Twitter: Promoted Tweets Increase Offline Sales

What's Next In Payments®
2:48 PM EDT August 8th, 2013

By Pete Rizzo, Editor (@pete_rizzo_)

Twitter’s most avid users aren’t thrilled about what they view as the company’s transition from an open forum for discussion to another advertising outlet.

In fact, as The Wall Street Journal reported on August 4, members of a growing subculture called “Weird Twitter” are attempting to slow the transition by disrupting what they see as its primary vehicle – promoted tweets.

However, if the results of Twitter’s latest study are any indication, promoted tweets aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Twitter and Datalogix released new research on August 8 that revealed that both Twitter users who engaged with a brand’s promoted tweets and users who only viewed a brand’s promoted tweets were more likely to purchase from that brand.

The two companies studied 35 consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to measure the impact of organic and paid Twitter posts on offline sales. Twitter lauded the results, saying that they prove “that both impressions and engagements from promoted tweets are valuable to a brand.”

In this Data Point, we’ll break down the key findings so you can see how Twitter says CPG brands are benefitting from its social media marketing offerings.

Viewing Promoted Tweets Drives Sales

Researchers found that users who engaged with posts from a CPG brand were 12 percent more likely than a statistically identical control group to purchase from that brand in a physical store. Twitter revealed that Oreo, Wheat Thins and Trident Gum were all measured in the study.

Most notable, however, was that Twitter users who only viewed promoted tweets were 2 percent more likely than the control group to convert at a store.

Organic Engagement Leads To Conversions

Twitter and Datalogix determined that organic tweets also had a measurable effect on offline sales. Twitter users who were exposed to a brand’s organic tweets were 8 percent more likely to make a purchase than those who were not. 

The companies said this increase tripled when users saw five or more organic tweets during its measurement period. Twitter said that this finding meant brands that more actively build a Twitter base can increase offline sales.

Promoted Tweets Trump Organic Tweets

In perhaps the most notable finding, Twitter indicated that promoted tweets had a greater sales impact than organic tweets. Twitter users who were exposed to promoted tweets were 29 percent more likely to make a purchase in-store than those who only saw organic tweets.

The research follows a similar study conducted by Twitter and Compete in November 2012 that found that Twitter users who were exposed to retail tweets were more likely to convert online than users who were not

The findings are especially significant at a time when Twitter is rumored to be preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) that could come as early as the end of this year.

For more on Twitter’s most recent study, view the full report here.

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