Twitter is taking the position its promoted tweets do in fact drive people to buy things. Measuring offline sales impact is the stated goal of a partnership with a firm called Datalogix in which companies can measure how effective tweets really are.
Marrying Online + Offline Experiences
Because over 90% of purchases happen in physical stores, Twitter and other online companies are very concerned about mapping out how their digital efforts are really affecting sales in offline channels, Ameet Ranadive, Twitter’s product manager for revenue wrote in a company blog post.
In order to measure how Promoted and organic tweets affect offline sales of consumer packaged goods in the US, Datalogix ran studies on 35 companies in categories like food, beverages, wellness, household products and alcohol.
Datalogix’s purchase based audience targeting system found both organic and promoted tweets impact offline sales.Those who engaged with a Promoted tweet were 12% more likely to buy something in a store, and even if they didn’t engage with the tweet, they were still 2% more likely to buy if they just saw the tweet.
Social Sales Impact
Twitter measured the impact on things like Oreo cookies, Trident chewing gum and Wheat Thins snack crackers, all of which were working with the same marketing firm on early beta tests. The real time marketing power of Twitter was found to be useful in measuring the differences between organic and Promoted tweets.
Not only were those who engaged with promoted tweets more likely to buy, even organic tweets produced an 8% gain in driving store sales. Those people were actually three times more likely to buy if they saw five or more organic tweets over the measurement period (that amount of time was not given).
That means those companies who are active in their feeds can in fact see a small sales boost just by engaging their audiences. However, those who saw Promoted tweets purchased 29% more than those who only saw organic tweets. This is certainly good news in terms of Twitter’s hopes to get more organizations to advertise, but we’ll need to see more data, and a wider swath of use cases to really get excited about it.
It does seem promising, however, and so far, Twitter has mostly avoided many of the privacy issues encountered by say, Facebook or Google+, so that could also work to its advantage.