All press has been pretty much bad press for Twitter lately. It’s struggled to drive growth in nearly every aspect of its business, recently announced the layoffs of 9% of its staff, killed Vine, and has failed in its efforts to sell itself. And users complain often about the abundance of trolls and safety issues.
Still, it’s election season and the platform is still the go-to destination for updates on news and culture. Twitter is big business for consumer attention, and the company still attracts a lot of advertisers.
We reached out to a number of B2B and B2C companies currently running campaigns on Twitter to gauge whether the negative news and gloom over the social network has them thinking twice about spending money on the platform. Many did not respond or declined to comment, but those that did were confident in the network’s advertising viability.
“Our Twitter work is incredibly effective. Twitter is both a very strong organic social platform for us, but more importantly, Twitter has become a very powerful paid promotional source for us,” says George Gallate, CMO and EVP Global at Merkle. “With the targetability and searchability of Twitter, it makes sense that it’s [still] effective.”
Merkle recently sponsored a Tweet promoting a report it released. Nordstrom promoted a jacket.
Twitter also announced partnerships this week with Evernote, Pizza Hut, Airbnb and other brands to offer customer service chat bots.
Pizza Hut’s Senior Director of Public Relations, Doug Terfehr, said, “Twitter is still a very active social media channel for millions of people every day and the ease to purchase a pizza through direct message is something we believe adds to the ways that people can use the network.”
By and large, it isn’t particularly surprising that businesses are still doing business with Twitter. The company did post a profit in its last quarter, and has been aggressively pursuing new media opportunities, particularly in live TV streaming. But its user base remains the most redeeming (and appealing) aspect of Twitter as an advertising option.
“What the news does not say is that the Twitter user base is massively engaged. They’re sharing, they’re re-tweeting, and they’re completely mobile,” Gallate says.
Indeed, Twitter has many problems these days. But a large and engaged audience (well over a quarter-billion) is certainly not one of them. As the Twitter saga continues to unfold, that audience will likely remain just as attractive as it always has been to marketers.
Jimmie Wilks, MBA, MA
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