Runnings ads on Twitter in 2023: Is it worth the hype?

March 8, 2023

Roxanne Denman

As education marketers, we always want to expand our strategy, evolving to bolster sales for clients and give them a winning edge over their competition. Our clients inspire us to keep looking for the next best thing, an innovative way for them to increase conversion and audience engagement to reach targets.

If the beginning of 2023 has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is off the table, including revisiting marketing options that we had not considered in a while. Twitter Ads may have caught your attention at some point while you focused on sharpening your marketing strategy. With its unique targeting capabilities and immersing engagement style, it's no surprise.

However, with the recent controversies surrounding the platform, you may wonder if the effort is still worth it and if directing client spending toward Twitter Ads will get the desired result. In this blog, we touch on the value of Twitter Ads in 2023 while we assess their potential for your brand's marketing success.

We look at a few varying factors and how Twitter holds up against other platforms and pick the brain of our resident Paid Media Manager to get his take on the ever-evolving landscape of paid advertising. Disclaimer - every strategy is different and it's important to identify your target market and marketing strategy to get the result you want from each platform.

We promise to try not to mention Elon, too much.


Twitter has been experiencing major technical glitches since last year, with the latest happening on 6 March 2023. Former (probably disgruntled, we know) employees have voiced their concerns over how the recent massive layoff may cause the platform to bend and break in a big way.

Are the layoffs the beginning of the end for the platform? Or is Musk busy curating a master plan that sees Twitter scaling down costs and running at a higher profit? And how does this affect marketing on the platform?

The cuts have impacted the advertising technology support team directly. We hope that the ghost town of Twitter staff can withhold the technical infrastructure to keep the app and platform's system running and devise innovative future ideas to maximize reach and conversion. With this one, only time will tell.

Audience and engagement

Twitter has a substantial following of professionals who actively engage with educational content. While it isn't the top social media platform for those looking to study and upskill - it could be a viable option to reach this target audience and drive conversions.

A survey conducted by Pearson revealed that Twitter is the second most favored social media platform for teachers, after Meta giant Facebook. The survey reflects that Twitter can be an effective channel for education companies to reach educators and professionals in the education sector.

Twitter has ad targeting capabilities that allow education marketers to reach specific audiences based on their behavior, interests, and demographics. Their unique engagement style could give marketers a fresh take on connecting with and converting their targeted audience. 

Conversions and ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is where the figures take a dismal turn.

The platform's ROI and conversion rates are much lower than Meta's Facebook and Instagram. While their strength lies in audience engagement and ad targeting capabilities, the lower ROI is concerning for education companies looking to run successful ad campaigns.

With around 450 million monthly users, Twitter falls far behind Instagram which boasts 1.21 billion monthly users. Facebook reigns supreme with this one encompassing a massive reach with 2.96 billion active monthly users.

Hubspot data paints a clear picture – as of February 2023, Instagram shows a 25% ROI. and as per Instagram findings, 90% of people follow at least one business on their platform. Facebook’s stats are promising, with an ROI of 23%. Youtube and TikTok compete valiantly, earning 14% and 12%, respectively, while LinkedIn trails hot on their heels at 11%. Twitter? A sullen 6% ROI.

When assessing your marketing strategy, investigate your cost-per-click and engagement. Reaching the target audience and converting are essential elements when choosing a platform for advertising. Because of this, Twitter may not be the best platform for educational institutions looking to convert.

What we think

We all reach our sell-by date. Twitter seems to have lost its edge on ROI and conversion. While the cost-per-click is enticingly low, Twitter appears unpredictable and requires more from already-stretched marketers to read and master the algorithm than the other, more popular platforms.

Instagram shines because it offers marketers increased reach and engagement to boost sales from non-organic content like branded content and Instagram Ads. It also dazzles when generating ROI from organic and user-generated content.

We are not saying Twitter has no value. If your marketing strategy is already seeing optimal results on platforms like Google and Facebook Ads, enhancing brand visibility on Twitter can emulate your brand presence for more reach.

Is there a future for Twitter Ads? Maybe. Each platform boasts unique strengths and weaknesses. Identify your target audience and establish where they spend their time to sharpen your marketing strategy and determine which platform will work best for you.

2023 is on fire. In a short space of time, we have seen extensive technological advancements with a fast-evolving marketing atmosphere. The future of Twitter Ads could paint a very different picture.

Watch this space!

Are you a marketer curious to learn about the aspects that affect our industry?

Or do you want to tap into our expertise to sharpen your tactics? Look no further than our free downloadable resources. We work hard to research our content - and offer it to you - free of charge.

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