Will Twitter manage to woo brands with festive shoppers?

The social media platform's latest survey suggests 61 per cent of its users are ready to pick up shopping ideas from here, while 84 per cent said they would shop for brands they follow on Twitter. But not everyone is buying the argument yet

e4m by Abhinn Shreshtha
Updated: Sep 22, 2014 8:40 AM
Will Twitter manage to woo brands with festive shoppers?

Twitter recently carried out a survey of its users to showcase consumer behaviour during festive shopping. Commissioned by Twitter and carried out by an independent research agency, the survey stated that 61 per cent of Twitter users research and explore the platform for shopping ideas with 52 per cent expecting to discover exclusive Diwali offers here. Further, 79 per cent of respondents said they are likely to purchase products from brands they follow on Twitter, while 84 per cent are likely to visit a store or website if they see a promotion on the platform.

“Good engagements depend upon reaching out to the audience at the right moment and with the right message. These moments are of two types—the big, cultural and live events and everyday moments. Brands now understand the importance of these moments,” said Parminder Singh, Managing Director, (Southeast Asia/India/MENA) for Twitter.

Explaining the idea behind the survey, Singh said that Twitter wanted to find out whether the platform was used only for engagement or is there a bigger part that it plays in the Diwali shopping process. “Several brands ask us whether it is right to talk about pricing and offers on Twitter. With 79 per cent saying they are likely to purchase from brands followed on Twitter, we can now help advertisers create better communication,” he said.

When asked whether advertisers are using Twitter as a medium for lead generation or creating a call-to-action, Singh said that the purchase funnel is constantly happening on Twitter with people talking about their likes, dislikes, wants... Calling engagement a strong indicator of intent, he claimed it leads to 30 per cent more brand identity and 58 per cent more of purchase intent.

Is Twitter the key to Diwali promotions?

According to Singh, clients are already on board. He credits this to Twitter’s strengths in seeding conversations, amplifying messages and providing feedback on brands. However, not everyone is as convinced.

Some digital and social media agencies we spoke to agreed that spending on Twitter has gone up but they point out that it has been happening for the past few months. When asked whether Diwali promotions have increased, most agreed that it was too early for that. This makes sense, since Twitter is seen as a tactical, rather than a strategic medium. “Very few companies spend consistently month-on-month on Twitter. The spending is more sporadic. I would say planning has increased but not the spending,” said Gautamm Mehra, Head of Social Media at iProspect Communicate2.

Similarly, Sanjay Mehta, Co-CEO at Social Wavelength said client spending on Twitter has increased over the last six months though a change in messaging may be evident closer to Dussehra and Diwali.

Another reason for this could be the minimum guarantee amount that Twitter expects as this would make casual advertisers who want to take advantage of the festive period shy.

Twitter India's $10,000 minimum budget irks agencies, brands

For example, Mehra told us that a promoted tweet campaign would give around 1 million impressions but cost Rs 3 lakh while a organically run contest done with great content gives a reach of around four million but costs just Rs 15-20 thousand.

Speaking about the minimum guarantee amount, Chetan Asher, CEO of Tonic Media said, “It is definitely a factor. We are trying to find a way around it though nothing concrete has happened so far.” He agreed that Twitter has gained currency as a marketing vehicle.

The larger organisations though seem to be planning their Diwali strategy already. Singh pointed out that the likes of Samsung, Chevrolet, Audi that have been spending on Twitter for promoted campaigns and are expected to do so for Diwali as well. “The big clients who can afford it don’t mind biting the bullet,” added Asher. A former social media head of a digital agency based in Mumbai also opined that Twitter has emerged as a strong medium for promotions, though the kind of promotions (organic or promoted) that will be carried out remains to be seen.


• 87 per cent of Twitter users will purchase fashion items for Diwali, especially clothes and shoes

• 86 per cent of Twitter users will purchase consumer electronics for Diwali

• 78 per cent of Twitter users will purchase home and living products for Diwali

• 70 per cent of Twitter users will purchase health & beauty products for Diwali

• 56 per cent of Twitter users will purchase sports & outdoor products for Diwali

(Source: Twitter India Survey)

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