Twitter and Facebook both provide the opportunity to reach a wide audience or target select users. But, which one actually delivers results?
According to a study conducted by TBG Digital, a company that specializes in promoting global brands on Facebook and Twitter, people are more likely to click on a Twitter ad than one on Facebook. The study found that Twitter’s click through rate (CTR) is higher than Facebook’s.
To get an ad’s CTR, you take the number of clicks an ad receives and divide it by the number of times the ad is displayed. That means if your ad is shown 1,000 times and only gets three clicks, the click through rate is 0.003%.
The average CTR of today’s banner ads is 0.1%, but Twitter’s promoted tweets are way more successful, averaging a 1-3% CTR. The same can’t be said for Facebook. After studying more than 11,000 Facebook ad campaigns, webtrends, a digital analytic firm, found the average CTR to be 0.051%, half the industry average.
However, for both social media sites, CTR is heavily affected by ad type and placement. Twitter’s promoted accounts which appear on the left-hand side of the screen have a much lower CTR rate than its promoted tweets which appear at the top of a user’s twitter feed. For Facebook, it’s all about location. Facebook mobile ads average a much higher CTR than the Sponsored Story ads which only appear in a user’s newsfeed when he/she is logging on through a computer.
So, if Facebook ads don’t amount to click throughs, why are people still paying top dollar to advertise on the site? The answer’s simple. They don’t care about CTR, they just want specific target audiences to see the ad. But, is just seeing the ad enough? Maybe.
With other ad forms, i.e. billboards, print, TV,/radio, there’s no click through, people simply experience the ad and then move on; maybe they’re motivated to take action, maybe they’re not. So, if someone doesn’t click on your Facebook ad, it doesn’t necessarily mean he or she wasn’t affected by it.
CTR is important but it shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when buying ad space. When you advertise, instead of focusing on CTR, focus on getting more likes/followers and encouraging interaction between you and your target audience because that’s the fastest way to get people excited about your brand.