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Twitter triples retailer ads in 2012

Posting in Technology

During the holiday shopping season in the United States, we saw retailers investing more in their Twitter strategies by using deals, Twitter "parties," and even games for people standing in Black Friday lines to draw attention to their brand. And as retailers get sophisticated with their Twitter strategy it's Twitter (the company) that seems to be reaping the benefits. Wall Street Journal reports:

The shift highlights how Twitter has become too important with shoppers to be treated as a second thought this holiday season. While retailers were among the first corporations to trickle onto Twitter several years ago, they mostly did so to soothe unhappy shoppers griping on the short-messaging service or to supplement TV ad campaigns or other marketing.

Now consumer conversations about holiday deals are flying thicker and faster on Twitter. The San Francisco company said that during the week of Thanksgiving, there were roughly 6.1 million Twitter posts related to Black Friday, or roughly 50% more than a year ago. Twitter said three times as many retailers bought ads on Twitter from January to November this year compared with 2011.

How did that translate into actual sales during Black Friday for retailers? According to an IBM study, 0.00 percent of sales came from Twitter referral traffic, down from 0.02 percent last year. Facebook, on the other hand accounted for 0.68% from referral traffic. But sales from social media referral was down 35 percent from last year.

Still, retailers are putting more money into pushing their brand on Twitter. According to eMarketer, Twitter's advertisement revenue is estimated to rise to $288 million, up from $139.5 million last year.

So why invest in Twitter if it doesn't seem to be translating into sales? Cosmin Ghiurau, RadioShack's director of social media, explains to WSJ: "Even though on other platforms we probably have 10 times the amount of followers, on Twitter the majority of the conversation happens." And it's that conversation and interaction with customers where can companies can impact their image with customers.

Now on Twitter: Holiday Shopping Deals [Wall Street Journal]

Image: Twitter

— By on December 17, 2012, 5:41 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure