The Marketing Challenges of Twitter

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 21 Mar, 2014

Despite Twitter's popularity over the last eight years, the majority of brands still face marketing challenges on the social network.

According to a recent survey conducted by Social Media Marketing University, 96.2 percent of brands report having challenges with using Twitter to achieve specific goals. Moreover, 45.1 percent of brands claim their greatest challenge on the social network is measuring return on investment (ROI) and results, followed by building an audience (42.1 percent) and engagement (36.8 percent). Regardless of those statistics, the survey shows that 64.9 percent of brands still think Twitter is an effective marketing tool.

"Social media has become a significant play in the marketing world, so much so that brands are almost forced to leverage it, even if they are unsure of its value," said John Souza, founder of Social Media Marketing University. "The challenge for marketers will be to solidify best practices to measure ROI on all social media platforms as they face increased pressure from the C-Suite. Additionally, as Twitter banks on the success of its paid services, it will be critical for the platform to provide resources and support to help brands navigate this challenge."

It is important to note that the survey also shed light on Twitter advertising, with 16.9 percent of brands saying they are not aware that Twitter offers paid services and 34.7 percent claiming that they aren't interested in using Twitter's paid services. Other noteworthy data shows that the most utilized feature on Twitter, unsurprisingly, is hashtags (88.7 percent), followed by images (64.3 percent) and Lists (23.4 percent).

"What we found overall is that there are a number of ways brands are incorporating Twitter into their overall marketing plans," said Souza. "The challenge is that if marketers aren't able to demonstrate in black and white how their efforts are paying off, it will be difficult to make the case that Twitter's paid or unpaid services are worth the investment."

Learn more about how brands are using Twitter as a marketing tool by checking out Social Media Marketing University's infographic below: