Twitter’s new image-centric design is giving its advertisers’ promoted tweets an engagement boost but might actually decrease clicks to an advertiser’s site.
Media buyers and social ad tech providers say paid tweets that include image previews have received more than twice the engagement levels compared with those that don’t. Engagement means clicks on the tweet itself, and social actions such as retweets or favorites.
“Engagement has really dramatically increased,” said James Borow, founder of Twitter ad buying technology firm Shift, whose clients include major brand advertisers, such Unilever, Walmart, American Express, Red Bull, Verizon and others. “It’s only been 15 days, but so far engagement for promoted tweets with images is roughly two times higher, based on our data.”
That’s good news for brand advertisers and for Twitter, which now has shareholders to answer to and an ad business to prove. But this could come as bad news for marketers using promoted tweets to drive users to their sites. Digiday has previously reported that publishers have also noticed a boost in engagement for organic tweets since the update was released but, as of yet, have little idea if it’s actually helping drive traffic for them either.
So marketing software provider Driftrock decided to conduct some A/B tests of its own. It set up three identical promoted tweet campaigns driving traffic to driftrock.com. Each campaign featured two tweets — one with an image and one without.
In 24 hours, Driftrock said it became clear that the tweets with images vastly outperformed those without, both in terms of engagement and clicks, but also it noticed that increased engagement doesn’t necessarily translate into traffic.
“Don’t be deceived by high engagement rates on picture tweets — despite picture previews now displaying by default, users are still very likely to click on the picture link rather than the outbound link,” company founder Matt Wheeler told Digiday.
As a result, direct-response advertisers should base their decisions on whether or not to include an image based on hard metrics such as cost-per-click and cost-per-acquisition data rather than vanity metrics like engagement and clicks that don’t necessarily lead to conversions, he said.
The image-preview feature is still in its infancy, of course, having been launched just two weeks ago. Some agencies, including 360i, say they haven’t yet collected enough data to tell if the change has had a major impact on its clients’ campaigns or not.
But this serves as a reminder that engagement and traffic are two different things. An increase in the former might be good for Twitter, and for certain brand advertisers, but the shift might leave some marketers needing to alter the way they use paid media on the platform.
“It’s something marketers will need to keep testing as the functionality beds in,” Wheeler concluded. “Things might change.”
Why companies like iHeartMedia, NBCU rely on homegrown IP to build metaverse engagements
The success of recent brand activations is evidence that media and entertainment brands are the companies best equipped to build metaverse spaces that can dodge online skepticism, thanks to their wealth of owned IP.
How sunglasses brand Quay retooled its advertising to be less reliant on performance marketing following iOS changes
Prior to the iOS changes, Quay was spending the majority of its ad dollars on performance marketing tactics and influencer marketing.
What beauty brand Fenty can gain from Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show
Following a roughly six-year hiatus from music, Rihanna is returning to headline the NFL Super Bowl halftime show. The residual effects for her Fenty brand will be paramount.
SponsoredHow FAST channels are redefining primetime opportunities for advertisers
Sponsored by Vevo With the competition from content providers continuing to build, the traditional primetime TV slots are no longer guaranteeing the mass audiences they once did. Television viewership is evolving, and the primetime window of 8–11 p.m. is less broadly reflective of younger audiences’ content consumption habits. In 2022, attracting TV viewers is a […]
As destination travel takes off, the ‘Big Easy’ is experimenting with AR/VR to draw visitors
As travel, and travel tourism, return to pre-pandemic levels, New Orleans is leveraging AR/VR technology marketing to stand out and capture more traveler attention.
Skills shortages and legal uncertainty curtail marketers’ in-house ambitions for programmatic
IAB Europe survey reveals a significant in-housing slowdown with only 16% of marketers employing it as a model for programmatic trading.