After Facebook, Twitter becomes Forrester’s new target for criticism

As the parody ‘digital influencer’ Twitter account @ProfJeffJarvis said, “Forrester is the new Statler and Waldorf.”

Forrester might resemble the cranky old Muppets after following up its criticism of Facebook with a new blog post doing the same to Twitter, but the research firm’s latest critique titled, “Twitter marketers are still looking for answers” poses some valid questions. 

On the eve of Twitter’s IPO, Forrester analyst Nate Elliot posted research from the firm which surveyed marketing executives, asking them what they considered the most effective marketing channel. Twitter marketing was considered effective by 55% of them, coming way down on the list, behind email marketing, search marketing, LinkedIn, YouTube, and surprisingly even Google +. It was however, still ahead of any sort of marketing efforts on Facebook. Here are the full results of the survey.

Elliot said the reason marketers were frustrated with Twitter marketing was because they were using it the wrong way. He wrote:

“Marketers’ most common objective on Twitter is to build brand awareness. But consumers are most likely to become a fan or follower of a company in social media after they’ve already bought from that company. This means that marketers would have more luck using Twitter to engage their existing customers than to find new ones.”

The tone is hardly as scathing as it was in the blog post about Facebook, which personally called out its CEO Mark Zuckerberg for not doing enough for marketers. And Elliot stressed that Twitter still had a chance to do things right, unlike Facebook. 

We believe that Twitter is heading in the right direction. It carefully tests its new marketing offerings before unleashing them on the market. It has brought marketers innovative targeting criteria, like the ability to target users based on what TV show they’re watching. And if it can help marketers build genuine connections with their customers, rather than just running ads, then Twitter could become the go-to site for the kind of social marketing that marketers are hungry for — the kind of social marketing we believe Facebook has left behind.

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