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@ AADigital: Twitter’s Bain: Twitter Beats Facebook In Driving Purchases

Six months after Adam Bain was hired by Twitter from News Corp.’s Fox Audience Network, the microblog’s president of revenue offered the audience Ad Age Digital conference a little bit of what’s he’s learned — and how Twitter connects to marketers and consumers without ruining the service. Amid a flurry of stats — fun facts: Twitter generates 1 billion tweets a week; women tweet about 40 percent more than men do — he also presented an overview of plans to evolve Promoted Tweets To Promoted Trends to Promoted Accounts.

Bain said he tried to quickly get up to speed on what marketers were thinking by setting an unusual — if numerically appropriate — goal: “I thought it would be cute to see a 140 CMOs in a 140 days — my wife, however, didn’t think it was so cute,” he said.

Twitter has grown from working with just 6 marketers to 600 marketers in past year — and 80 percent are repeat clients. The company has chosen to focus on its “Promoted” tweets, trends and accounts, as opposed to just slapping display ads all over its pages or within users’ communications.

There’s something about Fridays that are particularly good for Promoted Tweets, though Bain wasn’t exactly sure why. “We’ve got to do more work looking into that.”

Bain also tweaked Facebook with a set of two comparisons that showed Twitter followers being more likely to buy something related to something or someone they follow. About 67 percent of Twitter users said they would be more apt to make a purchase from a follower, while 51 percent of Facebook users said the same. Part of the strength of that comes from the fact that 40 percent of Twitter users follow at least one brand.

For a new feature for marketers called the Follower Dashboard is designed to offer companies a deep set of analytics about interests, locations, engagement of its followers. The Dashboard offers a graph showing how the number of followers have grown over time and also tells what other Twitter accounts a company’s followers are trailing. Beyond the snapshot, the Dashboard shows “the most unique interests” of its followers. In a demo using Radio Shack as an example, the electronic retailers’ followers are most interested in Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong charity and most of them are in Texas, where that philanthropic entity is based. That inspired Radio Shack to create a marketing partnership with Livestrong in that state.

AdAge Editor Abbey Klassen then entered from stage left to ask a few rapid-fire questions of Bain. Is Twitter a media company? “It’s what ever you want it to be,” Bain answered her.

Asked about rumors about Twitter Brand Pages, Bain demurred, punking the audience with an Oprah-esque flourish. “The told me not to do this, but if you all look under your seats, you’ll find — ” pause and nothing. “Just kidding.” And with that, he exited the stage.