Twitter and Facebook treat their ads very differently. Twitter’s are integrated into users’ timelines, displayed alongside tweets, while Facebook ads appear on the sidebar. And it sounds like Twitter’s strategy is paying off: Twitter is attracting higher cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) than its big brother social counterpart.
TBG Digital looked at more than 45 billion ad impressions from 10 different brands on both Facebook and Twitter from Q1 2012. And they found that ads on Twitter are out-performing ads on Facebook on a number of fronts.
Advertisers are paying more for ad impressions on Twitter than on Facebook, and TBG Digital hypothesizes this is because Twitter ads – or Promoted Trends, Tweets and Accounts – are displayed right in the middle of the network’s content. Facebook, on the other hand, displays ads in their sidebar, and are more likely to be ignored by users.
Twitter ads have a much higher price point than Facebook ads: advertisers purchasing a Promoted Account ad will pay between $2.50 to $4.00 for every follow, and Promoted Tweets sell for between $0.75 and $2.50 per engagement. On Facebook, ads can sell for as low as $0.50.
Twitter ads get a significantly higher click-through rate than Facebook ads when it comes to the “news” category, and the networks share similar click-through rates in “sports” and “food and drink”. However, Facebook click-through rates far surpass Twitter in the “computers and electronics” and the “travel” category.
And interestingly, Twitter differs from Facebook when it comes to the time of day that conversions are most effective. Twitter sees the best conversions during “news consumption periods”, or when people are most interested in reading about the news of the day. These times are 6am to 12pm, and 8pm to 12am. Facebook, on the other hand, sees the most conversions around lunch time, when people are looking to take a break and browse the news in their social network.