Q3 in 2017, it was making profits from its Data Licensing business.

There are companies that rely on actionable data to stay afloat. Twitter sells its rich data, including tweets, to these companies, which, in turn, analyze them to predict patterns, user behavior, and trends.

The availability of such data also means that you have access to valuable information you can use to bolster your marketing strategy. Understanding Twitter users has become easier.

You can now analyze their interests and browsing patterns to modify your campaigns.

Data Licensing has played well in favor of Twitter, both in terms of generating immediate revenue as well as making it a haven for potential marketers.

Reasons Marketers are Currently Drifting Away from Twitter

Despite all the goods coming through their way, Twitter made some serious announcements recently. The steps were intended to address an issue much frowned upon: fake news and rumors on the platform.

Marketers will no longer be able to post simultaneous tweets with identical content across multiple accounts.

The company intends to restrict the creation of fake accounts. But this can have its own repercussions because a lot of marketers use separate accounts to generate initial buzz.

The new policy will restrict them from liking, sharing or retweeting from multiple accounts. This means small businesses could face low visibility and fewer reach issues.

In light of the recent announcements, marketers will have to change their marketing tactics. They are viewing Twitter as a threat.

The problem is: they already have a following, but the changes in policies are forcing them to reconsider the ways they have been operating their accounts.

A recent Twitter update says:

While we continue to provide resources to people who are experiencing thoughts of self-harm, it is against our rules to encourage others to harm themselves. Starting today, you can report a profile, Tweet, or Direct Message for this type of content.

— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety)

That said, Twitter is trying to evolve as a socially responsible social media platform. From the way I see it, even though there will stringent rules to operating Twitter handles, people will eventually accept it as a safer platform.

Who likes their data to leak! Or to be motivated by false promotional strategies!

The fact that Twitter is making itself a thoroughly moderated platform speaks volumes of its commitment to serving its users better, and, of course, offer a better marketing experience in the long run.

It is only a matter of time before users will start realizing that Twitter has become a place for getting genuine social updates.

That should come as good news for branding specialists and online marketers.

Not all is lost for Twitter-savvy marketers. Despite the policy changes, there is still a lot to look forward to.

You still have a consistently growing user base. The platform is getting better at increasing the visual appeal of ads.

And believe it or not, people are attracted to ads that look good. Users are humans, after all!

Twitter offers a new and improved analytics dashboard. You can make use of it to measure engagement, view impressions and lead submissions, track link clicks and even hashtag clicks.

Choosing your campaign goal is easy. So is setting bids and creating ads.

Using such insightful information, you can optimize your marketing campaign for better results.

There is a restriction though. You can only view tweets on and after October 23, 2013. But that should make much of a difference to most people.

More Characters Means More Scope

Another problem with Twitter was that brands had their dissent for character limit on Twitter. The cap would not allow much scope for them to be creative while tweeting.

Often they would get stuck adding links or expressing themselves.

Twitter has resolved that too. Contrary to the earlier character limit of 140, you can now tweet up to 280 characters at a time.

There’s more room now! Marketers can express themselves easily in double the word limit.

Even though there is a character limit, Twitter makes for an excellent platform for promotion. Fewer characters means less clutter.

In a way, that ensures the user interface is clean and that the ads and tweets are easy on the users’ eyes. A visually satisfying experience gets better results from advertising efforts.

Brands are making use of Twitter enhancements. According to a study, those with 1-10 million fans tweet 24 times a days. This shows how brands with a huge following are consistently churning more content to engage users on Twitter.

The reason is: it may not be enough to tweet twice or thrice a day and think that they will reach every follower you have. A huge following comes with huge responsibilities.

Mix up your tweets. Promote your product in one tweet. Share relevant information in the other.

Take a lesson from that. Stay active to engage more.

Camera-First Feature as an Engagement Tool

Interestingly, Twitter is priming itself for more engagement. It is working on a camera-first feature that would combine location-based videos and photos. That would present marketers more opportunities for sensory branding.

Think of it in terms of improving brand recall. You will be able to create and share appealing content and even include your ads in between tweets.  


Revenue has started flooding in. This is the motivation Twitter had been looking for.

New features and advertisement analytics enable marketers to get a grip on their advertisement campaigns.

The company has introduced new goals and has announced new policies to ensure the safety of its users. This couldn’t get better.

As a marketer, you merely need to focus on your goals and make use of Twitter’s features for businesses. Follow industry best practices to get more results.

Set your goals. You could be looking to sell something, build awareness, get video views, boost engagement, or merely gain followers.

Develop a compelling tweet. You won’t be able to achieve your goal without a tweet that your audience can relate to.

Choose the right  Campaign Objective within your account.

Again, having a good setup is necessary, but it also important to make use of hashtags and catchy images or videos to be found and encourage retweets and likes.  

You cannot rely on just Twitter’s Campaign Builder. Building a community of active followers goes a long way in generating the buzz your campaign requires to go viral.

Measure your campaign’s success. Twitter’s analytics dashboard offers insightful information and has enough resources to help you gain traction.

If you aren’t getting enough impressions, something is really wrong with your targeting. Re-evaluate it.

If your tweets aren’t getting profile visits, your tweets aren’t probably matching your users’ expectations.

Remember, you can always do better with content.

Pitch a discount or offer a prize for participating. Run a sweepstakes, maybe.

Twitter already has an exhaustive list of features for your brand’s success. It is coming up with more.

And then, it is not always about the flexibility and features that the social media platform provides but more about what you can do with it.

Do you think Twitter has the potential to level up your business?

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