In the rush to compare advertising engagement levels between Twitter and Facebook last week, TBG Digital made a hasty and significant error. The social media marketing vendor originally reported that Facebook mobile ads outperformed Twitter by at least four times, but days later it reversed its finding, admitting that it was "not comparing like for like."
While the desire to juxtapose largely incomparable channels like Twitter and Facebook is understandable, the fact of the matter is that most brands already know that such guesswork is an effort in futility. In its report, TBG Digital compared the click-through rates of Promoted Accounts on Twitter with Newsfeed ads on Facebook. "A more comparable product for Twitter would have been Promoted Tweets," it later noted.
However, the end result still doesn't carry much weight for brands. If Promoted Accounts and Newsfeed ads are akin to comparing apples to elephants, Promoted Tweets and Newsfeed ads are like apples and oranges. Neither of those directly compare, so advertisers learn little in the process.
Based on those misleading comparisons, TBG Digital drew the wrong conclusions. Facebook isn't beating Twitter on mobile ad engagement. Indeed, it appears to be doing quite the opposite.
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