As the holiday season looms, Twitter is counting on retailers to fuel ad sales following its IPO, but a recent poll by Shop.org showed that just 15 percent of retailers consider Twitter when thinking about making a social marketing investment, with 34 percent choosing Facebook.
Twitter has been pushing its promoted posts as the way to convert eyeballs into purchases, citing data from Crimson Hexagon last month that holiday shopping conversations increased 30 percent in 2012 over 2011 and that retailers using Twitter ad products has nearly doubled since last September, and retailer spend on digital ads are projected to reach $13.5 billion by 2017 from $9.4 billion this year, according to researcher EMarketer.
To further lure potential advertisers, Twitter is giving away up to $1 million in free ads in conjunction with Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30, to accounts with a US address. Marketers can use the credit for Promoted Accounts or Promoted Tweets products.
“On Twitter, everyone can see people talking to a brand or about topics like big-screen TVs,” Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara told Adweek. “And then you can engage with users who are researching those things.”
Last month, Twitter hired J.J. Hirschle from Google as its first executive charged with targeting retailers to advertise on the service and so far he’s had meetings with Target and Best Buy. “Holiday is one of the most important periods and for me, sitting in the retail world, it is the most critical period,” Hirschle said. “I really looked at this job as an opportunity to define what our value is to retail, and have the ability to really influence the products we help create to service our retail clients.”
Adobe's recent Social Intelligence Report identifies Facebook as the leader in shaping the digital marketplace, however, Facebook's lead has fallen by 20 percent year-over-year while Twitter has gained 258 percent in the same time frame with a 300 percent uptick in revenue per visitor on a year-over-year basis.
At Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead: 2014 conference, Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, said he sees Twitter as “primarily a public relations medium,” while Facebook is “a wonderful long term branding medium. It will soon be the largest country on the planet if you think of it that way.”
Clearly Twitter is gunning to redraw the map.