Why is Twitter Better than Facebook for Advertising?

According to advertising firm TBG Digital, advertisements on Twitter are much more successful than those on Facebook for one simple reason: the ads on Facebook look like ads.

For those familiar with both Twitter and Facebook, most would be able to describe how ads are served on Facebook, but not all would be able to point them out in Twitter. That’s because ads are integrated into the user’s tweet-streams, making them appear a lot less like ads. It is no coincidence that Twitter’s ads have been outperforming Facebook’s by a wide margin.

A study of 45 billion ad impressions across both platforms was performed by TBG Digital for the first quarter of 2012. TBG is Facebook’s largest ad seller and manager, which makes the results look even more stark in their revelation of Twitter’s marketing supremacy. The study examined cost-per-thousand impressions, click-through rates and cost-per-follower to advertisers.

The results show that Twitter categorically receives more clicks and earns more money per impression than Facebook.

“Facebook puts ads on the right-hand side, which people recognise as ads,” CEO of TBG, Simon Mansell told The Business Insider. “Twitter puts ads in the stream so it looks more like content. When ads are in-stream you get better click-through performance.”

Advertising is more effective on Twitter

A comparison of cost-per-thousand impressions between Facebook and Twitter, by TBG Digital.

This study is further evidence of a growing trend in marketing – the role of in-content advertising.

The problem with Facebook’s method of placing ads to one side, is that users are accustomed to it being there and therefore find it easy to ignore. This is an issue being faced by advertising firms and marketers worldwide in all kinds of places, not just Facebook. However, by ‘dressing’ advertising as legitimate content (or, in fact, legitimising advertisements with content) users are much more likely to click in to the ad, regardless of whether or not it results in conversions.

As more marketers move away from traditional methods of advertising, more innovative ways of spreading a brand’s message will surface. Have you seen any highly creative digital ads recently?

1 Comment

One thought on “Why is Twitter Better than Facebook for Advertising?”

  1. Hi Campbell

    Interesting article but I’m a bit confused about how the graph relates to the purported study findings. Having a higher CPM doesn’t necessarily mean that Twitter is earning more money from their ads, does it?


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